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The world's water is under siege. A combination of corporate greed, the elite pursuit of political power, and our unrelenting reliance on carbon-based energy is accerlating a broad range of environmental and political crises. Potentially catastrophic climate change, driven primarily by the consumption of oil and gas, threatens the environment in a variety of ways, including producing unprecedented patterns of heavy weather and superstorms in some places and droughts in others. Alongside intensifying environmental dangers posed by our reliance on carbon energy, the conditions of modern life, from happiness to the possibility of democratic politics, are also being undermined. In Running Dry, historian Toby Craig Jones explores how modern society's unquenchable thirst for carbon-based energy is endangering the environment broadly, as well as the historical roots of this threat. This accessible book examines the history of the "energy-water nexus," the ways in which oil and gas extraction poison and dry up water resources, the role of corporate "science" in deflecting attention away from the emerging crises, and the ways in which the rush to capture more energy is also challenging America's democratic order.
Histories of civil rights movements in America generally place little or no emphasis on the activism of Asian Americans. Yet, as this fascinating new study reveals, there is a long and distinctive legacy of civil rights activism among foreign and American-born Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino students, who formed crucial alliances based on their shared religious affiliations and experiences of discrimination. Stephanie Hinnershitz tells the story of the Asian American campus organizations that flourished on the West Coast from the 1900s through the 1960s. Using their faith to point out the hypocrisy of fellow American Protestants who supported segregation and discriminatory practices, the student activists in these groups also performed vital outreach to communities outside the university, from Californian farms to Alaskan canneries. Highlighting the unique multiethnic composition of these groups, Race, Religion, and Civil Rights explores how the students' interethnic activism weathered a variety of challenges, from the outbreak of war between Japan and China to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Drawing from a variety of archival sources to bring forth the authentic, passionate voices of the students, Race, Religion, and Civil Rights is a testament to the powerful ways they served to shape the social, political, and cultural direction of civil rights movements throughout the West Coast.
Driven by a passion for music, for excellence, and for fame, violin soloists are immersed from early childhood in high-pressure competitions, regular public appearances, and arduous daily practice. An in-depth study of nearly one hundred such children, Producing Excellence illuminates the process these young violinists undergo to become elite international soloists. A musician and a parent of a young violinist, sociologist Izabela Wagner offers an inside look at how her young subjects set out on the long road to becoming a soloist. The remarkable research she conducted--at rehearsals, lessons, and in other educational settings--enabled her to gain deep insight into what distinguishes these talented prodigies and their training. She notes, for instance, the importance of a family culture steeped in the values of the musical world. Indeed, more than half of these students come from a family of professional musicians and were raised in an atmosphere marked by the importance of instrumental practice, the vitality of music as a vocation, and especially the veneration of famous artists. Wagner also highlights the highly structured, rigorous training system of identifying, nurturing, and rewarding talent, even as she underscores the social, economic, and cultural factors that make success in this system possible. Offering an intimate portrait of the students, their parents, and their instructors, Producing Excellence sheds new light on the development of exceptional musical talent, as well as draw much larger conclusions as to "producing prodigy" in other competition-prone areas, such as sports, sciences, the professions, and other arts. Wagner's insights make this book valuable for academics interested in the study of occupations, and her clear, lively writing is perfect for general readers curious about the ins and outs of training to be a violin soloist.
Of all the job titles listed in the opening and closing screen credits, producer is certainly the most amorphous. There are businessmen (and women)-producers, writer-director- and movie-star-producers; producers who work for the studio; executive producers whose reputation and industry clout alone gets a project financed (though their day-to-day participation in the project may be negligible). The job title, regardless of the actual work involved, warrants a great deal of prestige in the film business; it is the credited producers, after all, who collect the Oscar for Best Picture. But what producers do and what they don't or won't do varies from project to project. Producing is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the roles that producers have played in Hollywood, from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present day. It introduces readers to the colorful figures who helped to define and reimagine the producer's role, including inventors like Thomas Edison, moguls like Darryl F. Zanuck, entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, and mavericks like Roger Corman. Readers also get an inside look at the less glamorous jobs producers have often performed: shepherding projects through many years of development, securing financial backers, and supervising movie shoots. The latest book in the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Producing includes essays written by seven film scholars, each an expert in a different period of cinema history. Together, they give readers a full picture of how the art and business of producing films has changed over time--and how the producer's myriad job duties continue to evolve in the digital era.
