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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October, 2022:

An Evolving Vision : The James Collection, 1997-2022, by Carolyn Ducey, Marin F. Hanson, and Penny McMorris.

In 2022 the International Quilt Museum (IQM) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln celebrates a quarter century of studying, preserving, and exhibiting the Ardis and Robert James Collection. The Jameses’ donation of their unparalleled one-thousand-piece collection in 1997 established the IQM and formed the solid base from which the museum has steadily grown. Today, the museum’s collection includes more than six thousand quilts from five different centuries and over fifty countries, an expansion that has been encouraged by the James family, who continue to support the museum’s efforts to represent global quiltmaking.

This companion publication to the exhibition An Evolving Vision, 1997–2022 highlights important pieces from various segments of the collection: Classics—stunning antique American quilts; From the Studio—early and innovative art pieces; and New Horizons—quilt traditions from around the world. This book also includes a comprehensive catalog of the James Collection, comprising the quilts from the original 1997 gift as well as important groups given to the IQM in 2006 and 2009. An Evolving Vision documents the significance of the James Collection and underscores the broad vision its collectors developed not only for themselves but for the museum they so vitally helped shape.

The Enlightened Patrolman : Early Law Enforcement in Mexico City, by Nicole von Germeten; Series: Confluencias

When late eighteenth-century New Spanish viceregal administrators installed public lamps in the streets of central Mexico City, they illuminated the bodies of Indigenous, Afro-descended, and plebeian Spanish urbanites. The urban patrolmen, known as guarda faroleros, or “lantern guards,” maintained the streetlamps and attempted to clear the streets of plebeian sexuality, embodiment, and sociability, all while enforcing late colonial racial policies amid frequent violent resistance from the populace.

In The Enlightened Patrolman Nicole von Germeten guides readers through Mexico City’s efforts to envision and impose modern values as viewed through the lens of early law enforcement, an accelerated process of racialization of urban populations, and burgeoning ideas of modern masculinity. Germeten unfolds a tale of the losing struggle for elite control of the city streets. As surveillance increased and the populace resisted violently, a pause in the march toward modernity ensued. The Enlightened Patrolman presents an innovative study on the history of this very early law enforcement corps, providing new insight into the history of masculinity and race in Mexico, as well as the eighteenth-century origins of policing in the Americas.

Imperial Zions : Religion, Race, and Family in the American West and the Pacific, by Amanda Hendrix-Komoto; Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds

In the nineteenth century, white Americans contrasted the perceived purity of white, middle-class women with the perceived eroticism of women of color and the working classes. The Latter-day Saint practice of polygamy challenged this separation, encouraging white women to participate in an institution that many people associated with the streets of Calcutta or Turkish palaces. At the same time, Latter-day Saints participated in American settler colonialism. After their expulsion from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, Latter-day Saints dispossessed Ute and Shoshone communities in an attempt to build their American Zion. Their missionary work abroad also helped to solidify American influence in the Pacific Islands as the church became a participant in American expansion.

Imperial Zions explores the importance of the body in Latter-day Saint theology with the faith’s attempts to spread its gospel as a “civilizing” force in the American West and the Pacific. By highlighting the intertwining of Latter-day Saint theology and American ideas about race, sexuality, and the nature of colonialism, Imperial Zions argues that Latter-day Saints created their understandings of polygamy at the same time they tried to change the domestic practices of Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples. Amanda Hendrix-Komoto tracks the work of missionaries as they moved through different imperial spaces to analyze the experiences of the American Indians and Native Hawaiians who became a part of white Latter-day Saint families. Imperial Zions is a foundational contribution that places Latter-day Saint discourses about race and peoplehood in the context of its ideas about sexuality, gender, and the family.

Living Room, by Laura Bylenok; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry 

Deeply phenomenological and ecological, Laura Bylenok’s poems in Living Room imagine the lived reality of other organisms and kinds of life, including animals, plants, bacteria, buildings, and rocks. They explore the permeability of human and nonhuman experience, intelligence, language, and subjectivity. In particular, the poems consider so-called model organisms—nonhuman species studied to understand specific and often human biological processes, diseases, and phenomena—as well as an experience of self and world that cannot be objectively quantified. The impulse of these poems is to slow down, to see and feel, and to listen closely. Language becomes solid, palpable as fruit. Long lines propel breath and push past the lung’s capacity.

Life at a cellular level, synthesis and symbiosis, is revealed through forests, fairy tales, and vines that grow over abandoned houses and hospital rooms. A living room is considered as a room that is lived in and also a room that is alive. Cells are living rooms. A self is a room that shares walls with others. Interconnection and interplay are thematic, and the network of poems becomes a linguistic rendering of a heterogeneous and nonhierarchical ecosystem, using the language of biology, genetics, and neurochemistry alongside fairy tale and dream to explore the interior spaces of grief, motherhood, mortality, and self.

Might Kindred, by Monica Gomery; Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry

The poems of Might Kindred wonder aloud: can we belong to one another, and “can a people belong to a dreaming machine?” Conjuring mountains and bodies of water, queer and immigrant poetics, beloveds both human and animal, Mónica Gomery explores the intimately personal and the possibility of a collective voice. Here anthems are sung and fall apart midsong. The speaker exchanges letters with her ancestors, is visited by a shadow sister, and interrogates what it means to make a home as a first-generation American.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, the poems in Might Kindred are rooted in the body and its cousins, seeking the possibility of kinship, “in case we might kindness, might ardor together.” Belonging and unbelonging are claimed as part of the same complicated whole, and Gomery’s intersections reach for something divine at the center.

Nez Perce Summer, 1877 : The U.S. Army and the Nee-Me-Poo Crisis, by Jerome A. Greene

Nez Perce Summer, 1877 tells the story of a people’s epic struggle to survive spiritually, culturally, and physically in the face of unrelenting military force. Written by one of the foremost experts in frontier military history, Jerome A. Greene, and reviewed by members of the Nez Perce tribe, this definitive treatment of the Nez Perce War is the first to incorporate research from all known accounts of Nez Perce and U.S. military participants.

Enhanced by sixteen detailed maps and forty-nine historic photographs, Greene’s gripping narrative takes readers on a three-and-one-half month 1,700-mile journey across the wilds of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana territories. All of the skirmishes and battles of the war receive detailed treatment, which benefits from Greene’s astute analysis of the strategies and decision making on both sides.

Between 100 and 150 of the more than 800 Nez Perce men, women, and children who began the trek were killed during the war. Almost as many died in the months following the surrender, after they were exiled to malaria-ridden northeastern Oklahoma. Army deaths numbered 113. The casualties on both sides were an extraordinary price for a war that nobody wanted but whose history has since fascinated generations of Americans.

The North American West in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Brenden W. Rensink

In 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner famously argued that the generational process of meeting and conquering the supposedly uncivilized western frontier is what forged American identity. In the late twentieth century, “new western” historians dissected the mythologized western histories that Turner and others had long used to embody American triumph and progress. While Turner’s frontier is no more, the West continues to present America with challenging processes to wrestle, navigate, and overcome.

The North American West in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Brenden W. Rensink, takes stories of the late twentieth-century “modern West” and carefully pulls them toward the present—explicitly tracing continuity with or unexpected divergence from trajectories established in the 1980s and 1990s. Considering a broad range of topics, including environment, Indigenous peoples, geography, migration, and politics, these essays straddle multiple modern frontiers, not least of which is the temporal frontier between our unsettled past and uncertain future. These forays into the twenty-first-century West will inspire more scholars to pull histories to the present and by doing so reinsert scholarly findings into contemporary public awareness.

The Old Iron Road : An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West, by David Haward Bain

In the summer of 2000 David Haward Bain and his family left their home in Vermont and headed west in search of America’s past. Spiritually, their journey began on a Kansas trail where the author’s grandmother was born in a covered wagon in 1889. Between the Missouri River and the Golden Gate, they retraced the entire route of the first transcontinental railroad and large stretches of the Oregon and California trails, and the equally colorful old Lincoln Highway. Following vanished iron rails and wagon wheel ruts, bumping down backroads and main streets, they discovered the deep, restless, uniquely American spirit of adventure that connects our past to our present.

A superb writer and an exacting researcher, Bain conjures up a marvelous sense of coming unstuck in time as he lingers in the ghost towns and battlegrounds, prairies and river ports, trainyards, museums, deserts, and diners that line his cruise west to California. Bain encounters a fascinating cast of characters, both historic and contemporary, as well as memories of his grandparents and the journeys that shaped his own heritage.

Writing in the tradition of William Least Heat-Moon and Ian Frazier, and with an engaging warmth and a deep grasp of history all his own, Bain has fashioned a quintessentially American journey.

Outback & Out West : The Settler-Colonial Environmental Imaginery, by Tom Lynch.

Outback and Out West examines the ecological consequences of a settler-colonial imaginary by comparing expressions of settler colonialism in the literature of the American West and Australian Outback. Tom Lynch traces exogenous domination in both regions, which resulted in many similar means of settlement, including pastoralism, homestead acts, afforestation efforts, and bioregional efforts at “belonging.” Lynch pairs the two nations’ texts to show how an analysis at the intersection of ecocriticism and settler colonialism requires a new canon that is responsive to the social, cultural, and ecological difficulties created by settlement in the West and Outback.

Outback and Out West draws out the regional Anthropocene dimensions of settler colonialism, considering such pressing environmental problems as habitat loss, groundwater depletion, and mass extinctions. Lynch studies the implications of our settlement heritage on history, art, and the environment through the cross-national comparison of spaces. He asserts that bringing an ecocritical awareness to settler-colonial theory is essential for reconciliation with dispossessed Indigenous populations as well as reparations for ecological damages as we work to decolonize engagement with and literature about these places.

Paternalism to Partnership : The Administration of Indian Affairs, 1786-2021, by David H. DeJong

Paternalism to Partnership examines the administration of Indian affairs from 1786, when the first federal administrator was appointed, through 2021. David H. DeJong examines each administrator through a biographical sketch and excerpts of policy statements defining the administrator’s political philosophy, drawn from official reports or the administrator’s own writings.

The Indian Office, as an executive agency under the secretary of war (1789 to 1849) and secretary of the interior (1849 to present), was directed by the president of the United States. The superintendents, chief clerks, commissioners, and assistant secretaries for Indian affairs administered policy as prescribed by Congress and the president. Each was also given a level of discretion in administering this policy. For most of the federal-Indian relationship, administrators were limited in influencing policy. This paternalism continued well into the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1960s Congress and the president ameliorated their views on the federal-Indian relationship and moved away from paternalism. Since 1966 every administrator of the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been Native American, and each has exercised increasing authority in shaping policy. This has given rise to a federal-Indian partnership that has witnessed tribal nations again exercising their inherent rights of self-government.

In this documentary history David H. DeJong follows the progression of federal Indian policy over more than two hundred years, providing firsthand accounts of how the federal-Indian relationship has changed over the centuries.

The Settler Sea : California’s Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism, by Traci Brynne Voyles

2022 WHA Caughey Western History Prize for the most distinguished book on the American West

Can a sea be a settler? What if it is a sea that exists only in the form of incongruous, head-scratching contradictions: a wetland in a desert, a wildlife refuge that poisons birds, a body of water in which fish suffocate? Traci Brynne Voyles’s history of the Salton Sea examines how settler colonialism restructures physical environments in ways that further Indigenous dispossession, racial capitalism, and degradation of the natural world. In other words, The Settler Sea asks how settler colonialism entraps nature to do settlers’ work for them.

The Salton Sea, Southern California’s largest inland body of water, occupies the space between the lush agricultural farmland of the Imperial Valley and the austere desert called “America’s Sahara.” The sea sits near the boundary between the United States and Mexico and lies at the often-contested intersections of the sovereign lands of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla and the state of California. Created in 1905, when overflow from the Colorado River combined with a poorly constructed irrigation system to cause the whole river to flow into the desert, this human-maintained body of water has been considered a looming environmental disaster.

The Salton Sea’s very precariousness—the way it sits uncomfortably between worlds, existing always in the interstices of human and natural influences, between desert and wetland, between the skyward pull of the sun and the constant inflow of polluted water—is both a symptom and symbol of the larger precariousness of settler relationships to the environment, in the West and beyond. Voyles provides an innovative exploration of the Salton Sea, looking to the ways the sea, its origins, and its role in human life have been vital to the people who call this region home.

Standing Bear’s Quest for Freedom : The First Civil Rights Victory for Native Americans, by Lawrence A. Dwyer

Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Nation faced arrest for leaving the U.S. government’s reservation, without its permission, for the love of his son and his people. Standing Bear fought for his freedom not through armed resistance but with bold action, strong testimony, and heartfelt eloquence. He knew he and his people had suffered a great injustice.

Standing Bear wanted the right to live and die with his family on the beloved land of his Ponca ancestors, located within the Great Plains of Nebraska. In telling his story, Standing Bear’s Quest for Freedom relates an unprecedented civil rights victory for Native Americans: for the first time, in 1879, a federal court declared a Native American to be a “person”—a human being with the right to file an action for a redress of grievances in a federal court, like every other person in the United States.

Standing Bear’s victory in Standing Bear v. Crook began a national movement of reforming Native American rights—albeit a slow one. Because of the courage and leadership of Chief Standing Bear, the pervasive spirit of indifference of most Americans toward Native Americans was disrupted by this historic decision. America would never be the same.

Strength From the Waters : A History of Indigenous Mobilization in Northwest Mexico, by James V. Mestaz

Strength from the Waters is an environmental and social history that frames economic development, environmental concerns, and Indigenous mobilization within the context of a timeless issue: access to water. Between 1927 and 1970 the Mayo people—an Indigenous group in northwestern Mexico—confronted changing access to the largest freshwater source in the region, the Fuerte River.

In Strength from the Waters James V. Mestaz demonstrates how the Mayo people used newly available opportunities such as irrigation laws, land reform, and cooperatives to maintain their connection to their river system and protect their Indigenous identity. By using irrigation technologies to increase crop production and protect lands from outsiders trying to claim it as fallow, the Mayo of northern Sinaloa simultaneously preserved their identity by continuing to conduct traditional religious rituals that paid homage to the Fuerte River. This shift in approach to both new technologies and natural resources promoted their physical and cultural survival and ensured a reciprocal connection to the Fuerte River, which bound them together as Mayo.

Mestaz examines this changing link between hydraulic technology and Mayo tradition to reconsider the importance of water in relation to the state’s control of the river and the ways the natural landscape transformed relations between individuals and the state, altering the social, political, ecological, and ethnic dynamics within several Indigenous villages. Strength from the Waters significantly contributes to contemporary Mexicanist scholarship by using an environmental and ethnohistorical approach to water access, Indigenous identity, and natural resource management to interrogate Mexican modernity in the twentieth century.

There Where It’s So Bright in Me, by Tanella Boni; Series: African Poetry Book

There Where It’s So Bright in Me pries at the complexities of difference—race, religion, gender, nationality—that shape twenty-first-century geopolitical conditions. With work spanning more than thirty-five years and as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary African literature, Tanella Boni is uniquely positioned to test the distinctions of self, other, and belonging. Two twenty-first-century civil wars have made her West African home country of Côte d’Ivoire unstable. Abroad in the United States, Boni confronts the racialized violence that accompanies the idea of Blackness; in France, a second home since her university days, Boni encounters the nationalism roiling much of Europe as the consequences of (neo)colonialism shift the continent’s ethnic and racial profile.

What would it mean for the borders that segregate—for these social, political, cultural, personal, and historicizing forces that enshroud us—to lose their dominion? In a body under constant threat, how does the human spirit stay afloat? Boni’s poetry is characterized by a hard-earned buoyancy, given her subject matter. Her empathy, insight, and plainspoken address are crucial contributions to the many difficult contemporary conversations we must engage.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August, 2022:

Journey into Christmas, and, Star Across the Tracks, by Bess Streeter Aldrich.

The true meaning of Christmas emerges in Bess Streeter Aldrich’s two enchanting stories about reunited families, good fellowship, and restored faith. The head may tell the heart all sorts of things, but at Christmastime the heart is stronger, so take a journey back through Christmases when something quite ordinary turns out to be miraculous. Both heartfelt and genuine, the stories “Journey into Christmas” and “Star across the Tracks” remind us to cherish the holidays with those we love, the ways we grow, and the memories we make throughout life.

Mummy Eaters, by Sherry Shenoda ; Series: African Poetry Book

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Sherry Shenoda’s collection Mummy Eaters follows in the footsteps of an imagined ancestor, one of the daughters of the house of Akhenaten in the Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt. Shenoda forges an imagined path through her ancestor’s mummification and journey to the afterlife. Parallel to this exploration run the implications of colonialism on her passage.

The mythology of the ancient Egyptians was oriented toward resurrection through the preservation of the human body in mummification. Shenoda juxtaposes this reverence for the human body as sacred matter and a pathway to eternal life with the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European fascination with ingesting Egyptian human remains as medicine and using exhumed Egyptian mummies as paper, paint, and fertilizer. Today Egyptian human remains are displayed in museums. Much of Mummy Eaters is written as a call and response, in the Coptic tradition, between the imagined ancestor and the author as descendant.

If This Were Fiction : A Love Story in Essays, by Jill Christman ; Series: American Lives

If This Were Fiction is a love story—for Jill Christman’s long-ago fiancé, who died young in a car accident; for her children; for her husband, Mark; and ultimately, for herself. In this collection, Christman takes on the wide range of situations and landscapes she encountered on her journey from wild child through wounded teen to mother, teacher, writer, and wife. In these pages there are fatal accidents and miraculous births; a grief pilgrimage that takes Christman to jungles, volcanoes, and caves in Central America; and meditations on everything from sexual trauma and the more benign accidents of childhood to gun violence, indoor cycling, unlikely romance, and even a ghost or two.

Playing like a lively mixtape in both subject and style, If This Were Fiction focuses an open-hearted, frequently funny, clear-eyed feminist lens on Christman’s first fifty years and sends out a message of love, power, and hope.

Vanished : Stories, by Karin Lin-Greenberg ; Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Vanished tells the stories of women and girls in upstate New York who are often overlooked or unseen by the people around them. The characters range from an aging art professor whose students are uninterested in learning what she has to teach, to a young girl who becomes the victim of a cruel prank in a swimming pool, to a television producer who regrets allowing her coworkers into her mother’s bird-filled house to film a show about animal hoarding because it will reveal too much about her family and past.

Humorous and empathetic, the collection exposes the adversity in each character’s life; each deals with something or someone who has vanished—a person close to her, a friendship, a relationship—as she seeks to make sense of the world around her in the wake of that loss.

Under My Bed and Other Essays, by Jody Keisner ; Series: American Lives

Jody Keisner was raised in rural Nebraska towns by a volatile father and kind but passive mother. As a young adult living alone for the first time, she began a nighttime ritual of checking under her bed each night, not sure who she was afraid of finding. An intruder? A monster? Her father? Keisner’s fears mature as she becomes a wife and mother, and the boogeyman under the bed shape-shifts, though its shapes are no less frightening—a young aunt’s drowning, the “chest chomp” in the classic horror movie The Thing, a diagnosis of a chronic autoimmune disease, the murder of a young college student, an eccentric grandmother’s belief in reincarnation and her dying advice: “Don’t be afraid.”

In Under My Bed and Other Essays, Jody Keisner searches for the roots of the violence and fear that afflict women, starting with the working-class midwestern family she was adopted into and ending with her own experience of mothering daughters. In essays both literary and experimental, Keisner illustrates the tension between the illusion of safety, our desire for control, and our struggle to keep the things we fear from reaching out and pulling us under.

Cotton Candy : Poems Dipped Out of the Air, by Ted Kooser

“Poems dipped out of the air” describes the manner in which Ted Kooser composed the poems in Cotton Candy, the result of his daily routine of getting up long before dawn, sitting with coffee, pen, and notebook, and writing whatever drifts into his mind. Whether those words and images are serious or just plain silly, Kooser tries not to censor himself. His objective is to catch whatever comes to him, to snatch it out of the air in words, rhythms, and cadences, the way a cotton candy vendor dips an airy puff out of a cloud of spun sugar and hands it to his customer. Poems written in fun and now shared with the reader, Kooser’s playful and magical confections charm and delight.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in May and June, 2022:

A Frail Liberty

A Frail Liberty : Probationary Citizens in the French and Haitian Revolutions, by Tessie P. Liu ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

A Frail Liberty traces the paradoxical actions of the first French abolitionist society, the Société des Amis des Noirs (Society of the Friends of Blacks), at the juncture of two unprecedented achievements of the revolutionary era: the extension of full rights of citizenship to qualifying free men of color in 1792 and the emancipation decree of 1794 that simultaneously declared the formerly enslaved to be citizens of France. This society helped form the revolution’s notion of color-blind equality yet did not protest the pro-slavery attack on the new citizens of France. Tessie P. Liu prioritizes the understanding of the elite insiders’ vision of equality as crucial to understanding this dualism.

By documenting the link between outright exclusion and political inclusion and emphasizing that a nation’s perceived qualifications for citizenship formulate a particular conception of racial equality, Liu argues that the treatment and status distinctions between free people of color and the formerly enslaved parallel the infamous divide between “active” and “passive” citizens. These two populations of colonial citizens with African ancestry then must be considered part of the normative operations of French citizenship at the time. Uniquely locating racial differentiation in the French and Haitian revolutions within the logic and structures of political representation, Liu deepens the conversation regarding race as a civic identity within democratic societies.

A Woman of Adventure

A Woman of Adventure : The Life and Times of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, by Annette B. Dunlap.

When Lou Henry married Herbert Hoover in February 1899, she looked forward to a partnership of equality and a life of adventure. She could fire a rifle and sit a horse as well as any man. The Quaker community of Whittier, California, where she lived as a teen, reinforced the egalitarian spirit of her upbringing. But history had other ideas for Lou Henry Hoover.

For the first fifteen years of married life, Lou globe-trotted with her husband as he pursued a lucrative career in mining engineering and consulting. World War I not only changed the map of the world, it changed the map of the Hoovers’ marriage. Herbert Hoover’s Commission for the Relief of Belgium launched him into a political career that led to the White House. Lou, who detested the limelight, led a dual life: she supported her husband’s political career, managed their multiple households, and saw to the needs of their family. Behind the scenes, she pursued her own interests.

History has long since forgotten the breadth of her achievements, but Lou Henry Hoover’s powerful legacy endures in the ongoing success of the Girl Scouts, the music and physical therapy degree programs at Stanford University, athletic opportunities for women, and the countless unknown men and women who received an education thanks to Lou’s anonymous financial support.

Conveying Lou’s humor, personality, and intelligence, A Woman of Adventure takes a fresh look at the first lady who preceded Eleanor Roosevelt and her also-extraordinary accomplishments.

Cattle Beet Capital

Cattle Beet Capital : Making Industrial Agriculture in Northern Colorado, by Michael Weeks.

In 1870 several hundred settlers arrived at a patch of land at the confluence of the South Platte and Cache la Poudre Rivers in Colorado Territory. Their planned agricultural community, which they named Greeley, was centered around small landholdings, shared irrigation, and a variety of market crops. One hundred years later, Greeley was the home of the world’s largest concentrated cattle-feeding operation, with the resources of an entire region directed toward manufacturing beef. How did that transformation happen? Cattle Beet Capital is animated by that question.

Expanding outward from Greeley to all of northern Colorado, Cattle Beet Capital shows how the beet sugar industry came to dominate the region in the early twentieth century through a reciprocal relationship with its growers that supported a healthy and sustainable agriculture while simultaneously exploiting tens of thousands of migrant laborers. Michael Weeks shows how the state provided much of the scaffolding for the industry in the form of tariffs and research that synchronized with the agendas of industry and large farmers. The transformations that led to commercial feedlots began during the 1930s as farmers replaced crop rotations and seasonal livestock operations with densely packed cattle pens, mono-cropped corn, and the products pouring out of agro-industrial labs and factories. Using the lens of the northern Colorado region, Cattle Beet Capital illuminates the historical processes that made our modern food systems.

Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818

Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818, by James L. Hill ; Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

Creek Internationalism in an Age of Revolution, 1763–1818 examines how Creek communities and their leaders remained viable geopolitical actors in the trans-Appalachian West well after the American Revolution. The Creeks pursued aggressive and far-reaching diplomacy between 1763 and 1818 to assert their territorial and political sovereignty while thwarting American efforts to establish control over the region. The United States and the Creeks fought to secure recognition from the powers of Europe that would guarantee political and territorial sovereignty: the Creeks fought to maintain their connections to the Atlantic world and preserve their central role in the geopolitics of the trans-Appalachian West, while the American colonies sought first to establish themselves as an independent nation, then to expand borders to secure diplomatic and commercial rights.
           
Creeks continued to forge useful ties with agents of European empires despite American attempts to circumscribe Creek contact with the outside world. The Creeks’ solicitation of trade and diplomatic channels with British and Spanish colonists in the West Indies, Canada, and various Gulf Coast outposts served key functions for defenders of local autonomy. Native peoples fought to preserve the geopolitical order that dominated the colonial era, making the trans-Appalachian West a kaleidoscope of sovereign peoples where negotiation prevailed. As a result, the United States lacked the ability to impose its will on its Indigenous neighbors, much like the European empires that had preceded them. Hill provides a significant revisionist history of Creek diplomacy and power that fills gaps within the broader study of the Atlantic world and early American history to show how Indigenous power thwarted European empires in North America.

Dirt Persuasion

Dirt Persuasion : Civic Environmental Populism and Heartland’s Pipeline Fight, by Derek Moscato.

Dirt Persuasion examines a watershed moment in U.S. environmental politics: the fight over the Keystone XL Pipeline. The complex interplay of resources extraction industries with grassroots environmentalism and advocacy has transformed the role of activists in the contemporary public sphere. Bold Nebraska’s years-long fight against pipeline company TransCanada provides a compelling case study: a contemporary state-level organization that simultaneously challenged political and business leaders in its home state of Nebraska, at the national level in the United States, and in the foreign jurisdiction of Canada.

Dirt Persuasion sheds light not only on the activism practices of social movements but also on the changing environments in which such actions are deployed. The KXL Pipeline fight represents a watershed moment both for U.S. energy politics and in the communication of environmental activism. The rural dimension of this environmental saga is critical: environmentalism must be understood from the perspective of the rural Americans who coexist with one of the planet’s most delicate ecologies. Populism, rhetorical appeals, strategic advocacy framing, and media framing all factor prominently within the pipeline debate—leading to a civic environmental persuasion built on the attributes of narrative, engagement, hyperlocalization, and bipartisanship in order to build broad stakeholder support and influence public policy.

Eye on the World

Eye on the World : A Life in International Service, by Anthony C. E. Quainton.

Eye on the World is the autobiography of diplomat Anthony C. E. Quainton, the story of a long and varied life lived in eleven countries on six continents. Rather than a formal history, this is Quainton’s reflection on his interactions with the events of those times, beginning with George VI’s historic visit to North America in 1939, through the years of the Cold War, the efforts to contain and then defeat the Soviet Union, and finally the two decades of uneasy peace that came after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To some of these events Quainton was merely a spectator. In other areas—India, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru—he was actively involved either as a participant in the policy process in Washington or as the senior representative of the United States in those countries.

