Tag Archives: Culture

Living with Star Trek American culture and the Star Trek universe / Lincoln Geraghty

Online Book Collection

This book is a welcome and original contribution to the world of ‘Star Trek.’ The book not only sets ‘Star Trek’ in dialogue with ideas and stories of utopia, community, self-improvement, that are central to American culture and history, but goes further to examine the complex ways in which these are taken up and used by ‘ordinary’ fans, who engage with ‘Star Trek’ in complex and significant ways. Lincoln Geraghty explores, for example, ‘Star Trek’s multiple histories and how ‘Star Trek’ and the American Jeremiad, one of the nation’s foundational texts, refer back to the past to prophesy a better future. He reveals how fans define the series as a blueprint for the solution of such social problems in America as racism and war and shows how they have used the series to cope with personal trauma and such characters as Data and Seven of Nine in moments of personal transformation. This is all in all a revelatory and original book on ‘Star Trek’ as both TV and cinema. (From B&N)

The news sorority : Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour– and the (ongoing, imperfect, complicated) triumph of women in TV news / Sheila Weller

Call number: PN4872 .W42 2014

For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism, until finally three—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour—broke through, definitively remaking America’s nightly news. Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, bestselling author Sheila Weller crafts a lively and eye-opening narrative, revealing the combination of ambition, skill, and character that enabled these three singular women to infiltrate the once impenetrable “boys club” and become cultural icons.

Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer was a driven, elegant young woman in a time of societal upheaval. Her fierce intellect, almost insuperable work ethic, and mysterious emotional intelligence would catapult Sawyer from being the first female on-air correspondent for 60 Minutes to presenting heartbreaking specials on child poverty in America while anchoring the network flagship, ABC World News Tonight.

Katie Couric, always convenient l y underestimated because of her girl-next-door demeanor, brazened her way through a succession of regional TV news jobs until she finally hit it big in New York. In 1991, Couric became the Today show cohost, where over the next fifteen years she transformed the “female” slot from secondary to preeminent. Couric’s greatest triumph—and most bedeviling challenge—was inheriting the mantle of Walter Cronkite at CBS Evening News, as the first woman ever to anchor a prestigious nighttime network news program.

A glamorous but unorthodox cosmopolite— the daughter of a British Catholic mother and Iranian Muslim father—Christiane Amanpour made a virtue of her outsider status. She joined the fledgling CNN on the bottom rung and then became its “face,” catalyzing its rise to global prominence. Her fearlessness in war zones and before presidents and despots would make her the world’s witness to some of its most acute crises and television’s chief advocate for international justice.

The News Sorority takes us behind the scenes as never before to track Sawyer’s, Couric’s, and Amanpour’s ascendance to the highest ranks of the media elite, showing that the compelling desire to report the news—a drive born of curiosity, empathy, and humanity—must be matched by guts, awesome competitive fervor, and rare strategic savvy.

Globalization : a basic text / George Ritzer

Call number: JZ1318 .R577 2010

The first full-scale textbook of its kind, Globalization: A Basic Text provides a balanced introduction to the major topics in globalization studies. Written in a highly accessible style, and drawing on sources both academic and popular, the book adopts a definition of globalization that emphasizes transplanetary flows and the structures that both expedite and impede those flows. Driven by a range of theories from imperialism and Americanization (and anti-Americanism), to neo-liberalism and the neo-Marxian alternatives, as well the major types of cultural theory, the book examines the key events in the history of globalization, and the principle flows and structures produced in the course of that history. Among the major topics covered are the economy, culture, technology, media and the Internet, migration, the environment, global inequalities, and the future of globalization. Making extensive use of maps and with a glossary of key terms, this book offers the reader not only a descriptive, but also a critical, analysis of globalization. (From Google Books)

Learning to be old : gender, culture, and aging / Margaret Cruikshank

Call number: BF724.55.A35 C78 2013

Margaret Cruikshank’s Learning to Be Old examines what it means to grow old in America today. The book questions social myths and fears about aging, sickness, and the other social roles of the elderly, the over-medicalization of many older people, and ageism. In this book, Cruikshank proposes alternatives to the ways aging is usually understood in both popular culture and mainstream gerontology. Learning to Be Old does not propose the ideas of successful aging or productive aging, but more the idea of learning how to age. Featuring new research and analysis, the third edition of Learning to be Old demonstrates, more thoroughly than the previous editions, that aging is socially constructed. Among texts on aging the book is unique in its clear focus on the differences in aging for women and men, as well as for people in different socioeconomic groups. Cruikshank is able to put aging in a broad context that not only focuses on how aging affects women but men, as well. Key updates in the third edition include changes in the health care system, changes in how long older Americans are working especially given the impact of the recession, and new material on the brain and mind-body interconnections. Cruikshank impressively challenges conventional ideas about aging in this third edition of Learning to be Old. This will be a must-read for everyone interested in new ideas surrounding aging in America today. (From Google Books)

A quiet revolution : the veil’s resurgence, from the Middle East to America / Leila Ahmed

Call number: BP190.5.H44 A46 2011

In Cairo in the 1940s, Leila Ahmed was raised by a generation of women who never dressed in the veils and headscarves their mothers and grandmothers had worn. To them, these coverings seemed irrelevant to both modern life and Islamic piety. Today, however, the majority of Muslim women throughout the Islamic world again wear the veil. Why, Ahmed asks, did this change take root so swiftly, and what does this shift mean for women, Islam, and the West? When she began her study, Ahmed assumed that the veil’s return indicated a backward step for Muslim women worldwide. What she discovered, however, in the stories of British colonial officials, young Muslim feminists, Arab nationalists, pious Islamic daughters, American Muslim immigrants, violent jihadists, and peaceful Islamic activists, confounded her expectations.
Ahmed observed that Islamism, with its commitments to activism in the service of the poor and in pursuit of social justice, is the strain of Islam most easily and naturally merging with western democracies’ own tradition of activism in the cause of justice and social change. It is often Islamists, even more than secular Muslims, who are at the forefront of such contemporary activist struggles as civil rights and women’s rights. Ahmed’s surprising conclusions represent a near reversal of her thinking on this topic. Richly insightful, intricately drawn, and passionately argued, this absorbing story of the veil’s resurgence, from Egypt through Saudi Arabia and into the West, suggests a dramatically new portrait of contemporary Islam.

The ornament of the world : how Muslims, Jews, and Christians created a culture of tolerance in medieval Spain / María Rosa Menocal

Call number: DP99 .M465 2002

Undoing the familiar notion of the Middle Ages as a period of religious persecution and intellectual stagnation, Menocal brings us a portrait of a medieval culture where literature, science, and tolerance flourished for 500 years. The story begins as a young prince in exile–the last heir to an Islamic dynasty–founds a new kingdom on the Iberian peninsula: al-Andalus. Combining the best of what Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures had to offer, al-Andalus and its successors influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, from the death of liturgical Latin and the spread of secular poetry, to remarkable feats in architecture, science, and technology. The glory of the Andalusian kingdoms endured until the Renaissance, when Christian monarchs forcibly converted, executed, or expelled non-Catholics from Spain. (Google Books)

Dreams of trespass : tales of a harem girlhood / Fatima Mernissi

Call number: CT2678.M47 A3 1995

I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, Morocco…” So begins Fatima Mernissi in the exotic and rich narrative of a childhood behind the iron gates of a domestic harem. In Dreams of Trespass, Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth–women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. This book is the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.–Back cover.