The fantasy of a male creator constructing his perfect woman dates back to the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Yet as technology has advanced over the past century, the figure of the lifelike manmade woman has become nearly ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Bride of Frankenstein to Weird Science to The Stepford Wives. Now Julie Wosk takes us on a fascinating tour through this bevy of artificial women, revealing the array of cultural fantasies and fears they embody. My Fair Ladies considers how female automatons have been represented as objects of desire in fiction and how "living dolls" have been manufactured as real-world fetish objects. But it also examines the many works in which the "perfect" woman turns out to be artificial--a robot or doll--and thus becomes a source of uncanny horror. Finally, Wosk introduces us to a variety of female artists, writers, and filmmakers--from Cindy Sherman to Shelley Jackson to Zoe Kazan--who have cleverly crafted their own images of simulated women. Anything but dry, My Fair Ladies draws upon Wosk's own experiences as a young female Playboy copywriter and as a child of the "feminine mystique" era to show how images of the artificial woman have loomed large over real women's lives. Lavishly illustrated with film stills, artwork, and vintage advertisements, this book offers a fresh look at familiar myths about gender, technology, and artistic creation.
As the two billion YouTube views for "Gangnam Style" would indicate, South Korean popular culture has begun to enjoy new prominence on the global stage. Yet, as this timely new study reveals, the nation's film industry has long been a hub for transnational exchange, producing movies that put a unique spin on familiar genres, while influencing world cinema from Hollywood to Bollywood. Movie Migrations is not only an introduction to one of the world's most vibrant national cinemas, but also a provocative call to reimagine the very concepts of "national cinemas" and "film genre." Challenging traditional critical assumptions that place Hollywood at the center of genre production, Hye Seung Chung and David Scott Diffrient bring South Korean cinema to the forefront of recent and ongoing debates about globalization and transnationalism. In each chapter they track a different way that South Korean filmmakers have adapted material from foreign sources, resulting in everything from the Manchurian Western to The Host's reinvention of the Godzilla mythos. Spanning a wide range of genres, the book introduces readers to classics from the 1950s and 1960s Golden Age of South Korean cinema, while offering fresh perspectives on recent favorites like Oldboy and Thirst. Perfect not only for fans of Korean film, but for anyone curious about media in an era of globalization, Movie Migrations will give readers a new appreciation for the creative act of cross-cultural adaptation.
Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Katharine Hepburn all made lasting impressions with the cinematic cross-dressing they performed onscreen. What few modern viewers realize, however, is that these seemingly daring performances of the 1930s actually came at the tail end of a long wave of gender-bending films that included more than 400 movies featuring women dressed as men. Laura Horak spent a decade scouring film archives worldwide, looking at American films made between 1908 and 1934, and what she discovered could revolutionize our understanding of gender roles in the early twentieth century. Questioning the assumption that cross-dressing women were automatically viewed as transgressive, she finds that these figures were popularly regarded as wholesome and regularly appeared onscreen in the 1910s, thus lending greater respectability to the fledgling film industry. Horak also explores how and why this perception of cross-dressed women began to change in the 1920s and early 1930s, examining how cinema played a pivotal part in the representation of lesbian identity. Girls Will Be Boys excavates a rich history of gender-bending film roles, enabling readers to appreciate the wide array of masculinities that these actresses performed--from sentimental boyhood to rugged virility to gentlemanly refinement. Taking us on a guided tour through a treasure-trove of vintage images, Girls Will Be Boys helps us view the histories of gender, sexuality, and film through fresh eyes.
From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express takes readers on a compelling journey from the California Gold Rush to the present, letting readers witness both the profusion of Chinese restaurants across the United States and the evolution of many distinct American-Chinese iconic dishes from chop suey to General Tso's chicken. Along the way, historian Haiming Liu explains how the immigrants adapted their traditional food to suit local palates, and gives readers a taste of Chinese cuisine embedded in the bittersweet story of Chinese Americans. Treating food as a social history, Liu explores why Chinese food changed and how it has influenced American culinary culture, and how Chinese restaurants have become places where shared ethnic identity is affirmed--not only for Chinese immigrants but also for American Jews. The book also includes a look at national chains like P. F. Chang's and a consideration of how Chinese food culture continues to spread around the globe. Drawing from hundreds of historical and contemporary newspaper reports, journal articles, and writings on food in both English and Chinese, From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express represents a groundbreaking piece of scholarly research. It can be enjoyed equally as a fascinating set of stories about Chinese migration, cultural negotiation, race and ethnicity, diverse flavored Chinese cuisine and its share in American food market today.
