Social Science

A collaboration between an attorney and an animal protection advocate, this work utilizes the extremely controversial and high-profile “crush video” case, US v. Stevens, to explore how American society attempts to balance the protection of free speech and the prevention of animal cruelty. Starting from the detailed case study of a single prominent ruling, the authors provide a masterful survey of important issues facing society in the area of animal welfare. The Stevens case included various “hot topic” elements connected to the role of government as arbiter of public morality, including judicial attitudes to sexual deviance and dogfighting. Because it is one of only two animal rights cases that the US Supreme Court has handled, and the only case discussing the competing interests of free speech and animal cruelty, it will be an important topic for discussion in constitutional and animal law courses for decades to come. The Stevens case arose from the first conviction under 18 USC § 48 (Section 48), a federal law enacted in 1999, which criminalized the creation, sale, and/or possession of certain depictions of animal cruelty. The US Congress intended Section 48 to end the creation and interstate trafficking of depictions of animal cruelty in which animals are abused or even killed for entertainment’s sake. Proponents of Section 48 predicted that countless benefits to both humans and animals would flow from its enforcement. Opponents of the law argued that it was too far-reaching and would stifle protected speech. Critics of Section 48 appeared to have prevailed when the US Supreme Court struck the law down as unconstitutionally overbroad. Although a law tailored to address the Supreme Court's concerns was quickly enacted, the free speech/animal cruelty controversy is far from over.    
In the decades after the Civil War, sports slowly gained a prominent position within American culture. This development provided Jews with opportunities to participate in one of the few American cultures not closed off to them. Jewish athleticism challenged anti-Semitic depictions of Jews’ supposed physical inferiority while helping to construct a modern American Jewish identity. An Americanization narrative emerged that connected Jewish athleticism with full acceptance and integration into American society. This acceptance was not without struggle, but Jews succeeded and participated in the American sporting culture as athletes, coaches, owners, and fans.    The diversity of topics in this volume reflect that the field of the history of American Jews and sports is growing and has moved beyond the need to overcome the idea that Jews are simply “People of the Book.” The contributions to this volume paint a broad picture of Jewish participation in sports, with essays written by respected historians who have examined specific sports, individuals, leagues, cities, and the impact of sport on Judaism. Despite the continued belief that Jewish religious or cultural identity remains somehow distinct from the American idea of the “athlete,” the volume demonstrates that American Jews have had a tremendous contribution to American sports—and conversely, that sports have helped construct American Jewish culture and identity.    
The landscapes of violence have become too familiar, too close to home. Despite decades of scientific research, we are only beginning to understand the roots of violence that connect child maltreatment, spouse and partner abuse, and aggression in our neighborhoods and communities. Cruelty to animals is often part of these landscapes of violence-at times, a strong link to destructive interpersonal relationships. Research on this link has recently received increased attention. However, the layperson, student, and professional interested in this link often face the daunting task of locating the critical references in this area of inquiry. Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence presents in one volume historical, philosophical, and research sources that explore the maltreatment of animals and the ways people hurt each other. Diverse disciplines are represented among the readings, including psychology and psychiatry, criminology, social work, veterinary science, and anthropology. A bibliography of related books and articles is provided for readers who wish to pursue this topic in greater detail.
El intelectual y la cultura de masas, by Javier García Liendo, studies the responses of Ángel Rama (Uruguay) and José María Arguedas (Peru) to the effects of mass culture on Andean indigenous cultures and Latin American print culture during the second half of the twentieth century. It explores the part that Rama and Arguedas played in the conceptualization and promotion of new cultural spaces made possible by commodification and industrialization, as capitalism transformed the imaginaries and materialities that had shaped their cultural projects for Andean and Latin American cultures. Through a material analysis of print culture objects, in particular those resulting from Rama’s editorial ventures—such as pocket paperbacks and a popular encyclopedia—this work examines the transformations occurring at the time in Latin America at the level of production and circulation of culture, and thus sheds light on the emergence of new networks of communication between intellectuals and national and regional publics. Similarly, it explores the role of emergent communication technologies (sound recording and radio) in the reshaping of rural indigenous cultures into a mass-oriented popular culture in Peru. In this context, Arguedas’s work with folklore and his later involvement in the Andean popular music scene in Lima are studied as responses to a violent process of commercialization of traditional Andean musical culture, a result of mass migration from rural areas to cities and urbanization. Finally, this book presents an understanding of Rama and Arguedas that transcends their categorization as literary critic and writer, respectively, by analyzing their work through the concept of practice, which encompasses the totality of their work, including journalism, anthropology, folklore, editorial work, intellectual networking, and cultural promotion. Its chapters invite a rethinking of established notions of the relation between culture and capitalism during the heyday of revolution in the Latin American intellectual field.
