Photographer and writer Joel Katz presents a pictorial chronicle of his travels through the shifting islands of fear and loss, freedom and deliverance that was segregated Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964
In June 1964, college student Joel Katz boarded a Greyhound bus in Hartford, Connecticut, for Jackson, Mississippi. He carried few possessions—a small bag of clothes, a written invitation to call on Frank Barber, who was special assistant to Governor Paul Johnson, and a Honeywell Pentax H1-A camera with three lenses.
A few days after his arrival in Jackson, the city’s Daily News ran on its front page an FBI alert seeking Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, three field workers from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) who’d gone missing while investigating a church burning in Neshoba County. In the uneasy silence of their disappearance, Katz began a seven-week journey across the state. Along the way, he met the people of Mississippi, black and white, of all ages and classes, from the humble to the grand. These Mississippians encouraged or obstructed change in their traditional culture or simply observed the edifice of that culture tremble and fall.
During 1964’s Freedom Summer, Katz met ministers making history and journalists writing it. He photographed Martin Luther King Jr. and James Abernathy, taught at a freedom school, interviewed a leader of the White Citizens Councils, was harassed by Jackson police, and escaped death in Vicksburg. Six weeks after Katz arrived in Mississippi, the FBI found the bodies of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner in an earthen dam.
Inspired by the social documentary photographs of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Katz snapped hauntingly quotidian photos on his Pentax camera. Amid acts of brutal savagery and transcendent courage that transfixed the nation, Katz discovered resilient individuals living quiet lives worthy of witness. And I Said No Lord is a moving and luminous record of Americans in evolution.
Not so long ago, the Rock Island Railroad was a household name, the Great Depression was a recent memory, and family farms dotted the landscape. Today, the great railroads have nearly disappeared, the Depression is a chapter in history books, and family farms are hard to come by. Yet this time is not forgotten.
In Central Standard: A Time, a Place, a Family, Patrick Irelan vividly recaptures a remarkable era in midwestern history in twenty-four beautifully crafted and often witty essays. Beginning with his parents’ marriage in 1932 and continuing into the present, Irelan relates the many wonderful stories and experiences of his Davis County, Iowa, family. In “Country Living,” he describes his parents’ disheartening life as farmers during the worst years of the Depression. “The CB&Q” then relates the happiest years of his family’s life when his parents lived and worked in the Burlington Railroad depots of rural Nebraska.
Irelan’s tales of hard times and harder work, family meals and talkative relatives, depots and farmsteads paint a brilliant yet deceptively simple portrait of one rural, working-class family. At its heart, Central Standard carries a greater message: it reminds us of the enduring strength of the American family.
Marion Deutsche Cohen, foreword by Marty Wyngaarden Krauss Temple University Press, 1996 Library of Congress RC377.C54 1996 | Dewey Decimal 362.1968340092
In 1977, at the age of 36, Jeffrey Cohen, a physicist at the University of Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But it wasn't until 10 years later that the "dirty details" began, when the disease had progressed to the point where he could not transfer himself out of his wheelchair. That point is where his wife Marion begins her memoir of caregiving: "If I had to explain it in three words, those words would be 'nights,' 'lifting,' and 'toilet.' And then, if I were permitted to elaborate further, I would continue, 'nights' does not mean lying awake in fear listening for his breathing. 'Lifting' does not mean dragging him by the feet along the floor. And 'toilet' does not mean changing catheters."
But "dirty details," Marion Cohen teaches us, involves more than "nights," "lifting," and "toilet." There is the loss, anger, fear, and desperation that envelops the family. She reveals what it felt like to be consistently in "dire straits" with no real help or understanding, what she characterizes as society's "conspiracy of silence." Chronicling their lives in the context of her husband's progressing disease, she discusses the raging emotions, the celebrations, the day-to-day routine, the arguments, the disappointments, and the moments of closeness. During the 15 years she cared for him at home, both continued to work on various projects, share in the rearing of their four children, and be very much in love. This powerful, honest narrative also delves into the process of making the "nursing-home decision" and those decisions Cohen made to put her and her family's life together again.