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was one of the deadliest disasters in modern history, sparking an international aid response--with pledges and donations of $16 billion--that was exceedingly generous. But now, five years later, that generous aid has clearly failed. In Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti, anthropologist Mark Schuller captures the voices of those involved in the earthquake aid response, and they paint a sharp, unflattering view of the humanitarian enterprise. Schuller led an independent study of eight displaced-persons camps in Haiti, compiling more than 150 interviews ranging from Haitian front-line workers and camp directors to foreign humanitarians and many displaced Haitian people. The result is an insightful account of why the multi-billion-dollar aid response not only did little to help but also did much harm, triggering a range of unintended consequences, rupturing Haitian social and cultural institutions, and actually increasing violence, especially against women. The book shows how Haitian people were removed from any real decision-making, replaced by a top-down, NGO-dominated system of humanitarian aid, led by an army of often young, inexperienced foreign workers. Ignorant of Haitian culture, these aid workers unwittingly enacted policies that triggered a range of negative results. Haitian interviewees also note that the NGOs "planted the flag," and often tended to "just do something," always with an eye to the "photo op" (in no small part due to the competition over funding). Worse yet, they blindly supported the eviction of displaced people from the camps, forcing earthquake victims to relocate in vast shantytowns that were hotbeds of violence. Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti concludes with suggestions to help improve humanitarian aid in the future, perhaps most notably, that aid workers listen to--and respect the culture of--the victims of catastrophe.
In 1965, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan--then a high-ranking official in the Department of Labor--sparked a firestorm when he released his report "The Negro Family," which came to be regarded by both supporters and detractors as an indictment of African American culture. Blaming the Poor examines the regrettably durable impact of the Moynihan Report for race relations and social policy in America, challenging the humiliating image the report cast on poor black families and its misleading explanation of the causes of poverty. A leading authority on poverty and racism in the United States, Susan D. Greenbaum dismantles Moynihan's main thesis--that the so called matriarchal structure of the African American family "feminized" black men, making them inadequate workers and absent fathers, and resulting in what he called a tangle of pathology that led to a host of ills, from teen pregnancy to adult crime. Drawing on extensive scholarship, Greenbaum highlights the flaws in Moynihan's analysis. She reveals how his questionable ideas have been used to redirect blame for substandard schools, low wages, and the scarcity of jobs away from the societal forces that cause these problems, while simultaneously reinforcing stereotypes about African Americans. Greenbaum also critiques current policy issues that are directly affected by the tangle of pathology mindset--the demonization and destruction of public housing; the criminalization of black youth; and the continued humiliation of the poor by entrepreneurs who become rich consulting to teachers, non-profits, and social service personnel. A half century later, Moynihan's thesis remains for many a convenient justification for punitive measures and stingy indifference to the poor. Blaming the Poor debunks this infamous thesis, proposing instead more productive and humane policies to address the enormous problems facing us today.
A classic account of low-wage workers' organization that the US Department of Labor calls one of the "100 books that has shaped work in America."As low-wage organizing campaigns have been reignited by the Fight for 15 movement and other workplace struggles the classic Poor Workers' Unions-one of the 100 books the US Department of Labor says has "shaped work in America"-is as prescient as ever.
A Vintage Shorts "Short Story Month" Selection As his parents' marriage disintegrates, a precocious if distracted fifth-grader starts to daydream about baseball, spaghetti, and his place in the universe. Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo is one of America's finest writers, and here, truthfully and with compassion, he unwinds the slow disillusionment of childhood. A selection from Russo's tenderhearted collection of short stories, The Whore's Child. An ebook short.
The Holocaust has bequeathed to contemporary society a cultural lexicon of intensely powerful symbols, a vocabulary of remembrance that we draw on to comprehend the otherwise incomprehensible horror of the Shoah. Engagingly written and illustrated with more than forty black-and-white images, Holocaust Icons probes the history and memory of four of these symbolic relics left in the Holocaust's wake. Jewish studies scholar Oren Stier offers in this volume new insight into symbols and the symbol-making process, as he traces the lives and afterlives of certain remnants of the Holocaust and their ongoing impact. Stier focuses in particular on four icons: the railway cars that carried Jews to their deaths, symbolizing the mechanics of murder; the Arbeit Macht Frei ("work makes you free") sign over the entrance to Auschwitz, pointing to the insidious logic of the camp system; the number six million that represents an approximation of the number of Jews killed as well as mass murder more generally; and the persona of Anne Frank, associated with victimization. Stier shows how and why these icons--an object, a phrase, a number, and a person--have come to stand in for the Holocaust: where they came from and how they have been used and reproduced; how they are presently at risk from a variety of threats such as commodification; and what the future holds for the memory of the Shoah. In illuminating these icons of the Holocaust, Stier offers valuable new perspective on one of the defining events of the twentieth century. He helps readers understand not only the Holocaust but also the profound nature of historical memory itself.
