Improbability of Othello
Shakespeare's dramatis personae exist in a world of supposition, struggling to connect knowledge that cannot be had, judgments that must be made, and actions that need to be taken.For them, probability-what they and others might be persuaded to believe-governs human affairs, not certainty. Yet negotiating the space of probability is fraught with difficulty. Here, Joel B. Altman explores the problematics of probability and the psychology of persuasion in Renaissance rhetoric and Shakespeare's theater.Focusing on the Tragedy of Othello, Altman investigates Shakespeare's representation of the self as a specific realization of tensions pervading the rhetorical culture in which he was educated and practiced his craft. In Altman's account, Shakespeare also restrains and energizes his audiences' probabilizing capacities, alternately playing the skeptical critic and dramaturgic trickster. A monumental work of scholarship by one of America's most respected scholars of Renaissance literature, The Improbability of Othello contributes fresh ideas to our understanding of Shakespeare's conception of the self, his shaping of audience response, and the relationship of actors to his texts.
Ancient Perspectives encompasses a vast arc of space and time-Western Asia to North Africa and Europe from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE-to explore mapmaking and worldviews in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In each society, maps served as critical economic, political, and personal tools, but there was little consistency in how and why they were made. Much like today, maps in antiquity meant very different things to different people.Ancient Perspectives presents an ambitious, fresh overview of cartography and its uses. The seven chapters range from broad-based analyses of mapping in Mesopotamia and Egypt to a close focus on Ptolemy's ideas for drawing a world map based on the theories of his Greek predecessors at Alexandria. The remarkable accuracy of Mesopotamian city-plans is revealed, as is the creation of maps by Romans to support the proud claim that their emperor's rule was global in its reach. By probing the instruments and techniques of both Greek and Roman surveyors, one chapter seeks to uncover how their extraordinary planning of roads, aqueducts, and tunnels was achieved.?Even though none of these civilizations devised the means to measure time or distance with precision, they still conceptualized their surroundings, natural and man-made, near and far, and felt the urge to record them by inventive means that this absorbing volume reinterprets and compares.
Operas of Giuseppe Verdi
Abramo Basevi published his study of Verdi's operas in Florence in 1859, in the middle of the composer's career. The first thorough, systematic examination of Verdi's operas, it covered the twenty works produced between 1842 and 1857-from Nabucco and Macbeth to Il trovatore, La traviata, and Aroldo. But while Basevi's work is still widely cited and discussed-and nowhere more so than in the English-speaking world-no translation of the entire volume has previously been available. The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi fills this gap, at the same time providing an invaluable critical apparatus and commentary on Basevi's work. ?As a contemporary of Verdi and a trained musician, erudite scholar, and critic conversant with current and past operatic repertories, Basevi presented pointed discussion of the operas and their historical context, offering today's readers a unique window into many aspects of operatic culture, and culture in general, in Verdi's Italy. He wrote with precision on formal aspects, use of melody and orchestration, and other compositional features, which made his study an acknowledged model for the growing field of music criticism. Carefully annotated and with an engaging introduction and detailed glossary by editor Stefano Castelvecchi, this translation illuminates Basevi's musical and historical references as well as aspects of his language that remain difficult to grasp even for Italian readers.?Making Basevi's important contribution to our understanding of Verdi and his operas available to a broad audience for the first time, The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi will delight scholars and opera enthusiasts alike.
Feast for the Eyes
To read accounts of late medieval banquets is to enter a fantastical world where live lions guard nude statues, gilded stags burst into song, and musicians play from within pies. We can almost hear the clock sound from within a glass castle, taste the fire-breathing roast boar, and smell the rose water cascading in a miniature fountain. Such vivid works of art and performance required collaboration among artists in many fields, as well as the participation of the audience.A Feast for the Eyes?is the first book-length study of the court banquets of northwestern Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Christina Normore draws on an array of artworks, archival documents, chroniclers' accounts, and cookbooks to re-create these events and reassess the late medieval visual culture in which banquets were staged. Feast participants, she shows, developed sophisticated ways of appreciating artistic skill and attending to their own processes of perception, thereby forging a court culture that delighted in the exercise of fine aesthetic judgment.Challenging modern assumptions about the nature of artistic production and reception,?A Feast for the Eyes?yields fresh insight into the long history of multimedia work and the complex relationships between spectacle and spectators.
