Category Archives: What’s Up Doc / Govdocs

What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for November and December, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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).  Every two months 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 November and December, 2023:

Great Plains Forts, by Jay H. Buckley and Jeffery D. Nokes; Series: Discover the Great Plains

Great Plains Forts introduces readers to the fortifications that have impacted the lives of Indigenous peoples, fur trappers and traders, travelers, and military personnel on the Great Plains and prairies from precontact times to the present. Using stories to introduce patterns in fortification construction and use, Jay H. Buckley and Jeffery D. Nokes explore the eras of fort-building on the Great Plains from Canada to Texas. Stories about fortifications and fortified cities built by Indigenous peoples reveal the lesser-known history of precontact violence on the plains.

Great Plains Forts includes stories of Spanish presidios and French and British outposts in their respective borderlands. Forts played a crucial role in the international fur trade and served as emporiums along the overland trails and along riverway corridors as Euro-Americans traveled into the American West. Soldiers and families resided in these military outposts, and this military presence in turn affected Indigenous Plains peoples. The appendix includes a reference guide organized by state and province, enabling readers to search easily for specific forts.

Making Space : Neighbors, Officials, and North African Migrants in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon, by Melissa K. Byrnes; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

Since the 2005 urban protests in France, public debate has often centered on questions of how the country has managed its relationship with its North African citizens and residents. In Making Space Melissa K. Byrnes considers how four French suburbs near Paris and Lyon reacted to rapidly growing populations of North Africans, especially Algerians before, during, and after the Algerian War. In particular, Byrnes investigates what motivated local actors such as municipal officials, regional authorities, employers, and others to become involved in debates over migrants’ rights and welfare, and the wide variety of strategies community leaders developed in response to the migrants’ presence. An examination of the ways local policies and attitudes formed and re-formed communities offers a deeper understanding of the decisions that led to the current tensions in French society and questions about France’s ability—and will—to fulfill the promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity for all of its citizens. Byrnes uses local experiences to contradict a version of French migration history that reads the urban unrest of recent years as preordained.

Modern Jewish Theology : the First One Hundred Years, 1835-1935, Edited by Samuel J. Kessler and George Y. Kohler; Series: JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought

Modern Jewish Theology is the first comprehensive collection of Jewish theological ideas from the pathbreaking nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, featuring selections from more than thirty of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the era as well as explorations of Judaism’s identity, uniqueness, and relevance; the origin of ethical monotheism; and the possibility of Jewish existentialism. These works—most translated for the first time into English by top scholars in modern Jewish history and philosophy—reveal how modern Jewish theology developed in concert with broader trends in Jewish intellectual and social modernization, especially scholarship (Wissenschaft des Judentums), politics (liberalism and Zionism), and religious practice (movement Judaism and the struggles to transcend denominational boundaries).

This anthology thus opens to the English-language reader a true treasure house of source material from the formative years of modern Jewish thought, bringing together writings from the very first generations, who imagined biblical and rabbinic texts and modern scientific research would produce a synthetic view of God, Israel, and the world. A general introduction and chapter introductions guide students and nonspecialists through the key themes and transformations in modern Jewish theology, and extensive annotations immerse them in the latest scholarship.

Reading the Contemporary Author : Narrative, Authority, Fictionality, Edited by Alison Gibbons and Elizabeth King; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Readers, literary critics, and theorists alike have long demonstrated an abiding fascination with the author, both as a real person—an artist and creator—and as a theoretical concept that shapes the way we read literary works. Whether anonymous, pseudonymous, or trending on social media, authors continue to be an object of critical and readerly interest. Yet theories surrounding authorship have yet to be satisfactorily updated to register the changes wrought on the literary sphere by the advent of the digital age, the recent turn to autofiction, and the current literary climate more generally. In Reading the Contemporary Author the contributors look back on the long history of theorizing the author and offer innovative new approaches for understanding this elusive figure.

Mapping the contours of the vast territory that is contemporary authorship, this collection investigates authorship in the context of narrative genres ranging from memoir and autobiographically informed texts to biofiction and novels featuring novelist narrators and characters. Bringing together the perspectives of leading scholars in narratology, cultural theory, literary criticism, stylistics, comparative literature, and autobiography studies, Reading the Contemporary Author demonstrates that a variety of interdisciplinary viewpoints and critical stances are necessary to capture the multifaceted nature of contemporary authorship.

To Educate American Indians : Selected Writings from the National Educational Association’s Department of Indian Education, 1900-1904, Edited by Larry C. Skogen; Series: Indigenous Education

To Educate American Indians presents the most complete versions of papers presented at the National Educational Association’s Department of Indian Education meetings during a time when the debate about how best to “civilize” Indigenous populations dominated discussions. During this time two philosophies drove the conversation. The first, an Enlightenment era–influenced universalism, held that through an educational alchemy American Indians would become productive, Christianized Americans, distinguishable from their white neighbors only by the color of their skin. Directly confronting the assimilationists’ universalism were the progressive educators who, strongly influenced by the era’s scientific racism, held the notion that American Indians could never become fully assimilated. Despite these differing views, a frightening ethnocentrism and an honor-bound dedication to “gifting” civilization to Native students dominated the writings of educators from the NEA’s Department of Indian Education.

For a decade educators gathered at annual meetings and presented papers on how best to educate Native students. Though the NEA Proceedings published these papers, strict guidelines often meant they were heavily edited before publication. In this volume Larry C. Skogen presents many of these unedited papers and gives them historical context for the years 1900 to 1904.

Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country : Ruin, Realism, and Possibility in the American West, Edited by Mark Fiege, Michael J. Lansing, and Leisl Carr Childers

Wallace Stegner is an iconic western writer. His works of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Angle of Repose and Big Rock Candy Mountain, as well as his nonfiction books and essays introduced the beauty and character of the American West to thousands of readers. Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country assesses his life, work, and legacy in light of contemporary issues and crises. Along with Stegner’s achievements, the contributors show how his failures offer equally crucial ways to assess the past, present, and future of the region.

Drawing from history, literature, philosophy, law, geography, and park management, the contributors consider Stegner’s racial liberalism and regional vision, his gendered view of the world, his understandings of conservation and the environment, his personal experience of economic collapse and poverty, his yearning for community, and his abiding attachment to the West. Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country is an even-handed reclamation of Stegner’s enduring relevance to anyone concerned about the American West’s uncertain future.

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

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September and October, 2023.  Included are reports from various Nebraska Legislative Committees, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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, 2023:

Almost Somewhere : Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail, by Suzanne Roberts. Series: Outdoor Lives.

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award in Outdoor Literature

It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike California’s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future. But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Roberts’s account of that hike.

John Muir wrote of the Sierra Nevada as a “vast range of light,” and that was exactly what Roberts was looking for. But traveling with two girlfriends, one experienced and unflappable and the other inexperienced and bulimic, she quickly discovered that she needed a new frame of reference. Her story of a month in the backcountry—confronting bears, snowy passes, broken equipment, injuries, and strange men—is as much about finding a woman’s way into outdoor experience as it is about the natural world Roberts so eloquently describes. Candid and funny, and finally, wise, Almost Somewhere not only tells the whimsical coming-of-age story of a young woman ill-prepared for a month in the mountains but also reflects a distinctly feminine view of nature.

This new edition includes an afterword by the author looking back on the ways both she and the John Muir Trail have changed over the past thirty years, as well as book club and classroom discussion questions and photographs from the trip.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887-1888, Volume 2, Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias, and Katie Sommer. Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887–1888 contains 182 letters, of which 120 are published for the first time, written from late December 1887 to November 19, 1888. These letters continue to 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 The Aspern PapersThe ReverberatorPartial Portraits, and The Tragic Muse. This volume opens with some of James’s social visits, includes the death of longtime friend Lizzie Boott, and concludes with James on the Continent.

Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria, by Brock Cutler. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization.

Between 1865 and 1872 widespread death and disease unfolded amid the most severe ecological disaster in modern North African history: a plague of locusts destroyed crops during a disastrous drought that left many Algerians landless and starving. The famine induced migration that concentrated vulnerable people in unsanitary camps where typhus and cholera ran rampant. Before the rains returned and harvests normalized, some eight hundred thousand Algerians had died.

In Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria Brock Cutler explores how repeated ecosocial divisions across an expansive ecosystem produced modern imperialism in nineteenth-century Algeria. Massive ecological crises—cultural as well as natural—cleaved communities from their homes, individuals from those communities, and society from its typical ecological relations. At the same time, the relentless, albeit slow-moving crises of ongoing settler colonialism and extractive imperial capitalism cleaved Algeria to France in a new way. Ecosocial divisions became apparent in performances of imperial power: officials along the Algerian-Tunisian border compulsively repeated narratives of “transgression” that over decades made the division real; a case of poisoned bread tied settlers in Algiers to Paris; Morocco-Algeria border violence exposed the exceptional nature of imperial sovereignty; a case of vagabondage in Oran evoked colonial gender binaries. In each case, factors in the broader ecosystem were implicated in performances of social division, separating political entities from each other, human from nature, rational from irrational, and women from men. Although these performances take place in the nineteenth-century Maghrib, the process they describe goes beyond those spatial and temporal limits—across the field of modern imperialism to the present day.

Encountering Palestine : Un/Making Spaces of Colonial Violence, Edited by Mark Griffiths and Mikko Joronen. Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth.

Encountering Palestine: Un/making Spaces of Colonial Violence, edited by Mark Griffiths and Mikko Joronen, sits at the intersection of cultural and political geographies and offers innovative reflections on power, colonialism, and anti-colonialism in contemporary Palestine and Israel. Organized around the theme of encountering and focusing on the ways violence and struggle are un/made in the encounter between the colonizer and colonized, the essays focus on power relations as they manifest in cultural practices and everyday lives in anti/colonial Palestine.

Covering numerous sites in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel, Encountering Palestine addresses a range of empirical topics—from marriage and queer aesthetics to policing, demolition, armament failure, and violence. The contributors utilize diverse theoretical frameworks, such as hyperreality, settler capitalism, intimate biopolitics, and politics of vulnerability, to help us better understand the cultural making and unmaking of colonial and anti-colonial space in Palestine. Encountering Palestine asks us to rethink how colonialism and power operate in Palestine, the ways Palestinians struggle, and the lifeways that constantly encounter, un/make, and counter the spaces of colonial violence.

