Ever since Dolly, the Scottish lamb, tottered on wobbly legs into our consciousness-followed swiftly by other animals: first, mice; then pigs that may provide human transplants, and even an ordinary house cat-thoughts have flown to the cloning of human beings. Legislators rushed to propose a ban on a technique that remains highly hypothetical, although some independent researchers have announced their determination to pursue the possibilities. Political scientist and well-known expert on reproductive issues, Andrea L. Bonnicksen examines the political reaction to this new-born science and the efforts to construct cloning policy. She also looks at issues that relate to stem cell research, its even newer sibling, and poses a key question:
How does the response to Dolly guide us as we manage innovative reproductive technologies in the future?
Various legislative endeavors and the efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee cloning, as well as policy models related to federal funding, individual state laws, and programs abroad, inform Bonnicksen's identification of four types of cloning policy. She analyzes in depth the roles of diverse interest groups as each struggle to become the dominant voice in the decision-making process. With skill and insight, she clears the mists from a complicated topic, and addresses the legal, political, and ethical arguments that are not likely to disappear from the national conversation or debates any time soon.
Compiled in 940 at the court of the kingdom of Shu, the Huajian ji is the earliest extant collection of song lyrics by literati poets. The collection has traditionally been studied as the precursor to the lyrics of the Song dynasty, or in terms of what it contributed to the later development of the genre. But scholars have rarely examined the work as an anthology, and have more often focused on the work of individual poets and their respective contributions to the genre.
In this book, Anna Shields examines the influence of court culture on the creation of the anthology and the significance of imitation and convention in its lyrics. Shields suggests that by considering the Huajian ji only in terms of its contributions to a later "model," we unnecessarily limit ourselves to a single literary form, and risk overlooking the broader influence of Tang culture on the Huajian ji. By illuminating the historical and literary contexts of the anthology, the author aims to situate the Huajian ji within larger questions of Chinese literary history, particularly the influence of cultural forces on the emergence of genres and the development of romantic literature.
The last decades of the Ming dynasty, though plagued by chaos and destruction, saw a significant increase of publications that examined advances in knowledge and technology. Among the numerous guides and reference books that appeared during this period was a series of texts by Song Yingxing (1587–1666?), a minor local official living in southern China. His Tiangong kaiwu, the longest and most prominent of these works, documents the extraction and processing of raw materials and the manufacture of goods essential to everyday life, from yeast and wine to paper and ink to boats, carts, and firearms.
In The Crafting of the 10,000 Things, Dagmar Schäfer probes this fascinating text and the legacy of its author to shed new light on the development of scientific thinking in China, the purpose of technical writing, and its role in and effects on Chinese history. Meticulously unfolding the layers of Song’s personal and cultural life, Schäfer chronicles the factors that motivated Song to transform practical knowledge into written culture. She then examines how Song gained, assessed, and ultimately presented knowledge, and in doing so articulates this era’s approaches to rationality, truth, and belief in the study of nature and culture alike. Finally, Schäfer places Song’s efforts in conjunction with the work of other Chinese philosophers and writers, before, during, and after his time, and argues that these writings demonstrate collectively a uniquely Chinese way of authorizing technology as a legitimate field of scholarly concern and philosophical knowledge.
Offering an overview of a thousand years of scholarship, The Crafting of the 10,000 Things explains the role of technology and crafts in a culture that had an outstandingly successful tradition in this field and was a crucial influence on the technical development of Europe on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.
Winner, Robert Motherwell Book Award, Outstanding Book on Modernism in the Arts, The Dedalus Foundation, 2019
As Latin American elites strove to modernize their cities at the turn of the twentieth century, they eagerly adopted the eugenic theory that improvements to the physical environment would lead to improvements in the human race. Based on Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s theory of the “inheritance of acquired characteristics,” this strain of eugenics empowered a utopian project that made race, gender, class, and the built environment the critical instruments of modernity and progress.
Through a transnational and interdisciplinary lens, Eugenics in the Garden reveals how eugenics, fueled by a fear of social degeneration in France, spread from the realms of medical science to architecture and urban planning, becoming a critical instrument in the crafting of modernity in the new Latin world. Journeying back and forth between France, Brazil, and Argentina, Fabiola López-Durán uncovers the complicity of physicians and architects on both sides of the Atlantic, who participated in a global strategy of social engineering, legitimized by the authority of science. In doing so, she reveals the ideological trajectory of one of the most celebrated architects of the twentieth century, Le Corbusier, who deployed architecture in what he saw as the perfecting and whitening of man. The first in-depth interrogation of eugenics’ influence on the construction of the modern built environment, Eugenics in the Garden convincingly demonstrates that race was the main tool in the geopolitics of space, and that racism was, and remains, an ideology of progress.