What has changed in the last twenty-five years in the relationship of Poles with their dogs? How have the free market and capitalism influenced Poland and the human-canine bond there? Are dogs “property,” “friends,” or “members of the family” in post-communist Poland? Free Market Dogs, edited by Michał Piotr Pręgowski and Justyna Włodarczyk, examines the interactions and relationships of dogs and humans in contemporary Polish culture and society, and explores how Poland’s intense exposure to Western—and particularly American—cultural patterns influenced the status of dogs after restoration of democracy in 1989.   This book discusses topics such as the emergence of pet cemeteries, dog memoirs, and presidential dogs in Poland; the growing popularity of dog sports and the feminization of said sports; the philosophical and ideological changes in dog training caused by exposure to state-of-the-art methods from American books and videos; dogs in contemporary Polish art; and the specificity and growing pains of local pet-facilitated therapy.   Free Market Dogs was written by researchers and practitioners whose academic background includes sociology, anthropology, pedagogy, cultural studies, and literary studies, and whose practical experience involves either training dogs or working with them. Based on thorough research and personal expertise, this is a great book for anyone interested in human-canine relationships—and their similarities and differences—around the world.  
The outsized influence of Jews in American entertainment from the early days of Hollywood to the present has proved an endlessly fascinating and controversial topic, for Jews and non-Jews alike. From Shtetl to Stardom: Jews and Hollywood takes an exciting and innovative approach to this rich and complex material. Exploring the subject from a scholarly perspective as well as up close and personal, the book combines historical and theoretical analysis by leading academics in the field with inside information from prominent entertainment professionals. Essays range from Vincent Brook’s survey of the stubbornly persistent canard of Jewish industry “control” to Lawrence Baron and Joel Rosenberg’s panel presentations on the recent brouhaha over Ben Urwand’s book alleging collaboration between Hollywood and Hitler. Case studies by Howard Rodman and Joshua Louis Moss examine a key Coen brothers film, A Serious Man (Rodman), and Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking television series, Transparent (Moss). Jeffrey Shandler and Shaina Hamermann train their respective lenses on popular satirical comedians of yesteryear (Allan Sherman) and those currently all the rage (Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, and Sarah Silverman). David Isaacs relates his years of agony and hilarity in the television comedy writers’ room, and interviews include in-depth discussions by Ross Melnick with Laemmle Theatres owner Greg Laemmle (relative of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle) and by Michael Renov with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. In all, From Shtetl to Stardom offers a uniquely multifaceted, multimediated, and up-to-the-minute account of the remarkable role Jews have played over the centuries and ongoing in American popular culture.    
Intellectual Philanthropy: The Seduction of the Masses by Aurélie Vialette examines the practice of philanthropy in modern Spain. Through detailed studies of popular music, collective readings, dramas, working-class manuals, and fiction, Vialette reveals how depictions of urban philanthropic activities can inform our understanding of interactions in the economic, cultural, religious, and educational spheres, class power dynamics, and gender roles in urban Spanish society.  
