Before the Revolution
Daniel K. Richter Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress E169.12.R497 2011 | Dewey Decimal 973.01
In this epic synthesis, Richter reveals a new America. Surveying many centuries prior to the American Revolution, we discover the tumultuous encounters between the peoples of North America, Africa, and Europe and see how the present is the accumulation of the ancient layers of the past.
In Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship, Yvonne Daniel provides a sweeping cultural and historical examination of diaspora dance genres. In discussing relationships among African, Caribbean, and other diasporic dances, Daniel investigates social dances brought to the islands by Europeans and Africans, including quadrilles and drum-dances as well as popular dances that followed, such as Carnival parading, Pan-Caribbean danzas,rumba, merengue, mambo, reggae, and zouk. Daniel reviews sacred dance and closely documents combat dances, such as Martinican ladja, Trinidadian kalinda, and Cuban juego de maní. In drawing on scores of performers and consultants from the region as well as on her own professional dance experience and acumen, Daniel adeptly places Caribbean dance in the context of cultural and economic globalization, connecting local practices to transnational and global processes and emphasizing the important role of dance in critical regional tourism.
Damsels and Divas investigates the meanings of Europeanness in Hollywood during the 1920s by charting professional trajectories of three movie stars: Pola Negri, Vilma Bánky and Jetta Goudal. It combines the investigation of American fan magazines with the analysis of studio documents, and the examination of the narratives of their films, to develop a thorough understanding of the ways in which Negri, Bánky and Goudal were understood within the realm of their contemporary American culture. This discussion places their star personae in the context of whiteness, femininity and Americanization. Every age has its heroines, and they reveal a lot about prevailing attitudes towards women in their respective eras. In the United States, where the stories of rags-to-riches were especially potent, stars could offer models of successful cultural integration.
How colonial categories of race and religion together created identities and hierarchies that today are vehicles for multicultural nationalism and social critique in the Caribbean and its diasporas.
When the British Empire abolished slavery, Caribbean sugar plantation owners faced a labor shortage. To solve the problem, they imported indentured “coolie” laborers, Hindus and a minority Muslim population from the Indian subcontinent. Indentureship continued from 1838 until its official end in 1917. The Deepest Dye begins on post-emancipation plantations in the West Indies—where Europeans, Indians, and Africans intermingled for work and worship—and ranges to present-day England, North America, and Trinidad, where colonial-era legacies endure in identities and hierarchies that still shape the post-independence Caribbean and its contemporary diasporas.
Aisha Khan focuses on the contested religious practices of obeah and Hosay, which are racialized as “African” and “Indian” despite the diversity of their participants. Obeah, a catch-all Caribbean term for sub-Saharan healing and divination traditions, was associated in colonial society with magic, slave insurrection, and fraud. This led to anti-obeah laws, some of which still remain in place. Hosay developed in the West Indies from Indian commemorations of the Islamic mourning ritual of Muharram. Although it received certain legal protections, Hosay’s mass gatherings, processions, and mock battles provoked fears of economic disruption and labor unrest that lead to criminalization by colonial powers. The proper observance of Hosay was debated among some historical Muslim communities and continues to be debated now.
In a nuanced study of these two practices, Aisha Khan sheds light on power dynamics through religious and racial identities formed in the context of colonialism in the Atlantic world, and shows how today these identities reiterate inequalities as well as reinforce demands for justice and recognition.
Dostoevsky and Romantic Realism is Donald Fanger's groundbreaking study of the art of Dostoevsky and the literary and historical context in which it was created. Through detailed analyses of the work of Balzac, Dickens, and Gogol, Fanger identifies romantic realism, the transformative fusion of two generic categories, as a powerful imaginary response to the great modern city. This fusion reaches its aesthetic and metaphysical climax in Dostoevsky, whose vision culminating in Crime and Punishment is seen by Fanger as the final synthesis of romantic realism.
Dreaming Revolution usefully employs current critical theory to address how the European novel of class revolt was transformed into the American novel of imperial expansion. Bradfield shows that early American romantic fiction—including works by William Godwin, Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, and Edgar Allan Poe—can and should be considered as part of a genre too often limited to the nineteenth-century European novel. In a spirited discussion of the works from these four authors, Bradfield argues that Americans take the class dynamics of the European psychological novel and apply them to the American landscape, reimagining psychological spaces as geographical ones.
Sanjay Subrahmanyam Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DS446S78 2017 | Dewey Decimal 303.48240540903
When Portuguese explorers first arrived in India, the maritime passage initiated an exchange of goods as well as ideas. European ambassadors, missionaries, soldiers, and scholars who followed produced a body of knowledge that shaped European thought about India. Sanjay Subrahmanyam tracks these changing ideas over the entire early modern period.
Paulo Lemos Horta Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PJ7737.H67 2017 | Dewey Decimal 398.22
Ranging from the coffeehouses of Aleppo to the salons of Paris, from Calcutta to London, Paulo Lemos Horta introduces the poets and scholars, pilgrims and charlatans who made largely unacknowledged contributions to Arabian Nights. Each version betrays the distinctive cultural milieu in which it was produced.
