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Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin

Archaeology, History and Memory

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Edited by Anne Haour

In Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.

Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.

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Edited by Lynn Catterson

Dealing Art on Both Sides of the Atlantic, 1860-1940 aims to bring the marketplace dynamic into sharper focus with its essays which examine the many functionaries who participate in the art market network, among them, agents, scouts, intermediaries, restorers, fakers, decorators, advisers and experts. All of the essays are rooted in case studies which give voice to the various aspects of supply−from branding to marketing, from inventory to display, from restoration to pastiche to fabrication. Each is incredibly rich in their marshalling of primary sources and archival materials; in sum, they present an impressive array of new research.

Contributors are: Fae Brauer, Denise M. Budd, Patrizia Cappellini, Lynn Catterson, Sebastien Chaffour, Laura D. Corey, Flaminia Gennari-Santori, Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, Joanna Smalcerz, Alexandra Provo, AnnaLea Tunesi, and Leanne Zalewski.

Neo-Baroques

From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster

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Edited by Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis and Peter Krieger

The Baroque is back in contemporary culture. The ten essays authored by international scholars, and three interventions by artists, examine the return of the baroque as Neo-Baroque through interdisciplinary perspectives. Understanding the Neo-Baroque as transcultural (between different cultures) and transhistorical (between historical moments) the contributors to this volume offer diverse perspectives that suggest the slipperiness of the Neo-Baroque may best be served by the term ‘Neo-Baroques’. Case studies analysed reflect this plurality and include: the productions of Belgian theatre company Abattoir Fermé; Claire Denis’ French New Extremist film Trouble Every Day; the novel Lujuria tropical by exiled El Salvadorian Quijada Urias; the science fiction blockbuster spectacles The Matrix and eXistenZ; and the spectacular grandeur of early Hollywood movie palaces and the contemporary Las Vegas Strip.

Contributors: Jens Baumgarten, Marjan Colletti, Bolívar Echeverría, Rita Eder, Hugh Hazelton, Monika Kaup, Peter Krieger, Patrick Mahon, Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis, Richard Reddaway, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Saige Walton.

Conquest and Construction

Palace Architecture in Northern Cameroon

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Mark DeLancey

In Conquest and Construction Mark Dike DeLancey investigates the palace architecture of northern Cameroon, a region that was conquered in the early nineteenth century by primarily semi-nomadic, pastoralist, Muslim, Fulɓe forces and incorporated as the largest emirate of the Sokoto Caliphate. Palace architecture is considered first and foremost as political in nature, and therefore as responding not only to the needs and expectations of the conquerors, but also to those of the largely sedentary, agricultural, non-Muslim conquered peoples who constituted the majority population. In the process of reconciling the cultures of these various constituents, new architectural forms and local identities were constructed.

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Edited by Marco Folin and Monica Preti

Natural hazards punctuate the history of European towns, moulding their shape and identity: this book is devoted to the artistic representation of those calamities, from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century. It contains nine case studies which discuss, among others, the relationship between biblical imagery and the realistic depiction of urban disasters; the religious, political and ritual meanings of “destruction subjects” in early modern painting; the image of fire in Renaissance treatises on architecture; the first photographic campaigns documenting earthquakes’ damages; the role of contemporary art in the elaboration of a cultural memory of urban destructions. Thus, this book intends to address one of the main issues of Western civilization: the relationship of European towns with their own past and its discontinuities.
Contributors are Alessandro Del Puppo, Isabella di Lenardo, Marco Folin, Sophie Goetzmann, Emanuela Guidoboni, Philippe Malgouyres, Olga Medvedkova, Fabrizio Nevola, Monica Preti and Tiziana Serena.