“Elizabeth Ellis’s words jump off the page and into the secret part of your heart where you keep treasured memories and sacred feelings. She sings to you of her life and the lives of others with whom she intersects. Compassionate and thought provoking, an Appalachian/Texan with a whole-world point of view with a little rabble rousing thrown in, Elizabeth Ellis is a true master of the written and spoken word.”
--Robin Bady, Storyteller, Arts Educator, Brooklyn, New York
The Feminism of Uncertainty brings together Ann Snitow’s passionate, provocative dispatches from forty years on the front lines of feminist activism and thought. In such celebrated pieces as "A Gender Diary"—which confronts feminism’s need to embrace, while dismantling, the category of "woman"—Snitow is a virtuoso of paradox. Freely mixing genres in vibrant prose, she considers Angela Carter, Doris Lessing, and Dorothy Dinnerstein and offers self-reflexive accounts of her own organizing, writing, and teaching. Her pieces on international activism, sexuality, motherhood, and the waywardness of political memory all engage feminism’s impossible contradictions—and its utopian hopes.
In A Fragile Inheritance Saloni Mathur investigates the work of two seminal figures from the global South: the New Delhi-based critic and curator Geeta Kapur and contemporary multimedia artist Vivan Sundaram. Examining their written and visual works over the past fifty years, Mathur illuminates how her protagonists’ political and aesthetic commitments intersect and foreground uncertainty, difficulty, conflict, and contradiction. This book presents new understandings of the culture and politics of decolonization and the role of non-Western aesthetic avant-gardes within the discourses of contemporary art. Through skillful interpretation of Sundaram's and Kapur’s practices, Mathur demonstrates how received notions of mainstream art history may be investigated and subjected to creative redefinition. Her scholarly methodology offers an impassioned model of critical aesthetics and advances a radical understanding of art and politics in our time.
From Boss Crump to King Willie offers an in-depth look at the vital role that race played in the political evolution of Memphis, from the rise of longtime political boss Edward Hull Crump to the election of Dr. Willie Herenton as the city’s first black mayor. Filled with vivid details on the workings of municipal politics, this accessible account by veteran journalist Otis Sanford explores the nearly century-long struggle by African Americans in Memphis to secure recognition from local leaders and gain a viable voice in the city’s affairs.
Sanford explains how, in 1909, Crump won his first election as mayor without black support but then immediately sought to woo and keep the black vote in order to maintain his political machine for the next two generations. The African American community overwhelmingly supported the Crump organization because he at least listened and responded to some of
their concerns, while other white leaders completely ignored them. The book probes Crump’s hot-and-cold relationship with local newspaper editors, some of whom castigated his machine politics, and examines the press’s influence on the political and civic life of the city. It also shows how, amid longstanding racism and poverty in Memphis, the black community nevertheless produced many prominent business, religious, and political leaders, most of whom had an amicable relationship with “Boss” Crump.
The book goes on to explore the political vacuum that ensued after Crump’s death in 1954, and the factors that led to African Americans becoming the majority voting population in the city following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Through the civil rights movement and beyond, black Memphians kept up their fight for recognition and inclusion.
That fight culminated in the election of Dr. Herenton, a well-educated native son who proved to be the right man at the right time to make racial and political history in the city. Additionally, the book compares the racial climate in Memphis with that in other southern cities during
the height of the civil rights movement.
OTIS SANFORD holds the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic/Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis. He also serves as the political commentator for WREG-TV in Memphis. A former managing editor and current political columnist at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, he also worked for the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, the Pittsburgh Press, and the Detroit Free Press. He was inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame in 2014.
As one of the world’s most eminent living philosophers, John Perry has covered a remarkable breadth of subjects in his published work, including semantics, indexicality, self-knowledge, personal identity, and consciousness. Looking particularly at the way in which he deals with issues of self, communication, and reality, this volume is organized in seven chapters that highlight a different aspect of Perry’s work on the intersection of these subjects. A fundamental work for students and scholars, Identity, Language, and Mind explores questions that are not only essential in understanding Perry’s writings, but also contemporary philosophy as a whole.
