JHU Press Blog

In Search of Russian Modernism

by eea | Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 12:00 PM

The disintegration of the Soviet empire brought about a Copernican revolution in Russian cultural historiography. Paradoxically, the post-Soviet documentary deluge and the collapse of the ideological coordinates hitherto guiding the writing of cultural history have left Russian modernist studies fundamentally unchanged. My book, In Search of Russian Modernism , interrogates the field’s methodological assumptions, removing the aura of certainty surrounding the analytical tools at our disposal and suggesting alternatives to the conventional ways of thinking about Russian and transnational modernism. I have found validation for my epistemological doubt, as well as fruitful analytical approaches, in Anglo-American “new modernist studies” which are driven by the same frustration with the established canon, chronology, geography, taxonomy, and sociology of modernism that informs my inquiry.

My book advocates for a methodological shift in the ways we think and write about Russian and transnational modernism. I explore the idea of modernism as a minority culture that coexists and interacts with other cultural formations in a given historical time and geographic space. Looking beyond artistic and philosophical expression, in order to account for modernism’s socioeconomic and institutional life, and broadening the academic field’s purview to include not only cultural producers but also...Read More

T. S. Eliot’s Dialectical Imagination

by eea | Monday, November 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

One of reasons that the early poetry of T. S. Eliot resonated (and continues to resonate) with so many people is that in revealing what was essentially a personal dilemma, he dramatized an issue that has haunted thinking individuals for eons. In The Philosophy of Language , the nineteenth-century thinker Friedrich von Schlegel puts it this way: “So profound, and so lasting, is our intrinsic dualism . . . psychological and metaphysical, so deeply is this dualism rooted in our consciousness, that even when we are . . . alone, we still think as two.” The awareness of a disjunction between intellect and feeling, logic and longing, thought and action, is particularly acute for intellectuals. One of the most brilliant representations of the war within can be seen in Hamlet, an intellectual who thinks himself into paralysis. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Eliot draws on Shakespeare to create an ironic kinsman of the Danish Prince. “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be.” With this denial, which is also a confession of identity, Eliot paints a portrait of the artist as a young man, a self-portrait of the poet at the age of...Read More

: Invisible influence: When marketers partner with nurses, the most trusted profession By Quinn Grundy

by eea | Friday, November 16, 2018 - 12:00 PM

“I’m in contact with some drug company to fund my upcoming event so naturally I thought of you,” read the text that popped up on my phone, accompanied by the face palm emoji. It was from my sister, a registered nurse who works on a neonatal intensive care unit.

I instantly called her back and when she picked up, spluttered, “But you read the book!” Having been my faithful clinical editor, she laughed, “It’s just like Chapter 3! I knew you’d be mad.”

When she began explaining the details, her story mirrored so many that nurses had shared during interviews I conducted about their interactions with pharmaceutical and medical device representatives in the hospital. The nurses I interviewed strove to provide the highest quality nursing care to patients and their families. In doing so, they encountered sales representatives who readily offered to help. Appearing as the “perfect friend,” sales reps made highly calculated overtures of support with the aim of securing nurses as allies to promote their products behind the scenes.

My sister’s unit hosts an annual tea to celebrate its “graduates” – children and their families that have been discharged from the NICU. She...Read More

Women and the Global 1970s

by bjs | Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Earlier this year, the Journal of Women's History published a cluster of papers focused on issues facing women around the globe in the 1970s. "Women and the Global 1970s" opened the lens to topics from Spain, Australia, the United States and the Middle East. Editors Elisa Camiscioli and Jean H. Quataert from Binghamton University, The State University of New York, joined us for a Q&A about the issue.

What led to the creation of this issue?

This was not a special issue for which we solicited manuscripts on a particular topic. It came about organically: we had a cluster of articles from across the globe that discussed topics situated in 1970s. Sometimes you can read the production queue like tea leaves and see the trends materializing in the field.

If you came of age in the 1970s, the idea of dedicating an entire issue to this decade might give you pause. Youthful memories of polyester fashions, disco music, and waiting in long lines to buy gas don’t fade easily, and the 1970s doesn’t have the cachet of the “Roaring Twenties” or the rebellious 1960s. But...Read More

A Q&A with Stephen Gavazzi: Author of Land-Grant Universities for the Future

by eea | Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 12:00 PM

What is the book about?

Most simply, it’s about the past, present, and possible futures of the land-grant university in twenty-first century America.

So why write a book about land-grant universities now?

My co-author and I, West Virginia University president Gordon Gee, both felt strongly that certain core aspects of the land-grant mission were being threatened by a variety of pressures placed upon higher education today. As a result, we both believed that these institutions were at significant risk of losing portions of their core identity. It dismayed us to think that the historical roots of America’s first public universities were being forgotten, or at least downplayed. Among other things, land-grant universities were intended to provide access to a practical college degree that was affordable to the working classes, generate research to help solve pressing problems, and remain closely connected to the needs of the communities they were designed to serve.

