Best of
Cultural-Studies

1995

Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman


Malidoma Patrice Somé - 1995
    The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. "Of Water and the Spirit" is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit.

All God's Children


Fox Butterfield - 1995
    Butterfield follows the Bosket family of Edgefield County, South Carolina, from the days of slavery to the present. Photos.

Children Just Like Me


Barnabas Kindersley - 1995
    . . each of these children has hopes and fears, dreams and beliefs. Their cultures are different, yet in many ways their daily lives are very similar, as are their hopes for the future and their ways of looking at the world.Over the past two years, a photographer and a teacher have traveled to more than 30 countries, meeting and interviewing children. Each child's story is recorded in this remarkable book, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Extraordinary photographs bring to life the children's families and homes, their clothes and food, their friends and favorite games, and other aspects of their daily lives.The children live in places as diverse as New York, Mongolia, and the Amazon Basin. These are children from both industrialized and developing nations, children from busy cities and remote rural communities, and children from tribal cultures. Their environments include mountains, deserts, rain forests, plains, and polar regions. Most live in families, but Suchart, a novice monk, lives in a monastery, and Tadesse, an Ethiopian boy, lives in an orphanage. Children everywhere will enjoy reading about the lives of these children who share their world.Those who want to make friends with children around the world can join the Children Just Like Me Penpal Club, details of which are included in this book. Part of the Penpal Club membership fee goes to support UNICEF, helping children all over the world.

After The Flood: the early Post-Flood History of Europe


Bill Cooper - 1995
    These records of other nations lend chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis a degree of accuracy that sets them apart from all other historical documents of the ancient world. In a book which is the fruit of more than 25 years of research, he traces the development of the creation / evolution controversy that raged in the ancient world, and explodes many of the myths and errors of 'modernist' biblical critics. This book shows how European history can be traced right back to the flood and the descendants of Japheth, through contemporary accounts and a table of nations.

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction


Richard Delgado - 1995
    In recent years, however, the fundamental principles of the movement have influenced other academic disciplines, from sociology and politics to ethnic studies and history.And yet, while the critical race theory movement has spawned dozens of conferences and numerous books, no concise, accessible volume outlines its basic parameters and tenets. Here, then, from two of the founders of the movement, is the first primer on one of the most influential intellectual movements in American law and politics.

Paul Robeson


Martin Duberman - 1995
    Martin Duberman's classic biography, reissued by The New Press, offers a monumental and powerfully affecting portrait of one of this century's most notable performers, political radicals, and champions of racial equality.

Art on My Mind: Visual Politics


bell hooks - 1995
    Always concerned with the liberatory black struggle, hooks positions her writings on visual politics within the ever-present question of how art can be an empowering and revolutionary force within the black community.

Milk, Money, and Madness: The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding


Naomi Baumslag - 1995
    Dr. Richard Jolly, Acting Executive Director UNICEFBreastfeeding is a beautiful process. It involves the participation of both mother and child and cannot be duplicated by a glass bottle and rubber nipple. So why does the United States have the lowest breastfeeding rate in the industrialized world? In Milk, Money and Madness, Baumslag and Michels examine the issue of breastfeeding, clearly drawing a line between fact and fiction. Among the main points addressed are: o How U.S. taxpayers unwittingly support and encourage bottle-feeding by spending over $500 million each year to provide 37% of the infants in the U.S. with free formula. o How a product created to help sick children and foundlings was transformed into a powerful international industry with revenues of $22 million a day. o How an intimate and self-affirming life experience that is responsible for the survival of our species has been reduced to just one feeding option. Milk, Money, and Madness provides parents and health professionals with the information they need to fully appreciate and advise about this critical life choice. By reviewing the history, culture, biology, and politics of breastfeeding, Milk, Money, and Madness gives the reader a more complete understanding of the uniqueness of breastfeeding.The crucial decision between breastfeeding and formula feeding is increasingly complicated by misinformation and unfounded theories which cloud the actual facts. By all accounts, breastmilk is the most amazing life-sustaining fluid known to humanity. Many women who breastfeed characterize it as perhaps the most fulfilling life experience they will ever know. Scientific research supports the fact that breastfed babies are healthier, have lower infant mortality rates and fewer chronic illnesses throughout their lives than formula-fed babies. Similarly, women who breastfeed are significantly less likely to contract serious illnesses such as breast cancer. Alarmingly few people are aware of the unique benefits of breastfeeding and do not understand the dangers and risks of feeding an infant formula. In fact, the United States has the lowest breastfeeding rate in the industrialized world. Why has our society defied common sense and scientific data when breastfeeding has so many biological, emotional, environmental, and even financial advantages over laboratory blends?"Milk, Money, and Madness" is a thought-provoking book that offers honest answers and straight facts about breastfeeding. This book is designed to provide women, men, health workers, doctors, nurses, and midwives with the knowledge they need to advise or decide about the most suitable means of nourishment for infants. Baumslag and Michels consider the effects of 50 years of clever marketing and advertising which have transformed this society into one where bottle feeding is the norm and infant formula is considered to be essential to women's liberation and the forming of a paternal-infant bond. They also examine attitudes toward breastfeeding in cultures all around the world as compared to the antipathy toward breastfeeding that pervades the United States. "Milk, Money, and Madness" cuts through the myths and paranoia to offer an enlightening, culturally significant look at one of the most fundamentally beautiful functions of the human experience.