Galloping Gourmet : Eating and Drinking With Buffalo Bill, by Steve Friesen.

Galloping Gourmet explores an unfamiliar side of a familiar character in American history, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. In this entertaining narrative Steve Friesen explores the evolving role of eating and drinking in Buffalo Bill’s life (1846–1917). Friesen starts with Buffalo Bill’s culinary roots on the American Plains, eating simple foods such as cornbread, fried “yellow-legged” chicken, and hardtack. Buffalo Bill discovered gourmet dining while leading buffalo-hunting expeditions and scouting. As his fame increased, so did his desire and opportunities for fine dining: his early show business career allowed him to dine at some of the best restaurants in the country.

Friesen examines the creation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1883, in which Cody introduced his diverse cast of employees to dining that equaled America’s best restaurants. One newspaper reporter observed that “Colonel Cody displays no more care about anything than the proper feeding of horse and man.” Cody opened the first Mexican restaurant east of the Mississippi and introduced American foodways to Europe. Equally comfortable eating around a campfire on the plains or at Delmonico’s in New York City, he also dined with leading celebrities of his day. In the final section Friesen addresses the controversies surrounding Cody’s drinking, his death, and his ongoing culinary legacy. Galloping Gourmet includes an appendix of more than thirty annotated period recipes.

Godfall : a Novel, by Van Jensen. Series: Flyover Fiction.

When a massive asteroid hurtles toward Earth, humanity braces for annihilation—but the end doesn’t come. In fact, it isn’t an asteroid but a three-mile-tall alien that drops down, seemingly dead, outside Little Springs, Nebraska. Dubbed “the giant,” its arrival transforms the red-state farm town into a top-secret government research site and major metropolitan area, flooded with soldiers, scientists, bureaucrats, spies, criminals, conspiracy theorists—and a murderer.

As the sheriff of Little Springs, David Blunt thought he’d be keeping the peace among the same people he’d known all his life, not breaking up chanting crowds of conspiracy theorists in tiger masks or struggling to control a town hall meeting about the construction of a mosque. As a series of brutal, bizarre murders strikes close to home, Blunt throws himself into the hunt for a killer who seems connected to the Giant. With bodies piling up and tensions in Little Springs mounting, he realizes that in order to find the answers he needs, he must first reconcile his old worldview with the town he now lives in—before it’s too late.

The Grapes of Conquest : Race, Labor, and the Industrialization of California Wine, 1769-1920, by Julia Ornelas-Higdon. Series: At Table.

California’s wine country conjures images of pastoral vineyards and cellars lined with oak barrels. As a mainstay of the state’s economy, California wines occupy the popular imagination like never before and drive tourism in famous viticultural regions across the state. Scholars know remarkably little, however, about the history of the wine industry and the diverse groups who built it. In fact, contemporary stereotypes belie how the state’s commercial wine industry was born amid social turmoil and racialized violence in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century California.

In The Grapes of Conquest Julia Ornelas-Higdon addresses these gaps in the historical narrative and popular imagination. Beginning with the industry’s inception at the California missions, Ornelas-Higdon examines the evolution of wine growing across three distinct political regimes—Spanish, Mexican, and American—through the industry’s demise after Prohibition. This interethnic study of race and labor in California examines how California Natives, Mexican Californios, Chinese immigrants, and Euro-Americans came together to build the industry. Ornelas-Higdon identifies the birth of the wine industry as a significant missing piece of California history—one that reshapes scholars’ understandings of how conquest played out, how race and citizenship were constructed, and how agribusiness emerged across the region. The Grapes of Conquest unearths the working-class, multiracial roots of the California wine industry, challenging its contemporary identity as the purview of elite populations.

The Incarceration of Native American Women : Creating Pathways to Wellness and Recovery Through Gentle Action Theory, by Carma Corcoran. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies.

In The Incarceration of Native American Women, Carma Corcoran examines the rising number of Native American women being incarcerated in Indian Country. With years of experience as a case management officer, law professor, consultant to tribal defenders’ offices, and workshop leader in prisons, she believes this upward trajectory of incarceration continues largely unacknowledged and untended. She explores how a combination of F. David Peat’s gentle action theory and the Native traditional ways of knowing and being could heal Native American women who are or have been incarcerated.

Colonization and the historical trauma of Native American incarceration runs through history, spanning multiple generations and including colonial wartime imprisonment, captivity, Indian removal, and boarding schools. The ongoing ills of childhood abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug and alcohol addiction and the rising number of suicides are indicators that Native people need healing. Based on her research and work with Native women in prisons, Corcoran provides a theory of wellness and recovery that creates a pathway for meaningful change. The Incarceration of Native American Women offers students, academics, social workers, counselors, and those in the criminal justice system a new method of approach and application while providing a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical experiences of Native Americans in relation to criminology.

Nebraska Volleyball : the Origin Story, by John Mabry.

When Title IX was enacted in 1972, the University of Nebraska volleyball program, like many across the country, received a fraction of the funding and attention given to the school’s mighty football program. The players had to organize a run from Lincoln to Omaha to raise money for uniforms. The women were asked to wait their turn to use the weight room. Today the Nebraska women’s volleyball team is one of the sport’s most decorated programs—with more career wins than any other program and five NCAA National Championships—and draws standing-room-only crowds at home games in the 8,000-seat Devaney Center.

Nebraska Volleyball is the first book to recount how volleyball took hold at Nebraska, through Pat Sullivan, the team’s first coach; through such early figures as Cathy Noth, a decorated player and later an assistant coach into the 1990s; through Terry Pettit, who coached the team for twenty-three seasons and led it to its first National Championship in 1995; and through John Cook, who took over as head coach in 2000. John Mabry highlights the small Nebraska towns that have sent some of the best players to the program and helped build statewide support for the team. Public television helped too, with its power to broadcast games early on and thus build a following across the state.

The success of Nebraska’s volleyball program is one of the greatest stories in sports. As Karch Kiraly, head coach for the U.S. National Women’s Volleyball Team, said: “If you want to learn about women’s college volleyball, your first stop has to be Lincoln, Nebraska.”

Of Love and War : Pacific Brides of World War II, by Angela Wanhalla. Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds.

Between 1942 and 1945 more than two million servicemen occupied the southern Pacific theater, the majority of whom were Americans in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. During the occupation, American servicemen married approximately 1,800 women from New Zealand and the island Pacific, creating legal bonds through marriage and through children. Additionally, American servicemen fathered an estimated four thousand nonmarital children with Indigenous women in the South Pacific Command Area.

In Of Love and War Angela Wanhalla details the intimate relationships forged during wartime between women and U.S. servicemen stationed in the South Pacific, traces the fate of wartime marriages, and addresses consequences for the women and children left behind. Paying particular attention to the experiences of women in New Zealand and in the island Pacific—including Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and the Cook Islands—Of Love and War aims to illuminate the impact of global war on these women, their families, and Pacific societies. Wanhalla argues that Pacific war brides are an important though largely neglected cohort whose experiences of U.S. military occupation expand our understanding of global war. By examining the effects of American law on the marital opportunities of couples, their ability to reunite in the immediate postwar years, and the citizenship status of any children born of wartime relationships, Wanhalla makes a significant contribution to a flourishing scholarship concerned with the intersections between race, gender, sexuality, and militarization in the World War II era.

Rise Up! : Indigenous Music in North America, by Craig Harris.

Music historian Craig Harris explores more than five hundred years of Indigenous history, religion, and cultural evolution in Rise Up! Indigenous Music in North America. More than powwow drums and wooden flutes, Indigenous music intersects with rock, blues, jazz, folk music, reggae, hip-hop, classical music, and more. Combining deep research with personal stories by nearly four dozen award-winning Indigenous musicians, Harris offers an eye-opening look at the growth of Indigenous music.

Among a host of North America’s most vital Indigenous musicians, the biographical narratives include new and well-established figures such as Mildred Bailey, Louis W. Ballard, Cody Blackbird, Donna Coane (Spirit of Thunderheart), Theresa “Bear” Fox, Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joanne Shenandoah, DJ Shub (Dan General), Maria Tallchief, John Trudell, and Fawn Wood.

Settler Aesthetics : Visualizing the Spectacle of Originary Moments in The New World, by Mishuana Goeman. Series: Indigenous Films.

In Settler Aesthetics, an analysis of renowned director Terrence Malick’s 2005 film, The New World, Mishuana Goeman examines the continuity of imperialist exceptionalism and settler-colonial aesthetics. The story of Pocahontas has thrived for centuries as a cover for settler-colonial erasure, destruction, and violence against Native peoples, and Native women in particular. Since the romanticized story of the encounter and relationship between Pocahontas and Captain John Smith was first published, it has imprinted a whitewashed historical memory into the minds of Americans.

As one of the most enduring tropes of imperialist nostalgia in world history, Renaissance European invasions of Indigenous lands by settlers trades in a falsified “civilizational discourse” that has been a focus in literature for centuries and in films since their inception. Ironically, Malick himself was a symbol of the New Hollywood in his early career, but with The New World he created a film that serves as a buttress for racial capitalism in the Americas. Focusing on settler structures, the setup of regimes of power, sexual violence and the gendering of colonialism, and the sustainability of colonialism and empires, Goeman masterfully peels away the visual layers of settler logics in The New World, creating a language in Native American and Indigenous studies for interpreting visual media.

The Sonoran Dynasty in Mexico : Revolution, Reform, and Repression, by Jürgen Buchenau. Series: Confluencias.

Two generals from the northwestern state of Sonora, Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles, dominated Mexico between 1920 and 1934, having risen to prominence in the course of the Mexican Revolution. Torn between popular demands for ending the privileges of wealthy foreign investors and opposition by a hawkish U.S. administration and enemies at home, the two generals and their allies from their home state mixed radical rhetoric with the accommodation of entrenched interests.

