Author: Leo Marx
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 1964
Genre: Literary Criticism
For more than 40 years, Marx's work focused on technology and culture in 19th- and 20th-century America. This edition celebrates the anniversary of Marx's classic text, and features a new Afterword on the process of writing the book. Illustrations.
In the early 1970s, empowered by the civil rights and women's movements, a new group of women writers began speaking to the American public. Their topic, broadly defined, was the postmodern American West. By the mid-1980s, their combined works made for a bona fide literary groundswell in both critical and commercial terms. However, as Krista Comer notes, despite the attentions of publishers, the media, and millions of readers, literary scholars have rarely addressed this movement or its writers. Too many critics, Comer argues, still enamored of western images that are both masculine and antimodern, have been slow to reckon with the emergence of a new, far more "feminine," postmodern, multiracial, and urban west. Here, she calls for a redesign of the field of western cultural studies, one that engages issues of gender and race and is more self-conscious about space itself_especially that cherished symbol of western "authenticity," open landscape. Surveying works by Joan Didion, Wanda Coleman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Leslie Marmon Silko, Barbara Kingsolver, Pam Houston, Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisneros, and Mary Clearman Blew, Comer shows how these and other contemporary women writers have mapped new geographical imaginations upon the cultural and social spaces of today's American West.
Author: Terry Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1994-01-01
Smith reveals how this visual revolution played an instrumental role in the complex psychological, social, economic, and technological changes that came to be known as the second industrial revolution. From the role of visualization in the invention of the assembly line, to office and building design, to the corporate and lifestyle images that filled new magazines such as Life and Fortune, he traces the extent to which the second wave of industrialization engaged the visual arts to project a new iconology of progress.
Author: John F. Kasson
Release Date: 1999-05-17
A major theme in American history has been the desire to achieve a genuinely republican way of life that values liberty, order, and virtue. This work shows us how new technologies affected this drive for a republican civilization - a question as vital now as ever.
Author: Simon J. Bronner
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Release Date: 2002-08-01
This lively reader traces the search for American tradition and national identity through folklore and folklife from the 19th century to the present. Through an engaging set of essays, Folk Nation shows how American thinkers and leaders have used folklore to express the meaning of their country. Simon Bronner has carefully selected statements by public intellectuals and popular writers as well as by scholars, all chosen for their readability and significance as provocative texts during their time. The common thread running throughout is the value of folklore in expressing or denying an American national tradition. This text raises timely issues about the character of American culture and the direction of American society. The essays show the development of views of American nationalism, multiculturalism, and commercialism. Provocative topics include debates over the relationship between popular culture and folk culture, the uniqueness of an American literature and arts based on folk sources, the fabrication of folk heroes such as Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan as propaganda for patriotism and nationalism, the romanticizations of vernacular culture by popularizers such as Walt Disney and Ben Botkin, the use of folklore for ethnocentric purposes, and the political deployment of folklore by conservatives as emblems of 'traditional values' and civil virtues and by liberals as emblems of multiculturalism and tolerance of alternative lifestyles. The book also traces the controversy over who conveyed the myth of 'America.' Was it the nation's poets and artists, its academics, its politicians and leaders, its communities and local educational institutions, its theme parks and festivals, its movie moguls and entertainers? Folk Nation shows how the process of defining the American mystique through folklore was at the core of debates among writers and thinkers about the value of Davey Crockett, John Henry, quilts, cowboys, and immigrants as symbols of America.
Author: Eric Erbacher
Publisher: Campus Verlag
Release Date: 2014-11-06
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The volume reexamines the trope of the intrusive machine and the regenerative pastoral garden, laid out fifty years ago by Leo Marx inThe Machine in the Garden, one of the founding texts of American Studies. Contributions explore the lasting influence of the trope in American culture and the arts, rereading it as a dialectics where nature is as much technologized as technology is naturalized. They trace this dialectic trope in filmic and literary representations of industrial, bureaucratic, and digital gardens; they explore its function in the aftermath of the civil war, the rural electrification during the New Deal, in landscape art, and in ethnic literatures; and they discuss the historical premises and lasting influence of Leo Marx's seminal study.