Long before Batman, Flash Gordon, or the Lone Ranger were the stars of their own TV shows, they had dedicated audiences watching their adventures each week. The difference was that this action took place on the big screen, in short adventure serials whose exciting cliffhangers compelled the young audience to return to the theater every seven days. Matinee Melodrama is the first book about the adventure serial as a distinct artform, one that uniquely encouraged audience participation and imaginative play. Media scholar Scott Higgins proposes that the serial's incoherent plotting and reliance on formula, far from being faults, should be understood as some of its most appealing attributes, helping to spawn an active fan culture. Further, he suggests these serials laid the groundwork not only for modern-day cinematic blockbusters like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also for all kinds of interactive media that combine spectacle, storytelling, and play. As it identifies key elements of the serial form--from stock characters to cliffhangers--Matinee Melodrama delves deeply into questions about the nature of suspense, the aesthetics of action, and the potentials of formulaic narrative. Yet it also provides readers with a loving look at everything from Zorro's Fighting Legion to Daredevils of the Red Circle, conveying exactly why these films continue to thrill and enthrall their fans.
Although fewer American Jews today describe themselves as religious, they overwhelmingly report a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people. Indeed, Jewish peoplehood has eclipsed religion--as well as ethnicity and nationality--as the essence of what binds Jews around the globe to one another. In Jewish Peoplehood, Noam Pianko highlights the current significance and future relevance of "peoplehood" by tracing the rise, transformation, and return of this novel term. The book tells the surprising story of peoplehood. Though it evokes a sense of timelessness, the term actually emerged in the United States in the 1930s, where it was introduced by American Jewish leaders, most notably Rabbi Stephen Wise and Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, with close ties to the Zionist movement. It engendered a sense of unity that transcended religious differences, cultural practices, geographic distance, economic disparity, and political divides, fostering solidarity with other Jews facing common existential threats, including the Holocaust, and establishing a closer connection to the Jewish homeland. But today, Pianko points out, as globalization erodes the dominance of nationalism in shaping collective identity, Jewish peoplehood risks becoming an outdated paradigm. He explains why popular models of peoplehood fail to address emerging conceptions of ethnicity, nationalism, and race, and he concludes with a much-needed roadmap for a radical reconfiguration of Jewish collectivity in an increasingly global era. Innovative and provocative, Jewish Peoplehood provides fascinating insight into a term that assumes an increasingly important position at the heart of American Jewish and Israeli life.
It is easy to dismiss advertising as simply the background chatter of modern life, often annoying, sometimes hilarious, and ultimately meaningless. But Kerri P. Steinberg argues that a careful study of the history of advertising can reveal a wealth of insight into a culture. In Jewish Mad Men, Steinberg looks specifically at how advertising helped shape the evolution of American Jewish life and culture over the past one hundred years. Drawing on case studies of famous advertising campaigns--from Levy's Rye Bread ("You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's") to Hebrew National hot dogs ("We answer to a higher authority")--Steinberg examines advertisements from the late nineteenth-century in New York, the center of advertising in the United States, to trace changes in Jewish life there and across the entire country. She looks at ads aimed at the immigrant population, at suburbanites in midcentury, and at hipster and post-denominational Jews today. In addition to discussing campaigns for everything from Manischewitz wine to matzoh, Jewish Mad Men also portrays the legendary Jewish figures in advertising--like Albert Lasker and Bill Bernbach--and lesser known "Mad Men" like Joseph Jacobs, whose pioneering agency created the brilliantly successful Maxwell House Coffee Haggadah. Throughout, Steinberg uses the lens of advertising to illuminate the Jewish trajectory from outsider to insider, and the related arc of immigration, acculturation, upward mobility, and suburbanization.Anchored in the illustrations, photographs, jingles, and taglines of advertising, Jewish Mad Men features a dozen color advertisements and many black-and-white images. Lively and insightful, this book offers a unique look at both advertising and Jewish life in the United States.
