1980 was a turning point in American history. When the year began, it was still very much the 1970s, with Jimmy Carter in the White House, a sluggish economy marked by high inflation, and the disco still riding the airwaves. When it ended, Ronald Reagan won the presidency in a landslide, inaugurating a rightward turn in American politics and culture. We still feel the effects of this tectonic shift today, as even subsequent Democratic administrations have offered neoliberal economic and social policies that owe more to Reagan than to FDR or LBJ. To understand what the American public was thinking during this pivotal year, we need to examine what they were reading, listening to, and watching.
1980: America's Pivotal Year puts the news events of the era—everything from the Iran hostage crisis to the rise of televangelism—into conversation with the year’s popular culture. Separate chapters focus on the movies, television shows, songs, and books that Americans were talking about that year, including both the biggest hits and some notable flops that failed to capture the shifting zeitgeist. As he looks at the events that had Americans glued to their screens, from the Miracle on Ice to the mystery of Who Shot J.R., cultural historian Jim Cullen garners surprising insights about how Americans’ attitudes were changing as they entered the 1980s.
Praise for Jim Cullen's previous Rutgers University Press books:
"Informed and perceptive" —Norman Lear on Those Were the Days: Why All in the Family Still Matters
"Jim Cullen is one of the most acute cultural historians writing today." —Louis P. Masur, author of The Sum of Our Dreams on Martin Scorsese and the American Dream
"This is a terrific book, fun and learned and provocative....Cullen provides an entertaining and thoughtful account of the ways that we remember and how this is influenced and directed by what we watch." —Jerome de Groot, author of Consuming History on From Memory to History
In this sympathetic history of a maligned decade, Marty Jezer, a fellow antiwar activist, details Abbie Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, & above all, his incurable & still contagious optimism. He presents a thoughtful, solidly researched biography of the wildly creative & iconoclastic Yippie, portraying Hoffman as a fresh force in American political culture. Jezer surveys in detail the politics, philosophies, & struggles of the antiwar movement.
"... Abbie, more than any other radical, showed potheads how to demonstrate and radicals how to dance." -- Chicago Tribune
"... deeply sympathetic and scrupulously detached-a triumph of judicious empathy." -- MARTIN DUBERMAN, Distinguished Professor of History, Lehman/The Graduate School, C.U.N.Y.
"... details Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, and above all, his Incurable and still contagious optimism." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Here's the Abbie I knew and loved! Marty Jezer has captured him in all his complexity, dedication, humor, and heart." -- ANITA HOFFMAN
Age of Fracture
Daniel T. Rodgers Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress E169.12.R587 2011 | Dewey Decimal 973.91
In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the ideas that most Americans lived by started to fragment. Mid-century concepts of national consensus, managed markets, gender and racial identities, citizen obligation, and historical memory became more fluid. Flexible markets pushed aside Keynesian macroeconomic structures. Racial and gender solidarity divided into multiple identities; community responsibility shrank to smaller circles. In this wide-ranging narrative, Daniel T. Rodgers shows how the collective purposes and meanings that had framed social debate became unhinged and uncertain.
Age of Fracture offers a powerful reinterpretation of the ways in which the decades surrounding the 1980s changed America. Through a contagion of visions and metaphors, on both the intellectual right and the intellectual left, earlier notions of history and society that stressed solidity, collective institutions, and social circumstances gave way to a more individualized human nature that emphasized choice, agency, performance, and desire. On a broad canvas that includes Michel Foucault, Ronald Reagan, Judith Butler, Charles Murray, Jeffrey Sachs, and many more, Rodgers explains how structures of power came to seem less important than market choice and fluid selves.
Cutting across the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century life and thought, from economic theory and the culture wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers reveals how our categories of social reality have been fractured and destabilized. As we survey the intellectual wreckage of this war of ideas, we better understand the emergence of our present age of uncertainty.
Technological innovation has long threatened the printed book, but ultimately, most digital alternatives to the codex have been onscreen replications. While a range of critics have debated the benefits and dangers of this media technology, contemporary and avant-garde writers have offered more nuanced considerations.
Taking up works from Andy Warhol, Kevin Young, Don DeLillo, and Hari Kunzru, Archival Fictions considers how these writers have constructed a speculative history of media technology through formal experimentation. Although media technologies have determined the extent of what can be written, recorded, and remembered in the immediate aftermath of print's hegemony, Paul Benzon argues that literary form provides a vital means for critical engagement with the larger contours of media history. Drawing on approaches from media poetics, film studies, and the digital humanities, this interdisciplinary study demonstrates how authors who engage technology through form continue to imagine new roles for print literature across the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
For a number of years Sanford Pinsker has been one of our most incisive and spirited observers of contemporary American literature. His books have been widely and enthusiastically reviewed and his essays have appeared regularly in such intellectual quarterlies as the Georgia Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Gettysburg Review.
Now Pinsker focuses on the current American world of letters in this volume of essays to explore what literary culture in America was and what it too often has become, the ways in which cultural politics shapes our sense of contemporary values, and how the resources of American humor and the work of our best writers can help us maintain our equilibrium in “what can only be described as a bad cultural patch.”
The eleven essays in this insightful volume take on such subjects as the decline and fall of "formative reading"; the difficulties of identifying themes that unify American literature; the cultural value of such humorists as Robert Benchley, Lenny Bruce, and Woody Allen; versions of cultural politics—from the rise of the neoconservatives to the steady course held by social critics such as Irving Howe; and the place of the college novel in American literature. Pinsker concludes with some sobering thoughts about the current state of American intellectuals.
Ultimately, Bearing the Bad News reaffirms certain principles that have come under powerful attack during the last few decades—for example, that literature is a human and humanistic enterprise, one which speaks both to individual moral value and to our larger cultural health. It reflects Pinsker's commitment to the clarity and significance of the literary essay and his belief that what we read, and what we say about what we read, matters deeply.