Twisted


Jessica Zafra - 1995
    Generation X icon Zafra continues her quest for world domination as she rants, complains, reminisces, and comments on anything and everything under the sun with her usual acerbic humor.

The Society of the Spectacle


Guy Debord - 1995
    From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960s up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism and everyday life in the late twentieth century. Now finally available in a superb English translation approved by the author, Debord's text remains as crucial as ever for understanding the contemporary effects of power, which are increasingly inseparable from the new virtual worlds of our rapidly changing image/information culture.

Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class


Eric Lott - 1995
    Born of extreme racial and class conflicts, the blackface minstrel show sometimes usefully intensified them. Based on the appropriation of black dialect, music, and dance, minstrelsy at once applauded and lampooned black culture, ironically contributing to a "blackening of America." Drawing on recent research in cultural studies and social history, Eric Lott examines the role of the blackface minstrel show in the political struggles of the years leading up to the Civil War. Reading minstrel music, lyrics, jokes, burlesque skits, and illustrations in tandem with working-class racial ideologies and the sex/gender system, Love and Theft argues that blackface minstrelsy both embodied and disrupted the racial tendencies of its largely white, male, working-class audiences. Underwritten by envy as well as repulsion, sympathetic identification as well as fear--a dialectic of "love and theft"--the minstrel show continually transgressed the color line even as it enabled the formation of a self-consciously white working class. Lott exposes minstrelsy as a signifier for multiple breaches: the rift between high and low cultures, the commodification of the dispossessed by the empowered, the attraction mixed with guilt of whites caught in the act of cultural thievery.

The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism


Tina Rosenberg - 1995
    Here, she approaches a similar theme in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism, telling a series of riveting human stories to illuminate the paradox that rabid anti-Communism at times resembles Communism. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the former East Germany, she talks to erstwhile dissidents now victimized because they are named in old police registers; to low-level agents accused of crimes that were not crimes when committed; and to high officials who now run things just like before. She convincingly suggests that the best antidote to Communism may be, not revenge, but "tolerance and the rule of law."

The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness


Paul Gilroy - 1995
    Eurocentrism. Caribbean Studies. British Studies. To the forces of cultural nationalism hunkered down in their camps, this bold hook sounds a liberating call. There is, Paul Gilroy tells us, a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once, a black Atlantic culture whose themes and techniques transcend ethnicity and nationality to produce something new and, until now, unremarked. Challenging the practices and assumptions of cultural studies, "The Black Atlantic" also complicates and enriches our understanding of modernism.Debates about postmodernism have cast an unfashionable pall over questions of historical periodization. Gilroy bucks this trend by arguing that the development of black culture in the Americas arid Europe is a historical experience which can be called modern for a number of clear and specific reasons. For Hegel, the dialectic of master and slave was integral to modernity, and Gilroy considers the implications of this idea for a transatlantic culture. In search of a poetics reflecting the politics and history of this culture, he takes us on a transatlantic tour of the music that, for centuries, has transmitted racial messages and feeling around the world, from the Jubilee Singers in the nineteenth century to Jimi Hendrix to rap. He also explores this internationalism as it is manifested in black writing from the "double consciousness" of W. E. B. Du Bois to the "double vision" of Richard Wright to the compelling voice of Toni Morrison.In a final tour de force, Gilroy exposes the shared contours of black and Jewish concepts of diaspora in order both to establish a theoretical basis for healing rifts between blacks and Jews in contemporary culture and to further define the central theme of his book: that blacks have shaped a nationalism, if not a nation, within the shared culture of the black Atlantic.

Walking the Rez Road


Jim Northrup - 1995
    Luke is a Vietnam veteran who has survived the war but is having "trouble/surviving the peace" on a reservation where everyone is broke and where the tribal government seems to work against the interests of the reservation folk. Throughout Walking the Rez Road, it is humor that holds the people and their community together. Winner, Midwest Book Achievement Award, Minnesota Book Award, Northeastern Minnesota Book Award.

