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Book Beat: April 1998

Recent publications from CLAS faculty.

A Socialist Utopia in the New South: The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia, 1894-1901

A Socialist Utopia in the New South   The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia, 1894-1901W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Department of History 
(University of Illinois Press, 1998)
Available through Amazon  

This first book-length study of the Ruskin colonies shows how several hundred utopian socialists gathered as a cooperative community in Tennessee and Georgia in the late nineteenth century. The communitarians' noble but fatally flawed act of social endeavor revealed the courage and desperation they felt as they searched for alternatives to the chaotic and competitive individualism of the age of robber barons and for a viable model for a just and humane society at a time of profound uncertainty about public life in the United States.

- Publisher

Excerpt

Utopians drawn to the South differed little from northern tourists who sought relief from the climate and the acquisitive, atomistic urban culture of the North in the exotic, curative landscape of the South. As advancing technology made the South more accessible, increasing numbers of Americans saw in it an escape from the angst of modern industrial society. For tourists, the escape was brief and exhilarating; for the utopians, it was intended to be both permanent and transcendent. 

Advances in Quantum Chemistry - Volume 27

Advances in Quantum Chemistry - Volume 27Editor-in-Chief Per-Olov Löwdin and Editors John R. Sabin and Michael C. Zerner, Quantum Theory Project 
(Academic Press, 1998)

Excerpt

Quantum chemistry is . . . a rapidly developing field which falls between the historically established areas of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. As a result there is a wide diversity of backgrounds among those interested in quantum chemistry. Since the results of the research are reported in periodicals of many different types, it has become increasingly difficult for both the expert and the nonexpert to follow the rapid development in this new multidisciplinary area. 

The purpose of this serial publication is to present a survey of the current development of quantum chemistry as it is seen by a number of internationally leading research workers in various countries. The authors have been invited to give their personal points of view of the subject freely and without severe space limitations. No attempts have been made to avoid overlap?on the contrary, it seems desirable to have certain important research areas reviewed from different points of view.

Auden and Documentary in the 1930s Auden and Documentary in the 1930s 

Marsha Bryant, Department of English 
(University Press of Virginia, 1998)
Available through Amazon

Auden's first-hand experience with the British documentary film movement, along with his status as a gay man, prompted him to interrogate the politics of documentary representation. His work with the G.P.O. Film Unit reveals ways in which the act of men filming men can blur boundaries of class and homoerotic voyeurism. In Letters from Iceland Auden juxtaposes poetry, prose, and photographs, using modernist collage to question documentary ideas of order. The famous poem Spain challenges the artist's role as observer by rejecting journalistic techniques such as interviews and reportage and obscuring distinctions between civilian and soldier, reader and text. In Journey to a War, another collaboration between photographs and words, Auden and Christopher Isherwood use their position as gay Englishmen in China to expose the heterosexism and imperialism inherent in traditional British documentary discourse.

- Publisher

Excerpt

More than any other image-making practice, documentary exposes the contest of meanings within the word "representation."  Because it carries a legislative as well as a signifying sense, "to represent" implies that in portraying an underemployed laborer or war refugee, one also speaks or acts on behalf of that person. This double meaning has proved problematic for documentary's practitioners and critics, fueling debates about whether it can provide social advocacy across class lines or national boundaries. In her recent account of American documentary, Paula Rabinowitz speaks urgently of the need to understand and then rework the power relations of traditional documentary practice:  "Without a radical break from the regimes of vision and narrative we will only see and write with the eyes and hands of those who have already looked us over and described what they’ve seen of themselves."  And in his reassessment of the British documentary film tradition, Brian Winston calls for a "rescue" of the genre that would launch a "Post-Griersonian Documentary."  Auden's vexed engagement with documentary representation shows that some of the tools for reinventing the genre might lie within alternative models from the 1930s. By initiating a generative recovery from the decade that continues to provide our dominant models of socially engaged art, we might carry forward their experiments in ways we have yet to imagine. 