The September 11 attacks produced great changes in journalism and the lives of the people who practiced it. Foreign reporters felt surrounded by the hate of American colleagues for "the enemy." Americans in combat areas became literal targets of anti–U.S. sentiment. Behind the lines, editors and bureau chiefs scrambled to reorient priorities while feeling the pressure of sending others into danger.
Becoming the Story examines the transformation of war reporting in the decade after 9/11. Lindsay Palmer delves into times when print or television correspondents themselves received intense public scrutiny because of an incident associated with the work of war reporting. Such instances include Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder; Bob Woodruff’s near-fatal injury in Iraq; the expulsions of Maziar Bahari and Nazila Fathi from Iran in 2009; the sexual assault of Lara Logan; and Marie Colvin’s 2012 death in Syria. Merging analysis with in-depth interviews of Woodruff and others, Palmer shows what these events say about how post-9/11 conflicts transformed the day-to-day labor of reporting. But they also illuminate how journalists’ work became entangled with issues ranging from digitization processes to unprecedented hostility from all sides to the political logic of the War on Terror.
Between 1996 and 2014, Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Church multiplied from its base in Seattle into fifteen facilities spread across five states with 13,000 attendees. When it closed, the church was beset by scandal, with former attendees testifying to spiritual abuse, emotional manipulation, and financial exploitation. In Biblical Porn Jessica Johnson examines how Mars Hill's congregants became entangled in processes of religious conviction. Johnson shows how they were affectively recruited into sexualized and militarized dynamics of power through the mobilization of what she calls "biblical porn"—the affective labor of communicating, promoting, and embodying Driscoll's teaching on biblical masculinity, femininity, and sexuality, which simultaneously worked as a marketing strategy, social imaginary, and biopolitical instrument. Johnson theorizes religious conviction as a social process through which Mars Hill's congregants circulated and amplified feelings of hope, joy, shame, and paranoia as affective value that the church capitalized on to grow at all costs.
Postmodernism, multiculturalism, the alleged decline of the United States, deconstruction, leadership, and values—these topics have been at the forefront of contemporary intellectual and cultural debate and are likely to remain so for the near future. Participants in the debate can usefully enlarge the perspective to a comparison between the Greco-Roman world and contemporary society. In this thought-provoking work, a noted classics scholar tests the ancient-modern comparison, showing what it can add to the contemporary debates and what its limitations are.
Writing for intellectually adventurous readers, Galinsky explores Greece and Rome as multicultural societies, debates the merits of classicism in postmodern architecture, discusses the reign of Augustus in terms of modern leadership theories, and investigates the modern obsession with finding parallels between the supposed "decline and fall" of Rome and the "decay" of U.S. society.
Within these discussions, Galinsky shows the continuing vitality of the classical tradition in the contemporary world. The Greek and Roman civilizations have provided us not only with models for conscious adaptation but also points for radical departures. This ability to change and innovate from classical models is crucial, Galinsky maintains. It creates a reciprocal process whereby contemporary issues are projected into the past while aspects of the ancient world are redefined in terms of current approaches.
These essays result in a balanced assessment and stimulating restatement of some major issues in both contemporary U.S. society and the Greco-Roman world. The book, which speaks to a wide interdisciplinary audience, is based on a series of lectures that Galinsky gave as a national visiting scholar for Phi Beta Kappa. It concludes with a discussion of the role of classical studies in the United States today.
What do Jon Stewart, Freddy Krueger, Patch Adams, and George W. Bush have in common? As Paul Lewis shows in Cracking Up, they are all among the ranks of joke tellers who aim to do much more than simply amuse. Exploring topics that range from the sadistic mockery of Abu Ghraib prison guards to New Age platitudes about the healing power of laughter, from jokes used to ridicule the possibility of global climate change to the heartwarming performances of hospital clowns, Lewis demonstrates that over the past thirty years American humor has become increasingly purposeful and embattled.
Navigating this contentious world of controversial, manipulative, and disturbing laughter, Cracking Up argues that the good news about American humor in our time—that it is delightful, relaxing, and distracting—is also the bad news. In a culture that both enjoys and quarrels about jokes, humor expresses our most nurturing and hurtful impulses, informs and misinforms us, and exposes as well as covers up the shortcomings of our leaders. Wondering what’s so funny about a culture determined to laugh at problems it prefers not to face, Lewis reveals connections between such seemingly unrelated jokers as Norman Cousins, Hannibal Lecter, Rush Limbaugh, Garry Trudeau, Jay Leno, Ronald Reagan, Beavis and Butt-Head, and Bill Clinton. The result is a surprising, alarming, and at times hilarious argument that will appeal to anyone interested in the ways humor is changing our cultural and political landscapes.
Starting in 2005, Günter H. Lenz began preparing a book-length exploration of the transformation of the field of American Studies in the crucial years between 1970 and 1990. As a commentator on, contributor to, and participant in the intellectual and institutional changes in his field, Lenz was well situated to offer a comprehensive and balanced interpretation of that seminal era. Building on essays he wrote while these changes were ongoing, he shows how the revolution in theory, the emergence of postmodern socioeconomic conditions, the increasing globalization of everyday life, and postcolonial responses to continuing and new forms of colonial domination had transformed American Studies as a discipline focused on the distinctive qualities of the United States to a field encompassing the many different “Americas” in the Western Hemisphere as well as how this complex region influenced and was interpreted by the rest of the world. In tracking the shift of American Studies from its exceptionalist bias to its unmanageable global responsibilities, Lenz shows the crucial roles played by the 1930s’ Left in the U.S., the Frankfurt School in Germany and elsewhere between 1930 and 1960, Continental post-structuralism, neo-Marxism, and post-colonialism. Lenz’s friends and colleagues, now his editors, present here his final backward glance at a critical period in American Studies and the birth of the Transnational.
