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"Mouths on Fire with Songs"

Negotiating Multi-Ethnic Identities on the Contemporary North American Stage

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Caroline De Wagter

This book, the first cross-cultural study of post-1970s anglophone Canadian and American multi-ethnic drama, invites assessment of the thematic and aesthetic contributions of this theater in today’s globalized culture. A growing number of playwrights of African, South and East Asian, and First Nations heritage have engaged with manifold socio-political and aesthetic issues in experimental works combining formal features of more classical European dramatic traditions with such elements of ethnic culture as ancestral music and dance, to interrogate the very concepts of theatricality and canonicity. Their “mouths on fire” (August Wilson), these playwrights contest stereotyped notions of authenticity. In¬spired by songs of anger, passion, experience, survival, and regeneration, the plays analyzed bespeak a burning desire to break the silence, to heal and empower. Foregrounding questions of hybridity, diaspora, cultural memory, and nation, this comparative study includes discussion of some twenty-five case studies of plays by such authors as M.J. Kang, August Wilson, Suzan–Lori Parks, Djanet Sears, Chay Yew, Padma Viswanathan, Rana Bose, Diane Glancy, and Drew Hayden Taylor. Through its cross-cultural and cross-national prism, “Mouths on Fire with Songs” shows that multi-ethnic drama is one of the most diverse and dynamic sites of cultural production in North America today.

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James Aitchison

New Guide to Poetry and Poetics opens with analyses of the elemental forces of creativity: the creative impulse, the creative imagination and the sacred impulse. The book then describes in detail how a poet’s voice and vision are formed and sometimes reformed in the course of a career, and it establishes the real nature of rhythm and music in poetry. Problematic areas – inspiration, meaning, reality, myth and mystery in poetry – are fully explored in discourses that identify the true properties of poetry, dispel several misconceptions and expose inadequacies in current literary theory.
The author examines concepts of poetry from Plato to the twenty-first century. The book includes detailed studies of the principles of poetry expressed by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and of the widely contrasting principles of Arnold and Emerson in the second half of that century. There are radical re-assessments of the concepts – in effect, the philosophies – of major poet-critics of the twentieth century: W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams and Stephen Spender. The poetic principles of Seamus Heaney and Robert Nye form a bridge from the last century to the present.
By focusing on the creative process and applying the findings of linguistics and neuroscience, the book shows ways in which the poet’s mind functions in the making of poems. On questions of brain and mind the book considers the findings, and the conjectures, of Daniel Dennett, Antonio Damasio, Oliver Sacks, Michael Persinger and the remarkably durable work of William James. On questions of language it considers the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein and recent work by Noam Chomsky, David Crystal and Steven Pinker; the author also draws on his own knowledge of the properties of language.

Lachen, huilen, bevrijden

De weerspiegeling van de Surinaamse samenleving in het werk van het Doe-theater, 1970-1983

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Annika Ockhorst and Thea Doelwijt

Met de cabaret-musical Land te koop nemen Thea Doelwijt en Henk Tjon het Surinaamse en Nederlandse publiek in 1973 mee op ontdekkingsreis door Suriname. Na het succes van deze voorstellingenreeks richt het duo een vast gezelschap op: het Doe-theater. In de tien jaar die volgen groeit dit theatergezelschap uit tot een begrip in Suriname. Het Doe-theater streeft een professionele en eigen theatervorm na waarin alle Surinaamse culturen zichzelf kunnen herkennen en waarmee de bevolking bewust wordt gemaakt van misstanden in de samenleving. Door deze combinatie van professioneel, multicultureel en maatschappijkritisch theater heeft het Doe-theater een unieke plek in de culturele geschiedenis van Suriname.

Lachen, huilen, bevrijden beschrijft het reilen en zeilen van het Doe-theater tegen de achtergrond van een veelbewogen Surinaamse geschiedenis. Het portret dat zo ontstaat, is gebaseerd op het privéarchief van Thea Doelwijt, interviews met voormalige Doe-theaterleden en andere betrokkenen en Surinaamse en Nederlandse krantenartikelen. Foto’s, liederen, theaterteksten en de bijgevoegde documentaire Libi Span van Jan Venema geven een levendig beeld van het Suriname van toen.

Women in Port

Gendering Communities, Economies, and Social Networks in Atlantic Port Cities, 1500-1800

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Edited by Douglas Catterall and Jodi Campbell

In the last few decades the scholarship on women’s roles and women’s worlds in the Atlantic basin c. 1400-1850 has grown considerably. Much of this work has understandably concentrated on specific groups of women, women living in particular regions or communities, or women sharing a common status in law or experience. Women in Port synthesizes the experiences of women from all quarters of the Atlantic world and from many walks of life, social statuses, and ethnicities by bringing together work by Atlantic world scholars on the cutting edge of their respective fields. Using a wide-ranging set of case studies that reveal women's richly textured lives, Women in Port helps reframe our understanding of women's possibilities in the Atlantic World.

Contributors are Gayle Brunelle, Jodi Campbell, Douglas Catterall, Alexandra Parma Cook, Noble David Cook, Gordon DesBrisay, Júnia Ferreira Furtado, Sheryllynne Haggerty, Philip Havik, Stewart Royce King, Ernst Pijning, Ty Reese, Dominique Rogers, Martha Shattuck, Kimberly Todt, and Natalie Zacek.