Unifying Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology

Unifying Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary BiologyVassiliki Betty Smocovitis, Department of History 
(Princeton, 1998)  
Available through Amazon

Unifying Biology offers a historical reconstruction of one of the most important yet elusive episodes in the history of modern science:  the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. For more than seventy years after Darwin proposed his theory of evolution, it was hotly debated by biological scientists. It was not until the 1930s that opposing theories were finally refuted and a unified Darwinian evolutionary theory came to be widely accepted by biologists. using methods gleaned from a variety of disciplines, Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis argues that the evolutionary synthesis was part of the larger process of unifying the biological sciences.

- Publisher

Crime, Deviance and the Computer

Crime, Deviance and the ComputerEdited by Richard Hollinger, Department of Sociology(Dartmouth, 1998)
Available through Amazon

Excerpt

The written record about the crime and deviance committed by means of computers can be divided into at least four distinct focal periods. The first interval can be called the discovery period. During this era (roughly from 1946 to 1976), scholarly writing about this subject focused on describing the nature of the phenomenon. The second period can be characterized as the criminalization period. The principal focus of the written material produced during this time (1977-88) was concentrated on 'correcting' through legislation the numerous deficiencies in the criminal law related to computer-related abuse. 

I wish to call the third period the demonization of the hacker. Beginning in the late 1980s, this period (roughly 1988 to 1983) was characterized by several less-than-successful law enforcement efforts to identify and sanction the computer deviant, especially those often perjoratively referred to as 'hackers' and 'crackers'. The fourth period, which we are presently in, can be labelled the censorship period. With the advent of the so-called 'information superhighway', the current focus of criminal justice concern has been directed towards limiting the access of computer users to both classified information and various 'dangerous' collections of material such as the sexually deviant and pornographic pictures currently available on the internet.

A History of Roman Literature - Volume 2: from Livius Andronicus to Boethius

A History of Roman Literature - Volume 2:   from Livius Andronicus to Boethius Michael von Albrecht (Revised by Gareth Schmeling , Department of Classics, and the author) 
(E.J. Brill, 1998)
Available through JSTOR

A History of Roman Literature , originally published in German, can rightly be seen as the long awaited counterpart to Albin Lesky's Geschichte der greichischen Literatur. In what will probably be the last survey made by a single scholar the whole of Latin literature from Livius Andronicus up to Boethius comes to the fore. It is the fourth handbook in E.J. Brill's series The Classical Tradition. The series started in 1995 with Nicholas Horsfall's A Companion to the Study of Virgil and forms part of the Supplements to Mnemosyne series. The aim is  in each case to produce a work which is informative and useful to scholars and accessible to students. Each volume will describe the current state of knowledge of the subject, outline recent literature and discussion, indicate the main controversial points, and suggest fruitful lines for future inquiry.

- Publisher

Lighthouses of Ireland

Lighthouses of IrelandKevin McCarthy, Department of History 
Illustrations by William Trotter 
(Pineapple Press, 1998)
Available through Amazon

Since the time when Greek sentinels lit fires on mountaintops for the use of mariners at sea, lighthouses have aided the navigation of sailors on European waters. Those crude fires have been replaced by state of the art  towers equipped with satellite technology, and lighthouses remain indispensable navigational aids. For Ireland, the lights are important not only to mariners, but to the livelihood of the entire island.

Eighty navigational aids under the authority of the Commissioners of Irish Lights dot the 2000 miles of Irish coastline. Each is addressed here, and thirty of the most interesting ones are featured with detailed histories and full-color paintings by noted maritime artist William Trotter. From the sinking of  the Lusitania to the burial of a shipwrecked elephant, Kevin McCarthy outlines the significance of Irish lights to the maritime history of Ireland and the world while painting a vivid picture of the life led by the keepers and inhabitants of the rocks, islands, and shores of the Emerald Isle.

- Publisher 

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