In an effort to define what constitutes a feminist reading of literary works, Ann C. Hall offers an analytic technique that is both a feminist and a psychoanalytic approach, applying this technique to her study of women characters in the modern dramatic texts of Eugene O’Neill, Harold Pinter, and Sam Shepard.
This is the first study to treat these three writers in tandem, and while Hall uses the work of Jacques Lacan, Luce Irigaray, and other psychoanalytic feminist critics in her close readings of specific dramatic texts, she also brings in commentaries by critics, directors, performers, and historians. Her technique thereby provides us with a new and significant method for addressing female characters as written by male playwrights, a task that she argues is not only a valid and necessary part of feminist dramatic criticism but a part of theatrical production as well.
From Pinter’s play A Kind of Alaska, Hall extracts a metaphor for the patriarchal oppression of women, contextualizing such oppression through an examination of O’Neill’s madonnas, Pinter’s whores, and Shepard’s female saviors as they are represented in O’Neill’s Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and A Moon for theMisbegotten; Pinter’s Homecoming, No Man’s Land, Betrayal, and A Kind of Alaska; and Shepard’s Buried Child, True West, and A LieoftheMind.
Since the works of O’Neill, Pinter, and Shepard continue to be performed to popular acclaim, Hall hopes that a better understanding of the female characters in these plays will influence the performances themselves.
Living with His Camera
Jane Gallop Duke University Press, 2003 Library of Congress TR140.B517G35 2003 | Dewey Decimal 306.8
Photography is usually written about from the point of view of either the photographer or the viewer. Living with His Camera offers a perspective rarely represented—that of the photographed subject. Dick Blau has been making art photographs of the people he lives with for more than thirty years; cultural theorist Jane Gallop has been living with him—and his camera—for twenty years.
Living with His Camera is Gallop’s nuanced meditation on photography and the place it has in her private life and in her family. A reflection on family, it attempts—like Blau’s photographs themselves—to portray the realities of family life beyond the pieties of conventional representations. Living with His Camera is about some of the most pressing issues of visuality and some of the most basic issues of daily life. Gallop considers intimate photographs of moments both dramatic and routine: of herself giving birth to son Max or crying in the midst of an argument with Blau, pouring herself cereal as Max colors at the breakfast table, or naked, sweeping the floor. With her trademark candor, humor, and critical acumen, Gallop mixes personal reflection with close readings of Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida, Susan Sontag’s On Photography, Kathryn Harrison’s novel Exposure, and Pierre Bourdieu’s Photography.
Presenting his photographs and her text, Living with His Camera is a portrait of a couple whose professional activity is part of their private lives and whose private life is viewed through their professional gazes. While most of us set aside rigorous thought when we turn to the sentimental realm of home life, Gallop and Blau look at each other not only with great affection but also with the keen focus of a sharp, critical gaze.
When ethnomethodologist Albert Robillard began to suffer the symptoms of motor-neuron disease, he realized he was a living laboratory for revealing the countless taken-for-granted methods people use to produce being together. Meaning of a Disability is a detailed autobiography of the experiences and trained observations of a university professor who became paralyzed in mid-life.
With his loss of speech, Robillard was forced to communicate through a lip-reading system developed by his wife and student assistants. Restricted by this form of communication and his paralysis, he soon learned the frustrations of making his meaning known. Hospital nurses wrongly anticipated his words. Those who translated for him inevitably distorted his meaning. Most of all, the casual pace of conversational give-and-take was disrupted. Old friends would leave before Robillard could provide the expected interactional response.
Finding himself isolated due to his lack of both mobility and vocalization, Robillard threw himself into his academic work and began to develop settings and methods where he could satisfactorily interact with others. A researcher and writer experienced in describing the bodily and verbal methods used to coordinate and construct the most ordinary of social forms, Robillard joins in this book both his years of sociological training and his time with illness to talk with moving and illuminating analysis about a broad range of matters. Moving gracefully from examinations of narratives about disability and illness, the stigmatizing things that healthcare providers unwittingly say to their patients, and communication problems in the intensive care unit, to more personal reflections on anger, isolation, and stories of tragedy, Robillard also discusses disability in the workplace and such seemingly simple topics as computers and vacations. Meaning of a Disability is the personal story of a highly trained observer forced to confront simultaneously the limits of the disabled person's social world and the unspoken assumptions about meaningful interaction -- as he struggles with the daily difficulties of maintaining his identity.