Spanning his upbringing and education through two decades after his retirement, Quainton describes the expanding horizons of a middle-class boy from the northwest corner of North America as he encountered the complexity of the world in which he spent his professional life. Quainton served in seven different presidential appointments under presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. These included four ambassadorships in distinct parts of the world and three assistant secretary–level posts in Washington. This range of geographic and functional assignments was unique in his generation of Foreign Service officers.

In Praise of the Ancestors

In Praise of the Ancestors : Names, Identity, and Memory in Africa and the Americas, by Susan Elizabeth Ramirez ; Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

Apart from collective memories of lived experiences, much of the modern world’s historical sense comes from written sources stored in the archives of the world, and some scholars in the not-so-distant past have described unlettered civilizations as “peoples without history.” In Praise of the Ancestors is a revisionist interpretation of early colonial accounts that reveal incongruities in accepted knowledge about three Native groups.

Susan Elizabeth Ramírez reevaluates three case studies of oral traditions using positional inheritance—a system in which names and titles are inherited from one generation by another and thereby contribute to the formation of collective memories and a group identity. Ramírez begins by examining positional inheritance and perpetual kinship among the Kazembes in central Africa from the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Next, her analysis moves to the Native groups of the Iroquois Confederation and their practice of using names to memorialize remarkable leaders in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Finally, Ramírez surveys naming practices of the Andeans, based on sixteenth-century manuscript sources and later testimonies found in Spanish and Andean archives, questioning colonial narratives by documenting the use of this alternative system of memory perpetuation, which was initially unrecognized by the Spaniards.

In the process of reexamining the histories of Native peoples on three continents, Ramírez broaches a wider issue: namely, understanding of the nature of knowledge as fundamental to understanding and evaluating the knowledge itself.

The Great Plains, Second Edition

The Great Plains, 2nd ed., by Walter Prescott Webb.

This iconic description of the interaction between the vast central plains of the continent and the white Americans who moved there in the mid-nineteenth century has endured as one of the most influential, widely known, and controversial works in western history since its first publication in 1931. Arguing that “the Great Plains environment . . . constitutes a geographic unity whose influences have been so powerful as to put a characteristic mark upon everything that survives within its borders,” Walter Prescott Webb identifies the revolver, barbed wire, and the windmill as technological adaptations that facilitated Anglo conquest of the arid, treeless region. Webb draws on history, anthropology, geography, demographics, climatology, and economics in arguing that the 98th Meridian constitutes an institutional fault line at which “practically every institution that was carried across it was either broken and remade or else greatly altered.”

This new edition of one of the foundational works of western American history features an introduction by Great Plains historian Andrew R. Graybill and a new index and updated design.

Under Prairie Skies

Under Prairie Skies : The Plants and Native Peoples of the Northern Plains, by C. Thomas Shay.

In Under Prairie Skies, C. Thomas Shay asks and answers the question, What role did plants play in the lives of early inhabitants of the northern Great Plains? Since humans arrived at the end of the Ice Age, plants played important roles as Native peoples learned which were valuable foods, which held medicinal value, and which were best for crafts.

Incorporating Native voices, ethnobotanical studies, personal stories, and research techniques, Under Prairie Skies shows how, since the end of the Ice Age, plants have held a central place in the lives of Native peoples. Eventually some groups cultivated seed-bearing annuals and, later, fields of maize and other crops. Throughout history, their lives became linked with the land, both materially and spiritually.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in April 2022:

The Comic Book Western : New Perspectives on a Global Genre, Edited by Christopher Conway and Antoinette Sol ; Series: Postwestern Horizons

One of the greatest untold stories about the globalization of the Western is the key role of comics. Few American cultural exports have been as successful globally as the Western, a phenomenon commonly attributed to the widespread circulation of fiction, film, and television. The Comic Book Western centers comics in the Western’s international success. Even as readers consumed translations of American comic book Westerns, they fell in love with local ones that became national or international sensations.

These essays reveal the unexpected cross-pollinations that allowed the Western to emerge from and speak to a wide range of historical and cultural contexts, including Spanish and Italian fascism, Polish historical memory, the ideology of shōjo manga from Japan, British post-apocalypticism and the gothic, race and identity in Canada, Mexican gender politics, French critiques of manifest destiny, and gaucho nationalism in Argentina. The vibrant themes uncovered in The Comic Book Western teach us that international comic book Westerns are not hollow imitations but complex and aesthetically powerful statements about identity, culture, and politics.

Feminist Formalism and Early Modern Women’s Writing. Edited and with an introduction by Lara Dodds and Michelle M. Dowd ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World 

Feminist Formalism and Early Modern Women’s Writing reexamines the relationship between gender and form in early modern women’s writing in essays that elaborate the specific literary strategies of women writers, that examine women’s debts to and appropriations of different literary genres, and that offer practical suggestions for the teaching of women’s texts in several different contexts. Contributors explore the possibility of feminist formalism, a methodology that both attends to the structural, rhetorical, and other formal techniques of a given text and takes gender as a central category of analysis. This collection contends that feminist formalism is a useful tool for scholars of the early modern period and for literary studies more broadly because it marries the traditional questions of formalism—including questions of style, genre, and literary history—with the political and cultural concerns of feminist inquiry.

Contributors reposition works by important women writers—such as Margaret Cavendish, Hester Pulter, Mary Wroth, and Katherine Philips—as central to the development of English literary tradition. By examining a variety of texts written by women, including recipes, emblems, exchanges, and poetry, Feminist Formalism and Early Modern Women’s Writing contributes to existing scholarship on early modern women’s writing while extending it in new and important directions.

History of Theory and Method in Anthropology. By Regna Darnell ; Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

Regna Darnell offers a critical reexamination of the theoretical orientation of the Americanist tradition, centered on the work of Franz Boas, and the professionalization of anthropology as an academic discipline in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. History of Theory and Method in Anthropology reveals the theory schools, institutions, and social networks of scholars and fieldworkers primarily interested in the ethnography of North American Indigenous peoples. Darnell’s fifty-year career entails foundational writings in the four fields of the discipline: cultural anthropology, ethnography, linguistics, and physical anthropology.

Leading researchers, theorists, and fieldwork subjects include Claude Lévi-Strauss, Franz Boas, Benjamin Lee Whorf, John Wesley Powell, Frederica de Laguna, Dell Hymes, George Stocking Jr., and Anthony F. C. Wallace, as well as nineteenth-century Native language classifications, ethnography, ethnohistory, social psychology, structuralism, rationalism, biologism, mentalism, race science, human nature and cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, standpoint-based epistemology, collaborative research, and applied anthropology. History of Theory and Method in Anthropology is an essential volume for scholars and undergraduate and graduate students to enter into the history of the inductive theory schools and methodologies of the Americanist tradition and its legacies.

Liverpool to Great Salt Lake : the 1851 Journal of Missionary George D. Watt. Edited by LaJean Purcell Carruth & Ronald G. Watt, Transcription by LaJean Purcell Carruth.

George Darling Watt was the first convert of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints baptized in the British Isles. He emigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842. He returned to the British Isles in 1846 as a missionary, accompanied by his wife and young son. He remained there until 1851, when he led a group of emigrant converts to Salt Lake City, Utah. Watt recorded his journey from Liverpool to Chimney Rock in Pitman shorthand. Remarkably, his journal wasn’t discovered until 2001—and is transcribed and appearing for the first time in this book.

Watt’s journal provides an important glimpse into the transatlantic nature of Latter-day Saint migration to Salt Lake City. In 1850 there were more Latter-day Saints in England than in the United States, but by 1890 more than eighty-five thousand converts had crossed the Atlantic and made their way to Salt Lake City. Watt’s 1851 journal opens a window into those overseas, riverine, and overland journeys. His spirited accounts provide wide-ranging details about the births, marriages, deaths, Sunday sermons, interpersonal relations, weather, and food and water shortages of the journey, as well as the many logistical complexities.

Making the Marvelous : Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Henriette-Julie Murat, and the Literary Representation of the Decorative Arts. By Rori Bloom ; Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies

At a moment when France was coming to new prominence in the production of furniture and fashion, the fairy tales of Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy (1652–1705) and Henriette-Julie de Murat (1670–1716) gave pride of place to richly detailed descriptions of palaces, gardens, clothing, and toys. Through close readings of these authors’ descriptive prose, Rori Bloom shows how these practitioners of a supposedly minor genre made a major contribution as chroniclers and critics of the decorative arts in Old Regime France. Identifying these authors’ embrace of the pretty and the playful as a response to a frequent critique of fairy tales as childish and feminine, Making the Marvelous demonstrates their integration of artisan’s work, child’s play, and the lady’s toilette into a complex vision of creativity. D’Aulnoy and Murat changed the stakes of the fairy tale, Bloom argues: instead of inviting their readers to marvel at the magic that changes rags to riches, they enjoined them to acknowledge the skill that transforms raw materials into beautiful works of art.

Unconquerable : the Story of John Ross, Chief of the Cherokees, 1828-1866. Edited and with an introduction by Lionel Larre’.

Unconquerable is John Milton Oskison’s biography of John Ross, written in the 1930s but unpublished until now. John Ross was principal chief of the Cherokees from 1828 to his death in 1866. Through the story of John Ross, Oskison also tells the story of the Cherokee Nation through some of its most dramatic events in the nineteenth century: the nation’s difficult struggle against Georgia, its forced removal on the Trail of Tears, its internal factionalism, the Civil War, and the reconstruction of the nation in Indian Territory west of the Mississippi.

Ross remains one of the most celebrated Cherokee heroes: his story is an integral part not only of Cherokee history but also of the history of Indian Territory and of the United States. With a critical introduction by noted Oskison scholar Lionel Larré, Unconquerable sheds light on the critical work of an author who deserves more attention from both the public and scholars of Native American studies.

The Winning Ticket : Uncovering America’s Biggest Lottery Scam. By Rob Sand with Reid Forgrave.

The Winning Ticket is an inside look at one of the most complicated yet seat-of-your-pants financial investigations and prosecutions in recent history. Rob Sand, the youngest attorney in his office, was assigned a new case by his boss, who was days away from retirement. Inside the thin accordion binder Sand received was meager evidence that had been gathered over the course of two years by Iowa authorities regarding a suspicious lottery ticket. No one expected the case to go anywhere. No dead body, no shots fired, and no money paid out. Why should they care? There was no certainty that a crime had even been committed. But a mysterious Belizean trust had attempted to claim the $16 million ticket, then decided to forgo the money and maintain anonymity when the State of Iowa demanded to know who had purchased the ticket. Who values anonymity over that much money?

Both a story of small-town America and a true-crime saga about the largest lottery-rigging scheme in American history, The Winning Ticket follows the investigation all the way down the rabbit hole to uncover how Eddie Tipton was able to cheat the system to win jackpots over $16 million and go more than a decade without being caught—until Sand inherited the case.

Just as remarkable as the crime are the real-life characters met along the way: an honest fireworks salesman, a hoodwinked FBI agent, a crooked Texas lawman, a shady attorney representing a Belizean trust, and, yes, Bigfoot hunters. While some of the characters are nearly unbelievable, the everyday themes of integrity and hard work resonate throughout the saga. As the case builds toward a reckoning, The Winning Ticket demonstrates how a new day has dawned in prosecuting complex technological crimes.

**Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in January, February, and March 2022:

An Otherwise Healthy Woman

An Otherwise Healthy Woman, by Amy Haddad; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention

The poems in An Otherwise Healthy Woman delve into the complexity of modern health care, illness, and healing, offering an alternative narrative to heroics and miracles. Drawing on Amy Haddad’s firsthand experiences as a nurse and patient, the poems in this collection teach us to take a moment to stop and acknowledge the longing for compassion in each of us, what ought to be the immediate human response to suffering. The poet isn’t afraid to explore her own fears and failures or to find joy and humor in the many roles women play. An Otherwise Healthy Woman presents the intimate experiences of a nurse, the vulnerable perspective of a patient, and the lessons of caring for family.

Assimilation, Resilience, and Survival

Assimilation, Resilience, and Survival : A History of the Stewart Indian School, 1890-2020, by Samantha M. Williams; Series: Indigenous Education

Assimilation, Resilience, and Survival illustrates how settler colonialism propelled U.S. government programs designed to assimilate generations of Native children at the Stewart Indian School (1890–1980). The school opened in Carson City, Nevada, in 1890 and embraced its mission to destroy the connections between Native children and their lands, isolate them from their families, and divorce them from their cultures and traditions. Newly enrolled students were separated from their families, had their appearances altered, and were forced to speak only English. However, as Samantha M. Williams uncovers, numerous Indigenous students and their families subverted school rules, and tensions arose between federal officials and the local authorities charged with implementing boarding school policies.

The first book on the history of the Stewart Indian School, Assimilation, Resilience, and Survival reveals the experiences of generations of Stewart School alumni and their families, often in their own words. Williams demonstrates how Indigenous experiences at the school changed over time and connects these changes with Native American activism and variations in federal policy. Williams’s research uncovers numerous instances of abuse at Stewart, and Assimilation, Resilience, and Survival addresses both the trauma of the boarding school experience and the resilience of generations of students who persevered there under the most challenging of circumstances.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, 2nd Edition, by Mari Sandoz

Mari Sandoz’s beautifully written account of the battle in which General George Armstrong Custer staked his life—and lost it—reveals on every page the author’s intimate knowledge of her subject. The character of the Sioux, the personality of Custer, the mixed emotions of Custer’s men, the plains landscape—all emerge with such clarity that the reader is transported to that spring in 1876 when the Army of the Plains began its fateful march toward Yellowstone.

The background of the tragedy is here: the history of bad blood and broken treaties between the Indigenous nations and the United States, the underlying reason for Custer’s expedition and for the convocation of Indians on the Little Bighorn that particular year. Sandoz’s final book was the first analysis of Custer’s motives and political ambitions to shed light on an old mystery that was hotly disputed by the general’s admirers.

Historian Elaine Marie Nelson introduces this iconic work to a new generation and details the long, challenging road this book took to publication. Sandoz raced against time to complete the volume while undergoing cancer treatments, and the book was published just three months after her death. The Battle of the Little Bighorn is widely considered the apex of her writing.

Birthing the West

Birthing the West : Mothers and Midwives in the Rockies and Plains, by Jennifer J. Hill

Childbirth defines families, communities, and nations. In Birthing the West, Jennifer J. Hill fills the silences around historical reproduction with copious new evidence and an enticing narrative, describing a process of settlement in the American West that depended on the nurturing connections of reproductive caregivers and the authority of mothers over birth.

Economic and cultural development depended on childbirth. Hill’s expanded vision suggests that the mantra of cattle drives and military campaigns leaves out essential events and falls far short of an accurate representation of American expansion. The picture that emerges in Birthing the West presents a more complete understanding of the American West: no less moving or engaging than the typical stories of extraction and exploration but concurrently intriguing and complex.

Birthing the West unearths the woman-centric practice of childbirth across Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming, a region known as a death zone for pregnant women and their infants. As public health entities struggled to establish authority over its isolated inhabitants, they collaborated with physicians, eroding the power and control of mothers and midwives. The transition from home to hospital and from midwife to doctor created a dramatic shift in the intimately personal act of birth.

Choosing Hope

Choosing Hope : The Heritage of Judaism, by David Arnow; Series: JPS Essential Judaism

Throughout our history, Jews have traditionally responded to our trials with hope, psychologist David Arnow says, because we have had ready access to Judaism’s abundant reservoir of hope.

The first book to plumb the depths of this reservoir, Choosing Hope journeys from biblical times to our day to explore nine fundamental sources of hope in Judaism: 

  • Teshuvah—the method to fulfill our hope to become better human beings
  • Tikkun Olam—the hope that we can repair the world by working together
  • Abraham and Sarah—models of persisting in hope amid trials
  • Exodus—the archetype of redemptive hope
  • Covenant—the hope for a durable relationship with the One of Being
  • Job—the “hard-fought hope” that brings a grief-stricken man back to life
  • World to Come—the sustaining hope that death is not the end
  • Israel—high hope activists work to build a just and inclusive society for all Israelis
  • Jewish Humor—“hope’s last weapon” in our darkest days
     

Grounded in a contemporary theology that situates the responsibility for creating a better world in human hands, with God acting through us, Choosing Hope can help us both affirm hope in times of trial and transmit our deepest hopes to the next generation.

In the Net, by Hawad; Series: African Poetry Book Series

In the face of amnesia, how does one exist? In this poem, Hawad speaks directly to Azawad, a silent figure whose name designates a portion of Tuareg lands divided among five nation-states created in the 1960s. This evanescent being, situated on the edge of the abyss and deprived of speech, space, and the right to exist, has reached such a stage of suffering, misery, and oppression that it acquiesces to the erasure implicit in the labels attached to it.

Through an avalanche of words, sounds, and gestures, Hawad attempts to free this creature from the net that ensnares it, to patch together a silhouette that is capable of standing up again, to transform pain into a breeding ground for resistance—a resistance requiring a return to the self, the imagination, and ways of thinking about the world differently. The road will be long.

Hawad uses poetry, “cartridges of old words, / a thousand and one misfires, botched, reloaded,” as a weapon of resistance.

Knocked Down

Knocked Down : A High Risk Memoir, by Aileen Weintraub; Series: American Lives

Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu move. Within months of saying “I do” she’s pregnant, life is on track, and then wham! Her doctor slaps a high-risk label on her uterus and sends her to bed for five months. 

As her husband’s bucolic (and possibly haunted) farmhouse begins to collapse and her marriage starts to do the same, Weintraub finally confronts her grief for her father while fighting for the survival of her unborn baby. In her precarious situation, will she stay or will she once again run away from it all?  

Knocked Down is an emotionally charged, laugh-out-loud roller-coaster ride of survival and growth. It is a story about marriage, motherhood, and the risks we take.

Let Me Count the Ways

Let Me Count the Ways : A Memoir, by Tomas Q. Morin; Series: American Lives

Growing up in a small town in South Texas in the eighties and nineties, poverty, machismo, and drug addiction were everywhere for Tomás Q. Morín. He was around four or five years old when he first remembers his father cooking heroin, and he recalls many times he and his mother accompanied his father while he was on the hunt for more, Morín in the back seat keeping an eye out for unmarked cop cars, just as his father taught him. It was on one of these drives that, for the first time, he blinked in a way that evolution hadn’t intended.

Let Me Count the Ways is the memoir of a journey into obsessive-compulsive disorder, a mechanism to survive a childhood filled with pain, violence, and unpredictability. Morín’s compulsions were a way to hold onto his love for his family in uncertain times until OCD became a prison he struggled for decades to escape. Tender, unflinching, and even funny, this vivid portrait of South Texas life challenges our ideas about fatherhood, drug abuse, and mental illness.

Making a Modern U.S. West : The Contested Terrain of a Region and Its Borders, 1898-1940, by Sarah Deutsch; Series: History of the American West

To many Americans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the West was simultaneously the greatest symbol of American opportunity, the greatest story of its history, and the imagined blank slate on which the country’s future would be written. From the Spanish-American War in 1898 to the Great Depression’s end, from the Mississippi to the Pacific, policymakers at various levels and large-scale corporate investors, along with those living in the West and its borderlands, struggled over who would define modernity, who would participate in the modern American West, and who would be excluded.

In Making a Modern U.S. West Sarah Deutsch surveys the history of the U.S. West from 1898 to 1940. Centering what is often relegated to the margins in histories of the region—the flows of people, capital, and ideas across borders—Deutsch attends to the region’s role in constructing U.S. racial formations and argues that the West as a region was as important as the South in constructing the United States as a “white man’s country.” While this racial formation was linked to claims of modernity and progress by powerful players, Deutsch shows that visions of what constituted modernity were deeply contested by others. This expansive volume presents the most thorough examination to date of the American West from the late 1890s to the eve of World War II.

Managing Sex in the U.S. Military

Managing Sex in the U.S. Military : Gender, Identity, and Behavior, Edited by Beth Bailey, et al; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

The U.S. military is a massive institution, and its policies on sex, gender, and sexuality have shaped the experiences of tens of millions of Americans, sometimes in life-altering fashion. The essays in Managing Sex in the U.S. Military examine historical and contemporary military policies and offer different perspectives on the broad question: “How does the U.S. military attempt to manage sex?” This collection focuses on the U.S. military’s historical and contemporary attempts to manage sex—a term that is, in practice, slippery and indefinite, encompassing gender and gender identity, sexuality and sexual orientation, and sexual behaviors and practices, along with their outcomes. In each chapter, the authors analyze the military’s evolving definitions of sex, sexuality, and gender, and the significance of those definitions to both the military and American society.

Modern Musar: Contested Virtues in Jewish Thought, by Geoffrey D. Claussen; Series: JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought

How do modern Jews understand virtues such as courage, humility, justice, solidarity, or love? In truth: they have fiercely debated how to interpret them. This groundbreaking anthology of musar (Jewish traditions regarding virtue and character) explores the diverse ways seventy-eight modern Jewish thinkers understand ten virtues: honesty and love of truth; curiosity and inquisitiveness; humility; courage and valor; temperance and self-restraint; gratitude; forgiveness; love, kindness, and compassion; solidarity and social responsibility; and justice and righteousness. These thinkers—from the Musar movement to Hasidism to contemporary Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Humanist, and secular Jews—often agree on the importance of these virtues but fundamentally disagree in their conclusions. The juxtaposition of their views, complemented by Geoffrey Claussen’s pointed analysis, allows us to see tensions with particular clarity—and sometimes to recognize multiple compelling ways of viewing the same virtue.

By expanding the category of musar literature to include not only classic texts and traditional works influenced by them but also the writings of diverse rabbis, scholars, and activists—men and women—who continue to shape Jewish tradition, Modern Musar challenges the fields of modern Jewish thought and ethics to rethink their boundaries—and invites us to weigh and refine our own moral ideals.

Murder, Inc.

Murder, Inc. : The CIA Under John F. Kennedy, by James H. Johnston

Late in his life, former president Lyndon B. Johnson told a reporter that he didn’t believe the Warren Commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy. Johnson thought Cuban president Fidel Castro was behind it. After all, Johnson said, Kennedy was running “a damned Murder, Inc., in the Caribbean,” giving Castro reason to retaliate. 

Murder, Inc., tells the story of the CIA’s assassination operations under Kennedy up to his own assassination and beyond. James H. Johnston was a lawyer for the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975, which investigated and first reported on the Castro assassination plots and their relation to Kennedy’s murder. Johnston examines how the CIA steered the Warren Commission and later investigations away from connecting its own assassination operations to Kennedy’s murder. He also looks at the effect this strategy had on the Warren Commission’s conclusions that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and that there was no foreign conspiracy.

Sourced from in-depth research into the “secret files” declassified by the JFK Records Act and now stored in the National Archives and Records Administration, Murder, Inc. is the first book to narrate in detail the CIA’s plots against Castro and to delve into the question of why retaliation by Castro against Kennedy was not investigated.

The Places of Modernity in Early Mexican American Literature, 1848-1948, by Jose’ F. Aranda, Jr.; Series: Postwestern Horizons.

In The Places of Modernity in Early Mexican American Literature, 1848–1948, José F. Aranda Jr. describes the first one hundred years of Mexican American literature. He argues for the importance of interrogating the concept of modernity in light of what has emerged as a canon of earlier pre-1968 Mexican American literature. In order to understand modernity for diverse communities of Mexican Americans, he contends, one must see it as an apprehension, both symbolic and material, of one settler colonial world order giving way to another more powerful colonialist but imperial vision of North America.

Letters, folklore, print culture, and literary production demonstrate how a new Anglo-American political imaginary revised and realigned centuries-old discourses on race, gender, class, religion, citizenship, power, and sovereignty. The “modern,” Aranda argues, makes itself visible in cultural productions being foisted on a “conquered people,” who were themselves beneficiaries of a notion of the modern that began in 1492. For Mexican Americans, modernity is less about any particular angst over global imperial designs or cultures of capitalism and more about becoming the subordinates of a nation-building project that ushers the United States into the twentieth century.

Private Way

Private Way : A Novel, by Ladette Randolph; Series: Flyover Fiction

In 2015, when cyberbullies disrupt her life in Southern California, Vivi Marx decides to cut her cord with the internet and take her life offline for a year. She flees to the one place where she felt safe as a child—with her grandmother in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nevermind that her grandmother is long dead and she doesn’t know anyone else in the state. Even before she meets her new neighbors on Fieldcrest Drive, Vivi knows she’s made a terrible mistake, but every plan she makes to leave is foiled. Despite her efforts to outrun it, trouble follows her to Nebraska, just not in the ways she’d feared. With the help of her neighbors, Willa Cather’s novels, and her own imagination, Vivi finds something she hadn’t known she was searching for.

Shadow Migration

Shadow Migration : Mapping a Life, by Suzanne Ohlmann; Series: American Lives

With her feet firmly rooted on the plains of Nebraska, Suzanne Ohlmann launches the reader into flight over miles and decades of migration: from an apple-pie childhood in America’s Fourth of July City to the dirt floors of a cowshed in rural India, we zigzag across time and geography to see the world through Ohlmann’s eyes and to discover with her the pain she’d been avoiding through her boomerang travels away from her native home.

Through incarnations as a musician, arts manager, and registered nurse, Ohlmann finally lands in Texas, buys a house, and gets a dog. But her house is haunted, and so is she. In the dark solitude of Ohlmann’s basement the vision of a dead child presents her with a harrowing choice: she can go home to Nebraska and seek the truth of her biological past, or, like the boy, surrender to the depths of her own darkness. With honesty, compassion, and a sense of humor, Ohlmann recounts her tenacious search into the shadows of her life.

Slow Narrative and Nonhuman Materialities

Slow Narrative and Nonhuman Materialities, by Marco Caracciolo; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Slow Narrative and Nonhuman Materialities investigates how the experience of slowness in contemporary narrative practices can create a vision of interconnectedness between human communities and the nonhuman world. Here, slowness is not a matter of measurable time but a transformative experience for audiences of contemporary narratives engaging with the ecological crisis. While climate change is a scientific abstraction, the imagination of slowness turns it into a deeply embodied and affective experience. Marco Caracciolo explores the value of slowness in dialogue with a wide range of narratives in various media, from prose fiction to comic books to video games. He argues that we need patience and an eye for complex patterns in order to recognize the multiple threads that link human communities and the slow-moving processes of climate and geological history. Decelerating attention offers important insight into human societies’ relations with the nonhuman materialities of Earth’s physical landscapes, ecosystems, and atmosphere.

Caracciolo centers the experiential effects of narrative and offers a range of theoretically grounded readings that complement the formal language of narrative theory. These close readings demonstrate that slowness is not a matter of measurable time but a “thickening” of attention that reveals the deeply multithreaded nature of reality. The importance of this realization cannot be overstated: through an investment in the here and now of experience, slow narrative can help us manage the uncertainty of living in an era marked by dramatically shifting climate patterns.