In this eloquent guide to the meanings of the postmodern era, Albert Borgmann charts the options before us as we seek alternatives to the joyless and artificial culture of consumption. Borgmann connects the fundamental ideas driving his understanding of society's ills to every sphere of contemporary social life, and goes beyond the language of postmodern discourse to offer a powerfully articulated vision of what this new era, at its best, has in store.
"[This] thoughtful book is the first remotely realistic map out of the post modern labyrinth."—Joseph Coates, The Chicago Tribune
"Rather astoundingly large-minded vision of the nature of humanity, civilization and science."—Kirkus Reviews
The Cynical Society is a study of the political despair and abdication of (individual) responsibility Goldfarb calls cynicism—a central but unexamined aspect of contemporary American political and social life. Goldfarb reveals with vivid strokes how cynicism undermines our capacity to think about society's strengths and weaknesses. Drawing on thinkers from Alexis de Tocqueville to Allan Bloom and on such recent works as Beloved, Bonfire of the Vanities, and Mississippi Burning, The Cynical Society celebrates cultural pluralism's role in democracy.
Progress does not come easily to the maquiladoras. These foreign-owned assembly plants have moved southward from the border into Sonora and Chihuahua, giving rise to the concept of "desert capitalism." However, the plants have not necessarily brought about the improvements in the lives of workers that had been so hopefully expected. Sociologist Kathryn Kopinak here examines the maquiladora industry in Nogales, Sonora, and explores various questions concerning how it is changing with NAFTA and other attempts at regional integration. Focusing on the auto-parts industry, Kopinak observes that few maquiladoras have taken steps toward more sophisticated technology and innovative labor practices anticipated by the "second wave" hypothesis of modernization. She argues instead that the apparent advances have not benefitted the overwhelming majority of Mexican employees by increasing their wages or involving them in the workplace. Women workers in particular are segmented at the bottom of the job ladder. Kopinak provides information on facilities in both Nogales and the town of Imuris to offer a balanced perspective on border and inland maquiladoras. Desert Capitalism draws on interviews with workers about their daily lives in both their home and adopted communities and on interviews with Mexican and U.S. plant managers. Community surveys, newspaper advertisements, and government records are other important sources of data. It also reviews and synthesizes literature published only in Spanish and utilizes creative quantitative statistical techniques. The book thus marks a significant study of people's lives that seeks to contribute to the understanding of ongoing continental economic reorganization, and it holds important lessons for scholars of economics, anthropology, political science, history, sociology, women's studies, and regional planning.
Winner of the third biennial Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize Robert Frank, Prize Judge
In Driftless, Danny Wilcox Frazier’s dramatic black-and-white photographs portray a changing Midwest of vanishing towns and transformed landscapes. As rural economies fail, people, resources, and services are migrating to the coasts and cities, as though the heart of America were being emptied. Frazier’s arresting photographs take us into Iowa’s abandoned places and illuminate the lives of those people who stay behind and continue to live there: young people at leisure, fishermen on the Mississippi, veterans on Memorial Day, Amish women playing cards, as well as more recent arrivals: Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews at prayer, Latinos at work in the fields. Frazier’s camera finds these newcomers while it also captures activities that seemingly have gone on forever: harvesting and hunting, celebrating and socializing, praying and surviving.
This collection of photographs is a portrait of contemporary rural Iowa, but it is also more that that. It shows what is happening in many rural and out-of-the-way communities all over the United States, where people find ways to get by in the wake of closing factories and the demise of family farms. Taken by a true insider who has lived in Iowa his entire life, Frazier’s photographs are rich in emotion and give expression to the hopes and desires of the people who remain, whose needs and wants are complicated by the economic realities remaking rural America. Poetic and dark but illuminated with flashes of insight, Frazier’s stunning images evoke the brilliance of Robert Frank’s The Americans.
This volume argues that the Mexican crisis of August 1982, in which the country was left facing the prospect of national default and zero economic growth, was not only the result of some fundamental flaws in the country's economy, but is more accurately characterized as a cash flow problem—in the author's words, "a case of illiquidity rather than insolvency." Based on a thorough analysis of the Mexican economy, the book assesses the effectiveness of the various economic programs of the de la Madrid presidency in dealing with the nation's problems.
Egotopia explains why individual political and economic interests have eclipsed aesthetic considerations in the rampant billboards, malls, and urban sprawl of the New American Landscape
Egotopia begins where other critiques of the American landscape end: identifying the physical ugliness that defines and homogenizes America's cities, suburbs, and countryside. Believing that prevailing assessments of the American landscape are inadequate and injudicious, John Miller calls into question the conventional wisdom of environmentalists, urban planners,and architects alike. In this precedent-shattering examination of what he sees as the ugliness that is the American consumer society, Miller contends that our aesthetic condition can be fully understood only by explorers of the metaphoric environment.
Metaphorically, the ugliness of America's great suburban sprawl is the physical manifestation of our increasing narcissism- our egotopia. The ubiquity of psychotherapy as a medium promoting self-indulgence has deified private man as it has demonized public man. The New American Landscape, Miller argues, is no longer the physical manifestation of public and communal values. Instead it has become a projection of private fantasies and narcissistic self-indulgence. Individual interests and private passions can no longer tolerate, nor even recognize, aesthetic concerns in such a landscape dedicated to uncompromising notions of utility.
Empire Burlesque traces the emergence of the contemporary global context within which American critical identity is formed. Daniel T. O’Hara argues that globalization has had a markedly negative impact on American cultural criticism, circumscribing both its material and imaginative potential, reducing much of it to absurdity. By highlighting the spectacle of its own self-parody, O’Hara aims to shock U.S. cultural criticism back into a sense of ethical responsibility.