Meaning of a Disability will interest a wide audience, including healthcare professionals, disabled people, and caretakers as well as academics studying ethnomethodology, health and illness, conversation, symbolic interaction, storytelling, and most aspects of lived experience.
Sean O'Sullivan University of Illinois Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN1998.3.L445O88 2011 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
In this much needed examination of Mike Leigh, Sean O'Sullivan reclaims the British director as a practicing theorist--a filmmaker deeply invested in cinema's formal, conceptual, and narrative dimensions. In contrast with Leigh's prevailing reputation as a straightforward crafter of social realist movies, O'Sullivan illuminates the visual tropes and storytelling investigations that position Leigh as an experimental filmmaker who uses the art and artifice of cinema to frame tales of the everyday and the extraordinary alike.
O'Sullivan challenges the prevailing characterizations of Leigh’s cinema by detailing the complicated constructions of his realism, positing his films not as transparent records of life but as aesthetic transformations of it. Concentrating on the most recent two decades of Leigh’s career, the study examines how Naked, Secrets and Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake, and other films engage narrative convergence and narrative diffusion, the tension between character and plot, the interplay of coincidence and design, cinema’s relationship to other systems of representation, and the filmic rendering of the human figure. The book also spotlights such earlier, less-discussed works as Four Days in July and The Short and Curlies, illustrating the recurring visual and storytelling concerns of Leigh’s cinema. With a detailed filmography, this volume also includes key selections from O'Sullivan's several interviews with Leigh.
Missing Persons: A Memoir
Gayle Greene University of Nevada Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS29.G74A3 2017 | Dewey Decimal 818.603
Missing Persons is a memoir about dealing with death in a culture that gives no help. As the last of her family, Greene’s losses are stark, first her aunt, then her mother, in quick succession. She is as ill-equipped for the challenges of caring for a dying person at home as she is for the other losses, long repressed, that rise to confront her at this time: the suicide of her younger brother, the death of her father. As the professional identity on which she’s based her selfhood comes to feel brittle and trivial, she is catapulted into questions of “who am I?” and “what have I done with my life?”
The memoir is structured as an account of her mother's and aunt’s final days and the year that follows, a year in which she reconstructs her life. This is a powerful story about family, what it means to have one, to lose one, never to have made one, and what, if anything, might take its place. It’s the story of a vexed mother-daughter relationship that mellows with age. It is also a search for home, as the very landscape shifts around her and the vast orchards are dug up and paved over for tract housing, strip malls, freeways, and the Santa Clara Valley, once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight, is transformed to “Silicon.”
The memoir of a scientist and the wild silk moths he studiesBiologist Michael Collins has been studying wild silk moths since he was a boy. This family — which includes the largest and most colorful of the North American moths — led Collins into a long career as a scientist, and has provided him with significant insights into the process by which new species evolve. Moth Catcher is Collins’s engaging account of his development as a scientist and of his groundbreaking research. The canyon and pass environments of the American West offer a setting in which, since the last Ice Age, organisms have adapted to new surroundings and where many have formed new species. Collins has discovered in the Sierra Nevada that geneticists call a “hybrid zone” where two species interbreed. This hybrid zone is unusual because both sexes are fertile, unlike lab-bred hybrids between the same silk moth species. Collins explains how such hybrid populations serve as laboratories in nature where the process of speciation can be observed and studied. This book offers a fascinating view into the work of a field scientist and the ways that evolution continues to operate around us. Collins’s colorful accounts of his fieldwork will delight any reader who loves the outdoors and is captivated by the diversity and interrelations of the life forms found there. And his passion for his research and the fragile, exquisite creatures that he studies will inspire a new appreciation of the wonders of the natural world and the myriad life forms that occupy it.
