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The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams's Chicago
In Eleanor Smith’s Hull House Songs : The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago, the authors republish Hull House Songs (1916), together with critical commentary. Hull-House Songs contains five politically engaged compositions written by the Hull-House music educator, Eleanor Smith. The commentary that accompanies the folio includes an examination of Smith’s poetic sources and musical influences; a study of Jane Addams’s aesthetic theories; and a complete history of the arts at Hull-House. Through this focus upon aesthetic and cultural programs at Hull-House, the authors identify the external, and internalized, forces of domination (class position, racial identity, patriarchal disenfranchisement) that limited the work of the Hull-House women, while also recovering the sometimes hidden emancipatory possibilities of their legacy.

With an afterword by Jocelyn Zelasko.
The Concept of Authenticity in Celebrity and Fan Studies
Questioning what “makes” a celebrity and how celebrity is controlled, dispersed and received are aspects branching out of (Extra)Ordinary’s debate over celebrities as ordinary/extraordinary. Jade Alexander and Katarzyna Bronk, together with the authors whose chapters make up this inter-disciplinary discussion, not only utilise the existing research on celebrity and fandom, but they also go beyond the often-quoted theorists to engage in multidirectional analyses of what it means to be a celebrity, and what influence they have on the consuming public. The present book provides an avenue for exploring not just what celebrity is as a discursive construction, but also how this involves a complex interplay between celebrities, the media and the audience.
Negotiating Multi-Ethnic Identities on the Contemporary North American Stage
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.
Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction
Author: 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.
Author: Jeffrey Herlihy
Alongside a liberating treatment of the English language, Ernest Hemingway realized some often overlooked innovations in multicultural subject matter. In six of the seven novels published during his lifetime, the protagonist is abroad, bilingual, and bicultural—and these archetypes have significant implications for each character’s sense of identity. In Paris or Paname interprets Hemingway’s overdetermined use of foreignness as a literary device, characterizing how cultural displacement informs plot dynamics. The investigation historicizes the archetypal protagonist’s process of (re)orientation through attention to his intercultural adoptions in language, alcohol consumption, sports, and betrothal rites. Herlihy situates his argument within an apposite research framework from psychological studies on migration, anthropological examinations of cultural ceremony, and literary theory on the poetics of displacement. The analysis offers groundbreaking insights on the distribution of previously overlooked structural patterns (themes, motifs, and symbols) that are present throughout Hemingway’s novelistic corpus, and provides a compelling perspective on the aesthetics of the expatriate/immigrant writing process.
Images of Eastern European Jewish Migration to America in Contemporary American Children’s Literature
Author: Jana Pohl
How is the life-altering event of migration narrated for children, especially if it was caused by Anti-Semitism and poverty? What of the country of origin is remembered and what is forgotten, and what of the target country when the migration is imagined there a century later? Looking Forward, Looking Back examines today’s representation of Jewish mass migration from Eastern Europe to America around the turn of the last century. It explores the collective story that emerges when American authors look back at this exodus from an Eastern European home to a new one to be established in America. Focusing on children’s literature, it investigates a wide range of texts including young adult literature as well as picture books and hence sheds light on the dynamics of the verbal and the visual in generating images of the self and other, the familiar and the strange.
This book is of interest to scholars in the field of imagology, children’s literature, cultural studies, American studies, Slavic studies, and Jewish studies.
A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing
Volume Editor: Begoña Simal
Selves in Dialogue: A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing constitutes an explicit answer to the urgent call for a comparative study of American autobiography. This collection of essays ostensibly intends to cut across cultural, “racial” and/or “ethnic” boundaries, introducing the concept of “transethnicity” and arguing for its increasing validity in the ever-changing field of American Studies. Accordingly, the comparative analysis in Selves in Dialogue is implemented not by juxtaposing essays that pay “separate but equal” attention to specific “monoethnic” or “monocultural” traditions—as has been the usual strategy in book-length publications of this sort—, but by critically engaging with two or more different traditions in every single essay. Mixing rather than segregating.
