- A Pilgrimage Through Universities
President of the University of Washington from 1958 to 1973, a time of tremendous change, Charles Odegaard has written an absorbing memoir of his personal and institutional background and his development as a scholar and university administrator. President Richard L. McCormick and Professor of Biomedical Ethics Keith R. Benson further discuss Odegaard's lasting contributions to the University of Washington.
Beginning with his own undergraduate experience, Odegaard came to recognize the importance of the humanities as the vital center of the university tradition. Throughout his career he emphasized that education concerned with the quality of life should be foremost in the minds of university administrators and faculty. After retirement he continued this mission in his book Dear Doctor: A Personal Letter to a Physician, focusing on the need to train physicians in the humanities in order to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.
Growing up in Chicago, Odegaard attended Dartmouth College and then Harvard University, where he studied medieval history and received his doctorate in 1937. He then joined the history department faculty at the University of Illinois. A four-year tour of duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II deeply influenced his comprehension of how people are motivated to work toward a common goal under difficult conditions. In 1948 he was persuaded to move to Washington, D.C., to head the American Council of Learned Societies. In 1952 he accepted the position of Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Michigan, and he moved to the presidency of the University of Washington in the fall of 1958.
Under Odegaard's strong leadership the University of Washington grew into a major institution of higher learning and research. Among his primary concerns were finding superior academic administrators, accommodating rapid growth in enrollment, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation, fostering greater communication between students and faculty, working to establish a realistic system linking state universities and colleges, and dealing with student discontent during the Vietnam War years and the periods of minority student protests.
In A Pilgrimage through Universities, Charles Odegaard conveys his perspective on the role a major university should play in the modern world.
- A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine
What we today call Shinto has been at the heart of Japanese culture for almost as long as there has been a political entity distinguishing itself as Japan. A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine describes the ritual cycle at Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki's major Shinto shrine. Conversations with priests, other shrine personnel, and people attending shrine functions supplement John K. Nelson's observations of over fifty shrine rituals and festivals. He elicits their views on the meaning and personal relevance of the religious events and the place of Shinto and Suwa Shrine in Japanese society, culture, and politics. Nelson focuses on the very human side of an ancient institution and provides a detailed look at beliefs and practices that, although grounded in natural cycles, are nonetheless meaningful in late-twentieth-century Japanese society.
Nelson explains the history of Suwa Shrine, basic Shinto concepts, and the Shinto worldview, including a discussion of the Kami, supernatural forces that pervade the universe. He explores the meaning of ritual in Japanese culture and society and examines the symbols, gestures, dances, and meanings of a typical shrine ceremony. He then describes the cycle of activities at the shrine during a calendar year: the seasonal rituals and festivals and the petitionary, propitiary, and rite-of-passage ceremonies performed for individuals and specific groups. Among them are the Dolls' Day festival, in which young women participate in a procession and worship service wearing Heian period costumes; the autumn Okunchi festival, which attracts participants from all over Japan and even brings emigrants home for a visit; the ritual invoking the blessing of the Kami for young children; and the ritual sanctifying the earth before a building is constructed. The author also describes the many roles women play in Shinto and includes an interview with a female priest.
Shinto has always been attentive to the protection of communities from unpredictable human and divine forces and has imbued its ritual practices with techniques and strategies to aid human life. By observing the Nagasaki shrine's traditions and rituals, the people who make it work, and their interactions with the community at large, the author shows that cosmologies from the past are still very much a part of the cultural codes utilized by the nation and its people to meet the challenges of today.
- Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States
Theatrical scene design is one of the most beautiful, varied, and lively art forms. Yet there are relatively few books on the subject, and almost none for a general audience that combine expansive scholarship with lavish design. "Making the Scene" offers an unprecedented survey of the evolving context, theory, and practice of scene design from ancient Greek times to the present, co-authored by the world's best-known authority on the subject and enhanced by three hundred full-colour illustrations. Individual chapters of the book focus on Greece, Rome, Medieval Europe (including liturgical drama, street pageants, festival outdoor drama, Spanish religious drama, and royal entries), the Italian Renaissance, eighteenth-century Europe, Classicism to Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism, Modernism, and contemporary scene design. "Making the Scene"'s authors review everything from the effects of social status on theatre design to the sea changes between Classicism, Romanticism, and Naturalism and the influence of perspective-based thought. Particularly intriguing is their rediscovery of lost tricks and techniques, from the classical deus ex machina and special effects in coliseums to medieval roving stage wagons and the floating ships of the Renaissance to the computerized practices of today's theatres. Such ingenious techniques, interwoven with the sweeping beauty of scene design through the ages, combine with the keen scholarship of Oscar Brockett and Margaret Mitchell to create a book as involving as the art it showcases.
- Western Amerykanski: Polish Poster Art and the Western
The figure of Gary Cooper as the proud frontier sheriff striding down the street in the 1952 American Western High Noon is as much a symbol of dignity and courage in contemporary Poland as it is in the United States. In 1989, for Polands first free election since the Communist takeover, the political party Solidarity dramatically and successfully used that image of Cooper on a campaign poster urging voters to respond to their countrys own high noontheir critical moment of decision. The Western motion picture, from its silent days on, exported an epic vision of America. William S. Hart, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood, and Kirk Douglas became legendary heroes throughout the world, and especially in Poland. In postwar Poland, film poster artists employed the universally recognized symbols of the Westernhorse, six-shooter, boots, tin-star badge, Stetson, saddleto convey violence as a negative force. Unlike many other art forms, the film poster did not fall within the censors domain because it was not expected to pose a threat to the social order. But messages were conveyed through subtle means of symbol and color. The Polish poster has been likened to the Trojan horse, with the artist smuggling messages onto the streets in the guise of ephemera. The posters displayed so strikingly in this book, and discussed in three essays, are from the golden age of Polish poster-making, the mid-1940s to the 1970s. They are part of the collection assembled by the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, the Western poster holdings of which include more than a hundred created in Polandthe largest such collection outside of Poland itself.
- Nordic Exposures: Scandinavian Identities in Classical Hollywood Cinema
Nordic Exposures explores how Scandinavian whiteness and ethnicity functioned in classical Hollywood cinema between and during the two world wars. Scandinavian identities could seem mutable and constructed at moments, while at other times they were deployed as representatives of an essential, biological and natural category. As Northern European Protestants, Scandinavian immigrants and emigres assimilated into the mainstream rights and benefits of white American identity with comparatively few barriers or obstacles. Yet Arne Lunde demonstrates that far from simply manifesting a normative unmarked whiteness, Scandinavianness in mass-immigration America and in Hollywood cinema of the twentieth century could be hyperwhite, provisionally off-white, or not even white at all. Lunde investigates key silent films, such as Technicolor's The Viking (1928), Victor Sjostrom's He Who Gets Slapped (1924), and Mauritz Stiller's Hotel Imperial (1927). The crises of Scandinavian foreign voice and the talkie revolution are explored in Greta Garbo's first sound film, Anna Christie (1930). The author also examines Warner Oland's long career of Asian racial masquerade (most famously as Chinese detective Charlie Chan), as well as Hollywood's and Third Reich Cinema's war over assimilating the Nordic female star in the personae of Garbo, Sonja Henie, Ingrid Bergman, Kristina Soderbaum, and Zarah Leander.