In The Sonoran Dynasty in Mexico Jürgen Buchenau tells the story of this ruling group, which rejected the Indigenous and Catholic past during the decades of the revolution and aimed to reinvent Mexico along the lines of the modern and secular societies in western Europe and the United States. In addition to Obregón and Calles, the Sonoran Dynasty included Adolfo de la Huerta and Abelardo L. Rodríguez, four Sonorans among six presidents in less than two decades. Although the group began with the common aims of nationalism, modernization, central political control, and enrichment, Buchenau argues that this group progressively fell apart in a series of bloody conflicts that reflected broader economic, political, and social disagreements. By analyzing the dynasty from its origins through its eventual downfall, Buchenau presents an innovative look at the negotiation of power and state formation in revolutionary Mexico.

Ted Kooser : More Than a Local Wonder, by Carla Ketner, illustrated by Paula Wallace.

Long before Ted Kooser won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, served as the U.S. Poet Laureate, and wrote award-winning books for children, he was an unathletic child growing up in Iowa, yearning to fit in. Young Teddy found solace in stories, and one specific book, Robert McCloskey’s Lentil, inspired him to become a writer. As a child and later, while working in the insurance industry, Ted honed his craft and unique style as he wrote about the people and places of the rural Midwest. Ted Kooser: More Than a Local Wonder celebrates the power of stories and of finding oneself through words.

Washington State Politics and Government, by T.M. Sell. Series: Politics and Governments of the American States.

In the twenty-first century, as many candidates actively campaign against the very government they seek to serve in, and as many people appear to believe their government irreparably broken, T. M. Sell argues that in Washington State, the system works better than most realize. In Washington State Politics and Government Sell explains how the many parts of government function and introduces readers to a diverse array of individuals who work in government, including how they got there and what it is they’re trying to do. Sell covers the three branches of state government, plus county, city, special purpose district, and tribal governments. He explains the state budgets and taxes; the functions of major and better-known state agencies; how policy is made; the political landscape of Washington; and parties, voting, and elections.

Sell discusses economic development, including the importance of high-tech industry, aviation, Amazon.com, and more traditional parts of the state economy, such as timber and agriculture. He also provides a contemporary look at Washington’s elected officials, constitution, judiciary, media, demographics, and political culture and landscape. With this volume, any Washington citizen, student of politics, or specialist in government can gain insight into the state’s current political system.

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

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Happy Birthday Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse!

July 2023 marked the 51st anniversary of Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse operations!

Prior to 1972 there was no comprehensive program in the state for collecting and preserving Nebraska government publications. In 1971 the Nebraska Library Commission began surveying other states and Nebraska libraries to find out how such a program should work and drafting proposed legislation to give the program legal authority. In January 1972 LB 1284 was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature, passed and signed by the Governor in March establishing the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The program was launched in July of that year.

State Depository Program
“There is hereby created, as a division of the Nebraska Library Commission, a Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse shall establish and operate a publications collection and depository system for the use of Nebraska citizens” The original legislation has been amended several times to exclude Junior Colleges and reduce the number of mandatory copies that agencies must send, but the basic operation of the program remains the same.

Federal Depository Program
The legislation also directed the Library Commission to provide access to federal publications. “The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse shall provide access to local, state, federal and other governmental publications to state agencies and legislators and through interlibrary loan service to citizens of the state.” The Commission began participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1972. It served as Nebraska’s Regional Federal Depository until 1984, when Love Library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln became the Regional. The Commission is now a selective depository and has reduced its selections to about 2% of the publications offered through the program.

How Publications are Collected

Agencies are currently defined as “every state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission, and agency of the state and, when applicable, all subdivisions of each, including state institutions of higher education defined as all state-supported colleges and universities”

The first challenge facing the new Clearinghouse service was creating a comprehensive list of these agencies. The next challenge was getting them to send their publications. Unlike some other states, Nebraska does not use a central printing agency that could make extra copies for the documents program. A network of contact persons is used instead.

“Every state agency head or his or her appointed records officer shall notify the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse of his or her identity.” Every few years the Library Commission sends agency directors letters with a form for designating an agency contact person. The contacts are sent a packet of information about the Clearinghouse service.

In the early years of the program agencies supplied more copies to the Clearinghouse than they do now and both the statutorily designated recipients and the contract depositories received paper publications. Space restrictions at the depositories, cost limitations for the agencies, and a desire to preserve publications in a long-lasting format resulted in a reduction in the number of paper copies normally required from each agency.

The current statute reads “The records officer shall upon release of a state publication deposit four copies and a short summary, including author, title, and subject, of each of its state publications with the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse for record purposes…. Additional copies, including sale items, shall also be deposited in the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in quantities certified to the agencies by the clearinghouse as required to meet the needs of the Nebraska publications depository system, with the exception that the University of Nebraska Press shall only be required to deposit four copies of its publications.”

One copy is kept at the Library Commission and copies are forwarded to the Historical Society and Library of Congress. Until the spring of 2005 microfiche copies were produced from the fourth copy and distributed to Nebraska depositories.

State Agency Responsibilities

Processing and Cataloging

Once the list of agencies was compiled in 1972 a classification system based on agency names (NEDOCS) was created and the first Guide to State Agencies was published. The Guide lists agencies with their five digit alpha-numeric code and traces agency creation, mergers, discontinuance, and classification number changes. Originally a print publication reissued every few years, the Guide is now continuously updated online.

The Statute states that “The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse shall publish and distribute regularly to contracting depository libraries, other libraries, state agencies and legislators, an official list of state publications with an annual cumulation. The official list shall provide a record of each agency’s publishing and show author, agency, title and subject approaches.”From 1972 until 1991 The Nebraska State Publications Checklist was produced. The Checklist included abstracts with a title, subject and agency index. It was issued on microfiche several times a year with an annual cumulation. In 1992 the Checklist was discontinued and publications began receiving full OCLC cataloging. Nebraska publications now are listed in the WorldCat, the OCLC database of catalog records contributed by its member libraries worldwide. The WorldCat can be searched without cost by any Nebraska citizen from NebraskAccess with a driver’s license number or password obtained from their local library. Older records from the Checklist can also be searched using the Library Commission catalog. Publications received are listed in What’s Up Doc and compiled into an annual publication. 

The Depository Program

Contrary to what the word “clearinghouse” might make one think, the Library Commission is not a warehouse distributing giveaway or sale copies of Nebraska publications. The Commission is in fact prohibited by law from doing that. At first copies were forwarded to the Nebraska State Historical Society, Library of Congress, and Center for Research Libraries. This was amended later to exclude the Center for Research Libraries.

The legislation also authorized the Library Commission to “enter into depository contracts with any municipal or county public library, state college or state university library, and out-of-state research libraries. The requirements for eligibility to contract as a depository library shall be established by the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. The standards shall include and take into consideration the type of library, ability to preserve such publications and to make them available for public use, and also such geographical locations as will make the publications conveniently accessible to residents in all areas of the state.”

By 1975 contracts had been signed with six institutions willing to serve as depositories. More depositories were added over the years, bringing the total since 1990 to 13 plus the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Depository Library Responsibilities

Making Government Information Accessible

Internet technology has created an opportunity to greatly improve public access to government information. Most state agencies now post key publications to their web sites, and much legislative information is available online. The Library Commission was already making extensive use of the Internet to direct users to Nebraska government information, and had created special web sites such as Nebraska State Government Publications Online and Nebraska Legislators, Past and Present.

In 2005 breakdown of the microfiche camera at the state Records Management Division led to a decision to discontinue fiche production and redirect the program toward providing online access to the same high-priority documents that were formerly sent to depositories on microfiche. They are downloaded or scanned, archived on a Library Commission server, and searchable via Nebraska State Government Publications Online and the NLC catalog. Instead of microfiche, depositories receive regular alerts via What’s Up Doc blog postings which include stable urls that can be used in library catalog records.

The Library Commission partners with the Official State of Nebraska Web Site to offer an “Ask a Librarian” link citizens can use to email, or telephone our reference desk. Many government information links are provided from our NebraskAccess site.

Resources for Government Information

Formats and distribution methods may change, but the Publications Clearinghouse will continue to use new technology and strategies for making government information accessible to Nebraskans.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July and August, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Administrative Services, Nebraska Colleges & Universities, the Nebraska Board of Examiners, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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, 2023:

Bad Subjects : Libertine Lives in the French Atlantic, 1619-1815, by Jennifer J. Davis. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

In a lively account that spans continents, Jennifer J. Davis considers what it meant to be called a libertine in early modern France and its colonies. Libertinage was a polysemous term in early modern Europe and the Atlantic World, generally translated as “debauchery” or “licentiousness” in English. Davis assesses the changing fortunes of the quasi-criminal category of libertinage in the French Atlantic, based on hundreds of cases drawn from the police and judicial archives of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France and its Atlantic colonies alongside the literature inspired by those proceedings.

The libertine life was not merely a subject for fiction nor a topos against which to play out potential revolutions. It was a charge authorities imposed on a startlingly wide array of behaviors, including gambling, selling alcohol to Native Americans, and secret marriages. Once invoked by family and state authorities, the charge proved nearly impossible for the accused to contest, for a libertine need not have committed any crimes to be perceived as disregarding authority and thereby threatening families and social institutions. The research in Bad Subjects provides a framework for analysis of libertinage as a set of anti-authoritarian practices and discourses that circulated among the peoples of France and the Atlantic World, ultimately providing a compelling blueprint for alternative social and economic order in the Revolutionary period.

Butterfly Nebula, by Laura Reece Hogan. Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Butterfly Nebula reaches from the depths of the sea to the edges of space to chart intersections of the physical universe, the divine, the human, and the constantly unfolding experience of being “one thing in the act of becoming another.” This collection of poems teems with creatures and cosmic phenomena that vivify and reveal our common struggle toward faith and identity. The longing and metamorphosis of the human heart and soul are reimagined in an otherworldly landscape of firework jellyfish, sea slug, stingray, praying mantis, butterfly and moth, moon and star, and celestial events ranging from dark matter and Kepler’s Supernova remnant to a dozen classified nebulae. Our desire for purpose and renewal collides with the vast constellation of divine possibility in this collection, which invites the reader to enter a transformative world both deeply interior and embracing of the far-flung cosmos.

Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives, Edited by Torsa Ghosal and Alison Gibbons. Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives interrogates the multimodal relationship between fictionality and factuality. The contemporary discussion about fictionality coincides with an increase in anxiety regarding the categories of fact and fiction in popular culture and global media. Today’s media-saturated historical moment and political climate give a sense of urgency to the concept of fictionality, distinct from fiction, specifically in relation to modes and media of discourse.

