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, 2023:
Agriculture in the Midwest, 1815-1900, by R. Douglas Hurt.
After the War of 1812 and the removal of the region’s Indigenous peoples, the American Midwest became a paradoxical land for settlers. Even as many settlers found that the region provided the bountiful life of their dreams, others found disappointment, even failure—and still others suffered social and racial prejudice.
In this broad and authoritative survey of midwestern agriculture from the War of 1812 to the turn of the twentieth century, R. Douglas Hurt contends that this region proved to be the country’s garden spot and the nation’s heart of agricultural production. During these eighty-five years the region transformed from a sparsely settled area to the home of large industrial and commercial cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Detroit. Still, it remained primarily an agricultural region that promised a better life for many of the people who acquired land, raised crops and livestock, provided for their families, adopted new technologies, and sought political reform to benefit their economic interests. Focusing on the history of midwestern agriculture during wartime, utopian isolation, and colonization as well as political unrest, Hurt contextualizes myriad facets of the region’s past to show how agricultural life developed for midwestern farmers—and to reflect on what that meant for the region and nation.
The First Migrants : How Black Homesteaders’ Quest for Land and Freedom Heralded America’s Great Migration, by Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld.
The First Migrants recounts the largely unknown story of Black people who migrated from the South to the Great Plains between 1877 and 1920 in search of land and freedom. They exercised their rights under the Homestead Act to gain title to 650,000 acres, settling in all of the Great Plains states. Some created Black homesteader communities such as Nicodemus, Kansas, and DeWitty, Nebraska, while others, including George Washington Carver and Oscar Micheaux, homesteaded alone. All sought a place where they could rise by their own talents and toil, unencumbered by Black codes, repression, and violence. In the words of one Nicodemus descendant, they found “a place they could experience real freedom,” though in a racist society that freedom could never be complete. Their quest foreshadowed the epic movement of Black people out of the South known as the Great Migration.
In this first account of the full scope of Black homesteading in the Great Plains, Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld weave together two distinct strands: the narrative histories of the six most important Black homesteader communities and the several themes that characterize homesteaders’ shared experiences. Using homestead records, diaries and letters, interviews with homesteaders’ descendants, and other sources, Edwards and Friefeld illuminate the homesteaders’ fierce determination to find freedom—and their greatest achievements and struggles for full equality.
French St. Louis : Landscapes, 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.
Hoarding New Guinea : Writing Colonial Ethnographic Collection Histories for Postcolonial Futures, by Rainer F. Buschmann. Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology
Hoarding New Guinea provides a new cultural history of colonialism that pays close attention to the millions of Indigenous artifacts that serve as witnesses to Europe’s colonial past in ethnographic museums. Rainer F. Buschmann investigates the roughly two hundred thousand artifacts extracted from the colony of German New Guinea from 1870 to 1920. Reversing the typical trajectories that place ethnographic museums at the center of the analysis, he concludes that museum interests in material culture alone cannot account for the large quantities of extracted artifacts.
Buschmann moves beyond the easy definition of artifacts as trophies of colonial defeat or religious conversion, instead employing the term hoarding to describe the irrational amassing of Indigenous artifacts by European colonial residents. Buschmann also highlights Indigenous material culture as a bargaining chip for its producers to engage with the imposed colonial regime. In addition, by centering an area of collection rather than an institution, he opens new areas of investigation that include non-professional ethnographic collectors and a sustained rather than superficial consideration of Indigenous peoples as producers behind the material culture. Hoarding New Guinea answers the call for a more significant historical focus on colonial ethnographic collections in European museums.
The Korean War Remembered : Contested Memories of an Unended Conflict, by Michael J. Devine. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military
Michael J. Devine provides a fresh, wide-ranging, and international perspective on the contested memory of the 1950–1953 conflict that left the Korean Peninsula divided along a heavily fortified demilitarized zone. His work examines “theaters of memory,” including literature, popular culture, public education efforts, monuments, and museums in the United States, China, and the two Koreas, to explain how contested memories have evolved over decades and how they continue to shape the domestic and foreign policies of the countries still involved in this unresolved struggle for dominance and legitimacy. The Korean War Remembered also engages with the revisionist school of historians who, influenced by America’s long nightmare in Vietnam, consider the Korean War an unwise U.S. interference in a civil war that should have been left to the Koreans to decide for themselves.
As a former Peace Corps volunteer to Korea, a two-time senior Fulbright lecturer at Korean universities, and former director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Devine offers the unique perspective of a scholar with half a century of close ties to Korea and the Korean American community, as well as practical experience in the management of historical institutions.
The Mobilized American West, 1940-2000, by John M. Findlay. Series: History of the American West
In the years between 1940 and 2000, the American Far West went from being a relative backwater of the United States to a considerably more developed, modern, and prosperous region—one capable of influencing not just the nation but the world. By the dawn of the twenty-first century, the population of the West had multiplied more than four times since 1940, and western states had transitioned from rural to urban, becoming the most urbanized section of the country. Massive investment, both private and public, in the western economy had produced regional prosperity, and the tourism industry had undergone massive expansion, altering the ways Americans identified with the West.