Performing Contemporary Indonesia

Celebrating Identity, Constructing Community

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Edited by Barbara Hatley

Performance events have long had a central place in Indonesian societies in displaying power, affirming social relations, celebrating shared values, and at times conveying potent political critique. How have they responded to the momentous social and political changes of recent years - the dismantling of the centralised, authoritarian Suharto regime and its replacement with a more open, regionally-focused political system, the rapid expansion of global cultural influence?
Investigations of diverse performance genres from different regions illustrate the way general socio-political processes play out locally, and how particular groups are responding. Exploring performed understandings of identity and community, such studies expand knowledge of a complex, contested period of change in Indonesia and the workings of contemporary performance in giving it expression.
With contributions by Chua Beng Huat, Alexandra Crosby, Barbara Hatley, Ariel Heryanto, Brett Hough, Rachmah Ida, Reza Idria, Edwin Jurriens, Yoshi Fajar Kresno Murti, Neneng Yanti K Lahpan, Ugoran Prasad, Wawan Sofwan, Aline Scott-Maxwell, Fridus Steijlen, Alia Swastika, Denise Varney.

A New Kind of Public

Community, Solidarity, and Political Economy in New Deal Cinema, 1935-1948

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Graham Cassano

In 1936, director John Ford claimed to be making movies for “a new kind of public” that wanted more honest pictures. Graham Cassano’s A New Kind of Public: Community, solidarity, and political economy in New Deal cinema, 1935-1948 argues that this new kind of public was forged in the fires of class struggle and economic calamity. Those struggles appeared in Hollywood productions, as the movies themselves tried to explain the causes and consequence of the Great Depression. Using the tools of critical Marxism and cultural theory, Cassano surveys Hollywood’s political economic explanations and finds a field of symbolic struggle in which radical visions of solidarity and conflict competed with the dominant class ideology for the loyalty of this new audience.

Between State and Market

Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era

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Jane DeBevoise

Between State and Market: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era examines the shift in the system of support for contemporary art in China between 1979 and 1993, from state patronage to the introduction of the market, and the hybrid space that developed in between. Today, soaring prices for contemporary art have triggered a debate about the deleterious effect of the market on art. Yet Jane DeBevoise argues that, in the post-Mao period, the imaginary of the marketplace was liberating, offering artists an alternative framework of legitimacy and support. Based on primary research, DeBevoise explores the entangled role of the state and the market, and how experimental artists and their champions in China negotiated to find a creative space between the two systems to produce and promote their work.

Kabuki at the Crossroads

Years of Crisis, 1952-1965

Samuel L. Leiter

Samuel L. Leiter's Kabuki at the Crossroads: Years of Crisis, 1952-1965 is the first detailed account of Japan's kabuki theatre in the years immediately following the end of the Occupation. It examines every aspect of this traditional theatre as it struggled to maintain its position in a rapidly changing postwar entertainment environment. It covers acting rivalries, major productions, theatres, international tours, the convention of men playing female roles, name-taking and memorial ceremonies, the company system and managerial strategies. In addition, the volume includes numerous appendixes chronicling the period, including a thorough chronology and 150 summaries of new plays never previously discussed in English.

Arts Activism, Education, and Therapies

Transforming Communities Across Africa

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Edited by Hazel Barnes

This second volume of research emanating from Drama for Life, University of the Witwatersrand, explores the transformative and healing qualities of the arts in South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. Essays on arts for social change illuminate the difficulties of conflict-resolution (in war-scarred countries, tertiary institutions, and child-offender programmes) to promote broader understanding of diversity and difference. Further essays focus on arts and healing, in which music therapy diagnoses, repairs, sustains, and enhances collective health. Intervention theatre – in prisons, fieldwork, and the ethics and politics of storytelling – is examined as a basis for collaboration with children and youth. The musical theatre traditions of Botswana’s San people are investigated, as well as the benefits of arts counselling with educators to alleviate psycho-social stress in classrooms. Important insights are provided into ways of applying the arts and raise questions of ethics, effectiveness, and apposite usage.
Also treated is the role of aesthetics in the effectiveness of art, particularly in social contexts. Included are overviews of the ways in which the aesthetics of drama have changed over the past four decades and of the cohesive potential of the arts. How can arts practitioners engage in inter-cultural dialogue to facilitate healing? The energy and inventiveness of the playful mode engender new ways of contending with social issues, whereby the focus is on how theatre affects an audience and on how communication in applied theatre and drama can reach audiences more effectively.
These essays provide an insight into the application of the arts for transformation across Africa. Through their juxtaposition in this volume they speak to the variety and purposes of arts approaches and offer fresh perspectives on and to the field.