Torsa Ghosal and Alison Gibbons explicitly interrogate the relationship of fictionality with multimodal strategies of narrative construction in the present media ecology. Contributors consider the ways narrative structures, their reception, and their theoretical frameworks in narratology are influenced and changed by media composition—particularly new media. By accounting for the relationship of multimodal composition with the ontological complexity of narrative worlds, Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives fills a critical gap in contemporary narratology—the discipline that has, to date, contributed most to the conceptualization of fictionality.

The Gathering of Bastards, by Romeo Oriogun. Series: African Poetry Book

Like I knew, standing
on the seashore, the hunger
wracking a migrant’s body
is movement.
—from Romeo Oriogun’s “Migrant by the Sea”

The Gathering of Bastards chronicles the movement of migrants as they navigate borders both internal and external. At the heart of these poems of vulnerability and sharp intelligence, the poet himself is the perpetual migrant embarked on forced journeys that take him across nations in West and North Africa, through Europe, and through American cities as he navigates the challenges of living through terror and loss and wrestles with the meaning of home.

The JPS Bible Commentary : Psalms 120-150, The Traditional Hebrew Text with the JPS Translation, Commentary by Adele Berlin. Series: JPS Bible Commentary

The Jewish Publication Society’s highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series provides the Hebrew text of the Bible, the JPS English translation, and a line-by-line commentary. This volume presents commentary on Psalms 120–150, based on the most recent research on the language of the Bible, its literary forms, and the historical context that may have given rise to the psalms. The commentary pays special attention to the message of each psalm and to how the poetry shapes the message. At the same time, it draws on traditional Jewish interpretations of the meaning of the psalms.

¡Vino! : The History and Identity of Spanish Wine, by Karl J. Trybus. Series: At Table

¡Vino! explores the history and identity of Spanish wine production from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Nineteenth-century infestations of oidium fungus and phylloxera aphids devastated French and Italian vineyards but didn’t extend to the Iberian Peninsula at first, giving Spanish vintners the opportunity to increase their international sales. Once French and Italian wineries rebounded, however, Spanish wine producers had to up their game. Spain could not produce only table wine; it needed a quality product to compete with the supposedly superior French wines. After the Spanish Civil War the totalitarian Franco regime turned its attention to Spain’s devastated agricultural sector, but the country’s wine industry did not rebound until well after World War II. In the postwar years, it rebranded itself to compete in a more integrated European and international marketplace with the creation of a new wine identity. As European integration continued, Spanish wine producers and the tourism industry worked together to promote the uniqueness of Spain and the quality of its wines.

Karl J. Trybus explores the development of Spanish wine in the context of national and global events, tracing how the wine industry has fared and ultimately prospered despite civil war, regional concerns, foreign problems, and changing tastes.

The Women Who Built Omaha : a Bold and Remarkable History, by Eileen Wirth.

During the 1930s the Federal Writers’ Project described Omaha as a “man’s town,” and histories of the city have all but ignored women. However, women have played major roles in education, health, culture, social services, and other fields since the city’s founding in 1854. In The Women Who Built Omaha Eileen Wirth tells the stories of groundbreaking women who built Omaha, including Susette “Bright Eyes” LaFlesche, who translated at the trial of Chief Standing Bear; Mildred Brown, an African American newspaper publisher; Sarah Joslyn, who personally paid for Joslyn Art Museum; Mrs. B of Nebraska Furniture Mart; and the Sisters of Mercy, who started Omaha’s Catholic schools. Omaha women have been champion athletes and suffragists as well as madams and bootleggers. They transformed the city’s parks, co-founded Creighton University, helped run Boys Town, and so much more, in ways that continue today.

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

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The Veterans Health Library: Helping Veterans Stay Well and Well-Informed

What is the Veterans Health Library?

The Veterans Health Library (VHL) is coordinated by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The VHL is a comprehensive online health resource provided to assist Veterans, their families, and caregivers understand and maintain their best health no matter where they receive care. It features timely health topics and provides a list of Veteran Resources based on the most-frequently searched topics. Health information on the website is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains evidence-based, up-to-date, and relevant to the needs of Veterans. With more than 1.6 million page views per year, the VHL is a popular resource for health information that empowers Veterans to better understand their health, their healthcare, and their options.

How does one access the Veterans Health Library? Who can use it?

The Veterans Health Library is a free-of charge platform available to anyone with an internet connection and its contents can be used by anyone regardless of where they receive their care. There is no required sign-up or login for the Veterans Health Library and users can access health information from the site at any time. Users may simply go to https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov.

VHL content is crafted to aid its users to better understand and manage their own healthcare. Many VHL resources link to uniquely Veteran-focused information, benefits, and programs that help inform Veterans, their families, and caregivers. The VHL can also be accessed by Veterans through MyHealtheVet, an online portal for Veterans receiving healthcare through VA. MyHealtheVet serves to help Veterans manage their prescriptions, appointments, secure messages with medical staff, and their health records.

What health content is available?

The Veterans Health Library hosts health information and resources, written using plain language, health literacy, and accessibility principles, with many materials in both English and Spanish. This includes over 1,600 health information sheets and 6,000 medication information sheets, all in an easy to print format. The VHL offers a catalogue of over 250 health videos across 15 categories such as Cancer (18 videos), Diabetes (15), Medications (19), Pregnancy and Women’s Health (18), and others. It contains in-depth Online Guides on topics such as cardiology, dental, eye and vision care, general health, and orthopedics.  Interactive Go-to Guides include text, videos, printable action plans, quizzes and more to help Veterans better manage their chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, lung disease, and stroke recovery and prevention. Additional Decision Aid Tools help Veterans to better understand treatment options, share results with their healthcare team, and work with them in developing a personalized treatment plan. The Decision Aid Tools assist Veterans in talking with their providers about their own personal health decisions around colorectal cancer screenings, diabetes care, and both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

How do users navigate the Veterans Health Library?

The VHL provides a four-minute video tour to help users understand how to get the most out of the VHL and find what they need. The web tour is fully transcribed and designed to help users learn the website and how to share it with Veterans and others.

There are several ways for Veterans, their families, and caregivers to quickly and easily find the health information they need on the website. There is a main search box that provides a keyword search across all content categories and formats. Below the search box there is an alphabetical browse of the Health Encyclopedia articles. Each article includes a side-bar full of links to related content and VA resources relevant to the health topic within the article.

The Veterans Health Library provides browsable clusters of curated content that serve users who wish to explore additional health information through the tabs on Living WellDiseases & ConditionsTests & TreatmentsMedicationsRehabilitationMental HealthLiving With… [chronic conditions], and Additional Resources. Each of those categories are broken down into sub-categories that range from a few to a few dozen related resources. This curated approach leads users to dozens of related resources within the VHL as well as resources and benefits available through other VA programs, so Veterans and users can find the information they need.

When should I suggest the Veterans Health Library to a Veteran or other user?

The VHL offers resources to help Veterans better understand and take an active role in their health care. Share the VHL with Veterans, their family members, and caregivers as a tool they can use to better understand and manage their own health. Specific resources may be beneficial with certain health situations such as:

  • Instructional graphics to help Veterans understand how to take their medicines.
  • Tracking diaries to support self-care and self-management of health conditions.
  • Online guides to help prepare for surgical procedures.
  • Preventive screening information to stay up to date with recommended tests.
  • Health sheets to educate family members and caregivers on Veteran health issues.

By recommending the VHL to Veterans and those close to them, you can help empower them to take charge in pursuit of their best health.

How can I learn more?

The Veterans Health Library provides an overview of its contents and functions and has a list of frequently asked questions. You can also contact the My HealtheVet Help Desk via the online form or by calling 1-877-327-0022. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am – 8 pm EST. You can provide feedback through the user survey linked on every page. Together, librarians can help ensure that Veterans are well and well-informed.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for May and June, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Board of Parole, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, the Nebraska Legislature, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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, 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.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for March and April, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Brand Committee, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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 March and April, 2023:

The Begging Question : Sweden’s Social Responses to the Roma Destitute, by Erik Hansson ; Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth

Begging, thought to be an inherently un-Swedish phenomenon, became a national fixture in the 2010s as homeless Romanian and Bulgarian Roma EU citizens arrived in Sweden seeking economic opportunity. People without shelter were forced to use public spaces as their private space, disturbing aesthetic and normative orders, creating anxiety among Swedish subjects and resulting in hate crimes and everyday racism.

Parallel with Europe’s refugee crisis in the 2010s, the “begging question” peaked. The presence of the media’s so-called EU migrants caused a crisis in Swedish society along political, juridical, moral, and social lines due to the contradiction embodied in the Swedish authorities’ denial of social support to them while simultaneously seeking to maintain the nation’s image as promoting welfare, equality, and antiracism.

In The Begging Question Erik Hansson argues that the material configurations of capitalism and class society are not only racialized but also unconsciously invested with collective anxieties and desires. By focusing on Swedish society’s response to the begging question, Hansson provides insight into the dialectics of racism. He shrewdly deploys Marxian economics and Lacanian psychoanalysis to explain how it became possible to do what once was thought impossible: criminalize begging and make fascism politically mainstream, in Sweden. What Hansson reveals is not just an insight into one of the most captivating countries on earth but also a timely glimpse into what it means to be human.

The Collected Writings of Sherman and Grace Coolidge, Edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski

Sherman and Grace Coolidge were a remarkable couple in many respects. Sherman Coolidge (Runs On Top), born in the early 1860s into the Northern band of Arapahos, experienced the extreme violence of the Indian Wars, including the death of his father, as a young boy. Grace Wetherbee Coolidge was born into wealth and privilege in 1873, only to reject her life as a New York heiress and become a missionary on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. It was there that Sherman and Grace met and later married in 1902.

After eight years together at Wind River, both went on to achieve prominence: Sherman as the president of the Native-run reform group the Society of American Indians (1911–1923), Grace as the author of Teepee Neighbors, a book describing her time on the reservation that drew praise from critics such as H. L. Mencken. Sherman was an Episcopal priest and a mesmerizing speaker who had the unique ability to blend his assimilated Western perspective with Arapaho values to educate the American public about the significant challenges facing Native peoples, including endemic poverty, racism, and inequality. Offering unprecedented entrée into the most significant writings and documents of a leading Native American advocate and his wife, this volume is an intimate portrait of their life and contributes to our understanding of American Indian activism at a key moment of Indigenous resurgence against the settler state.

