Constructing Geological Knowledge Through Fieldwork in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Author: David R. Oldroyd
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The Highlands Controversy is a rich and perceptive account of the third and last major dispute in nineteenth-century geology stemming from the work of Sir Roderick Murchison. The earlier Devonian and Cambrian-Silurian controversies centered on whether the strata of Devon and Wales should be classified by lithological or paleontological criteria, but the Highlands dispute arose from the difficulties the Scottish Highlands presented to geologists who were just learning to decipher the very complex processes of mountain building and metamorphism. David Oldroyd follows this controversy into the last years of the nineteenth century, as geology was transformed by increasing professionalization and by the development of new field and laboratory techniques. In telling this story, Oldroyd's aim is to analyze how scientific knowledge is constructed within a competitive scientific community—how theory, empirical findings, and social factors interact in the formation of knowledge. Oldroyd uses archival material and his own extensive reconstruction of the nineteenth-century fieldwork in a case study showing how detailed maps and sections made it possible to understand the exceptionally complex geological structure of the Highlands An invaluable addition to the history of geology, The Highlands Controversy also makes important contributions to our understanding of the social and conceptual processes of scientific work, especially in times of heated dispute.
"Gothic to Multicultural: Idioms of Imagining in American Literary Fiction," twenty-three essays each carefully revised from the past four decades, explores both range and individual register. The collection opens with considerations of gothic as light and dark in Charles Brockden Brown, war and peace in Cooper s "The Spy," Antarctica as world-genesis in Poe s "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," the link of The Custom House and main text in Hawthorne s The Scarlet Letter, reflexive codings in Melville s "Moby-Dick" and "The Confidence-Man," Henry James "Hawthorne" as self-mirroring biography, and Stephen Crane s working of his Civil War episode in "The Red Badge of Courage." Two composite lineages address apocalypse in African American fiction and landscape in women s authorship from Sarah Orne Jewett to Leslie Marmon Silko. There follow culture and anarchy in Henry James "The Princess Casamassima," text-into-film in Edith Wharton s "The Age of Innocence," modernist stylings in Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway, and roman noir in Cornell Woolrich. The collection then turns to the limitations of protest categorization for Richard Wright and Chester Himes, autofiction in J.D. Salinger s "The Catcher in the Rye," and the novel of ideas in Robert Penn Warren s late fiction. Three closing essays take up multicultural genealogy, Harlem, then the Black South, in African American fiction, and the reclamation of voice in Native American fiction. A. Robert Lee is Professor of American Literature at Nihon University, Tokyo, having previously taught at the University of Kent, UK. His publications include "Designs of Blackness: Mappings in the Literature and Culture of Afro-America" (1998), "Multicultural American Fiction: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/a and Asian American Fictions" (2003), which won the American Book Award for 2004, "Japan Textures: Sight and Word," with Mark Gresham (2007), and "United States: Re-viewing Multicultural American Literature" (2008).
The Collapse of Liberal Democracy in the United States
Author: Eric Cheyfitz
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
The Disinformation Age, beginning in the present and going back to the American colonial period, constructs an original historical explanation for the current political crisis and the reasons the two major political parties cannot address it effectively. Commentators inside and outside academia have described this crisis with various terms — income inequality, the disappearance of the middle-class, the collapse of the two-party system, and the emergence of a corporate oligarchy. While this book uses such terminology, it uniquely provides a unifying explanation for the current state of the union by analyzing the seismic rupture of political rhetoric from political reality used within discussion of these issues. In advancing this analysis, the book provides a term for this rupture, Disinformation, which it defines not as planned propaganda but as the inevitable failure of the language of American Exceptionalism to correspond to actual history, even as the two major political parties continue to deploy this language. Further, in its final chapter this book provides a way out of this political cul-de-sac, what it terms "the limits of capitalism’s imagination," by "thinking from a different place" that is located in the theory and practice of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.