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Selected Fellow Books

IRH Fellowships have provided the research, community, and time in which book projects take shape. A selection of books developed during IRH Fellowships follows with most recent publications first.


 

 

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2007-2008 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Cornell University Press, 2009
Synopsis: 

The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the development and use of virtual worlds. In one of the most notable, Second Life, millions of people have created online avatars in order to play games, take classes, socialize, and conduct business transactions. Second Life offers a gathering point and the tools for people to create a new world online.

Too often neglected in popular and scholarly accounts of such groundbreaking new environments is the simple truth that, of necessity, such virtual worlds emerge from physical workplaces marked by negotiation, creation, and constant change. Thomas Malaby spent a year at Linden Lab, the real-world home of Second Life, observing those who develop and profit from the sprawling, self-generating system they have created.

Some of the challenges created by Second Life for its developers were of a very traditional nature, such as how to cope with a business that is growing more quickly than existing staff can handle. Others are seemingly new: How, for instance, does one regulate something that is supposed to run on its own? Is it possible simply to create a space for people to use and then not govern its use? Can one apply these same free-range/free-market principles to the office environment in which the game is produced? "Lindens"―as the Linden Lab employees call themselves―found that their efforts to prompt user behavior of one sort or another were fraught with complexities, as a number of ongoing processes collided with their own interventions.

In Making Virtual Worlds, Malaby thoughtfully describes the world of Linden Lab and the challenges faced while he was conducting his in-depth ethnographic research there. He shows how the workers of a very young but quickly growing company were themselves caught up in ideas about technology, games, and organizations, and struggled to manage not only their virtual world but also themselves in a nonhierarchical fashion. In exploring the practices the Lindens employed, he questions what was at stake in their virtual world, what a game really is (and how people participate), and the role of the unexpected in a product like Second Life and an organization like Linden Lab.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2014-2015 System Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2009
Synopsis: 

On the evening of September 11, 2002, with the Statue of Liberty shimmering in the background, television cameras captured President George W. Bush as he advocated the charge for war against Iraq. This carefully staged performance, writes Susan Brewer, was the culmination of a long tradition of sophisticated wartime propaganda in America. 

In Why America Fights, Brewer offers a fascinating history of how successive presidents have conducted what Donald Rumsfeld calls "perception management," from McKinley's war in the Philippines to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her intriguing account ranges from analyses of wartime messages to descriptions of the actual operations, from the dissemination of patriotic ads and posters to the management of newspaper, radio, and TV media. When Woodrow Wilson carried the nation into World War I, he created the Committee on Public Information, led by George Creel, who called his job "the world's greatest adventure in advertising." In World War II, Roosevelt's Office of War Information avowed a "strategy of truth," though government propaganda still depicted Japanese soldiers as buck-toothed savages. After examining the ultimately failed struggle to cast the Vietnam War in a favorable light, Brewer shows how the Bush White House drew explicit lessons from that history as it engaged in an unprecedented effort to sell a preemptive war in Iraq. Yet the thrust of its message was not much different from McKinley's pronouncements about America's civilizing mission. 

Impressively researched and argued, filled with surprising details, Why America Fights shows how presidents have consistently drummed up support for foreign wars by appealing to what Americans want to believe about themselves.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2003-2004 System Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2008
Synopsis: 

"If the Jews wish to become a nation of 'Jewish Culture,'" Eliezer Ben-Yehuda wrote in 1904, "they must first become truly a nation." Throughout the subsequent decade, Ben-Yehuda and other Zionist activists in Palestine attempted to transform the small, divided, economically depressed, and demographically declining Yishuv -- the pre-state Jewish community -- into the foundation of a modern nation. In this book, Arieh Bruce Saposnik tells the story of this transformation.

As Saposnik shows, these activists did not attempt to rewrite Jewish culture simply by uprooting and transplanting themselves, but sought to affect a dramatic revolution in all aspects of Jewish life. They endeavored not only to revise Judaism, but to revise the very definition of culture, and the expanse with which they viewed the word was, in part, what made this group so revolutionary. The new "Hebrew" culture they sought to create encompassed everything from the way in which Yishuv Zionists dressed to the art they created and the literature they read, to the holidays they celebrated, to the language they spoke and the accent with which they spoke it. Politics, economics, and even medicine were mobilized to become dynamic parts of a new Jewish identity.

