From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 5:00 AM
To: Chronicle Daily Report
Subject: 1/6/2004 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
Daily Report for subscribers
Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education for
Tuesday, January 6.
A SNOWBALLING ISSUE: Pondering studies that may help account for
the rise of animal life, geologists debate whether the earth
ever froze over completely.
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i18/18a01201.htm
SEEING THROUGH SUFFERING: Americans tend to look at Tibetan
monks with sympathy. The monks look at Americans, says a
professor of Buddhist studies, as spiritual kin suffering from
infinite distractions, blessed with infinite possibilities.
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i18/18b01501.htm
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
A glance at the September-December issue
of the "Journal of Folklore Research":
Southern stories about the places General Sherman spared
The destructiveness of the Civil War is the subject of many
local legends among the narratives of white Southerners
collected by Elissa R. Henken, a professor of English at the
University of Georgia. Many of the stories involve Gen. William
Tecumseh Sherman's 30-day March to the Sea, in 1864, and
"narratives about hardship and suffering -- and just plain
meanness -- on the part of Sherman's troops certainly occur,"
More frequently, however, she encounters a different theme:
"stories about the places Sherman did not destroy." In these
local legends, "towns each have a story about why that town, and
that town alone," escaped burning and pillaging by "that Devil
While emphasizing that the march was destructive, she also finds
antecedents for the ruthlessness attributed to Sherman in tales
of military leaders throughout history. She cites, for example,
Welsh legends that credit any ruins to burning by the
early-15th-century rebel Owen Glendower, even when the buildings
were erected long after his death. "Sherman similarly provides
explanation, or at least historical context, for otherwise
unexplained events," she writes.
Against such a ruthless -- hence, worthy -- foe, she says,
"there must be an explanation for why any individual town
survived." The reasons given in local legends vary, but they
"often fit a few categories involving friendship, women,
exchange, or beauty," she writes.
Many of the stories involve female intercessors, for whom Ms.
Henken notes biblical parallels in Judith and Esther. Such
fiercely determined women not only provide models for their
narrators, she says, but also are expressions of pride. "The
South may have lost the war," she concludes, "but it was never
defeated: The town and its womenfolk conquered the conqueror."
The article, "Taming the Enemy: Georgian Narratives About the
Civil War," is not online. Information about the journal is
available at http://iupjournals.org/folklore
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