Nevada sheep rancher Joe Juaristi spoke for years about making a trip back to the Spanish Basque Country that he left sixty years earlier, but each time the subject came up the discussion evolved into a family debate about the scope and members of the journey. Finally Joe's son, Vince, secretly resolved to organize the trip that his father wanted and needed--the two of them, traveling alone, making a quiet reunion with Joe's twin sister, who suffers from Alzheimer's, visiting other aging siblings and friends, and recounting the places that formed Joe's memories of his youth.
Back to Bizkaia is part travel book, part memoir of two men exploring their mutual roots and their unique father-son bond. The narrative intertwines an engaging account of the contemporary Basque Country with Joe's experiences as an immigrant making his way in a new country and Vince's memories of growing up in a close Basque-American community in the American West. This is a book about Basques and their American families, but on another level it is every immigrant's story of return to a beloved homeland.
In this allegorical excursion, William Walcott explores the intersections between United States politics and the game of cricket in a book reminiscent of C. L. R. James’s classic Beyond a Boundary. In Close of Play, Walcott highlights the careers of former US president Barack Obama and the Trinidadian cricket and cultural phenom Brian Lara—one of the greatest batsmen of all time, who Obama once called “the Michael Jordan of cricket.” Readers are invited to explore the parallel poetics of politics and sport through the life and words of these luminaries, both of whom promised to deliver far-reaching social change yet found themselves “on the back foot.”
In his analysis, Walcott delves into matters of Caribbean and American identity, political leadership, oratory, and the blending of cricket vocabulary into political commentary. He also challenges us to understand the sociological links between international sport, socio-economic inequality, and racial politics. This book is a fascinating journey into the world of global sociopolitical life and the curiosities of language embedded in cricket and political play, both of which constitute enormous sectors within a multibillion dollar “sticky wicket” of transnational capitalism.
Exciting and beautifully crafted, The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing provides an entirely new way of viewing “ordinary writing,” the everyday writing we typically ignore or dismiss. It takes as its center the diary of Jennifer Sinor's great-great-great-aunt Annie Ray, a woman who homesteaded in the Dakotas in the late nineteenth century. Diaries such as this have long been ignored by scholars, who prefer instead to focus on diaries with literary features. Reading diaries through this lens gives privileged status to those that are coherently crafted and ignores the very diaries that define the form through their relentless inscription of dailiness.
Annie Ray’s diary is not literary. By considering her ordinary writing as a site of complex and strategic negotiations among the writer, the form of writing, and dominant cultural scripts, Sinor makes visible the extraordinary work of the ordinary writer and the sophistication of these texts. In providing a way to read diaries outside the limits and conventions of literature, she challenges our approaches to other texts as well. Furthermore, because ordinary writing is not crafted for aesthetic reception (in contrast to autobiography proper, memoirs, and literary diaries), it is a productive site for investigating how both writing and culture get made every day.
The book is truly original in its form: nontraditional, storied, creative. Sinor, an accomplished creative writer, includes her own memories as extended metaphors in partnership with critical texts along with excerpts from her aunt's diary. The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing will be a fascinating text for students of creative writing as well as of women's studies and diaries.
The Films of Bong Joon Ho
Nam Lee Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1998.3.P6625L44 2020 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar® for Best Director for Parasite (2019), which also won Best Picture, the first foreign film to do so, and two other Academy Awards. Parasite was the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. These achievements mark a new career peak for the director, who first achieved wide international acclaim with 2006’s monster movie The Host and whose forays into English-language film with Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017) brought him further recognition.
As this timely book reveals, even as Bong Joon Ho has emerged as an internationally known director, his films still engage with distinctly Korean social and political contexts that may elude many Western viewers. The Films of Bong Joon Ho demonstrates how he hybridizes Hollywood conventions with local realities in order to create a cinema that foregrounds the absurd cultural anomie Koreans have experienced in tandem with their rapid economic development. Film critic and scholar Nam Lee explores how Bong subverts the structures of the genres he works within, from the crime thriller to the sci-fi film, in order to be truthful to Korean realities that often deny the reassurances of the happy Hollywood ending. With detailed readings of Bong’s films from Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) through Parasite (2019), the book will give readers a new appreciation of this world-class cinematic talent.