Shadows of Tender Fury


Subcomandante Marcos - 1995
    Here are the words of Marcos, words that recast Mexican politics and revived rebel imaginations everywhere. They look back to the traditions of Indian resistance and the dormant ideals of the Mexican revolution; they look forward to political strategies, styles, and theories that challenge the dominance of capitalism. The Introduction by John Ross situates the Zapatistas in the context of Mexican history and the Afterword by Frank Bardacke discusses their language and politics, as well as their meaning for the U.S. left. This edition also includes an "exclusive" prologue by Subcomandante Marcos and his speech to the Zapatista's August 1994 national convention.

Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body


Lennard J. Davis - 1995
    Davis argues forcefully against 'ableist' discourse and for a complete recasting of the category of disability itself. Enforcing Normalcy surveys the emergence of a cluster of concepts around the term 'normal' as these matured in Western Europe and the United States over the past 250 years. Linking such notions to the concurrent emergence of discourses about the nation, Davis shows how the modern nation-state contracted its identity on the backs not only of colonized subjects, but of its physically disabled minority. In a fascinating chapter on contemporary cultural theory, Davis explores the pitfalls of privileging the figure of sight in conceptualizing the nature of textuality. And in the treatment of nudes and fragmented bodies in Western art, he shows how the ideal of physical wholeness is both demanded and denied in the classical aesthetics of representation. Enforcing Normalcy redraws the boundaries of political and cultural discourse. By insisting that disability be added to the familiar triad of race, class, and gender, the book challenges progressives to expand the limits of their thinking about human oppression.

Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters


J. Jack Halberstam - 1995
    Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference.Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity.

Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century


Wolfgang Schivelbusch - 1995
    Not simply a history of a technology, Disenchanted Night revelas the ways that the technology of artificial illumination helped forge modern consciousness. In his strikingly illustrated and lively narrative, Schivelbusch discusses a range of subject including the political symbolism of streetlamps, the rise of nightlife and the shopwindow, and the importance of the salon in bourgeois culture.

Conversations with Susan Sontag


Leland Poague - 1995
    That's what a writer does. I'm against the solipsistic idea that you find it all in your head. You don't.

Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls: By the Guerrilla Girls (Whoever They Really Are)


Guerrilla Girls - 1995
    More than 135 color illustrations; 4 tear-out postcard sheets.

Rebel Radio: The Story of El Salvador's Radio Venceremos


José Ignacio Lopez Vigil - 1995
    Rebel radio: the story of El Salvador's Radio Venceremos describes the courage and sacrifices of the young men and women responsible for running the guerrillas' radio station during the ten-year-long civil war in El Salvador

The Temptation of Innocence - Living in the Age of Entitlement


Pascal Bruckner - 1995
    This highly insightful essay dissects the culture of dependency and its damaging effects on the moral fiber of society, from corporate welfare to affirmative action.

Felix Gonzalez Torres


Nancy Spector - 1995
    He is described as one of the most innovative and generous of contemporary artists - his stacks of printed paper and brilliantly-coloured candy are freely available for his audience to take, while his strings of light-bulbs and evocative photographs may be installed to any configuration the owners desire. Gonzalez-Torres invites viewers to project their own ideas, interpretations, or even their dreams onto his poetic work, leading to an artistic collaboration which extends beyond the walls of any gallery.

Hoop Dreams: True Story of Hardship and Triumph, The


Ben Joravsky - 1995
    Roughly 250 hours of film were devoted to their journeys from the playgrounds to high school competition to college recruitment and -- whittled down to three hours -- it became the award-winning film Hoop Dreams. Now journalist Ben Joravsky vividly brings to light all the richness and subtlety of their stories, and the impact their aspirations had on themselves, their families and their relationships. It is an intimate look, complete with an up-to-date epilogue on the latest developments in their lives.

Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America


Charles Bowden - 1995
    The figures he casts before us-from Pancho Villa to a modern-day drug lord, from General Sherman to a skid-row Sioux named Robert Sundance-trace a story not so much of rapaciousness as of fear and loathing. Bowden twines it with the natural history of the hammer orchid, a carnivore whose deceptive delicacy comes to stand for the terror and hypocrisy that have perverted our love of the land, its peoples, and our very natures.

Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917


Gail Bederman - 1995
    Whites everywhere rioted. The furor, Gail Bederman demonstrates, was part of two fundamental and volatile national obsessions: manhood and racial dominance. In turn-of-the-century America, cultural ideals of manhood changed profoundly, as Victorian notions of self-restrained, moral manliness were challenged by ideals of an aggressive, overtly sexualized masculinity. Bederman traces this shift in values and shows how it brought together two seemingly contradictory ideals: the unfettered virility of racially "primitive" men and the refined superiority of "civilized" white men. Focusing on the lives and works of four very different Americans—Theodore Roosevelt, educator G. Stanley Hall, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman—she illuminates the ideological, cultural, and social interests these ideals came to serve.