Empire Between the Lines : Imperial Culture in British and French Trench Newspapers of the Great War ; by Elizabeth Stice. Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military 

Although the Great War was sparked and fueled by nationalism, it was ultimately a struggle between empires. The shots fired in Sarajevo mobilized citizens and subjects across far-flung continents that were connected by European empires. This imperial experience of the Great War influenced European soldiers’ ideas about the conflict, leading them to reimagine empires and their places with them and eventually reshaping imperial cultures.

In Empire between the Lines Elizabeth Stice analyzes stories, poetry, plays, and cartoons in British and French trench newspapers to demonstrate how British and French soldiers experienced and envisioned empires through the war and the war through empire. By establishing the imperial context for European soldiers and exploring representations of colonial troops, depictions of non-European campaigns, and descriptions of the German enemy, Stice argues that while certain narratives from prewar imperial culture persisted, the experience of the war also created new, competing narratives about empire and colonized peoples.

Empire between the Lines is the first study of its kind to consult British and French newspapers together, offering an innovative lens for viewing the public discourse of the trenches. By interrogating the relationship between British and French soldiers and empire during the war, Stice increases our understanding of the worldview of ordinary men in extraordinary times.

The First Atomic Bomb : the Trinity Site in New Mexico, by Janet Farrell Brodie. Series: America’s Public Lands

On July 16, 1945, just weeks before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought about the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, the United States unleashed the world’s first atomic bomb at the Trinity testing site located in the remote Tularosa Valley in south-central New Mexico. Immensely more powerful than any weapon the world had seen, the bomb’s effects on the surrounding and downwind communities of plants, animals, birds, and humans have lasted decades.

In The First Atomic Bomb Janet Farrell Brodie explores the history of the Trinity test and those whose contributions have rarely, if ever, been discussed—the men and women who constructed, served, and witnessed the first test—as well as the downwinders who suffered the consequences of the radiation. Concentrating on these ordinary people, laborers, ranchers, and Indigenous peoples who lived in the region and participated in the testing, Brodie corrects the lack of coverage in existing scholarship on the essential details and everyday experiences of this globally significant event. The First Atomic Bomb also covers the environmental preservation of the Trinity test site and compares it with the wide range of atomic sites now preserved independently or as part of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Although the Trinity site became a significant node for testing the new weapons of the postwar United States, it is known today as an officially designated National Historic Landmark. Brodie presents a timely, important, and innovative study of an explosion that carries special historical weight in American memory.

The Forgotten Diaspora : Mesoamerican Migrations and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by Travis Jeffres. Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

In The Forgotten Diaspora Travis Jeffres explores how Native Mexicans involved in the conquest of the Greater Southwest pursued hidden agendas, deploying a covert agency that enabled them to reconstruct Indigenous communities and retain key components of their identities even as they were technically allied with and subordinate to Spaniards. Resisting, modifying, and even flatly ignoring Spanish directives, Indigenous Mexicans in diaspora co-created the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and laid enduring claims to the region.

Jeffres contends that tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of central Mexican Natives were indispensable to Spanish colonial expansion in the Greater Southwest in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These vital allies populated frontier settlements, assisted in converting local Indians to Christianity, and provided essential labor in the mining industry that drove frontier expansion and catapulted Spain to global hegemony. However, Nahuatl records reveal that Indigenous migrants were no mere auxiliaries to European colonial causes; they also subverted imperial aims and pursued their own agendas, wresting lands, privileges, and even rights to self-rule from the Spanish Crown. Via Nahuatl-language “hidden transcripts” of Native allies’ motivations and agendas, The Forgotten Diaspora reimagines this critical yet neglected component of the hemispheric colonial-era scattering of the Americas’ Indigenous peoples.

From the Boarding Schools : Apache Indian Students Speak, by Arnold Krupat

Arnold Krupat’s From the Boarding Schools makes available previously unheard Apache voices from the Indian boarding schools. It includes selections from two unpublished autobiographies by Sam Kenoi and Dan Nicholas, produced in the 1930s with the anthropologist Morris Opler, as well as material by and about Vincent Natalish, a contemporary of Kenoi and Nicholas.

Natalish was one of more than one hundred Apaches taken from Fort Marion to the Carlisle Indian School by its superintendent, Captain Richard Henry Pratt, in 1887. A considerable number of these students died at the school, and many who were sent home for illness or poor health did not recover. Natalish, however, remained at Carlisle and graduated in 1899. He married, had a son, and lived and worked in New York. He also actively sought the release of his relatives and other Apaches held prisoner at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Apache people have been telling and circulating stories among themselves for generations. But in contrast to their neighbors the Hopis and the Navajos, Apaches have produced relatively few written autobiographical narratives, and even fewer about their boarding school experiences. Supplementing the narratives with detailed cultural and historical commentary, From the Boarding Schools brings these lived experiences from the archives into current discourse.

The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere, by Paulette F.C. Steeves

2022 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere is a reclaimed history of the deep past of Indigenous people in North and South America during the Paleolithic. Paulette F. C. Steeves mines evidence from archaeology sites and Paleolithic environments, landscapes, and mammalian and human migrations to make the case that people have been in the Western Hemisphere not only just prior to Clovis sites (10,200 years ago) but for more than 60,000 years, and likely more than 100,000 years.

Steeves discusses the political history of American anthropology to focus on why pre-Clovis sites have been dismissed by the field for nearly a century. She explores supporting evidence from genetics and linguistic anthropology regarding First Peoples and time frames of early migrations. Additionally, she highlights the work and struggles faced by a small yet vibrant group of American and European archaeologists who have excavated and reported on numerous pre-Clovis archaeology sites.

In this first book on Paleolithic archaeology of the Americas written from an Indigenous perspective, The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere includes Indigenous oral traditions, archaeological evidence, and a critical and decolonizing discussion of the development of archaeology in the Americas.

Losing Eden : An Environmental History of the American West, by Sara Dant. New Edition. Series: Environment and Region in the American West

Historical narratives often concentrate on wars and politics while omitting the central role and influence of the physical stage on which history is carried out. In Losing Eden award-winning historian Sara Dant debunks the myth of the American West as “Eden” and instead embraces a more realistic and complex understanding of a region that has been inhabited and altered by people for tens of thousands of years.

In this lively narrative Dant discusses the key events and topics in the environmental history of the American West, from the Beringia migration, Columbian Exchange, and federal territorial acquisition to post–World War II expansion, resource exploitation, and current climate change issues. Losing Eden is structured around three important themes: balancing economic success and ecological destruction, creating and protecting public lands, and achieving sustainability.

This revised and updated edition incorporates the latest science and thinking. It also features a new chapter on climate change in the American West, a larger reflection on the region’s multicultural history, updated current events, expanded and diversified suggested readings, along with new maps and illustrations. Cohesive and compelling, Losing Eden recognizes the central role of the natural world in the history of the American West and provides important analysis on the continually evolving relationship between the land and its inhabitants.

Mud, Blood, and Ghosts : Populism, Eugenics, and Spiritualism in the American West, by Julie Carr

Populism has become a global movement associated with nationalism and strong-man politicians, but its root causes remain elusive. Mud, Blood, and Ghosts exposes one deep root in the soil of the American Great Plains. Julie Carr traces her own family’s history through archival documents to draw connections between U.S. agrarian populism, spiritualism, and eugenics, helping readers to understand populism’s tendency toward racism and exclusion.

Carr follows the story of her great-grandfather Omer Madison Kem, three-term Populist representative from Nebraska, avid spiritualist, and committed eugenicist, to explore persistent themes in U.S. history: property, personhood, exclusion, and belonging. While recent books have taken seriously the experiences of poor whites in rural America, they haven’t traced the story to its origins. Carr connects Kem’s journey with that of America’s white establishment and its fury of nativism in the 1920s. Presenting crucial narratives of Indigenous resistance, interracial alliance and betrayal, radical feminism, lifelong hauntings, land policy, debt, shame, grief, and avarice from the Gilded Age through the Progressive Era, Carr asks whether we can embrace the Populists’ profound hopes for a just economy while rejecting the barriers they set up around who was considered fully human, fully worthy of this dreamed society.

Recovering Women’s Past : New Epistemologies, New Ventures, Edited by Severine Genieys-Kirk. Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Feminist rewriting of history is designed not merely to reshape our collective memory and collective imaginary but also to challenge deeply ingrained paradigms about knowledge production. This feminist rewriting raises important questions for early modern scholars, especially in bringing to life the works of our foremothers and in reconsidering women’s agency.

Recovering Women’s Past, edited by Séverine Genieys-Kirk, is a collection of essays that focus on how women born before the nineteenth century have claimed a place in history and how they have been represented in the collective memory from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Scrutinizing the legacies of such politically minded women as Catherine de’ Medici, Queen Isabella of Castile, Emilie du Châtelet, and Olympe de Gouges, the volume’s contributors reflect on how our histories of women (in philosophy, literature, history, and the visual and performative arts) have been shaped by the discourses of their representation, how these discourses have been challenged, and how they can be reassessed both within and beyond the confines of academia. Recovering Women’s Past disseminates a more accurate, vital history of women’s past to engage in more creative and artistic encounters with our intellectual foremothers by creating imaginative modes of representing new knowledge. Only in these interactions will we be able to break away from the prevailing stereotypes about women’s roles and potential and advance the future of feminism.

Without Warning : The Tornado of Udall, Kansas, by Jim Minick

In 1955 the small town of Udall, Kansas, was home to oil field workers, homemakers, and teenagers looking ahead to their futures. But on the night of May 25, an F5 tornado struck their town without warning. In three minutes the tornado destroyed most of the buildings, including the new high school. It toppled the water tower. It lifted a pickup truck, stripped off its cab, and hung the frame in a tree. By the time the tornado moved on, it had killed 82 people and injured 270 others, more than half the town’s population of roughly 600 people. It remains the deadliest tornado in the history of Kansas.