Uphill Both Ways

Uphill Both Ways : Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail, by Andrea Lani

One grouchy husband. Three reluctant kids. Five hundred miles of wilderness. And one woman, determined to escape the humdrum existence of modern parenting and a toxic work environment and to confront the history of environmental damage wreaked by westward expansion and the Anthropocene.

In Uphill Both Ways Andrea Lani walks us through the Southern Rockies, describing how the region has changed since the discovery of gold in 1859. At the same time, she delves into the history of her family, who immigrated to Leadville to work in the mines, and her own story of hiking the trail in her early twenties before returning two decades later, a depressed middle-aged mom in East Coast exile seeking happiness in a childhood landscape.

On the 489-mile trek from Denver to Durango on the Colorado Trail, Lani’s family traveled through stunning scenery and encountered wildflowers, wildlife, and too many other hikers. They ate cold oatmeal in a chilly, wet tent and experienced scorching heat, torrential thunderstorms, and the first nip of winter. Her kids grew in unimaginable ways, and they became known as “the family of five,” an oddity along a trail populated primarily by solo men. As they inched along the trail, Lani began to exercise disused smile muscles, despite the challenges of hiking in a middle-aged body, maintaining her children’s safety and happiness, and contending with marital discord. She learned that being a slow hiker does not make one a bad hiker and began to uncover the secret to happiness.

**Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December 2021:

Borrowing From Our Foremothers : Reexamining the Women’s Movement through Material Culture by Amy Helene Forss

Borrowing from Our Foremothers offers a panorama of women’s struggles through artifacts to establish connections between the generations of women’s right activists. In a thorough historical retelling of the women’s movement from 1848 to 2017, Amy Helene Forss focuses on items borrowed from our innovative foremothers, including cartes de visite, clothing, gavels, sculptures, urns, service pins, and torches.

Framing the material culture items within each era’s campaigns yields a wider understanding of the women’s metanarrative. Studded with relics and ninety-nine oral histories from such women as Rosalynn Carter to Pussyhat Project cocreator Krista Suh, this book contributes an important and illuminating analysis necessary for understanding the development of feminism as well as our current moment.

Cinematic Comanches : The Lone Ranger in the Media Borderlands by Dustin Tahmahkera ; Series: Indigenous Films

For centuries Comanches have captivated imaginations. Yet their story in popular accounts abruptly stops with the so-called fall of the Comanche empire in 1875, when Quanah Parker led Comanches onto the reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. In Cinematic Comanches, the first tribal-specific history of Comanches in film and media, Parker descendant Dustin Tahmahkera examines how Comanches represent themselves and are represented by others in recent media. Telling a story of Comanche family and extended kin and their relations to film, Tahmahkera reframes a distorted and defeated history of Comanches into a vibrant story of cinematic traditions, agency, and cultural continuity.

Co-starring a long list of Comanche actors, filmmakers, consultants, critics, and subjects, Cinematic Comanches moves through the politics of tribal representation and history to highlight the production of Comanchería cinema. From early silent films and 1950s Westerns to Disney’s The Lone Ranger and the story of how Comanches captured its controversial Comanche lead Johnny Depp, Tahmahkera argues that Comanche nationhood can be strengthened through cinema. Tahmahkera’s extensive research includes interviews with elder LaDonna Harris, who adopted Depp during filming in one of the most contested films in recent Indigenous cinematic history. In the fragmented popular narrative of the rise and fall of Comanches, Cinematic Comanches calls for considering mediated contributions to the cultural resurgence of Comanches today.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884-1886, Volume 2 Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias, Katie Sommer, Associate Editor ; Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884–1886 contains 156 letters, of which 111 are published for the first time, written from December 24, 1885, to December 31, 1886. These letters mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships, engage timely political and economic issues, and maximize his income. James details work on his midcareer novel The Princess Casamassima and announces plans for The Tragic Muse. This volume opens with James’s engagement with friends in Britain and France and concludes with his arrival in Italy for a six-month visit.

Country of the Cursed and the Driven : Slavery and the Texas Borderlands by Paul Barba

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Texas—a hotly contested land where states wielded little to no real power—local alliances and controversies, face-to-face relationships, and kin ties structured personal dynamics and cross-communal concerns alike. Country of the Cursed and the Driven brings readers into this world through a sweeping analysis of Hispanic, Comanche, and Anglo-American slaving regimes, illuminating how slaving violence, in its capacity to bolster and shatter families and entire communities, became both the foundation and the scourge, the panacea and the curse, of life in the borderlands.

As scholars have begun to assert more forcefully over the past two decades, slavery was much more diverse and widespread in North America than previously recognized, engulfing the lives of Native, European, and African descended people across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. Paul Barba details the rise of Texas’s slaving regimes, spotlighting the ubiquitous, if uneven and evolving, influences of colonialism and anti-Blackness. 

By weaving together and reframing traditionally disparate historical narratives, Country of the Cursed and the Driven challenges the common assumption that slavery was insignificant to the history of Texas prior to Anglo American colonization, arguing instead that the slavery imported by Stephen F. Austin and his colonial followers in the 1820s found a comfortable home in the slavery-stained borderlands, where for decades Spanish colonists and their Comanche neighbors had already unleashed waves of slaving devastation.  

Cree and Christian : Encounters and Transformations by Clinton N. Westman

Cree and Christian develops and applies new ethnographic approaches for understanding the reception and indigenization of Christianity, particularly through an examination of Pentecostalism in northern Alberta. Clinton N. Westman draws on historical records and his own long-term ethnographic research in Cree communities to explore questions of historical change, cultural continuity, linguistic practices in ritual, and the degree to which Indigenous identity is implicated by Pentecostal commitments. Such complexity calls for constant negotiation and improvisation, key elements of Pentecostal worship and speech strategies that have been compared to jazz modes.

The historical sweep of Cree and Christian considers the dynamics of Pentecostal conversion in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of other denominations and the underlying foundation of Cree cosmological worldviews. Pentecostalism has remained open to recognizing the power of spirits while also benefiting from its own essential flexibility. Pentecostals often seek to gain a degree of temporal and spiritual autonomy and authority that may not have seemed possible under previous Christian practices or Cree traditions.

Cree and Christian is the first book to provide a fully historicized account of Indigenous Pentecostalism, connecting contemporary religious practices and pluralism to historical Pentecostal, Evangelical, Catholic, and mainstream Protestant missions since the nineteenth century. By tracing religious practices and discourses since the 1890s, Westman paints a picture of the transformations and encounters from the earliest conversions (and resistance) to today’s pluralistic, mediatized, and bilingual religious landscape.

Dervish Dust : The Life and Words of James Coburn by Robyn L. Coburn

Dervish Dust is the authorized biography of “cool cat” actor James Coburn, covering his career, romances, friendships, and spirituality. Thoroughly researched with unparalleled access to Coburn’s friends and family, the book’s foundation is his own words in the form of letters, poetry, journals, interviews, and his previously unpublished memoirs, recorded in the months before his passing.

Dervish Dust details the life of a Hollywood legend that spanned huge changes in the entertainment and filmmaking industry. Coburn grew up in Compton after his family moved from Nebraska to California during the Great Depression. His acting career began with guest character roles in popular TV series such as The Twilight ZoneBonanza, and Rawhide. In the 1960s Coburn was cast in supporting roles in such great pictures as The Magnificent SevenCharade, and The Great Escape, and he became a leading man with the hit Our Man Flint. In 1999 Coburn won an Academy Award for his performance in Affliction. Younger viewers will recognize him as the voice of Henry Waternoose, the cranky boss in Monsters, Inc., and as Thunder Jack in Snow Dogs.

An individualist and deeply thoughtful actor, Coburn speaks candidly about acting, show business, people he liked, and people he didn’t, with many behind-the-scenes stories from his work, including beloved classics, intellectually challenging pieces, and less well-known projects. His films helped dismantle the notorious Production Code and usher in today’s ratings system.

Known for drum circles, playing the gong, and participating in LSD research, Coburn was New Age before it had a name. He brought his motto, Go Bravely On, with him each time he arrived on the set in the final years of his life, when he did some of his best work, garnering the admiration of a whole new generation of fans.

Dirty Knowledge : Academic Freedom in the Age of Neoliberalism by Julia Schleck ; Series: Provocations

Dirty Knowledge explores the failure of traditional conceptions of academic freedom in the age of neoliberalism. While examining and rejecting the increasing tendency to view academic freedom as a form of free speech, Julia Schleck highlights the problem of basing academic freedom on employment protections like tenure at a time when such protections are being actively eliminated through neoliberalism’s preference for gig labor. The argument traditionally made for such protections is that they help produce knowledge “for the public good” through the protected isolation of the Ivory Tower, where “pure” knowledge is sought and disseminated.

In contrast, Dirty Knowledge insists that academic knowledge production is and has always been “dirty,” deeply involved in the debates of its time and increasingly permeated by outside interests whose financial and material support provides some research programs with significant advantages over others. Schleck argues for a new vision of the university’s role in society as one of the most important forums for contending views of what exactly constitutes a societal “good,” warning that the intellectual monoculture encouraged by neoliberalism poses a serious danger to our collective futures and insisting on deliberate, material support for faculty research and teaching that runs counter to neoliberal values.

The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art by Wynne Brown

The Forgotten Botanist is the account of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she taught herself botany and established the town’s first library. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”

The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.

The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.

Marianne Is Watching : intelligence, Counterintelligence, and the Origins of the French Surveillance State by Deborah Bauer ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

Professional intelligence became a permanent feature of the French state as a result of the army’s June 8, 1871, reorganization following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Intelligence practices developed at the end of the nineteenth century without direction or oversight from elected officials, and yet the information gathered had a profound influence on the French population and on pre–World War I Europe more broadly.

In Marianne Is Watching Deborah Bauer examines the history of French espionage and counterespionage services in the era of their professionalization, arguing that the expansion of surveillance practices reflects a change in understandings of how best to protect the nation. By leading readers through the processes and outcomes of professionalizing intelligence in three parts—covering the creation of permanent intelligence organizations within the state; the practice of intelligence; and the place of intelligence in the public sphere—Bauer fuses traditional state-focused history with social and cultural analysis to provide a modern understanding of intelligence and its role in both state formation and cultural change.

With this first English-language book-length treatment of the history of French intelligence services in the era of their inception, Bauer provides a penetrating study not just of the security establishment in pre–World War I France but of the diverse social climate it nurtured and on which it fed.

The Power of Scenery : Frederick Law Olmstead and the Origin of National Parks ; by Dennis Drabelle

Wallace Stegner called national parks “the best idea we ever had.” As Americans celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, a question naturally arises: where did the idea for a national park originate? The answer starts with a look at pre-Yellowstone America. With nothing to put up against Europe’s cultural pearls—its cathedrals, castles, and museums—Americans came to realize that their plentitude of natural wonders might compensate for the dearth of manmade attractions. That insight guided the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as he organized his thoughts on how to manage the wilderness park centered on Yosemite Valley, a state-owned predecessor to the national park model of Yellowstone. Haunting those thoughts were the cluttered and carnival-like banks of Niagara Falls, which served as an oft-cited example of what should not happen to a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Olmsted saw city parks as vital to the pursuit of happiness and wanted them to be established for all to enjoy. When he wrote down his philosophy for managing Yosemite, a new and different kind of park, one that preserves a great natural site in the wilds, he had no idea that he was creating a visionary blueprint for national parks to come. Dennis Drabelle provides a history of the national park concept, adding to our understanding of American environmental thought and linking Olmsted with three of the country’s national treasures. Published in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 2022, and the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted on April 26, 2022, The Power of Scenery tells the fascinating story of how the national park movement arose, evolved, and has spread around the world.

A Religious history of the American GI in World War II by G. Kurt Piehler ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

A Religious History of the American GI in World War II breaks new ground by recounting the armed forces’ unprecedented efforts to meet the spiritual needs of the fifteen million men and women who served in World War II. For President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many GIs, religion remained a core American value that fortified their resolve in the fight against Axis tyranny. While combatants turned to fellow comrades for support, even more were sustained by prayer. GIs flocked to services, and when they mourned comrades lost in battle, chaplains offered solace and underscored the righteousness of their cause. This study is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the social history of the American GI during World War II.

Drawing on an extensive range of letters, diaries, oral histories, and memoirs, G. Kurt Piehler challenges the conventional wisdom that portrays the American GI as a nonideological warrior. American GIs echoed the views of FDR, who saw a Nazi victory as a threat to religious freedom and recognized the antisemitic character of the regime. Official policies promoted a civil religion that stressed equality between Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. Many chaplains embraced this tri-faith vision and strived to meet the spiritual needs of all servicepeople regardless of their own denomination. While examples of bigotry, sectarianism, and intolerance remained, the armed forces fostered the free exercise of religion that promoted a respect for the plurality of American religious life among GIs.

Scars of War : The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam by Sabrina Thomas ; Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

Scars of War examines the decisions of U.S. policymakers denying the Amerasians of Vietnam—the biracial sons and daughters of American fathers and Vietnamese mothers born during the Vietnam War—American citizenship. Focusing on the implications of the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act and the 1987 Amerasian Homecoming Act, Sabrina Thomas investigates why policymakers deemed a population unfit for American citizenship, despite the fact that they had American fathers.

Thomas argues that the exclusion of citizenship was a component of bigger issues confronting the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations: international relationships in a Cold War era, America’s defeat in the Vietnam War, and a history in the United States of racially restrictive immigration and citizenship policies against mixed-race persons and people of Asian descent.

Now more politically relevant than ever, Scars of War explores ideas of race, nation, and gender in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Thomas exposes the contradictory approach of policymakers unable to reconcile Amerasian biracialism with the U.S. Code. As they created an inclusionary discourse deeming Amerasians worthy of American action, guidance, and humanitarian aid, federal policymakers simultaneously initiated exclusionary policies that designated these people unfit for American citizenship.

Time in the Wilderness : the formative years of John “Black Jack” Pershing in the American West by Time McNeese

Most Americans familiar with General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing know him as the commander of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the latter days of World War I. But Pershing was in his late fifties by then. Pershing’s military career began in 1886, with his graduation from West Point and his first assignments in the American West as a horsebound cavalry officer during the final days of Apache resistance in the Southwest, where Arizona and New Mexico still represented a frontier of blue-clad soldiers, Native Americans, cowboys, rustlers, and miners.

But the Southwest was just the beginning of Pershing’s West. He would see assignments over the years in the Dakotas, during the Ghost Dance uprising and the battle of Wounded Knee; a posting at Montana’s Fort Assiniboine; and, following his years in Asia, a return to the West with a posting at the Presidio in San Francisco and a prolonged assignment on the Mexican-American border in El Paso, which led to his command of the Punitive Expedition, tasked with riding deep into Northern Mexico to capture the pistolero Pancho Villa.

During those thirty years from West Point to the Western Front, Pershing had a colorful and varied military career, including action during the Spanish-American War and lengthy service in the Philippines. Both were new versions of the American frontier abroad, even as the frontier days of the American West were closing.

All of Pershing’s experiences in the American West prepared him for his ultimate assignment as the top American commander during the Great War. If the American frontier and, more broadly, the American West provided a cauldron in which Americans tested themselves during the nineteenth century, they did the same for John Pershing. His story was a historical Western.

A Year With Martin Buber : Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross ; Series: JPS Daily Inspiration

The teachings of the great twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber empower us to enter a spiritual dimension that often passes unnoticed in the daily routine. In A Year with Martin Buber, the first Torah commentary to focus on his life’s work, we experience the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and eleven Jewish holidays through Buber’s eyes.

While best known for the spiritual concept of the I-Thou relationship between people, Buber graced us with other fundamentals, including Over Against, Afterglow, Will and Grace, Reification, Inclusion, and Imagine the Real. And his life itself—including his defiance of the Nazis, his call for Jewish-Arab reconciliation, and his protest of Adolf Eichmann’s execution—modeled these teachings in action.

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross demonstrates Buber’s roots in Jewish thought and breaks new ground by explaining the broader scope of Buber’s life and work in a clear, conversational voice. He quotes from the weekly Torah portion; draws lessons from Jewish commentators; and sets Buber’s related words in context with Buber’s remarkable life story, Hasidic tales, and writing. A wide variety of anecdotal illustrations from Buber as well as the author’s life encourages each of us to “hallow the everyday” and seek out spirituality “hiding in plain sight.”  

**Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October 2021:

Antisemitism on the Rise : the 1930s and Today Edited by Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher ; Series: Contemporary Holocaust Studies

We live in uncertain and unsettling times. Tragically, today’s global culture is rife with violent bigotry, nationalism, and antisemitism. The rhetoric is not new; it is grounded in attitudes and values from the 1930s and the 1940s in Europe and the United States.

Antisemitism on the Rise is a collection of essays by some of the world’s leading experts, including Joseph Bendersky, Jean Cahan, R. Amy Elman, Leonard Greenspoon, and Jürgen Matthäus, regarding two key moments in antisemitic history: the interwar period and today. Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher have collected important examples on this crucial topic to illustrate new research findings and learning techniques that have become increasingly vital with the recent rise of white supremacist movements, many of which have a firm root in antisemitism.

Part 1 focuses on the antisemitic beliefs and ideas that were predominant during the 1930s and 1940s, while part 2 draws comparisons between this period and today, including examples of ways to teach others about contemporary antisemitism. The volume seeks to inform readers about the historical progression of antisemitism and in doing so asks readers to think about what is at stake and how to bridge the gap between research and teaching.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo : Unsung Heroes from Harlem to Hollywood and the American West by Keith Ryan Cartwright ; Forward by Danny L. Glover.

They ride horses, rope calves, buck broncos, ride and fight bulls, and even wrestle steers. They are Black cowboys, and the legacies of their pursuits intersect with those of America’s struggle for racial equality, human rights, and social justice. Keith Ryan Cartwright brings to life the stories of such pioneers as Cleo Hearn, the first Black cowboy to professionally rope in the Rodeo Cowboy Association; Myrtis Dightman, who became known as the Jackie Robinson of Rodeo after being the first Black cowboy to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo; and Tex Williams, the first Black cowboy to become a state high school rodeo champion in Texas.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo is a collection of one hundred years of stories, told by these revolutionary Black pioneers themselves and set against the backdrop of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, the civil rights movement, and eventually the integration of a racially divided country.

Boarding School Voices : Carlisle Indian Students Speak by Arnold Krupat

Boarding School Voices is both an anthology of mostly unpublished writing by former students of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and a study of that writing. The boarding schools’ ethnocidal practices have become a metaphor for the worst evils of colonialism, a specifiable source for the ills that beset Native communities today. But the fuller story is one not only of suffering and pain, loss and abjection, but also of ingenious agency, creative syntheses, and unimagined adaptations.

Although tragic for many students, for others the Carlisle experience led to positive outcomes in their lives. Some published short pieces in the Carlisle newspapers and others sent letters and photos to the school over the years. Arnold Krupat transcribes selections from the letters of these former students literally and unedited, emphasizing their evocative language and what they tell of themselves and their home communities, and the perspectives they offer on a wider American world. Their sense of themselves and their worldview provide detailed insights into what was abstractly and vaguely referred to as “the Indian question.” These former students were the oxymoron Carlisle superintendent Richard Henry Pratt could not imagine and never comprehended: they were Carlisle Indians.

The Burglar’s Christmas by Willa Cather

The Burglar’s Christmas was originally published near the beginning of Willa Cather’s writing career in 1896 under the pseudonym of Elizabeth L. Seymour. The story follows William Crawford on the cold streets of Chicago as he contemplates the multiple failures plaguing his life, including his time at college and careers in journalism, real estate, and performing. Distraught, he tries one more role: thief. Attempting to burgle a residence and caught in the act by the lady of the house, William must come to terms with the choices that led him to that moment. Cather provides a heartwarming short story of redemption and love at Christmas, a timely reminder that kindness is in everyone, just waiting to be uncovered.

Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History Edited by Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach ; Series: Histories of Anthropology Annual, v. 14.

The series Histories of Anthropology Annual presents diverse perspectives on the discipline’s history within a global context, with a goal of increasing the awareness and use of historical approaches in teaching, learning, and conducting anthropology. The series includes critical, comparative, analytical, and narrative studies involving all aspects and subfields of anthropology.

Volume 14, Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History, focuses on the conscious recognition of margins and suggests it is time to bring the margins to the center, both in terms of a changing theoretical openness and a supporting body of scholarship—if not to problematize the very dichotomy of center and margins itself.

The essays explore two major themes of anthropology’s margins. First, anthropologists and historians have long sought out marginalized and forgotten ancestors, arguing for their present-day relevance and offering explanations for the lack of attention to their contributions to theory, analysis, methods, and findings. Second, anthropologists and their historians have explored a range of genres to present their results in provocative and open-ended formats. This volume closes with an experimental essay that offers a dynamic, multifaceted perspective that captures one of the dominant (if sometimes marginalized) voices in history of anthropology. Steven O. Murray’s career developed at the institutional margins of several academic disciplines and activist discourses, but his distinctive voice has been, and will remain, at the center of our history.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out : Counter-Conduct and LGBTQ Evangelical Activism by Jon Burrow-Branine ; Series: Anthropology of Contemporary North America

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out provides a look into a community that challenges common narratives about what it means to be LGBTQ and Christian in the contemporary United States. Based on his participant-observation fieldwork with a faith-based organization called the Reformation Project, Jon Burrow-Branine provides an ethnography of how some LGBTQ and LGBTQ-supportive Christians negotiate identity and difference and work to create change in evangelicalism.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out tells the story of how this activism can be understood as a community of counter-conduct. Drawing on a concept proposed by the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, Burrow-Branine documents everyday moments of agency and resistance that have the potential to form new politics, ethics, and ways of being as individuals in this community navigate the exclusionary politics of mainstream evangelical institutions, culture, and theology.

More broadly, Burrow-Branine considers the community’s ongoing conversation about what it means to be LGBTQ and a Christian, grappling with the politics of inclusion and representation in LGBTQ evangelical activism itself.

The Front by Journey Herbeck ; Series: Flyover Fiction

For one family living on the very western edge of the Great Plains, life runs parallel to the forces that had always endangered its existence. There was a price to obtain this parallel life, of course, but the family had paid it and for once found a way to survive. They had a little water. They had a little food. They had a little work. They were fine—until they weren’t.

Taking place in the span of twenty-four hours, The Front follows a man and his nine-year-old niece as they try to escape the apocalyptic circumstances that have come to their home. Traveling north through outbreaking war, the pair navigate the disintegrating balance between rival powers. As new lines are drawn, the neutral spot their family had come to occupy is no longer recognized by either side, and the only chance for safety is to try to cross the Northern Line.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree : My Basketball Odyssey by Sheldon Anderson

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree chronicles Sheldon Anderson’s basketball career from grade school in small-town Moorhead, Minnesota, in the 1960s, to inner-city high school and college ball in Minneapolis, to a professional career in West Germany, and finally to communist Poland, where he did PhD research while on a basketball junket behind the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s.

Because he was the only American player in the league at the time, and with help from a Polish scholar, Anderson was one of the first Western scholars to gain access to Communist Party documents. He’s also likely the only American scholar to have funded his research by playing semi-pro basketball in a communist country.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree is much more than a basketball story. Anderson provides insights into the everyday lives of people on either side of the Iron Curtain, such as the English coach he played for in West Germany, an elderly woman he visited many times in East Germany, and a sailmaker’s family he lived with in Warsaw. He reflects on German, Polish, and Cold War history, providing a commentary on the times and the places where he lived and played, and the importance of basketball along the way.

The Light of Earth : Reflections on a Life in Space, by Al Worden with Francis French ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden was one of the highest-profile personalities among the Apollo astronauts, renowned for his outspokenness and potent views but also recognized as a warm and well-liked person who devoted much of his life after retiring from NASA to sharing his spaceflight experiences.

Worden had nearly finished writing this book before his passing in 2020 at the age of eighty-eight. Coauthored with spaceflight historian Francis French, The Light of Earth is Worden’s wide-ranging look at the greatest-ever scientific undertaking, in which he was privileged to be a leading participant.

Here Worden gives readers his refreshingly candid opinions on the space program, flying to the moon, and the people involved in the Apollo and later shuttle programs, as well as sharing hard-hitting reflections on the space shuttle program, the agonies and extraordinary sights and delights of being a NASA Apollo astronaut, and the space program’s triumphs and failures.

Worden delves into areas of personal grief that reveal the noble and truly human side of the space program’s earliest years. He does not hold back when discussing the shocking deaths of his fellow astronauts in the three major tragedies that struck the space agency, nor does he shy away from sharing his personal feelings about fellow Apollo astronauts including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Worden was known as a charismatic speaker and one of the most thoughtful Apollo astronauts. His candid, entertaining, and unique perspective in The Light of Earth will captivate and surprise.

Long Rules : An Essay in Verse by Nathaniel Perry ; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

A book-length poem in six sections, Long Rules takes readers to five Trappist monasteries in the southeastern United States to consider the intersections of solitude, family, music, and landscape. Its lines unspool in a loose and echoing blank verse that investigates monastic rules, sunlight, Saint Basil, turnips, Thomas Merton, saddle-backed caterpillars, John Prine, fatherhood, and everything in between. Looking inside and outside the self, Perry asks, what, or whom, are we serving? Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, this essay in verse contemplates the meaning of solitude and its contemporary ramifications in a time of uncertainty.

A Long Voyage to the Moon : The Life of Naval Aviator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans by Geoffrey Bowman ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

As command module pilot of Apollo 17, the last crewed flight to the moon, Ron Evans combined precision flying and painstaking geological observation with moments of delight and enthusiasm. On his way to the launchpad, he literally jumped for joy in his spacesuit. Emerging from the command module to conduct his crucial spacewalk, he exclaimed, “Hot diggity dog!” and waved a greeting to his family. As a patriotic American in charge of command module America, Evans was nicknamed “Captain America” by his fellow crew members.

Born in 1933 in St. Francis, Kansas, Evans distinguished himself academically and athletically in school, earned degrees in electrical engineering and aeronautical engineering, and became a naval aviator and a combat flight instructor. He was one of the few astronauts who served in combat during the Vietnam War, flying more than a hundred missions off the deck of the USS Ticonderoga, the same aircraft carrier that would recover him and his fellow astronauts after the splashdown of Apollo 17.

Evans’s astronaut career spans the Apollo missions and beyond. He served on the support crews for 1, 7, and 11 and on the Apollo 14 backup crew before being selected for Apollo 17 and flying on the final moon mission in 1972. He next trained with Soviet cosmonauts as backup command module pilot for the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission and carried out early work on the space shuttle program. Evans then left NASA to pursue a business career. He died suddenly in 1990 at the age of fifty-six.