The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics


Arthur W. Frank - 1995
    That book ended by describing the existence of a "remission society," whose members all live with some form of illness or disability. The Wounded Storyteller is their collective portrait.Ill people are more than victims of disease or patients of medicine; they are wounded storytellers. People tell stories to make sense of their suffering; when they turn their diseases into stories, they find healing.Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known—Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer—to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilties. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic.Frank identifies three basic narratives of illness in restitution, chaos, and quest. Restitution narratives anticipate getting well again and give prominence to the technology of cure. In chaos narratives, illness seems to stretch on forever, with no respite or redeeming insights. Quest narratives are about finding that insight as illness is transformed into a means for the ill person to become someone new.

Beyond Black and White: Rethinking Race in American Politics and Society


Manning Marable - 1995
    The realities of contemporary black America capture the nature of the crisis: life expectancy for black males is now below retirement age; median black income is less than 60 per cent that of whites; over 600,000 African-Americans are incarcerated in the US penal system; 23 per cent of all black males between the ages of eighteen and 29 are either in jail, on probation or parole, or awaiting trial. At the same time, affirmative action programs and civil rights reforms are being challenged by white conservatism.Confronted with a renascent right and the continuing burden of grotesque inequality, Manning Marable argues that the black struggle must move beyond previous strategies for social change. The politics of black nationalism, which advocates the building of separate black institutions, is an insufficient response. The politics of integration, characterized by traditional middle-class organizations like the NAACP and Urban League, seeks only representation without genuine power. Instead, a transformationist approach is required, one that can embrace the unique cultural identity of African-Americans while restructuring power and privilege in American society. Only a strategy of radical democracy can ultimately deconstruct race as a social force.Beyond Black and White brilliantly dissects the politics of race and class in the US of the 1990s. Topics include: the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy; the factors behind the rise and fall of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition: Benjamin Chavis and the conflicts within the NAAPC; and the national debate over affirmative action. Marable outlines the current debates in the black community between liberals, ‘Afrocentrists’, and the advocates of social transformation. He advances a political vision capable of drawing together minorities into a majority which can throw open the portals of power and govern in its own name.

The Mystic Fable, Volume One: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries


Michel de Certeau - 1995
    The culmination of de Certeau's lifelong engagement with the human sciences, this volume is both an analysis of Christian mysticism during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and an application of this influential scholar's transdisciplinary historiography.

The Spivak Reader: Selected Works


Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak - 1995
    Although her rigorous reading of various authors has often rendered her work difficult terrain for those unfamiliar with poststructuralism, this collection makes significant strides in explicating Spivak's complicated theories of reading.

Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians


Hilary Stewart - 1995
    For all its gifts, the Northwest Coast peoples held the cedar and its spirit in high regard, believing deeply in its healing and spiritual powers. Respectfully, they addressed the cedar as Long Life Maker, Life Giver and Healing Woman. Anecdotes, oral history and the accounts of early explorers, traders and missionaries highlight the text. Stewart’s 550 drawings and a selection of 50 photographs depict how the people made and used the finished products of the incomparable tree of life to the Northwest Coast Indians—the cedar.

Somewhere in the World Right Now


Stacey Schuett - 1995
    School Library Journal called Stacey Schuett's stunning authorial debut "a book that is perfect for sparking an interest in geography, emphasizing the amazing concept that at the same moment we are getting ready to sleep, other people are starting a new day." And in a starred review, Publishers Weekly added, "Schuett proves as nimble with words as with a paintbrush."  It's a good-night wish that circles the globe.

Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism


Lewis R. Gordon - 1995
    Bad faith, the attitude in which human beings attempt to evade freedom and responsibility, is treated as a constant possibility of human existence. Antiblack racism, the attitude and practice that involve the construction of black people as fundamentally inferior and subhuman, is examined as an effort to evade the responsibilities of a human and humane world. Gordon argues that the concept of bad faith militates against any human science that is built upon a theory of human nature and as such offers an analysis of antiblack racism that stands as a challenge to our ordinary assumptions of what it means to be human.

Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans


Farai Chideya - 1995
    Drawing from government sources, published studies, and polls on a wide range of economic and social issues, this book provides African Americans who find themselves confronting ignorant or stereotyped comments or images with the ammunition they need to fight the pervasive misinformation surrounding racial issues in this country.

