It all started with Nathanael Johnson’s decision to teach his daughter the name of every tree they passed on their walk to day care in San Francisco. This project turned into a quest to discover the secrets of the neighborhood’s flora and fauna, and yielded more than names and trivia: Johnson developed a relationship with his nonhuman neighbors. Johnson argues that learning to see the world afresh, like a child, shifts the way we think about nature: Instead of something distant and abstract, nature becomes real—all at once comical, annoying, and beautiful. This shift can add tremendous value to our lives, and it might just be the first step in saving the world. No matter where we live—city, country, oceanside, or mountains—there are wonders that we walk past every day. Unseen City widens the pinhole of our perspective by allowing us to view the world from the high-altitude eyes of a turkey vulture and the distinctly low-altitude eyes of a snail. The narrative allows us to eavesdrop on the comically frenetic life of a squirrel and peer deep into the past with a ginkgo biloba tree. Each of these organisms has something unique to tell us about our neighborhoods and, chapter by chapter, Unseen City takes us on a journey that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world’s urban jungles. With the right perspective, a walk to the subway can be every bit as entrancing as a walk through a national park.
Author: Michael Bruce Goddard
Publisher: Pandanus Books
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Social Science
Based on the fieldwork of an anthropologist among people in Port Moresby's much-maligned migrant 'settlements'. It addresses the contemporary situation of these urban peoples, displacing popular generalizations with more detailed accounts which do justice to their resilience, and creative responses to the challenges of living in a burgeoning Melanesian city.
Author: Peter Robb
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2011-07-04
Naples is always a shock, flaunting beauty and squalor like nowhere else. Naples is the only city in Europe whose ancient past still lives in its irrepressible people. Their ancestors came from all over the early Mediterranean to the wide bay and its islands, shadowed by a dormant volcano. Not all of them found what they were looking for, but they made a great and terribly human city. Peter Robb's Street Fight in Naples ranges across nearly three thousand years of Neapolitan life and art, from the first Greek landings in Italy to his own less auspicious arrival thirty-something years ago. In 1503 Naples became the Mediterranean capital of Spain's world empire and the base for the Christian struggle with Islam. It was a European metropolis matched only by Paris and Istanbul, an extraordinary concentration of military power, lavish consumption, poverty and desperation. As the occupying empire went into crisis, exhausted by its wars against Islamists in the Mediterranean and Protestants in the North, the people of Naples paid a dreadful price. Naples was where in 1606 the greatest painter of his age fled from Rome after a fatal street fight. Michelangelo Merisi from Caravaggio found in its teeming streets an image of the age's crisis, and released among the painters of Naples the energies of a great age in European art-until everything erupted in a revolt by the dispossessed, and the people of an occupied city brought Europe into the modern world.
Edited and introduced by Jenni Calder. Haunted by a sense that the living and the dead are separated by no more than a narrow and disputed borderland, the tales that Margaret Oliphant liked to call her ‘stories of the seen and the unseen’ are now recognised as among the most remarkable explorations of the supernatural to appear in Victorian times. A prolific writer with many novels to her name, Margaret Oliphant could produce her few supernatural tales ‘only when they came to me’. And they came with the twilight uncertainties and the philosophical depth of ‘The Library Window’, or with the extraordinary vision of purgatory imagined as modern city life mixed with metaphysical terror in ‘The Land of Darkness’ or in A Beleaguered City, her extraordinary short novel of the returning dead. Like the old Scottish ballads where the dead and the living rub shoulders, these remarkable tales are among Oliphant’s finest work, mixing the subtlety of Henry James with the uncanny strangeness of George MacDonald or David Lindsay.
Author: Hadar Aviram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-02-06
Genre: Social Science
After forty years of increasing prison construction and incarceration rates, winds of change are blowing through the American correctional system. The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated the unsustainability of the incarceration project, thereby empowering policy makers to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity. In Cheap on Crime, Hadar Aviram draws on years of archival and journalistic research and builds on social history and economics literature to show the powerful impact of recession-era discourse on the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care, and other aspects of the American correctional landscape.