Negative Geographies : Exploring the Politics of Limits Edited by David Bissell, Mitch Rose, and Paul Harrison ; Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth

Negative Geographies is the first edited collection to chart the political, conceptual, and ethical consequences of how the underexplored problem of the negative might be posed for contemporary cultural geography. Using a variety of case studies and empirical investigations, these chapters consider how the negative, through annihilations, gaps, ruptures, and tears, can work within or against the terms of affirmationism. The collection opens up new avenues through which key problems of cultural geography might be differently posed and points to the ways that it might be possible and desirable to think, theorize, and exemplify negation.

Rhymes With Fighter : Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman, by Joseph Weber

From a hardscrabble childhood in the Great Depression on the dusty plains of rural Nebraska, Clayton Yeutter (1930–2017) rose to work for four U.S. presidents, serving in the cabinets of two of them. His challenge, posed by one of President Ronald Reagan’s aides, was this: go and change the world. As U.S. trade representative he did just that, opening the global trading arena with bold efforts that led to NAFTA, the creation of the World Trade Organization, and extraordinary growth in cross-border business. Today’s global trading regime began with Yeutter.

A distinguished lawyer with a doctorate in economics, Yeutter also had deep business experience leading the giant futures trading organization the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now called the CME Group. But he never forgot his family’s farm roots, and those roots led him to another top job as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of agriculture.

Yeutter’s intellectual firepower, paired with an engaging personality and a midwesterner’s beaming smile, made friends and found common ground with leaders and trade officials worldwide. Although a loyal GOP leader who served as counselor to a president and head of the Republican National Committee, Yeutter was a moderate who had admirers on both sides of the aisle.

This is his life story.

The St. Louis Commune of 1877 : Communism in the Heartland by Mark Kruger

Following the Civil War, large corporations emerged in the United States and became intent on maximizing their power and profits at all costs. Political corruption permeated American society as those corporate entities grew and spread across the country, leaving bribery and exploitation in their wake. This alliance between corporate America and the political class came to a screeching halt during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, when the U.S. workers in the railroad, mining, canal, and manufacturing industries called a general strike against monopoly capitalism and brought the country to an economic standstill.

In The St. Louis Commune of 1877 Mark Kruger tells the riveting story of how workers assumed political control in St. Louis, Missouri. Kruger examines the roots of the St. Louis Commune—focusing on the 1848 German revolution, the Paris Commune, and the First International. Not only was 1877 the first instance of a general strike in U.S. history; it was also the first time workers took control of a major American city and the first time a city was ruled by a communist party.

Stories From Saddle Mountain : Autobiographies of a Kiowa Family by Henrietta Tongkeamha and Raymond Tongkeamha ; Series: American Indian Lives

Stories from Saddle Mountain recounts family stories that connected the Tongkeamhas, a Kiowa family, to the Saddle Mountain community for more than a century. Henrietta Apayyat (1912–93) grew up and married near Saddle Mountain, where she and her husband raised five sons and five daughters. She began penning her memoirs in 1968, including accounts about a Peyote meeting, revivals and Christmas encampments at Saddle Mountain Church, subsistence activities, and attending boarding schools and public schools.

When not in school, Henrietta spent much of her childhood and adolescence close to home, working and occasionally traveling to neighboring towns with her grandparents, whereas her son Raymond Tongkeamha left frequently and wandered farther. Both experienced the transformation from having no indoor plumbing or electricity to having radios, televisions, and JCPenney. Together, their autobiographies illuminate dynamic changes and steadfast traditions in twentieth-century Kiowa life in the Saddle Mountain countryside.

This Jade World by Ira Sukrungruang ; Series: American Lives

This Jade World centers on a Thai American who has gone through a series of life changes. Ira Sukrungruang married young to an older poet. On their twelfth anniversary, he received a letter asking for a divorce, sending him into a despairing spiral. How would he define himself when he was suddenly without the person who shaped and helped mold him into the person he is?

After all these years, he asked himself what he wanted and found no answer. He did not even know what wanting meant. And so, in the year between his annual visits to Thailand to see his family, he gave in to urges, both physical and emotional; found comfort in the body, many bodies; fought off the impulse to disappear, to vanish; until he arrived at some modicum of understanding. During this time, he sought to obliterate the stereotype of the sexless Asian man and began to imagine a new life with new possibilities.

Through ancient temples and the lush greenery of Thailand, to the confines of a stranger’s bed and a devouring couch, This Jade World chronicles a year of mishap, exploration and experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.

The Track the Whales Make : New and Selected Poems by Marjorie Saiser, Introduction by Ted Kooser ; Series: Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry

Marjorie Saiser’s strong, clear language makes the reader feel at home in her poems. Dealing with all the ways love goes right and wrong, this collection honors the challenges of holding firm to who we really are, as well as our connections to the natural world.

The Track the Whales Make includes poems from Saiser’s seven previous books, along with new ones. Her poetry originates from the everyday things we might overlook in the hurry of our daily routines, giving us a chance to stop and appreciate the little things, while wrapped in her comforting diction. Because the poems come from ordinary life, there is humor alongside happiness and sadness, the mixed bag we survive or create, day by day.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state

documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August 2021:

C’RONA Pandemic Comics, by Bob Hall, Judy Diamond, Liz VanWormer, and Judi M. Gaiashkibos.

C’RONA Pandemic Comics is a collection of short comics and essays developed to help youth understand the complexities of living through a viral pandemic. Each focuses on a different theme: the biology of the COVID-19 virus; the relationship of wild animals, particularly bats, to the pandemic; and the impact of the pandemic on tribal communities. Created by a group of artists, educators, tribe members, and scientists, this comic book provides an engaging way to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from a cast of fictional characters—a parrot, a fox, a goat, a bat, a mouse, a coyote, and a ghost.

DEAR DIASPORA, by Susan Nguyen. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry.

Dear Diaspora is an unapologetic reckoning with history, memory, and grief. Parting the weeds on a small American town, this collection sheds light on the intersections of girlhood and diaspora. The poems introduce us to Suzi: ripping her leg hairs out with duct tape, praying for ecstasy during Sunday mass, dreaming up a language for buried familial trauma and discovering that such a language may not exist. Through a collage of lyric, documentary, and epistolary poems, we follow Suzi as she untangles intergenerational grief and her father’s disappearance while climbing trees to stare at the color green and wishing that she wore Lucy Liu’s freckles.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Dear Diaspora scrutinizes our turning away from the trauma of our past and our complicity in its erasure. Suzi, caught between enjoying a rundown American adolescence and living with the inheritances of war, attempts to unravel her own inherited grief as she explores the multiplicities of identity and selfhood against the backdrop of the Vietnamese diaspora. In its deliberate interweaving of voices, Dear Diaspora explores Suzi’s journey while bringing to light other incarnations of the refugee experience.

DEATH OF THE SENATE : MY FRONT ROW SEAT TO THE DEMISE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY, by Ben Nelson.

Something is rotten in the U.S. Senate, and the disease has been spreading for some time. But Ben Nelson, former U.S. senator from Nebraska, is not going to let the institution destroy itself without a fight. Death of the Senate is a clear-eyed look inside the Senate chamber and a brutally honest account of the current political reality.

In his two terms as a Democratic senator from the red state of Nebraska, Nelson positioned himself as a moderate broker between his more liberal and conservative colleagues and became a frontline player in the most consequential fights of the Bush and Obama years. His trusted centrist position gave him a unique perch from which to participate in some of the last great rounds of bipartisan cooperation, such as the “Gang of 14” that considered nominees for the federal bench—and passed over a young lawyer named Brett Kavanaugh for being too partisan.

Nelson learned early on that the key to any negotiation at any level is genuine trust. With humor, insight, and firsthand details, Nelson makes the case that the “heart of the deal” is critical and describes how he focused on this during his time in the Senate. As seen through the eyes of a centrist senator from the Great Plains, Nelson shows how and why the spirit of bipartisanship declined and offers solutions that can restore the Senate to one of the world’s most important legislative bodies.

DEER SEASON, by Erin Flanagan. Series: Flyover Fiction.

It’s the opening weekend of deer season in Gunthrum, Nebraska, in 1985, and Alma Costagan’s intellectually disabled farmhand, Hal Bullard, has gone hunting with some of the locals, leaving her in a huff. That same weekend, a teenage girl goes missing, and Hal returns with a flimsy story about the blood in his truck and a dent near the headlight. When the situation escalates from that of a missing girl to something more sinister, Alma and her husband are forced to confront what Hal might be capable of, as rumors fly and townspeople see Hal’s violent past in a new light.

A drama about the complicated relationships connecting the residents of a small-town farming community, Deer Season explores troubling questions about how far people will go to safeguard the ones they love and what it means to be a family.

EARLY MODERN TRAUMA : EUROPE AND THE ATLANTIC WORLD, Edited by Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards. Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies.

The term trauma refers to a wound or rupture that disorients, causing suffering and fear. Trauma theory has been heavily shaped by responses to modern catastrophes, and as such trauma is often seen as inherently linked to modernity. Yet psychological and cultural trauma as a result of distressing or disturbing experiences is a human phenomenon that has been recorded across time and cultures.

The long seventeenth century (1598–1715) has been described as a period of almost continuous warfare, and the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries saw the development of modern slavery, colonialism, and nationalism, and witnessed plagues, floods, and significant sociopolitical, economic, and religious transformation. In Early Modern Trauma editors Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards present a variety of ways early modern contemporaries understood and narrated their experiences. Studying accounts left by those who experienced extreme events increases our understanding of the contexts in which traumatic experiences have been constructed and interpreted over time and broadens our understanding of trauma theory beyond the contemporary Euro-American context while giving invaluable insights into some of the most pressing issues of today.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN : A FATHER AND SON REDISCOVER AMERICA ON THE OREGON TRIAL, by B. J. Hollars.

At the sound of the bell on the last day of kindergarten, B.J. Hollars and his six-year-old son, Henry, hop in the car to strike out on a 2,500-mile road trip retracing the Oregon Trail. Their mission: to rediscover America, and Americans, along the way. Throughout their two-week adventure, they endure the usual setbacks (car trouble, inclement weather, and father-son fatigue), but their most compelling drama involves people, privilege, and their attempt to find common ground in an all-too-fractured country.

Writing in the footsteps of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, Hollars picks up the trail with his son more than half a century later. Together they sidle up to a stool at every truck stop, camp by every creek, and roam the West. They encounter not only the beauty and heartbreak of America, but also the beauty and heartbreak of a father and son eager to make the most of their time together. From Chimney Rock to Independence Rock to the rocky coast of Oregon, they learn and relearn the devastating truth of America’s exploitative past, as well as their role within it.

Go West, Young Man recounts the author’s effort to teach his son the difficult realities of our nation’s founding while also reaffirming his faith in America today.

MOSQUITOES SUCK!, by Katherine Richardson Bruna, Sara Erickson, and Lyric Bertholomay.

Using a science comic format to engage readers of all ages, Mosquitoes SUCK! conveys essential information about mosquito biology, ecology, and disease transmission needed for community-based control efforts. Starting with a story of a dystopian mosquito-less future, Mosquitoes SUCK! travels back in time to depict the present-day work of a scientist in her lab and the curiosity of the students she works with as they learn about the history of mosquito-human interaction, science as an ever-evolving tool, and the need to balance cutting-edge preventative technologies with broader care for environmental stewardship.

NANCY CROW : DRAWINGS: MONOPRINTS AND RIFFS, by Nancy Crow.

Nancy Crow: Drawings: Monoprints and Riffs is a beautifully illustrated catalog showcasing the newest work of renowned artist Nancy Crow. Over the last decade Crow has transformed her quiltmaking by developing a unique monoprinting technique. Monoprinting on cotton fabric, she focuses on drawn lines, layered one upon another, that result in a complex visual tangle. The work in this series simultaneously produces both clarity and depth.

In her Riff and Drawing: Riff series, Crow has continued to explore her “drawing with fabric” approach. In these works Crow improvisationally cuts through layers of highly saturated hand-dyed fabrics, creating crisp forms with slight curves and undulations caused by subtle movements of her arm, which are then stitched together in dynamic compositions.

This catalog includes Crow’s descriptions of these innovative techniques as well as candid musings on her personal journey as a driven, passionate artist. In addition, Crow’s work is discussed in an essay by Jean Robertson, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of Art History at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University–Purdue University. Also featured is a foreword by David Hornung, professor of art and art history at Adelphi University, New York. The catalog accompanies a 2020 exhibition of Crow’s work at the International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

NEBRASKA HISTORY MOMENTS : STORIES & PHOTOS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF HISTORY NEBRASKA, by David L. Bristow.

Even a moment is enough for wonder and curiosity. Each page of this book uses a photo or artifact to tell a true story about the past, drawing from the extensive collections of History Nebraska. You can read it straight through, but it’s written to be browsed. Here are the turning points, disasters, amusements, causes and controversies, changing technologies, and scenes of daily life of the people who lived in a Nebraska that sometimes seems familiar to us, and sometimes seems a world away.

WHAT ISN’T REMEMBERED : STORIES, by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairies Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the stories in What Isn’t Remembered explore the burden, the power, and the nature of love between people who often feel misplaced and estranged from their deepest selves and the world, where they cannot find a home. The characters yearn not only to redefine themselves and rebuild their relationships but also to recover lost loves—a parent, a child, a friend, a spouse, a partner.

A young man longs for his mother’s love while grieving the loss of his older brother. A mother’s affair sabotages her relationship with her daughter, causing a lifelong feud between the two. A divorced man struggles to come to terms with his failed marriage and his family’s genocidal past while trying to persuade his father to start cancer treatments. A high school girl feels responsible for the death of her best friend, and the guilt continues to haunt her decades later.

Evocative and lyrical, the tales in What Isn’t Remembered uncover complex events and emotions, as well as the unpredictable ways in which people adapt to what happens in their lives, finding solace from the most surprising and unexpected sources.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the University of Nebraska Press books received in May and June 2021:

Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50 : 1971-2021

Edited by Marin F. Hanson ; Contributing authors: Jonathan Holstein, Carolyn Ducey, Sandra Sider, Jonathan Gregory, Nao Nomura, and Marin F. Hanson

Fifty years after its debut, the exhibition Abstract Design in American Quilts is remembered as a pivotal moment in the intersecting histories of art, craft, and design. Installed at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971, the exhibition presented traditional American pieced quilts on walls more commonly used to display modern art such as abstract expressionist paintings. The exhibition, curated by Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof from their own collection, unexpectedly struck a chord with museumgoers and art critics alike, breaking attendance records and subsequently traveling to museums across the United States, Europe, and Japan.

With Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50, an exhibition series that includes an installation of the original quilt group, the International Quilt Museum at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln reexamines the half-century impact of this watershed exhibition. In five essays, leading quilt scholars assess the areas upon which the exhibition, in its various iterations, had its greatest impact, most notably the growth of quiltmaking across the United States and in art circles. The essays also discuss broader cultural phenomena that produced an environment in which quilts and other forms of material culture could be viewed and valued in new ways.

Black Snake : Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice

By Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) made headlines around the world in 2016. Supporters called the pipeline key to safely transporting American oil from the Bakken oil fields of the northern plains to markets nationwide, essential to both national security and prosperity. Native activists named it the “black snake,” referring to an ancient prophecy about a terrible snake that would one day devour the earth. Activists rallied near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota for months in opposition to DAPL, winning an unprecedented but temporary victory before the federal government ultimately permitted the pipeline. Oil began flowing on June 1, 2017.

The water protector camps drew global support and united more than three hundred tribes in perhaps the largest Native alliance in U.S. history. While it faced violent opposition, the peaceful movement against DAPL has become one of the most crucial human rights movements of our time.

Black Snake is the story of four leaders—LaDonna Allard, Jasilyn Charger, Lisa DeVille, and Kandi White—and their fight against the pipeline. It is the story of Native nations combating environmental injustice and longtime discrimination and rebuilding their communities. It is the story of a new generation of environmental activists, galvanized at Standing Rock, becoming the protectors of America’s natural resources.

California & Hawai’i Bound : U.S. Settler Colonialism and the Pacific West, 1848-1959

By Henry Knight Lozano ; Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds

Beginning in the era of Manifest Destiny, U.S. settlers, writers, politicians, and boosters worked to bind California and Hawai‘i together in the American imagination, emphasizing white settlement and capitalist enterprise. In California and Hawai‘i Bound Henry Knight Lozano explores how these settlers and boosters promoted and imagined California and Hawai‘i as connected places and sites for U.S. settler colonialism, and how this relationship reveals the fraught constructions of an Americanized Pacific West from the 1840s to the 1950s.

The growing ties of promotion and development between the two places also fostered the promotion of “perils” over this transpacific relationship, from Native Hawaiians who opposed U.S. settler colonialism to many West Coast Americans who articulated social and racial dangers from closer bonds with Hawai‘i, illustrating how U.S. promotional expansionism in the Pacific existed alongside defensive peril in the complicated visions of Americanization that linked California and Hawai‘i.

California and Hawai‘i Bound demonstrates how the settler colonial discourses of Americanization that connected California and Hawai‘i evolved and refracted alongside socioeconomic developments and native resistance, during a time when U.S. territorial expansion, transoceanic settlement and tourism, and capitalist investment reconstructed both the American West and the eastern Pacific.

Cattle Country : Livestock in the Cultural Imagination

By Kathryn Cornell Dolan ; Series: At Table

As beef and cattle production progressed in nineteenth-century America, the cow emerged as the nation’s representative food animal and earned a culturally prominent role in the literature of the day. In Cattle Country Kathryn Cornell Dolan examines the role cattle played in narratives throughout the century to show how the struggles within U.S. food culture mapped onto society’s broader struggles with colonization, environmentalism, U.S. identity, ethnicity, and industrialization.

Dolan examines diverse texts from Native American, African American, Mexican American, and white authors that showcase the zeitgeist of anxiety surrounding U.S. identity as cattle gradually became an industrialized food source, altering the country’s culture while exacting a high cost to humans, animals, and the land. From Henry David Thoreau’s descriptions of indigenous cuisines as a challenge to the rising monoculture, to Washington Irving’s travel narratives that foreshadow cattle replacing American bison in the West, to María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s use of cattle to connect race and imperialism in her work, authors’ preoccupations with cattle underscored their concern for resource depletion, habitat destruction, and the wasteful overproduction of a single breed of livestock.

Cattle Country offers a window into the ways authors worked to negotiate the consequences of the development of this food culture and, by excavating the history of U.S. settler colonialism through the figure of cattle, sheds new ecocritical light on nineteenth-century literature.

Engendering Islands : Sexuality, Reproduction, and Violence in the Early French Caribbean

By Ashley M. Williard ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

In seventeenth-century Antilles the violence of dispossession and enslavement was mapped onto men’s and women’s bodies, bolstered by resignified tropes of gender, repurposed concepts of disability, and emerging racial discourses. As colonials and ecclesiastics developed local practices and institutions—particularly family formation and military force—they consolidated old notions into new categories that affected all social groups.

In Engendering Islands Ashley M. Williard argues that early Caribbean reconstructions of masculinity and femininity sustained occupation, slavery, and nascent ideas of race. In the face of historical silences, Williard’s close readings of archival and narrative texts reveals the words, images, and perspectives that reflected and produced new ideas of human difference. Juridical, religious, and medical discourses expose the interdependence of multiple conditions—male and female, enslaved and free, Black and white, Indigenous and displaced, normative and disabled—in the islands claimed for the French Crown.

In recent years scholars have interrogated key aspects of Atlantic slavery, but none have systematically approached the archive of gender, particularly as it intersects with race and disability, in the seventeenth-century French Caribbean. The constructions of masculinity and femininity embedded in this early colonial context help elucidate attendant notions of otherness and the systems of oppression they sustained. Williard shows the ways gender contributed to and complicated emerging notions of racial difference that justified slavery and colonial domination, thus setting the stage for centuries of French imperialism.

Everybody’s Jonesin’ For Something

By Indigo Moor ; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention

Turning an unflinching spotlight on the American Dream, Indigo Moor plunges headfirst into national—and personal—laments and desires. From Emmett Till to the fall of the Twin Towers and through the wildfires of Paradise, California, Moor weaves a thread through the hopes, sacrifices, and Sisyphean yearnings that make this country the beautiful trap that it is. Everybody’s Jonesin’ for Something takes an imagistic leap through the darker side of our search for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, perusing what we lose, what we leave behind, and what strange beauty we uncover.

French St. Louis : Landscape, Contexts, and Legacy

Edited by Jay Gitlin, Robert Michael Morrissey, and Peter J. Kastor ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

A gateway to the West and an outpost for eastern capital and culture, St. Louis straddled not only geographical and political divides but also cultural, racial, and sectional ones. At the same time, it connected a vast region as a gathering place of peoples, cultures, and goods. The essays in this collection contextualize St. Louis, exploring French-Native relations, the agency of empire in the Illinois Country, the role of women in “mapping” the French colonial world, fashion and identity, and commodities and exchange in St. Louis as part of a broader politics of consumption in colonial America. The collection also provides a comparative perspective on America’s two great Creole cities, St. Louis and New Orleans. Lastly, it looks at the Frenchness of St. Louis in the nineteenth century and the present.

French St. Louis recasts the history of St. Louis and reimagines regional development in the early American republic, shedding light on its francophone history.

The Greater Plains : Rethinking a Region’s Environmental Histories

Edited by Brian Frehner & Kathleen A Brosnan

The Greater Plains tells a new story of a region, stretching from the state of Texas to the province of Alberta, where the environments are as varied as the myriad ways people have inhabited them. These innovative essays document a complicated history of human interactions with a sometimes plentiful and sometimes foreboding landscape, from the Native Americans who first shaped the prairies with fire to twentieth-century oil regimes whose pipelines linked the region to the world.

The Greater Plains moves beyond the narrative of ecological desperation that too often defines the region in scholarly works and in popular imagination. Using the lenses of grasses, animals, water, and energy, the contributors reveal tales of human adaptation through technologies ranging from the travois to bookkeeping systems and hybrid wheat. Transnational in its focus and interdisciplinary in its scholarship, The Greater Plains brings together leading historians, geographers, anthropologists, and archaeologists to chronicle a past rich with paradoxical successes and failures, conflicts and cooperation, but also continual adaptation to the challenging and ever-shifting environmental conditions of the North American heartland.

Hostages of Empire : Colonial Prisoners of War in Vichy France

By Sarah Ann Frank ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

Hostages of Empire combines a social history of colonial prisoner-of-war experiences with a broader analysis of their role in Vichy’s political tensions with the country’s German occupiers. The colonial prisoners of war came from across the French Empire, they fought in the Battle for France in 1940, and they were captured by the German Army. Unlike their French counterparts, who were taken to Germany, the colonial POWs were interned in camps called Frontstalags throughout occupied France. This decision to keep colonial POWs in France defined not only their experience of captivity but also how the French and German authorities reacted to them.

Hostages of Empire examines how the entanglement of French national pride after the 1940 defeat and the need for increased imperial control shaped the experiences of 85,000 soldiers in German captivity. Sarah Ann Frank analyzes the nature of Vichy’s imperial commitments and collaboration with its German occupiers and argues that the Vichy regime actively improved conditions of captivity for colonial prisoners in an attempt to secure their present and future loyalty. This French “magnanimity” toward the colonial prisoners was part of a broader framework of racial difference and hierarchy. As such, the relatively dignified treatment of colonial prisoners must be viewed as a paradox in light of Vichy and Free French racism in the colonies and the Vichy regime’s complicity in the Holocaust. Hostages of Empire seeks to reconcile two previously rather distinct histories: that of metropolitan France and that of the French colonies during World War II.

Indian Soldiers in World War I : Race and Representation in an Imperial War

By Andrew T. Jarboe ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

More than one million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I, serving in the Indian Army as part of Britain’s imperial war effort. These men fought in France and Belgium, Egypt and East Africa, and Gallipoli, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. 

In Indian Soldiers in World War I Andrew T. Jarboe  follows these Indian soldiers—or sepoys—across the battlefields, examining the contested representations British and Indian audiences drew from the soldiers’ wartime experiences and the impacts these representations had on the British Empire’s racial politics. Presenting overlooked or forgotten connections, Jarboe argues that Indian soldiers’ presence on battlefields across three continents contributed decisively to the British Empire’s final victory in the war. While the war and Indian soldiers’ involvement led to a hardening of the British Empire’s prewar racist ideologies and governing policies, the battlefield contributions of Indian soldiers fueled Indian national aspirations and calls for racial equality. When Indian soldiers participated in the brutal suppression of anti-government demonstrations in India at war’s end, they set the stage for the eventual end of British rule in South Asia.

Indigenous Languages and the Promise of Archives

Edited by Adrianna Link, Abigail Shelton, and Patrick Spero ; Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Languages and the Promise of Archives captures the energy and optimism that many feel about the future of community-based scholarship, which involves the collaboration of archives, scholars, and Native American communities. The American Philosophical Society is exploring new applications of materials in its library to partner on collaborative projects that assist the cultural and linguistic revitalization movements within Native communities. A paradigm shift is driving researchers to reckon with questionable practices used by scholars and libraries in the past to pursue documents relating to Native Americans, practices that are often embedded in the content of the collections themselves.

The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society brought together this volume of historical and contemporary case studies highlighting the importance of archival materials for the revitalization of Indigenous languages. Essays written by archivists, historians, anthropologists, knowledge-keepers, and museum professionals, cover topics critical to language revitalization work; they tackle long-standing debates about ownership, access, and control of Indigenous materials stored in repositories; and they suggest strategies for how to decolonize collections in the service of community-based priorities. Together these essays reveal the power of collaboration for breathing new life into historical documents.

The JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary

By Rabbi Eli L. Garfinkel ; Series: JPS Study Bible

The JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary shows Jews of all ages and backgrounds that the Jewish people’s most significant book is not dusty and irrelevant but an eternally sacred text wholly pertinent to our modern lives. Designed to keep the attention of all readers, each lively essay is both brief enough to be read in minutes and deep and substantive enough to deliver abundant food for thought.

Its cornerstone is its unique four-part meditation on the Jewish heritage. After briefly summarizing a Torah portion, the commentary orbits that portion through four central pillars of Jewish life—the Torah (Torat Yisrael), the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), the Jewish people (Am Yisrael), and Jewish thought (Mahshevet Yisrael)—illuminating how the four intersect and enrich one another. Furthering the Jewish thought motif, every essay ends with two questions for thought well suited for discussion settings. Each commentary can be used as the launchpad for a lesson, a sermon, a d’var Torah, or a discussion.

Readers from beginners to experts will come away with new understandings of our Jewish heritage—and be inspired to draw closer to its four dimensions.

Maestro : André Tchelistcheff and the Rebirth of Napa Valley

By James O. Gump ; Series: At Table

Wine insiders called André Tchelistcheff the “winemaker’s winemaker,” the “wine doctor,” and simply “maestro.” After Prohibition brought Napa Valley and its wine industry to the brink of catastrophe, Tchelistcheff (1901–94) proved essential in its revitalization.

Tchelistcheff’s unique background—a sickly child, a Russian émigré forced from his homeland during the Bolshevik Revolution, a White Army lieutenant who fought in the Crimea, a physical laborer in a Bulgarian coal mine, a Czechoslovakian-trained agronomist, and a French-schooled viticulturist and enologist—prepared him for a remarkable winemaking career. He spent thirty-five years in Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard and nearly two “post-retirement” decades doing freelance consulting work for more than thirty wineries.