Jim Minick’s nonfiction account, Without Warning, tells the human story of this disaster, moment by moment, from the perspectives of those who survived. His spellbinding narrative connects this history to our world today. Minick demonstrates that even if we have never experienced a tornado, we are still a people shaped and defined by weather and the events that unfold in our changing climate. Through the tragedy and hope found in this story of destruction, Without Warning tells a larger story of community, survival, and how we might find our way through the challenges of the future.

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

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#BookFaceFriday “Might Kindred” by Mónica Gomery

An ode to #BookFaceFriday!

April is National Poetry Month, and we wanted to celebrate by highlighting some of the amazing poetry NLC has in its collection. Like this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “Might Kindred” (University of Nebraska Press, 2022) is a winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry.

One of the most prestigious academic presses in the country, the University of Nebraska Press sends us around 75 select titles per year, which are added to the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse, also known as the Nebraska State Documents Collection. This collection is comprised of publications issued by Nebraska state agencies, ensuring that state government information is available to a wide audience and that those valuable publications are preserved for future generations. University of Nebraska Press books, as well as all state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

“These generous and sensitive meditations on belonging and the first-generation experience cast intimate light on shared human experiences.”
Publishers Weekly
Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!
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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January and February, 2023.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Courts System, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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 January and February, 2023:

A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine) by Vincent Collette; Series: Studies in the Native Languages of the Americas

A Concise Dictionary of Nakoda (Assiniboine) brings to life the hopes and dreams of Nakoda (Assiniboine) elders. The Nakoda language—also known as Assiniboine, an Ojibwe ethnonym meaning “Stone Enemy”—is an endangered Siouan language of the Mississippi Valley branch spoken in southern Saskatchewan and northern Montana. Nakoda belongs to the Dakotan dialectal continuum, which includes Dakota, Lakota, and Stoney.

The fieldwork for this project was done between 2018 and 2020 with Elder Wilma Kennedy, one of the last fluent speakers living in Carry The Kettle, Saskatchewan. The volume brings together many valuable stories and colorful expressions as well as archaic words that do not appear in any known sources of the language. Particular care was taken to obtain the derivatives of many verbal stems, along with sentences for many of the verbs, adverbs, and other function words.

More than a list of words, this volume contains definitions and standard spellings along with a wealth of grammatical information. The dictionary contains more than 6,000 Nakoda-to-English translations, more than 3,000 English-to-Nakoda translations, and more than 1,500 sentences that will be extremely helpful for those interested in mastering the different usages of words and the various sentence patterns of the language. This dictionary of Nakoda can be used by anyone interested in learning or would like to refresh their knowledge of the language.

A Maverick Boasian : The Life and Work of Alexander A Goldenweiser by Sergei Kan; Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

A Maverick Boasian explores the often contradictory life of Alexander Goldenweiser (1880–1940), a scholar considered by his contemporaries to be Franz Boas’s most brilliant and most favored student. The story of his life and scholarship is complex and exciting as well as frustrating. Although Goldenweiser came to the United States from Russia as a young man, he spent the next forty years thinking of himself as a European intellectual who never felt entirely at home. A talented ethnographer, he developed excellent rapport with his Native American consultants but cut short his fieldwork due to lack of funds. An individualist and an anarchist in politics, he deeply resented having to compromise any of his ideas and freedoms for the sake of professional success. A charming man, he risked his career and family life to satisfy immediate needs and wants.

A number of his books and papers on the relationship between anthropology and other social sciences helped foster an important interdisciplinary conversation that continued for decades after his death. For the first time, Sergei Kan brings together and examines all of Goldenweiser’s published scholarly works, archival records, personal correspondences, nonacademic publications, and living memories from several of Goldenweiser’s descendants.

Goldenweiser attracted attention for his unique progressive views on such issues as race, antisemitism, immigration, education, pacifism, gender, and individual rights. His was a major voice in a chorus of progressive Boasians who applied the insights of their discipline to a variety of questions on the American public’s mind. Many of the battles he fought are still with us today.

Aquaman and the War Against Oceans by Ryan Poll; Series: Encapsulations: Critical Comics Studies 

The reimagining of Aquaman in The New 52 transformed the character from a joke to an important figure of ecological justice. In Aquaman and the War against Oceans, Ryan Poll argues that in this twenty-first-century iteration, Aquaman becomes an accessible figure for charting environmental violences endemic to global capitalism and for developing a progressive and popular ecological imagination.
              
Poll contends that The New 52 Aquaman should be read as an allegory that responds to the crises of the Anthropocene, in which the oceans have become sites of warfare and mass death. The Aquaman series, which works to bridge the terrestrial and watery worlds, can be understood as a form of comics activism by its visualizing and verbalizing how the oceans are beyond the projects of the “human” and “humanism” and, simultaneously, are all-too-human geographies that are inextricable from the violent structures of capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. The New 52 Aquaman, Poll demonstrates, proves an important form of ocean literacy in particular and ecological literacy more generally.

Black Gun, Silver Star : the Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves, New edition, by Art T. Burton

In The Story of Oklahoma, Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves appears as the “most feared U.S. marshal in the Indian country.” That Reeves was also an African American who had spent his early life enslaved in Arkansas and Texas made his accomplishments all the more remarkable. Black Gun, Silver Star sifts through fact and legend to discover the truth about one of the most outstanding peace officers in late nineteenth-century America—and perhaps the greatest lawman of the Wild West era.

Bucking the odds (“I’m sorry, we didn’t keep Black people’s history,” a clerk at one of Oklahoma’s local historical societies answered one query), Art T. Burton traces Reeves from his days of slavery to his Civil War soldiering to his career as a deputy U.S. marshal out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, when he worked under “Hanging Judge” Isaac C. Parker. Fluent in Creek and other regional Native languages, physically powerful, skilled with firearms, and a master of disguise, Reeves was exceptionally adept at apprehending fugitives and outlaws and his exploits were legendary in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

In this new edition Burton traces Reeves’s presence in the national media of his day as well as his growing modern presence in popular media such as television, movies, comics, and video games.

Breaking the Silence : Anthology of Liberian Poetry edited by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley; Series: African Poetry Book 

Breaking the Silence is the first comprehensive collection of literature from Liberia since before the nation’s independence. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley has gathered work from the 1800s to the present, including poets and emerging young writers exploring contemporary literary traditions with African and African diaspora poetry that transcends borders. In this collection, Liberia’s founding settlers wrestle with their identity as African free slaves in the homeland from which their ancestors were captured, and writers of the early twentieth and twenty-first centuries find themselves navigating a landscape at odds with itself.

From poets of Liberia’s past to young writers of the present, the contributors to this volume celebrate the beauty of their nation while mourning the devastation of a long, bloody civil war.

Dog on Fire by Terese Svoboda; Series: Flyover Fiction

Out of a Shakespearean-wild Midwest dust storm, a man rises. “Just a glimpse of him,” says his sister; “every inch of him,” says his guilt-filled lover. “Close your eyes,” says his nephew. “What about it?” asks his father. The cupboard is filled with lime Jell-O, and there are aliens, deadly kissing, and a restless, alcoholic mother who carries a gun. “Every family is this normal,” insists the narrator. “Whoever noticed my brother, with a family as normal as this?” the beleaguered sister asks. Against the smoky prairie horizon and despite his seizures, a brother builds a life. Imbued with melancholy cheer, Dog on Fire unfolds around a family’s turmoil, past loves, and a mysterious death.

Hydronarratives : water, Environmental Justice, and a Just Transition by Matthew S. Henry

The story of water in the United States is one of ecosystemic disruption and social injustice. From the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and Flint, Michigan, to the Appalachian coal and gas fields and the Gulf Coast, low-income communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color face the disproportionate effects of floods, droughts, sea level rise, and water contamination.

In Hydronarratives Matthew S. Henry examines cultural representations that imagine a just transition, a concept rooted in the U.S. labor and environmental justice movements to describe an alternative economic paradigm predicated on sustainability, economic and social equity, and climate resilience. Focused on regions of water insecurity, from central Arizona to central Appalachia, Henry explores how writers, artists, and activists have creatively responded to intensifying water crises in the United States and argues that narrative and storytelling are critical to environmental and social justice advocacy. By drawing on a wide and comprehensive range of narrative texts, historical documentation, policy papers, and literary and cultural scholarship, Henry presents a timely project that examines the social movement, just transition, and the logic of the Green New Deal, in addition to contemporary visions of environmental justice.

Mine Mine Mine by Uhuru Portia Phalafala; Series: African Poetry Book

Mine Mine Mine is a personal narration of Uhuru Portia Phalafala’s family’s experience of the migrant labor system brought on by the gold mining industry in Johannesburg, South Africa. Using geopoetics to map geopolitics, Phalafala follows the death of her grandfather during a historic juncture in 2018, when a silicosis class action lawsuit against the mining industry in South Africa was settled in favor of the miners.

Phalafala ties the catastrophic effects of gold mining on the miners and the environment in Johannesburg to the destruction of Black lives, the institution of the Black family, and Black sociality. Her epic poem addresses racial capitalism, bringing together histories of the transatlantic and trans-Indian slave trades, of plantation economies, and of mining and prison-industrial complexes. As inheritor of the migrant labor lineage, she uses her experience to explore how Black women carry intergenerational trauma of racial capitalism in their bodies and intersects the personal and national, continental and diasporic narration of this history within a critical race framework.

Segregation Made Them Neighbors : an Archaeology of Racialization in Boise, Idaho by William A. White III; Series: Historical Archaeology of the American West

Segregation Made Them Neighbors investigates the relationship between whiteness and nonwhiteness through the lenses of landscapes and material culture. William A. White III uses data collected from a public archaeology and digital humanities project conducted in the River Street neighborhood in Boise, Idaho, to investigate the mechanisms used to divide local populations into racial categories. The River Street Neighborhood was a multiracial, multiethnic enclave in Boise that was inhabited by African American, European American, and Basque residents. Building on theoretical concepts from whiteness studies and critical race theory, this volume also explores the ways Boise’s residents crafted segregated landscapes between the 1890s and 1960s to establish white and nonwhite geographies.

White describes how housing, urban infrastructure, ethnicity, race, and employment served to delineate the River Street neighborhood into a nonwhite space, an activity that resulted in larger repercussions for other Boiseans. Using material culture excavated from the neighborhood, White describes how residents used mass-produced products to assert their humanity and subvert racial memes.