A Mother's Tale
Phillip Lopate The Ohio State University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3562.O66Z46 2017 | Dewey Decimal 818.5403
In 1984, Phillip Lopate sat down with his mother, Frances, to listen to her life story. A strong, resilient, indomitable woman who lived through the major events of the twentieth century, she was orphaned in childhood, ran away and married young, and then reinvented herself as a mother, war factory worker, candy store owner, community organizer, clerk, actress, and singer. But paired with exciting anecdotes are the criticisms of the husband who couldn’t satisfy her, the details of numerous affairs and sexual encounters, and, though she succeeded at many of her roles, accounts of how she always felt mistreated, taken advantage of. After the interviews, at a loss for what to do with the tapes, Lopate put them away. But thirty years later, after his mother had passed away, Lopate found himself drawn back to the recordings of this conversation. Thus begins a three-way conversation between a mother, his younger self, and the person he is today.
Trying to break open the family myths, rationalizations, and self-deceptions, A Mother’s Tale is about family members who love each other but who can’t seem to overcome their mutual mistrust. Though Phillip is sympathizing to a point, he cannot join her in her operatic displays of self-pity and how she blames his father for everything that went wrong. His detached, ironic character has been formed partly in response to her melodramatic one. The climax is an argument in which he tries to persuade her—using logic, of all things—that he really does love her, but is only partially successful, of course.
A Mother’s Tale is about something primal and universal: the relationship between a mother and her child, the parent disappointed with the payback, the child, now fully grown, judgmental. The humor is in the details.
In nearly every account of modern Argentine history, the first Peronist regime (1946–55) emerges as the critical juncture. Appealing to growing masses of industrial workers, Juan Perón built a powerful populist movement that transformed economic and political structures, promulgated new conceptions and representations of the nation, and deeply polarized the Argentine populace. Yet until now, most scholarship on Peronism has been constrained by a narrow, top-down perspective. Inspired by the pioneering work of the historian Daniel James and new approaches to Latin American cultural history, scholars have recently begun to rewrite the history of mid-twentieth-century Argentina. The New Cultural History of Peronism brings together the best of this important new scholarship.
Situating Peronism within the broad arc of twentieth-century Argentine cultural change, the contributors focus on the interplay of cultural traditions, official policies, commercial imperatives, and popular perceptions. They describe how the Perón regime’s rhetoric and representations helped to produce new ideas of national and collective identity. At the same time, they show how Argentines pursued their interests through their engagement with the Peronist project, and, in so doing, pushed the regime in new directions. While the volume’s emphasis is on the first Perón presidency, one contributor explores the origins of the regime and two others consider Peronism’s transformations in subsequent years. The essays address topics including mass culture and melodrama, folk music, pageants, social respectability, architecture, and the intense emotional investment inspired by Peronism. They examine the experiences of women, indigenous groups, middle-class anti-Peronists, internal migrants, academics, and workers. By illuminating the connections between the state and popular consciousness, The New Cultural History of Peronism exposes the contradictions and ambivalences that have characterized Argentine populism.
Contributors: Anahi Ballent, Oscar Chamosa, María Damilakou, Eduardo Elena, Matthew B. Karush, Diana Lenton, Mirta Zaida Lobato, Natalia Milanesio, Mariano Ben Plotkin, César Seveso, Lizel Tornay
“Why should a particular game, played with a round ball by twenty-year-olds in short pants often hundreds of miles away, mean so much to me, since I seem to have so little to gain or lose by its outcome?” Fred Hobson thus begins Off the Rim, his narrative of college basketball and society, of growing up and not growing up. He seeks the answer to this question by delving into the particulars of his own experience.
Growing up in a small town in the hills of North Carolina where basketball was king, he became a rabid UNC basketball fan (like many others) at the tender age of thirteen during the Tar Heels’ “magical” 32–0 national championship season in 1956–1957. He starred as a high school basketball player and lived a dream by “walking on” the highly successful 1961–1962 Carolina freshman team. That was also the year Dean Smith was elevated to head coach of the Heels. Hobson observed firsthand Coach Smith’s difficult early days before he became the winningest coach in college basketball.