In short, they were founded as the people’s universities. So, we decided to conduct a study to find out what the leaders of these universities were thinking about when it came to the twenty-first century application of the land-grant mission....Read More

Campus Activism and Going to College in the 60's with John Thelin

by eea | Monday, November 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Writing about “ Going to College in the Sixties ” has encouraged me to think a lot about “Going to College” today. Connecting past and present in American higher education is a fascinating and serious game because a lot is at stake for applicants and their families. I cannot think of any nation where the excitement and energy devoted to college is so intense. Going to College in the Sixties is timely because this is the 50 th anniversary of landmark events involving campus life and student activism. Making comparisons across time is interesting but exasperating because there are both similarities and differences between the two eras. The most interesting finding I came across was that college in the 1960s was relatively inexpensive by today’s standards – but the trade off was that students faced over-crowding, long lines, large lecture classes, and very few academic support services. Many college presidents and deans were rather aloof and indifferent to the campus as experienced by students. There also were no federal student aid programs such as Pell Grants or student loans. Women represented a growing number and percentage of undergraduates nationwide, but this was dampened by the fact that...Read More

A Study of Twentieth-Century American Nightclub Culture with Stephen Duncan

by eea | Friday, November 9, 2018 - 12:00 PM

My interest in the subject of twentieth-century American nightclub culture and its intersection with political activism began as both highly theoretical and mundane. It started with a conversation I was having with a colleague about whether critical theorist Jürgen Habermas’s conception of “the public” held up to scrutiny. But, probably because I spent so much time in bars and clubs when I worked as a musician in my twenties, I was struck by the simple idea that postwar nightclub audiences were examples of newly-forming publics which Habermas had overlooked. In particular, Lenny Bruce’s comedy act in the 1950s came to mind, with its ability to raise controversy that traversed its way from underground clubs through mass media and back again. I quickly realized that an interesting and important question was how the nightclubs themselves played a role in this discourse. And as I traced the network of connections from clubs where Bruce performed, such as New York’s Village Vanguard or San Francisco’s hungry i, what I found surprised me. These clubs were part of a much deeper milieu, as well as a socially-conscious cultural genealogy that stretched from the earliest Parisian cabarets in the 1880s, through American jazz clubs of...Read More

An Environmental History of the Chesapeake Bay with Victor Kennedy

by eea | Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Chesapeake Bay is viewed these days as a rich fisheries and hunting environment, but few know that it was even more productive than now. Once described as an immense protein factory, the Bay, along with its fisheries and waterfowl harvests, has changed radically over the past 150 years. If we are unfamiliar with the extent of these changes, our reference point, or baseline, for restoring the Bay may be set too low.

A baseline tells us how things used to be, but ecosystems can deteriorate so gradually that each human generation affected by the changes takes its present situation as the norm. Thus the baseline for the present generation is different from the baseline for the preceding generation, and so on back in time. The baseline--our perception--has shifted.

Understanding the shift involves understanding the historical ecology of the Bay, both to appreciate what has been lost in the harvest abundances and to help us think about what baselines to use in restoring the system. This book will illustrate the rise and fall of the Bay’s fisheries and waterfowl harvests, beginning in colonial times but especially focusing on the 19 th century.

From the time of...Read More

Journal Shares Difficult Stories

by bjs | Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Since its inaugural issue in 2011, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics has sought to bring the stories of real people to the forefront of the discussion on important issues in medical ethics today. Now halfway through Volume 8, the journal continues this mission with two different looks at access to medical information and dealing with atypical medical encounters. Heidi Walsh , NIB's managing editor, and Mary Click , the journal's communications coordinator, joined us for a Q&A about these two recent issues as well as trends in publication and plans for the future.

The first two issues of the most recent volume have covered a wide variety of topics. What stands out to you the most from these issues?

The first issue of volume eight “ Doctor in the Family: Stories and Dilemmas Surrounding Illness in Relatives ,” details physicians’ experiences navigating both their personal and professional roles when family members or close friends have been ill. The authors describe various ways they’ve helped loved ones through an illness or diagnosis, ranging from supporting the loved one emotionally to going with them to appointments, to treating family members—something they are...Read More

Does literature have a public role? by Trevor Ross

by eea | Monday, November 5, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Does literature have a public role?

During the later eighteenth century, people in Britain began to use “literature” as the collective term for imaginative works, including poems, plays and prose fiction. Though the name was new, the category wasn't. Since antiquity, works of verse, drama, and eloquent prose had all come under the designation of “poetry.” Nor was the category redefined. Critics before and since the eighteenth century have treated literature as a distinct art employing either beautiful words or engaging fictions. Philosophers from Plato to the deconstructionists have equated literature with the expressive use of language. Others, from Aristotle to speech-act theorists, have emphasized literature’s power to imitate or reimagine experience. The rise of the novel over the past three centuries has led many readers to equate literature with fiction, though the ascendancy of the lyric during the same period has prompted some critics to think that we can identify a special category of literary language.

The focus of my work is on the idea of literature and what happened to the idea during the eighteenth century to warrant a change in how it was identified. In an earlier book, The Making of the English...Read More