Wine Of Endless Life: Taoist Drinking Songs from the Yuan Dynasty


Jerome P. Seaton - 1995
    Seaton's colloquial English renderings are a sheer pleasure to read, so much so that the reader is apt to forget he is enjoying translations..."--Choice

English Is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas


Coco Fusco - 1995
    Known for using performance to explore the boundaries of ethnicity in art, Coco Fusco has now brought her talents to bear in a volume of cultural criticism and theory, English is Broken Here. Infused with a unique cultural sensibility, English is Broken Here examines cross-cultural art issues in America at a crucial moment. Coco Fusco adds an original and eloquent voice to a growing debate over cultural identity and visual politics.

Civil Wars


June Jordan - 1995
    From journal entries on the line between poetry and politics and a discussion of language and power in "White" versus "Black" English to First Amendment issues, children's rights, Black studies, American violence, and sexuality, Jordan documents the very personal ways in which she meshes with the social issues of modern-day life in this country.

The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism


Peter F. Drucker - 1995
    Drucker explains and interprets fascism and Nazism as fundamental revolutions. In some ways, this book anticipated by more than a decade the existentialism that came to dominate the European political mood in the postwar period. Drucker provides a special addition to the massive literature on existentialism and alienation since World War II. The End of Economic Man is a social and political effort to explain the subjective consequences of the social upheavals caused by warfare.Drucker concentrates on one specific historical event: the breakdown of the social and political structure of Europe which culminated in the rise of Nazi totalitarianism to mastery over Europe. He explains the tragedy of Europe as the loss of political faith, resulting from the political alienation of the European masses. The End of Economic Man is a book of great social import. It shows not only what might have helped the older generation avert the catastrophe of Nazism, but also how today's generation can prevent another such catastrophe. This work will be of special interest to political scientists, intellectual historians, and sociologists.The book was singled out for praise on both sides of the Atlantic, and is considered by the author to be his most prescient effort in social theory.

The Great World Tour


Kamini Khanduri - 1995
    Each picture brings to life a different place, from a market in Thailand to a ski resort in the Alps. Small pictures around the edge of the page show things to spot, and easy-to-read captions provide snippets of information. There is also a present to find on every double-page spread and clues on where to go next - it won't be the next page in the book.

Barbie's Queer Accessories


Erica Rand - 1995
    She’s Barbie—an icon of femininity to generations of American girls. She’s also multiethnic and straight—or so says Mattel, Barbie’s manufacturer. But, as Barbie’s Queer Accessories demonstrates, many girls do things with Barbie never seen in any commercial. Erica Rand looks at the corporate marketing strategies used to create Barbie’s versatile (She’s a rapper! She’s an astronaut! She’s a bride!) but nonetheless premolded and still predominantly white image. Rand weighs the values Mattel seeks to embody in Barbie—evident, for example, in her improbably thin waist and her heterosexual partner—against the naked, dyked out, transgendered, and trashed versions favored by many juvenile owners and adult collectors of the doll.Rand begins by focusing on the production and marketing of Barbie, starting in 1959, including Mattel’s numerous tie-ins and spin-offs. These variations, which include the much-promoted multiethnic Barbies and the controversial Earring Magic Ken, helped make the doll one of the most profitable toys on the market. In lively chapters based on extensive interviews, the author discusses adult testimony from both Barbie "survivors" and enthusiasts and explores how memories of the doll fit into women’s lives. Finally, Rand looks at cultural reappropriations of Barbie by artists, collectors, and especially lesbians and gay men, and considers resistance to Barbie as a form of social and political activism.Illustrated with photographs of various interpretations and alterations of Barbie, this book encompasses both Barbie glorification and abjection as it testifies to the irrefutably compelling qualities of this bestselling toy. Anyone who has played with Barbie—or, more importantly, thought or worried about playing with Barbie—will find this book fascinating.

The Poverty of Theory


E.P. Thompson - 1995
    Although he was throughout his life interested in the philosophy of history and in various theoretical formulations, he concerned himself with these mainly in private reading and private discussion. Why then did he write this essay? He had read the works of Louis Althusser and found very little in them to affect his work. When Althusser appeared on the scene he made little impact on practising historians. For some reason however, he suddenly became a major force among graduate students and some young historians and literary scholars. Most historians would have been prepared to wait for the new influence to demonstrate its validity in the production of innovative work in history; not only did this not happen, but Althusser's followers - even some of the historians among them - began to declare that history was a non-discipline and that its study was of no value. It was the influence that Althusser's writings were having on scholarship that made Edward take on the uncongenial task of putting the case for history against his closed system.'The result is a major critique of Althusserian Marxism, or 'theoretical practice', entering closely into questions of epistemology and of the theory and practice of the historian. Around this detailed polemic, Thompson develops a constructive view of an alternative, socialist tradition, empirical and self-critical in method, and fully open to the creative practice evidenced by history - a tradition sharply opposed to much that now passes as 'Marxism'. In converging shafts of close analysis and Swiftian irony, the author defoliates Althusser's arcane, rationalist rhetoric and reinstates 'historicism', 'empiricism', 'moralism' and 'socialist humanism' in a different Marxist inheritance.The title of this essay echoes The Poverty of Philosophy, Marx's annihiliating attack on Proudhon, which, like Engels' Anti-Duhring, is a work read long after its subject has been consigned to oblivion.