Preserving the Spell
Fairy tales are supposed to be magical, surprising, and exhilarating, an enchanting counterpoint to everyday life that nonetheless helps us understand and deal with the anxieties of that life. Today, however, fairy tales are far from marvelous-in the hands of Hollywood, they have been stripped of their power, offering little but formulaic narratives and tame surprises.?If we want to rediscover the power of fairy tales-as Armando Maggi thinks we should-we need to discover a new mythic lens, a new way of approaching and understanding, and thus re-creating, the transformative potential of these stories. In Preserving the Spell, Maggi argues that the first step is to understand the history of the various traditions of oral and written narrative that together created the fairy tales we know today. He begins his exploration with the ur-text of European fairy tales, Giambattista Basile's The Tale of Tales, then traces its path through later Italian, French, English, and German traditions, with particular emphasis on the Grimm Brothers' adaptations of the tales, which are included in the first-ever English translation in an appendix. Carrying his story into the twentieth century, Maggi mounts a powerful argument for freeing fairy tales from their bland contemporary forms, and reinvigorating our belief that we still can find new, powerfully transformative ways of telling these stories.
Reading Clocks, Alla Turca
Up until the end of the eighteenth century, the way Ottomans used their clocks conformed to the inner logic of their own temporal culture. However, this began to change rather dramatically during the nineteenth century, as the Ottoman Empire was increasingly assimilated into the European-dominated global economy and the project of modern state building began to gather momentum.In Reading Clocks, Alla Turca, Avner Wishnitzer unravels the complexity of Ottoman temporal culture and for the first time tells the story of its transformation. He explains that in their attempt to attain better surveillance capabilities and higher levels of regularity and efficiency, various organs of the reforming Ottoman state developed elaborate temporal constructs in which clocks played an increasingly important role. As the reform movement spread beyond the government apparatus, emerging groups of officers, bureaucrats, and urban professionals incorporated novel time-related ideas, values, and behaviors into their self-consciously "e;modern"e; outlook and lifestyle. Acculturated in the highly regimented environment of schools and barracks, they came to identify efficiency and temporal regularity with progress and the former temporal patterns with the old political order.Drawing on a wealth of archival and literary sources, Wishnitzer's original and highly important work presents the shifting culture of time as an arena in which Ottoman social groups competed for legitimacy and a medium through which the very concept of modernity was defined. Reading Clocks, Alla Turca breaks new ground in the study of the Middle East and presents us with a new understanding of the relationship between time and modernity.
Fresh water has become scarce and will become even more so in the coming years, as continued population growth places ever greater demands on the supply of fresh water. At the same time, options for increasing that supply look to be ever more limited. No longer can we rely on technological solutions to meet growing demand. What we need is better management of the available water supply to ensure it goes further toward meeting basic human needs. But better management requires that we both understand the history underlying our current water regulation regime and think seriously about what changes to the law could be beneficial.For Golden Rules, Mark Kanazawa draws on previously untapped historical sources to trace the emergence of the current framework for resolving water-rights issues to California in the 1850s, when Gold Rush miners flooded the newly formed state. The need to circumscribe water use on private property in support of broader societal objectives brought to light a number of fundamental issues about how water rights ought to be defined and enforced through a system of laws. Many of these issues reverberate in today's contentious debates about the relative merits of government and market regulation. By understanding how these laws developed across California's mining camps and common-law courts, we can also gain a better sense of the challenges associated with adopting new property-rights regimes in the twenty-first century.
In late seventeenth-century London, the most provocative images were produced not by artists, but by scientists. Magnified fly-eyes drawn with the aid of microscopes, apparitions cast on laboratory walls by projection machines, cut-paper figures revealing the "e;exact proportions"e; of sea monsters-all were created by members of the Royal Society of London, the leading institutional platform of the early Scientific Revolution. Wicked Intelligence reveals that these natural philosophers shaped Restoration London's emergent artistic cultures by forging collaborations with court painters, penning art theory, and designing triumphs of baroque architecture such as St Paul's Cathedral. ?Matthew C. Hunter brings to life this archive of experimental-philosophical visualization and the deft cunning that was required to manage such difficult research. Offering an innovative approach to the scientific image-making of the time, he demonstrates how the Restoration project of synthesizing experimental images into scientific knowledge, as practiced by Royal Society leaders Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren, might be called "e;wicked intelligence."e; Hunter uses episodes involving specific visual practices-for instance, concocting a lethal amalgam of wax, steel, and sulfuric acid to produce an active model of a comet-to explore how Hooke, Wren, and their colleagues devised representational modes that aided their experiments. Ultimately, Hunter argues, the craft and craftiness of experimental visual practice both promoted and menaced the artistic traditions on which they drew, turning the Royal Society projects into objects of suspicion in Enlightenment England.?The first book to use the physical evidence of Royal Society experiments to produce forensic evaluations of how scientific knowledge was generated, Wicked Intelligence rethinks the parameters of visual art, experimental philosophy, and architecture at the cusp of Britain's imperial power and artistic efflorescence.
War, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God
Differences among religious communities have motivated-and continue to motivate-many of the deadliest conflicts in human history. But how did political power and organized religion become so thoroughly intertwinedAnd how have religion and religiously motivated conflicts affected the evolution of societies throughout history, from demographic and sociopolitical change to economic growth?War, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God turns the focus on the "e;big three monotheisms"e;-Judaism, Islam, and Christianity-to consider these questions. Chronicling the relatively rapid spread of the Abrahamic religions among the Old World, Murat Iyigun shows that societies that adhered to a monotheistic belief in that era lasted longer, suggesting that monotheism brought some sociopolitical advantages. While the inherent belief in one true god meant that these religious communities had sooner or later to contend with one another, Iyigun shows that differences among them were typically strong enough to trump disagreements within. The book concludes by documenting the long-term repercussions of these dynamics for the organization of societies and their politics in Europe and the Middle East.
Between History and Myth
All groups tell stories about their beginnings. Such tales are oft-repeated, finely wrought, and usually much beloved. Among those institutions most in need of an impressive creation account is the state: it's one of the primary ways states attempt to legitimate themselves. But such founding narratives invite revisionist retellings that modify details of the story in ways that undercut, ironize, and even ridicule the state's ideal self-representation. Medieval accounts of how Norway was unified by its first king provide a lively, revealing, and wonderfully entertaining example of this process.?Taking the story of how Harald Fairhair unified Norway in the ninth century as its central example, Bruce Lincoln illuminates the way a state's foundation story blurs the distinction between history and myth and how variant tellings of origin stories provide opportunities for dissidence and subversion as subtle-or not so subtle-modifications are introduced through details of character, incident, and plot structure. Lincoln reveals a pattern whereby texts written in Iceland were more critical and infinitely more subtle than those produced in Norway, reflecting the fact that the former had a dual audience: not just the Norwegian court, but also Icelanders of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, whose ancestors had fled from Harald and founded the only non-monarchic, indeed anti-monarchic, state in medieval Europe.?Between History and Myth will appeal not only to specialists in Scandinavian literature and history but also to anyone interested in memory and narrative.
Ecology of Place
Ecologists can spend a lifetime researching a small patch of the earth, studying the interactions between organisms and the environment, and exploring the roles those interactions play in determining distribution, abundance, and evolutionary change. With so few ecologists and so many systems to study, generalizations are essential. But how do you extrapolate knowledge about a well-studied area and apply it elsewhere?Through a range of original essays written by eminent ecologists and naturalists, The Ecology of Place explores how place-focused research yields exportable general knowledge as well as practical local knowledge, and how society can facilitate ecological understanding by investing in field sites, place-centered databases, interdisciplinary collaborations, and field-oriented education programs that emphasize natural history. This unique patchwork of case-study narratives, philosophical musings, and historical analyses is tied together with commentaries from editors Ian Billick and Mary Price that develop and synthesize common threads. The result is a unique volume rich with all-too-rare insights into how science is actually done, as told by scientists themselves.
In 1959, Virginia's Prince Edward County closed its public schools rather than obey a court order to desegregate. For five years, black children were left to fend for themselves while the courts decided if the county could continue to deny its citizens public education. Investigating this remarkable and nearly forgotten story of local, state, and federal political confrontation, Christopher Bonastia recounts the test of wills that pitted resolute African Americans against equally steadfast white segregationists in a battle over the future of public education in America.?Beginning in 1951 when black high school students protested unequal facilities and continuing through the return of whites to public schools in the 1970s and 1980s, Bonastia describes the struggle over education during the civil rights era and the human suffering that came with it, as well as the inspiring determination of black residents to see justice served. Artfully exploring the lessons of the Prince Edward saga, Southern Stalemate unearths new insights about the evolution of modern conservatism and the politics of race in America.