While the socio-economic and historical aspects of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) have been extensively documented and researched, the role of the VOC in visual culture and the arts has been relatively neglected. This authoritative volume addresses various aspects of cultural exchange between the Low Countries and Asia. Increased prosperity and the flood of imported goods from Asia had a huge influence on seventeenth-century Holland. To cite some examples: when the VOC spread its merchandise throughout the various regions of Asia, Chinese decorative motives became popular in Indonesia. After the lifting of the seventeenth-century ban on the import of Christian books to Japan, a wave of interest in Dutch culture hit the country, giving rise to Hollandmania, imitation of anything Dutch.Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in Asia offers new insights into the world routes travelled by seventeenth-century Dutch visual culture, as well as the rise of Asian influence in the imagery of the Dutch Golden Age.
Winner of theMihajlo Misa Djordjevic Book Prizeawarded by the North American Society for Serbian Studies
Metropolitan Belgrade presents a sociocultural history of the city as an entertainment mecca during the 1920s and 1930s. It unearths the ordinary and extraordinary leisure activities that captured the attention of urban residents and considers the broader role of popular culture in interwar society.
As the capital of the newly unified Yugoslavia, Belgrade became increasingly linked to transnational networks after World War I, as jazz, film, and cabaret streamed into the city from abroad during the early 1920s. Belgrade’s middle class residents readily consumed foreign popular culture as a symbol of their participation in European metropolitan modernity. The pleasures they derived from entertainment, however, stood at odds with their civic duty of promoting highbrow culture and nurturing the Serbian nation within the Yugoslav state.
Ultimately, middle-class Belgraders learned to reconcile their leisured indulgences by defining them as bourgeois refinement. But as they endowed foreign entertainment with higher cultural value, they marginalized Yugoslav performers and their lower-class patrons from urban life. Metropolitan Belgrade tells the story of the Europeanization of the capital’s middle class and how it led to spatial segregation, cultural stratification, and the destruction of the Yugoslav entertainment industry during the interwar years.
Do Americans, in all their cultural diversity, share any fundamental consensus? Does such a consensus, or anything else, make America exceptional in the modern world?
Since 1960 most historians have answered no--except perhaps for the current nostalgia for the Eisenhower years (the "Ozzie and Harriet" years of popular recollection) of middle-class American prosperity.
In Republic of the Dispossessed social historian Rowland Berthoff maintains not only that there was--and still is--a middle-class consensus and that America is exceptional in it but that it goes back some five hundred years. The consensus stems from all those European peasants and artisans who, from 1600 to 1950, fled dispossession in the Old World. They brought with them basic social values that acted as a template for middle-class American values. To consider modern American society as exceptional--that is, as distinctive and different from any contemporary European pattern of thought--is therefore, in Berthoff's theory, not at all the "illogical absurdity" that current conventional wisdom makes it.
The Berthoff thesis, as he develops it in these ten essays from throughout the course of his career, is well worth a second look by those within and beyond the field of social history. It suggests that the ideal--both peasant and classical republican-- of maintaining a balance between personal liberty and communal equality has long inspired American reaction to the drastic modern changes of industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.
Observing that most Americans still see themselves as independent, basically equal, middle-class citizens, Berthoff explains the current apprehension among Americans that at the end of the twentieth century they are once again being dispossessed-- thus, the current emphasis on "traditional values." Because that problem is the same that worried their European ancestors as much as five hundred years ago, Berthoff argues, the time has come to face the question head-on.
Why has Anglo-American culture for so long regarded "theory" with intense suspicion? In this important contribution to the history of critical theory, David Simpson argues that a nationalist myth underlies contemporary attacks on theory. Theory's antagonists, Simpson shows, invoke the same criteria of common sense and national solidarity as did the British intellectuals who rebelled against "theory" and "method" during the French Revolution.
Simpson demonstrates the close association between "theory" and "method" and shows that by the mid-eighteenth century, "method" had acquired distinctly subversive associations in England. Attributed increasingly to the French and the Germans, "method" paradoxically evoked images both of inhuman rationality and unbridled sentimentality; in either incarnation, it was seen as a threat to what was claimed to be authentically British. Simpson develops these paradigms in relation to feminism, the gendering of Anglo-American culture, and the emergence of literature and literary criticism as antitheoretical discourses. He then looks at the Romantic poets' response to this confining ideology of the cultural role of literature. Finally, Simpson considers postmodern theory's claims for the radical energy of nonrational or antirationalist positions.
This is an essential book not only for students of the Romantic period and intellectual historians concerned with the idea of "method," but for anyone interested in the historical background of today's debates over the excesses and possibilities of "theory."