Dictionary definitions of the term mishpachah are seemingly straightforward: “A Jewish family or social unit including close and distant relatives—sometimes also close friends.” As accurate as such definitions are, they fail to capture the diversity and vitality of real, flesh-and-blood Jewish families. Families have been part of Jewish life for as long as there have been Jews. It is useful to recall that the family is the basic narrative building block of the stories in the biblical book of Genesis, which can be interpreted in the light of ancient literary traditions, archaeological discoveries, and rabbinic exegesis. Rabbinic literature also is filled with discussions about interactions, rancorous as well as amicable, between parents and among siblings. Sometimes harmony characterizes relations between the parent and the child; as often, alas, there is conflict. The rabbis, always aware of the realities of life, chide and advise as best they can. For the modern period, the changing roles of males and females in society at large have contributed to differing expectations as to their roles within the family. The relative increase in the number of adopted children, from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds, and more recently, the shifting reality of assisted reproductive technologies and the possibility of cloning human embryos, all raise significant moral and theological questions that require serious consideration. Through the studies brought together in this volume, more than a dozen scholars look at the Jewish family in wide variety of social, historical, religious, and geographical contexts. In the process, they explore both diverse and common features in the past and present, and they chart possible courses for Jewish families in the future.
Of Mind and Matter analyzes identity formation in the multicultural border region of Sleswig. It highlights the changeability of national sentiments and explores what has motivated local inhabitants to define themselves as Germans or Danes. The analysis focuses especially on the respective national minorities, among whom the transitional and flexible aspects of Sleswig identity surface most clearly. The study investigates national sentiments in a border region from a theoretical and comparative perspective. It relies on diverse forms of historical evidence, including quantitative sources such as language statistics and election results, but also more subjective sources such as personal life stories and interviews. The study pays equal attention to German and Danish source material. Of Mind and Matter adds important new angles to the literature on national identity in border areas and fills a conspicuous gap in English-language historiography, which completely lacks modern analyses of Sleswig history.
Edited by Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert, Perspectives on Science and Culture explores the intersection between scientific understanding and cultural representation from an interdisciplinary perspective.     Contributors to the volume analyze representations of science and scientific discourse from the perspectives of rhetorical criticism, comparative cultural studies, narratology, educational studies, discourse analysis, naturalized epistemology, and the cognitive sciences. The main objective of the volume is to explore how particular cognitive predispositions and cultural representations both shape and distort the public debate about scientific controversies, the teaching and learning of science, and the development of science itself. The theoretical background of the articles in the volume integrates C. P. Snow's concept of the two cultures (science and the humanities) and Jerome Bruner's confrontation between narrative and logico-scientific modes of thinking (i.e., the cognitive and the evolutionary approaches to human cognition). The intellectual trajectory of the volume is located in comparative cultural studies, a framework with paradigms of the empirical and systems approaches whereby attention is paid to the interrelationships between science and culture.
Re-Visioning Terrorism: A Humanistic Perspective is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that aims to offer a plurality of visions on terrorism, expanding its meaning across time and space and raising new questions that explore its multifaceted occurrences. The different ideological, philosophical, and cultural perspectives emerging from the essays and the variety of humanistic disciplines involved intend to provide a complex and even contradictory picture that emphasizes the fact that there cannot be a univocal conception and response to terrorism, in either the practical or the intellectual domain.   The editors borrow the concept of rack focus response from cinema to create an innovative and flexible interpretative approach to terrorism. Rack focus refers to the change of focus of a lens so that one image can come into focus while another moves out of focus. Though the focal distance changes, the reality has not changed. Both items and events coexist, but given the nature of optics we can only see clearly one or the other. This occurs not just with lenses, but also with human perceptions, be they emotional or intellectual. The rack focus response requires that we try to shift focus from the depth of field that is absolutely clear and familiar to the “other” that is unclear and unfamiliar. This exercise will lead us to reflect on terroristic events in a more nuanced, nondogmatic, and flexible manner.   The essays featured in this volume range from philosophical interpretations of terrorism, to historical analysis of terror through the ages, to cinematic, artistic, and narrative representations of terroristic events that are not limited to 9/11.