Wendy Bilen Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008 Library of Congress CT275.B7354B55 2008 | Dewey Decimal 977.033092
With a focus squarely on the Midwest, Wendy Bilen pieces together the history of her grandmother, Josie Broadhead, born in 1911 and raised on the North Dakota prairie. Josie married a Wisconsin farmer and moved to a large dairy farm outside La Crosse; along the way she began taking in people in need of a home: ". . . beggars and drunks and children of drunks, mentally ill children and children with mentally ill parents. Brothers and cousins and sisters and in-laws and strangers."
By taking on these challenges that no one else wanted, Josie left an almost mythical legacy. Years after Josie's death, Bilen embarks on a journey to unearth Josie's story and quickly realizes that the search is about her, too. As she discovers her grandmother's complicated nature ("a woman proud and humble, loving and unaffectionate, strict and visionary, joyful and troubled, a woman held together by contradictions like an arch and its capstone"), she learns much about herself and her own choices. And as she breathes life into Josie and her family, friends, and neighbors, the author evokes a powerful sense of place of small towns and farms, of prairie, of Josie's home, all of which feel both fresh and satisfyingly familiar.
Much more than mere memoir or family history, this dual story about Bilen's journey illuminates the surprising ways our lives intersect with our ancestors'. An extraordinary story about a seemingly ordinary woman, Finding Josie will inspire readers to explore their own family history in their own way.
In Four Decades On, historians, anthropologists, and literary critics examine the legacies of the Second Indochina War, or what most Americans call the Vietnam War, nearly forty years after the United States finally left Vietnam. They address matters such as the daunting tasks facing the Vietnamese at the war's end—including rebuilding a nation and consolidating a socialist revolution while fending off China and the Khmer Rouge—and "the Vietnam syndrome," the cynical, frustrated, and pessimistic sense that colored America's views of the rest of the world after its humiliating defeat in Vietnam. The contributors provide unexpected perspectives on Agent Orange, the POW/MIA controversies, the commercial trade relationship between the United States and Vietnam, and representations of the war and its aftermath produced by artists, particularly writers. They show how the war has continued to affect not only international relations but also the everyday lives of millions of people around the world. Most of the contributors take up matters in the United States, Vietnam, or both nations, while several utilize transnational analytic frameworks, recognizing that the war's legacies shape and are shaped by dynamics that transcend the two countries. Contributors. Alex Bloom, Diane Niblack Fox, H. Bruce Franklin, Walter Hixson, Heonik Kwon, Scott Laderman, Mariam B. Lam, Ngo Vinh Long, Edwin A. Martini, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Christina Schwenkel, Charles Waugh
How close to reality was the official U.S. image of Libya through the Nixon-Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations? After recounting the actions of Libya and the United States in the Middle East since 1969, ElWahrfally concludes that it was very far from accurate.
Using personal interviews as well as scholarly research, ElWarfally demonstrates that recent U.S. relations with Libya, regardless of rhetoric, have been primarily determined by whether or not Libya serves U.S. interests in the region: maintaining access to Middle Eastern oil, protecting Israel, and limiting Soviet expansionism. Just as the official image of Libya has veered from one extreme to another, U.S. policy responses have also often conflicted with the publicly stated view.
The Nixon administration was at first friendly toward Libya, even though Qaddafi ejected the U.S. military and nationalized the oil industry, because of Libya's avowed anticommunism and U.S. dependence on Libyan oil. After 1976, the official U.S. image was more hostile, and Libya was attacked as a destabilizing influence in the Middle East. Outrage reached new heights during the Reagan administration, which made several unsuccessful covert attempts to unseat Qaddafi, mounted an embargo and military provocations, and in 1986 bombed Libya on a pretext later revealed to be false.
