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Charles Martin
Charles Martin

Encyclopedia Of World Biography, Second Edition...

The outward appearance of EWB has changed little in this second edition. Gone are the end papers printed with reproductions of signatures and the red type used to highlight certain text, but the general layout of the encyclopedia is the same. Entries...

Encyclopedia of World Biography, Second edition...

Writer and social critic, and one of the first women to make a profession from her literary pursuits, Christine de Pisan was born in Venice, the daughter of a physician and Venetian official. She moved to France when her father was appointed physician and astrologer to King Charles V. With her father's encouragement, she made an extensive study of the scientific, philosophical, and literary books available at the French court. She emerged as a writer after the death of her husband Etienne du Castel in 1390, an event that entangled her in a series of lawsuits over her husband's estate and forced her to seek out aristocratic patrons in order to support her family. She began writing lyric poetry on commission for nobles at court. In her work Letters to the God of Love, she objected to the chivalric ideals of knighthood and its attitude toward women and their role in society. This work brought her into a famous public debate over the depiction of women in the Roman de la Rose of Jean de Meun, one of the wellknown chivalric ballads. An intense study of the classical techniques of rhetoric and debate allowed her to give a good account of herself in a male-dominated world of literary debate. She followed her early successes with The Book of the City of Ladies, an allegory that considers the world and social conventions from a woman's perspective. She also wrote Song in Honor of Joan of Arc, The Book of Three Virtues, as well as books of history, biography, religion, and politics.

The editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, the world standard in reference since 1768, present the Britannica Global Edition. Developed specifically to provide comprehensive and global coverage of the world around us, this unique product contains thousands of timely, relevant, and essential articles drawn from the Encyclopædia Britannica itself, as well as from the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, the Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions, and Compton's by Britannica. Written by international experts and scholars, the articles in this collection reflect the standards that have been the hallmark of the leading English-language encyclopedia for over 240 years.

During the preparation of the second edition a new, powerful, information technology, the World Wide Web, came into common use. That technology, which fostered the transmission of information over the internet and, more importantly, allowed text, photographs, and other information bearing media to be electronically hyperlinked, seemed ideal to the basic purpose of an enterprise such as the Encyclopedia. Web technology could, for example, allow researchers to move rapidly from one article to another related article in an electronic encyclopedia as well as allow the editorial staff to constantly update, expand, and improve the product. Given this potential, the encyclopedia staff began to explore ways of moving the publication to the World Wide Web. That goal was achieved when CWRU's department of Information Services agreed to undertake the project during 1997. With the provision of over $100,000 of donated staff time, IS staff transferred the text of the second edition of the Encyclopedia and the Dictionary of Cleveland Biography to a server at CWRU. They then designed a highly interactive web site and created special editorial software that would allow for the constant, but controlled modification of the information at the web site. The Encyclopedia web site ( was announced to the public in May 1998. This again marked a first for Cleveland and the university: not only was the Cleveland volume the first modern urban encyclopedia, but now it was the first to be available on the World Wide Web. Other cities contemplating web-based histories, such as Chicago, looked to Cleveland as a model for their product. The National Endowment for the Humanities which showed a strong interest in supporting state and regional on-line encyclopedias in the early 2000s also looked to the Cleveland project as a model and consulted its staff for advice. In its first half month of public operation (May), the Cleveland website had 8,000 hits. By September 1999, the site was averaging 50,000 hits per month from around the world. By 2016 the number of monthly hits had exceeded 850,000.

Arendt identifies two main stages in the emergence of modernity: thefirst, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, corresponds toworld alienation and the rise of the social, the second, from thebeginning of the twentieth century, corresponds to earth alienation andthe victory of animal laborans. She also identifies a numberof causes: the discovery of America and the corresponding shrinking ofthe earth, the waves of expropriation started during the Reformation,the invention of the telescope challenging the adequacy of the senses,the rise of modern science and philosophy and subsequently of aconception of man as part of a process of Nature and History, and theexpansion of the realm of the economy, of the production andaccumulation of social wealth.

With respect to the second category, that of the social, Arendt wasunable to account for certain important features of the modernworld. Arendt identifies the social with all those activities formerlyrestricted to the private sphere of the household and having to dowith the necessities of life. Her claim is that, with the tremendousexpansion of the economy from the end of the eighteenth century, allsuch activities have taken over the public realm and transformed itinto a sphere for the satisfaction of our material needs. Society hasthus invaded and conquered the public realm, turning it into afunction of what previously were private needs and concerns, and hasthereby destroyed the boundary separating the public and theprivate. Arendt also claims that with the expansion of the socialrealm the tripartite division of human activities has been underminedto the point of becoming meaningless. In her view, once the socialrealm has established its monopoly, the distinction between labor,work and action is lost, since every effort is now expended onreproducing our material conditions of existence. Obsessed with life,productivity, and consumption, we have turned into a society oflaborers and jobholders who no longer appreciate the values associatedwith work, nor those associated with action.

For Arendt the public sphere comprises two distinct but interrelateddimensions. The first is the space of appearance, a space ofpolitical freedom and equality which comes into being whenevercitizens act in concert through the medium of speech andpersuasion. The second is the common world, a shared andpublic world of human artifacts, institutions and settings whichseparates us from nature and which provides a relatively permanent anddurable context for our activities. Both dimensions are essential tothe practice of citizenship, the former providing the spaces where itcan flourish, the latter providing the stable background from whichpublic spaces of action and deliberation can arise. For Arendt thereactivation of citizenship in the modern world depends upon both therecovery of a common, shared world and the creation of numerous spacesof appearance in which individuals can disclose their identities andestablish relations of reciprocity and solidarity.

The second feature stressed by Arendt has to do with thespatial quality of public life, with the fact that politicalactivities are located in a public space where citizens are able tomeet one another, exchange their opinions and debate theirdifferences, and search for some collective solution to theirproblems. Politics, for Arendt, is a matter of people sharing a commonworld and a common space of appearance so that public concerns canemerge and be articulated from different perspectives. In her view, itis not enough to have a collection of private individuals votingseparately and anonymously according to their privateopinions. Rather, these individuals must be able to see and talk toone another in public, to meet in a public-political space, so thattheir differences as well as their commonalities can emerge and becomethe subject of democratic debate.

Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in AmericaMarc Stein, ed. (Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004), 3 vols."A three-volume survey of more than 400 years of lesbian and gay history and culture in the United States, presented through over 500 alphabetically arranged entries. Coverage includes people, public policy, economics, social issues, identities, and culture, among many others."This encyclopedia may be searched individually, through its link above, or cross-searched with many other encyclopedias in Gale virtual reference library.Encyclopedia of the American ConstitutionLeonard W. Levy and Kenneth L. Karst, eds. 2nd edition (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000) 6 vols.This second edition "contains new and updated original articles covering recent concepts (i.e. adoption, race, the Constitution, birthright citizenship) and court cases since 1992 [when the first edition finished publication] offering comprehensive coverage of all aspects of constitutional law. . . . Also covers judicial decisions handed down by the Supreme Court."This encyclopedia may be searched individually, through its link above, or cross-searched with many other encyclopedias in Gale virtual reference library.Encyclopedia of the new American nation : the emergence of the United States, 1754-1829Paul Finkelman, editor in chief (Detroit : Charles Scribner's Sons : Thomson Gale, c2006), 3 vols.Location:Butler Reference, Butler Library Room 301 (Non-Circulating) Call Number: R973.4 En2 041b061a72


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