Today there are approximately fifty thousand prisoners in American prisons serving life without parole, having been found guilty of crimes ranging from murder and rape to burglary, carjacking, and drug offences. In The Forgotten Men, criminologist Margaret E. Leigey provides an insightful account of a group of aging inmates imprisoned for at least twenty years, with virtually no chance of release. These men make up one of the most marginalized segments of the contemporary U.S. prison population. Considered too dangerous for rehabilitation, ignored by prison administrators, and overlooked by courts disinclined to review such sentences, these prisoners grow increasingly cut off from family and the outside world. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-five such prisoners, Leigey gives voice to these extremely marginalized inmates and offers a look at how they struggle to cope. She reveals, for instance, that the men believe that permanent incarceration is as inhumane as capital punishment, calling life without parole "the hard death penalty." Indeed, after serving two decades in prison, some wished that they had received the death penalty instead. Leigey also recounts the ways in which the prisoners attempt to construct meaningful lives inside the bleak environment where they will almost certainly live out their lives. Every state in the union (except Alaska) has the life-without-parole sentencing option, despite its controversial nature and its staggering cost to the taxpayer. The Forgotten Men provides a much-needed analysis of the policies behind life-without-parole sentencing, arguing that such sentences are overused and lead to serious financial and ethical dilemmas.
Over the past decade, as digital media has expanded and print outlets have declined, pundits have bemoaned a "crisis of criticism" and mourned the "death of the critic." Now that well-paying jobs in film criticism have largely evaporated, while blogs, message boards, and social media have given new meaning to the saying that "everyone's a critic," urgent questions have emerged about the status and purpose of film criticism in the twenty-first century. In Film Criticism in the Digital Age, ten scholars from across the globe come together to consider whether we are witnessing the extinction of serious film criticism or seeing the start of its rebirth in a new form. Drawing from a wide variety of case studies and methodological perspectives, the book's contributors find many signs of the film critic's declining clout, but they also locate surprising examples of how critics--whether moonlighting bloggers or salaried writers--have been able to intervene in current popular discourse about arts and culture. In addition to collecting a plethora of scholarly perspectives, Film Criticism in the Digital Age includes statements from key bloggers and print critics, like Armond White and Nick James. Neither an uncritical celebration of digital culture nor a jeremiad against it, this anthology offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and possibilities that the Internet brings to the evaluation, promotion, and explanation of artistic works.
The first novel from William Kennedy in more than five years and universally acclaimed as his most powerful work since the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ironweed, Roscoe shows Kennedy at his very best. It's V-J Day, the war is over, and Roscoe Conway, after twenty-six years as the second in command of Albany's notorious political machine, decides to quit politics forever. But there's no way out, and only his Machiavellian imagination can help him cope with the erupting disasters. Every step leads back to the past-to the early loss of his true love, the takeover of city hall, the machine's fight with FDR and Al Smith to elect a governor, and the methodical assassination of gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond. "Thick with crime, passion, and backroom banter" (The New Yorker), Roscoe is an odyssey of great scope and linguistic verve, a deadly, comic masterpiece from one of America's most important writers.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods returns with a story of the Calamity Janes...fierce friends facing challenges in life and love. What would Emma Rogers do without her oldest friends, the Calamity Janes? As teenagers in Winding River Wyoming, they'd supported her ambitious dreams. A decade later, when Emma went home, struggling with single motherhood and career pressures as a top Denver attorney, Cassie, Karen, Gina and Lauren rallied around her. But why are the Calamity Janes urging her to look with favor on her sexy nemesis, Ford Hamilton? Isn't it bad enough that her young daughter is singing the praises of the heart-stoppingly handsome publisher who'd clashed repeatedly with Emma on a controversial court case? Worst of all, Emma's own heart is strongly tempted by Ford's offer to match wits--and join hearts--with him for a lifetime! Originally published as The Calamity Janes.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods returns with a story of the Calamity Janes...fierce friends facing challenges in life and love. On the run from her troubles, Gina Petrillo seeks out the support of her oldest friends, the Calamity Janes...until trouble follows her home to Winding River, Wyoming. City-slicker lawyer Rafe O'Donnell is in hot pursuit of Gina, and he doesn't intend to let his sexy suspect out of his sight. But shadowing Gina could prove a challenge, because despite his distrust, Gina's mouthwatering kisses are irresistible. And while Rafe is out to catch a thief--she just might steal his heart! Originally published as To Catch a Thief.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods returns with a story of the Calamity Janes...fierce friends facing challenges in life and love. Cassie Collins has returned to reconnect with her oldest friends, the Calamity Janes, and put her troubles behind her. But trouble finds her in the disconcertingly sexy form of Cole Davis--father of her child. Having discovered her secret, Cole demands a marriage of convenience--or Cassie could lose her son to the powerful, wealthy Davis clan. Time hadn't dulled Cassie's anger at the man who'd betrayed her 10 years ago...nor cooled the fiery attraction between them. Could she rekindle their long-lost love, and unite Cole, herself, and their son in the precious bonds of family? Originally published as Do You Take This Rebel.