Combining theory with current history, this book demonstrates that fixed ideas and misinterpretation of events may have more to do with foreign policy behavior than facts do. Suggesting a new direction for research into relations between the superpowers and the Third World, it will interest scholars, students, and policymakers concerned with the Middle East.
The 2011 overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi by internationally backed rebel groups has left Libya’s new leaders with a number of post-conflict challenges, including establishing security, building political and administrative institutions, and restarting the economy. This report assesses these challenges, the impact of the limited international role in efforts to overcome them, and possible future roles for the international community.
Through virtuoso readings of significant works of American film, television, and fiction, Phillip E. Wegner demonstrates that the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 fostered a unique consciousness and represented a moment of immense historical possibilities now at risk of being forgotten in the midst of the “war on terror.” Wegner argues that 9/11 should be understood as a form of what Jacques Lacan called the “second death,” an event that repeats an earlier “fall,” in this instance the collapse of the Berlin Wall. By describing 9/11 as a repetition, Wegner does not deny its significance. Rather, he argues that it was only with the fall of the towers that the symbolic universe of the Cold War was finally destroyed and a true “new world order,” in which the United States assumed disturbing new powers, was put into place.
Wegner shows how phenomena including the debate on globalization, neoliberal notions of the end of history, the explosive growth of the Internet, the efflorescence of new architectural and urban planning projects, developments in literary and cultural production, new turns in theory and philosophy, and the rapid growth of the antiglobalization movement came to characterize the long nineties. He offers readings of some of the most interesting cultural texts of the era: Don DeLillo’s White Noise; Joe Haldeman’s Forever trilogy; Octavia Butler’s Parable novels; the Terminator films; the movies Fight Club, Independence Day, Cape Fear, and Ghost Dog; and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In so doing, he illuminates fundamental issues concerning narrative, such as how beginnings and endings are recognized and how relationships between events are constructed.
"Generations of men and women have stood on these beaches, listened to water rushing over these basalt rocks, and picked wild blueberries here well before I sailed into the Bayfield harbor. The families of those men and women are still here, tethered to a place where they can slip behind their ancestor’s eyes and take in essentially the same view."
—from the Introduction
In 2007, Mary Dougherty and her family moved from St. Paul to the tiny Bayfield Peninsula, surrounded by the waters of Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay in far northwestern Wisconsin. There they set out to live their lives against a backdrop of waterfalls, beaches, farm stands, and a quintessential small town of 487 people. Through recipes, stories, and photos, this book explores what it means to nourish a family and a community. As Mary Dougherty incorporates what is grown and raised in northern Wisconsin into her family’s favorite dishes, she continues a cultural tradition begun by immigrants hundreds of years ago. The result is a one-of-a-kind collection of globally and regionally inspired recipes featuring local cheeses, meats, and produce from the farmers in and around Bayfield—pho made with beef bones from a farm in Mellen, Indian meatballs with curry powder made in Washburn, chowder with corn and potatoes from a farm stand in Ashland. As she knits herself into the Bayfield community, Dougherty comes to more fully grasp the intricate relationship between food and community.
Although investigations of Hispanic popular culture were approached for decades as part of folklore studies, in recent years scholarly explorations—of lucha libre, telenovelas, comic strips, comedy, baseball, the novela rosa and the detective novel, sci-fi, even advertising—have multiplied. What has been lacking is an overarching canvas that offers context for these studies, focusing on the crucial, framing questions: What is Hispanic pop culture? How does it change over time and from region to region? What is the relationship between highbrow and popular culture in the Hispanic world? Does it make sense to approach the whole Hispanic world as homogenized when understanding Hispanic popular culture? What are the differences between nations, classes, ethnic groups, religious communities, and so on? And what distinguishes Hispanic popular culture in the United States?