His early struggles forged his principal character traits, which he passed on to an entire generation of winemakers. His students, including some of the most accomplished winemakers of the post-Prohibition period, marveled over their mentor’s sense of authority, profound insight, humble presence, and abundant wisdom.

This inspiring account of Tchelistcheff’s life includes interviews with friends, family, and mentees, which reveal how one man used his passion and knowledge to help save a community on the edge of disaster. In Maestro James O. Gump preserves the memory of a fascinating individual and one of the most influential winemakers of the modern era.

The Melancholy Void : Lyric and Masculinity in the Age of Góngora

By Felipe Valencia ; Series: New Hispanisms

At the turn of the seventeenth century, Spanish lyric underwent a notable development. Several Spanish poets reinvented lyric as a melancholy and masculinist discourse that sang of and perpetrated symbolic violence against the female beloved. This shift emerged in response to the rising prestige and commercial success of the epic and was enabled by the rich discourse on the link between melancholy and creativity in men.

In The Melancholy Void Felipe Valencia examines this reconstruction of the lyric in key texts of Spanish poetry from 1580 to 1620. Through a study of canonical and influential texts, such as the major poems by Luis de Góngora and the epic of Alonso de Ercilla, but also lesser-known texts, such as the lyrics by Miguel de Cervantes, The Melancholy Void addresses four understudied problems in the scholarship of early modern Spanish poetry: the use of gender violence in love poetry as a way to construct the masculinity of the poetic speaker; the exploration in Spanish poetry of the link between melancholy and male creativity; the impact of epic on Spanish lyric; and the Spanish contribution to the fledgling theory of the lyric.

The Melancholy Void brings poetry and lyric theory to the conversation in full force and develops a distinct argument about the integral role of gender violence in a prominent strand of early modern Spanish lyric that ran from Garcilaso to Góngora and beyond.

More in Time : A Tribute to Ted Kooser

Edited by Jessica Poli, Marco Abel, and Timothy Schaffert

More in Time is a celebration and tribute to Ted Kooser, two-time U.S. Poet Laureate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Presidential Professor of the University of Nebraska. Through personal reflections, essays, and creative works both inspired by and dedicated to Kooser, this collection shines a light on the many ways the midwestern poet has affected others as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend, as well as a fellow writer and observer-of-the-world. The creative responses included in this volume are reflective of the impact Kooser has had in his connections to other writers, while also revealing glimpses of his distinct way of seeing.

The New White Race : Settler Colonialism and the Press in French Algeria, 1860-1914

By Charlotte Ann Legg ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

The New White Race traces the development of the press in Algeria between 1860 and 1914, examining the particular role of journalists in shaping the power dynamics of settler colonialism. Constrained in different ways by the limitations imposed on free expression in a colonial context, diverse groups of European settlers, Algerian Muslims, and Algerian Jews nevertheless turned to the press to articulate their hopes and fears for the future of the land they inhabited and to imagine forms of community which would continue to influence political debates until the Algerian War. The frontiers of these imagined communities did not necessarily correlate with those of the nation—either French or Algerian—but framed processes of identification that were at once local, national, and transnational.

The New White Race explores these processes of cultural and political identification, highlighting the production practices, professional networks, and strategic-linguistic choices mobilized by journalists as they sought to influence the sentiments of their readers and the decisions of the French state. Announcing the creation of a “new white race” among the mixed European population of Algeria, settler journalists hoped to increase the autonomy of the settler colony without forgoing the protections afforded by their French rulers. Their ambivalent expressions of “French” belonging, however, reflected tensions among the colonizers; these tensions were ably exploited by those who sought to transform or contest French imperial rule.

Not a Big Deal : Narrating to Unsettle

By Paul Ardoin ; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Not a Big Deal asks how texts might work to unsettle readers at a moment when unwelcome information is rejected as fake news or rebutted with alternative facts. When readers already recognize “defamiliarizing texts” as a category, how might texts still work toward the goals of defamiliarization? When readers refuse to grapple with texts that might shock them or disrupt their extant views about politics, race, or even narrative itself, how can texts elicit real engagement?

This study draws from philosophy, narratology, social neuroscience, critical theory, and numerous other disciplines to read texts ranging from novels and short stories to graphic novels, films, and fiction broadcasted and podcasted—all of which enact curious strategies of disruption while insisting that they do no such thing.

Following a model traceable to Toni Morrison’s criticism and short fiction, texts by Kyle Baker, Scott Brown, Percival Everett, Daniel Handler, David Robert Mitchell, Jordan Peele, and Colson Whitehead suggest new strategies for unsettling the category-based perceptions behind what Everett calls “the insidious colonialist reader’s eye which infects America.” Not a Big Deal examines problems in our perception of the world and of texts and insists we do the same.

On the Sidelines : Gendered Neoliberalism and the American Female Sportscaster

By Guy Harrison ; Series: Sports, Media, and Society

When sports fans turn on the television or radio today, they undoubtedly find more women on the air than ever before. Nevertheless, women sportscasters are still subjected to gendered and racialized mistreatment in the workplace and online and are largely confined to anchor and sideline reporter positions in coverage of high-profile men’s sports. In On the Sidelines Guy Harrison weaves in-depth interviews with women sportscasters, focus groups with sports fans, and a collection of media products to argue that gendered neoliberalism—a cluster of exclusionary twenty-first-century feminisms—maintains this status quo.

Spinning a cohesive narrative, Harrison shows how sportscasting’s dependence on gendered neoliberalism broadly places the onus on women for their own success despite systemic sexism and racism. As a result, women in the industry are left to their own devices to navigate double standards, bias in hiring and development for certain on-air positions, harassment, and emotional labor. Through the lens of gendered neoliberalism, On the Sidelines examines each of these challenges and analyzes how they have been reshaped and maintained to construct a narrow portrait of the ideal neoliberal female sportscaster. Consequently, these challenges are taken for granted as “natural,” sustaining women’s marginalization in the sportscasting industry.

Pseudo-Memoirs : Life and Its Imitation in Modern Fiction

By Rochelle Tobias ; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Pseudo-Memoirs redefines the notion of fiction itself, a form that has all too often been understood in terms of its capacity to produce a seeming reality. Rochelle Tobias argues that the verisimilitude of the novel derives not from its object but from the subjectivity at its base. What generates the plausibility of fiction is not the referentiality of its depictions but the intentionality of consciousness.

Edmund Husserl developed the idea that consciousness is always intentional in the sense that it is directed outside itself toward something that it does not find so much as it constitutes as an object. Pseudo-memoirs reveal the full implications of this position in their double structure as the tale of their own telling or the fiction of life-writing. In so doing they reveal how the world of fiction is constructed, but more important they bring to the fore the idealist premises that fuel the novel and guarantee its truth, even when it remains an invention of the imagination.

Rochelle Tobias explores novels by Thomas Mann, Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and W. G. Sebald in conjunction with philosophical and theoretical texts by René Descartes, Husserl, Friedrich Nietzsche, György Łukács, Roland Barthes, and Maurice Blanchot.

Tenacious of Life : The Quadruped Essays of John James Audubon and John Bachman

By John James Audubon and John Bachman, Edited and with original commentary by Daniel Patterson and Eric Russell

Daniel Patterson and Eric Russell present a groundbreaking case for considering John James Audubon’s and John Bachman’s quadruped essays as worthy of literary analysis and redefine the role of Bachman, the perpetually overlooked coauthor of the essays. After completing The Birds of America (1826–38), Audubon began developing his work on the mammals. The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America volumes show an antebellum view of nature as fundamentally dynamic and simultaneously grotesque and awe-inspiring. The quadruped essays are rich with good stories about these mammals and the humans who observe, pursue, and admire them.

For help with the science and the essays, Audubon enlisted the Reverend John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina. While he has been acknowledged as coauthor of the essays, Bachman has received little attention as an American nature writer. While almost all works that describe the history of American nature writing include Audubon, Bachman shows up only in a subordinate clause or two. Tenacious of Life strives to restore Bachman’s status as an important American nature writer.

Patterson and Russell analyze the coauthorial dance between the voices of Audubon, an experienced naturalist telling adventurous hunting stories tinged often by sentiment, romanticism, and bombast, and of Bachman, the courteous gentleman naturalist, scientific detective, moralist, sometimes cruel experimenter, and humorist. Drawing on all the primary and secondary evidence, Patterson and Russell tell the story of the coauthors’ fascinating, conflicted relationship. This collection offers windows onto the early United States and much forgotten lore, often in the form of travel writing, natural history, and unique anecdotes, all told in the compelling voices of Antebellum America’s two leading naturalists.

Thinking About Good and Evil : Jewish Views from Antiquity to Modernity

By Rabbi Wayne Allen ; Series: JPS Essential Judaism

The most comprehensive book on the topic, Thinking about Good and Evil traces the most salient Jewish ideas about why innocent people seem to suffer, why evil individuals seem to prosper, and God’s role in such matters of (in)justice, from antiquity to the present.

Starting with the Bible and Apocrypha, Rabbi Wayne Allen takes us through the Talmud; medieval Jewish philosophers and Jewish mystical sources; the Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples; early modern thinkers such as Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Luzzatto; and, finally, modern thinkers such as Cohen, Buber, Kaplan, and Plaskow. Each chapter analyzes individual thinkers’ arguments and synthesizes their collective ideas on the nature of good and evil and questions of justice. Allen also exposes vastly divergent Jewish thinking about the Holocaust: traditionalist (e.g., Ehrenreich), revisionist (e.g., Rubenstein, Jonas), and deflective (e.g., Soloveitchik, Wiesel).

Rabbi Allen’s engaging, accessible volume illuminates well-known, obscure, and novel Jewish solutions to the problem of good and evil.

Transmovimientos : Latinx Queer Migrations, Bodies, and Spaces

Edited by Ellie D. Hernández, Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr., and Magda García

Within a trans-embodied framework, this anthology identifies transmovimientos as the creative force or social mechanism through which queer, trans, and gender nonconforming Latinx communities navigate their location and calibrate their consciousness. This anthology unveils a critical perspective with the emphasis on queer, trans, and gender nonconforming communities of immigrants and social dissidents who reflect on and write about diaspora and migratory movements while navigating geographical and embodied spaces across gendered and racialized contexts, all crucial elements of the trans-movements taking place in the United States.

This collection forms a nuanced conversation between scholarship and social activism that speaks in concrete ways about diasporic and migratory LGBTQ communities who suffer from immoral immigration policies and political discourses that produce untenable living situations. The focal point of analysis throughout Transmovimientos examines migratory movements and anti-immigrant sentiment, homophobia, and stigma toward people who are transgender, immigrants, and refugees. These deliberate consciousness-based expressions are designed to realign awareness about the body in transit and the diasporic experience of relocating and emerging into new possibilities.

Unholy Heart : New and Selected Poems

By Grace Bauer

Unholy Heart includes generous selections from each of Grace Bauer’s previous books of poetry, plus a sampling of new poems. Bauer has long been known for the wide range of both her subject matter and poetic styles, from the biblical persona poems of The Women at the Well, to the explorations of visual art in Beholding Eye, to the intersections of personal history and pop culture in Retreats and Recognitions and Nowhere All At Once, and to the postmodern fragmentations in MEAN/TIME. Along with these selections, Bauer incorporates her most elegiac work yet.


 A Warning for Fair Women : Adultery and Murder in Shakespeare’s Theater

Edited by Ann C. Christensen ; Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies

A Warning for Fair Women is a 1599 true-crime drama from the repertory of Shakespeare’s acting company. While important to literary scholars and theater historians, it is also readable, relevant, and stage-worthy today. Dramatizing the murder of London merchant George Saunders by his wife’s lover, and the trials and executions of the murderer and accomplices, it also sheds light on neighborhood and domestic life and crime and punishment.

This edition of A Warning for Fair Women is fully updated, featuring a lively and extensive introduction and covering topics from authorship and staging to the 2018 world revival of the play in the United States. It includes a section with discussion and research questions along with resources on topics raised by the play, from beauty and women’s friendship to the occult. Ann C. Christensen presents a freshly edited text for today’s readers, with in-depth explanatory notes, scene summaries, a gallery of period images, and full scholarly apparatus.

Willa Cather’s Pittsburgh

Edited by Timothy W. Bintrim, James A. Jaap, and Kimberly Vanderlaan ; Series: Volume 13, Cather Studies

Willa Cather wrote about the places she knew, including Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia. Often forgotten among these essential locations has been Pittsburgh. During the ten years Pittsburgh was her home (1896–1906), Cather worked as an editor, journalist, teacher, and freelance writer. She mixed with all sorts of people and formed friendships both ephemeral and lasting. She published extensively—and not just profiles and reviews but also a collection of poetry, April Twilights, and more than thirty short stories, including several collected in The Troll Garden that are now considered masterpieces: “A Death in the Desert,” “The Sculptor’s Funeral,” “A Wagner Matinee,” and “Paul’s Case.” During extended working vacations through 1916, she finished four novels in Pittsburgh.

Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives : The Poetry & Scholarship of Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead & Ruth Benedict

By A. Elisabeth Reichel : Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives re-examines the poetry and scholarship of three of the foremost figures in the twentieth-century history of U.S.-American anthropology: Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict. While they are widely renowned for their contributions to Franz Boas’s early twentieth-century school of cultural relativism, what is far less known is their shared interest in probing the representational potential of different media and forms of writing. This dimension of their work is manifest in Sapir’s critical writing on music and literature and Mead’s groundbreaking work with photography and film. Sapir, Mead, and Benedict together also wrote more than one thousand poems, which in turn negotiate their own media status and rivalry with other forms of representation.

A. Elisabeth Reichel presents the first sustained study of the published and unpublished poetry of Sapir, Mead, and Benedict, charting this largely unexplored body of work and relevant selections of the writers’ scholarship. In addition to its expansion of early twentieth-century literary canons, Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives contributes to current debates about the relations between different media, sign systems, and modes of sense perception in literature and other media. Reichel offers a unique contribution to the history of anthropology by synthesizing and applying insights from the history of writing, sound studies, and intermediality studies to poetry and scholarship produced by noted early twentieth-century U.S.-American cultural anthropologists.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in March and April 2021:

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Clackamas Chinook Performance Art : Verse Form Interpretations by Victoria Howard ; (Series: Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians)

Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Victoria Howard was born around 1865, a little more than ten years after the founding of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in western Oregon. Howardʼs maternal grandmother, Wagayuhlen Quiaquaty, was a successful and valued Clackamas shaman at Grand Ronde, and her maternal grandfather, Quiaquaty, was an elite Molalla chief. In the summer of 1929 the linguist Melville Jacobs, student of Franz Boas, requested to record Clackamas Chinook oral traditions with Howard, which she enthusiastically agreed to do. The result is an intricate and lively corpus of linguistic and ethnographic material, as well as rich performances of Clackamas literary heritage, as dictated by Howard and meticulously transcribed by Jacobs in his field notebooks. Ethnographical descriptions attest to the traditional lifestyle and environment in which Howard grew up, while fine details of cultural and historical events reveal the great consideration and devotion with which she recalled her past and that of her people.

Catharine Mason has edited twenty-five of Howard’s spoken-word performances into verse form entextualizations, along with the annotations provided by Jacobs in his publications of Howard’s corpus in the late 1950s. Mason pairs performances with biographical, family, and historical content that reflects Howardʼs ancestry, personal and social life, education, and worldview. Mason’s study reveals strong evidence of how the artist contemplated and internalized the complex meanings and everyday lessons of her literary heritage. 

Empire and Catastrophe : Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954 by Spencer D. Segalla ; (Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization)

Empire and Catastrophe examines natural and anthropogenic disasters during the years of decolonization in Algeria, Morocco, and France and explores how environmental catastrophes both shaped and were shaped by struggles over the dissolution of France’s empire in North Africa. Four disasters make up the core of the book: the 1954 earthquake in Algeria’s Chélif Valley, just weeks before the onset of the Algerian Revolution; a mass poisoning in Morocco in 1959 caused by toxic substances from an American military base; the 1959 Malpasset Dam collapse in Fréjus, France, which devastated the town’s Algerian immigrant community but which was blamed on Algerian sabotage; and the 1960 earthquake in Agadir, Morocco, which set off a public relations war between the United States, France, and the Soviet Union and which ignited a Moroccan national debate over modernity, identity, architecture, and urban planning.

Interrogating distinctions between agent and environment and between political and environmental violence through the lenses of state archives and through the remembered experiences and literary representations of disaster survivors, Spencer D. Segalla argues for the integration of environmental events into narratives of political and cultural decolonization.

A Grammar of Patwin by Lewis C. Lawyer ; (Series: Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas)

Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

A Native American language formerly spoken in hundreds of communities in the interior of California, Patwin (also known as Wintun Tʼewe) is now spoken by a small but growing number of language revitalizationists and their students. A Grammar of Patwin brings together two hundred years of word lists, notebooks, audio recordings, and manuscripts from archives across the United States and synthesizes this scattered collection into the first published description of the Patwin language. This book shines a light on the knowledge of past speakers and researchers with a clear and well-organized description supported by ample archival evidence.

Lewis C. Lawyer addresses the full range of grammatical structure with chapters on phonetics, phonology, nominals, nominal modifiers, spatial terms, verbs, and clauses. At every level of grammatical structure there is notable variation between dialects, and this variation is painstakingly described. An introductory chapter situates the language geographically and historically and also gives a detailed account of previous work on the language and of the archival materials on which the study is based. Throughout the process of writing this book, Lawyer remained in contact with Patwin communities and individuals, who helped to ensure that the content is appropriate from a cultural perspective.

The Leave-Takers : A Novel by Steven Wingate ; (Series: Flyover Fiction)

Four years ago Jacob Nassedrine from Boston and Laynie Jackman from Los Angeles came within an inch of getting married before things blew apart. They never expected that fate would hurl them back together in a windblown, isolated house on the plains of South Dakota, but that’s where they end up fighting for the future of their relationship—and for their own emotional survival—amid a minefield of ghosts.

After suffering the loss of both their families, they must unite to face the great crises of their lives: grief and guilt over their dead loved ones, low-level but persistent addictions to prescription drugs, the specter of familial violence, and recurrent miscarriages. Together they battle their way through the wilderness of their demons to forge sustainable identities that allow them to create a family.

The Leave-Takers is a journey through personal darkness to mutually shared light, set against a starkly beautiful backdrop that leaves nowhere to hide.



Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been : New and Collected Poems, 1986-2020 by Hilda Raz

Hilda Raz has an ability “to tell something every day and make it tough,” says John Kinsella in his introduction. Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been shows readers the evolution of a powerful poet who is also one of the foremost literary editors in the country. Bringing together all seven of her poetry collections, a long out-of-print early chapbook, and her newest work, this collection delights readers with its empathetic and incisive look at the inner and outer lives we lead and the complexities that come with being human.

Showcasing the work of a great American voice, Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been at last allows us to see the full scope and range of Raz’s work. 









Manifest Destiny 2.0 : Genre Trouble in Game Worlds by Sara Humphreys ; (Series: Postwestern Horizons)

At a time when print and film have shown the classic Western and noir genres to be racist, heteronormative, and neocolonial, Sara Humphreys’s Manifest Destiny 2.0 asks why these genres endure so prolifically in the video game market. While video games provide a radically new and exciting medium for storytelling, most game narratives do not offer fresh ways of understanding the world.

Video games with complex storylines are based on enduring American literary genres that disseminate problematic ideologies, quelling cultural anxieties over economic, racial, and gender inequality through the institutional acceptance and performance of Anglo cultural, racial, and economic superiority. Although game critics and scholars recognize how genres structure games and gameplay, the concept of genre continues to be viewed as a largely invisible power, subordinate to the computational processes of programming, graphics, and the making of a multimillion-dollar best seller.

Investigating the social and cultural implications of the Western and noir genres in video games through two case studies—the best-selling games Red Dead Redemption (2010) and L.A. Noire (2011)—Humphreys demonstrates how the frontier myth continues to circulate exceptionalist versions of the United States. Video games spread the neoliberal and neocolonial ideologies of the genres even as they create a new form of performative literacy that intensifies the genres well beyond their originating historical contexts. Manifest Destiny 2.0 joins the growing body of scholarship dedicated to the historical, theoretical, critical, and cultural analysis of video games.

Optional-Narrator Theory : Principles, Perspectives, Proposals Edited by Sylvie Patron ; (Series: Frontiers of Narrative)

Twentieth-century narratology fostered the assumption, which distinguishes narratology from previous narrative theories, that all narratives have a narrator. Since the first formulations of this assumption, however, voices have come forward to denounce oversimplifications and dangerous confusions of issues. Optional-Narrator Theory is the first collection of essays to focus exclusively on the narrator from the perspective of optional-narrator theories.

Sylvie Patron is a prominent advocate of optional-narrator theories, and her collection boasts essays by many prominent scholars—including Jonathan Culler and John Brenkman—and covers a breadth of genres, from biblical narrative to poetry to comics. This volume bolsters the dialogue among optional-narrator and pan-narrator theorists across multiple fields of research. These essays make a strong intervention in narratology, pushing back against the widespread belief among narrative theorists in general and theorists of the novel in particular that the presence of a fictional narrator is a defining feature of fictional narratives. This topic is an important one for narrative theory and thus also for literary practice.

Optional-Narrator Theory advances a range of arguments for dispensing with the narrator, except when it can be said that the author actually “created” a fictional narrator.

A Place More Void Edited by Paul Kingsbury and Anna J. Secor ; (Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth)

A Place More Void takes its name from a scene in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, wherein an elderly soothsayer has a final chance to warn Caesar about the Ides of March. Worried that he won’t be able to deliver his message because of the crowded alleyways, the soothsayer devises a plan to find and intercept Caesar in “a place more void.” It is precisely such an elusive place that this volume makes space for by theorizing and empirically exploring the many yet widely neglected ways in which the void permeates geographical thinking.

This collection presents geography’s most in-depth and sustained engagements with the void to date, demonstrating the extent to which related themes such as gaps, cracks, lacks, and emptiness perforate geography’s fundamental concepts, practices, and passions. Arranged in four parts around the themes of Holes, Absences, Edges, and Voids, the contributions demonstrate the fecundity of the void for thinking across a wide range of phenomena: from archives to alien abductions, caves to cryptids, and vortexes to vanishing points.

A Place More Void gathers established and emerging scholars who engage a wide range of geographical issues and who express themselves not only through archival, literary, and socio-scientific investigations, but also through social and spatial theory, political manifesto, poetry, and performance art.

The Rinehart Frames by Cheswayo Mphanza ; (Series: African Poetry Book)

The poems in The Rinehart Frames seek to exhaust the labyrinths of ekphrasis. By juxtaposing the character of Rinehart from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man with the film 24 Frames by Abbas Kiarostami, the poems leap into secondary histories, spaces, and languages that encompass a collective yet varied consciousness of being.

Cheswayo Mphanza’s collection questions the boundaries of diaspora and narrative through a tethering of voices and forms that infringe on monolithic categorizations of Blackness and what can be intersected with it. The poems continue the conversations of the infinite possibilities of the imagination to dabble in, with, and out of history.









Your Crib, My Qibla by Saddiq Dzukogi ; (Series: African Poetry Book)

Your Crib, My Qibla interrogates loss, the death of a child, and a father’s pursuit of language able to articulate grief. In these poems, the language of memory functions as a space of mourning, connecting the dead with the world of the living. Culminating in an imagined dialogue between the father and his deceased daughter in the intricate space of the family, Your Crib, My Qibla explores grief, the fleeting nature of healing, and the constant obsession of memory as a language to reach the dead.















**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in January and February 2021:

Alliance Rises in the West : Labor, Race, and Solidarity in Industrial California by Charlotte K. Sunseri. (Series: Historical Archaeology of the American West)

Alliance Rises in the West documents the experiences of a company town at a critical moment in the rise of working-class consciousness in nineteenth-century California. Through archaeological research Charlotte K. Sunseri overcomes the silence of the documentary record to re-examine the mining frontier at Mono Mills, a community of multiple ethnic and racial groups, predominantly Chinese immigrants and Kudzadika Paiutes. The rise of political, economic, and social alliances among workers symbolized solidarity and provided opportunity to effect change in this setting of unequal power. Urban planning and neighborhood layout depict company structures of control and surveillance, while household archaeology from ethnically distinct neighborhoods speaks to lived experiences and how working-class identities emerged to crosscut ethnic and racial divides imposed in capitalism.

Mono Mills’s Paiute and Chinese communities experienced exclusionary legislation and brutal treatment on the basis of racial prejudice but lived alongside and built community with European American laborers, managers, and merchants who were also on an economic periphery. These experiences in Mono Mills and other nineteenth-century company towns did not occur in a vacuum; capitalists’ control and ideologies of race and class all doubled down as American workers used collective action to change the rules of the system. In this rare, in-depth perspective, close consideration of the ghost towns that dot the landscape of the West shows the haunting elements of capitalism and racial structures that characterized Gilded Age society and whose legacies endure to this day.

Hybrid Anxieties : Queering the French-Algerian War and Its Postcolonial Legacies by C. L. Quinan.(Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

Situated at the crossroads of queer theory and postcolonial studies, Hybrid Anxieties analyzes the intertwined and composite aspects of identities and textual forms in the wake of the French-Algerian War (1954–1962). C. L. Quinan argues that the war precipitated a dynamic in which a contestation of hegemonic masculinity occurred alongside a production of queer modes of subjectivity, embodiment, and memory that subvert norms. Innovations in literature and cinema were also directly impacted by the long and difficult process of decolonization, as the war provoked a rethinking of politics and aesthetics. The novels, films, and poetry analyzed in Hybrid Anxieties trace this imbrication of content and form, demonstrating how a postwar fracturing had both salutary and injurious effects, not only on bodies and psyches but also on artistic forms.

Adopting a queer postcolonial perspective, Hybrid Anxieties adds a new impulse to the question of how to rethink hegemonic notions of gender, sexuality, and nationality, thereby opening up new spaces for considering the redemptive and productive possibilities of negotiating life in a postcolonial context. Without losing sight of the trauma of this particularly violent chapter in history, Hybrid Anxieties proposes a new kind of hybridity that, however anxious and anticipatory, emphasizes the productive forces of a queer desire to deconstruct teleological relationships between past, present, and future.

Misanthropoetics : Social Flight and Literary Form in Early Modern England by Robert Darcy.

Misanthropoetics explores efforts by Renaissance writers to represent social flight and withdrawal as a fictional escape from the incongruous demands of culture. Through the invented term of its title, this book investigates the literary misanthrope in a number of key examples from Shakespeare, Jonson, Spenser, and the satirical milieu of Marston to exemplify the seemingly unresolvable paradoxes of social life.

In Shakespeare’s England a burgeoning urban population and the codification of social controls drove a new imaginary of revolt and flight in the figure of the literary misanthrope. This figure of disillusionment became an experiment in protesting absurd social demands, pitting friendship and family against prudent economies, testimonies of durable love against erosions of historical time, and stable categories of gender against the breakdown and promiscuity of language.

