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    The Case of Literature: Forensic Narratives from Goethe to Kafka
    Höcker, Arne (Cornell University Press, 2020-05-15)
    In The Case of Literature, Arne Höcker offers a radical reassessment of the modern European literary canon. His reinterpretations of Goethe, Schiller, Büchner, Döblin, Musil, and Kafka show how literary and scientific narratives have determined each other over the past three centuries, and he argues that modern literature not only contributed to the development of the human sciences but also established itself as the privileged medium for a modern style of case-based reasoning. The Case of Literature deftly traces the role of narrative fiction in relation to the scientific knowledge of the individual from eighteenth-century psychology and pedagogy to nineteenth-century sexology and criminology to twentieth-century psychoanalysis. Höcker demonstrates how modern authors consciously engaged casuistic forms of writing to arrive at new understandings of literary discourse that correspond to major historical transformations in the function of fiction. He argues for the centrality of literature to changes in the conceptions of psychological knowledge production around 1800; legal responsibility and institutionalized forms of decision-making throughout the nineteenth century; and literature's own realist demands in the early twentieth century.
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    Unbuttoning America: A Biography of "Peyton Place"
    Cameron, Ardis (Cornell University Press, 2015-04-15)
    Published in 1956, Peyton Place became a bestseller and a literary phenomenon. A lurid and gripping story of murder, incest, female desire, and social injustice, it was consumed as avidly by readers as it was condemned by critics and the clergy. Its author, Grace Metalious, a housewife who grew up in poverty in a New Hampshire mill town and had aspired to be a writer from childhood, loosely based the novel’s setting, characters, and incidents on real-life places, people, and events. The novel sold more than 30 million copies in hardcover and paperback, and it was adapted into a hit Hollywood film in 1957 and a popular television series that aired from 1964 to 1969. More than half a century later, the term “Peyton Place” is still in circulation as a code for a community harboring sordid secrets. In Unbuttoning America, Ardis Cameron mines extensive interviews, fan letters, and archival materials including contemporary cartoons and cover images from film posters and foreign editions to tell how the story of a patricide in a small New England village circulated over time and became a cultural phenomenon. She argues that Peyton Place, with its frank discussions of poverty, sexuality, class and ethnic discrimination, and small-town hypocrisy, was more than a tawdry potboiler. Metalious’s depiction of how her three central female characters come to terms with their identity as women and sexual beings anticipated second-wave feminism. More broadly, Cameron asserts, the novel was also part of a larger postwar struggle over belonging and recognition. Fictionalizing contemporary realities, Metalious pushed to the surface the hidden talk and secret rebellions of a generation no longer willing to ignore the disparities and domestic constraints of Cold War America.
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    The Wolf King: Ibn Mardanish and the Construction of Power in al-Andalus
    Balbale, Abigail Krasner (Cornell University Press, 2022-12-15)
    The Wolf King explores how political power was conceptualized, constructed, and wielded in twelfth-century al-Andalus, focusing on the eventful reign of Muhammad ibn Sad ibn Ahmad ibn Mardanīsh (r. 1147–1172). Celebrated in Castilian and Latin sources as el rey lobo/rex lupus and denigrated by Almohad and later Arabic sources as irreligious and disloyal to fellow Muslims because he fought the Almohads and served as vassal to the Castilians, Ibn Mardanīsh ruled a kingdom that at its peak constituted nearly half of al-Andalus and served as an important buffer between the Almohads and the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Through a close examination of contemporary sources across the region, Abigail Krasner Balbale shows that Ibn Mardanīsh's short-lived dynasty was actually an attempt to integrate al-Andalus more closely with the Islamic East—particularly the Abbasid caliphate. At stake in his battles against the Almohads was the very idea of the caliphate in this period, as well as who could define righteous religious authority. The Wolf King makes effective use of chronicles, chancery documents, poetry, architecture, coinage, and artifacts to uncover how Ibn Mardanīsh adapted language and cultural forms from around the Islamic world to assert and consolidate power—and then tracks how these strategies, and the memory of Ibn Mardanīsh more generally, influenced expressions of kingship in subsequent periods.
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    The Nature-Study Idea And Related Writings
    Bailey, Liberty Hyde; Linstrom, John; Orr, David W. (Cornell University Press, 2023-12-15)
    In The Nature-Study Idea, Liberty Hyde Bailey articulated the essence of a social movement, led by ordinary public-school teachers, that lifted education out of the classroom and placed it into firsthand contact with the natural world. The aim was simple but revolutionary: sympathy with nature to increase the joy of living and foster stewardship of the earth. With this definitive edition, John Linstrom reintroduces The Nature-Study Idea as an environmental classic for our time. It provides historical context through a wealth of related writings, and introductory essays relate Bailey's vision to current work in education and the intersection of climate change and culture. In this period of planetary turmoil, Bailey's ambition to cultivate wonder (in adults as well as children) and lead readers back into the natural world is more important than ever.