Forced to find a substitute for his beloved sport after not making the varsity his sophomore year, Hobson turned to the romance of books, both reading and writing them. Changing his major to English, he discovered the joys of William Faulkner and Richard Wright, Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O'Connor, and H. L. Mencken, and made a career teaching American literature.
This is a book about basketball that is more than a book about basketball. It is, in the beginning, a depiction of a part of the South that departs from the usual idea of Dixie, a look into the culture, religion, and politics of the Carolina hills. It is a portrait of the people who made up the South, including the author’s parents, who both were and were not conventional southerners. Finally, in some respects, it is the story of a boyhood that never ends, relived each year during basketball season in the frantic, tortured life of a fan.
Although Hobson’s story is largely about the Tar Heels—and about other things related to growing up in the South of the 1950s—what he says about basketball, childhood, and adulthood also holds true for those who find themselves in emotional bondage to Hoosiers or Bulldogs or Ducks, to Wolverines, Gophers, Badgers, and various other species of Upper Midwestern low-lying ground fauna, to Blue Devils or Blue Demons, to Tigers, Wildcats, Cougars, and all other breeds of cat.
On Louise Glück features essays by leading critics, poets, and scholars that explore the work of recent U.S. poet laureate Louise Glück.
Glück, author of nine books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Wild Iris, is noted for her searing honesty and compelling first-person personae. Though compared to world-famous verse by Sappho and Dickinson, Glück's poetry has remained curiously undigested among readers of contemporary poetry for some time. On Louise Glück gathers for the first time a diverse array of essays by the leading critics of this preeminent poet. Featuring a probing, extended interview with Glück, On Louise Glück traces the critical reception of her work and offers new insights into her imaginative, mysterious poetry.
A dominant figure in American poetry for more than thirty-five years, Louise Glück has been the recipient of virtually every major poetry award and was named U.S. poet laureate for 2003–2004. In a new full-length study of her work, Daniel Morris explores how this prolific poet utilizes masks of characters from history, the Bible, and even fairy tales.
Morris treats Glück’s persistent themes—desire, hunger, trauma, survival—through close reading of her major book-length sequences from the 1990s: Ararat, Meadowlands, and The Wild Iris. An additional chapter devoted to The House on Marshland (1975) shows how its revision of Romanticism and nature poetry anticipated these later works. Seeing Glück’s poems as complex analyses of the authorial self via sustained central metaphors, Morris reads her poetry against a narrative pattern that shifts from the tones of anger, despair, and resentment found in her early Firstborn to the resignation of Ararat—and proceeds in her latest volumes, including Vita Nova and Averno, toward an ambivalent embrace of embodied life.
By showing how Glück’s poems may be read as a form of commentary on the meanings of great literature and myth, Morris emphasizes her irreverent attitude toward the canons through which she both expresses herself and deflects her autobiographical impulse. By discussing her sense of self, of Judaism, and of the poetic tradition, he explores her position as a mystic poet with an ambivalent relationship to religious discourse verging on Gnosticism, with tendencies toward the ancient rabbinic midrash tradition of reading scripture. He particularly shows how her creative reading of past poets expresses her vision of Judaism as a way of thinking about canonical texts.
The Poetry of Louise Glück is a quintessential study of how poems may be read as a form of commentary on the meanings of great literature and myth. It clearly demonstrates that, through this lens of commentary, one can grasp more firmly the very idea of poetry itself that Glück has spent her career both defining and extending.
Raw Edges: A Memoir
Phyllis Barber University of Nevada Press, 2012 Library of Congress CT275.B3675A3 2009 | Dewey Decimal 306.893092
When Phyllis Barber’s thirty-three-year marriage ended, she had to redefine herself as a woman, a mother, and an artist. Raw Edges is her moving account of the “lean years” that followed her divorce. It is interwoven with a narrative of the marriage of two gifted people that begins with “sealing” in a Mormon temple, endures through the birth of four sons and the development of two careers, and founders when the couple’s personal needs no longer match their aspirations or the rigid strictures of Mormon life. Raw Edges reflects the predicament that many women experience as their marriages disintegrate and they fail to achieve their own expectations as well as those set by their society and their faith. It is also a story of hope, of how a woman overcome by grief and confusion eventually finds a new approach to life.
