Literature, Nature, and Other: Ecofeminist Critiques

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The book first establishes a theoretical framework for conceptualizing environmental analysis. It then develops a conception of environmental literature with an emphasis on works by women, arguing for the need to reconceptualize woman/nature and nature/culture associations, and critiquing the problems of male poetic sex-typing of the planet. Murphy also elaborates on specific works and authors, with an emphasis on literary texts by Hampl, Harjo, Snyder, and Le Guin. Additionally, he treats issues of canon and pedagogy, as well as the possibility of agency in a postmodern era.

Ranging across diverse fields and incorporating cultural studies, post-structuralist literary theory, and ecofeminist philosophy, Literature, Nature, and Other both defines and critiques the current terrains of literary ecocriticism and nature writing/environmental literature. Literary examples are drawn from fiction, poetry, and prose, including postmodern metanarratives and works by Native Americans and Chicanas.
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About the author

Patrick D. Murphy is Director of the Graduate Program in Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Among his other books are Understanding Gary Synder; Critical Essays on Gary Synder; Critical Essays on American Modernism; and Essentials of the Theory of Fiction. He is also founding editor of the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

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SUNY Press
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Biography & Autobiography / Political
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“Thankfully Williams’s reminiscence does more than delight in the creepy and the ghoulish; it breathes life into the mortuary workers themselves.” —The Brooklyn Rail
Michelle Williams is young and attractive, with close family ties, a busy social life . . . and an unusual occupation. When she impulsively applies to be a mortuary technician and is offered the position, she has no idea that her decision to accept will be one of the most momentous of her life. “What I didn’t realize then, she writes, “was that I was about to start one of the most amazing jobs you can do.”
To Williams, life in the mortuary is neither grim nor frightening. She introduces readers to a host of unique characters: pathologists (many eccentric, some utterly crazy), undertakers, and the man from the coroner’s office who sings to her every morning. No two days are alike, and while Williams’s sensitivity to the dead never wavers, her tales from the crypt range from mischievous to downright shocking. Readers wont forget the fitness fanatic run over while doing nighttime push-ups on the road, the man so large he had to be carted in via refrigerated truck, or the guide dog who led his owner onto railway tracks—and left him there. The indomitable Williams never bats an eye, even as she is confronted—daily—with situations that would leave the rest of us speechless.
“This entertaining memoir chronicles the author’s first year on the job, which sees her learning how to perform a postmortem, determine cause of death, and deal with grieving relatives and shady undertakers (among a lot of other things) . . . Not your run-of-the-mill occupational memoir, but definitely an interesting one.” —Booklist
Transversal Ecocritical Praxis: Theoretical Arguments, Literary Analysis, and Cultural Critique, Patrick D. Murphy, Ph.D, utilizes ecocriticism and ecofeminism to develop his concept of transversal practice: an interdisciplinary combination of theory and applied criticism. He begins by explaining the necessity for cutting across disciplinary boundaries of all kinds in order to address the ecological dimensions of culture and literature. The dialogical foundation of this orientation is elaborated through a consideration of the theories of Mikhail Bkahtin, particularly in terms of the ethical responsibilities of the reader and critic. Murphy then takes up issues of identity and subject formation in relation to genetics, embodiment, and selfhood. These same issues play out in the history of the aesthetic category of the sublime, which the author critiques from an ecofeminist perspective. Following that, he turns attention to cultural issues of consumption, both at home and internationally, looking particularly at postcolonial literature and forms of resistance to globalizations and agricultural land grabs. Resistance and postcolonial literature is further analyzed through consideration of two book-length Latin American poetic sequences, one by Pablo Neruda and the other by Ernesto Cardenal. Switching from works focused on the present, Murphy turns his attention then to how these themes play out in the future oriented worlds of science fiction. He concludes with two chapters that combine ecocriticial cultural critique and economic analysis in studies of the destructive role of megadams, particularly in Asia, and the impact of the combined threats of peak oil and climate change on one island's tourist economy. The conclusion contains a discussion of further drivers of future ecocritical analysis. Traversing a wide range of examples, literary, cultural and economic, this work fleshes out the benefits of an ethically grounded interdisciplinary ecocriticism. /span
In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.
Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X
“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father

“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times
“A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”—The Nation
“The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee
“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
Persuasive Aesthetic Ecocritical Praxis continues Patrick D. Murphy's focus on transversal ecocritical praxis by considering literature and cinema in terms of the persuasive force of aesthetic activity and whether or not artistic production and its criticism can be considered forms of activism. Murphy argues that literature and other forms of aesthetic production hold out the promise of being able to move some individuals deeply through both affective and intellectual engagement in ways that facilitate ideological reflection. To analyze aesthetic production ecocritically requires a transversal orientation in order to work continuously at accommodating a vast array of often seemingly disparate perspectives, disciplines, and contextual information, as well as the ever changing thematic, plot, setting, and contextual elements of the aesthetic works under consideration and the responses of changing audiences through time and across cultures. Murphy demonstrates this approach through presenting theories of transversality and applying them with attention to issues of propaganda, agitation, and persuasion, both in terms of artistic production and the criticism of such production. He also brings an ecofeminist orientation to the fore with particular attention to the gendered economic aspects of environmental issues in an age of land grabs and plantation economies. Along the way he treats a wide range of literary works, films and miniseries. In American literature he discusses realist and science fiction works, from Susan Fenimore Cooper's Rural Hours to Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior to Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312, and Ana Castillo's So Far from God to Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes. In international literature, he analyzes Mo Yan's The Garlic Ballads, Jiang Rong's Wolft Totem, Michiko Ishimure's The Lake of Heaven, Miyuki Miyabe's All She Was Worth, and other novels. The book concludes with a reading of Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, an Afterword recommending further directions for transversal ecocritical research an and interview that discusses Murphy's previous book, Transversal Ecocritical Praxis, and provides some personal background on the author.
A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

“Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow” —The New York Times Book Review 

Ron Chernow's other biographies include: Grant, Washington, and Titan.
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