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Landscape, Tradition and Power in Medieval Iceland

Dalir and the Eyjafjörður region c.870-c.1265

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Chris Callow

Chris Callow’s Landscape, Tradition and Power critically examines the evidence for socio-political developments in medieval Iceland during the so-called Commonwealth period. The book compares regions in the west and north-east of Iceland because these regions had differing human and physical geographies, and contrasting levels of surviving written evidence. Callow sets out the likely economies and institutional frameworks in which political action took place. He then examines different forms of evidence – the Contemporary sagas, Landnámabók (The Book of Settlements), and Sagas of Icelanders – considering how each describes different periods of the Commonwealth present political power. Among its conclusions the book emphasises stasis over change and the need to appreciate the nuances and purposes of Iceland’s historicising sagas.

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Joel West

The Joker both fascinates and repels us. From his origin in Detective Comics in 1940, he has committed obscene crimes, some of the worst the Batman universe has ever known, and, conversely, fans have made him the topic of erotic and pornographic “fan fiction.” Speculation about the Joker abounds, where some fans have even claimed that the Joker is “queer coded.” This work explores various popular claims about the Joker, and delves into the history of comic books, and of other popular media from a semiotic viewpoint to understand “The Clown Prince of Crime” in the contexts in which he existed to understand his evolution in the past. From his roots as a “typical hoodlum,” The Joker even starred in his own eponymous comic book series and he will be featured in a non-canonical movie. This work examines what it is about the Joker which fascinates us.

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Edited by Olga Voronina

A Companion to Soviet Children’s Literature and Film offers a comprehensive and innovative analysis of Soviet literary and cinematic production for children. Its contributors contextualize and reevaluate Soviet children’s books, films, and animation and explore their contemporary re-appropriation by the Russian government, cultural practitioners, and educators.
Celebrating the centennial of Soviet children’s literature and film, the Companion reviews the rich and dramatic history of the canon. It also provides an insight into the close ties between Soviet children’s culture and Avant-Garde aesthetics, investigates early pedagogical experiments of the Soviet state, documents the importance of translation in children’s literature of the 1920-80s, and traces the evolution of heroic, fantastic, historical, and absurdist Soviet narratives for children.

Cristián H. Ricci

New Voices of Muslim North-African Migrants in Europe captures the experience in writing of a fast growing number of individuals belonging to migrant communities in Europe. The book follows attempts to transform postcolonial literary studies into a comparative, translingual, and supranational project. Cristián H. Ricci frames Moroccan literature written in European languages within the ampler context of borderland studies. The author addresses the realm of a literature that has been practically absent from the field of postcolonial literary studies (i.e. Neerlandophone or Gay Muslim literature). The book also converses with other minor literatures and theories from Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Asians and Latino/as in the Americas that combine histories of colonization, labor migration, and enforced exile.

The “Greek Crisis” in Europe

Race, Class and Politics

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Yiannis Mylonas

The “Greek Crisis” in Europe: Race, Class and Politics, critically analyses the publicity of the Greek debt crisis, by studying Greek, Danish and German mainstream media during the crisis’ early years (2009-2015). Mass media everywhere reproduced a sensualistic “Greek crisis” spectacle, while iterating neoliberal and occidentalist ideological myths. Overall, the Greek people were deemed guilty of a systemic crisis, supposedly enjoying lavish lifestyles on the EU’s expense. Using concrete examples, the study foregrounds neoorientalist, neoracist and classist stereotypes deployed in the construction and media coverage of the Greek crisis. These media practices are connected to the “soft politics” of the crisis, which produce public consensus over neoliberal reforms such as austerity and privatizations, and secure debt repayment from democratic interventions.

Sociability Associations

A Literature Review

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Robert A Stebbins

Friendly social relations during free time, referred to here as leisure-based sociability, constitute a prominent reward of participation in groups based on voluntary membership, consisting for this review mainly of amateurs, hobbyists, volunteers, and their associations. This benefit is analyzed according to two subtypes: sociable nonprofit associations and social clubs. The goal of this issue of the Voluntaristics Review is to examine the leisure component of these two subtypes as framed in the serious leisure perspective (SLP), put nonprofit sociability in organizational context, and then review the empirical literature bearing on it. Excluded are the studies and theoretic treatises approaching nonprofit groups from another angle (e.g., organizational structure, management issues, funding sources, governmental regulation, type of employment). Specifically, this review centers on the relevant publications listed in the SLP website bearing on amateurs, hobbyists, and career volunteers (the serious pursuits), casual leisure, and project-based interests. It includes several extensions of the theory and research on leisure-related aspects of aging and retirement, arts and science administration, library and information science, positive psychology, therapeutic recreation and disability studies, and tourism and event analysis. Compared with the specialties in leisure studies, the SLP casts by far the broadest theoretical and empirical net in that interdisciplinary field. The research reviewed shows that such talk—generically known as socializing—reflects one or more of 14 themes. In general, members find sociability in these clubs and associations in and around the core activities they pursue there and on which the two subtypes have formed. The studies reviewed, taken together, provide considerable validation of the proposition that leisure-based sociability is a prominent reward of participating in a multitude of volunteer groups. Leisure-based sociability is essentially micro-analytic, but when viewed through the lens of the SLP, it can be further understood using meso and macro levels of analysis.

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Daniel Varisco

Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.

With forewords from Bryan S. Turner and Anouar Majid.

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Andrew Milner

Edited by J.R. Burgmann

Again, Dangerous Visions: Essays in Cultural Materialism brings together twenty-six essays charting the development of Andrew Milner’s distinctively Orwellian version of cultural materialism between 1981 and 2015. The essays address three substantive areas: the sociology of literature, cultural materialism and the cultural politics of the New Left, and utopian and science fiction studies. They are bookended by two conversations between Milner and his editor J.R. Burgmann, the first looking back retrospectively on the development of Milner’s thought, the second looking forward prospectively towards the future of academia, the political left and science fiction.

Zitkala-Ša

Letters, Speeches, and Unpublished Writings, 1898–1929

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Edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski

Zitkala-Ša: Letters, Speeches, and Unpublished Writings, 1898–1929, edited by Tadeusz Lewandowski, offers a fascinating, intimate portrait of the Yankton Sioux writer and activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (1876–1938).

Gertrude Bonnin, better known by her Lakota name, Zitkala-Ša, was one of the most prominent American Indians of the early 20th century. A talented writer, orator, and musician, she devoted much of her life to the protection of Native peoples. As such, Bonnin corresponded with many other distinguished persons within the early Native rights movement, including Carlos Montezuma, Richard Henry Pratt, and Arthur C. Parker, as well as Fathers Martin Kenel and William H. Ketcham of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. This volume gathers together Bonnin’s letters, lesser-known writings and speeches, illuminating her private and public struggles.

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Edited by Nawal Nasrallah

The Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid, a fourteenth-century cookbook, is unique for its variety and comprehensive coverage of contemporary Egyptian cuisine. It includes, in addition to instructions for the cook, a treasure trove of 830 recipes of dishes, digestives, refreshing beverages, and more.
It is the only surviving cookbook from a period when Cairo was a flourishing metropolis and a cultural haven for people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. Now available for the first time in English, it has been meticulously translated and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction, glossary, and 117 color illustrations to initiate readers into the world of the Kanz al-fawāʾid. The twenty-two modern adaptations of Kanz recipes will inspire further experimentations. It is a valuable resource for scholars of medieval material culture, and for all lovers of good food and cookbooks.