Author: John D. Dorst
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 1999
The American West is a region, perhaps more than any other in the United States, that comes to us in visual terms. The grand landscapes, open vistas, and magisterial views have made the act of looking a defining feature of how we experience the West as an actual place. In Looking West, John D. Dorst examines a largely neglected pattern of seeing that stands in contrast to the universally familiar iconography. When we engage in the act of looking, contends Dorst, we inevitably do so according to historically determined patterns—"discourses of seeing." It is a central premise of Looking West that over roughly the last one hundred years the American West, both as a physical location and as an imagined place, has been an important laboratory for the production of modern visual discourses. Through a series of Western texts—folkloric, photographic, literary, and historical—Dorst outlines another pattern of looking West, one characterized by optical distortion, faulty vision, and the ambiguous intersection of spectatorship, display, and covert observation. He applies the insights gained from this analysis of discursive patterns to various cultural displays located in the contemporary West. In a series of ethnographic case studies—two folk art displays, a Western heritage theme park, and Devils Tower National Monument—he shows how this other discourse plays out at actual sites and institutions. Dorst offers an account of visual practices that, though dressed in the images and narratives of the American West, are in fact characteristic of our modern consumer culture in general. This interdisciplinary combination of discursive analysis with ethnographic observation and material culture interpretation makes Looking West an original contribution to the fields of visual culture studies, American studies, and Western studies.
Author: Irby J. Lovette
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2016-06-27
Selected by Forbes.com as one of the 12 best books about birds and birding in 2016 This much-anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is an essential and comprehensive resource for everyone interested in learning more about birds, from casual bird watchers to formal students of ornithology. Wherever you study birds your enjoyment will be enhanced by a better understanding of the incredible diversity of avian lifestyles. Arising from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology and authored by a team of experts from around the world, the Handbook covers all aspects of avian diversity, behaviour, ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation. Using examples drawn from birds found in every corner of the globe, it explores and distills the many scientific discoveries that have made birds one of our best known - and best loved - parts of the natural world. This edition has been completely revised and is presented with more than 800 full color images. It provides readers with a tool for life-long learning about birds and is suitable for bird watchers and ornithology students, as well as for ecologists, conservationists, and resource managers who work with birds. The Handbook of Bird Biology is the companion volume to the Cornell Lab’s renowned distance learning course, Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology.
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Author: Richard M. Sudhalter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2003-10-30
Georgia on My Mind, Rockin' Chair, Skylark, Lazybones, and of course the incomparable Star Dust--who else could have composed these classic American songs but Hoagy Carmichael? He remains, for millions, the voice of heartland America, eternal counterpoint to the urban sensibility of Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Now, trumpeter and historian Richard M. Sudhalter has penned the first book-length biography of the man Alec Wilder hailed as "the most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented of all the great songwriters--the greatest of the great craftsmen." Stardust Melody follows Carmichael from his roaring-twenties Indiana youth to bandstands and recording studios across the nation, playing piano and singing alongside jazz greats Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and close friends Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong. It illuminates his peak Hollywood years, starring in such films as To Have and Have Not and The Best Years of Our Lives, and on radio, records and TV. With compassionate insight Sudhalter depicts Hoagy's triumphs and tragedies, and his mounting despair as rock-and-roll drowns out and lays waste to the last days of a brilliant career. With an insider's clarity Sudhalter explores the songs themselves, still fresh and appealing while reminding us of our innocent American yesterdays. Drawing on Carmichael's private papers and on interviews with family, friends and colleagues, he reveals that "The Old Music Master" was almost as gifted a wordsmith as a shaper of melodies. In all, Stardust Melody offers a richly textured portrait of one of our greatest musical figures, an inspiring American icon.