Sweeter the Juice: A Family Memoir in Black and White


Shirlee Taylor Haizlip - 1995
    Shirlee Taylor Haizlip, in an effort to reconcile the dissonance between her black persona and her undeniably multiracial heritage, started on a journey of discovery that took her over thousands of miles and hundreds of years. While searching for her mother's family, Haizlip confronted the deeply intertwined but often suppressed tensions between race and skin color. We are drawn in by the story of an African-American family. Some members chose to "cross over" and "pass" for white while others enjoyed a successful black life. Their stories weave a tale of tangled ancestry, mixed blood, and identity issues from the 17th century to the present. The Sweeter the Juice is a memoir, a social history, a biography, and an autobiography. Haizlip gives to us the quintessential American story, unveiling truths about race, about our society, and about the ways in which we all perceive and judge one another.

Writings on Cities


Henri Lefebvre - 1995
    This new collection brings together, for the first time in English, Lefebvre's reflections on the city and urban life written over a span of some twenty years. The selection of writings is contextualized by an introduction - itself a significant contribution to the interpretation of Henri Lefebvre's work - which places the material within the context of Lefebvre's intellectual and political life and times and raises pertinent issues as to their relevance for contemporary debates over such questions as the nature of urban reality, the production of space and modernity. Writings on Cities is of particular relevance to architects, planners, geographers, and those interested in the philosophical and political understanding of contemporary life.

Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation, And The Commodification Of Difference


Deborah Root - 1995
    Across the country in New York, opera patrons weep to the death scene of Madam Butterfly. These seemingly unrelated events intertwine in Cannibal Culture as Deborah Root examines the ways Western art and Western commerce co-opt, pigeonhole, and commodify so-called “native experiences.” From nineteenth-century paintings of Arab marauders to our current fascination with New Age shamanism, Root explores and explodes the consumption of the Other as a source of violence, passion, and spirituality.Through advertising images and books and films like The Sheltering Sky, Cannibal Culture deconstructs our passion for tourism and the concept of “going native,” while providing a withering indictment of a culture in which every cultural artifact and ideology is up for grabs—a cannibal culture. This fascinating book raises important and uncomfortable questions about how we travel, what we buy, and how we determine cultural merit. Travel—be it to another country, to a museum, or to a supermarket—will never be the same again.

Living Machines: Bauhaus Architecture as Sexual Ideology


E. Michael Jones - 1995
    Michael Jones completes the trilogy as he reveals in this book how modern architecture arose out of the disordered moral lives of its creators. Beginning with the simultaneous collapse of both his marriage and the Austro-Hungarian empire, Walter Gropius formulated an architectural rhetoric that would speak to the needs of the newly emerging modern man. As a sexually liberated social monad, modern man would have no need for home or family, no need to be rooted in a particular time or place. He was to live henceforth in the "international style." Soon that deeply materialistic, sterile architectural vision would conquer the world. From the suburbs of Moscow to the south side of Chicago, the new man would live in machines, "living machines", to use Gropius' words. Jones' book is an explanation of where that vision came from, where it led, and why it failed. Illustrated.

The Threshold of the Visible World


Kaja Silverman - 1995
    In The Threshold of the Visible World she creates an aesthetic model capable of assisting us in the seemingly impossible task of loving bodies which are both different from our own, and culturally despised. At the heart of this model is a provocative rethinking of idealizaiton and the culturally transformative uses to which it might be put. Linking Benjamin's notion of the aura with Brecht's notion of alienation, she articulates an entirely new set of formal parameters for political representation.The Threshold of the Visible World also provides a psychoanalytic examination of the field of vision. While offering extended discussions of the gaze, the look, and the image, Silverman is concerned above all else with establishing what it means to see. She shows that our look is always impinged upon by our desires and our anxieties, and mediated in complex ways by the representations which surround us. These psychic and social constraints lead us to commit involuntary acts of visual violence against others. Silverman explores the conscious and unconscious circumstances under which such acts of violence might be undone, and the look induced to see and affirm what is abject, and alien to itself.In The Threshold of the Visible World Kaja Silverman advances a revolutionary new political aesthetic, exploring the possibilities for looking beyond the restrictive mandates of the self, and the normative aspects of the cultural image-repertoire. She provides a detailed account of the social and psychic forces which constrain us to look and identify in normative ways, and the violence which that normativity implies.