Empire Burlesque presents several interrelated analyses through readings of a range of writers and cultural figures including Henry James, Freud, Said, De Man, Derrida, and Cordwainer Smith (an academic, spy, and classic 1950s and 1960s science fiction writer). It describes the debilitating effects of globalization on the university in general and the field of literary studies in particular, it critiques literary studies’ embrace of globalization theory in the name of a blind and vacant modernization, and it meditates on the ways critical reading and writing can facilitate an imaginative alternative to institutionalized practices of modernization. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, it diagnoses contemporary American Studies as typically driven by the mindless abjection and transference of professional identities.
A provocative commentary on contemporary cultural criticism, Empire Burlesque will inform debates on the American university across the humanities, particularly among those in literary criticism, cultural studies, and American studies.
Exceptional State analyzes the nexus of culture and contemporary manifestations of U.S. imperialism. The contributors, established and emerging cultural studies scholars, define culture broadly to include a range of media, literature, and political discourse. They do not posit September 11, 2001 as the beginning of U.S. belligerence and authoritarianism at home and abroad, but they do provide context for understanding U.S. responses to and uses of that event. Taken together, the essays stress both the continuities and discontinuities embodied in a present-day U.S. imperialism constituted through expressions of millennialism, exceptionalism, technological might, and visions of world dominance.
The contributors address a range of topics, paying particular attention to the dynamics of gender and race. Their essays include a surprising reading of the ostensibly liberal movies Wag the Dog and Three Kings, an exploration of the rhetoric surrounding the plan to remake the military into a high-tech force less dependent on human bodies, a look at the significance of the popular Left Behind series of novels, and an interpretation of the Abu Ghraib prison photos. They scrutinize the national narrative created to justify the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the ways that women in those countries have responded to the invasions, the contradictions underlying calls for U.S. humanitarian interventions, and the role of Africa in the U.S. imperial imagination. The volume concludes on a hopeful note, with a look at an emerging anti-imperialist public sphere.
Contributors. Omar Dahbour, Ashley Dawson, Cynthia Enloe, Melani McAlister, Christian Parenti, Donald E. Pease, John Carlos Rowe, Malini Johar Schueller, Harilaos Stecopoulos
From Memento and Insomnia to the Batman films, The Prestige, and Inception, lies play a central role in every Christopher Nolan film. Characters in the films constantly find themselves deceived by others and are often caught up in a vast web of deceit that transcends any individual lies. The formal structure of a typical Nolan film deceives spectators about the events that occur and the motivations of the characters. While Nolan’s films do not abandon the idea of truth altogether, they show us how truth must emerge out of the lie if it is not to lead us entirely astray.
The Fictional Christopher Nolan discovers in Nolan’s films an exploration of the role that fiction plays in leading to truth. Through close readings of all the films through Inception, Todd McGowan demonstrates that the fiction or the lie comes before the truth, and this priority forces us to reassess our ways of thinking about the nature of truth. Indeed, McGowan argues that Nolan’s films reveal the ethical and political importance of creating fictions and even of lying. While other filmmakers have tried to discover truth through the cinema, Nolan is the first filmmaker to devote himself entirely to the fictionality of the medium, and McGowan discloses how Nolan uses its tendency to deceive as the basis for a new kind of philosophical filmmaking. He shows how Nolan’s insistence on the priority of the fiction aligns his films with Hegel’s philosophy and understands Nolan as a thoroughly Hegelian filmmaker.
This daring collaborative effort showcases dialogues between international scholars engaged with the United States from abroad. The writers investigate the analytic methods and choices that label certain talk, images, behaviors, and allusions as "American" and how to read the data on such material. The editors present the essays in pairs that overlap in theme or region. Each author subsequently comments on the other's work. A third scholar or team of scholars from a different discipline or geographic location then provides another level of analysis. Contributors: Andrzej Antoszek, Sophia Balakian, Zsófia Bán, Sabine Bröck, Ian Condry, Kate Delaney, Jane C. Desmond, Virginia R. Dominguez, Ira Dworkin, Richard Ellis, Guillermo Ibarra, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Giorgio Mariani, Ana Mauad, Loes Nas, Edward Schatz, Manar Shorbagy, Kristin Solli, Amy Spellacy, and Michael Titlestad.
Global Village: Dead Or Alive?
Edited by Ray B. Browne and Marshall W. Fishwick University of Wisconsin Press, 1999 Library of Congress HN17.5.G57 1999 | Dewey Decimal 302.234
In a world that is witnessing the explosive forces of individualism, tribalism, cultism, religion, nationalism, and regionalism, can the “global village” concept as envisioned by Marshall McLuhan have any meaning or hope for fruition? Do the media merely electronically override the stronger forces of basic human expression without in any way changing them? The Global Village offers fifteen essays by leading scholars and thinkers who weigh the pros and cons and come up with individual conclusions as well as a consensus. Included are “Turning McLuhan on His Head” by James E. Grunig, “The Vanishing Global Village” by Ray B. Browne, and “Global Village—Writ Small” by Marshall Fishwick. This book speaks to concerns in journalism, media, popular culture, and communications.
"Growing Apart is an important and distinguished contribution to the literature on the political economy of development. Indonesia and Nigeria have long presented one of the most natural opportunities for comparative study. Peter Lewis, one of America's best scholars of Nigeria, has produced the definitive treatment of their divergent development paths. In the process, he tells us much theoretically about when, why, and how political institutions shape economic growth."
—Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
"Growing Apart is a careful and sophisticated analysis of the political factors that have shaped the economic fortunes of Indonesia and Nigeria. Both scholars and policymakers will benefit from this book's valuable insights."
—Michael L. Ross, Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of International Development Studies, UCLA
"Lewis presents an extraordinarily well-documented comparative case study of two countries with a great deal in common, and yet with remarkably different postcolonial histories. His approach is a welcome departure from currently fashionable attempts to explain development using large, multi-country databases packed with often dubious measures of various aspects of 'governance.'"