Symbolized by a three-hundred-year-old Seder plate, the religious life of Fred Behrend’s family had centered largely around Passover and the tale of the Jewish people’s exodus from tyranny. When the Nazis came to power, the wide-eyed boy and his family found themselves living a twentieth-century version of that exodus, escaping oppression and persecution in Germany for Cuba and ultimately a life of freedom and happiness in the United States. Behrend’s childhood came to a crashing end with Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) and his father’s harrowing internment at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. But he would not be defined by these harrowing circumstances. Behrend would go on to experience brushes with history involving the defeated Germans. By the age of twenty, he had run a POW camp full of Nazis, been an instructor in a program aimed at denazifying specially selected prisoners, and been assigned by the U.S. Army to watch over Wernher von Braun, the designer of the V-2 rocket that terrorized Europe and later chief architect of the Saturn V rocket that sent Americans to the moon. Behrend went from a sheltered life of wealth in a long-gone, old-world Germany, dwelling in the gilded compound once belonging to the manufacturer of the zeppelin airships, to a poor Jewish immigrant in New York City learning English from Humphrey Bogart films. Upon returning from service in the U.S. Army, he rose out of poverty, built a successful business in Manhattan, and returned to visit Germany a dozen times, giving him unique perspective into Germany’s attempts to surmount its Nazi past.
Adopting an empirical and systematic approach, this interdisciplinary study of medieval Persian Sufi tradition and ʿAttār (1145–1221) opens up a new space of comparison for reading and understanding medieval Persian and European literatures. The book invites us on an intellectual journey that reveals exciting intersections that redefine the hierarchies and terms of comparison. While the primary focus of the book is on reassessing the significance of the concept of transgression and construction of subjectivity within select works of ʿAttār within Persian Sufi tradition, the author also creates a bridge between medieval and modern, literature and theory, and European and Middle Eastern cultures through reading these works alongside one another. Of significance to the author is ʿAttār’s treatment of enlightenment with regard to class, religious, gender, and sexuality transgressions. In this book, the relation between transgression and the limit is not viewed as one of liberation from oppressive restrictions, but of undoing the structures that produce constraining binaries; it allows for alternatives and possibilities. In conjunction with the concepts of transgression and the limit, the presence of society’s marginalized pariahs, outcasts, and untouchables are central to the book’s main argument about construction of subjectivity, which the author believes is framed within ʿAttār’s notion of mystical love and human diversity. The book addresses the question of whether concepts such as transgression, limit, and subjectivity are solely applicable to modern times, or they can shed light on our understanding of transgression and subjectivity from the past. The author’s comparative inquiries aim to intensify our understanding of these notions advanced in both the medieval and the modern world. Through summoning works from various genres, disciplines, cultures, and times, the author posits that medieval literary works are living texts that can reveal as much about our present selves as they do about the past.
Jewish identity is a perennial concern, as Jews seek to define the major features and categories of those who “belong,” while at the same time draw distinctions between individuals and groups on the “inside” and those on the “outside.” From a variety of perspectives, scholarly as well as confessional, there is intense interest among non-Jewish and Jewish commentators alike in the basic question, “Who is a Jew?”   This collection of articles draws diverse historical, cultural, and religious insights from scholars who represent a wide range of academic and theological disciplines. Some of the authors directly address the issue of Jewish identity as it is being played out today in Israel and Diaspora communities. Others look to earlier time periods or societies as invaluable resources for enhanced and deepened analysis of contemporary matters.   All authors in this collection make a concerted effort to present their evidence and their conclusions in a way that is accessible to the general public and valid for other scholars. The result is a richly textured approach to a topic that seems always relevant. If no single answer appeals to all of the authors, this is as it should be. We all gain from the application of a number of approaches and perspectives, which enrich our appreciation of the people whose lives are affected, for better or worse, by real-life discussions of this issue and the resultant actions toward exclusivity or inclusivity.    
As reviewers of research on school desegregation have pointed out, it is important to learn more about the conditions under which interracial contact in schools has positive, rather than negative, effects on students. This book presents the results of a major study, which investigates this issue. Based on research in all the public high schools of Indianapolis, it is probably the most in-depth investigation of interracial contact in schools, which has ever been conducted. After describing the behaviors and attitudes of black students and of white students toward schoolmates of the other race, the author explores the conditions under which friendly, rather than unfriendly, attitudes and behavior occur. He also explores the effects of interracial contact on academic outcomes for students of both races, focusing especially on the conditions under which such contact has the most positive effects on effort and performance. Results are presented in the context of previous theory and research, and policy implications of the findings are suggested. The book will interest both academics and those non-academics concerned with schools and with race relations, including sociologists, social psychologists, educators, government officials, and members of the community concerned with educational and/or race relations issues in general and with the issues of racial integration in the schools in particular.
