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An Exploration of Modern Jewish Ontology via Identities in Popular Culture
Author: Joel West
Historically Judaism has been called both a nation and a religion, yet there are those Jews who eschew the religious and national definitions for a cultural one. For example, while TV’s Mrs. Maisel is ostensibly a Jew, the actor playing her is not, and Mrs. Maisel’s actions are not always Jewish. In The Fractured Jew Joel West separates Judaism into phenomenological and performative, starting with popular portrayals of Jews and Judaism, in today’s media, as a jumping-off point to understand Judaism and Jewishness, not from the outside, but from the emic, internal, Jewish point of view.
An Ethnographic and Socio-semiotic Analysis of Tourism and Ocean Cruising
Written in an accessible style, with many photographs of important tourist sites and drawings by the author, Smooth Sailing provides an ethnographically informed introduction to the nature of tourism and an important aspect of tourism, ocean cruising. The book discusses topics such as the nature of tourism, different kinds of tourists, the role that myths play in tourism, gratifications from tourism, and travel as a means of personal transformation. It also deals with ocean cruising and considers the notion that cruises are boring, social class and cruising, cruising and addiction, and cruising and the psyche.
From Hip Hop Philosophy to Politics and Performance Art
Volume Editor: Jerold J. Abrams
This edited collection provides an in-depth and wide-ranging exploration of pragmatist philosopher Richard Shusterman’s distinctive project of “somaesthetics,” devoted not only to better understanding bodily experience but also to greater mastery of somatic perception, performance, and presentation. Against contemporary trends that focus narrowly on conceptual and computational thinking, Shusterman returns philosophy to what is most fundamental—the sentient, expressive, human body with its creations of living beauty. Twelve scholars here provide penetrating critical analyses of Shusterman on ontology, perception, language, literature, culture, politics, aesthetics, cuisine, music, and the visual arts, including films of his work in performance art.
Author: Anita Archer
Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market examines the rapid rise of the global market for Chinese Contemporary art across the turn of the millennium. Focusing on key auction events, it traces the systematic and strategic role played by auction houses in promoting the work of ‘avant-garde’ Chinese artists, transforming them into multi-million-dollar global art superstars. Anita Archer’s research into this emerging art market reveals a powerful global network of collectors, curators, dealers and auction house specialists whose understanding of the mechanics of value formation in the global art world consolidated a framework for the promotion of Chinese Contemporary art to a Western audience.
In 2016 and 2020, the Bernie Sanders campaign gave American leftists a path towards social change through electoral politics. In order to combat neoliberal and reactionary uses of identity, the 2020 Sanders campaign combined a working-class agenda of universalist policies with various forms of social movement activism. In doing so it compromised on universalist principles and socialist radicalism in order to appeal to distinct demographic groups and win the election. Bernie Bros Gone Woke reveals how intersectional politics contributed to the failure of the Sanders campaign – a lesson that the organized left must learn if it is to challenge progressive neoliberalism and move beyond postmodern post-politics.
Author: Teemu Taira
This book demonstrates through methodological reflections and carefully chosen case studies a new way to conduct study of religion. It focuses on how social actors negotiate what counts as “religion” and how discourses on religion are part of the way in which contemporary societies organise themselves. The present volume draws on examples from judicial processes, media discourses, and scholarly debates related to Wiccans, Druids, and Jedi knights, among others. By analysing discourses on religion and building on, rather than rejecting, genealogical critiques of religion, Teemu Taira argues that the study of religion can be constructive and socially relevant.
Usable Pasts addresses projects dating to two periods in the United States that saw increased financial support from the state for socially engaged culture. By analysing artworks dating to the 1990s by Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe and Martha Rosler in relation to experimental theatre, modern dance, and photography produced within the leftist Cultural Front of the 1930s, this book unpicks the mythic and material afterlives of the New Deal in American cultural politics in order to write a new history of social practice art in the United States. From teenage mothers organising exhibitions that challenged welfare reform, to communist dance troupes choreographing their struggles as domestic workers, Usable Pasts addresses the aesthetics and politics of these attempts to transform society through art in relation to questions of state formation.
An Ethnography of the Classics-reading Movement in Contemporary China
Author: Sandra Gilgan
Sandra Gilgan’s Utopia in the Revival of Confucian Education examines the classics-reading movement in contemporary China as not only driven by attraction to certain elements of tradition, but even more by caesuras in the past that caused people to detach from their cultural roots. The author argues that activism in the classics-reading movement arises from an entanglement of past, present, and future. Social and political upheaval in the near past of the twentieth century caused people to disconnect from their traditional culture and ways of living, resulting in the present need to reconnect with perceived “original” culture and tradition from the more distant past. Through peoples’ imaginaries of a better future that are informed by past traditions, new ways of the past find entrance into life and education in study halls and academies. This new study draws on multi-sited ethnographic field research in ten Chinese cities, with the broadest database currently available. It combines theoretical elements from anthropology, history, sociology and sinology in a grounded theory approach. As an interdisciplinary study, the book is of interest for academics in Asian and Chinese studies, heritage and memory studies, religious studies, educational sciences, history, and cultural anthropology, as well as social and political sciences.