In the mid-Victorian era, liberalism was a practical politics: it had a party, it informed legislation, and it had adherents who identified with and expressed it as opinion. It was also the first British political movement to depend more on people than property, and on opinion rather than interest. But how would these subjects of liberal politics actually live liberalism?To answer this question, Elaine Hadley focuses on the key concept of individuation-how it is embodied in politics and daily life and how it is expressed through opinion, discussion and sincerity.These are concerns that have been absent from commentary on the liberal subject. Living Liberalism argues that the properties of liberalism-citizenship, the vote, the candidate, and reform, among others-were developed in response to a chaotic and antagonistic world. In exploring how political liberalism imagined its impact on Victorian society, Hadley reveals an entirely new and unexpected prehistory of our modern liberal politics. A major revisionist account that alters our sense of the trajectory of liberalism, Living Liberalism revises our understanding of the presumption of the liberal subject.
History of Trust in Ancient Greece
An enormous amount of literature exists on Greek law, economics, and political philosophy. Yet no one has written a history of trust, one of the most fundamental aspects of social and economic interaction in the ancient world. In this fresh look at antiquity, Steven Johnstone explores the way democracy and markets flourished in ancient Greece not so much through personal relationships as through trust in abstract systems-including money, standardized measurement, rhetoric, and haggling.Focusing on markets and democratic politics, Johnstone draws on speeches given in Athenian courts, histories of Athenian democracy, comic writings, and laws inscribed on stone to examine how these systems worked. He analyzes their potentials and limitations and how the Greeks understood and critiqued them. In providing the first comprehensive account of these pervasive and crucial systems, A History of Trust in Ancient Greece links Greek political, economic, social, and intellectual history in new ways and challenges contemporary analyses of trust and civil society.
Habeas for the Twenty-First Century
For centuries, the writ of habeas corpus has served as an important safeguard against miscarriages of justice, and today?it remains at the center of some of the most contentious issues of our time-among them terrorism, immigration, crime, and the death penalty.?Yet, in recent decades, habeas has been seriously abused. In this book, Nancy J. King and Joseph L. Hoffmann argue that habeas should be exercised with greater prudence.Through historical, empirical, and legal analysis, as well as illustrative case studies, the authors examine the current use of the writ in the United States and offer sound reform proposals to help ensure its ongoing vitality in today's justice system. Comprehensive and thoroughly grounded in a modern understanding of habeas corpus, this informative book will be an insightful read for legal scholars and anyone interested in the importance of habeas corpus for American government.
Geographies of Philological Knowledge
Geographies of Philological Knowledge examines the relationship between medievalism and colonialism in the nineteenth-century Hispanic American context through the striking case of the Creole Andres Bello (1781-1865), a Venezuelan grammarian, editor, legal scholar, and politician, and his lifelong philological work on the medieval heroic narrative that would later become Spain's national epic, the Poem of the Cid. Nadia R. Altschul combs Bello's study of the poem and finds throughout it evidence of a "e;coloniality of knowledge."e;?Altschul ?reveals how, during the nineteenth century, the framework for philological scholarship established in and for core European nations-France, England, and especially Germany-was exported to Spain and Hispanic America as the proper way of doing medieval studies. She argues that the global designs of European philological scholarship are conspicuous in the domain of disciplinary historiography, especially when examining the local history of a Creole Hispanic American like Bello, who is neither fully European nor fully alien to European culture. Altschul likewise highlights Hispanic America's intellectual internalization of coloniality and its understanding of itself as an extension of Europe. A timely example of interdisciplinary history, interconnected history, and transnational study, Geographies of Philological Knowledge breaks with previous nationalist and colonialist histories and thus forges a new path for the future of medieval studies.
Authoring the Past
Authoring the Past surveys medieval Catalan historiography, shedding light on the emergence and evolution of historical writing and autobiography in the Middle Ages, on questions of authority and authorship, and on the links between history and politics during the period. Jaume Aurell examines texts from the late twelfth to the late fourteenth century-including the Latin Gesta comitum Barcinonensium and four texts in medieval Catalan: James I's Llibre dels fets, the Crnica of Bernat Desclot, the Crnica of Ramon Muntaner, and the Crnica of Peter the Ceremonious-and outlines the different motivations for the writing of each.?For Aurell, these chronicles are not mere archaeological artifacts but rather documents that speak to their writers' specific contemporary social and political purposes. He argues that these Catalonian counts and Aragonese kings were attempting to use their role as authors to legitimize their monarchical status, their growing political and economic power, and their aggressive expansionist policies in the Mediterranean. By analyzing these texts alongside one another, Aurell demonstrates the shifting contexts in which chronicles were conceived, written, and read throughout the Middle Ages.The first study of its kind to make medieval Catalonian writings available to English-speaking audiences, Authoring the Past will be of interest to scholars of history and comparative literature, students of Hispanic and Romance medieval studies, and medievalists who study the chronicle tradition in other languages.