The scholarship in the volume Comparative Cultural Studies and Latin America represents the proposition that, given its vitality and excellence, Latin American literature deserves a more prominent place in comparative literature publications, curricula, and disciplinary discussions. The editors of the volume argue that there still exists, in some quarters, a lingering bias against literature written in Spanish and Portuguese and that by embracing Latin American literature more enthusiastically, comparative literature in the context of comparative cultural studies would find itself reinvigorated, placed into productive discourse with a host of issues, languages, literatures, and cultures that have too long been paid scant attention in its purview. Following an introduction by the editors, the volume contains papers by Gene H. Bell-Villada on the question of canon, by Gordon Brotherston and Lúcia de Sá on the First Peoples of the Americas and their literature, by Elizabeth Coonrod Martínez on the Latin American novel of the 1920s, by Román de la Campa on Latin American Studies, by Earl E. Fitz on Spanish American and Brazilian literature, by Roberto González Echevarría on Latin American and comparative literature, by Sophia A. McClennen on comparative literature and Latin American Studies, by Alberto Moreiras on Borges, by Julio Ortega on the critical debate about Latin American cultural studies, by Christina Marie Tourino on Cuban Americas in New York City, by Mario J. Valdés on the comparative history of literary cultures in Latin America, and by Lois Parkinson Zamora on comparative literature and globalization. The volume also contains a bibliography of scholarship in comparative Latin American culture and literature and biographical abstracts of the contributors to the volume.
The papers in this volume represent recent scholarship about Booker Prize Winner Michael Ondaatje's oeuvre by scholars working on English-Canadian literature and culture in Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand, and the USA. Papers in the volume are Victoria Cook, "Exploring Transnational Identities in Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost"; Beverley Curran, "Ondaatje's The English Patient and Altered States of Narrative"; Marlene Goldman, "Representations of Buddhism in Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost," Stephanie M. Hilger, "Ondaatje's The English Patient and Rewriting History"; Hsuan Hsu, "Post-Nationalism and the Cinematic Apparatus in Minghella's Adaptation of Ondaatje's The English Patient"; Glen Lowry, "The Representation of 'Race' in Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion"; Jon Saklofske, "The Motif of the Collector and Implications of Historical Appropriation in Ondaatje's Novels"; Sandeep Sanghera, "Touching the Language of Citizenship in Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost"; Eluned Summers-Bremner, "Reading Ondaatje's Poetry"; Winfried Siemerling, "Oral History and the Writing of the Other in Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion"; Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, "Ondaatje's The English Patient and Questions of History"; Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, "Selected Bibliography of Critical Work about Michael Ondaatje's Texts" and "A List of Michael Ondaatje's Works"; Bioprofiles of Contributors and Index.
Articles in this volume focus on theories and histories of comparative literature and the emerging field of comparative cultural studies. Contributors are Kwaku Asante-Darko on African postcolonial literature, Hendrik Birus on Goethe's concept of world literature, Amiya Dev on comparative literature in India, Marián Gálik on interliterariness, Ernst Grabovszki on globalization, new media, and world literature, Jan Walsh Hokenson on the culture of the context, Marko Juvan on literariness, Karl S.Y. Kao on metaphor, Kristof Jacek Kozak on comparative literature in Slovenia, Manuela Mourão on comparative literature in the USA, Jola Skulj on cultural identity, Slobodan Sucur on period styles and theory, Peter Swirski on popular and highbrow literature, Antony Tatlow on textual anthropology, William H. Thornton on East/West power politics in cultural studies, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek on comparative cultural studies, and Xiaoyi Zhou and Q.S. Tong on comparative literature in China. The articles are followed by a bibliography of scholarship in comparative literature and cultural studies, compiled by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Steven Aoun, and Wendy C. Nielsen.