Misanthropoetics chronicles the period’s own excoriating critique of the illusion of resolution fostered within a social world beleaguered by myriad pressures and demands. This study interrogates form as a means not toward order but toward the impasse of irresolution, to detecting and declaring the social function of life as inherently incongruous. Robert Darcy applies questions of phenomenology and psychoanalysis, deconstruction and chaos theory to observe how the great deployers of literary form lost confidence that it could adhere to clear and stable rules of engagement, even as they tried desperately to shape and preserve it.

Telltale Women : Chronicling Gender in Early Modern Historiography by Allison Machlis Meyer. (Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

Telltale Women fundamentally reimagines the relationship between the history play and its source material as an intertextual one, presenting evidence for a new narrative about how—and why—these genres disparately chronicle the histories of royal women. Allison Machlis Meyer challenges established perceptions of source study, historiography, and the staging of gender politics in well-known drama by arguing that chronicles and political histories frequently value women’s political interventions and use narrative techniques to invest their voices with authority. Dramatists who used these sources for their history plays thus encountered a historical record that offered surprisingly ample precedents for depicting women’s perspectives and political influence as legitimate, and writers for the commercial theater grappled with such precedents by reshaping source material to create stage representations of royal women that condemned queenship and female power.

By tracing how the sanctioning of women’s political participation changes from the narrative page to the dramatic stage, Meyer demonstrates that gender politics in both canonical and noncanonical history plays emerge from playwrights’ intertextual engagements with a rich alternative view of women in the narrative historiography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

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The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December 2020:

Animated Lands : Studies in Territoriology by Andrea Mubi Brighenti and Mattias Karrholm (Series: Cultural Geographies ; Rewriting the Earth)

In Animated Lands Andrea Mubi Brighenti and Mattias Kärrholm focus on territory as a living phenomenon—and territoriality as an active and constantly reshaping force. They explore the complexity of territorial production through a series of parallel investigations into fundamental territorial themes, such as rhythm, synchronization, melody, morphogenesis, and animism.

The notion of territory is excavated through case studies including the analysis of urban playgrounds, homemaking, the transformations of urban walls, and the stabilization of peculiar building types such as the house-museum. These empirical examples span such cities as Ahmedabad, Amsterdam, London, and Rome. Animated Lands provides a broad introduction to what a theory of territories could be and how it could help to advance sociospatial studies.

Beyond Blue Skies : The Rocket Plant Programs That Led to the Space Age by Chris Petty (Series: Outward Odyssey:A People’s History of Spaceflight)

In 1945 some experts still considered the so-called sound barrier an impenetrable wall, while winged rocket planes remained largely relegated to science fiction. But soon a series of unique rocket-powered research aircraft and the dedicated individuals who built, maintained, and flew them began to push the boundaries of flight in aviation’s quest to move ever higher, ever faster, toward the unknown. Beyond Blue Skies examines the thirty-year period after World War II during which aviation experienced an unprecedented era of progress that led the United States to the boundaries of outer space.

Between 1946 and 1975, an ancient dry lakebed in California’s High Desert played host to a series of rocket-powered research aircraft built to investigate the outer reaches of flight. The western Mojave’s Rogers Dry Lake became home to Edwards Air Force Base, NASA’s Flight Research Center, and an elite cadre of test pilots. Although one of them—Chuck Yeager—would rank among the most famous names in history, most who flew there during those years played their parts away from public view. The risks they routinely accepted were every bit as real as those facing NASA’s astronauts, but no magazine stories or free Corvettes awaited them—just long days in a close-knit community in the High Desert.

The role of not only the test pilots but the engineers, aerodynamicists, and support staff in making supersonic flight possible has been widely overlooked. Beyond Blue Skies charts the triumphs and tragedies of the rocket-plane era and the unsung efforts of the men and women who made amazing achievements possible.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884-1886, Volume I Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias (Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James)Recipient of the Approved Edition seal from the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions
 
This volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884–1886 includes 179 letters, 94 published for the first time, written between November 11, 1884, and December 21, 1885. The letters mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships old and new, and maximize his income. James details work on midcareer novels The Bostonians and The Princess Casamassima as well as on tales that would help to define his career. He reveals his close acquaintance with British politics and politicians. This volume opens with Alice James’s arrival in England and concludes with Henry James’s plans to leave his flat in Piccadilly for his new address in De Vere Gardens, Kensington.

A Horse’s Tale by Mark Twain ; Edited and with an introduction by Charles C. Bradshaw. (Series: The Papers of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody)

At the turn of the twentieth century Minnie Maddern Fiske, a New York actress, socialite, and animal rights activist, wrote to Mark Twain with an unusual request: for Twain to write about the evils of bullfighting equal to that of his anti-vivisectionist story A Dog’s Tale. Twain responded with A Horse’s Tale, a comic animal tale that doubled as a frontier adventure and political diatribe.

A Horse’s Tale concerns Soldier Boy, Buffalo Bill Cody’s favorite horse, as the protagonist and sometime narrator at a fictional frontier outpost with the U.S. Seventh Cavalry. When the general’s orphaned niece arrives, Buffalo Bill takes her under his wing and ultimately lends her Soldier Boy so that they may seek adventure together. Twain uses the friendship between the girl and the horse as the basis for his eventual indictment of the barbarism of Spanish bullfighting. Twain’s novella is unusual for its complex tone—combining a comic children’s story and a dark portrait of animal cruelty. Including the themes of transatlantic relations and frontier culture, Twain offers a fresh look into the world of Buffalo Bill Cody from the perspective of one of America’s most beloved authors.

First published in 1906 in Harper’s Monthly and as a single volume the following year, A Horse’s Tale never again appeared in print except in anthologies of Twain’s work. This edition includes the full text of Twain’s original story, an introduction that situates the work in historical and biographical context, thorough annotations, and the addition of significant archival material related to Twain, Cody, and Fiske.

Jewish Bible Translations : Personalities, Passions, Politics, Progress by Leonard Greenspoon

Jewish Bible Translations is the first book to examine Jewish Bible translations from the third century BCE to our day. It is an overdue corrective of an important story that has been regularly omitted or downgraded in other histories of Bible translation.

Examining a wide range of translations over twenty-four centuries, Leonard Greenspoon delves into the historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious contexts of versions in eleven languages: Arabic, Aramaic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish. He profiles many Jewish translators, among them Buber, Hirsch, Kaplan, Leeser, Luzzatto, Mendelssohn, Orlinsky, and Saadiah Gaon, framing their aspirations within the Jewish and larger milieus in which they worked.

Greenspoon differentiates their principles, styles, and techniques—for example, their choice to emphasize either literal reflections of the Hebrew or distinctive elements of the vernacular language—and their underlying rationales. As he highlights distinctive features of Jewish Bible translations, he offers new insights regarding their shared characteristics and their limits. Additionally, Greenspoon shows how profoundly Jewish translators and interpreters influenced the style and diction of the King James Bible.

Accessible and authoritative for all from beginners to scholars, Jewish Bible Translations enables readers to make their own informed evaluations of individual translations and to holistically assess Bible translation within Judaism.

Love, Power, and Gender in Seventeenth-Century French Fairy Tales by Bronwyn Reddan (Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

Love is a key ingredient in the stereotypical fairy-tale ending in which everyone lives happily ever after. This romantic formula continues to influence contemporary ideas about love and marriage, but it ignores the history of love as an emotion that shapes and is shaped by hierarchies of power including gender, class, education, and social status. This interdisciplinary study questions the idealization of love as the ultimate happy ending by showing how the conteuses, the women writers who dominated the first French fairy-tale vogue in the 1690s, used the fairy-tale genre to critique the power dynamics of courtship and marriage. Their tales do not sit comfortably in the fairy-tale canon as they explore the good, the bad, and the ugly effects of love and marriage on the lives of their heroines.

Bronwyn Reddan argues that the conteuses’ scripts for love emphasize the importance of gender in determining the “right” way to love in seventeenth-century France. Their version of fairy-tale love is historical and contingent rather than universal and timeless. This conversation about love compels revision of the happily-ever-after narrative and offers incisive commentary on the gendered scripts for the performance of love in courtship and marriage in seventeenth-century France.

Maria Czaplicka : Gender, Shamanism, Race by Grazyna Kubica ; Translated by Ben Koschalka (Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)

This biography of the Polish British anthropologist Maria Czaplicka (1884–1921) is also a cultural study of the dynamics of the anthropological collective presented from a researcher-centric perspective. Czaplicka, together with Bronisław Malinowski, studied anthropology in London and later at Oxford, then she headed the Yenisei Expedition to Siberia (191415) and was the first female lecturer of anthropology at Oxford. She was an engaged feminist and an expert on political issues in Northern Asia and Eastern Europe. But this remarkable woman’s career was cut short by suicide. Like many women anthropologists of the time, Czaplicka journeyed through various academic institutions, and her legacy has been dispersed and her field materials lost.

Grażyna Kubica covers the major events in Czaplicka’s life and provides contextual knowledge about the intellectual formation in which Czaplicka grew up, including the Warsaw radical intelligentsia and the contemporary anthropology of which she became a part. Kubica also presents a critical analysis of Czaplicka’s scientific and literary works, related to the issues of gender, shamanism, and race. Kubica shows how Czaplicka’s sense of agency and subjectivity enriched and shaped the practice of anthropology and sheds light on how scientific knowledge arises and is produced.

My Omaha Obsession : Searching for the City by Miss Cassette

My Omaha Obsession takes the reader on an idiosyncratic tour through some of Omaha’s neighborhoods, buildings, architecture, and people, celebrating the city’s unusual history. Rather than covering the city’s best-known sites, Miss Cassette is irresistibly drawn to strange little buildings and glorious large homes that don’t exist anymore as well as to stories of Harkert’s Holsum Hamburgers and the Twenties Club.

Piecing together the records of buildings and homes and everything interesting that came after, Miss Cassette shares her observations of the property and its significance to Omaha. She scrutinizes land deeds, insurance maps, tax records, and old newspaper articles to uncover a property’s singular story. Through conversations with fellow detectives and history enthusiasts, she guides readers along her path of hunches, personal interests, mishaps, and more.

As a longtime resident of Omaha, Miss Cassette is informed by memories of her youth combined with an enduring curiosity about the city’s offbeat relics and remains. Part memoir and part research guide with a healthy dose of colorful wandering, My Omaha Obsession celebrates the historic built environment and searches for the people who shaped early Omaha.

Never Caught Twice : Horse Stealing in Western Nebraska, 1850-1890 by Matthew S. Luckett

Never Caught Twice presents the untold history of horse raiding and stealing on the Great Plains of western Nebraska. By investigating horse stealing by and from four Plains groups—American Indians, the U.S. Army, ranchers and cowboys, and farmers—Matthew S. Luckett clarifies a widely misunderstood crime in Western mythology and shows that horse stealing transformed plains culture and settlement in fundamental and surprising ways.

From Lakota and Cheyenne horse raids to rustling gangs in the Sandhills, horse theft was widespread and devastating across the region. The horse’s critical importance in both Native and white societies meant that horse stealing destabilized communities and jeopardized the peace throughout the plains, instigating massacres and murders and causing people to act furiously in defense of their most expensive, most important, and most beloved property. But as it became increasingly clear that no one legal or military institution could fully control it, would-be victims desperately sought a solution that would spare their farms and families from the calamitous loss of a horse. For some, that solution was violence. Never Caught Twice shows how the story of horse stealing across western Nebraska and the Great Plains was in many ways the story of the old West itself.

Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors by Denise Low and Ramon Powers

Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors presents the images of Native warriors—Wild Hog, Porcupine, and Left Hand, as well as possibly Noisy Walker (or Old Man), Old Crow, Blacksmith, and Tangled Hair—as they awaited probable execution in the Dodge City jail in 1879. When Sheriff Bat Masterson provided drawing materials, the men created war books that were coded to avoid confrontation with white authorities and to narrate survival from a Northern Cheyenne point of view. The prisoners used the ledger-art notebooks to maintain their cultural practices during incarceration and as gifts and for barter with whites in the prison where they struggled to survive.

The ledger-art notebooks present evidence of spiritual practice and include images of contemporaneous animals of the region, hunting, courtship, dance, social groupings, and a few war-related scenes. Denise Low and Ramon Powers include biographical materials from the imprisonment and subsequent release, which extend the historical arc of Northern Cheyenne heroes of the Plains Indian Wars into reservation times. Sources include selected ledger drawings, army reports, letters, newspapers, and interviews with some of the Northern Cheyenne men and their descendants. Accounts from a firsthand witness of the drawings and composition of the ledgers themselves give further information about Native perspectives on the conflicted history of the North American West in the nineteenth century and beyond.

This group of artists jailed after the tragedy of the Fort Robinson Breakout have left a legacy of courage and powerful art.

Pacifist Prophet : Paunhank and the Quest for Peace in Early America by Richard W. Pointer

Pacifist Prophet recounts the untold history of peaceable Native Americans in the eighteenth century, as explored through the world of Papunhank (ca. 1705–75), a Munsee and Moravian prophet, preacher, reformer, and diplomat. Papunhank’s life was dominated by a search for a peaceful homeland in Pennsylvania and the Ohio country amid the upheavals of the era between the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution.

His efforts paralleled other Indian quests for autonomy but with a crucial twist: he was a pacifist committed to using only nonviolent means. Such an approach countered the messages of other Native prophets and ran against the tide in an early American world increasingly wrecked with violence, racial hatred, and political turmoil. Nevertheless, Papunhank was not alone. He followed and contributed to a longer and wider indigenous peace tradition.

Richard W. Pointer shows how Papunhank pushed beyond the pragmatic pacifism of other Indians and developed from indigenous and Christian influences a principled pacifism that became the driving force of his life and leadership. Hundreds of Native people embraced his call to be “a great Lover of Peace” in their quests for home. Against formidable odds, Papunhank’s prophetic message spoke boldly to Euro-American and Native centers of power and kept many Indians alive during a time when their very survival was constantly threatened. Papunhank’s story sheds critical new light on the responses of some Munsees, Delawares, Mahicans, Nanticokes, and Conoys for whom the “way of war” was no way at all.

Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens : Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness by Devon A. Mihesuah

2020 Gourmand World Cookbook Award

Winner of the Gourmand International World Cookbook Award,Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens is back! Featuring an expanded array of tempting recipes of indigenous ingredients and practical advice about health, fitness, and becoming involved in the burgeoning indigenous food sovereignty movement, the acclaimed Choctaw author and scholar Devon A. Mihesuah draws on the rich indigenous heritages of this continent to offer a helpful guide to a healthier life.

Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens features pointed discussions about the causes of the generally poor state of indigenous health today. Diminished health, Mihesuah contends, is a pervasive consequence of colonialism, but by advocating for political, social, economic, and environmental changes, traditional food systems and activities can be reclaimed and made relevant for a healthier lifestyle today.

New recipes feature pawpaw sorbet, dandelion salad, lima bean hummus, cranberry pie with cornmeal crust, grape dumplings, green chile and turkey posole, and blue corn pancakes, among other dishes. Savory, natural, and steeped in the Native traditions of this land, these recipes are sure to delight and satisfy.

This new edition is revised, updated, and contains new information, new chapters, and an extensive curriculum guide that includes objectives, resources, study questions, assignments, and activities for teachers, librarians, food sovereignty activists, and anyone wanting to know more about indigenous foodways.

Who Invented Oscar Wilde? : The Photograph at the Center of Modern American Copyright by David Newhoff

In early 1882, before young Oscar Wilde embarked on his lecture tour across America, he posed for publicity photos taken by a famously eccentric New York photographer named Napoleon Sarony. Few would guess that one of those photographs would become the subject of the Supreme Court case that challenged copyright protection for all photography—a constitutional question that asked how a machine-made image could possibly be a work of human creativity.

Who Invented Oscar Wilde? is a story about the nature of authorship and the “convenient fiction” we call copyright. While a seemingly obscure topic, copyright has been a hotly contested issue almost since the day the internet became publicly accessible. The presumed obsolescence of authorial rights in this age of abundant access has fueled a debate that reaches far beyond the question of compensation for authors of works. Much of the literature on the subject is either highly academic, highly critical of copyright, or both.

With a light and balanced touch, David Newhoff makes a case for intellectual property law, tracing the concept of authorship from copyright’s ancient beginnings to its adoption in American culture to its eventual confrontation with photography and its relevance in the digital age. Newhoff tells a little-known story that will appeal to a broad spectrum of interests while making an argument that copyright is an essential ingredient to upholding the principles on which liberal democracy is founded.


  **All book covers and synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October 2020:

Anything Will Be Easy After This : A Western Identity Crisis Bethany Maile (Series: American Lives)

Bethany Maile had a mythological American West in mind when she returned to Idaho after dropping out of college in Boston, only to find a farm-town-turned-suburb instead of the Wild West wonderland she remembered. Haunted by what she had so completely misremembered, Maile resolved to investigate her attachment to the western myth, however flawed.

Deciding to engage in a variety of “western” events, Maile trailed rodeo queens, bid on cattle, fired .22s at the gun range, and searched out wild horses. With lively reportage and a sharp wit, she recounts her efforts to understand how the western myth is outdated yet persistent while ultimately exploring the need for story and the risks inherent to that need. Anything Will Be Easy after This traces Maile’s evolution from a girl suckered by a busted-down story to a more knowing woman who discovers a new narrative that enchants without deluding.

Beckoning Frontiers : The Memoir of a Wyoming Entrepreneur George W. T. Beck, Edited and with an introduction by Lynn J. Houze and Jeremy M. Johnston (Series: The Papers of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody)

George W. T. Beck, an influential rancher and entrepreneur in the American West, collaborated with William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody to establish the town of Cody, Wyoming, in the 1890s. He advanced his financial investments in Wyoming through his numerous personal and professional contacts with various eastern investors and politicians in Washington DC. Beck’s family—his father a Kentucky senator and his mother a grandniece of George Washington—and his adventures in the American West resulted in personal associates who ranged from western legends Buffalo Bill, Jesse James, and Calamity Jane to wealthy American elites such as George and Phoebe Hearst and Theodore Roosevelt.

This definitive edition of Beck’s memoir provides a glimpse of early life in Wyoming, offering readers a rare perspective on how community boosters cooperated with political leaders and wealthy financiers. Beck’s memoir, introduced and annotated by Lynn J. Houze and Jeremy M. Johnston, offers a unique and sometimes amusing view of financial dealings in eastern boardrooms, as well as stories of Beck’s adventures with Buffalo Bill in Wyoming. Beck’s memoir demonstrates not only his interest in developing the West but also his humor and his willingness to collaborate with a variety of people.

Foxlogic, Fireweed Jennifer K. Sweeney (Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry)

Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Jennifer K. Sweeney’s Foxlogic, Fireweed follows a lyrical sequence of five physical and emotional terrains—floodplain, coast, desert, suburbia, and mesa—braiding themes of nature, domesticity, isolation, and human relationships. These are poems of the earth’s wild heart, its searing mysteries, its hollows, and its species, poems of the complex domestic space, of before and after motherhood, gun terror, the election, of dislocation and home, and of how we circle toward and away from our centers. Sweeney is not afraid to take up the domestic and inner lives of women, a nuanced relationship with the natural world that feels female or even maternal, or a duty to keeping alive poetry’s big questions of transcendence, revelation, awe, and deep presence in the ordinary.

If the Body Allows It Megan Cummins (Series: Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, If the Body Allows It is divided into six parts and framed by the story of Marie, a woman in her thirties living in Newark, New Jersey. Suffering from a chronic autoimmune illness, she also struggles with guilt over the overdose and death of her father, whom she feels she betrayed at the end of his life. The stories within the frame—about failed marriages, places of isolation and protection, teenage mistakes, and forging a life in the aftermath—are the stories the narrator writes after she meets and falls in love with a man whose grief mirrors her own. If the Body Allows It explores illness and its aftermath, guilt and addiction, and the relationships the characters form after they’ve lost everyone else, including themselves.

Introspective, devastating, and funny, If the Body Allows It grapples with the idea that life is always on the brink of never being the same again.

Knowing Native Arts Nancy Marie Mithlo

Knowing Native Arts brings Nancy Marie Mithlo’s Native insider perspective to understanding the significance of Indigenous arts in national and global milieus. These musings, written from the perspective of a senior academic and curator traversing a dynamic and at turns fraught era of Native self-determination, are a critical appraisal of a system that is often broken for Native peoples seeking equity in the arts.

Mithlo addresses crucial issues, such as the professionalization of Native arts scholarship, disparities in philanthropy and training, ethnic fraud, and the receptive scope of Native arts in new global and digital realms. This contribution to the field of fine arts broadens the scope of discussions and offers insights that are often excluded from contemporary appraisals.

Lonesome Dreamer : the Life of John G. Neihardt Timothy G. Anderson

American poet and writer John G. Neihardt (1881–1973) possessed an inquiring and spiritual mind. Those qualities came to the fore in Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Lakota holy man Black Elk, for which he is best remembered. Over the course of thirty years he also wrote a five-volume epic poem, A Cycle of the West, which told the story of the settling of the American West. 

Despite Neihardt’s widespread name recognition, the success of Black Elk Speaks, and a list of critically acclaimed books and poems, Lonesome Dreamer is the first biography of Neihardt in nearly forty years. Timothy G. Anderson describes Neihardt’s life from his humble beginnings in Illinois, to being named poet laureate of Nebraska in 1921, to his appearance on the Dick Cavett Show at the age of ninety. Anderson also delves into Neihardt’s success as a poet far from the East Coast literary establishment, his resistance to modernist movements in poetry, and his wish to understand and describe the experience of the Plains Indians. Offering insight into both his personal and his literary life, this biography reaffirms Neihardt’s place in American literary history, his successes and failures, and his unbreakable spirit.

Nebraska : Poems Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is not a native Nebraskan. Born in Ghana, he later moved to Jamaica, where he spent most of his childhood and early adulthood. In 1992 he relocated to the United States and eventually found himself an American living in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In Nebraska, this beautiful and evocative collection of poems, Dawes explores a theme constant in his work—the intersection of memory, home, and artistic invention. The poems, set against the backdrop of Nebraska’s discrete cycle of seasons, are meditative even as they search for a sense of place in a new landscape. While he shovels snow or walks in the bitter cold to his car, he is engulfed with memories of Kingston, yet when he travels, he finds himself longing for the open space of the plains and the first snowfall. With a strong sense of place and haunting memories, Dawes grapples with life in Nebraska as a transplant.

Nebraska Isolation & Quarantine Manual Edited by Theodore J. Cieslak, Mark G. Kortepeter, Christopher J. Kratochvil, and James V. Lawler

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has gained international recognition for its expertise in the control and management of highly infectious diseases, with a good deal of public attention given to its work during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in west Africa and now in 2020 with its biocontainment and treatment of more than a dozen cruise ship evacuees who were exposed to the coronavirus. The Nebraska Isolation and Quarantine Manual is a practical guide for local public health officials, emergency management personnel, and health care providers looking to implement evidence-based best practices in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.  

Nebraska’s Bucks & Bulls : the Greatest Stories of Hunting Whitetail, Mule Deer, and Elk in the Cornhusker State Joel W. Helmer

Eclipsing Memorial Stadium on a Husker football game day, deer season is arguably the largest single sporting event of the year in Nebraska, with more than one hundred thousand hunters going afield with the hopes of tagging a trophy buck or bull.

Nebraska’s Bucks and Bulls tells the stories and shares the photographs of the greatest whitetail, mule deer, and elk shot in Nebraska. Collected through firsthand interviews with the hunters, these personal hunting stories span the decades from the mid-1940s through the 2010s. Each story shares the excitement and adventure of the hunt while weaving in Nebraska history, ecology, and geography. Photographs of the trophy animals showcase not only the quality and variety of big-game hunting in Nebraska but also the changes in hunting clothes, gear, guns, and vehicles through the state’s history.

Recounted by Joel W. Helmer, an avid hunter and official measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club, which created the scoring system for measuring North American big-game animals, each chapter tells the story of a buck or bull certified through official state or national records books. Nebraska’s Bucks and Bulls has finally gathered the state’s greatest hunting tales in one place.

Nepantla Squared : Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift Linda Heidenreich (Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

Nepantla Squared maps the lives of two transgender mestiz@s, one during the turn of the twentieth century and one during the turn of the twenty-first century, to chart the ways race, gender, sex, ethnicity, and capital function differently in different times. To address the erasure of transgender mestiz@ realities from history, Linda Heidenreich employs an intersectional analysis that critiques monopoly and global capitalism. Heidenreich builds on the work of Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of nepantleras, those who could live between and embody more than one culture, to coin the term nepantla², marking times of capitalist transition where gender was also in motion. Transgender mestiz@s, too, embodied that movement.

Heidenreich insists on a careful examination of the multiple in-between spaces that construct lives between cultures and genders during in-between times of shifting empire and capital. In so doing, they offer an important discussion of race, class, nation, and citizenship centered on transgender bodies of color that challenges readers to rethink the way they understand the gendered social and economic challenges of today.

Sky Songs : Meditations on Loving a Broken World Jennifer Sinor (Series: American Lives)

Sky Songs is a collection of essays that takes inspiration from the ancient seabed in which Jennifer Sinor lives, an elemental landscape that reminds her that our lives are shaped by all that has passed through. Beginning with the conception of her first son, which coincided with the tragic death of her uncle on an Alaskan river, and ending a decade later in the Himalayan home of the Dalai Lama, Sinor offers a lyric exploration of language, love, and the promise inherent in the stories we tell: to remember.

In these essays, Sinor takes us through the mountains, deserts, and rivers of the West and along with her on her travels to India. Whether rooted in the dailiness of raising children or practicing yoga, Sinor searches for the places where grace resides. The essays often weave several narrative threads together in the search for relationship and connection. A mother, writer, teacher, and yoga instructor, Sinor ultimately tackles the most difficult question: how to live in a broken world filled with both suffering and grace.

Some Are Always Hungry Jihyun Yun (Series: Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry)

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Some Are Always Hungry chronicles a family’s wartime survival, immigration, and heirloom trauma through the lens of food, or the lack thereof. Through the vehicle of recipe, butchery, and dinner table poems, the collection negotiates the myriad ways diasporic communities comfort and name themselves in other nations, as well as the ways cuisine is inextricably linked to occupation, transmission, and survival. Dwelling on the personal as much as the historical, Some Are Always Hungry traces the lineage of the speaker’s place in history and diaspora through mythmaking and cooking, which is to say, conjuring.

Sporting Realitites : Critical Readings of the Sports Documentary Edited by Samantha N. Sheppard and Travis Vogan (Series: Sports, Media, and Society)

Despite the increasing number of popular and celebrated sports documentaries in contemporary culture, such as ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, there has been little scholarly engagement with this genre. Sports documentaries, like all films, do not merely showcase objective reality but rather construct specific versions of sporting culture that serve distinct economic, industrial, institutional, historical, and sociopolitical ends ripe for criticism, contextualization, and exploration.