The Lives of Stone Tools gives voice to the Indigenous Gamo lithic practitioners of southern Ethiopia. For the Gamo, their stone tools are alive, and their work in flintknapping is interwoven with status, skill, and the life histories of their stone tools.
Anthropologist Kathryn Weedman Arthur offers insights from her more than twenty years working with the Gamo. She deftly addresses historical and present-day experiences and practices, privileging the Gamo’s perspectives. Providing a rich, detailed look into the world of lithic technology, Arthur urges us to follow her into a world that recognizes Indigenous theories of material culture as valid alternatives to academic theories. In so doing, she subverts long-held Western perspectives concerning gender, skill, and lifeless status of inorganic matter.
The book offers the perspectives that, contrary to long-held Western views, stone tools are living beings with a life course, and lithic technology is a reproductive process that should ideally include both male and female participation. Only individuals of particular lineages knowledgeable in the lives of stones may work with stone technology. Knappers acquire skill and status through incremental guided instruction corresponding to their own phases of maturation. The tools’ lives parallel those of their knappers from birth (procurement), circumcision (knapping), maturation (use), seclusion (storage), and death (discardment).
Given current expectations that the Gamo’s lithic technology may disappear with the next generation, The Lives of Stone Tools is a work of vital importance and possibly one of the last contemporaneous books about a population that engages with the craft daily.
Confident or fretful, solemn or sassy, tough or tender, casual or formal: the self you project in writing—your persona—is the byproduct of numerous decisions you make about what to say and how to say it. Though any single word or phrase or sentence might make little difference within the scope of an entire essay or book, collectively they create an impression of who you are or seem to be—an impression that’s sure to influence how readers respond to your work. Thus it’s essential to take charge of how you come across on the page, to craft an appropriate persona for whatever you’re writing, whether it’s a personal essay, a blog, a technical report, a letter to the editor, or a memoir. In this wise and ingenious little guide, noted essayist Carl Klaus shows you how to adapt your self to the needs of such varied nonfiction, by varying his own persona to illustrate the distinctive effect produced by each aspect and element of writing.
Klaus divides his book into two parts: first, an introduction to the nature and function of a persona, then a survey of the most important elements of writing that contribute to the character of a persona, from point of view and organization to diction and sentence structure. Both parts contain exercises that will give you practice in developing a persona of your choice. Challenging and stimulating, each of his exercises focuses on a distinctly different aspect of composition and style, so as to help you develop the skills of a versatile and personable writer. By focusing on the most important ways of projecting your self in nonfiction prose, you can learn to craft a distinctive self in your writing.
“Mark's 101 snippets of sound advice are clearly written, touched with humor, offered in a common-sense, easily accessible format. This book is a quick yet worthwhile read, gleaned from Mark's own steady growth and experience as a successful storyteller and educator. Gather a tip or two at a time, or make this book your evening's entertainment; it can become a self-coaching guide for any new or learning storyteller and a great enrichment tool for the experienced raconteur.” --Lynette Ford, storyteller and author of Affrilachian Tales: Tales from the African-American Tradition in Appalachia
Writing, for most of us, is bound up with anxiety. It’s even worse when it feels like your whole future—or at least where you’ll spend the next four years in college—is on the line. It’s easy to understand why so many high school seniors put off working on their applications until the last minute or end up with a generic and clichéd essay.
The good news? You already have the “secret sauce” for crafting a compelling personal essay: your own experiences and your unique voice.
The best essays rarely catalog how students have succeeded or achieved. Good writing shows the reader how you’ve struggled and describes mistakes you’ve made. Excellent essays express what you’re fired up about, illustrate how you think, and illuminate the ways you’ve grown.
More than twenty million students apply to college every year; many of them look similar in terms of test scores, grades, courses taken, extracurricular activities. Admissions officers wade through piles of files. As an applicant, you need to think about what will interest an exhausted reader. What can you write that will make her argue to admit you instead of the thousands of other applicants?
A good essay will be conversational and rich in vivid details, and it could only be written by one person—you. This book will help you figure out how to find and present the best in yourself. You’ll acquire some useful tools for writing well—and may even have fun—in the process.