Sundays at Sinai
First established 150 years ago, Chicago Sinai is one of America's oldest Reform Jewish congregations. Its founders were upwardly mobile and civically committed men and women, founders and partners of banks and landmark businesses like Hart Schaffner & Marx, Sears & Roebuck, and the giant meatpacking firm Morris & Co. As explicitly modern Jews, Sinai's members supported and led civic institutions and participated actively in Chicago politics. Perhaps most radically, their Sunday services, introduced in 1874 and still celebrated today, became a hallmark of the congregation.In Sundays at Sinai, Tobias Brinkmann brings modern Jewish history, immigration, urban history, and religious history together to trace the roots of radical Reform Judaism from across the Atlantic to this rapidly growing American metropolis. ?Brinkmann shines a light on the development of an urban reform congregation, illuminating Chicago Sinai's practices and history, and its contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue in the United States. Chronicling Chicago Sinai's radical beginnings in antebellum Chicago to the present, Sundays at Sinai is the extraordinary story of a leading Jewish Reform congregation in one of America's great cities.
Science in the Marketplace
The nineteenth century was an age of transformation in science, when scientists were rewarded for their startling new discoveries with increased social status and authority.But it was also a time when ordinary people from across the social spectrum were given the opportunity to participate in science, for education, entertainment, or both. In Victorian Britain science could be encountered in myriad forms and in countless locations: in panoramic shows, exhibitions, and galleries; in city museums and country houses; in popular lectures; and even in domestic conversations that revolved around the latest books and periodicals.Science in the Marketplace reveals this other side of Victorian scientific life by placing the sciences in the wider cultural marketplace, ultimately showing that the creation of new sites and audiences was just as crucial to the growing public interest in science as were the scientists themselves. By focusing attention on the scientific audience, as opposed to the scientific community or self-styled popularizers, Science in the Marketplace ably links larger societal changes-in literacy, in industrial technologies, and in leisure-to the evolution of "e;popular science."e;
Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic
Deliberation, in recent years, has emerged as a form of civic engagement worth reclaiming. In this persuasive book, Sandra M. Gustafson combines historical literary analysis and political theory in order to demonstrate that current democratic practices of deliberation are rooted in the civic rhetoric that flourished in the early American republic.Though the U.S. Constitution made deliberation central to republican self-governance, the ethical emphasis on group deliberation often conflicted with the rhetorical focus on persuasive speech. From Alexis de Tocqueville's ideas about the deliberative basis of American democracy through the works of Walt Whitman, John Dewey, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr., Gustafson shows how writers and speakers have made the aesthetic and political possibilities of deliberation central to their autobiographies, manifestos, novels, and orations. Examining seven key writers from the early American republic-including James Fenimore Cooper, David Crockett, and Daniel Webster-whose works of deliberative imagination explored the intersections of style and democratic substance, Gustafson offers a mode of historical and textual analysis that displays the wide range of resources imaginative language can contribute to political life.
It is a common belief that *ure has no place in modern, secular politics. Graham Hammill challenges this notion in The Mosaic Constitution, arguing that Moses's constitution of Israel, which created people bound by the rule of law, was central to early modern writings about government and state.Hammill shows how political writers from Machiavelli to Spinoza drew on Mosaic narrative to imagine constitutional forms of government. At the same time, literary writers like Christopher Marlowe, Michael Drayton, and John Milton turned to Hebrew *ure to probe such fundamental divisions as those between populace and multitude, citizenship and race, and obedience and individual choice. As these writers used biblical narrative to fuse politics with the creative resources of language, Mosaic narrative also gave them a means for exploring divine authority as a product of literary imagination. The first book to place Hebrew *ure at the cutting edge of seventeenth-century literary and political innovation, The Mosaic Constitution offers a fresh perspective on political theology and the relations between literary representation and the founding of political communities.