Saposnik attempts to recapture their comprehensive view of culture and to show how these activists translated images and ideas into concrete cultural institutions, new art, rituals, and language. But, he also argues that this new culture, while expansive, was highly precarious and intensely contested. The Zionists struggled to maintain a complex relationship with traditional Jewish discourses, practices, and liturgy and to forge a delicate balance between the traditional and the novel, "occident" and "orient," and shifting national centers and peripheries. Through his examination of the Zionist cultural project, Saposnik sheds new light on the origins of Israel and Israeli culture, and on the fundamental building blocks from which modern nations and nationalisms are erected.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2000-2001 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Caribbean Studies Press, 2008
Synopsis: 

A revealing study of 20th century immigration and racial politics in the Dominican Republic. The little-known settlements of Japanese immigrants in the Dominican Republic are the basis for this richly informed history of 20th century migration to the Caribbean and Latin America. Yet the connection of Japan to the region is strong, with a considerable volume of trade and approximately 1.5 million individuals of Japanese descent in the area, with an estimated 60% of them in Brazil. Dr. Peguero conducted extensive fieldwork in the Japanese settlements and interviewed the immigrants and their descendants as well as Dominicans in the larger community. The author weaves the history of racism and eugenics, war, colonialism, power, money, population, religion, food, language, and culture in a detailed study of immigration to the Caribbean

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2004-2005 Solmsen Fellow
Awards: 
2008 Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Book Award
Publisher: 
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007
Synopsis: 

Voice in Motion explores the human voice as a literary, historical, and performative motif in early modern English drama and culture, where the voice was frequently represented as struggling, even failing, to work. In a compelling and original argument, Gina Bloom demonstrates that early modern ideas about the efficacy of spoken communication spring from an understanding of the voice's materiality. Voices can be cracked by the bodies that produce them, scattered by winds when transmitted as breath through their acoustic environment, stopped by clogged ears meant to receive them, and displaced by echoic resonances. The early modern theater underscored the voice's volatility through the use of pubescent boy actors, whose vocal organs were especially vulnerable to malfunction.

Reading plays by Shakespeare, Marston, and their contemporaries alongside a wide range of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century texts—including anatomy books, acoustic science treatises, Protestant sermons, music manuals, and even translations of Ovid—Bloom maintains that cultural representations and theatrical enactments of the voice as "unruly matter" undermined early modern hierarchies of gender. The uncontrollable physical voice creates anxiety for men, whose masculinity is contingent on their capacity to discipline their voices and the voices of their subordinates. By contrast, for women the voice is most effective not when it is owned and mastered but when it is relinquished to the environment beyond. There, the voice's fragile material form assumes its full destabilizing potential and becomes a surprising source of female power. Indeed, Bloom goes further to query the boundary between the production and reception of vocal sound, suggesting provocatively that it is through active listening, not just speaking, that women on and off the stage reshape their world.

Bringing together performance theory, theater history, theories of embodiment, and sound studies, this book makes a significant contribution to gender studies and feminist theory by challenging traditional conceptions of the links among voice, body, and self.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2002-2003 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Cornell University Press, 2006
Synopsis: 

"The various and contradictory signs of English otherworldliness offered medieval writers a remarkably elastic medium with which to construct national identity. . . . Above all, the wonderful aspects of geographic otherness made it possible for English writers to see their homeland as not only barbarously divided but also blessed and united. Even as they acknowledged England as a barbarous wasteland . . . or as a site of brutal disorder . . . , the English also imagined England as a holy wilderness or as a blessed isle."―from the IntroductionIn a view that sweeps from the tenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, Kathy Lavezzo shows how the English people's concern with their island's relative isolation on the global map contributed to the emergence of a distinctive English national consciousness in which marginality came to be seen as a virtue. Lavezzo examines the many world maps and textual geographies produced by the English during these years. In a beautifully illustrated book, she argues that the English looked to the globe only to emphasize and, in time, to exalt their own exceptional geographic status. The author charts this process by examining a series of wondrous maps and canonical texts. Demonstrating how medieval geographic notions conditioned English attitudes toward Rome, clarifying the complicated religious history leading up to Henry the Eighth's divorce and the Reformation, Angels on the Edge of the World straddles the subjects―and methods―of literature, history, and cultural geography. It will be of special interest to those readers who use cartography as a way to map cultural identities.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
1999-2000 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Springer, 2006
Synopsis: 