Our children mean the world to us. They are so central to our hopes and dreams that we will do almost anything to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. What happens, then, when a child has serious problems? In Family Trouble, a compelling portrait of upheaval in family life, sociologist Ara Francis tells the stories of middle-class men and women whose children face significant medical, psychological, and social challenges. Francis interviewed the mothers and fathers of children with such problems as depression, bi-polar disorder, autism, learning disabilities, drug addiction, alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Children's problems, she finds, profoundly upset the foundations of parents' everyday lives, overturning taken-for-granted expectations, daily routines, and personal relationships. Indeed, these problems initiated a chain of disruption that moved through parents' lives in domino-like fashion, culminating in a crisis characterized by uncertainty, loneliness, guilt, grief, and anxiety. Francis looks at how mothers and fathers often differ in their interpretation of a child's condition, discusses the gendered nature of child rearing, and describes how parents struggle to find effective treatments and to successfully navigate medical and educational bureaucracies. But above all, Family Trouble examines how children's problems disrupt middle-class dreams of the "normal" family. It captures how children's problems "radiate" and spill over into other areas of parents' lives, wreaking havoc even on their identities, leading them to reevaluate deeply held assumptions about their own sense of self and what it means to achieve the good life. Engagingly written, Family Trouble offers insight to professionals and solace to parents. The book offers a clear message to anyone in the throes of family trouble: you are in good company, and you are not as different as you might feel...
Each month brings new scientific findings that demonstrate the ways in which human activities, from resource extraction to carbon emissions, are doing unprecedented, perhaps irreparable damage to our world. As we hear these climate change reports and their predictions for the future of Earth, many of us feel a sickening sense of déjà vu, as though we have already seen the sad outcome to this story. Drawing from recent scholarship that analyzes climate change as a form of "slow violence" that humans are inflicting on the environment, Climate Trauma theorizes that such violence is accompanied by its own psychological condition, what its author terms "Pretraumatic Stress Disorder." Examining a variety of films that imagine a dystopian future, renowned media scholar E. Ann Kaplan considers how the increasing ubiquity of these works has exacerbated our sense of impending dread. But she also explores ways these films might help us productively engage with our anxieties, giving us a seemingly prophetic glimpse of the terrifying future selves we might still work to avoid becoming. Examining dystopian classics like Soylent Green alongside more recent examples like The Book of Eli, Climate Trauma also stretches the limits of the genre to include features such as Blindness, The Happening, Take Shelter, and a number of documentaries on climate change. These eclectic texts allow Kaplan to outline the typical blind-spots of the genre, which rarely depicts climate catastrophe from the vantage point of women or minorities. Lucidly synthesizing cutting-edge research in media studies, psychoanalytic theory, and environmental science, Climate Trauma provides us with the tools we need to extract something useful from our nightmares of a catastrophic future.
Many saw the 2008 election of Barack Obama as a sign that America had moved past the issue of race, that a colorblind society was finally within reach. But as Marianne Modica reveals in Race Among Friends, attempts to be colorblind do not end racism--in fact, ignoring race increases the likelihood that racism will occur in our schools and in society. This intriguing volume focuses on a "racially friendly" suburban charter school called Excellence Academy, highlighting the ways that students and teachers think about race and act out racial identity. Modica finds that even in an environment where students of all racial backgrounds work and play together harmoniously, race affects the daily experiences of students and teachers in profound but unexamined ways. Some teachers, she notes, feared that talking about race in the classroom would open them to charges of racism, so they avoided the topic. And rather than generate honest and constructive conversations about race, student friendships opened the door for insensitive racial comments by whites, resentment and silence by blacks, and racially biased administrative practices. In the end, the school's friendly environment did not promote--and may have hindered--serious discussion of race and racial inequity. The desire to ignore race in favor of a "colorblind society," Modica writes, has become an entrenched part of American culture. But as Race Among Friends shows, when race becomes a taboo subject, it has serious ramifications for students and teachers of all ethnic origins.
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