While visitors to art and history museums may be there to simply enjoy the curated objects, the question of what is included (and excluded) in these collections and who has the power over this process echoes the struggle for inclusion that is so central to the African American experience. Since its inception, the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection® has played an important role in this struggle, seeking out objects that give voice to previously excluded experiences, and providing an alternative to the limits of institutional collections.
Among the first scholarly books dedicated to a private African American collection, Rethinking America’s Past: Voices from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection both chronicles the reach of this important cultural collection and contributes to its project by sharing selected objects and stories with a broader audience. Essays range in subject from iconic African American artists, such as Loïs Mailou Jones and Beauford Delaney, to important historical figures such as Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King, to individuals whose experiences might be lost to history but for the found objects that preserve their stories. Rethinking America’s Past demonstrates how the African American story, from slavery through the present, is represented and can be actively remembered through the act of collecting.
Rethinking America’s Past will appeal to audiences interested in African American history as well as art history, but its real power is in linking the two, showing how important collections are in constructing and repairing historical narratives, and how in the words of editor Tim Gruenewald, “Collecting overlooked aspects of our past and sharing such collections enables a deeper understanding of the present moment, and facilitates a more inclusive and just future.”
Every year from April to October, the Sánchez family traveled—crowded in the back of trucks, camping in converted barns, tending and harvesting crops across the breadth of the United States. Although hoeing sugar beets with a short hoe was their specialty, they also picked oranges in California, apples in Washington, cucumbers in Michigan, onions and potatoes in Wisconsin, and tomatoes in Iowa. Winters they returned home to the Winter Garden region of South Texas. In 1951, Saúl Sánchez began to contribute to his family’s survival by helping to weed onions in Wind Lake, Wisconsin. He was eight years old.
Rows of Memory tells his story and the story of his family and other migrant farm laborers like them, people who endured dangerous, dirty conditions and low pay, surviving because they took care of each other. Facing racism both on the road and at home, they lived a largely segregated life only occasionally breached by friendly employers.
Despite starting school late and leaving early every year and having to learn English on the fly, young Saúl succeeded academically. At the same time that Mexican Americans in South Texas upended the Anglo-dominated social order by voting their own leaders into local government, he upended his family’s order by deciding to go to college. Like many migrant children, he knew that his decision to pursue an education meant he would no longer be able to help feed and clothe the rest of his family. Nevertheless, with his parents’ support, he went to college, graduating in 1967 and, after a final display of his skill with a short hoe for his new friends, abandoned migrant labor for teaching.
In looking back at his youth, Sánchez invites us to appreciate the largely unrecognized and poorly rewarded strength and skill of the laborers who harvest the fruits and vegetables we eat. A first-person portrait of life on the bottom rung of the food system, this coming-of-age tale illuminates both the history of Latinos in the United States and the human consequences of industrial agriculture.
In Stories of Our Lives Frank de Caro demonstrates the value of personal narratives in enlightening our lives and our world. We all live with legends, family sagas, and anecdotes that shape our selves and give meaning to our recollections. Featuring an array of colorful stories from de Caro’s personal life and years of field research as a folklorist, the book is part memoir and part exploration of how the stories we tell, listen to, and learn play an integral role in shaping our sense of self.
De Caro’s narrative includes stories within the story: among them a near-mythic capture of his golden-haired grandmother by Plains Indians, a quintessential Italian rags-to-riches grandfather, and his own experiences growing up in culturally rich 1950s New York City, living in India amid the fading glories of a former princely state, conducting field research on Day of the Dead altars in Mexico, and coming home to a battered New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Stories of Our Lives shows that our lives are interesting, and that the stories we tell—however particular to our own circumstances or trivial they may seem to others—reveal something about ourselves, our societies, our cultures, and our larger human existence.
