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Faculty Books

At Columbia University in April 1968, Hilton Obenzinger was one of many students who dramatically occupied the president's office. For six days they protested the university's secret research to support the Vietnam War and its plans to build a gym in Morningside Park despite the opposition of...
How We Write Book Cover
How We Write: The Varieties of Writing Experience is based on the series of “How I Write” public conversations with faculty and other advanced writers conducted by Hilton Obenzinger at Stanford University since 2002. These conversations explored the nuts and bolts, pleasures and pains, of all types...
Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play Book Cover
Jennifer DeVere Brody
In Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play , Jennifer DeVere Brody illuminates the performative aspects of dots, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks, semicolons, colons, and exclamation points by considering them in relation to aesthetics and experimental art. Through her readings of texts and symbols...
Cover of The Poetics of Slumberland
Scott Bukatman
In The Poetics of Slumberland , Scott Bukatman celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman begins with Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland to explore how and why the emerging media of comics and cartoons brilliantly captured a...
Matters of Gravity Book Cover
Scott Bukatman
The headlong rush, the rapid montage, the soaring superhero, the plunging roller coaster— Matters of Gravity focuses on the experience of technological spectacle in American popular culture over the past century. In these essays, leading media and cultural theorist Scott Bukatman reveals how...
Blade Runner Cover
Scott Bukatman
This text details the making of Blade Runner and its steadily improving fortunes after its indifferent reception in 1982. The film is situated in terms of the debates about postermoderism which have informed the large body of criticism devoted to it.
Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005 Book Cover
James Campbell
In the four centuries after Columbus' voyage to the New World, some twelve million Africans were loaded into the holds of European ships and carried to the Americas as slaves. For most, the "middle passage" across the Atlantic was truly a voyage of no return. But beginning in the eighteenth century...
Fateful Ties
Americans look to China with fascination and fear, unsure whether the rising Asian power is friend or foe but certain it will play a crucial role in America’s future. This is nothing new, Gordon Chang says. For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China’s importance to their own national...
Cover for Mixed Folk
Michele Elam
The Souls of Mixed Folk examines representations of mixed race in literature and the arts that redefine new millennial aesthetics and politics. Focusing on black-white mixes, Elam analyzes expressive works—novels, drama, graphic narrative, late-night television, art installations—as artistic...
Cover of the The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin
Michele Elam
This Companion offers fresh insight into the art and politics of James Baldwin, one of the most important writers and provocative cultural critics of the twentieth century. Black, gay, and gifted, he was hailed as a "spokesman for the race," although he personally, and controversially, eschewed...
When the People Speak Book Cover
James Fishkin
All over the world democratic reforms have brought power to the people-but under conditions where the people have little opportunity to think about the power that they exercise. Do we want a democracy inspired by Madison or by Madison Avenue? A democracy animated by deliberation or by manipulation...
Writing America Cover
Shelley Fishkin
Writing America is a unique, passionate, and eclectic series of meditations on literature and history, covering over 150 important National Register historic sites, all pivotal to the stories that make up America, from chapels to battlefields; from plantations to immigration stations; and from...
Sport of the Gods
Shelley Fishkin
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872—1906) overcame racism and poverty to become one of the best-known authors in America, and the first African American to earn a living from his poetry, fiction, drama, journalism, and lectures. This original collection includes the short novel The Sport of the Gods, Dunbar...
Book Cover of The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Work
Shelley Fishkin
"Mark Twain," William Faulkner once observed, "was the first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs." In this unique collection scores of these literary legatees from the U.S. and around the world take the measure of Twain and his genius, among them: José Martí, Rudyard Kipling,...
Feminist Engagements Cover
Shelley Fishkin
This book offers historically-grounded, feminist interventions into American literary history by one of the country's leading scholars in American Studies. Integrating criticism, biography, social history, popular culture, and personal narrative Fishkin explores the poetry, fiction, nonfiction and...
Book of Animals
Shelley Fishkin
Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser,...
Redefining Rape Book Cover
Estelle Freedman
Rape has never had a universally accepted definition, and the uproar over "legitimate rape" during the 2012 U.S. elections confirms that it remains a work in flux. Redefining Rape tells the story of the forces that have shaped the meaning of sexual violence in the United States, through the...
Book Cover of A Chosen Exile
Allyson Hobbs
Between the eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, countless African Americans passed as white, leaving behind families and friends, roots and community. It was, as Allyson Hobbs writes, a chosen exile, a separation from one racial identity and the leap into another. This revelatory history of...
American Hungers Book Cover
Gavin Jones
Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These...
Ari Kelman
This study examines the culture of Yiddish radio in the United States during radio's golden age. Ari Y. Kelman explores the dynamic relationships between an immigrant population and a mass medium and between audience and community. By focusing on voices previously excluded from radio histories,...
Picturing the Cosmos
Elizabeth Kessler
The vivid, dramatic images of distant stars and galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have come to define how we visualize the cosmos. In their immediacy and vibrancy, photographs from the Hubble show what future generations of space travelers might see should they venture beyond our solar...