—Ross H. McLeod, Editor, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies
"This is a highly readable and important book. Peter Lewis provides us with both a compelling institutionalist analysis of economic development performance and a very insightful comparative account of the political economies of two highly complex developing countries, Nigeria and Indonesia. His well-informed account generates interesting findings by focusing on the ability of leaders in both countries to make credible commitments to the private sector and assemble pro-growth coalitions. This kind of cross-regional political economy is often advocated in the profession but actually quite rare because it is so hard to do well. Lewis's book will set the standard for a long time."
—Nicolas van de Walle, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Cornell University
Peter M. Lewis is Associate Professor and Director of the African Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Guns, Drugs, and Development in Colombia
By Jennifer S. Holmes, Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, and Kevin M. Curtin University of Texas Press, 2009 Library of Congress HN310.Z9V5345 2008 | Dewey Decimal 303.620986109045
For decades, Colombia has contended with a variety of highly publicized conflicts, including the rise of paramilitary groups in response to rebel insurgencies of the 1960s, the expansion of an illegal drug industry that has permeated politics and society since the 1970s, and a faltering economy in the 1990s. An unprecedented analysis of these struggles, Guns, Drugs, and Development in Colombia brings together leading scholars from a variety of fields, blending previously unseen quantitative data with historical analysis for an impressively comprehensive assessment. Culminating in an inspiring plan for peace, based on Four Cornerstones of Pacification, this landmark work is sure to spur new calls for change in this corner of Latin America and beyond.
Cabdrivers and their yellow taxis are as much a part of the cityscape as the high-rise buildings and the subway. We hail them without thought after a wearying day at the office or an exuberant night on the town. And, undoubtedly, taxi drivers have stories to tell—of farcical local politics, of colorful passengers, of changing neighborhoods and clandestine shortcuts. No one knows a city’s streets—and thus its heart—better than its cabdrivers. And from behind the wheel of his taxi, Dmitry Samarov has seen more of Chicago than most Chicagoans will hope to experience in a lifetime.
An artist and painter trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Samarov began driving a cab in 1993 to make ends meet, and he’s been working as a taxi driver ever since. In Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, he recounts tales that will delight, surprise, and sometimes shock the most seasoned urbanite. We follow Samarov through the rhythms of a typical week, as he waits hours at the garage to pick up a shift, ferries comically drunken passengers between bars, delivers prostitutes to their johns, and inadvertently observes drug deals. There are long waits with other cabbies at O’Hare, vivid portraits of street corners and their regular denizens, amorous Cubs fans celebrating after a game at Wrigley Field, and customers who are pleasantly surprised that Samarov is white—and tell him so. Throughout, Samarov’s own drawings—of his fares, of the taxi garage, and of a variety of Chicago street scenes—accompany his stories. In the grand tradition of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Mike Royko, and Studs Terkel, Dmitry Samarov has rendered an entertaining, poignant, and unforgettable vision of Chicago and its people.
Hop on Pop showcases the work of a new generation of scholars—from fields such as media studies, literature, cinema, and cultural studies—whose writing has been informed by their ongoing involvement with popular culture and who draw insight from their lived experiences as critics, fans, and consumers. Proceeding from their deep political commitment to a new kind of populist grassroots politics, these writers challenge old modes of studying the everyday. As they rework traditional scholarly language, they search for new ways to write about our complex and compelling engagements with the politics and pleasures of popular culture and sketch a new and lively vocabulary for the field of cultural studies. The essays cover a wide and colorful array of subjects including pro wrestling, the computer games Myst and Doom, soap operas, baseball card collecting, the Tour de France, karaoke, lesbian desire in the Wizard of Oz, Internet fandom for the series Babylon 5, and the stress-management industry. Broader themes examined include the origins of popular culture, the aesthetics and politics of performance, and the social and cultural processes by which objects and practices are deemed tasteful or tasteless. The commitment that binds the contributors is to an emergent perspective in cultural studies, one that engages with popular culture as the culture that "sticks to the skin," that becomes so much a part of us that it becomes increasingly difficult to examine it from a distance. By refusing to deny or rationalize their own often contradictory identifications with popular culture, the contributors ensure that the volume as a whole reflects the immediacy and vibrancy of its objects of study. Hop on Pop will appeal to those engaged in the study of popular culture, American studies, cultural studies, cinema and visual studies, as well as to the general educated reader.
Contributors. John Bloom, Gerry Bloustein, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Diane Brooks, Peter Chvany, Elana Crane, Alexander Doty, Rob Drew, Stephen Duncombe, Nick Evans, Eric Freedman, Joy Fuqua, Tony Grajeda, Katherine Green, John Hartley, Heather Hendershot, Henry Jenkins, Eithne Johnson, Louis Kaplan, Maria Koundoura, Sharon Mazer, Anna McCarthy, Tara McPherson, Angela Ndalianis, Edward O’Neill, Catherine Palmer, Roberta Pearson, Elayne Rapping, Eric Schaefer, Jane Shattuc, Greg Smith, Ellen Strain, Matthew Tinkhom, William Uricchio, Amy Villarego, Robyn Warhol, Charles Weigl, Alan Wexelblat, Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Nabeel Zuberi
From the cultural critic Wired called “provocative and cuttingly humorous” comes a viciously funny, joltingly insightful collection of drive-by critiques of contemporary America where chaos is the new normal. Exploring the darkest corners of the national psyche and the nethermost regions of the self—the gothic, the grotesque, and the carnivalesque—Mark Dery makes sense of the cultural dynamics of the American madhouse early in the twenty-first century.
Here are essays on the pornographic fantasies of Star Trek fans, Facebook as Limbo of the Lost, George W. Bush’s fear of his inner queer, the theme-parking of the Holocaust, the homoerotic subtext of the Super Bowl, the hidden agendas of IQ tests, Santa’s secret kinship with Satan, the sadism of dentists, Hitler’s afterlife on YouTube, the sexual identity of 2001’s HAL, the suicide note considered as a literary genre, the surrealist poetry of robot spam, the zombie apocalypse, Lady Gaga, the Church of Euthanasia, toy guns in the dream lives of American boys, and the polymorphous perversity of Madonna’s big toe.
