Loose Canons

Author: Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198024514
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Multiculturalism. It has been the subject of cover stories in Time and Newsweek, as well as numerous articles in newspapers and magazines around America. It has sparked heated jeremiads by George Will, Dinesh D'Sousa, and Roger Kimball. It moved William F. Buckley to rail against Stanley Fish and Catherine Stimpson on "Firing Line." It is arguably the most hotly debated topic in America today--and justly so. For whether one speaks of tensions between Hasidim and African-Americans in Crown Heights, or violent mass protests against Moscow in ethnic republics such as Armenia, or outright war between Serbs and Bosnians in the former Yugoslavia, it is clear that the clash of cultures is a worldwide problem, deeply felt, passionately expressed, always on the verge of violent explosion. Problems of this magnitude inevitably frame the discussion of "multiculturalism" and "cultural diversity" in the American classroom as well. In Loose Canons, one of America's leading literary and cultural critics, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., offers a broad, illuminating look at this highly contentious issue. Gates agrees that our world is deeply divided by nationalism, racism, and sexism, and argues that the only way to transcend these divisions--to forge a civic culture that respects both differences and similarities--is through education that respects both the diversity and commonalities of human culture. His is a plea for cultural and intercultural understanding. (You can't understand the world, he observes, if you exclude 90 percent of the world's cultural heritage.) We feel his ideas most strongly voiced in the concluding essay in the volume, "Trading on the Margin." Avoiding the stridency of both the Right and the Left, Gates concludes that the society we have made simply won't survive without the values of tolerance, and cultural tolerance comes to nothing without cultural understanding. Henry Louis Gates is one of the most visible and outspoken figures on the academic scene, the subject of a cover story in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and a major profile in The Boston Globe, and a much sought-after commentator. And as one of America's foremost advocates of African-American Studies (he is head of the department at Harvard), he has reflected upon the varied meanings of multiculturalism throughout his professional career, long before it became a national controversy. What we find in these pages, then, is the fruit of years of reflection on culture, racism, and the "American identity," and a deep commitment to broadening the literary and cultural horizons of all Americans.

Black Enterprise

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BLACK ENTERPRISE is the ultimate source for wealth creation for African American professionals, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE delivers timely, useful information on careers, small business and personal finance.

Bad Language

Author: Edwin Battistella
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883831
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Is today's language at an all-time low? Are pronunciations like cawfee and chawklit bad English? Is slang like my bad or hook up improper? Is it incorrect to mix English and Spanish, as in Yo quiero Taco Bell? Can you write Who do you trust? rather than Whom do you trust? Linguist Edwin Battistella takes a hard look at traditional notions of bad language, arguing that they are often based in sterile conventionality. Examining grammar and style, cursing, slang, and political correctness, regional and ethnic dialects, and foreign accents and language mixing, Battistella discusses the strong feelings evoked by language variation, from objections to the pronunciation NU-cu-lar to complaints about bilingual education. He explains the natural desire for uniformity in writing and speaking and traces the association of mainstream norms to ideas about refinement, intelligence, education, character, national unity and political values. Battistella argues that none of these qualities is inherently connected to language. It is tempting but wrong, Battistella argues, to think of slang, dialects and nonstandard grammar as simply breaking the rules of good English. Instead, we should view language as made up of alternative forms of orderliness adopted by speakers depending on their purpose. Thus we can study the structure and context of nonstandard language in order to illuminate and enrich traditional forms of language, and make policy decisions based on an informed engagement. Re-examining longstanding and heated debates, Bad Language will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers engaged and interested in the debate over what constitutes proper language.

Marked Men

Author: Sally Robinson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023150036X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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White men still hold most of the political and economic cards in the United States; yet stories about wounded and traumatized men dominate popular culture. Why are white men jumping on the victim bandwagon? Examining novels by Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such films as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society—as well as other writings, including The Closing of the American Mind—Sally Robinson argues that white men are tempted by the possibilities of pain and the surprisingly pleasurable tensions that come from living in crisis.

A Culture of Teaching

Author: Rebecca W. Bushnell
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801483561
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This provocative account of humanist education in early modern England relates the history of humanism to debates about its current status. The humanism Rebecca W. Bushnell traces through sixteenth-century sources emerges as distinct from humanist doctrines espoused today. And yet, in the conflicts faced by early humanists, Bushnell identifies the origins of contemporary educational notions and practices, including approaches to discipline, gender and class differences, reading and interpretation, canon formation, and the transmission of tradition. Renaissance texts depicting the schoolroom reveal a pedagogy fraught with tensions - between freedom and mastery, flexibility and rigid control, a passion for variety and a fear of excess. Bushnell describes this oscillation between opposites through debates over corporal punishment, in which the schoolmaster appears either as all-powerful or as the insignificant servant of authority. In pedagogical manuals strongly reminiscent of gardening guides, the scholar was seen as both a pliant vine and a force of nature. Bushnell perceives a similar ambivalence in early humanist attitudes toward reading and the creation of a literary canon. Moving outside the classroom walls, she considers the contradictory politics of appeals to tradition and invention in early debates over imitating the classics. In each instance, she indicates how, at the end of the sixteenth century, this balance began to tilt toward authoritarianism, selectivity, and discrimination.

Must We Defend Nazis

Author: Richard Delgado
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814721044
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In Must We Defend Nazis?, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic set out to liberate speech from its current straight-jacket. Over the past hundred years, almost all of American law has matured from the mechanical jurisprudence approach--which held that cases could be solved on the basis of legal rules and logic alone--to that of legal realism--which maintains that legal reasoning must also take into account social policy, common sense, and experience. But in the area of free speech, the authors argue, such archaic formulas as the prohibition against content regulation, the maxim that the cure for bad speech is more speech, and the speech/act distinction continue to reign, creating a system which fails to take account of the harms speech can cause to disempowered, marginalized people. Focusing on the issues of hate-speech and pornography, this volume examines the efforts of reformers to oblige society and law to take account of such harms. It contends that the values of free expression and equal dignity stand in reciprocal relation. Speech in any sort of meaningful sense requires equal dignity, equal access, and equal respect on the parts of all of the speakers in a dialogue; free speech, in other words, presupposes equality. The authors argue for a system of free speech which takes into account nuance, context-sensitivity, and competing values such as human dignity and equal protection of the law.

Redefining American Identity

Author: B. Railton
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230118666
Format: PDF
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Using five personal narratives and in contrast to both the traditional and multicultural narratives, this book suggest cross-cultural transformation has been at the core of America since the first moments of contact.

White by Law

Author: Ian Haney Lopez
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814736982
Format: PDF, ePub
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Ian Haney Lopez is a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.