In ¡Muy Pop!,Ilan Stavans and Frederick Luis Aldama carry on a sustained, free-flowing, book-length conversation about these questions and more, concentrating on a wide range of pop manifestations and analyzing them at length. In addition to making Hispanic popular culture visible to the first-time reader, ¡Muy Pop!sheds new light on the making and consuming of Hispanic pop culture for academics, specialists, and mainstream critics.
Ordinary Trauma: A Memoir
Jennifer Sinor University of Utah Press, 2017 Library of Congress CT275.S521765A3 2017 | Dewey Decimal 616.8521083
As if she could not bear to leave it, Jennifer Sinor came into this spinning world twice, once dead and once alive, the first time born from her mother, the second, from a bucket, its silvery metal sides a poor substitute for the womb, yet enough. Through spare yet lyrical prose, Sinor threads together the story of how she learned to carry the bucket she was born into and reclaim all that was tossed away. In short, almost telegraphic, linked pieces, Ordinary Trauma reveals moments in life that are made to appear unremarkable but harm deeply. Set against the late Cold War and a military childhood spent amid fast-attack submarines and long-range nuclear missiles, this memoir delivers a revelatory look at how moments that typically pass unnoticed form the very basis for our perceptions of both love and loss.
Finalist for the 15 Bytes Book Award for Creative Nonfiction
Although the body has been a vast subject for postcolonial studies, few theorists have attempted to go beyond the simple mixing of races in examining the impact of colonialism on the colonized body. However, as Deepika Bahri argues, it is essential to see the postcolonial body in a variety of forms: as capable of transformation not only in psyche and outward behavior but also in flesh and blood.
European colonizers brought new ways of seeing the body in matters as basic as how to eat, speak, sit, shit, or spit. As nations decolonized, these imperialistic ideas remained, becoming part of the global economy of the body. In Postcolonial Biology, Bahri argues that the political challenges of the twenty-first century require that we deconstruct these imperial notions of the body, as they are fundamental to power structures governing today’s globalized world.
Postcolonial Biology investigates how minds and bodies have been shaped by colonial contact, to create deeply embedded hierarchies among the colonized. Moving beyond “North/South” thinking, Bahri reframes the questions of postcolonial bodies to address all societies, whether developed or developing. Engaging in innovative, highly original readings of major thinkers such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Derrida, and Fanon, this book brings an important new focus to the field of postcolonial studies—one that is essential to understanding the ideas and conflicts that currently dominate the global order.
Most would agree that American culture changed dramatically from the 1960s to the 1980s. Yet the 1970s, the decade “in between,” is still somehow thought of as a cultural wasteland. In The Seventies Now Stephen Paul Miller debunks this notion by examining a wide range of political and cultural phenomena—from the long shadow cast by Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal to Andy Warhol and the disco scene—identifying in these phenomena a pivotal yet previously unidentified social trend, the movement from institutionalized external surveillance to the widespread internalization of such practices. The concept of surveillance and its attendant social ramifications have been powerful agents in U.S. culture for many decades, but in describing how during the 1970s Americans learned to “survey” themselves, Miller shines surprising new light on such subjects as the women’s movement, voting rights enforcement, the Ford presidency, and environmental legislation. He illuminates the significance of what he terms “microperiods” and analyzes relevant themes in many of the decade’s major films—such as The Deer Hunter, Network, Jaws, Star Wars, and Apocalypse Now—and in the literature of writers including John Ashbery, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, and Sam Shepard. In discussing the reverberations of the 1969 Stonewall riots, technological innovations, the philosophy of Michel Foucault, and a host of documents and incidents, Miller shows how the 1970s marked an important period of transition, indeed a time of many transitions, to the world we confront at the end of the millennium. The Seventies Now will interest students and scholars of cultural studies, American history, theories of technology, film and literature, visual arts, and gay and lesbian studies.
". . . Bill Kelleher brings the reader in to the heart of Northern Ireland and its long, tragic conflict. Northern Ireland, in all its complexity, is authentically rendered."
-Robert Connolly, writer and co-director, The Road to Reconciliation
". . . this exemplary ethnography is among the best books on Northern Ireland, and one of the very few that makes human sense of daily sectarian life."