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    Suspect Saints and Holy Heretics: Disputed Sanctity and Communal Identity in Late Medieval Italy
    Peterson, Janine Larmon (Cornell University Press, 2019-11-15)
    In Suspect Saints and Holy Heretics Janine Larmon Peterson investigates regional saints whose holiness was contested. She scrutinizes the papacy's toleration of unofficial saints' cults and its response when their devotees challenged church authority about a cult's merits or the saint's orthodoxy. As she demonstrates, communities that venerated saints increasingly clashed with popes and inquisitors determined to erode any local claims of religious authority. Local and unsanctioned saints were spiritual and social fixtures in the towns of northern and central Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In some cases, popes allowed these saints' cults; in others, church officials condemned the saint and/or their followers as heretics. Using a wide range of secular and clerical sources—including vitae, inquisitorial and canonization records, chronicles, and civic statutes—Peterson explores who these unofficial saints were, how the phenomenon of disputed sanctity arose, and why communities would be willing to risk punishment by continuing to venerate a local holy man or woman. She argues that the Church increasingly restricted sanctification in the later Middle Ages, which precipitated new debates over who had the authority to recognize sainthood and what evidence should be used to identify holiness and heterodoxy. The case studies she presents detail how the political climate of the Italian peninsula allowed Italian communities to use saints' cults as a tool to negotiate religious and political autonomy in opposition to growing papal bureaucratization.
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    Sweet Deal, Bitter Landscape: Gender Politics and Liminality in Tanzania's New Enclosures
    Chung, Youjin B. (Cornell University Press, 2023-12-15)
    Sweet Deal, Bitter Landscape brings us to the mid-2000s, when the Tanzanian government struck a deal with a foreign investor to convert more than 20,000 hectares of long-settled coastal land to establish a sugarcane plantation. Ten years on, the deal was abruptly abandoned. Popularly deemed a case of hubristic global development, critics classified this project another in a line of failed modern resource grabs. Youjin B. Chung argues such tidy accounts conceal myriad and profound implications: not only how gender, history, and culture shaped the project's trajectory, but also how, even in its stalled state, the deal upended social life on the land by setting in motion incomplete processes of development and dispossession. With rich ethnographic detail and visual storytelling, Sweet Deal, Bitter Landscape traces the lived experiences of diverse rural women and men as they struggled for survival under a seemingly endless condition of liminality. In so doing, she raises critical questions about the directions and stakes of postcolonial development and nation-building in Tanzania, and the shifting meanings of identity and belonging for those on the margins of capitalist agrarian transformation.
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    Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca
    Kane, Eileen (Cornell University Press, 2015-11-15)
    In the late nineteenth century, as a consequence of imperial conquest and a mobility revolution, Russia became a crossroads of the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. The first book in any language on the hajj under tsarist and Soviet rule, Russian Hajj tells the story of how tsarist officials struggled to control and co-opt Russia's mass hajj traffic, seeing it as not only a liability but also an opportunity. To support the hajj as a matter of state surveillance and control was controversial, given the preeminent position of the Orthodox Church. But nor could the hajj be ignored, or banned, due to Russia's policy of toleration of Islam. As a cross-border, migratory phenomenon, the hajj stoked officials' fears of infectious disease, Islamic revolt, and interethnic conflict, but Eileen Kane innovatively argues that it also generated new thinking within the government about the utility of the empire's Muslims and their global networks.
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    Precarious Times: Temporality and History in Modern German Culture
    Fuchs, Anne (Cornell University Press, 2019-10-15)
    In Precarious Times, Anne Fuchs explores how works of German literature, film, and photography reflect on the profound temporal anxieties precipitated by contemporary experiences of atomization, displacement, and fragmentation that bring about a loss of history and of time itself and that is peculiar to our current moment. The digital age places premiums on just-in-time deliveries, continual innovation, instantaneous connectivity, and around-the-clock availability. While some celebrate this 24/7 culture, others see it as profoundly destructive to the natural rhythm of day and night—and to human happiness. Have we entered an era of a perpetual present that depletes the future and erodes our grasp of the past?Beginning its examination around 1900, when rapid modernization was accompanied by comparably intense reflection on changing temporal experience, Precarious Times provides historical depth and perspective to current debates on the "digital now." Expanding the modern discourse on time and speed, Fuchs deploys such concepts as attention, slowness and lateness to emphasize the uneven quality of time around the world.
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    Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR
    Khalid, Adeeb (Cornell University Press, 2015-11-15)
    In Making Uzbekistan, Adeeb Khalid chronicles the tumultuous history of Central Asia in the age of the Russian revolution. He explores the complex interaction between Uzbek intellectuals, local Bolsheviks, and Moscow to sketch out the flux of the situation in early-Soviet Central Asia. His focus on the Uzbek intelligentsia allows him to recast our understanding of Soviet nationalities policies. Uzbekistan, he argues, was not a creation of Soviet policies, but a project of the Muslim intelligentsia that emerged in the Soviet context through the interstices of the complex politics of the period. Making Uzbekistan introduces key texts from this period and argues that what the decade witnessed was nothing short of a cultural revolution.
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    Invisible Weapons: Liturgy and the Making of Crusade Ideology
    Gaposchkin, M. Cecilia (Cornell University Press, 2017-01-15)
    Throughout the history of the Crusades, liturgical prayer, masses, and alms were all marshaled in the fight against Muslim armies. In Invisible Weapons, M. Cecilia Gaposchkin focuses on the ways in which Latin Christians communicated their ideas and aspirations for crusade to God through liturgy, how public worship was deployed, and how prayers and masses absorbed the ideals and priorities of crusading. Placing religious texts and practices within the larger narrative of crusading, Gaposchkin offers a new understanding of a crucial facet in the culture of holy war.