The Two Faces of Inca History

Dualism in the Narratives and Cosmology of Ancient Cuzco

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Isabel Yaya

The historical narratives of the Inca dynasty, known to us through Spanish records, present several discrepancies that scholarship has long attributed to the biases and agendas of colonial actors. Drawing on a redefinition of royal descent and a comparative literary analysis of primary sources, this book restores the pre-Hispanic voices embedded in the chronicles. It identifies two distinctive bodies of Inca oral traditions, each of which encloses a mutually conflicting representation of the past that, considered together, reproduces patterns of Cuzco’s moiety division. Building on this new insight, the author revisits dual representations in the cosmology and ritual calendar of the ruling elite. The result is a fresh contribution to ethnohistorical works that have explored native ways of constructing history.

Economic Nationalism and Globalization

Lessons from Latin America and Central Europe

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Henryk Szlajfer

In Economic Nationalism and Globalization: Lessons from Latin America and Central Europe Henryk Szlajfer offers, against the background of developments in Latin America (mainly Brazil) and Central Europe (mainly Poland) in times of first globalization from late 19th century until late 1930s, a reinterpretation of economic nationalism both as an analytical category and historical experience. Also, critically explored are attempts at proto-economic nationalism in early 19th century Poland and Latin America as well as links between economic nationalism and the emergence of integral political nationalism and authoritarianism.

Economic nationalism is interpreted as historically significant world-wide phenomenon intimately linked with the birth, development and crisis of capitalist modernity and as a response to underdevelopment under first globalization. Continuity of economic nationalism under present globalization is suggested.

Opting Out

Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction

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Ana Sobral

Opting Out explores the theme of deviance as a form of protest in famous cult novels that have left an indelible mark on contemporary American culture – from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Adopting a generational lens, it centers on the deviant heroes and literary spokesmen of two major cohorts: the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Here for the first time the cult texts that defined these generations are submitted to a critical analysis that allows them to enter into a dialogue – or rather a heated debate – with each other. This opens new perspectives on the generation gap in America since 1945, offering a dynamic look at the role of youth as agents of social change and cultural innovation.
The volume is of interest to students and researchers in contemporary American literature and culture, as well as to fans of cult fiction in general. The interdisciplinary approach to the themes of generational conflict and deviant behaviour also makes a significant contribution to the fields of sociology, contemporary history and cultural studies.

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Edited by Michael J. Meyer and Hugh J. Ingrasci

The twelve essayists in this critical collection examine anew two fundamental concerns of Penn Warren’s landmark work, which has as valid a claim to being “The Great American Novel” as any in the literary canon. The first challenging conundrum these critics examine is narrator Jack Burden’s adequacy as a historiographer and the impact of his reliability upon his alter-ego-persona-narrative: does Jack succeed in becoming an able historian of his family and of Willie Stark’s political career, or does he become self-delusive and resort to a “selectively culled” history to justify himself to his audience as a trustworthy chronicler of the Willie Stark era of Jack’s life. The second major thematic motif these essays explore is Penn Warren’s implicit positing of a spiritual dimension to Jack Burden’s quest for a viable identity to sustain him in his ultimate decision to join humanity and finally live in the history he’s so long lived outside of, as a cynically un-involved observer.
The provocative efforts of these twelve scholars, fifty-six years after the publication of All the King’s Men, testifies to the novel’s great philosophical and psychological depths, riches that continue to induce new readers and returning readers to shadow Jack Burden in his quest of the examined life: the quest to fully engage ourselves in becoming ever more human despite our being flawed, ever-plagued by our social shortcomings, as are “all the king’s men.”

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Henry Veltmeyer and Mark Rushton

The book argues that the Cuban Revolution warrants a closer look as a model of socialist human development. A re-reading of the Cuban Revolution from this angle engages unresolved issues in the theory of socialist humanism and the notion of human development popularized by the United Nations Development Programme (i.e., predicated on capitalism). UNDP economists and other agencies of international cooperation for development give a human face to a capitalist development process that is anything but humane. Socialism in Cuba has taken a very different form (socialist human development) than it did elsewhere in the twentieth century. The Cuban Revolution's unique characteristics enabled it to survive adverse conditions - a 'near-perfect storm' - that still threaten its evolution.

Red October

Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia

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Jeffery R. Webber

Bolivia witnessed a left-indigenous insurrectionary cycle between 2000 and 2005 that overthrew two neoliberal presidents and laid the foundation for Evo Morales’ successful bid to become the country’s first indigenous head of state in 2006. Building on the theoretical traditions of revolutionary Marxism and indigenous liberation, this book provides an analytical framework for understanding the fine-grained sociological and political nuances of twenty-first century Bolivian class-struggle, state-repression, and indigenous resistance, as well the deeply historical roots of today’s oppositional traditions. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including more than 80 in-depth interviews with social-movement and trade-union activists, Red October is a ground-breaking intervention in the study of contemporary Bolivia and the wider Latin American turn to the left over the last decade.