Dery casts a critical eye on the accepted order of things, boldly crossing into the intellectual no-fly zones demarcated by cultural warriors on both sides of America’s ideological divide: controversy-phobic corporate media, blinkered academic elites, and middlebrow tastemakers. Intellectually omnivorous and promiscuously interdisciplinary, Dery’s writing is a generalist’s guilty pleasure in an age of nanospecialization and niche marketing. From Menckenesque polemics on American society and deft deconstructions of pop culture to unflinching personal essays in which Dery turns his scalpel-sharp wit on himself, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts is a head-spinning intellectual ride through American dreams and American nightmares.
The influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States throughout the years has impacted our culture, labor force, and economy. Often these individuals are blamed for the perceived ills they bring to this country. Yet few people ever consider the profound influence that the United States has on Mexico.
In this first book to view modern Mexico in the era of NAFTA and globalization, In the Shadow of the Giant offers insight into the land on our southern border.
What we find is a nation that looks more like the United States than even Mexicans themselves could have imagined a decade ago: Rates of obesity are second only to the United States among the world's industrialized countries. Recreational drug use is soaring among young Mexicans, Citigroup owns the largest bank in Mexico Wal-Mart is the country's biggest private employer revealing a vastly different physical and cultural landscape from his days as a young journalist living in Mexico in the mid-1980s. Joseph Contreras tracks the relentless and ongoing Americanization of his ancestral home. Although these changes may seem a natural part of globalization, the country had long prided itself on the social, political, economic, and even spiritual differences that distinguished it from the United States. In addition to embracing our virtues and vices, Contreras argues that our southern neighbor has become a de facto economic colony of the United States.
At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.
The South American nation of Colombia has seen more than forty years of unrest, conflict, and civil war. It is a country in which social violence and warfare are intricately intertwined. Colombia is also notorious for its drug trade, being one of the leading producers of cocaine in the world, and for its central role as a staging ground for the U.S. “war on drugs.” Since 9/11 the Bush administration has sought to draw political links between the Colombian drug trade, guerrilla organizations, and terrorism.
Inside Colombia offers a valuable introduction and quick reference guide to this complex nation. With chapters devoted to history, human rights issues, the economy, drugs, the controversial antidrug intervention known as Plan Colombia, and relations with the United States, the book offers an easily accessible and comprehensive overview. Readers will learn about the major players in the conflicts, significant political figures, how Colombia’s economy has fared in the twentieth century, how the country’s geography influences its politics and economy, and how U.S. intervention shapes Colombia’s political scene.
In this unique, comprehensive history of the 1970s, we learn about international developments: the war in Cambodia, Nixon's trip to China, the oil embargo and resulting gas shortage, the Mayaquez incident, the Camp David accords, the Iranian capture of the U.S. embassy and the taking of hostages, the ill-fated rescue mission. All this signaled a decline in American power and influence. We also learn about domestic politics: Kent State, the Pentagon Papers, Haynsworth and Carswell, the Eagleton affair, the rise of ticket splitting, inflation, recession, unemployment, Watergate, Agnew's resignation, the Saturday night massacre, Nixon's resignation, the pardon for draft evaders, Proposition 13, the politicization of organized religion, the conservative shift in the Democratic Party, and the Reagan electoral landslide. Carroll reminds us of tragedies and occasional moments of levity, bringing up the names Patricia Hearst, George Jackson and Angela Davis, Wilbur Mills and the Argentina Firecracker, Wayne Hays and Elizabeth Ray, Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke is an extended dialogue between film scholar Michael Berry and the internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker. Drawing from extensive interviews and public talks, this volume offers a portrait of Jia’s life, art, and approach to filmmaking. Jia and Berry’s conversations range from Jia’s childhood and formative years to extensive discussions of his major narrative films, including the classics Xiao Wu, Platform, The World, Still Life, and A Touch of Sin. Jia gives a firsthand account of his influences, analyzes the Chinese film industry, and offers his thoughts on subjects such as film music, working with actors, cinematography, and screenwriting. From industry and economics to art and politics, Jia Zhangke on Jia Zhangke represents the single most comprehensive document of the director’s candid thoughts on the art and challenges of filmmaking.
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.
Ever wonder what it’s like to interview famous athletes and coaches? For twenty years, sportscaster Jessie Garcia has done just that. In My Life with the Green & Gold she brings fans to the sidelines at Lambeau Field, inside the locker room, aboard the Packers bus, and into the host’s chair at The Mike McCarthy Show.
A self-proclaimed “terrible athlete” born without sports in her blood, Garcia reported on Wisconsin’s beloved Green Bay Packers during the Holmgren, Rhodes, Sherman, and McCarthy years. She’s been a Packers sideline reporter for preseason games and covered the team during their Super Bowl showdowns against the Patriots, Broncos, and Steelers. She’s traveled with the team to Tokyo and the White House and to schools and retirement homes, where the gridiron heroes interacted with their fans. She’s visited the hometowns of players and coaches, she’s met their proud parents and their pets, she’s interviewed the team trainer about their strength exercises. My Life with the Green & Gold also features up-close and personal stories about other teams and athletes she’s covered, from the Badgers and Brewers to Wisconsin Olympians such as Bonnie Blair and Casey FitzRandolph.
Garcia’s expertise is capturing behind-the-scenes, human-interest stories. In My Life with the Green & Gold, she shares a personal and humorous insider’s look at many Wisconsin sports heroes from the perspective of a female sports journalist who has ridden the adrenaline rush to be on the air at 5:00 a.m., 10:00 p.m., and any hour in between, while also juggling the many demands of family life. Not many parents can say they’ve changed their child’s diaper in the tunnel at Lambeau, but Jessie Garcia can.
