Making a vital contribution to the understanding of Latin American modernism, Esther Gabara rethinks the role of photography in the Brazilian and Mexican avant-garde movements of the 1920s and 1930s. During these decades, intellectuals in Mexico and Brazil were deeply engaged with photography. Authors who are now canonical figures in the two countries’ literary traditions looked at modern life through the camera in a variety of ways. Mário de Andrade, known as the “pope” of Brazilian modernism, took and collected hundreds of photographs. Salvador Novo, a major Mexican writer, meditated on the medium’s aesthetic potential as “the prodigal daughter of the fine arts.” Intellectuals acted as tourists and ethnographers, and their images and texts circulated in popular mass media, sharing the page with photographs of the New Woman. In this richly illustrated study, Gabara introduces the concept of a modernist “ethos” to illuminate the intertwining of aesthetic innovation and ethical concerns in the work of leading Brazilian and Mexican literary figures, who were also photographers, art critics, and contributors to illustrated magazines during the 1920s and 1930s.
Gabara argues that Brazilian and Mexican modernists deliberately made photography err: they made this privileged medium of modern representation simultaneously wander and work against its apparent perfection. They flouted the conventions of mainstream modernism so that their aesthetics registered an ethical dimension. Their photographic modernism strayed, dragging along the baggage of modernity lived in a postcolonial site. Through their “errant modernism,” avant-garde writers and photographers critiqued the colonial history of Latin America and its twentieth-century formations.
In The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen, Stephen K. White contends that Western democracies face novel challenges demanding our reexamination of the role of citizens. White argues that the intense focus in the past three decades on finding general principles of justice for diversity-rich societies needs to be complemented by an exploration of what sort of ethos would be needed to adequately sustain any such principles. Accessible, pithy, and erudite, The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen will appeal to a wide audience.
Talking dogs pitching ethnic food. Heart-tugging appeals for contributions. Recruitment calls for enlistment in the military. Tub-thumpers excoriating American society with over-the-top rhetoric. At every turn, Americans are exhorted to spend money, join organizations, rally to causes, or express outrage. Image Makers is a comprehensive analysis of modern advocacy-from commercials to public service ads to government propaganda-and its roots in advertising and public relations.
Robert Jackall and Janice M. Hirota explore the fashioning of the apparatus of advocacy through the stories of two organizations, the Committee on Public Information, which sold the Great War to the American public, and the Advertising Council, which since the Second World War has been the main coordinator of public service advertising. They then turn to the career of William Bernbach, the adman's adman, who reinvented advertising and grappled creatively with the profound skepticism of a propaganda-weary midcentury public. Jackall and Hirota argue that the tools-in-trade and habits of mind of "image makers" have now migrated into every corner of modern society. Advocacy is now a vocation for many, and American society abounds as well with "technicians in moral outrage," including street-smart impresarios, feminist preachers, and bombastic talk-radio hosts.
The apparatus and ethos of advocacy give rise to endlessly shifting patterns of conflicting representations and claims, and in their midst Image Makers offers a clear and spirited understanding of advocacy in contemporary society and the quandaries it generates.
Using material remains, as well as the evidence of contemporary Greek history, rhetoric, and poetry, David Castriota interprets the Athenian monuments as vehicles of an official ideology intended to celebrate and justify the present in terms of the past.
Castriota focuses on the strategy of ethical antithesis that asserted Greek moral superiority over the “barbaric” Persians, whose invasion had been repelled a generation earlier. He examines how, in major public programs of painting and sculpture, the leading artists of the period recast the Persians in the guise of wild and impious mythic antagonists to associate them with the ethical flaws or weaknesses commonly ascribed to women, animals, and foreigners. The Athenians, in contrast, were compared to mythic protagonists representing the excellence and triumph of Hellenic culture.
Castriota’s study is innovative in emphasizing the ethical implication of mythic precedents, which required substantial alterations to render them more effective as archetypes for the defense of Greek culture against a foreign, morally inferior enemy. The book looks in new ways at how the patrons and planners sought to manipulate viewer response through the selective presentation or repackaging of mythic traditions.
Applying the complexities of literacy development and personal ethos to the teaching of composition, Zan Meyer Goncalves challenges writing teachers to consider ethos as a series of identity performances shaped by the often-inequitable social contexts of their classrooms and communities. Using the rhetorical experiences of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender, she proposes a new way of thinking about ethos that addresses the challenges of social justice, identity, and transfer issues in the classroom.
Goncalves offers an innovative approach to teaching identity performance theory bound by social contexts. She applies this new approach to theories of specificity and intersectionality, illustrating how teachers can help students redefine the relationship between their social identities and their writing. She also addresses bringing social activism and identity politics into the classroom, helping writers make transfers across rhetorical contexts and linking students' interests to public conversations.
Theoretical and practical, Sexuality and the Politics of Ethos in the Writing Classroom provides teachers of first-year and advanced composition studies with useful, detailed assignments based in specific identity performance. Goncalves offers techniques to subvert oppressive language practices, while encouraging students to recognize themselves as writers, citizens, and active participants in their own educations and communities.