Sporting Realities brings together a diverse group of scholars to probe the sports documentary’s cultural meanings, aesthetic practices, industrial and commercial dimensions, and political contours across historical, social, medium-specific, and geographic contexts. It considers and critiques the sports documentary’s visible and powerful position in contemporary culture and forges novel connections between the study of nonfiction media and sport.

Talking Books with Mario Vargas Llosa : A Retrospective Edited by Raquel Chang-Rodríguez and Carlos Riobó (Series: New Hispanisms)

The essays included in Talking Books with Mario Vargas Llosa celebrate Mario Vargas Llosa’s visits to the City College of New York, the creation of the Cátedra Vargas Llosa in his honor, and the interests of the Peruvian author in reading and books. This volume contains previously unpublished material by Vargas Llosa himself, as well as by novelists and literary critics associated with the Cátedra.

This collection offers readers an opportunity to learn about Vargas Llosa’s body of work through multiple perspectives: his own and those of eminent fiction writers and important literary critics. The book offers significant analysis and rich conversation that bring to life many of the Nobel Laureate’s characters and provide insights into his writing process and imagination. As the last surviving member of the original group of writers of the Latin American Boom—which included Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, and Julio Cortázar—Vargas Llosa endures as a literary icon because his fiction has remained fresh and innovative. His prolific works span many different themes and subgenres.

A combination of literary analyses and anecdotal contributions in this volume reveal the little-known human and intellectual dimensions of Vargas Llosa the writer and Vargas Llosa the man.

History of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Keith L. Bryant Jr. and Fred W. Frailey

Cyrus K. Holliday envisioned a railroad that would run from Kansas to the Pacific, increasing the commerce and prosperity of the nation. With farsighted investors and shrewd management, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway grew from Holliday’s idea into a model of the modern, rapid, and efficient railroad. There were many growing pains early on, including rustlers, thieves, and desperadoes as well as the nineteenth century’s economic and climatic hardships. The railroad eventually extended from Chicago to San Francisco, with substantial holdings in oil fields, timber land, uranium mines, pipelines, and real estate.

This is the first comprehensive history of the iconic Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, from its birth in 1859 to its termination in 1996. This volume discusses the construction and operation of the railway, the strategies of its leaders, the evolution of its locomotive fleet, and its famed passenger service with partner Fred Harvey. The vast changes within the nation’s railway system led to a merger with the Burlington Northern and the creation of the BNSF Railway.

An iconic railroad, the Santa Fe at its peak operated thirteen thousand miles of routes and served the southwestern region of the nation with the corporate slogan “Santa Fe All the Way.” This new edition covers almost twenty-five more years of history, including the merger of the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern railroads and new material on labor, minorities, and women on the carrier along with new and updated maps and photographs.

Thinking About the Prophets : A Philosopher Reads the Bible Kenneth Seeskin (Series: JPS Essential Judaism)

Rethinking the great literary prophets whose ministry ran from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE—Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Second Isaiah, and Job—Thinking about the Prophets examines their often-shocking teachings in light of their times, their influence on later Western and Jewish thinkers, and their enduring lessons for all of us. As a noted scholar of Jewish philosophy, Kenneth Seeskin teases out philosophical, ethical, and theological questions in the writings, such as the nature of moral reasoning, the divine persona, divine providence, the suffering of the innocent, the power of repentance, and what it means to believe in a monotheistic conception of God.

Seeskin demonstrates that great ideas are not limited by time or place, but rather once put forth, take on a life of their own. Thus he interweaves the medieval and modern philosophers Maimonides, Kant, Cohen, Buber, Levinas, Heschel, and Soloveitchik, all of whom read the prophets and had important things to say as a result. We come to see the prophets perhaps in equal measure as divinely authorized whistle-blowers and profound thinkers of the human condition.

Readers of all levels will find this volume an accessible and provoking introduction to the enduring significance of biblical prophecy.

Too Strong To Be Broken : The Life of Edward J. Driving Hawk Edward J. Driving Hawk and Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Series: American Indian Lives)

Too Strong to Be Broken explores the dynamic life of Edward J. Driving Hawk, a Vietnam and Korean War veteran, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, former president of the National Congress of American Indians, husband, father, recovered alcoholic, and convicted felon.

Driving Hawk’s story begins with his childhood on the rural plains of South Dakota, then follows him as he travels back and forth to Asia for two wars and journeys across the Midwest and Southwest. In his positions of leadership back in the United States, Driving Hawk acted in the best interest of his community, even when sparring with South Dakota governor Bill Janklow and the FBI.

After retiring from public service, he started a construction business and helped create the United States Reservation Bank and Trust. Unfortunately, a key participant in the bank embezzled millions and fled, leaving Driving Hawk to take the blame. Rather than plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, the seventy-four-year-old grandfather went to prison for a year and a day, even as he suffered the debilitating effects of Agent Orange.

Driving Hawk fully believes that the spirits of his departed ancestors watched out for him during his twenty-year career in the U.S. Air Force, including his exposure to Agent Orange, and throughout his life as he survived surgeries, strokes, a tornado, a plane crash, and alcoholism. With the help of his sister, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Driving Hawk recounts his life’s story alongside his wife, Carmen, and their five children.

Wildlife of Nebraska : A Natural History Paul A. Johnsgard

In Wildlife of Nebraska: A Natural History, Paul A. Johnsgard surveys the variety and biology of more than six hundred Nebraska species. Narrative accounts describe the ecology and biology of the state’s birds, its mammals, and its reptiles and amphibians, summarizing the abundance, distributions, and habitats of this wildlife. To provide an introduction to the state’s major ecosystems, climate, and topography, Johnsgard examines major public-access natural areas, including national monuments, wildlife refuges and grasslands, state parks and wildlife management areas, and nature preserves.

Including more than thirty-five line drawings by the author along with physiographic, ecological, and historical maps, Wildlife of Nebraska is an essential guide to the wildlife of the Cornhusker State.


  **

All book covers and synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August 2020:

DEZA AND ITS MORISCOS : RELIGION AND COMMUNITY IN EARLY MODERN SPAIN. Patrick J. O’Banion (Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies)

Deza and Its Moriscos addresses an incongruity in early modern Spanish historiography: a growing awareness of the importance played by Moriscos in Spanish society and culture alongside a dearth of knowledge about individuals or local communities. By reassessing key elements in the religious and social history of early modern Spain through the experience of the small Castilian town of Deza, Patrick J. O’Banion asserts the importance of local history in understanding large-scale historical events and challenges scholars to rethink how marginalized people of the past exerted their agency.

Moriscos, baptized Muslims and their descendants, were pressured to convert to Christianity at the end of the Middle Ages but their mass baptisms led to fears about lingering crypto-Islamic activities. Many political and religious authorities, and many of the Moriscos’ neighbors as well, concluded that the conversions had produced false Christians. Between 1609 and 1614 nearly all of Spain’s Moriscos—some three hundred thousand individuals—were thus expelled from their homeland.

Contrary to the assumptions of many modern scholars, rich source materials show the town’s Morisco minority wielded remarkable social, economic, and political power. Drawing deeply on a diverse collection of archival material as well as early printed works, this study illuminates internal conflicts, external pressures brought to bear by the Inquisition, the episcopacy, and the crown, and the possibilities and limitations of negotiated communal life at the dawn of modernity.

Millennial Cervantes : New Currents in Cervantes Studies Edited by Bruce R. Burningham (Series: New Hispanisms)

Millennial Cervantes explores some of the most important recent trends in Cervantes scholarship in the twenty-first century. It brings together leading Cervantes scholars of the United States in order to showcase their cutting-edge work within a cultural studies frame that encompasses everything from ekphrasis to philosophy, from sexuality to Cold War political satire, and from the culinary arts to the digital humanities.

Millennial Cervantes is divided into three sets of essays—conceptually organized around thematic and methodological lines that move outward in a series of concentric circles. The first group, focused on the concept of “Cervantes in his original contexts,” features essays that bring new insights to these texts within the primary context of early modern Iberian culture. The second group, focused on the concept of “Cervantes in comparative contexts,” features essays that examine Cervantes’s works in conjunction with those of the English-speaking world, both seventeenth- and twentieth-century. The third group, focused on the concept of “Cervantes in wider cultural contexts,” examines Cervantes’s works—principally Don Quixote—as points of departure for other cultural products and wider intellectual debates.

This collection articulates the state of Cervantes studies in the first two decades of the new millennium as we move further into a century that promises both unimagined technological advances and the concomitant cultural changes that will naturally adhere to this new technology, whatever it may be.

ON DISTANT SERVICE : THE LIFE OF THE FIRST U.S. FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER TO BE ASSASSINATED. Susan M. Stein

On July 18, 1924, a mob in Tehran killed U.S. foreign service officer Robert Whitney Imbrie. His violent death, the first political murder in the history of the service, outraged the American people. Though Imbrie’s loss briefly made him a cause célèbre, subsequent events quickly obscured his extraordinary life and career.

Susan M. Stein tells the story of a figure steeped in adventure and history. Imbrie rejected a legal career to volunteer as an ambulance driver during World War I and joined the State Department when the United States entered the war. Assigned to Russia, he witnessed the October Revolution, fled ahead of a Bolshevik arrest order, and continued to track communist activity in Turkey even as the country’s war of independence unfolded around him. His fateful assignment to Persia led to his death at age forty-one and set off political repercussions that cloud relations between the United States and Iran to this day.

Drawing on a wealth of untapped materials, On Distant Service returns readers to an era when dash and diplomacy went hand-in-hand.

SILVER VEIN, DUSTY LUNGS : MONING, WATER, AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN ZACATECAS, 1835-1946. Rocio Gomez (Series: The Mexican Experience)

In Mexico environmental struggles have been fought since the nineteenth century in such places as Zacatecas, where United States and European mining interests have come into open conflict with rural and city residents over water access, environmental health concerns, and disease compensation.

In Silver Veins, Dusty Lungs, Rocio Gomez examines the detrimental effects of the silver mining industry on water resources and public health in the city of Zacatecas and argues that the human labor necessary to the mining industry made the worker and the mine inseparable through the land, water, and air. Tensions arose between farmers and the mining industry over water access while the city struggled with mudslides, droughts, and water source contamination. Silicosis-tuberculosis, along with accidents caused by mining technologies like jackhammers and ore-crushers, debilitated scores of miners. By emphasizing the perspective of water and public health, Gomez illustrates that the human body and the environment are not separate entities but rather in a state of constant interaction.

Teaching Western American Literature Edited by Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen (Series: Postwestern Horizons)

In this volume experienced and new college- and university-level teachers will find practical, adaptable strategies for designing or updating courses in western American literature and western studies. Teaching Western American Literature features the latest developments in western literary research and cultural studies as well as pedagogical best practices in course development. Contributors provide practical models and suggestions for courses and assignments while presenting concrete strategies for teaching works both inside and outside the canon. In addition, Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen have assembled insights from pioneering western studies instructors with workable strategies and practical advice for translating this often complex material for classrooms from freshman writing courses to graduate seminars.

Teaching Western American Literature reflects the cutting edge of western American literary study, featuring diverse approaches allied with women’s, gender, queer, environmental, disability, and Indigenous studies and providing instructors with entrée into classrooms of leading scholars in the field.

THINKING ABOUT GOD : JEWISH VIEWS. Rabbi Kari H. Tuling (Series: JPS Essential Judaism)

Who—or what—is God? Is God like a person? Does God have a gender? Does God have a special relationship with the Jewish people? Does God intervene in our lives? Is God good—and, if yes, why does evil persist in the world? In investigating how Jewish thinkers have approached these and other questions, Rabbi Kari H. Tuling elucidates many compelling—and contrasting—ways of thinking about God in Jewish tradition.

Thinking about God addresses the genuinely intertextual nature of evolving Jewish God concepts. Just as in Jewish thought the Bible and other historical texts are living documents, still present and relevant to the conversation unfolding now, and just as a Jewish theologian examining a core concept responds to the full tapestry of Jewish thought on the subject all at once, this book is organized topically, covers Jewish sources (including liturgy) from the biblical to the postmodern era, and highlights the interplay between texts over time, up through our own era.

A highly accessible resource for introductory students, Thinking about God also makes important yet challenging theological texts understandable. By breaking down each selected text into its core components, Tuling helps the reader absorb it both on its own terms and in the context of essential theological questions of the ages. Readers of all backgrounds will discover new ways to contemplate God.


  **All book covers and synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in May and June 2020:

Arkography : A Grand Tour Through the Taken-for-Granted Gunnar Olsson (Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth)

In this fascinating text Gunnar Olsson tells the story of an arkographer, who with Pallas Athene’s blessings, travels down the Red River Valley, navigates the Kantian Island of Truth, and takes a house-tour through the Crystal Palace, the latter edifice an imagination grown out of Gunnael Jensson’s sculpture Mappa Mundi Universalis. This travel story carries the arkographer from the oldest creation epics extant to the power struggles of today—nothing less than a codification of the taken-for-granted, a mapping of the no-man’s-land between the five senses of the body and the sixth sense of culture. By constantly asking how we are made so obedient and predictable, the explorer searches for the present-day counterparts to the biblical ark, the chest that held the commandments and the rules of behavior that came with them—hence the term “arkography,” a word hinting at an as-yet-unrecognized discipline.

In Arkography Olsson strips bare the governing techniques of self-declared authorities, including those of the God of the Old Testament and countless dictators, the latter supported by a horde of lackeys often disguised as elected representatives and governmental functionaries. From beginning to end, Arkography is an illustration of how every creation epic is a variation on the theme of chaos turning into cosmic order. A palimpsest of layered meanings, a play of things and relations, identity and difference. One and many, you and me.

Blood in the Borderlands : Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821-1920 David C. Beyreis

The Bents might be the most famous family in the history of the American West. From the 1820s to 1920 they participated in many of the major events that shaped the Rocky Mountains and Southern Plains. They trapped beaver, navigated the Santa Fe Trail, intermarried with powerful Indian tribes, governed territories, became Indian agents, fought against the U.S. government, acquired land grants, and created historical narratives. 

The Bent family’s financial and political success through the mid-nineteenth century derived from the marriages of Bent men to women of influential borderland families—New Mexican and Southern Cheyenne. When mineral discoveries, the Civil War, and railroad construction led to territorial expansions that threatened to overwhelm the West’s oldest inhabitants and their relatives, the Bents took up education, diplomacy, violence, entrepreneurialism, and the writing of history to maintain their status and influence.

In Blood in the Borderlands David C. Beyreis provides an in-depth portrait of how the Bent family creatively adapted in the face of difficult circumstances. He incorporates new material about the women in the family and the “forgotten” Bents and shows how indigenous power shaped the family’s business and political strategies as the family adjusted to American expansion and settler colonist ideologies. The Bent family history is a remarkable story of intercultural cooperation, horrific violence, and pragmatic adaptability in the face of expanding American power.

Geographies of Urban Female Labor and Nationhood in Spanish Culture, 1880-1975 Mar Soria (Series: New Hispanisms)

Mar Soria presents an innovative cultural analysis of female workers in Spanish literature and films. Drawing from nation-building theories, the work of feminist geographers, and ideas about the construction of the marginal subject in society, Soria examines how working women were perceived as Other in Spain from 1880 to 1975.
              
By studying the representation of these marginalized individuals in a diverse array of cultural artifacts, Soria contends that urban women workers symbolized the desires and anxieties of a nation caught between traditional values and rapidly shifting socioeconomic forces. Specifically, the representation of urban female work became a mode of reinforcing and contesting dominant discourses of gender, class, space, and nationhood in critical moments after 1880, when social and economic upheavals resulted in fears of impending national instability. Through these cultural artifacts Spaniards wrestled with the unresolved contradictions in the gender and class ideologies used to construct and maintain the national imaginary.
               ​
Whether for reasons of inattention or disregard of issues surrounding class dynamics, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish literary and cultural critics have assumed that working women played only a minimal role in the development of Spain as a modern nation. As a result, relatively few critics have investigated cultural narratives of female labor during this period. Soria demonstrates that without considering the role working women played in the construction and modernization of Spain, our understanding of Spanish culture and life at that time remains incomplete.

Matters of Justice : Pueblos, the Judiciary, and Agrarian Reform in Revolutionary Mexico Helga Baltenmann (Series: The Mexican Experience)

After the fall of the Porfirio Díaz regime, pueblo representatives sent hundreds of petitions to Pres. Francisco I. Madero, demanding that the executive branch of government assume the judiciary’s control over their unresolved lawsuits against landowners, local bosses, and other villages. The Madero administration tried to use existing laws to settle land conflicts but always stopped short of invading judicial authority.

In contrast, the two main agrarian reform programs undertaken in revolutionary Mexico—those implemented by Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza—subordinated the judiciary to the executive branch and thereby reshaped the postrevolutionary state with the support of villagers, who actively sided with one branch of government over another.

In Matters of Justice Helga Baitenmann offers the first detailed account of the Zapatista and Carrancista agrarian reform programs as they were implemented in practice at the local level and then reconfigured in response to unanticipated inter- and intravillage conflicts. Ultimately, the Zapatista land reform, which sought to redistribute land throughout the country, remained an unfulfilled utopia. In contrast, Carrancista laws, intended to resolve quickly an urgent problem in a time of war, had lasting effects on the legal rights of millions of land beneficiaries and accidentally became the pillar of a program that redistributed about half the national territory.

Out of the Crazywoods Cheryl Savageau (Series: American Indian Lives)

Out of the Crazywoods is the riveting and insightful story of Abenaki poet Cheryl Savageau’s late-life diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Without sensationalizing, she takes the reader inside the experience of a rapid-cycling variant of the disorder, providing a lens through which to understand it and a road map for navigating the illness. The structure of her story—impressionistic, fragmented—is an embodiment of the bipolar experience and a way of perceiving the world.

Out of the Crazywoods takes the reader into the euphoria of mania as well as its ugly, agitated rage and into “the lying down of desire” that is depression. Savageau articulates the joy of being consort to a god and the terror of being chased by witchcraft, the sound of voices that are always chattering in your head, the smell of wet ashes that invades your home, the perception that people are moving in slow motion and death lurks at every turnpike, and the feeling of being loved by the universe and despised by everyone you’ve ever known.

Central to the journey out of the Crazywoods is the sensitive child who becomes a poet and writer who finds clarity in her art and a reason to heal in her grandchildren. Her journey reveals the stigma and the social, personal, and economic consequences of the illness but reminds us that the disease is not the person. Grounded in Abenaki culture, Savageau questions cultural definitions of madness and charts a path to recovery through a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and ceremony.

Predictable Pleasures : Food and the Pursuit of Balance In Rural Yucatan Lauren A Wynne (Series: At Table)

The pursuit of balance pervades everyday life in rural Yucatán, Mexico, from the delicate negotiations between a farmer and the neighbor who wants to buy his beans to the careful addition of sour orange juice to a rich plate of eggs fried in lard. Based on intensive fieldwork in one indigenous Yucatecan community, Predictable Pleasures explores the desire for balance in this region and the many ways it manifests in human interactions with food. As shifting social conditions, especially a decline in agriculture and a deepening reliance on regional tourism, transform the manners in which people work and eat, residents of this community grapple with new ways of surviving and finding pleasure.

Lauren A. Wynne examines the convergence of food and balance through deep analysis of what locals describe as acts of care. Drawing together rich ethnographic data on how people produce, exchange, consume, and talk about food, this book posits food as an accessible, pleasurable, and deeply important means by which people in rural Yucatán make clear what matters to them, finding balance in a world that seems increasingly imbalanced.

Unlike many studies of globalization that point to the dissolution of local social bonds and practices, Predictable Pleasures presents an array of enduring values and practices, tracing their longevity to the material constraints of life in rural Yucatán, the deep historical and cosmological significance of food in this region, and the stubborn nature of bodily habits and tastes.

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia : History, Conquest, and Memory in the Native Northeast Chad L. Anderson (Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies)

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia explores the creation, destruction, appropriation, and enduring legacy of one of early America’s most important places: the homelands of the Haudenosaunees (also known as the Iroquois Six Nations). Throughout the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries of European colonization the Haudenosaunees remained the dominant power in their homelands and one of the most important diplomatic players in the struggle for the continent following European settlement of North America by the Dutch, British, French, Spanish, and Russians. Chad L. Anderson offers a significant contribution to understanding colonialism, intercultural conflict, and intercultural interpretations of the Iroquoian landscape during this time in central and western New York.

Although American public memory often recalls a nation founded along a frontier wilderness, these lands had long been inhabited in Native American villages, where history had been written on the land through place-names, monuments, and long-remembered settlements. Drawing on a wide range of material spanning more than a century, Anderson uncovers the real stories of the people—Native American and Euro-American—and the places at the center of the contested reinvention of a Native American homeland. These stories about Iroquoia were key to both Euro-American and Haudenosaunee understandings of their peoples’ pasts and futures.

For more information about The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia, visit storiedlandscape.com.

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia Edited and with an introduction by Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Alexandra Guerson, and Dana Wessell Lightfoot ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia draws on recent research to underscore the various ways Iberian women influenced and contributed to their communities, engaging with a broader academic discussion of women’s agency and cultural impact in the Iberian Peninsula. By focusing on women from across the socioeconomic and religious spectrum—elite, bourgeois, and peasant Christian women, Jewish, Muslim, converso, and Morisco women, and married, widowed, and single women—this volume highlights the diversity of women’s experiences, examining women’s social, economic, political, and religious ties to their families and communities in both urban and rural environments.

Comprised of twelve essays from both established and new scholars, Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia showcases groundbreaking work on premodern women, revealing the complex intersections between gender and community while highlighting not only relationships of support and inclusion but also the tensions that worked to marginalize and exclude women.


  **All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in March and April 2020:

The Better Angels : Five Women Who Changed Civil War America Robert C. Plumb

Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Josepha Hale came from backgrounds that ranged from abject enslavement to New York City’s elite. Surmounting social and political obstacles, they emerged before and during the worst crisis in American history, the Civil War. Their actions became strands in a tapestry of courage, truth, and patriotism that influenced the lives of millions—and illuminated a new way forward for the nation.

In this collective biography, Robert C. Plumb traces these five remarkable women’s awakenings to analyze how their experiences shaped their responses to the challenges, disappointments, and joys they encountered on their missions. Here is Tubman, fearless conductor on the Underground Railroad, alongside Stowe, the author who awakened the nation to the evils of slavery. Barton led an effort to provide medical supplies for field hospitals, and Union soldiers sang Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on the march. And, amid national catastrophe, Hale’s campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday moved North and South toward reconciliation.

Exodus ‘Gbenga Adeoba (Series: African Poetry Book Series)

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry, ‘Gbenga Adeoba’s collection Exodus focuses on forms of migration due to the slave trade, war, natural disasters, and economic opportunities.
              
Using the sea as a source of language and metaphor, Adeoba explores themes of memory, transition, and the intersections between the historic and the imagined. With great tenderness and power his poetry of empathy searches for meaning in sharply constructed images, creating scenes of making and unmaking while he investigates experiences of exile and displacement across time and place.

How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences Sue William Silverman (Series: American Lives)

Many are haunted and obsessed by their own eventual deaths, but perhaps no one as much as Sue William Silverman. This thematically linked collection of essays charts Silverman’s attempt to confront her fears of that ultimate unknown. Her dread was fomented in part by a sexual assault, hidden for years, that led to an awareness that death and sex are in some ways inextricable, an everyday reality many women know too well.
              
Through gallows humor, vivid realism, and fantastical speculation, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences explores this fear of death and the author’s desire to survive it. From cruising New Jersey’s industry-blighted landscape in a gold Plymouth to visiting the emergency room for maladies both real and imagined to suffering the stifling strictness of an intractable piano teacher, Silverman guards her memories for the same reason she resurrects archaic words—to use as talismans to ward off the inevitable. Ultimately, Silverman knows there is no way to survive death physically. Still, through language, commemoration, and metaphor, she searches for a sliver of transcendent immortality.

In the Mean Time : Temporal Colonization and the Mexican American Literary Tradition Erin Murrah-Mandril (Series: Postwestern Horizons)

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which transferred more than a third of Mexico’s territory to the United States, deferred full U.S. citizenship for Mexican Americans but promised, “in the mean time,” to protect their property and liberty. Erin Murrah-Mandril demonstrates that the U.S. government deployed a colonization of time in the Southwest to insure political and economic underdevelopment in the region and to justify excluding Mexican Americans from narratives of U.S. progress. In In the Mean Time, Murrah-Mandril contends that Mexican American authors challenged modern conceptions of empty, homogenous, linear, and progressive time to contest U.S. colonization.

Taking a cue from Latina/o and borderlands spatial theories, Murrah-Mandril argues that time, like space, is a socially constructed, ideologically charged medium of power in the Southwest. In the Mean Time draws on literature, autobiography, political documents, and historical narratives composed between 1870 and 1940 to examine the way U.S. colonization altered time in the borderlands.

Rather than reinforce the colonial time structure, early Mexican American authors exploited the internal contradictions of Manifest Destiny and U.S. progress to resist domination and situate themselves within the shifting political, economic, and historical present. Read as decolonial narratives, the Mexican American cultural productions examined in this book also offer a new way of understanding Latina/o literary history.

A Kingdom of Water : Adaptation and Survival in the Houma Nation J. Daniel d’Oney (Series: Indians of the Southeast)

A Kingdom of Water is a study of how the United Houma Nation in Louisiana successfully navigated a changing series of political and social landscapes under French, Spanish, British, and American imperial control between 1699 and 2005. After 1699 the Houma assimilated the French into their preexisting social and economic networks and played a vital role in the early history of Louisiana. After 1763 and Gallic retreat, both the British and Spanish laid claim to tribal homelands, and the Houma cleverly played one empire against the other.

In the early 1700s the Houma began a series of adaptive relocations, and just before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the nation began their last migration, a journey down Bayou Lafourche. In the early 1800s, as settlers pushed the nation farther down bayous and into the marshes of southeastern Louisiana, the Houma quickly adapted to their new physical environment. After the Civil War and consequent restructuring of class systems, the Houma found themselves caught in a three-tiered system of segregation. Realizing that education was one way to retain lands constantly under assault from trappers and oil companies, the Houma began their first attempt to integrate Terrebonne Parish schools in the early twentieth century, though their situation was not resolved until five decades later. In the early twenty-first century, the tribe is still fighting for federal recognition.

Sacrament of Bodies Romeo Oriogun (Series: African Poetry Book Series)

In this groundbreaking collection of poems, Sacrament of Bodies, Romeo Oriogun fearlessly interrogates how a queer man in Nigeria can heal in a society where everything is designed to prevent such restoration. With honesty, precision, tenderness of detail, and a light touch, Oriogun explores grief and how the body finds survival through migration.


 

The Soul of the Indian : An Interpretation Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa) (Series: Bison Classic Editions)

The Soul of the Indian is Charles A. Eastman’s exploration and documentation of religion as he experienced it during the late nineteenth century. A Dakota physician and writer who sought to bring understanding between Native and non-Native Americans, Eastman (1858–1939) became one of the best-known Native Americans of his time and a significant intellectual figure whose clarity of vision endures today.