Perilous Chastity: Women and Illness in Pre-Enlightenment Art and Medicine


Laurinda S. Dixon - 1995
    Dixon shows how paintings reflect changing medical theories concerning women. While she illuminates a tradition stretching from antiquity to the present, she concentrates on art from the thirteenth through the eighteenth centuries, and particularly on paintings from seventeenth-century Leiden.Bearing such titles as The Doctor's Visit and The Lovesick Maiden, certain seventeenth-century Dutch paintings are familiar to museum browsers: an attractive young woman--well dressed, but pale and listless--reclines in a chair, languishes in bed, or falls to the floor in a faint. Weathered crones or impish boys leer suggestively in the background. These paintings traditionally have been viewed as commentary on quack doctors or unmarried pregnant women. The first to examine images of women and illness in the light of medical history. Perilous Chastity reveals a surprising new interpretation.

A Millennium of Family Change: Feudalism to Capitalism in Northwestern Europe


Wally Seccombe - 1995
    Responding to feminist critiques of ‘sex-blind’ historical materialism, Seccombe argues that family forms must be seen to be at the heart of modes of production. He takes issue with the mainstream consensus in family history which argues that capitalism did not fundamentally alter the structure of the nuclear family, and makes a controversial intervention in the long-standing debate over European marriage patterns and their relation to industrialization. Drawing on an astonishing range of studies in family history, historical demography and economic history, A Millennium of Family Change provides an integrated overview of the long transition from feudalism to capitalism, illuminating the far-reaching changes in familial relations from peasant subsistence to the making of the modern working class.

Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography


David M. Halperin - 1995
    The subject she had hesitated to "meddle with" was slavery, and the novel, of course, was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Still debated today for its portrayal of African Americans and its unresolved place in the literary canon, Stowe's best-known work was first published in weekly installments from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. It caused such a stir in both the North and South, and even in Great Britain, that when Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862 he is said to have greeted her with the words, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that created this great war!" In this landmark book, the first full-scale biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe in over fifty years, Joan D. Hedrick tells the absorbing story of this gifted, complex, and contradictory woman. Hedrick takes readers into the multilayered world of nineteenth century morals and mores, exploring the influence of then-popular ideas of "true womanhood" on Stowe's upbringing as a member of the outspoken Beecher clan, and her eventful life as a writer and shaper of public opinion who was also a mother of seven. It offers a lively record of the flourishing parlor societies that launched and sustained Stowe throughout the 44 years of her career, and the harsh physical realities that governed so many women's lives. The epidemics, high infant mortality, and often disastrous medical practices of the day are portrayed in moving detail, against the backdrop of western expansion, and the great social upheaval accompanying the abolitionist movement and the entry of women into public life. Here are Stowe's public triumphs, both before and after the Civil War, and the private tragedies that included the death of her adored eighteen month old son, the drowning of another son, and the alcohol and morphine addictions of two of her other children. The daughter, sister, and wife of prominent ministers, Stowe channeled her anguish and her ambition into a socially acceptable anger on behalf of others, transforming her private experience into powerful narratives that moved a nation. Magisterial in its breadth and rich in detail, this definitive portrait explores the full measure of Harriet Beecher Stowe's life, and her contribution to American literature. Perceptive and engaging, it illuminates the career of a major writer during the transition of literature from an amateur pastime to a profession, and offers a fascinating look at the pains, pleasures, and accomplishments of women's lives in the last century.

Screening The Body: Tracing Medicine’s Visual Culture


Lisa Cartwright - 1995
    But how and when did such issues come to be established and accepted sources of knowledge about the body in medical culture? How are the specialized techniques and codes of these imaging techniques determined, and whose bodies are studied, diagnosed and treated with the help of optical recording devices? "Screening the Body" traces the unusual history of scientific film during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, presenting material that is at once disturbing and engrossing. Lisa Cartwright looks at films like "The Elephant Electrocution". She brings to light eccentric figures in the history of the science film such as William P. Spratling who used Biograph equipment and crews to film epileptic seizures, and Thomas Edison's lab assistants who performed x-ray experiments on their own bodies. Drawing on feminist film theory, cultural studies, the history of film, and the writings of Foucault, Lisa Cartwright illustrates how this scientific cinema was a part of a broader tendency in society toward the technological surveillance, management, and physical transformation of the individual body and the social body. She frequently points out the similarities of scientific film to works of avant-garde cinema, revealing historical ties among the science film, popular media culture and elite modernist art and film practices. Ultimately, Cartwright unveils an area of film culture that has rarely been discussed, but which will leave readers scouring video libraries in search of the films she describes.