-Lawrence Taylor, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
"More than a tour-a moving narrative."
-David Stark, Columbia University
"This is a wonderful contribution to Irish studies, postcolonial studies, and anthropology."
-Begoña Arétxaga, University of Texas, Austin
"It is a book that will be widely read and greatly appreciated."
--David Lloyd, Scripps College
Donna Kornhaber University of Illinois Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1998.3.A526K67 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom have made Wes Anderson a filmmaking force. Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums have become quotable cult classics. Yet every new Anderson release brings out droves of critics eager to charge him with stylistic excess and self-indulgent eclecticism. Donna Kornhaber approaches Anderson's style as the necessary product of the narrative and thematic concerns that define his body of work. Using Anderson's focus on collecting, Kornhaber situates the director as the curator of his filmic worlds, a prime mover who artfully and conscientiously arranges diverse components into cohesive collections and taxonomies. Anderson peoples each mise-en-scéne in his ongoing "Wesworld" with characters orphaned, lost, and out of place amidst a riot of handmade clutter and relics. Within, they seek a wholeness and collective identity they manifestly lack, with their pain expressed via an ordered emotional palette that, despite being muted, cries out for attention. As Kornhaber shows, Anderson's films offer nothing less than a fascinating study in the sensation of belonging--told by characters who possess it the least. Covering Anderson's entire oeuvre and including an interview with the director, Wes Anderson is an entertaining look at one of our most beloved and polarizing filmmakers.
Melvin Juette has said that becoming paralyzed in a gang-related shooting was “both the worst and best thing that happened” to him. The incident, he believes, surely spared the then sixteen year-old African American from prison and/or an early death. It transformed him in other ways, too. He attended college and made wheelchair basketball his passion—ultimately becoming a star athlete and playing on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team.
In Wheelchair Warrior, Juette reconstructs the defining moments of his life with the assistance of sociologist Ronald Berger. His poignant memoir is bracketed by Berger’s thoughtful introduction and conclusion, which places this narrative of race, class, masculinity and identity into proper sociological context, showing how larger social structural forces defined his experiences. While Juette’s story never gives into despair, it does challenge the idea of the “supercrip.”
Witches, Goddesses and Angry Spirits: The Politics of Spiritual Liberation in African Diaspora Women’s Fiction explores African diaspora religious practices as vehicles for Africana women’s spiritual transformation, using representative fictions by three contemporary writers of the African Americas who compose fresh models of female spirituality: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994) by Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat; Paradise (1998) by African American Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1992) by Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé.
Author Maha Marouan argues that while these authors’ works burst with powerful female figures—witches, goddesses, healers, priestesses, angry spirits—they also remain honest in reminding readers of the silences surrounding African diaspora women’s realities and experiences of violence, often as a result of gendered religious discourses. To make sense of Africana women’s experiences of the diaspora, this book operates from a transnational perspective that moves across national and linguistic boundaries as it connects the Anglophone, the Francophone, and the Creole worlds of the African Americas. In doing so, Marouan identifies crucial shared thematic concerns regarding the authors’ engagement with religious frameworks—some Judeo-Christian, some not—heretofore unexamined in such a careful, comparative fashion.
A literary and political genealogy of the last half-century, Words of Witness explores black feminist autobiographical narratives in the context of activism and history since the landmark 1954 segregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. Angela A. Ards examines how activist writers, especially five whose memoirs were published in the 1990s and 2000s, crafted these life stories to engage and shape progressive, post-Brown politics.
Exploring works by the critically acclaimed June Jordan and Edwidge Danticat, as well as by popular and emerging authors such as Melba Beals, Rosemary Bray, and Eisa Davis, Ards demonstrates how each text asserts countermemories to official—and often nostalgic—understandings of the civil rights and Black Power movements. She situates each writer as activist-citizen, adopting and remaking particular roles—warrior, “the least of these,” immigrant, hip-hop head—to crystallize a range of black feminist responses to urgent but unresolved political issues.