This book examines the reception in Latin America of prints designed by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, showing how colonial artists used such designs to create all manner of artworks and, in the process, forged new frameworks for artistic creativity.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) never crossed the Atlantic himself, but his impact in colonial Latin America was profound. Prints made after the Flemish artist’s designs were routinely sent from Europe to the Spanish Americas, where artists used them to make all manner of objects.
Rubens in Repeat is the first comprehensive study of this transatlantic phenomenon, despite broad recognition that it was one of the most important forces to shape the artistic landscapes of the region. Copying, particularly in colonial contexts, has traditionally held negative implications that have discouraged its serious exploration. Yet analyzing the interpretation of printed sources and recontextualizing the resulting works within period discourse and their original spaces of display allow a new critical reassessment of this broad category of art produced in colonial Latin America—art that has all too easily been dismissed as derivative and thus unworthy of sustained interest and investigation. This book takes a new approach to the paradigms of artistic authorship that emerged alongside these complex creative responses, focusing on the viceroyalties of New Spain and Peru in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It argues that the use of European prints was an essential component of the very framework in which colonial artists forged ideas about what it meant to be a creator.
In Shakespearean Cultures, René Girard’s ideas on violence and the sacred inform an innovative analysis of contemporary Latin America. Castro Rocha proposes a new theoretical framework based upon the “poetics of emulation” and offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding the asymmetries of the modern world. Shakespearean cultures are those whose self-perception originates in the gaze of a hegemonic Other. The poetics of emulation is a strategy developed in situations of asymmetrical power relations. This strategy encompasses an array of procedures employed by artists, intellectuals, and writers situated at the less-favored side of such exchanges, whether they be cultural, political, or economic in nature. The framework developed in this book yields thought-provoking readings of canonical authors such as William Shakespeare, Gustave Flaubert, and Joseph Conrad. At the same time, it favors the insertion of Latin American authors into the comparative scope of world literature, and stages an unprecedented dialogue among European, North American, and Latin American readers of René Girard’s work.
This unique interdisciplinary essay collection offers a fresh perspective on the active involvement of American women authors in the nineteenth-century transatlantic world. Internationally diverse contributors explore topics ranging from women's social and political mobility to their authorship and activism. While a number of essays focus on such well-known writers as Margaret Fuller, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, other, perhaps lesser-known authors are also included, such as E. D. E. N. Southworth, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Elizabeth Peabody, Jeannette Hart, and Laura Richards.
These essays show the spectrum of interests and activities in which nineteenth-century women were involved as they moved, geographically and metaphorically, toward gaining their independence and the right to control their lives. Traveling far and wide—to Italy, France, Great Britain, and the Bahamas—these writers came into contact with realities far different from their own. On topics ranging from homeopathy and literary endeavors to politics and revolution, they conversed with others, reaching and inspiring transnational audiences with their words and deeds, and creating a space for self-expression in the rapidly changing transatlantic world.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin broke publishing records and made Harriet Beecher Stowe in her time one of the world’s most famous authors. The book was a bestseller in Britain and was translated into some forty languages. Yet today Stowe tends to be seen wholly in the context of American literary history. Transatlantic Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe and European Culture is the first book to consider multiple aspects of Stowe’s career in an international context. The groundbreaking essays of Transatlantic Stowe examine the author’s literary and literal forays in Europe and the ways in which intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Old and New Worlds shaped her work. It was a crucial moment in the transatlantic discourse, a turning of the tide, and Stowe was among the first American novelists to be lionized in Europe---and pirated by publishers---in the same way that European writers had been treated in America.Blending historical and cultural criticism and drawing on fresh primary material from London and Paris, Transatlantic Stowe includes essays exploring Stowe’s relationship with European writers and the influence of her European travels on her work, especially the controversial travel narrative Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands and her “Italian novel” Agnes of Sorrento.Interdisciplinary and itself transatlantic, the collection discusses visual art and material culture as well as literature and politics and includes contributions from Britain, Ireland, and the United States. Together these essays offer new interpretations of Stowe’s most popular novel as well as new readings of her many other works, illuminate the myriad connections between Stowe and European writers, and thus rewrite literary history by returning Stowe to the larger political, historical, and literary contexts of nineteenth-century Europe.
Love poetry dominated European literature during the Renaissance. Its attitudes, conventions, and values appeared not only in courtly settings but also in the transatlantic world, where cultures were being built, power exercised, and policies made. In this major contribution to our understanding of both the Age of Exploration and early modern lyric, Roland Greene argues that love poetry was not simply a reflection of the times but a means of cultural transformation.
European encounters with the Americas awakened many forms of desire, which pervaded the writings of explorers like Columbus and his contemporaries. These experiences in turn shaped colonial society in Brazil, Peru, and elsewhere. The New World, while it could be explored, conquered, and exploited, could never really be "known"—leaving Europe's desire continually unrequited and the project of empire unfulfilled.
Using numerous poetic examples and extensive historical documentation, Unrequited Conquests rewrites the relations between the Renaissance and colonial Latin America and between poetry and history.