By describing the effects of racial discrimination, real-estate redlining, and urban renewal on the preservation of historic properties in the River Street neighborhood, Segregation Made Them Neighbors illustrates the symbiotic mechanisms that also prevent equity and representation through historic preservation in other cities in the American West.

Speculative Wests : Popular Representations of a Region and Genre by Michael K. Johnson; Series: Postwestern Horizons

Looking across the cultural landscape of the twenty-first century, its literature, film, television, comic books, and other media, we can see multiple examples of what Shelley S. Rees calls a “changeling western,” what others have called “weird westerns,” and what Michael K. Johnson refers to as “speculative westerns”—that is, hybrid western forms created by merging the western with one or more speculative genres or subgenres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and alternate history.

Speculative Wests investigates both speculative westerns and other speculative texts that feature western settings. Just as “western” refers both to a genre and a region, Johnson’s narrative involves a study of both genre and place, a study of the “speculative Wests” that have begun to emerge in contemporary texts such as the zombie-threatened California of Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide (2020), the reimagined future Navajo nation of Rebecca Roanhorse’s Sixth World series (2018–19), and the complex temporal and geographic borderlands of Alfredo Véa’s time travel novel The Mexican Flyboy (2016). Focusing on literature, film, and television from 2016 to 2020, Speculative Wests creates new visions of the American West.

Two Open Doors in a Field by Sophie Klahr; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention

The poems of Two Open Doors in a Field are constructed through deliberate limitations, restlessly exploring place, desire, and spirituality. A profusion of sonnets rises from a single circumstance: Sophie Klahr’s experience of driving thousands of miles alone while listening to the radio, where unexpected landscapes make listening to the unexpected more acute. Accompanied by the radio, Klahr’s experience of land is transformed by listening, and conversely, the body of the radio is sometimes lost to the body of the land. The love story at the core of this work, Klahr’s bond with Nebraska, becomes the engine of this travelogue. However far the poems range beyond Nebraska, they are tethered to an environment of work and creation, a place of dirt beneath the nails where one can see every star and feel, acutely, the complexity of connection.

Women, Empires, and Body Politics at the United Nations, 1946-1975 by Giusi Russo; Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Women, Empires, and Body Politics at the United Nations, 1946–1975 tells the story of how women’s bodies were at the center of the international politics of women’s rights in the postwar period. Giusi Russo focuses on the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women and its multiple interactions with the colonial and postcolonial worlds, showing how—depending on the setting and the inquiry—liberal, imperial, and transnational feminisms could coexist.

Russo suggests that in the early stages of identifying discriminating agents in women’s lives, UN commissioners overlooked the nation-state and went through a process of fighting discrimination without identifying the discriminator. However, it was the focus on empire that allowed for a clear identification of how gender constructs were instrumental to state politics and the exclusion of women. An emphasis on colonial practices also generated a focus on the body and radically shifted the commission’s politics from formal equality to a gender-based equilibrium of rights that emphasized practice rather than law. Through a multidisciplinary approach, Russo looks at the women living under colonial and postcolonial systems as the key actors in defining the politics of women’s rights at the UN.

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

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What’s Up Doc? 2022 State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

Below are the state agency publications that were received at the Nebraska Library Commission in 2022.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for November and December, 2022.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Corrections, the Nebraska Department of Criminal Justice, the Nebraska Legislature, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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 November and December, 2022:

Continental Reckoning : The American West in the Age of Expansion by Elliott West. Series: History of the American West

In Continental Reckoning renowned historian Elliott West presents a sweeping narrative of the American West and its vital role in the transformation of the nation. In the 1840s, by which time the United States had expanded to the Pacific, what would become the West was home to numerous vibrant Native cultures and vague claims by other nations. Thirty years later it was organized into states and territories and bound into the nation and world by an infrastructure of rails, telegraph wires, and roads and by a racial and ethnic order, with its Indigenous peoples largely dispossessed and confined to reservations.

Unprecedented exploration uncovered the West’s extraordinary resources, beginning with the discovery of gold in California within days of the United States acquiring the territory following the Mexican-American War. As those resources were developed, often by the most modern methods and through modern corporate enterprise, half of the contiguous United States was physically transformed. Continental Reckoning guides the reader through the rippling, multiplying changes wrought in the western half of the country, arguing that these changes should be given equal billing with the Civil War in this crucial transition of national life.

As the West was acquired, integrated into the nation, and made over physically and culturally, the United States shifted onto a course of accelerated economic growth, a racial reordering and redefinition of citizenship, engagement with global revolutions of science and technology, and invigorated involvement with the larger world. The creation of the West and the emergence of modern America were intimately related. Neither can be understood without the other. With masterful prose and a critical eye, West presents a fresh approach to the dawn of the American West, one of the most pivotal periods of American history.

Everywhen : Australia and the Language of Deep History by Ann McGrath, Laura Rademaker, and Jakelin Troy. Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

Everywhen is a groundbreaking collection about diverse ways of conceiving, knowing, and narrating time and deep history. Looking beyond the linear documentary past of Western or academic history, this collection asks how knowledge systems of Australia’s Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders can broaden our understandings of the past and of historical practice. Indigenous embodied practices for knowing, narrating, and reenacting the past in the present blur the distinctions of linear time, making all history now. Ultimately, questions of time and language are questions of Indigenous sovereignty. The Australian case is especially pertinent because Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are among the few Native peoples without a treaty with their colonizers. Appreciating First Nations’ time concepts embedded in languages and practices, as Everywhen does, is a route to recognizing diverse forms of Indigenous sovereignties.

Everywhen makes three major contributions. The first is a concentration on language, both as a means of knowing and transmitting the past across generations and as a vital, albeit long-overlooked source material for historical investigation, to reveal how many Native people maintained and continue to maintain ancient traditions and identities through language. Everywhen also considers Indigenous practices of history, or knowing the past, that stretch back more than sixty thousand years; these Indigenous epistemologies might indeed challenge those of the academy. Finally, the volume explores ways of conceiving time across disciplinary boundaries and across cultures, revealing how the experience of time itself is mediated by embodied practices and disciplinary norms.

Everywhen brings Indigenous knowledges to bear on the study and meaning of the past and of history itself. It seeks to draw attention to every when, arguing that Native time concepts and practices are vital to understanding Native histories and, further, that they may offer a new framework for history as practiced in the Western academy.

Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape : Photographs by Dana Fritz Photographs by Dana Fritz; Essays by Katie Anania, Rebecca Buller, and Rose-Marie Muzika; Maps by Salvador Lindquist.

In Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape Dana Fritz traces the evolution of the Bessey Ranger District and Nursery of the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands. Fritz’s contemporary photographs of this unique ecosystem, with provocative environmental essays, maps, and historical photographs from the U.S. Forest Service archives, illuminate the complex environmental and natural history of the site, especially as it relates to built environments, land use, and climate change.

The Nebraska National Forest at Halsey, as it is known colloquially, is the largest hand-planted forest in the Western Hemisphere, and formerly in the world. This hybrid landscape of a conifer forest overlaid onto a semiarid grassland just west of the one-hundredth meridian was an ambitious late nineteenth-century idea to create a timber industry, to reclaim a landscape considered disordered and unproductive, and to change the local climate in northcentral Nebraska. While the planners seemed not to appreciate the native grasslands that form the ecosystem of the Nebraska Sandhills, they did recognize the reliable water from the Dismal and Middle Loup Rivers that border the site. In 1902 the first federal nursery was established as part of the Dismal River Forest Reserve to produce seedlings for plains homesteads and the adjacent treeless tract of land. At that time tree planting was not used for carbon sequestration but to mitigate the wind and evaporation of moisture.

The Bessey Nursery now produces replacement seedlings for burned and beetle-damaged forests in the Rocky Mountains and for the Nebraska Conservation Trees Program. This constructed landscape of row-crop trees that were protected from fire for decades, yet never commercially harvested for timber, provides a rich metaphor for current environmental predicaments. The late nineteenth-century effort to reclaim with trees what was called the Great American Desert has evolved to a focus on twenty-first-century conservation, grassland restoration, and reforestation, all of which work to sequester carbon, maintain natural ecosystem balance, and mitigate large-scale climate change. Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape offers a visual and critical examination of this unique managed landscape, which has implications far beyond its borders.

Franz Boas : Shaping Anthropology and Fostering Social Justice, by Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt. Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

Franz Boas defined the concept of cultural relativism and reoriented the humanities and social sciences away from race science toward an antiracist and anticolonialist understanding of human biology and culture. Franz Boas: Shaping Anthropology and Fostering Social Justice is the second volume in Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt’s two-part biography of the renowned anthropologist and public intellectual.

Zumwalt takes the reader through the most vital period in the development of Americanist anthropology and Boas’s rise to dominance in the subfields of cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics. Boas’s emergence as a prominent public intellectual, particularly his opposition to U.S. entry into World War I, reveals his struggle against the forces of nativism, racial hatred, ethnic chauvinism, scientific racism, and uncritical nationalism.

Boas was instrumental in the American cultural renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, training students and influencing colleagues such as Melville Herskovits, Zora Neale Hurston, Benjamin Botkin, Alan Lomax, Langston Hughes, and others involved in combating racism and the flourishing Harlem Renaissance. He assisted German and European émigré intellectuals fleeing Nazi Germany to relocate in the United States and was instrumental in organizing the denunciation of Nazi racial science and American eugenics. At the end of his career Boas guided a network of former student anthropologists, who spread across the country to university departments, museums, and government agencies, imprinting his social science more broadly in the world of learned knowledge.

Franz Boas is a magisterial biography of Franz Boas and his influence in shaping not only anthropology but also the sciences, humanities, social science, visual and performing arts, and America’s public sphere during a period of great global upheaval and democratic and social struggle.

From Near and Far : A Transitional History of France, by Tyler Stovall. Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

From Near and Far relates the history of modern France from the French Revolution to the present. Noted historian Tyler Stovall considers how the history of France interacts with both the broader history of the world and the local histories of French communities, examining the impacts of Karl Marx, Ho Chi Minh, Paul Gauguin, and Josephine Baker alongside the rise of haute couture and the contemporary role of hip hop.

