Nelson Maldonado-Torres argues that European modernity has become inextricable from the experience of the warrior and conqueror. In Against War, he develops a powerful critique of modernity, and he offers a critical response combining ethics, political theory, and ideas rooted in Christian and Jewish thought. Maldonado-Torres focuses on the perspectives of those who inhabit the underside of western modernity, particularly Jewish, black, and Latin American theorists. He analyzes the works of the Jewish Lithuanian-French philosopher and religious thinker Emmanuel Levinas, the Martiniquean psychiatrist and political thinker Frantz Fanon, and the Catholic Argentinean-Mexican philosopher, historian, and theologian Enrique Dussel.
Considering Levinas’s critique of French liberalism and Nazi racial politics, and the links between them, Maldonado-Torres identifies a “master morality” of dominion and control at the heart of western modernity. This master morality constitutes the center of a warring paradigm that inspires and legitimizes racial policies, imperial projects, and wars of invasion. Maldonado-Torres refines the description of modernity’s war paradigm and the Levinasian critique through Fanon’s phenomenology of the colonized and racial self and the politics of decolonization, which he reinterprets in light of the Levinasian conception of ethics. Drawing on Dussel’s genealogy of the modern imperial and warring self, Maldonado-Torres theorizes race as the naturalization of war’s death ethic. He offers decolonial ethics and politics as an antidote to modernity’s master morality and the paradigm of war. Against War advances the de-colonial turn, showing how theory and ethics cannot be conceived without politics, and how they all need to be oriented by the imperative of decolonization in the modern/colonial and postmodern world.
Shortlisted for Lesbian Memoir/Biography Lammy Award
Rendered in bronze, covered in white lacquer, two women sit together on a park bench in Greenwich Village. One of the women touches the thigh of her partner as they gaze into each other’s eyes. The two women are part of George Segal’s iconic sculpture “Gay Liberation,” but these powerful symbols were modeled on real people: Leslie Cohen and her partner (now wife) Beth Suskin.
In this evocative memoir, Cohen tells the story of a love that has lasted for over fifty years. Transporting the reader to the pivotal time when brave gay women and men carved out spaces where they could live and love freely, she recounts both her personal struggles and the accomplishments she achieved as part of New York’s gay and feminist communities. Foremost among these was her 1976 cofounding of the groundbreaking women’s nightclub Sahara, which played host to such luminaries as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Pat Benatar, Ntozake Shange, Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Patti Smith, Bella Abzug, and Jane Fonda. The Audacity of a Kiss is a moving and inspiring tale of how love, art, and solidarity can overcome oppression.
In this dramatic retelling of one of history’s great “what-ifs,” Mark R. Anderson examines the American colonies’ campaign to bring Quebec into the Continental confederation and free the Canadians from British “tyranny.” This significant reassessment of a little-studied campaign examines developments on both sides of the border that rapidly proceeded from peaceful diplomatic overtures to a sizable armed intervention. The military narrative encompasses Richard Montgomery’s plodding initial operations, Canadian partisan cooperation with officers like Ethan Allen, and the harrowing experiences of Benedict Arnold’s Kennebec expedition, as well as the sudden collapse of British defenses that secured the bulk of the province for the rebel cause. The book provides new insight into both Montgomery’s tragic Québec City defeat and a small but highly significant loyalist uprising in the rural northern parishes that was suppressed by Arnold and his Canadian patriot allies. Anderson closely examines the evolving relationships between occupiers and occupied, showing how rapidly changing circumstances variously fostered cooperation and encouraged resistance among different Canadian elements. The book homes in on the key political and military factors that ultimately doomed America’s first foreign war of liberation and resulted in the Continental Army’s decisive expulsion from Canada on the eve of the Declaration of Independence. The first full treatment of this fascinating chapter in Revolutionary War history in over a century, Anderson’s account is especially revealing in its presentation of contentious British rule in Quebec, and of Continental beliefs that Canadiens would greet the soldiers as liberators and allies in a common fight against the British yoke. This thoroughly researched and action-packed history will appeal to American and Canadian history buffs and military experts alike.
Bollywood’s New Woman examines Bollywood’s construction and presentation of the Indian Woman since the 1990s. The groundbreaking collection illuminates the contexts and contours of this contemporary figure that has been identified in sociological and historical discourses as the “New Woman.” On the one hand, this figure is a variant of the fin de siècle phenomenon of the “New Woman” in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the Indian context, the New Woman is a distinct articulation resulting from the nation’s tryst with neoliberal reform, consolidation of the middle class, and the ascendency of aggressive Hindu Right politics.
Britainand the Greek Economic Crisis, 1944–1947 concentrates on Anglo-Greek interactions in economic matters during the political and economic turmoil between the Axis occupation of Greece and the Greek civil war. By analyzing the Greek crisis primarily in economic terms, Athanasios Lykogiannis avoids the political partisanship that has colored much previous writing on the subject and throws light on many issues neglected by earlier authors. Drawing on a range of untapped British, American, and Greek archival sources, as well as extensive secondary sources, the author examines the interplay of political and economic factors, such as the ingrained polarization of Greek society and the weakness and timidity of the country’s governments, that aggravated and prolonged the crisis.