Fifteen years into a successful career as a college professor, Ilana Blumberg encounters a crisis in the classroom that sends her back to the most basic questions about education and prompts a life-changing journey that ultimately takes her from East Lansing to Tel Aviv. As she explores how civic and religious commitments shape the culture of her humanities classrooms, Blumberg argues that there is no education without ethics. When we know what sort of society we seek to build, our teaching practices follow.
In vivid classroom scenes from kindergarten through middle school to the university level, Blumberg conveys the drama of intellectual discovery as she offers novice and experienced teachers a pedagogy of writing, speaking, reading, and thinking that she links clearly to the moral and personal development of her students.
Writing as an observant Jew and as an American, Blumberg does not shy away from the difficult challenge of balancing identities in the twenty-first century: how to remain true to a community of origin while being a national and global citizen. As she negotiates questions of faith and citizenship in the wide range of classrooms she traverses, Blumberg reminds us that teaching - and learning - are nothing short of a moral art, and that the future of our society depends on it.
Since 1972, the Rainbow Family of Living Light, a loosely organized and anarchistic nomadic community, have been holding large gatherings in remote forests to pray for world peace and create a model of a functioning utopian society. In People of the Rainbow, Michael I. Niman offers the first comprehensive study of this countercultural group, also known as the Rainbow Nation or Rainbow Family. Niman's insightful and compelling profile describes the origins and recent history of the Rainbows and explains the eclectic philosophy of environmentalism, feminism, peace activism, group sharing, libertarianism, and consensus government they espouse.
A fictional re-creation of a day in the life of a Rainbow character named Sunflower begins the book, illustrating events that might typically occur at an annual North American Rainbow Gathering. Using interviews with Rainbows, content analysis of media reports, participant observation, and scrutiny of government documents relating to the group, Niman presents a complex picture of the Family and its relationship to mainstream culture—called "Babylon" by the Rainbows. Niman also looks at internal contradictions within the Family and examines members' problematic relationship with Native Americans, whose culture and spiritual beliefs they have appropriated.
The nomadic nature of the Rainbow Family has long exasperated the U.S. government--especially the Forest Service--and has baffled the media. Niman places the Rainbow Family's gatherings in a historical context by framing the group's activities in terms of the long tradition of intentional communities and utopian experimentation within the United States. Concluding with reflections on the successes and limitations of the Rainbow movement, People of the Rainbow provides an extensive ethnography of this intriguing subculture and provides fresh insights into the ongoing legacy of utopian communalism.
The Author: Michael I. Niman is an adjunct assistant professor of American studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a lecturer in the communication department at Buffalo State College.
As the United States nears the twenty-first century, many of its citizens are troubled by the sense that something is wrong. Even though it is argued that our national situation is good, there persists the widespread feeling that somehow we are on the wrong social and historical track. It is the contention of this book that much of this dis-ease stems from our construction of a phony culture, a culture dominated by the value of the confidence man and woman.
Each day, as Oded Löwenheim commutes by mountain bike along dirt trails and wadis in the hills of Jerusalem to Hebrew University, he feels a strong emotional connection to his surroundings. But for him this connection also generates, paradoxically, feelings and emotions of confusion and estrangement.
In The Politics of the Trail, Löwenheim confronts this tension by focusing on his encounters with three places along the trail: the separation fence between Israel and the Palestinians; the ruins of the Palestinian village Qalunya, demolished in 1948; and the trail connecting the largest 9/11 memorial site outside the U.S. with a top-secret nuclear-proof bunker for the Israeli cabinet. He shares the stories of the people he meets along the way and considers how his own subjectivity is shaped by the landscape and culture of conflict. Moreover, he deconstructs, challenges, and resists the concepts and institutions that constitute such a culture and invites conversation about the idea of conflict as a culture.
From Hank Williams to hip hop, Aunt Jemima to the Energizer Bunny, scrap-booking to NASCAR racing, Profiles of Popular Culture cuts a generous swath across what is perhaps the fastest growing discipline of the past several decades. Edited by a pioneer in the field, this volume invites readers to reflect on a diverse sampling of modern myths, icons, archetypes, rituals, and pastimes. Adopting an inclusive approach, editor Ray B. Browne has mined both scholarly and mainstream media to bring together penetrating essays on fads and fashions, sports fandom, the shaping of body image, aesthetic surgery, the marketing of food, vacationing and sightseeing, toys and games, genre fiction, post-9/11 entertainment, and much more. Like Jack Nachbar and Kevin Lause's Popular Culture: An Introductory Text, this book opens critical doors into the study of popular culture-and does so within a fresh context that includes points of reference both established and new.
From the vantage point of the United States or Western Europe, the 1970s was a time of troubles: economic “stagflation,” political scandal, and global turmoil. Yet from an international perspective it was a seminal decade, one that brought the reintegration of the world after the great divisions of the mid-twentieth century. It was the 1970s that introduced the world to the phenomenon of “globalization,” as networks of interdependence bound peoples and societies in new and original ways.
The 1970s saw the breakdown of the postwar economic order and the advent of floating currencies and free capital movements. Non-state actors rose to prominence while the authority of the superpowers diminished. Transnational issues such as environmental protection, population control, and human rights attracted unprecedented attention. The decade transformed international politics, ending the era of bipolarity and launching two great revolutions that would have repercussions in the twenty-first century: the Iranian theocratic revolution and the Chinese market revolution.
The Shock of the Global examines the large-scale structural upheaval of the 1970s by transcending the standard frameworks of national borders and superpower relations. It reveals for the first time an international system in the throes of enduring transformations.
Six Turkish Filmmakers
Laurence Raw University of Wisconsin Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1993.5.T8R39 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.4309561
Examining the vanguard of New Turkish Cinema, Laurence Raw shows how these films reveal the effects of profound socioeconomic change on ordinary people in contemporary Turkey.