From Near and Far focuses on the interactions between France and three other parts of the world: Europe, the United States, and the French colonial empire. Taking this transnational approach to the history of modern France, Stovall shows how the theme of universalism, so central to modern French culture, has manifested itself in different ways over the last few centuries. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of narrative to French history, that historians tell the story of a nation and a people by bringing together a multitude of stories and tales that often go well beyond its boundaries. In telling these stories From Near and Far gives the reader a vision of France both global and local at the same time.

Gentry Rhetoric : Literacies, Letters, and Writing in an Elizabethan Community by Danial Ellis. Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies

Gentry Rhetoric examines the full range of influences on the Elizabethan and Jacobean genteel classes’ practice of English rhetoric in daily life. Daniel Ellis surveys how the gentry of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Norfolk wrote to and negotiated with each other by employing Renaissance humanist rhetoric, both to solidify their identity and authority in resisting absolutism and authoritarianism, and to transform the political and social state. The rhetorical training that formed the basis of their formal education was one obvious influence. Yet to focus on this training exclusively allows only a limited understanding of the way this class developed the strategies that enabled them to negotiate, argue, and conciliate with one another to such an extent that they could both form themselves as a coherent entity and become the primary shapers of written English’s style, arrangement, and invention.

Gentry Rhetoric deeply and inductively examines archival materials in which members of the gentry discuss, debate, and negotiate matters relating to their class interests and political aspirations. Humanist rhetoric provided the bedrock of address, argumentation, and negotiation that allowed the gentry to instigate a political and educational revolution in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England.

Keorapetse Kgositsile : Collected Poems, 1969-2018 by Keorapetse Kgositsile; Edited and with an introduction by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and Uhuru Portia Phalafala. Series: African Poetry Book

Keorapetse Kgositsile, South Africa’s second poet laureate, was a political activist, teacher, and poet. He lived, wrote, and taught in the United States for a significant part of his life and collaborated with many influential and highly regarded writers, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Plumpp, Dudley Randall, and George Kent. This comprehensive collection of Kgositsile’s new and collected works spans almost fifty years.

During his lifetime, Kgositsile dedicated the majority of his poems to people or movements, documenting the struggle against racism, Western imperialism, and racial capitalism, and celebrating human creativity, particularly music, as an inherent and essential aspect of the global liberation struggle. This collection demonstrates the commitment to equality, justice, and egalitarianism fostered by cultural workers within the mass liberation movement. As the introduction notes, Kgositsile had an “undisputed ability to honor the truth in all its complexity, with a musicality that draws on the repository of memory and history, rebuilt through the rhythms and cadences of jazz.” Addressing themes of Black solidarity, displacement, and anticolonialism, Kgositsile’s prose is fiery, witty, and filled with conviction. This collection showcases a voice that wanted to change the world—and did.

Restoring Nature : the Evolution of Channel Islands National Park by Lary M. Dilsaver and Timothy J. Babalis. Series: America’s Public Lands

Off the coast of California, running from Santa Barbara to La Jolla, lies an archipelago of eight islands known as the California Channel Islands. The northern five were designated as Channel Islands National Park in 1980 to protect and restore the rich habitat of the islands and surrounding waters.

In the years since, that mission intensified as scientists discovered the extent of damage to the delicate habitats of these small fragments of land and to the surprisingly threatened sea around them. In Restoring Nature Lary M. Dilsaver and Timothy J. Babalis examine how the National Park Service has attempted to reestablish native wildlife and vegetation to the five islands through restorative ecology and public land management. The Channel Islands staff were innovators of the inventory and monitoring program whereby the resource problems were exposed. This program became a blueprint for management throughout the U.S. park system.

Dilsaver and Babalis present an innovative regional and environmental history of a little-known corner of the Pacific West, as well as a larger national narrative about how the Park Service developed its approach to restoration ecology, which became a template for broader Park Service policies that shaped the next generation of environmental conservation.

Sex, Gender, and Illegitimacy in the Castilian Noble Family, 1400-1600 by Grace E. Coolidge. Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Sex, Gender, and Illegitimacy in the Castilian Noble Family, 1400–1600 looks at illegitimacy across the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and analyzes its implications for gender and family structure in the Spanish nobility, a class whose actions, structure, and power had immense implications for the future of the country and empire. Grace E. Coolidge demonstrates that women and men were able to challenge traditional honor codes, repair damaged reputations, and manipulate ideals of marriage and sexuality to encompass extramarital sexuality and the nearly constant presence of illegitimate children.

This flexibility and creativity in their sexual lives enabled members of the nobility to repair, strengthen, and maintain their otherwise fragile concept of dynasty and lineage, using illegitimate children and their mothers to successfully project the noble dynasty into the future—even in an age of rampant infant mortality that contributed to the frequent absence of male heirs. While benefiting the nobility as a whole, the presence of illegitimate children could also be disruptive to the inheritance process, and the entire system privileged noblemen and their aims and goals over the lives of women and children.

This book enriches our understanding of the complex households and families of the Spanish nobility, challenging traditional images of a strict patriarchal system by uncovering the hidden lives that made that system function.

Taking the Field : Soldiers, Nature, and Empire on American Frontiers by Amy Kohout. Series: Many Wests

Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.

In the late nineteenth century, at a time when Americans were becoming more removed from nature than ever before, U.S. soldiers were uniquely positioned to understand and construct nature’s ongoing significance for their work and for the nation as a whole. American ideas and debates about nature evolved alongside discussions about the meaning of frontiers, about what kind of empire the United States should have, and about what it meant to be modern or to make “progress.” Soldiers stationed in the field were at the center of these debates, and military action in the expanding empire brought new environments into play.

In Taking the Field Amy Kohout draws on the experiences of U.S. soldiers in both the Indian Wars and the Philippine-American War to explore the interconnected ideas about nature and empire circulating at the time. By tracking the variety of ways American soldiers interacted with the natural world, Kohout argues that soldiers, through their words and their work, shaped Progressive Era ideas about both American and Philippine environments. Studying soldiers on multiple frontiers allows Kohout to inject a transnational perspective into the environmental history of the Progressive Era, and an environmental perspective into the period’s transnational history. Kohout shows us how soldiers—through their writing, their labor, and all that they collected—played a critical role in shaping American ideas about both nature and empire, ideas that persist to the present.

The Camp Fire Girls : Gender, Race, and American Girlhood, 1910–1980 by Jennifer Helgren. Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

As the twentieth century dawned, progressive educators established a national organization for adolescent girls to combat what they believed to be a crisis of girls’ education. A corollary to the Boy Scouts of America, founded just a few years earlier, the Camp Fire Girls became America’s first and, for two decades, most popular girls’ organization. Based on Protestant middle-class ideals—a regulatory model that reinforced hygiene, habit formation, hard work, and the idea that women related to the nation through service—the Camp Fire Girls invented new concepts of American girlhood by inviting disabled girls, Black girls, immigrants, and Native Americans to join. Though this often meant a false sense of cultural universality, in the girls’ own hands membership was often profoundly empowering and provided marginalized girls spaces to explore the meaning of their own cultures in relation to changes taking place in twentieth-century America.

Through the lens of the Camp Fire Girls, Jennifer Helgren traces the changing meanings of girls’ citizenship in the cultural context of the twentieth century. Drawing on girls’ scrapbooks, photographs, letters, and oral history interviews, in addition to adult voices in organization publications and speeches, The Camp Fire Girls explores critical intersections of gender, race, class, nation, and disability.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887-1888, Volume 1 by Henry James; Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias; Katie Sommer, Associate Editor; With an introduction by Sarah Wadsworth. Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This first volume in The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1887–1888 contains 154 letters, of which 94 are published for the first time, written from early January to December 22, 1887. 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 “The Aspern Papers,” Partial Portraits, and plans The Reverberator. This volume opens with James in the midst of a long sojourn in Italy and concludes with his inquiring about both the status of his essay to the American Copyright League and also the story “The Liar.”

The Dakota Way of Life by Ella Cara Deloria; Edited by Raymond J. DeMallie and Thierry Veyrié; Afterword by Philip J. Deloria. Series: Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians

Ella Cara Deloria devoted much of her life to the study of the language and culture of the Sioux (Dakota and Lakota). The Dakota Way of Life is the result of the long history of her ethnographic descriptions of traditional Dakota culture and social life. Deloria was the most prolific Native scholar of the greater Sioux Nation, and the results of her work comprise an essential source for the study of the greater Sioux Nation culture and language. For years she collected material for a study that would document the variations from group to group. Tragically, her manuscript was not published during her lifetime, and at the end of her life all of her major works remained unpublished.

Deloria was a perfectionist who worked slowly and cautiously, attempting to be as objective as possible and revising multiple times. As a result, her work is invaluable. Her detailed cultural descriptions were intended less for purposes of cultural preservation than for practical application. Deloria was a scholar through and through, and yet she never let her dedication to scholarship overwhelm her sense of responsibility as a Dakota woman, with family concerns taking precedence over work. Her constant goal was to be an interpreter of an American Indian reality to others. Her studies of the Sioux are a monument to her talent and industry.

The Imperial Gridiron : Manhood, Civilization, and Football at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School by Matthew Bentley and John Bloom.

The Imperial Gridiron examines the competing versions of manhood at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School between 1879 and 1918. Students often arrived at Carlisle already engrained with Indigenous ideals of masculinity. On many occasions these ideals would come into conflict with the models of manhood created by the school’s original superintendent, Richard Henry Pratt. Pratt believed that Native Americans required the “embrace of civilization,” and he emphasized the qualities of self-control, Christian ethics, and retaliatory masculinity. He encouraged sportsmanship and fair play over victory.

Pratt’s successors, however, adopted a different approach, and victory was enshrined as the main objective of Carlisle sports. As major stars like Jim Thorpe and Lewis Tewanima came to the fore, this change in approach created a conflict over manhood within the school: should the competitive athletic model be promoted, or should Carlisle focus on the more self-controlled, Christian ideal as promoted by the school’s Young Men’s Christian Association? The answer came from the 1914 congressional investigation of Carlisle. After this grueling investigation, Carlisle’s model of manhood starkly reverted to the form of the Pratt years, and by the time the school closed in 1918, the school’s standards of masculinity had come full circle.

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

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September and October, 2022.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the Nebraska Civil Defence Agency, the Nebraska Department Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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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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