This collection develops insight into the relation which Hobbes describes between his theory of government and the three-part division he draws with respect to religion. Pursuing the chain of causes that proves God's existence as first cause, Hobbes identifies and defines both "true religion" and such superstition as he found in the theology and practices of the Roman Catholic Church of his era. He then emphasizes the difference between natural religion and revealed religion in order to extinguish the claim of contemporary theologians to an authority in the state greater than that of the political sovereign. Although, according to the author, Hobbes falters in carrying out his politico/theological project, his careful, radical and innovative attempt to describe the relationship of religion and politics, church and state, has special relevance for us today, as forms of religious fundamentalism in many countries are increasingly claiming and, in some cases, winning control of political institutions.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2003-2004 Solmsen Fellow
Publisher: 
Bristol Classical Press, 2006
Synopsis: 

Rafael Landívar is the best known of all the poets from the Americas to write in Latin. In the 15 books of his Rusticatio Mexicana (1782), he described -- in vivid epic verse -- the lakes, volcanoes, and wildlife of Mexico and his native Guatemala, as well as the livelihoods and recreations of the people of the region. This panorama of nature, culture and production in colonial New Spain took classical didactic poetry into a new world of political conflict. But Landívar also writes with a strongly personal voice: elegiac and pastoral modes convey the pathos of displacement and the poet’s overwhelming nostalgia for his American homeland.

Andrew Laird’s introduction provides information about Landívar’s life and exile to Italy, explains his diverse intellectual heritage, and collects his shorter works (translated into English here for the first time). A 1948 text of the Rusticatio Mexicana, with a translation by Graydon W. Regenos, is included in this volume. This accessible and stimulating account of ‘the American Virgil’ highlights the astonishing quality and complexity of the Latin literature of Latin America.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2001-2002 UW Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press, 2005
Synopsis: 

The Comentarios reales de los Incas, a classic of Spanish Renaissance prose narrative, was written by Garcilaso Inca de la Vega, the son of an Inca princess and a Spanish conquistador. It is filled with ideological tensions and apparent contradictions as Garcilaso attempts to reconcile a pagan New World culture with the fervent Christian evangelism of the period of the discovery and conquest of America. This study of the Commentarios, is original both in adopting the perspective of discourse analysis and in its interdisciplinary approach. Margarita Zamora examines the rhetorical complexities of the Comentarios, and shows how Garcilaso turned to the linguistic strategies of humanist philology and hermeneutics rather than traditional historiography in order to present Inca civilization to the Europeans. Zamora's book reveals how Garcilaso's views of the Incas were shaped by his dual background, his commitment to humanism and Christianity, by the expectations he had of his readers, and by the disruptive practices of his time.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2002-2003 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2005
Synopsis: 

The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York is a profile of a flourishing Hindu temple in the town of Rush, New York. The temple, established by a charismatic nonbrahman Sri Lankan Tamil known as Aiya, stands out for its combination of orthodox ritual meticulousness and socioreligious iconoclasm. The vitality with which devotees participate in ritual themselves and their ready access to the deities contrasts sharply with ritual activities at most North American Hindu temples, where (following the usual Indian custom) ritual is performed only by priests and access to the highly sanctified divine images is closely guarded. Drawing on several years of fieldwork, Dempsey weaves traditional South Asian tales, temple miracle accounts, and devotional testimonials into an analysis of the distinctive dynamics of diaspora Hinduism. She explores the ways in which the goddess, the guru, and temple members reside at cultural and religious intersections, noting how distinctions between miraculous and mundane, convention and non-convention, and domestic and foreign are more often intertwined and interdependent than in tidy opposition. This lively and accessible work is a unique and important contribution to diaspora Hindu Studies.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2000-2001 UW Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Synopsis: 

From the Archaic period to the Greco-Roman age, the figure of the wanderer held great significance in ancient Greece. In the first comprehensive study devoted to this theme, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture unearths the many meanings attached to this practice over the centuries. Employing a broad range of literary and philosophical texts, Silvia Montiglio demonstrates how wandering has been conceptualized from Homer's Odysseus—the hero "who wandered much"—in the eighth century BCE to pagan sages of the early Roman Empire such as Saint John the Baptist in the first century AD.