Author: Alan Trachtenberg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1979-07-15
Investigates the continuing impact of the Brooklyn Bridge upon the American imagination, exploring both its symbolic significance as reflected in the works of Hart Crane and others and its importance as an engineering accomplishment
Maddox has brought together works by a distinguished group of scholars which provide a useful window into the history and the evolution of the practice of American studies from its early, formational days to the present.
Author: Thomas P. Hughes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2005-05-13
Genre: Technology & Engineering
To most people, technology has been reduced to computers, consumer goods, and military weapons; we speak of "technological progress" in terms of RAM and CD-ROMs and the flatness of our television screens. In Human-Built World, thankfully, Thomas Hughes restores to technology the conceptual richness and depth it deserves by chronicling the ideas about technology expressed by influential Western thinkers who not only understood its multifaceted character but who also explored its creative potential. Hughes draws on an enormous range of literature, art, and architecture to explore what technology has brought to society and culture, and to explain how we might begin to develop an "ecotechnology" that works with, not against, ecological systems. From the "Creator" model of development of the sixteenth century to the "big science" of the 1940s and 1950s to the architecture of Frank Gehry, Hughes nimbly charts the myriad ways that technology has been woven into the social and cultural fabric of different eras and the promises and problems it has offered. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, optimistically hoped that technology could be combined with nature to create an Edenic environment; Lewis Mumford, two centuries later, warned of the increasing mechanization of American life. Such divergent views, Hughes shows, have existed side by side, demonstrating the fundamental idea that "in its variety, technology is full of contradictions, laden with human folly, saved by occasional benign deeds, and rich with unintended consequences." In Human-Built World, he offers the highly engaging history of these contradictions, follies, and consequences, a history that resurrects technology, rightfully, as more than gadgetry; it is in fact no less than an embodiment of human values.
Author: Lawrence W. Levine
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 1997
In response to recent books attacking the contemporary university and blaming educators for a decline in American culture, the author argues that the "opening up" of American education and of a changing society are inextricably linked
Author: Brenton J. Malin
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2014-03-28
New technologies, whether text message or telegraph, inevitably raise questions about emotion. New forms of communication bring with them both fear and hope, on one hand allowing us deeper emotional connections and the ability to forge global communities, while on the other prompting anxieties about isolation and over-stimulation. Feeling Mediated investigates the larger context of such concerns, considering both how media technologies intersect with our emotional lives and how our ideas about these intersections influence how we think about and experience emotion and technology themselves. Drawing on extensive archival research, Brenton J. Malin explores the historical roots of much of our recent understanding of mediated feelings, showing how earlier ideas about the telegraph, phonograph, radio, motion pictures, and other once-new technologies continue to inform our contemporary thinking. With insightful analysis, Feeling Mediated explores a series of fascinating arguments about technology and emotion that became especially heated during the early 20th century. These debates, which carried forward and transformed earlier discussions of technology and emotion, culminated in a set of ideas that became institutionalized in the structures of American media production, advertising, social research, and policy, leaving a lasting impact on our everyday lives.
Author: Ellen Stroud
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2012-12-15
The once denuded northeastern United States is now a region of trees. Nature Next Door argues that the growth of cities, the construction of parks, the transformation of farming, the boom in tourism, and changes in the timber industry have together brought about a return of northeastern forests. Although historians and historical actors alike have seen urban and rural areas as distinct, they are in fact intertwined, and the dichotomies of farm and forest, agriculture and industry, and nature and culture break down when the focus is on the history of Northeastern woods. Cities, trees, mills, rivers, houses, and farms are all part of a single transformed regional landscape. In an examination of the cities and forests of the northeastern United States-with particular attention to the woods of Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont-Ellen Stroud shows how urbanization processes there fostered a period of recovery for forests, with cities not merely consumers of nature but creators as well. Interactions between city and hinterland in the twentieth century Northeast created a new wildness of metropolitan nature: a reforested landscape intricately entangled with the region's cities and towns.