Torrid Zones: Maternity, Sexuality, and Empire in Eighteenth-Century English Narratives


Felicity Nussbaum - 1995
    Describing how women's reproductive labor was harnessed to that task, Nussbaum explores issues such as the production of life, of goods, and of desire. She also considers a variety of cultural practices (usually construed as exotic) in England and the empire, including polygamy, infanticide, prostitution, homoeroticism, and arranged marriages.Torrid Zones includes new readings of significant texts by and about female subjects, including novels by Defoe, Richardson, Johnson, Cleland, Lennox, Sarah Scott, Frances Sheridan, and Phebe Gibbes. It also considers the more broadly defined texts of culture such as travel narratives, medical documents, legal records, and engravings."I take as a central metaphor for the consideration of maternity and sexuality the concept of torrid zones, both the geographical torrid zones of the territory between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, and the torrid zone mapped onto the human body, especially the female body. A premise of my study is that the contrasts among the torrid, temperate, and frigid zones of the globe are formative in imagining that a sexualized woman of empire is distinct from domestic English womanhood. The general category of 'woman' muddles the binaries between mother and whore, self and Other, center and periphery."—from the Introduction

Mandate Of Heaven: In China, A New Generation Of Entrepreneurs, Dissidents, Bohemians And Technocra


Orville Schell - 1995
    In "Mandate of Heaven" Orville Schell, one of America's foremost China specialists, interprets these conflicting developments and brilliantly documents the new power structures, economic initiatives, and cultural changes that have transformed China since the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989. Schell takes readers on a series of journeys inside this latter-day People's Republic and introduces us to a broad spectrum of people, from students and workers to entrepreneurs, pop stars, and party officials, who, although they acted out the drama of the Square, are now playing the prominent roles in China's high-speed economic rush into the future.As China's role on the world stage grows, it becomes increasingly important that the West acquaint itself with the people who will be leading it into the twenty-first century. "Mandate of Heaven" is the authoritative and definitive account of this generation as it moves into a capitalist economic future while still clinging to the structures of its communist past.

Banal Nationalism


Michael Billig - 1995
    While traditional theorizing has tended to the focus on extreme expressions of nationalism, the author turns his attention to the everyday, less visible forms which are neither exotic or remote, he describes as `banal nationalism'.The author asks why people do not forget their national identity. He suggests that in daily life nationalism is constantly flagged in the media through routine symbols and habits of language. Banal Nationalism is critical of orthodox theories in sociology, politics and social psychology for ignoring this core feature of national identity. Michael Billig argues forcefully that wi

The Female Thermometer: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny


Terry Castle - 1995
    The Female Thermometer collects Castle's essays on phantasmagoria in eighteenth-century literature and culture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer, " an imaginary instrument invented by eighteenth-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores the ways in which the rationalist imperative of the age paradoxically worked to produce what Freud called the uncanny and what she calls the "impinging strangeness" of the eighteenth-century imagination. Castle offers a haunting portrait of a remarkable epoch, with essays on doubling and fantasy in the novels of Defoe and Richardson, the hallucinatory obsessions of Gothic fiction, sexual impersonators, the dream-like world of the eighteenth-century masquerade, magic-lantern shows, automata, and other surreal inventions of Enlightenment science. The Female Thermometer explores the links between material culture, gender, and the rise of modern forms and formulas of subjectivity, effectively rewriting the cultural history of modern Europe from a materialist and feminist perspective.

Reluctant Pioneer: How I Survived Five Years in the Canadian Bush


Thomas Osborne - 1995
    The view 16-year-old Thomas Osborne first had of Muskoka was at night, trudging alone with his even younger brother along unmarked primitive roads to find their luckless father who, in 1875, had decided to make a new start for his beleaguered family on some "free land" in the bush east of the pioneer village of Huntsville, Ontario. The miracle is that Thomas lived to tell the tale.For the next five years Thomas endured starvation, falling through the ice and freezing, accidents with axes and boats, and narrow escapes from wolves and bears. Many years later, after returning to the United States, Osborne wrote down all his adventures in a graphic memoir that has become, in the words of author and journalist Roy MacGregor, "an undiscovered Canadian classic."Reluctant Pioneer provides a brooding sense of adventure and un- sentimental realism to deliver a powerful account of pioneer life where tragedies arrive as naturally as rain and where humour resides in irony.

I Am a Palestinian Christian


Mitri Raheb - 1995
    Raheb, a Christian pastor in Bethlehem, explores the recent history of the Palestinian Christians, and the complex meeting of the world's three major monotheistic religions.