Lykogiannis critically examines Greece’s policies, and the actors behind them, and assesses the British involvement in the episode: the quality of the measures recommended to the Greeks, the constraints facing British advisers in the country, and the reasons for the ultimate failure of British intervention. He also compares the two periods of western tutelage of Greece: the British and the American, from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine to the inauguration of the European Recovery Program.
Britain and the Greek Economic Crisis, 1944–1947 argues that even if the Germans were to blame for the conditions that led to hyperinflation, the mediocre results of successive attempts to stabilize the economy were caused by internal factors such as the fiscal ineptitude of the postwar Greek governments and their ignorance of, and hostility toward, any form of economic management. Whereas many have blamed foreign intervention for prolonging the crisis, Lykogiannis makes clear that the decisions of successive Greek governments were far more significant. His book demonstrates how firmly the crisis of post-liberation Greece was rooted in the country’s political, economic, and social past.
Bureaucrats of Liberation narrates the history of the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Right under law, a civil rights organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. Between 1963 and 1994, the Southern Africa Project connected lawyers from Namibia, South Africa, and the United States. Within the Project’s network, activist lawyers exchanged funding resources, provided logistical support for political trials, and mediated new voting and governmental systems.
The Project’s history provides a lens into twentieth century geopolitics tied to anti-apartheid, decolonization, Cold War, and movements agitating against white supremacy. In doing so, it pays careful attention to the Project’s different eras, beginning with US Executive Branch officials helming the effort and evolving into a space where more activist-oriented attorneys on both sides of the Atlantic drove its mission and politics.
This volume resulted from a collaborative research project into responses of Protestant and Catholic religious communities in the Americas to the challenges of globalization. Contributors from the fields of religion, anthropology, political science, and sociology draw on fieldwork in Peru, El Salvador, and the United States to show the interplay of economic globalization, migration, and growing religious pluralism in Latin America.
Organized around three central themes-family, youth, and community; democratization, citizenship, and political participation; and immigration and transnationalism-the book argues that, at the local level, religion helps people, especially women and youths, solidify their identities and confront the challenges of the modern world. Religious communities are seen as both peaceful venues for people to articulate their needs, and forums for building participatory democracies in the Americas. Finally, the contributors examine how religion enfranchises poor women, youths, and people displaced by war or economic change and, at the same time, drives social movements that seek to strengthen family and community bonds disrupted by migration and political violence.
This book delves into the inadequately explored, liberative side of Humanism during the late Renaissance. While some long-sixteenth-century thinking anticipates twentieth-century Liberation Theology, a more appropriate description is simply “liberation thinking,” which embraces its diverse, timeless, and sometimes nontheological aspects.
Two moments frame the treatment of American colonialism’s physical and mental pathways and the liberative response to them, known as liberation thinking. These are St. Thomas More’s Utopia, published in 1516, and Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala’s thousand-page Nueva crónica y buen gobierno, completed one hundred years later. These works and others by Erasmus and Bartolomé de las Casas trace the development of the idea of human liberation in the face of degrading chattel and encomienda slavery as well as the peonage that gave rise to the hacienda system in the Americas. Catholic humanists such as More, Erasmus, Las Casas, and Guaman Poma developed arguments, theories, and even theology that attempted to deconstruct those subordinating structures.
One of South Africa’s best-known writers during the apartheid era, Alex La Guma was a lifelong activist and a member of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress. Persecuted and imprisoned by the South African regime in the 1950s and 60s, La Guma went into exile in the United Kingdom with his wife and children in 1966, eventually serving as the ANC’s diplomatic representative for Latin America and the Caribbean in Cuba. Culture and Liberation captures a different dimension of his long writing career by collecting his political journalism, literary criticism, and other short pieces published while he was in exile.
This volume spans La Guma’s political and literary life in exile through accounts of his travels to Algeria, Lebanon, Vietnam, Soviet Central Asia, and elsewhere, along with his critical assessments of Paul Robeson, Nadine Gordimer, Maxim Gorky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Pablo Neruda, among other writers. The first dedicated collection of La Guma’s exile writing, Culture and Liberation restores an overlooked dimension of his life and work, while opening a window on a wider world of cultural and political struggles in Africa, Asia, and Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century.
Available in English for the first time, this much-anticipated translation of Enrique Dussel's Ethics of Liberation marks a milestone in ethical discourse. Dussel is one of the world's foremost philosophers. This treatise, originally published in 1998, is his masterwork and a cornerstone of the philosophy of liberation, which he helped to found and develop.
Throughout his career, Dussel has sought to open a space for articulating new possibilities for humanity out of, and in light of, the suffering, dignity, and creative drive of those who have been excluded from Western Modernity and neoliberal rationalism. Grounded in engagement with the oppressed, his thinking has figured prominently in philosophy, political theory, and liberation movements around the world.
