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Context and Catholicity in the Science and Religion Debate

Intercultural contributions from French-speaking Africa

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Klaas Bom and Benno van der Toren

For years the fact that the debate on science and religion was not related to cultural diversity was considered only a minor issue. However, lately, there is a growing concern that the dominance of ‘Western’ perspectives in this field do not allow for new understandings. This book testifies to the growing interest in the different cultural embeddings of the science and religion interface and proposes a framework that makes an intercultural debate possible. This proposal is based on a thorough study of the ‘lived theology’ of Christian students and university professors in Abidjan, Kinshasa and Yaoundé. The outcomes of the field research are related to a worldwide perspective of doing theology and a broader scope of scholarly discussions.

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Joel West

The Joker both fascinates and repels us. From his origin in Detective Comics in 1940, he has committed obscene crimes, some of the worst the Batman universe has ever known, and, conversely, fans have made him the topic of erotic and pornographic “fan fiction.” Speculation about the Joker abounds, where some fans have even claimed that the Joker is “queer coded.” This work explores various popular claims about the Joker, and delves into the history of comic books, and of other popular media from a semiotic viewpoint to understand “The Clown Prince of Crime” in the contexts in which he existed to understand his evolution in the past. From his roots as a “typical hoodlum,” The Joker even starred in his own eponymous comic book series and he will be featured in a non-canonical movie. This work examines what it is about the Joker which fascinates us.

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Patricia Leavy

Film follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Tash Daniels aspires to be a filmmaker. Her short film was rejected from festivals, she has a stack of rejected grant proposals, and she lost her internship at a studio when her boss harassed her, forcing her to take a job as a personal shopper. Lu K is a hot deejay slowly working her way up the club scene, but no one is doing her any favors. Fiercely independent, she’s at a loss when she meets Paisley, a woman who captures her heart. Monroe Preston is the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. As a teenager she moved to LA in search of a “big” life, but now she wonders if reality measures up to fantasy. When a man in their circle finds sudden fame, each of these women is catapulted on a journey of self-discovery. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront how her past has shaped her fears and to choose how she wants to live in the present. Film is a novel about the underside of dreams, the struggle to find internal strength, the power of art, and what it truly means to live a “big” life. Frequently shown bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters in Film show us how the arts can reignite the light within. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Although fictional, Film is loosely grounded in interview research. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. Film can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a sequel to the bestselling novel, Blue.

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Edited by Sandra L. Faulkner and Andrea England

Scientists and Poets #Resist is a collection of creative nonfiction, personal narrative, and poetry. This volume is a conversation between poets and scientists and a dialogue between art and science. The authors are poets, scientists, and poet-scientists who use the seven words—"vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based"—banned by the Trump administration in official Health and Human Service documents in December 2017 in their contributions. The contributors use the seven words to discuss their work, reactions to their work, and the creative environment in which they work. The resulting collection is an act of resistance, a political commentary, a conversation between scientists and poets, and a dialogue of collective voices using banned words as a rallying cry— Scientists and Poets #Resist—a warning that censorship is an issue connecting us all, an issue requiring a collective aesthetic response. This book can be read for pleasure, is a great choice for book clubs, and can be used as a springboard for reflection and discussion in a range of courses in the social sciences, education, and creative writing.

Shopper's Paradise

Retail Stores and American Consumer Culture

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Arthur Asa Berger

Shopper’s Paradise: Retail Stores and American Consumer Culture deals with the cultural, social and economic impact of different kinds of retail stores on American society. It has sections on some of the most important retail genres, such as Internet stores (Amazon.com), department stores (Neiman Marcus), coffee shops (Starbucks), big-box stores (Walmart, Costco) and a number of other kinds of stores such as dollar stores, malls, and farmers markets. It also has a discussion of consumer cultures. The subtext in the publication is the notion that shopping is connected with a desire to return to paradise, from which we were excluded due to Adam and Eve’s behavior in the Garden of Eden. Thus, the term “paradise” has two meanings. It is written in an accessible style and makes use of material from a variety of journalists and scholars who write about the retail industry and consumer cultures.

