Originally published in 1995, Barns of the Midwest is a masterful example of material cultural history. It arrived at a critical moment for the agricultural landscape. The 1980s were marked by farm foreclosures, rural bank failures, the continued rise of industrialized agriculture, and severe floods and droughts. These waves of disaster hastened the erosion of the idea of a pastoral Heartland knit together with small farms and rural values.
Encompassing history, geography, and political science, MacArthur’s study evaluates the role of geographic imagination and the impact of cartography not only as means of expressing imperial power and constraining colonized populations, but as tools for the articulation of new political communities and resistance.
A staple of postwar academic writing, “nationalism” is a contentious and often unanalyzed abstraction. It is generally treated as something “imagined,” “fashioned,” and “disseminated,” as an idea located in the mind, in printed matter, on maps, in symbols such as flags and anthems, and in collective memory.
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country's visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa. Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.
Eastern African pastoralists often present themselves as being egalitarian, equating cattle ownership with wealth. By this definition “the poor are not us”, poverty is confined to non-pastoralist, socially excluded persons and groups. Exploring this notion means discovering something about self-perceptions and community consciousness, how pastoralist identity has been made in opposition to other modes of production, how pastoralists want others to see them and how they see themselves.
For many, the barn is the symbol of the Midwestern United States. It represents tangible wealth, solid citizenship, industry, stability, and other agrarian values associated with its conservative, Anglo-Saxon settlers. Editors Noble and Wilhelm set out to examine these stereotypes. European settlement of the Midwest, though primarily English and German, was never homogenous and the character of the Midwest barn reflects this.
African American Studies
Emigration and Immigration
Media and Film Studies
Native American Studies
Prostitution and Sex Trade
Race and Ethnicity
Slavery and Slave Trade
Social Science Essays
Social Science, Methodology
Violence in Society