Bookbeat

Bookbeat: March 1999

Women and Public PolicyWomen and Public Policy: A Revolution in Progress (2nd edition)

M. Margaret Conway, Department of Political Science, David W. Ahern, and Gertrude A. Steuernagel
(CQ Press, 1999)
Available through CQ Press

The unifying theme of Women and Public Policy is the impact of cultural change on women's roles in American Society and patterns of public policy as they affect women and their families. Authors M. Margaret Conway, David W. Ahern and Gertrude A. Steuernagel explore a broad range of policy areas that affect women, including typical issues such as education, employment, and health, as well as important but frequently overlooked areas such as marriage and family law, child care, and economic equity. Recent events and changes in areas such as welfare reform, adoptions by gay parents, and the Defense of Marriage Act are also discussed in this thoroughly updated second edition.

- Publisher

Excerpt

Although public policies and institutional practices have begun to lessen institutional discrimination, it is still evident in admissions policies, financial aid practices, differential curricula, and personnel attitides....Certain attitudes of university personnel have encouraged discriminatory practices against women by reinforcing societal stereotypes that define "suitable" programs and careers for women. The interplay of systemic and institutional discrimination has had an enormous impact on the attitudes of society and women concerning the proper role of women in society, their competence, and the relevance of higher education to women's lives.

GreenGreen

Sidney Wade, Department of English
(University of South Carolina Press, 1999)
Available through Amazon

In this new collection of poetry, Sidney Wade includes poems written in many forms that touch on a variety of subjects, all informed by a singular voice and intensely vibrant language. The volume is set primarily in Istanbul and illuminates physical and mental borders—the edges, everywhere, of water and land; of vanished empires left standing, in architectural form, in the present; of two continents Europe and Asia; of the broader Western and Eastern cultures and the civilizations that inhabit them.

- Publisher

Excerpt

from "The Word"

At first the waters met no shore,
the frothing border slopped and shone
between the curl, the lip, the wave,
and brightness falling everywhere,
as when the fundament that was
was roaring fall, was falling weight,
a burning wheel above the whole,
the fuming bowl of emptiness.

From Istanbul PoetryFrom Istanbul Poetry

Sidney Wade, Department of English
(YKY Press, 1999)

Excerpt

from "History Lessons"

In the broadest terms, a record of past events.
In material form. Neat and grave. Has patterns,
threads, and consequence. Fairly often dry,
neglecting to address the slattern
particulars that plump the cushions—
a hand, a splendid thigh, perhaps; a passion
that may render choices few and injudicious;
a fine regard for the furniture of the senses.

Government in the Sunshine StateGovernment in the Sunshine State

David R. Colburn, Department of History and Lance deHaven-Smith
(University Press of Florida, 1999)
Available from the University of Florida Press

In this lively introduction to Florida's political history, David Colburn and Lance deHaven-Smith explain the evolution of Florida's government, and the forces that affected that evolution, from 1845 to the present—information essential to all Floridians, including new voters, new residents, and newly elected officials, as well as seasoned political observers.

- Publisher

Excerpt

Boxed in by a polarized electorate and confronted by rapid urbanization and its attendant problems, state leaders have developed a combination of policies that are consistent with the state's political realities. Generally referred to as Œgrowth management,' its components include a system of state, regional, and local planning within the context of a slowly expanding tax structure. Growth management does not place limits on population growth. Rather, it attempts to anticipate population growth, ensure a more orderly urbanization process, and provide adequate public facilities and services. The concept of managed growth originated in the early 1970s and has evolved over time, but its essentials have remained the same. State, regional, and local units of government are required, through a variety of mechanisms, to plan for growth, to adjust their plans and actions to one another, and to either raise or restrict development as necessary to keep development and public facilities in line.

Deep TalkDeep Talk: Reading African-American Literary Names

Debra Walker King, Department of English
(University of Press Virginia, 1999)
Available through Amazon

Critics have often noted the importance of names and naming in African-American literature, but Debra Walker King's Deep Talk is the first methodological discussion of the process. In this original study, the author seeks out the discourses beneath the primary narratives of these literary texts by interpreting the significance of certain character names.

King explores what she calls the "metatext" of names, an interpretive realm where these chosen words offer up symbolic, metaphoric, and other meanings, often simultaneously. Literary names can thus revise and comment upon the surface action of a novel by giving voice to unspoken themes and events, a process known as "deep talk." Drawing on the work of Kristeva, Bakhtin, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the author explains the interpretive guidelines necessary to read "deep talk" in African-American texts. She then applies these guidelines to texts by Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale-Hurston, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Alice Walker, among others.

Perhaps most important, King reveals how the process of naming became a form of empowerment for African Americans, a way of both reclaiming black identity and resisting conventions of white society. Black men and women whose ancestors were stripped of their identity through the Middle Passage and during slavery embraced the incantatory power of names and have long used this power to defend themselves from the effects of racism, sexism, and classism.

- Publisher

Excerpt

Ellison uses the absence of a maternal name as a way of distancing his protagonist from the reader and characters in the text, just as Robert Louis Stevenson Banks in Gaines's novel uses the name "his daddy had named him" to distance himself from white insult and disrespect (40). Maternal names in female-authored texts are a presence that strengthens the public, familial, and personal identities of the individual names­­and this is crucial—the character recognizes, acknowledges, and accepts the oral history contained within the name's deep talk. Morrison, Walker, Naylor, and many others celebrate the value of reclaiming the past through recuperative acts that link the defining elements of a name with maternal ancestral memory. Their use of mnemonic names redefine and refashion history in ways that forbid foreclosure and distancing. Not only do their texts, call forth racial relationships between the reader and their characters, but the play of names and naming speaks to a remembrance of historical relationships as well.

Space and Time in RussianSpace and Time in Russian: A Description of the Locus Prepositions of Russian

William J. Sullivan, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
(LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics, 1999)

Space and Time in Russian explains the Russian prepositional phrases that communicate location in space or time. It provides a full analysis of the meaning of the preposition-case pairings and an integrated and generalized description of the way these expressions are realized in Russian. The study provides meat for both the teacher of Russian who must explain these expressions to native speakers of English and for linguistic theory.

- Publisher

Contemporary Continental PhilosophyContemporary Continental Philosophy

Robert D'Amico, Department of Philosophy
(Westview Press, 1999)
Available through Amazon

Contemporary Continental Philosophy is a critical, balanced, and comprehensive study of the central philosophical ideas within the continental tradition throughout the twentieth century. The study traces problems in epistemology and ontology through the key works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Mannheim, Lukacs, Gadamer, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida. It covers such topics as whether philosophy is an autonomous discipline and whether its traditional disputes are resolvable. Though D'Amico criticizes central philosophical strategies within this tradition, he strives to preserve its philosophical insights and contributions.

- Publisher

Excerpt

What Foucault contrasts with the now eroding self-evident conception is a "historical" conception of disease, in which the relationship between diseases and bodies is a "historical, temporary datum." To say it is "historical and temporary" would mean that this relationship between a body and disease changes in a very special manner. The change in question cannot be naturalistically temporal; it is not simply that symptoms are gradually manifested as the disease progresses in the body or that diseases are biologically adaptive and thus change over time. Foucault suggests that the kind of change that occurs with regard to disease is the kind of change that occurs with regard to cultural artifacts or the conception of legality, for instance, over time. What is transitory, then, is the meaning of disease, not the contingency of its physical features. Being diseased is not a matter of nature, it is a matter of our conventions.

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