In 1969, Tom Wesaw was an 83-year-old Shoshone doctor and religious leader on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He could no longer drive, which posed problems in making house calls. The arrival of young anthropologist Tom Johnson changed that. Johnson would drive Wesaw, and cook, pump water, and build fires for sweat lodges. In exchange, the elder Tom would show the younger Tom his work. The two were together so often that the people of Wind River began to refer to them affectionately by one name: Two Toms. By the light of the lamp Wesaw gave him, Johnson would write down what he learned. The Shoshone doctor wanted his student to share everything he saw and heard. Now, in Two Toms: Lessons from a Shoshone Doctor, he has.
Presented as an engaging narrative, Johnson’s book reveals details about the Shoshone culture and it chronicles the story of the friendship between these two men of different backgrounds. Filled with valuable anthropological information, this book is also highly readable and entertaining.
A lifelong city dweller, Verena Andermatt Conley had long harbored romantic ideals about the natural world and dreamed of a wilderness retreat for herself and her husband, Tom. When a sizable tract of land along the Vermillion River on the edge of Minnesota's Boundary Waters - complete with two primitive log cabins - became available, they jumped at the chance to own a piece of paradise.The War against the Beavers is a wry and funny account of two people's ten-year apprenticeship in backwoods living, from their arrival as literal babes in the woods to their education in the ways of nature as they face plagues of insects, fungus, storms, and droughts, and embark on a lengthy campaign to eradicate a colony of beavers that threatens the peace and beauty of their forest refuge. It is only the coming of a mechanized and much more menacing threat - bulldozers and other heavy machinery clear-cutting the woods - that restores perspective to the obsessed cabin dwellers.
Did two reporters really change the course of history? And what impact did they actually have on American journalism and government? Jon Marshall explores different answers to those questions by charting the past and the possible future of the critical public service provided by investigative reporters.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein symbolize an era when investigative reporters were seen as courageous fighters of corruption and injustice. Although many mainstream news outlets no longer have the resources to support expensive investigative reporters on staff, journalists have found other ways to support themselves Marshall’s discussion of the opportunities they have found in blogs, crowd-sourcing, and nonprofit institutions offers hope for the future of investigative journalism.
Amid all the controversy, criticism, and celebration of Terrence Malick's award-winning film The Tree of Life, what do we really understand of it? The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace thoughtfully engages the philosophical riches of life, culture, time, and the sacred through Malick's film. This innovative collection traverses the relationships among ontological, moral, scientific, and spiritual perspectives on the world, demonstrating how phenomenological work can be done in and through the cinematic medium, and attempting to bridge the gap between narrow "theoretical" works on film and their broader cultural and philosophical significance. Exploring Malick's film as a philosophical engagement, this readable and insightful collection presents an excellent resource for film specialists, philosophers of film, and film lovers alike.
In this book, leading art experts, art historians, and critics review the life, career, and artistic development of New York based Chinese artist Zhang Hongtu. A pioneer in contemporary Chinese art, Zhang created the first example of "China Pop" art, and his oeuvre is as diverse, intellectually complex, and engaging as it is entertaining. From painting and sculpture to computer generated works and multimedia projects, Zhang's art is equally rich in terms of China's history and its current events, containing profound reflections on China's oldest cultural habits and contemporary preoccupations. He provides a model of cross-cultural interaction designed to make Asian and Western audiences look more closely at each other and at themselves to recognize the beliefs they hold and the unexamined values they adhere to.
From his early work in China during the Cultural Revolution to his decades as an artist in New York, Zhang reflects the complex attitudes of a scholar-artist toward modernity, as well as toward Asian and Western societies and himself. Placing Zhang in the context of his cultural milieu both in China and in the Chinese immigrant artist community in America, this volume's contributors examine his adaptations of classic art to reflect a contemporary sensibility, his relation to Cubism and Social Realism, his collaboration with the celebrated fashion designer Vivienne Tam, and his visual critique of China's current environmental crisis. Zhang's work will be on display at the Queens Museum in New York City from October 17, 2015 to March 6, 2016.
Contributors: Julia F. Andrews, Alexandra Chang, Tom Finkelpearl, Michael Fitzgerald, Wu Hung, Luchia Meihua Lee, Morgan Perkins, Kui Yi Shen, Jerome Silbergeld, Eugenie Tsai, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Lilly Wei
Co-published by the Queens Museum and Duke University Press.