Community Theory is a hot topic. However, most people think about community in terms that are far too simplistic, thus failing to understand the complex interrelationships between individuals and communities. Each individual has many communities influencing the individual simultaneously. Indeed, individuals are as much a product of their collective communities as the communities are a product of their collective memberships. The concept of belonging to several communities is not a new idea. However, researchers and practitioners have paid little attention to the impacts of simultaneous membership in diverse communities. This book will examine some important questions about community, including the following: What is a community? How can community be defined? How does membership in several communities affect our personalities and behaviors? How important is community to the individual?
This study is about the aporia between cosmopolitanism as a sign of justice and cosmopolitanism as the consumption and display of international luxury items and cultural production. Turn-of-the-century Pan-American cosmopolitanism described international aesthetic culture and fashion drawn from major world cities, but it was also implicitly political, it held a promise of justice in the acceptance and coexistence of difference. Although unrepentantly elitist, the cosmo-modernists transcended the genetic link between nationalisms and heteronormative versions of family often by turning to the classical model of a male homosocial. Fojas engages the work of Guatemalan Enrique Gómez Carrillo, the travel writings from the Chicago World's Fair of Cuban Aurelia Castillo de González, the Venezuelan journal Cosmópolis, and Rodó's infamous Ariel, all of which share a common principle of the practical application of cosmopolitanism. They revisit the failures of Eurocentric cosmopolitanism by rewriting them, recasting them for a new audience, and generally making use of them for their own purposes. But, above all, they grapple with cosmopolitanism, sometimes conceptualizing new models of hospitality and sometimes failing, nonetheless keeping the broken promise of utopic spaces and their imagined cities. These texts activate a cosmopolitan attitude by persuading the reader to be more open, more modern, and more amenable to difference.
This book examines contemporary French society's relationship with violence in an era of increased media dominance. The study's innovative and interdisciplinary approach integrates media, cinema, and literary studies to analyze how crime news (faits divers) function as a site of discursive struggle. Reisinger focuses on the sensational Paulin and Succo affairs that became mobile signifiers about crime, insecurity, and the Other in France in the 1980s. By situating these crime stories in a larger historical and political context, she analyzes how media and politicians use the crime story as a tool for upholding dominant ideology. Yet, rather than conclude that the crime story has become an absolute banality, as Jean Baudrillard has maintained, Reisinger shows how these crime stories attest to the public's renewed fascination with violence. Her analysis of the artistic rewritings of these stories reveal alternative, complex readings of the fait divers that subvert the media's sensationalized discourse on crime effectively. Through an analysis of the complex processes of production, reception, and re-articulation that contribute to the representation of crime in media and on the stage, the study concludes that the fait divers is an important location of social and political resistance for readers and artists alike in contemporary France.
Cultural Shaping of Violence proposes that violence cannot be described, let alone understond or addressed, unless tied to the cultural settings that influence it. The book's 27 chapters, researched and written by 28 scholars of seven nationalities, document violence in 22 distinct cultural settings in 17 nation-states on five continents. Internal to each society, a number of sites of violence may thrive, from the domestic sphere to social institutions and political arenas. In whatever site or guise, violence reverberates throughout the social fabric and beyond.
The history of exile literature is as old as the history of writing itself. Despite this vast and varied literary tradition, criticism of exile writing has tended to analyze these works according to a binary logic, where exile either produces creative freedom or it traps the writer in restrictive nostalgia. The Dialectics of Exile: Nation, Time, Language and Space in Hispanic Literatures offers a theory of exile writing that accounts for the persistence of these dual impulses and for the ways that they often co exist within the same literary works. Focusing on writers working in the latter part of the 20th century who were exiled during a historical moment of increasing globalization, transnational economics and the theoretical shifts of postmodernism, Sophia A. McClennen proposes that exile literature is best understood as a series of dialectic tensions about cultural identity. Through comparative analysis of Juan Goytisolo (Spain), Ariel Dorfman (Chile) and Cristina Peri Rossi (Uruguay), this book explores how these writers represent exile identity. Each chapter addresses dilemmas central to debates over cultural identity such as nationalism versus globalization, time as historical or cyclical, language as representationally accurate or disconnected from reality, and social space as utopic or dystopic. McClennen demonstrates how the complex writing of these three authors functions as an alternative discourse of cultural identity that not only challenges official versions imposed by authoritarian regimes, but also tests the limits of much cultural criticism.