Attitudes toward wandering have evolved in accordance with cultural perspectives, causing some characterizations to persist while others have faded. For instance, the status of wanderers in Greek societies varied from outcasts and madmen to sages, who were recognized as mystical, even divine. Examining the act of wandering through many lenses, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture shows how the transformation of the wanderer coincided with new perceptions of the world and of travel and invites us to consider its definition and import today.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2001-2002 UW Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Texas Press, 2004
Synopsis: 

Conspiracy and Roman history go hand-in-hand although Roman writers were required to assure citizens that they were rare occurrences and that conspiracies were always revealed and the perpetrators punished. In this study, Victoria Pagan examines the narrative strategies of five prominent Roman historians who recorded conspiracies: Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Josephus, and Appian. Through five incidences of Intrigue and secrecy, including the assassinations of Julius Caesar and Caligula, she explores how writers dealt with this sensitive subject which brought fear and suspicion into the lives of Roman citizens.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2002-2003 UW Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Brill Academic, 2004
Synopsis: 

This book reconstructs a neglected episode in the development of Confucianism, one that considerably influenced later Chinese religious thought. "Material Virtue" examines a set of four through first century B.C.E. Chinese texts that argue virtue has a physical correlate in the body. Based on both transmitted (e.g., the Mengzi or Mencius) and recently excavated (e.g., the Wuxing or Five Kinds of Action) texts, "Material Virtue" describes how the argument addresses challenges to early Chinese religious ethics in part by relying on emerging notions such as the balance of qi (pneumas) also found in natural philosophy.

IRH Fellowship and Year: 
1998-1999 UW System Fellow
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press, 2003
Synopsis: 

On April 19, 1995 the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shook the nation, destroying our complacent sense of safety and sending a community into a tailspin of shock, grief, and bewilderment. Almost as difficult as the bombing itself has been the aftermath, its legacy for Oklahoma City and for the nation, and the struggle to recover from this unprecedented attack.

In The Unfinished Bombing, Edward T. Linenthal explores the many ways Oklahomans and other Americans have tried to grapple with this catastrophe. Working with exclusive access to materials gathered by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Archive and drawing from over 150 personal interviews with family members of those murdered, survivors, rescuers, and many others. Linenthal looks at how the bombing threatened cherished ideas about American innocence, sparked national debate on how to respond to terrorism at home and abroad, and engendered a new "bereaved community" in Oklahoma City itself. Linenthal examines how different stories about the bombing were told through positive narratives of civic renewal and of religious redemption and more negative narratives of toxicity and trauma. He writes about the extraordinary bonds of affection that were created in the wake of the bombing, acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion that existed alongside the toxic legacy of the event. The Unfinished Bombing offers a compelling look at both the individual and the larger cultural consequences of one of the most searing events in recent American history.

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
1998-1999 UW Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury Academic, 2000
Synopsis: 

Travel guidebooks are an important part of contemporary culture, but we know relatively little about their history and importance to the evolution of tourism. Germany not only produced the first international standard for travel handbooks, the Baedeker, but also became a major tourist destination early in the twentieth century. This is the first comprehensive discussion of the history of tourist guidebooks for any modern nation.

Selecting representative texts - the first Baedeker to unified Germany, guides to Berlin sex life and sites of Nazi martyrdom, a tour guide for the German worker and American tourbooks to West Germany - this fascinating study relates the history of tourist literature to the formation of distinct 'travel cultures' oriented to specific audiences, tastes and ideologies.

Cover of Book "Mappings: Feminism and Cultural Geographies of Encounter"
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
1994-1999 Senior Fellow; 2007-2017 Director
Awards: 
1999 Barbara Perkins and Geroge Perkins Award, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1999
Publisher: 
Princeton University Press, 1998
Synopsis: 

In this powerful work, Susan Friedman moves feminist theory out of paralyzing debates about us and them, white and other, first and third world, and victimizers and victims. Throughout, Friedman adapts current cultural theory from global and transnational studies, anthropology, and geography to challenge modes of thought that exaggerate the boundaries of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, and national origin. The author promotes a transnational and heterogeneous feminism, which, she maintains, can replace the proliferation of feminisms based on difference. She argues for a feminist geopolitical literacy that goes beyond fundamentalist identity politics and absolutist poststructuralist theory, and she continually focuses the reader's attention on those locations where differences are negotiated and transformed. Pervading the book is a concern with narrative: the way stories and cultural narratives serve as a primary mode of thinking about the politically explosive question of identity. Drawing freely on modernist novels, contemporary film, popular fiction, poetry, and mass media, the work features narratives of such writers and filmmakers as Gish Jen, Julie Dash, June Jordon, James Joyce, Gloria Anzaldúa, Neil Jordon, Virginia Woolf, Mira Nair, Zora Neale Hurston, E. M. Forster, and Irena Klepfisz. Defending the pioneering role of academic feminists in the knowledge revolution, this work draws on a wide variety of twentieth-century cultural expressions to address theoretical issues in postmodern feminism. 

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