Author: David Stradling
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Release Date: 2009-11-23
For over two hundred years, the Catskill Mountains have been repeatedly and dramatically transformed by New York City. In Making Mountains, David Stradling shows the transformation of the Catskills landscape as a collaborative process, one in which local and urban hands, capital, and ideas have come together to reshape the mountains and the communities therein. This collaboration has had environmental, economic, and cultural consequences. Early on, the Catskills were an important source of natural resources. Later, when New York City needed to expand its water supply, engineers helped direct the city toward the Catskills, claiming that the mountains offered the purest and most cost-effective waters. By the 1960s, New York had created the great reservoir and aqueduct system in the mountains that now supplies the city with 90 percent of its water. The Catskills also served as a critical space in which the nation's ideas about nature evolved. Stradling describes the great influence writers and artists had upon urban residents - especially the painters of the Hudson River School, whose ideal landscapes created expectations about how rural America should appear. By the mid-1800s, urban residents had turned the Catskills into an important vacation ground, and by the late 1800s, the Catskills had become one of the premiere resort regions in the nation. In the mid-twentieth century, the older Catskill resort region was in steep decline, but the Jewish "Borscht Belt" in the southern Catskills was thriving. The automobile revitalized mountain tourism and residence, and increased the threat of suburbanization of the historic landscape. Throughout each of these significant incarnations, urban and rural residents worked in a rough collaboration, though not without conflict, to reshape the mountains and American ideas about rural landscapes and nature.
Author: Elizabeth Jane Bellamy
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 1992
Elizabeth J. Bellamy here casts new theoretical light on the Renaissance genre of the dynastic epic. Drawing upon Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis to illuminate the emergence of an epic ?subjecthood,? she focuses on Virgil?s Aeneid, Ariosto?s Orlando furioso, Tasso?s Gerusalemme liberata, and Spenser?s Faerie Queene in an attempt to demonstrate how the operations of the unconscious may be interpreted within narrative history. Bellamy first evaluates the psychoanalytic approach to epic as a possible alternative to the new historicism. Turning to the Aeneid, she discusses Freud?s ?neurotic? relation to Rome as a founding image for a historical unconscious. She then interweaves a genealogy of epic subjecthood with the motif of the translatio imperii, likening the ?translations of power? that constitute the translatio imperii to extended meditations on the fate of Troy throughout literary history. According to Bellamy, the epic genre manifests a repeated displacement and repression of its Trojan origins, and the doomed city of Troy represents the locus of epic?s own narrative narcissism. Offering provocative analyses of epic temporality and of the function of the death drive in epic narrative, she concludes that dynastic epic may be seen as a structure of narcissistic desire which undermines the capacity of the epic to embody a fully articulated historical subject. Translations of Power will enliven current debates among scholars and students of Renaissance culture, literary theory, gender studies, and psychoanalytic criticism.
Author: Christine Stewart
Publisher: ANU Press
Release Date: 2014-12-02
Genre: Social Science
Papua New Guinea is one of the many former British Commonwealth colonies which maintain the criminalisation of the sexual activities of two groups, despite the fact that the sex takes place between consenting adults in private: sellers of sex and males who have sex with males. The English common law system was imposed on the colonies with little regard for the social regulation and belief systems of the colonised, and in most instances, was retained and developed post-Independence, regardless of the infringements of human rights involved. Now the HIV pandemic has thrown a spotlight, not altogether welcome, on the sexual activities of these two groups. In Papua New Guinea, a growing body of behavioural research has focused on such matters as individual sexual partnering, condom use and awareness of HIV. My work, however, has a different purpose. I chose the terms in the title to highlight a nexus which I believe exists between the criminal law and negative attitudes of society. At an international level, the argument has been put that decriminalising sex work and sodomy will facilitate HIV epidemic management, reducing the stigma and discrimination these groups encounter and making them easier to reach. I undertook my research therefore with the aim of gaining deeper understanding of the effects the current situation of criminalisation might have on the social lives of these criminalised people today, in the country generally and in Port Moresby the capital in particular, and whether these effects might provide evidence to support the argument for law reform. This is a rich and well-researched study of the legal, social and moral issues surrounding the criminalisation of two forms of consensual sex…. A very impressive piece of work, it is extensively documented, relies on a wide range of material and makes a clear and coherent argument about the place of law in producing identities and exclusions…. The attention to change over time and the complexity of the ways in which sexual behaviour is enacted and punished is a particular strength of the book. —Professor Sally Engle Merry, Anthropology, Law and Society, New York University This book is an exceptional contribution to our knowledge of the nexus between the criminal law and negative attitudes of society, and what effects criminalization has on the social lives of prostitutes and males who have sex with males, and whether these effects might provide evidence to support the argument for law reform…. The author’s experience of Papua New Guinea allows her to comment in depth on such matters as the United Nations’ human rights approach to the HIV epidemic and their call to decriminalize all sexual acts between consenting adults…. She shows that criminal laws—with the help of the normative discourse of religion and media—underpin and legitimize high levels of stigma, discrimination and abuse of prostitutes and males who have sex with males…. The quality of the writing and general presentation are exceptional. —Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi, Truman State University (retired)