In The Mobilized American West, 1940–2000, John M. Findlay presents a historical overview of the American West in its decades of modern development. During the years of U.S. mobilization for World War II and the Cold War, the West remained a significant, distinct region even as its development accelerated rapidly and, in many ways, it became better integrated into the rest of the country. By examining events and trends that occurred in the West, Findlay argues that a distinctive, region-wide political culture developed in the western states from a commitment to direct democracy, the role played by the federal government in owning and managing such a large amount of land, and the way different groups of westerners identified with and defined the region. While illustrating western distinctiveness, Findlay also aims to show how, in its sustaining mobilization for war, the region became tethered to the entire nation more than ever before, but on its own terms. Findlay presents an innovative approach to viewing the American West as a region distinctive of the United States, one that occasionally stood ahead of, at odds with, and even in defiance of the nation.
My Side of the River : an Alaska Native Story, by Elias Kelly. Series: American Indian Lives
In 1971 the U.S. government created the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and extinguished Alaska Native aboriginal rights to hunting and fishing—forever changing the way Alaska Natives could be responsible for their way of life. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claimed all wildlife management responsibility and have since told Natives when, where, and how to fish, hunt, and harvest according to colonial management doctrines. We need only look at our current Alaska salmon conditions to see how these management efforts have worked.
In My Side of the River, agricultural specialist Elias Kelly (Yup’ik) relates how traditional Native subsistence hunting is often unrecognized by government regulations, effectively criminalizing those who practice it. Kelly alternates between personal stories of friends, family, and community and legal attempts to assimilate Native Alaskans into white U.S. fishing and hunting culture. He also covers landownership, incorporation of Alaska residents, legal erasure of Native identity, and poverty rates among Native Alaskans. In this memoir of personal and public history, Kelly illuminates the impact of government regulations on traditional life and resource conservation.
Remembering World War I in American, by Kimberly J. Lamay Licursi. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military
Poised to become a significant player in the new world order, the United States truly came of age during and after World War I. Yet many Americans think of the Great War simply as a precursor to World War II. Americans, including veterans, hastened to put experiences and memories of the war years behind them, reflecting a general apathy about the war that had developed during the 1920s and 1930s and never abated.
In Remembering World War I in America Kimberly J. Lamay Licursi explores the American public’s collective memory and common perception of World War I by analyzing the extent to which it was expressed through the production of cultural artifacts related to the war. Through the analysis of four vectors of memory—war histories, memoirs, fiction, and film—Lamay Licursi shows that no consistent image or message about the war ever arose that resonated with a significant segment of the American population. Not many war histories materialized, war memoirs did not capture the public’s attention, and war novels and films presented a fictional war that either bore little resemblance to the doughboys’ experience or offered discordant views about what the war meant. In the end Americans emerged from the interwar years with limited pockets of public memory about the war that never found compromise in a dominant myth.
The Visible Hands That Feed : Responsibility and Growth in the Food Sector, by Ruzana Liburkina. Series: Our Sustainable Future
The Visible Hands That Feed provides crucial insights into the rifts and regularities that are characteristic of today’s food systems. These insights attend to the widespread disquiet about the ethics and politics of food production and trade. While challenging utopian thinking, these findings give hope by elaborating on the promising nature of what falls between political and moral agendas.
In The Visible Hands That Feed Ruzana Liburkina approaches the food sector against the backdrop of its pivotal role for social and ecological relations to trace the potentials and limitations for sustainable change from within. Drawing on the results of ethnographic fieldwork in Europe and South America, Liburkina conducts an in-depth exploration of the practices, visions, concerns, and relationships that unfold at the very locations where food is grown, processed, stored, and served. By scrutinizing two critical notions in relation to sustainability—responsibility and growth—Liburkina offers insights into how sustainable change might be understood and further supported. In this first study of food production and provisioning that is grounded in participant observation in four types of food sector enterprises—farms, food processing companies, foodservice distributors, and public caterers—Liburkina fills an important gap in the literature on sustainable futures by offering detailed and diverse empirical insights into corporate food production and provisioning.
When Women Ruled the Pacific : power and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Tahiti and Hawai’i, by Joy Schulz. Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds
Throughout the nineteenth century British and American imperialists advanced into the Pacific, with catastrophic effects for Polynesian peoples and cultures. In both Tahiti and Hawai‘i, women rulers attempted to mitigate the effects of these encounters, utilizing their power amid the destabilizing influence of the English and Americans. However, as the century progressed, foreign diseases devastated the Tahitian and Hawaiian populations, and powerful European militaries jockeyed for more formal imperial control over Polynesian waystations, causing Tahiti to cede rule to France in 1847 and Hawai‘i to relinquish power to the United States in 1893.
In When Women Ruled the Pacific Joy Schulz highlights four Polynesian women rulers who held enormous domestic and foreign power and expertly governed their people amid shifting loyalties, outright betrayals, and the ascendancy of imperial racism. Like their European counterparts, these Polynesian rulers fought arguments of lineage, as well as battles for territorial control, yet the freedom of Polynesian women in general and women rulers in particular was unlike anything Europeans and Americans had ever seen. Consequently, white chroniclers of contact had difficulty explaining their encounters, initially praising yet ultimately condemning Polynesian gender systems, resulting in the loss of women’s autonomy. The queens’ successes have been lost in the archives as imperial histories and missionary accounts chose to tell different stories. In this first book to consider queenship and women’s political sovereignty in the Pacific, Schulz recenters the lives of the women rulers in the history of nineteenth-century international relations.
**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.