Expanding the Rainbow

Exploring the Relationships of Bi+, Polyamorous, Kinky, Ace, Intersex, and Trans People

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Edited by Brandy L. Simula, J.E. Sumerau and Andrea Miller

Expanding the Rainbow is the first comprehensive collection of research on the relationships of people who identify as bi+, poly, kinky, asexual, intersex, and/or trans that is written to be accessible to an undergraduate audience. The volume highlights a diverse range of identities, relationship structures, and understandings of bodies, sexualities, and interpersonal relationships. Contributions to the volume include original empirical research, personal narratives and reflections, and theoretical pieces that center the experiences of members of these communities, as well as teaching resources. Collectively, the chapters present a diverse, nuanced, and empirically rich picture of the variety of relationships and identities that individuals are creating in the twenty-first century.

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Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek

Feminist Theory and Pop Culture (Second Edition) synthesizes feminist theory with modern portrayals of gender in media culture. This updated text provides comprehensive and interdisciplinary scholarship focused on topics related to:

– Historical examination of feminist theory.
– Application of feminist research methods.
– Feminist theoretical perspectives such as the male gaze, feminist standpoint theory, Black feminist thought, queer theory, masculinity theory, theories of feminist activism, and postfeminism.
– Contributor chapters cover a range of topics from Western perspectives on belly dance to television shows such as Girls, Scandal, and Orange is the New Black.
– Feminist theory and the wave of feminism, including a discussion of the fourth wave.
– Pedagogical features.
– Suggestions for further reading and discussion questions for classroom use.

Feminist Theory and Pop Culture was designed for classroom use and has been written with an eye toward engaging students in discussion. The book’s polished perspective on feminist theory juxtaposes popular culture with theoretical perspectives which have served as a foundation for the study of gender. This interdisciplinary text can serve as a primary or supplemental reading.

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Carl Milofsky

This article argues the position that the symbolic sense of community is a product of action by associations and larger community-based organizations. It draws on a theory from urban sociology called “the community of limited liability.” In the past this theory, first articulated by Morris Janowitz, has mostly been used to argue that residents living in a local neighborhood feel a sense of identification with that area to the extent that the symbolism of that neighborhood has been developed. This article extends Janowitz’s theory to apply to local associations and their efforts to create activities, movements, and products that encourage residents to expand their sense of symbolic attachment to a place. We argue that this organizational method has long been used by local associations but it has not been recognized as an organizational theory. Because associations have used this approach over time, communities have a historical legacy of organizing and symbol creating efforts by many local associations. Over time they have competed, collaborated, and together developed a collective vision of place. They also have created a local interorganizational field and this field of interacting associations and organizations is dense with what we call associational social capital. Not all communities have this history of associational activity and associational social capital. Where it does exist, the field becomes an institutionalized feature of the community. This is what we mean by an institutional theory of community.

Intercultural Mirrors

Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity

Edited by Marie-Claire Patron and Julia Kraven

Intercultural Mirrors: Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity contains (auto)ethnographic chapters and research-based explorations that uncover the ways our intercultural experiences influence our process of self-discovery and self-construction. The idea of intercultural mirrors is applied throughout all chapters as an instrument of analysis, an heuristic tool, drawn from philosophy, to provide a focus for the analysis of real life experiences. Plato noted that one could see one’s own reflection in the pupil of another’s eye, and suggested that the mirror image provided in the eye of the other person was an essential contributor to self-knowledge. Taking this as a cue, the contributors of this book have structured their writings around the idea that the view of us held by other people provides an essential key to one’s own self-understanding.

Contributors are: James Arvanitakis, Damian Cox, Mark Dinnen, James Ferguson, Tom Frengos, Dennis Harmon, Donna Henson, Alexandra Hoyt, William Kelly, Lucyann Kerry, Julia Kraven, Taryn Mathis, Tony McHugh, Raoul Mortley, Kristin Newton, Marie-Claire Patron, Darren Swanson, and Peter Mbago Wakholi.