In analysis of and personal interviews with Dervis Zaim, Zeki Demirkubuz, Semih Kaplanoglu, Çagan Irmak, Tolga Örnek, and Palme d'Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Raw draws connections with Turkish theater, art, sculpture, literature, poetry, philosophy, and international cinema. A native of England and a twenty-five-year resident of Turkey, Raw interleaves his film discussion with thoughtful commentary on nationalism, gender, personal identity, and cultural pluralism.
Human rights activism is often associated with international organizations that try to affect the behavior of abusive states around the globe. In Barrancabermeja, Colombia, argues Luis van Isschot in The Social Origin of Human Rights, the struggle for rights has emerged more organically and locally, out of a long history of civil and social organizing. He offers deep insight into the lives of home-grown activists in a conflict zone, against the backdrop of major historical changes that shaped Latin America in the twentieth century.
Built by Standard Oil in 1919, and home to the largest petroleum refinery in the country, Barrancabermeja has long been a critical battleground in Colombia’s armed conflict. One of the most militarized urban areas on earth, the city has been a regional base for the Colombian armed forces as well as for leftist guerrillas and a national paramilitary movement. In the midst of a dirty war in which the majority of victims were civilians, urban and rural social movements from Barrancabermeja and the surrounding area came together to establish a human rights movement. These frontline activists called upon the Colombian state to protect basic human rights and denounced the deeper socioeconomic inequalities they saw as sources of conflict. Through close study of the complex dynamics at work in Barrancabermeja, van Isschot shows how the efforts we describe as “human rights” activism derive in large part from these lived experiences of authoritarianism, war, poverty, and social exclusion. Through its social and historical approach, his analysis both complements and challenges the work of scholars who look at rights issues primarily through a legal lens.
Socialism and Modernity
Peter Beilharz University of Minnesota Press, 2009 Library of Congress HX45.B45 2009 | Dewey Decimal 335
This first collection of Peter Beilharz's highly influential thought traces the themes and problems, manifestations, and trajectories of socialism and modernity as they connect and shift over a twenty-year period. Woven throughout Beilharz's analysis is the urgent question of modern utopia: how do we imagine freedom and equality in modernity?
The essays in this volume explore the relationship between socialism and modernity across the United States, Europe, and Australia from the mid-1980s to the turn of the twenty-first century, a time that witnessed the global triumph of capitalism and the dramatic turn away from Marxism and socialism to modernity as the dominant perspective. According to Beilharz, we have seen the expansion of a kind of Weberian Marxism, with the concept of revolution giving way to the idea of pluralized forms of power and the idea of rupture giving way to the postmodern sense of difference. These changes come together with the discourse of modernism, both aesthetic and technological.
Socialism and modernity, Beilharz argues, are fundamentally interrelated. In correcting the conflation of Marxism, Bolshevism, and socialism that occludes contemporary political thinking, he reopens a space for discussion of what socialist politics might look like now-in the postcommunist-postcolonial-postmodern moment.
Studies in Labor Markets
Sherwin Rosen University of Chicago Press, 1981 Library of Congress HD4813.S78 | Dewey Decimal 331
The papers in this volume present an excellent sampling of the best of current research in labor economics, combining the most sophisticated theory and econometric methods with high-quality data on a variety of problems.
Originally presented at a Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research conference on labor markets in 1978, and not published elsewhere, the thirteen papers treat four interrelated themes: labor mobility, job turnover, and life-cycle dynamics; the analysis of unemployment compensation and employment policy; labor market discrimination; and labor market information and investment. The Introduction by Sherwin Rosen provides a thoughtful guide to the contents of the papers and offers suggestions for continuing research.
Frederick Jackson Turner Award Finalist Winner of the David Montgomery Award Winner of the Theodore Saloutos Book Award Winner of the Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award Winner of the Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize Winner of the Américo Paredes Book Award
“A deeply humane book.” —Mae Ngai, author of Impossible Subjects
“Necessary and timely…A valuable text to consider alongside the current fight for DACA, the border concentration camps, and the unending rhetoric dehumanizing Mexican migrants.” —PopMatters
“A deep dive into the history of Mexican migration to and from the United States.” —PRI’s The World
In the 1970s, the Mexican government decided to tackle rural unemployment by supporting the migration of able-bodied men. Millions of Mexican men crossed into the United States to find work. They took low-level positions that few Americans wanted and sent money back to communities that depended on their support. They periodically returned to Mexico, living their lives in both countries. After 1986, however, US authorities disrupted this back-and-forth movement by strengthening border controls. Many Mexican men chose to remain in the United States permanently for fear of not being able to come back north if they returned to Mexico. For them, the United States became a jaula de oro—a cage of gold. Undocumented Lives tells the story of Mexican migrants who were compelled to bring their families across the border and raise a generation of undocumented children.
For millennia, the city stood out against the landscape, walled and compact. This concept of the city was long accepted as adequate for characterizing the urban experience. However, the nature of the city, both real and imagined, has always been more permeable than this model reveals.
The essays in Urban Imaginaries respond to this condition by focusing on how social and physical space is conceived as both indefinite and singular. They emphasize the ways this space is shared and thus made into urban culture. Urban Imaginaries offers case studies on cities in Brazil, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, and India, as well as in the United States and France, and in doing so blends social, cultural, and political approaches to better understand the contemporary urban experience.
Contributors: Margaret Cohen, Stanford U; Camilla Fojas, De Paul U; Beatriz Jaguaribe, Federal U of Rio de Janeiro; Anthony D. King, SUNY Binghamton; Mark LeVine, U of California, Irvine; Srirupa Roy, U of Massachusetts, Amherst; Seteney Shami, Social Science Research Council; AbdouMaliq Simone, New School U; Maha Yahya; Deniz Yükseker, Koç U, Istanbul.
Alev Çinar is associate professor of political science and public administration at Bilkent University, Turkey. Thomas Bender is university professor of the humanities and history at New York University.