Kathryn Lum
Among the pressing concerns of Americans in the first century of nationhood were day-to-day survival, political harmony, exploration of the continent, foreign policy, and--fixed deeply in the collective consciousness--hell and eternal damnation. The fear of fire and brimstone and the worm that...
A Theory of Fields
Douglas McAdam
Finding ways to understand the nature of social change and social order-from political movements to market meltdowns-is one of the enduring problems of social science. A Theory of Fields draws together far-ranging insights from social movement theory, organizational theory, and economic and...
What Was Contemporary Art? Book Cover
Richard Meyer
Contemporary art in the early twenty-first century is often discussed as though it were a radically new phenomenon unmoored from history. Yet all works of art were once contemporary to the artist and culture that produced them. In What Was Contemporary Art? Richard Meyer reclaims the contemporary...
Paula Moya
In Learning from Experience , Paula Moya offers an alternative to some influential philosophical assumptions about identity and experience in contemporary literary theory. Arguing that the texts and lived experiences of subordinated people are rich sources of insight about our society, Moya...
Paula Moya
In the context of the ongoing crisis in literary criticism, The Social Imperative reminds us that while literature will never by itself change the world, it remains a powerful tool and important actor in the ongoing struggle to imagine better ways to be human and free. Figuring the relationship...
Acting in the Night Book Cover
Alexander Nemerov
What can the performance of a single play on one specific night tell us about the world this event inhabited so briefly? Alexander Nemerov takes a performance of Macbeth in Washington, DC on October 17, 1863—with Abraham Lincoln in attendance—to explore this question and illuminate American art,...
Silent Dialogues
Alexander Nemerov
Silent Dialogues , by art historian Alexander Nemerov, is a probing, intimate reflection about photographer Diane Arbus, the author's aunt, and her brother, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Howard Nemerov, the author's father. "I have no memories of Diane Arbus," begins Alexander Nemerov in the first of...
Wartime Kiss
Alexander Nemerov
Wartime Kiss is a personal meditation on the haunting power of American photographs and films from World War II and the later 1940s. Starting with a stunning reinterpretation of one of the most famous photos of all time, Alfred Eisenstaedt's image of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J...
Soulmaker
Alexander Nemerov
Between 1908 and 1917, the American photographer and sociologist Lewis Hine (1874-1940) took some of the most memorable pictures of child workers ever made. Traveling around the United States while working for the National Child Labor Committee, he photographed children in textile mills, coal mines...
Alexander Nemerov
This beautifully written study looks at the haunting, melancholy horror films Val Lewton made between 1942 and 1946 and finds them to be powerful commentaries on the American home front during World War II. Alexander Nemerov focuses on the iconic, isolated figures who appear in four of Lewton's...
Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America Book Cover
Jack Rakove
In the early 1770s, the men who invented America were living quiet, provincial lives in the rustic backwaters of the New World, devoted primarily to family, craft, and the private pursuit of wealth and happiness. None set out to become ''revolutionary'' by ambition, but when events in Boston...
Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley Cover
Judith Richardson
The cultural landscape of the Hudson River Valley is crowded with ghosts--the ghosts of Native Americans and Dutch colonists, of Revolutionary War soldiers and spies, of presidents, slaves, priests, and laborers. Possessions asks why this region just outside New York City became the locus for so...
The Borderlands of Culture Book Cover
Ramon Saldivar
Poet, novelist, journalist, and ethnographer, Américo Paredes (1915–1999) was a pioneering figure in Mexican American border studies and a founder of Chicano studies. Paredes taught literature and anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin for decades, and his ethnographic and literary...
The Future is Ours Book Cover
Today s demographic reality is a majority-minority America wherein racial and ethnic minorities comprise a growing share of the U.S. population and electorate, and are themselves becoming more diverse and representing more decisive votes. How America evolves as a society and a polity depends on...
The Democratic Surround
Frederick Turner
We commonly think of the psychedelic sixties as an explosion of creative energy and freedom that arose in direct revolt against the social restraint and authoritarian hierarchy of the early Cold War years. Yet, as Fred Turner reveals in The Democratic Surround, the decades that brought us the...
Reading Like a Historian
Sam Wineburg
This popular text shows how to apply Wineburg's highly acclaimed approach to teaching— Reading Like a Historian —to middle and high school classrooms, increasing academic literacy and sparking students' curiosity. Each chapter begins with an introductory essay that sets the stage of a key moment in...
Historical Thinking
Sam Wineburg
Since ancient times, the pundits have lamented young people's lack of historical knowledge and warned that ignorance of the past surely condemns humanity to repeating its mistakes. In the contemporary United States, this dire outlook drives a contentious debate about what key events, nations, and...
Mirror of Antiquity Book Cover
Caroline Winterer
In The Mirror of Antiquity , Caroline Winterer uncovers the lost world of American women's classicism during its glory days from the eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Overturning the widely held belief that classical learning and political ideals were relevant only to men, she follows...
Sharing the Prize Book Cover
Gavin Wright
The civil rights movement was also a struggle for economic justice, one that until now has not had its own history. Sharing the Prize demonstrates the significant material gains black southerners made—in improved job opportunities, quality of education, and health care—from the 1960s to the 1970s...