In a straightforward manner Eastman emphasizes the universal quality and personal appeal of his Dakota religious heritage. First published in 1911, The Soul of the Indian draws on his childhood teaching and ancestral ideals to counter the research written by outsiders who treated the Dakotas’ ancient worldviews chiefly as a matter of curiosity. Eastman writes with deep respect for his ancestors and their culture and history, including a profound reverence for the environment, animals, and plants. Though written more than a century ago, Eastman could be speaking to our own time with its spiritual confusion and environmental degradation. The new introduction by Brenda J. Child grounds this important book in contemporary studies.


**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in February 2020:

Assembling Moral Mobilities : Cycling, Cities, & the Common Good Nicholas A. Scott

In the years since the new mobilities paradigm burst onto the social scientific scene, scholars from various disciplines have analyzed the social, cultural, and political underpinnings of transport, contesting its long-dominant understandings as defined by engineering and economics. Still, the vast majority of mobility studies, and even key works that mention the “good life” and its dependence on the car, fail to consider mobilities in connection with moral theories of the common good.

In Assembling Moral Mobilities Nicholas A. Scott presents novel ways of understanding how cycling and driving animate urban space, place, and society and investigates how cycling can learn from the ways in which driving has become invested with moral value. By jointly analyzing how driving and cycling reassembled the “good city” between 1901 and 2017, with a focus on various cities in Canada, in Detroit, and in Oulu, Finland, Scott confronts the popular notion that cycling and driving are merely antagonistic systems and challenges social-scientific research that elides morality and the common good. Instead of pitting bikes against cars, Assembling Moral Mobilities looks at five moral values based on canonical political philosophies of the common good, and argues that both cycling and driving figure into larger, more important “moral assemblages of mobility,” finally concluding that the deeper meta-lesson that proponents of cycling ought to take from driving is to focus on ecological responsibility, equality, and home at the expense of neoliberal capitalism. Scott offers a fresh perspective of mobilities and the city through a multifaceted investigation of cycling informed by historical lessons of automobility.

Death at the Edges of Empire : Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921 Shannon Bontrager (Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military)

Hundreds of thousands of individuals perished in the epic conflict of the American Civil War. As battles raged and the specter of death and dying hung over the divided nation, the living worked not only to bury their dead but also to commemorate them. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address perhaps best voiced the public yearning to memorialize the war dead. His address marked the beginning of a new tradition of commemorating American soldiers and also signaled a transformation in the relationship between the government and the citizenry through an embedded promise and obligation for the living to remember the dead.

In Death at the Edges of Empire Shannon Bontrager examines the culture of death, burial, and commemoration of American war dead. By focusing on the Civil War, the Spanish-Cuban-American War, the Philippine-American War, and World War I, Bontrager produces a history of collective memories of war expressed through American cultural traditions emerging within broader transatlantic and transpacific networks. Examining the pragmatic collaborations between middle-class Americans and government officials negotiating the contradictory terrain of empire and nation, Death at the Edges of Empire shows how Americans imposed modern order on the inevitability of death as well as how they used the war dead to reimagine political identities and opportunities into imperial ambitions.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves : The Bass Reeves Trilogy, Book One Sidney Thompson (Series: The Bass Reeves Trilogy)

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an origin story in the true American tradition. Before Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth-century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty-two-year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave.

After a childhood picking cotton, he became an expert marksman under his master’s tutelage, winning shooting contests throughout the region. His skill had serious implications, however, as the Civil War broke out. Reeves was given to his master’s mercurial, sadistic, Moby-Dick-quoting son in the hopes that Reeves would keep him safe in battle. The ensuing humiliation, love, heroics, war, mind games, and fear solidified Reeves’s determination to gain his freedom and drew him one step further on his fated path to an illustrious career.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an important historical work that places Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates a great man’s exploits amid the near-mythic world of the nineteenth-century frontier.

The Grass Shall Grow : Helen Post Photographs the Native American West Mick Gidley

The Grass Shall Grow is a succinct introduction to the work and world of Helen M. Post (1907–79), who took thousands of photographs of Native Americans. Although Post has been largely forgotten and even in her heyday never achieved the fame of her sister, Farm Security Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott, Helen Post was a talented photographer who worked on Indian reservations throughout the West and captured images that are both striking and informative.

Post produced the pictures for the novelist Oliver La Farge’s nonfiction book As Long As the Grass Shall Grow (1940), among other publications, and her output constitutes a powerful representation of Native American life at that time. Mick Gidley recounts Post’s career, from her coming of age in the turbulent 1930s to her training in Vienna and her work for the U.S. Indian Service, tracking the arc of her professional reputation. He treats her interactions with public figures, including La Farge and editor Edwin Rosskam, and describes her relationships with Native Americans, whether noted craftspeople such as the Sioux quilter Nellie Star Boy Menard, tribal leaders such as Crow superintendent Robert Yellowtail, or ordinary individuals like the people she photographed at work in the fields or laboring for federal projects, at school or in the hospital, cooking or dancing.

The images reproduced here are analyzed both for their own sake and in order to understand their connection to broader national concerns, including the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The thoroughly researched and accessibly written text represents a serious reappraisal of a neglected artist.

The Red Road and Other Narratives of the Dakota Sioux Samuel Mniyo & Robert Goodvoice; Edited by Daniel M. Beveridge (Series: Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians)

This book presents two of the most important traditions of the Dakota people, the Red Road and the Holy Dance, as told by Samuel Mniyo and Robert Goodvoice, two Dakota men from the Wahpeton Dakota Nation near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Their accounts of these central spiritual traditions and other aspects of Dakota life and history go back seven generations and help to illuminate the worldview of the Dakota people for the younger generation of Dakotas, also called the Santee Sioux.

“The Good Red Road,” an important symbolic concept in the Holy Dance, means the good way of living or the path of goodness. The Holy Dance (also called the Medicine Dance) is a Dakota ceremony of earlier generations. Although it is no longer practiced, it too was a central part of the tradition and likely the most important ceremonial organization of the Dakotas. While some people believe that the Holy Dance is sacred and that the information regarding its subjects should be allowed to die with the last believers, Mniyo believed that these spiritual ceremonies played a key role in maintaining connections with the spirit world and were important aspects of shaping the identity of the Dakota people. 

In The Red Road and Other Narratives of the Dakota Sioux, Daniel Beveridge brings together Mniyo and Goodvoice’s narratives and biographies, as well as songs of the Holy Dance and the pictographic notebooks of James Black (Jim Sapa), to make this volume indispensable for scholars and members of the Dakota community.

Walks on the Ground : A Tribal History of the Ponca Nation Louis V. Headman

Walks on the Ground is a record of Louis V. Headman’s personal study of the Southern Ponca people, spanning seven decades beginning with the historic notation of the Ponca people’s origins in the East. The last of the true Ponca speakers and storytellers entered Indian Territory in 1877 and most lived into the 1940s.

In Ponca heritage the history of individuals is told and passed along in songs of tribal members. Headman acquired information primarily when singing with known ceremonial singers such as Harry Buffalohead, Ed Littlecook, Oliver Littlecook, Eli Warrior, Dr. Sherman Warrior (son of Sylvester Warrior), Roland No Ear, and “Pee-wee” Clark. Headman’s father, Kenneth Headman, shared most of this history and culture with Louis. During winter nights, after putting a large log into the fireplace, Kenneth would begin his storytelling. The other elders in the tribe confirmed Kenneth’s stories and insights and contributed to the history Louis has written about the Ponca.

Walks on the Ground traces changes in the tribe as reflected in educational processes, the influences and effects of the federal government, and the dominant social structure and culture. Headman includes children’s stories and recognizes the contribution made by Ponca soldiers who served during both world wars, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. 


**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in January 2020:

Chaucer’s losers, Nintento’s Children, and Other Forays in Queer Ludonarratology Tison Pugh (Series: Frontiers of Narrative)

Tison Pugh examines the intersection of narratology, ludology, and queer studies, pointing to the ways in which the blurred boundaries between game and narrative provide both a textual and a metatextual space of queer narrative potential. By focusing on these three distinct yet complementary areas, Pugh shifts understandings of the way their play, pleasure, and narrative potential are interlinked.

Through illustrative readings of an eclectic collection of cultural artifacts—from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, from Edward Albee’s dramatic masterpiece Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy novels—Pugh offers perspectives of blissful ludonarratology, sadomasochistic ludonarratology, the queerness of rules, the queerness of godgames, and the queerness of children’s questing video games. Collectively, these analyses present a range of interpretive strategies for uncovering the disruptive potential of gaming texts and textual games while demonstrating the wide applicability of queer ludonarratology throughout the humanities.

Inside the Hot Zone : A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare Mark G. Kortepeter

Inside the Hot Zone is an insider’s account of one of the most dangerous workplaces on earth: the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Retired U.S. Army Col. Mark G. Kortepeter, a leading biodefense expert, recounts his journey from the lecture hall to the role of department chief, to the battlefield, to the Biosafety Level-4 maximum containment lab, and finally, to the corner office.

During Kortepeter’s seven and a half years in leadership at USAMRIID, the United States experienced some of the most serious threats in modern germ warfare, including the specter of biological weapons during the Iraq War, the anthrax letters sent after 9/11, and a little-known crisis involving a presumed botulism attack on the president of the United States. Inside the Hot Zone is a shocking, frightening eye-opener as Kortepeter describes in gripping detail how he and his USAMRIID colleagues navigated threats related to anthrax, botulism, smallpox, Lassa, and Ebola.

Kortepeter crafts a rich and riveting narrative as he wrestles with life-and-death decisions managing biological weapon exposures. The stories are real, but they could just as easily serve as plotlines in popular fiction or Hollywood thrillers. He gives the reader a seat at the table as each crisis unfolds, with an unvarnished and personal perspective on the dangers, the drama, the fear, the frustrations, the irony, and the uncertainty he encountered as a physician in the role of “Biodefender.”

National Pastimes : Cinema, Sports, and Nation Katharina Bonzel (Series: Sports, Media, and Society)

Sports have long fascinated filmmakers from Hollywood and beyond, from Bend It Like Beckham to Chariots of Fire to Rocky. Though sports films are diverse in their approach, style, and storytelling modes, National Pastimes discloses the common emotional and visual cues that belie each sports film’s underlying nationalistic impulses. Katharina Bonzel unravels the delicate matrix of national identity, sports, and emotion through the lens of popular sports films in comparative national contexts, demonstrating in the process how popular culture provides a powerful vehicle for the development and maintenance of identities of place across a range of national cinemas.

As films reflect the ways in which myths of nation and national belonging change over time, they are implicated in important historical moments, from Cold War America to the class dynamics of 1980s Thatcherite Britain to the fragmented sense of nation in post-unification Germany. Bonzel shows how sports films provide a means for renegotiating the boundaries of national identity in an accessible, engaging form. National Pastimes opens up new ways of understanding how films appeal to the emotions, using myth-like constructions of the past to cultivate spectators’ engagement with historical events.

Shape Shifters : Journeys Across Terrains of Race and Identity Edited by Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, and Paul Spickard (Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies)

Shape Shifters presents a wide-ranging array of essays that examine peoples of mixed racial identity. Moving beyond the static “either/or” categories of racial identification found within typical insular conversations about mixed-race peoples, Shape Shifters explores these mixed-race identities as fluid, ambiguous, contingent, multiple, and malleable. This volume expands our understandings of how individuals and ethnic groups identify themselves within their own sociohistorical contexts.

The essays in Shape Shifters explore different historical eras and reach across the globe, from the Roman and Chinese borderlands of classical antiquity to medieval Eurasian shape shifters, the Native peoples of the missions of Spanish California, and racial shape shifting among African Americans in the post–civil rights era. At different times in their lives or over generations in their families, racial shape shifters have moved from one social context to another. And as new social contexts were imposed on them, identities have even changed from one group to another. This is not racial, ethnic, or religious imposture. It is simply the way that people’s lives unfold in fluid sociohistorical circumstances.

With contributions by Ryan Abrecht, George J. Sánchez, Laura Moore, and Margaret Hunter, among others, Shape Shifters explores the forces of migration, borderlands, trade, warfare, occupation, colonial imposition, and the creation and dissolution of states and empires to highlight the historically contingent basis of identification among mixed-race peoples across time and space.

Willa Cather and the Arts Edited by Guy J. Renolds (Series: Cather Studies, Vol. 12)

Over the five decades of her writing career Willa Cather responded to, and entered into dialogue with, shifts in the terrain of American life. These cultural encounters informed her work as much as the historical past in which much of her writing is based. Cather was a multifaceted cultural critic, immersing herself in the arts, broadly defined: theater and opera, art, narrative, craft production. Willa Cather and the Arts shows that Cather repeatedly engaged with multiple forms of art, and that even when writing about the past she was often addressing contemporary questions.

The essays in this volume are informed by new modes of contextualization, including the increasingly popular view of Cather as a pivotal or transitional figure working between and across very different cultural periods and by the recent publication of Cather’s correspondence. The collection begins by exploring the ways Cather encountered and represented high and low cultures, including Cather’s use of “racialized vernacular” in Sapphira and the Slave Girl. The next set of essays demonstrates how historical research, often focusing on local features in Cather’s fiction, contributes to our understanding of American culture, from musicological sources to the cultural development of Pittsburgh. The final trio of essays highlights current Cather scholarship, including a food studies approach to O Pioneers! and an examination of Cather’s use of ancient philosophy in The Professor’s House. Together the essays reassess Cather’s lifelong encounter with, and interpretation and reimagining of, the arts.


**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.                UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December 2019:

Handbook of Narrative Analysis                                                                Luc Herman and Bart Vervaeck                                                            (Series: Frontiers of Narrative)

Stories are everywhere, from fiction across media to politics and personal identity. Handbook of Narrative Analysis sorts out both traditional and recent narrative theories, providing the necessary skills to interpret any story. In addition to discussing classical theorists, such as Gérard Genette, Mieke Bal, and Seymour Chatman, Handbook of Narrative Analysis presents precursors (such as E. M. Forster), related theorists (Franz Stanzel, Dorrit Cohn), and a large variety of postclassical critics. Among the latter particular attention is paid to rhetorical, cognitive, and cultural approaches; intermediality; storyworlds; gender theory; and natural and unnatural narratology.

Not content to consider theory as an end in itself, Luc Herman and Bart Vervaeck use two short stories and a graphic narrative by contemporary authors as touchstones to illustrate each approach to narrative. In doing so they illuminate the practical implications of theoretical preferences and the ideological leanings underlying them. Marginal glosses guide the reader through discussions of theoretical issues, and an extensive bibliography points readers to the most current publications in the field. Written in an accessible style, this handbook combines a comprehensive treatment of its subject with a user-friendly format appropriate for specialists and nonspecialists alike.

Handbook of Narrative Analysis is the go-to book for understanding and interpreting narrative. This new edition revises and extends the first edition to describe and apply the last fifteen years of cutting-edge scholarship in the field of narrative theory.

Mapping Beyond Measure : Art, Cartography, and the Space of Global Modernity                                                                                        Simon Ferdinand                                                                                    (Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth)

Over the last century a growing number of visual artists have been captivated by the entwinements of beauty and power, truth and artifice, and the fantasy and functionality they perceive in geographical mapmaking. This field of “map art” has moved into increasing prominence in recent years yet critical writing on the topic has been largely confined to general overviews of the field.

In Mapping Beyond Measure Simon Ferdinand analyzes diverse map-based works of painting, collage, film, walking performance, and digital drawing made in Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United States, and the former Soviet Union, arguing that together they challenge the dominant modern view of the world as a measurable and malleable geometrical space. This challenge has strong political ramifications, for it is on the basis of modernity’s geometrical worldview that states have legislated over social space; that capital has coordinated global markets and exploited distant environments; and that powerful cartographic institutions have claimed exclusive authority in mapmaking.

Mapping Beyond Measure breaks fresh ground in undertaking a series of close readings of significant map artworks in sustained dialogue with spatial theorists, including Peter Sloterdijk, Zygmunt Bauman, and Michel de Certeau. In so doing Ferdinand reveals how map art calls into question some of the central myths and narratives of rupture through which modern space has traditionally been imagined and establishes map art’s distinct value amid broader contemporary shifts toward digital mapping.

The Mysterious Sofia : One Woman’s Mission to Save Catholicism in Twentieth-Century Mexico                                                                        Stephen J.C. Andes                                                                                        (Series: The Mexican Experience)

Who was the “Mysterious Sofía,” whose letter in November 1934 was sent from Washington DC to Mexico City and intercepted by the Mexican Secret Service? In The Mysterious Sofía Stephen J. C. Andes uses the remarkable story of Sofía del Valle to tell the history of Catholicism’s global shift from north to south and the importance of women to Catholic survival and change over the course of the twentieth century. As a devout Catholic single woman, neither nun nor mother, del Valle resisted religious persecution in an era of Mexican revolutionary upheaval, became a labor activist in a time of class conflict, founded an educational movement, toured the United States as a public lecturer, and raised money for Catholic ministries—all in an age dominated by economic depression, gender prejudice, and racial discrimination. The rise of the Global South marked a new power dynamic within the Church as Latin America moved from the margins of activism to the vanguard.

Del Valle’s life and the stories of those she met along the way illustrate the shared pious practices, gender norms, and organizational networks that linked activists across national borders. Told through the eyes of a little-known laywoman from Mexico, Andes shows how women journeyed from the pews into the heart of the modern world.

Nomad’s Land : Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean World                                            Andrea E. Duffy                                                                                    (Series: France Overseas –Studies in Empire and Decolonization)

During the nineteenth century, the development and codification of forest science in France were closely linked to Provence’s time-honored tradition of mobile pastoralism, which formed a major part of the economy. At the beginning of the century, pastoralism also featured prominently in the economies and social traditions of North Africa and southwestern Anatolia until French forest agents implemented ideas and practices for forest management in these areas aimed largely at regulating and marginalizing Mediterranean mobile pastoral traditions. These practices changed not only landscapes but also the social order of these three Mediterranean societies and the nature of French colonial administration.

In Nomad’s Land Andrea E. Duffy investigates the relationship between Mediterranean mobile pastoralism and nineteenth-century French forestry through case studies in Provence, French colonial Algeria, and Ottoman Anatolia. By restricting the use of shared spaces, foresters helped bring the populations of Provence and Algeria under the control of the state, and French scientific forestry became a medium for state initiatives to sedentarize mobile pastoral groups in Anatolia. Locals responded through petitions, arson, violence, compromise, and adaptation. Duffy shows that French efforts to promote scientific forestry both internally and abroad were intimately tied to empire building and paralleled the solidification of Western narratives condemning the pastoral tradition, leading to sometimes tragic outcomes for both the environment and pastoralists.

Pathologies of Love : Medicine and the Woman Question in Early Modern France                                                                                        Judy Kem                                                                                            (Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

Pathologies of Love examines the role of medicine in the debate on women, known as the querelle des femmes, in early modern France. Questions concerning women’s physical makeup and its psychological and moral consequences played an integral role in the querelle. This debate on the status of women and their role in society began in the fifteenth century and continued through the sixteenth and, as many critics would say, well beyond. In querelle works early modern medicine, women’s sexual difference, literary reception, and gendered language often merge. Literary authors perpetuated medical ideas such as the notion of allegedly fatal lovesickness, and physicians published works that included disquisitions on the moral nature of women.

In Pathologies of Love, Judy Kem looks at the writings of Christine de Pizan, Jean Molinet, Symphorien Champier, Jean Lemaire de Belges, and Marguerite de Navarre, examining the role of received medical ideas in the querelle des femmes. She reconstructs how these authors interpreted the traditional courtly understanding of women’s pity or mercy on a dying lover, their understanding of contemporary debates about women’s supposed sexual insatiability and its biological effects on men’s lives and fertility, and how erotomania or erotic melancholy was understood as a fatal illness. While the two women who frame this study defended women and based much of what they wrote on personal experience, the three men appealed to male authority and tradition in their writings.

Nebraska During the New Deal : The Federal Writers’ Project in the Cornhusker State                                                                                Marilyn Irvin Holt

As a New Deal program, the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) aimed to put unemployed writers, teachers, and librarians to work. The contributors were to collect information, write essays, conduct interviews, and edit material with the goal of producing guidebooks in each of the then forty-eight states and U.S. territories. Project administrators hoped that these guides, known as the American Guide Series, would promote a national appreciation for America’s history, culture, and diversity and preserve democracy at a time when militarism was on the rise and parts of the world were dominated by fascism.

Marilyn Irvin Holt focuses on the Nebraska project, which was one of the most prolific branches of the national program. Best remembered for its state guide and series of folklore and pioneer pamphlets, the project also produced town guides, published a volume on African Americans in Nebraska, and created an ethnic study of Italians in Omaha. In Nebraska during the New Deal Holt examines Nebraska’s contribution to the project, both in terms of its place within the national FWP as well as its operation in comparison to other state projects.

Xurt’an : The End of the World and Other Myths, Songs, Charms, and Chants by the Northern Lacandones of Naha’                                  Suzanne Cook                                                                                    (Series: Native Literatures of the Americas and Indigenous World Literatures)

Xurt’an (the end of the world) showcases the rich storytelling traditions of the northern Lacandones of Naha’ through a collection of traditional narratives, songs, and ritual speech. Formerly isolated in the dense, tropical rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico, the Lacandon Maya constitute one of the smallest language groups in the world. Although their language remains active and alive, their traditional culture was abandoned after the death of their religious and civic leader in 1996. Lacking the traditional contexts in which the culture was transmitted, the oral traditions are quickly being forgotten.

This collection includes creation myths that describe the cycle of destruction and renewal of the world, the structure of the universe, the realms of the gods and their intercessions in the affairs of their mortals, and the journey of the souls after death. Other traditional stories are non-mythic and fictive accounts involving talking animals, supernatural beings, and malevolent beings that stalk and devour hapless victims. In addition to traditional narratives, Xurt’an presents many songs that are claimed to have been received from the Lord of Maize, magical charms that invoke the forces of the natural world, invocations to the gods to heal and protect, and work songs of Lacandon women, whose contribution to Lacandon culture has been hitherto overlooked by scholars. Women’s songs offer a rare glimpse into the other half of Lacandon society and the arduous distaff work that sustained the religion. The compilation concludes with descriptions of rainbows, the Milky Way as “the white road of Our Lord,” and an account of the solstices.

Transcribed and translated by a foremost linguist of the northern Lacandon language, the literary traditions of the Lacandones are finally accessible to English readers. The result is a masterful and authoritative collection of oral literature that will both entertain and provoke, while vividly testifying to the power of Lacandon Maya aesthetic expression.

**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.                UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in October:

Back to America : Identity, Political Culture, and the Tea Party Movement                                                                                                    William H. Westermeyer                                                                                (Series: Anthropology of Contemporary North America)

Back to America is an ethnography of local activist groups within the Tea Party, one of the most important recent political movements to emerge in the United States and one that continues to influence American politics. Though often viewed as the brainchild of conservative billionaires and Fox News, the success of the Tea Party movement was as much, if not more, the result of everyday activists at the grassroots level. William H. Westermeyer traces how local Tea Party groups (LTPGs) create submerged spaces where participants fashion action-oriented collective and personal political identities forged in the context of cultural or figured worlds. These figured worlds allow people to establish meaningful links between their own lives and concerns, on the one hand, and the movement’s goals and narratives, on the other. Collectively, the production and circulation of the figured worlds within LTPGs provide the basis for subjectivities that often nurture political activism.

Westermeyer reveals that LTPGs are vibrant and independent local organizations that, while constantly drawing on nationally disseminated cultural images and discourses, are far from simple agents of the larger organizations and the media. Back to America offers a welcome anthropological approach to this important social movement and to our understanding of grassroots political activism writ large.

Franz Boas : The Emergence of the Anthropologist                          Rosemary Levy Zumwalt                                                                            (Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)

Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt tells the remarkable story of Franz Boas, one of the leading scholars and public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first book in a two-part biography, Franz Boas begins with the anthropologist’s birth in Minden, Germany, in 1858 and ends with his resignation from the American Museum of Natural History in 1906, while also examining his role in training professional anthropologists from his berth at Columbia University in New York City.

Zumwalt follows the stepping-stones that led Boas to his vision of anthropology as a four-field discipline, a journey demonstrating especially his tenacity to succeed, the passions that animated his life, and the toll that the professional struggle took on him. Zumwalt guides the reader through Boas’s childhood and university education, describes his joy at finding the great love of his life, Marie Krackowizer, traces his 1883 trip to Baffin Land, and recounts his efforts to find employment in the United States. A central interest in the book is Boas’s widely influential publications on cultural relativism and issues of race, particularly his book The Mind of Primitive Man (1911), which reshaped anthropology, the social sciences, and public debates about the problem of racism in American society.

Franz Boas presents the remarkable life story of an American intellectual giant as told in his own words through his unpublished letters, diaries, and field notes. Zumwalt weaves together the strands of the personal and the professional to reveal Boas’s love for his family and for the discipline of anthropology as he shaped it.

Skin Memory                                                                                                John Sibley Williams                                                                                (Series: Backwaters Prize in Poetry)

A stark, visceral collection of free verse and prose poetry, Skin Memory scours a wild landscape haunted by personal tragedy and the cruel consequences of human acts in search of tenderness and regeneration. In this book of daring and introspection, John Sibley Williams considers the capriciousness of youth, the terrifying loss of cultural identity and self-identity, and what it means to live in an imperfect world. He reveals each body as made up of all bodies, histories, and shared dreams of the future.

In these poems absence can be held, the body’s dust is just dust, and though childhood is but a poorly edited memory and even our well-intentioned gestures tend toward ruin, Williams nonetheless says, “I’m pretty sure, everything within us says something beautiful.”

Terrorizing Gender : Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security States                                                    Mia Fischer                                                                                            (Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

The increased visibility of transgender people in mainstream media, exemplified by Time magazine’s declaration that 2014 marked a “transgender tipping point,” was widely believed to signal a civil rights breakthrough for trans communities in the United States. In Terrorizing Gender Mia Fischer challenges this narrative of progress, bringing together transgender, queer, critical race, legal, surveillance, and media studies to analyze the cases of Chelsea Manning, CeCe McDonald, and Monica Jones. Tracing how media and state actors collude in the violent disciplining of these trans women, Fischer exposes the traps of visibility by illustrating that dominant representations of trans people as deceptive, deviant, and threatening are integral to justifying, normalizing, and reinforcing the state-sanctioned violence enacted against them.

The heightened visibility of transgender people, Fischer argues, has actually occasioned a conservative backlash characterized by the increased surveillance of trans people by the security state, evident in debates over bathroom access laws, the trans military ban, and the rescission of federal protections for transgender students and workers. Terrorizing Gender concludes that the current moment of trans visibility constitutes a contingent cultural and national belonging, given the gendered and racialized violence that the state continues to enact against trans communities, particularly those of color.

**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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