The transethnic approach proposed in this collection does not imply erasing the very difference and diversity that makes American autobiographies all the more thrilling to read and study. Group-specific research of an “intra-ethnic” nature should and will continue to thrive. And yet, the field of American Studies is now ready to indulge more freely, and more knowledgeably, in transethnic explorations of life writing, in an attempt to delineate both the divergences and the similarities between the different autobiographies written in the US. Because of its unusual perspective, Selves in Dialogue can be of interest not only for specialists in life writing, but also for those working in the larger fields of American Literature, Ethnic Studies or American Studies.
An Exploration of Cultural Hybridity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry
In interpreting contemporary Asian American poetry, it is important to understand the cultural hybridity of Asian America identity, located at the interstices of the fixed identifications ‘American’, ‘Asian American’, and ‘Asian’. This rootedness in more than one culture exposes the inapplicability of binary concepts (foreigner/national, etc.). Hybridity, opposing essentialism and ‘the original’, favors multivocality and ambivalence. The exploration of Asian American cultural hybridity is linked both to material realities and poetic manifestations.
Asian American hybrid subjectivity is explored through in-depth interpretations of works from well-established contemporary poets such as Kimiko Hahn, Marilyn Chin, Li-Young Lee, and Arthur Sze, as well as that of many new talents and hitherto neglected writers.
This study examines how language and power interrelate, with translation and linguistic fusion being two approaches adopted by hybrid authors in their creation of alternative discourse. Culturally hybrid subjectivity is independent of and at the same time interconnected with more than one culture, thus enabling innovative political and identitarian positions to be articulated. Also examined are such traditional poetic forms as the zuihitsu, the sonnet, and the ghazal, which continue to be used, though in modernized and often subversive guise. The formal liminal space is revealed as a source of newness and invention deconstructing eurocentric hierarchy and national myth in American society and expanding or undercutting binary constructs of racial, national, and ethnic identities.
A further question pursued is whether there are particular aesthetic modes and concepts that unite contemporary Asian American poetry when the allegiances of the practitioners are so disparate (ultimate geocultural provenience, poetic schools, regions in the USA, generations, sexual orientation, etc.). Wide-ranging interviews with Kimiko Hahn and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on identity and roots, language and power, feminism, and the American poetry scene provide illuminating personal yet representative answers to this and other questions.
Volume Editor: Cara Cilano
From Solidarity to Schisms is the first collection to expand discussions of the effects the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath have had on fiction and film beyond an exclusively US-based focus. The essays brought together here go beyond critiquing the US to examine the cultural shifts taking place in fiction and cinema from places such as Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Israel, and Iran. From these many sites of production, the works discussed in this collection illustrate more precisely how 9/11 was “global” without succumbing to neat categorizations, such as “us vs. them,” “East vs. West,” “Christianity vs. Islam,” and so on. From Solidarity to Schisms is an important supplement to the US-centered cultural and critical production addressing 9/11, providing researchers and teachers alike with resources and contexts that will allow them to broaden their own examinations of novels and films by Americans and about the US. It also provides a valuable resource for students and scholars of contemporary global history and international politics who are interested in approaching 9/11, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and related topics from a cultural standpoint.
Volume Editors: Miles Orvell and Jeffrey L. Meikle
We typically take public space for granted, as if it has continuously been there, yet public space has always been the expression of the will of some agency (person or institution) who names the space, gives it purpose, and monitors its existence. And often its use has been contested. These new essays, written for this volume, approach public space through several key questions: Who has the right to define public space? How do such places generate and sustain symbolic meaning? Is public space unchanging, or is it subject to our subjective perception? Do we, given the public nature of public space, have the right to subvert it? These eighteen essays, including several case studies, offer convincing evidence of a spatial turn in American studies. They argue for a re-visioning of American culture as a history of place-making and the instantiation of meaning in structures, boundaries, and spatial configurations. Chronologically the subjects range from Pierre L’Enfant’s initial majestic conceptualization of Washington, D.C. to the post-modern realization that public space in the U.S. is increasingly a matter of waste. Topics range from parks to cities to small towns, from open-air museums to airports, encompassing the commercial marketing of place as well as the subversion and re-possession of public space by the disenfranchised. Ultimately, public space is variously imagined as the site of social and political contestation and of aesthetic change.