In Ethics of Liberation, Dussel provides a comprehensive world history of ethics, demonstrating that our most fundamental moral and ethical traditions did not emerge in ancient Greece and develop through modern European and North American thought. The obscured and ignored origins of Modernity lie outside the Western tradition. Ethics of Liberation is a monumental rethinking of the history, origins, and aims of ethics. It is a critical reorientation of ethical theory.
Since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the quest for just and lasting peace has been a fountainhead of debate, negotiation, and violent friction. Souad Dajani traces the Palestinians' struggle and argues for a strategy of nonviolent civilian resistance based on deterrence and defense. This strategy would defeat Israel's political will to maintain their occupation and prepare Palestinians for a time beyond the interim period of self-rule agreed upon by Israel and the PLO in September 19932.
Dajani's formulation of nonviolent civilian resistance is examined against a backdrop of early developments in Mandate Palestine, the impact of Zionist ideology, and the realities of life for Palestinians under occupation. Her assessment of the role of the PLO, objectives of the Palestinian National Movement, developments since the Gulf War, and other factors crucial to an effective strategy raises critical questions surrounding the operation of nonviolent techniques for the Palestinian community, Israeli politics, and international actors, most prominently the United States.
Freedom Made Manifest
Peter Joseph Fritz Catholic University of America Press, 2019 Library of Congress BX4705.R287F745 2019 | Dewey Decimal 230.2092
Freedom Made Manifest explicates Rahner’s theology of freedom by elucidating its configuration and sources. Much of its inquiry centers on the fundamental option: each human person’s eternal decision made, paradoxically, in time, as a definitive answer to God’s personally-tailored call to salvation. This idea stems from three principal sources: Catholic conversations with transcendental-idealist philosophy, penitential theology and practice, and Ignatian spirituality. Rahner’s unique redeployment of these sources inflects the fundamental option with theologies of concupiscence, mercy and forgiveness (especially as ecclesially mediated), and devotion to Jesus Christ. Awareness of these inflections can show how Rahner’s theology of freedom may assist in theological reflection on freedom’s susceptibility to injury and trauma.
The neoliberal project in the West has created an increasingly polarized and impoverished world, to the point that the vast majority of its citizens require liberation from their present socioeconomic circumstances. The marxist theorist Kenneth Surin contends that innovation and change at the level of the political must occur in order to achieve this liberation, and for this endeavor marxist theory and philosophy are indispensable. In Freedom Not Yet, Surin analyzes the nature of our current global economic system, particularly with regard to the plight of less developed countries, and he discusses the possibilities of creating new political subjects necessary to establish and sustain a liberated world.
Surin begins by examining the current regime of accumulation—the global domination of financial markets over traditional industrial economies—which is used as an instrument for the subordination and dependency of poorer nations. He then moves to the constitution of subjectivity, or the way humans are produced as social beings, which he casts as the key arena in which struggles against dispossession occur. Surin critically engages with the major philosophical positions that have been posed as models of liberation, including Derrida’s notion of reciprocity between a subject and its other, a reinvigorated militancy in political reorientation based on the thinking of Badiou and Zizek, the nomad politics of Deleuze and Guattari, and the politics of the multitude suggested by Hardt and Negri. Finally, Surin specifies the material conditions needed for liberation from the economic, political, and social failures of our current system. Seeking to illuminate a route to a better life for the world’s poorer populations, Surin investigates the philosophical possibilities for a marxist or neo-marxist concept of liberation from capitalist exploitation and the regimes of power that support it.
Freedom’s Ring begins with the question of how the American ideal of freedom, which so effectively defends a conservative agenda today, from globally exploitative free trade to anti-French “freedom fries” during the War in Iraq, once bolstered the progressive causes of Freedom Summer, the Free Speech Movement, and more militant Black Power and Women’s Liberation movements with equal efficacy. Focused as it is on the faring of freedom throughout the liberation era, this book also explores attempts made by rights movements to achieve the often competitive or cross-canceling American ideal of equality–economic, professional, and otherwise. Although many struggled and died for it in the civil rights era, freedoms such as the vote, integrated bus rides, and sex without consequences via the Pill, are ultimately free–costing officialdom little if anything to fully implement—while equality with respect to jobs, salaries, education, housing, and health care, will forever be the much more expensive nut to crack. Freedom’s Ring regards the politics of freedom, and politics in general, as a low-cost substitute for and engrossing distraction from substantive economic problem-solving from the liberation era to the present day.
The American people overwhelmingly supported the nation's entry into the Spanish-American War of 1898, which led to U.S. imperial expansion into the Caribbean and Pacific. In this book, Bonnie M. Miller explores the basis of that support, showing how the nation's leading media makers—editorialists, cartoonists, filmmakers, photographers, and stage performers—captured the public's interest in the Cuban crisis with heart-rending depictions of Cuban civilians, particularly women, brutalized by bloodthirsty Spanish pirates.
Although media campaigns initially advocated for the United States to step in to rescue Cuba from the horrors of colonial oppression, the war ended just months later with the U.S. acquisition of Spain's remaining empire, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. President William McKinley heeded the call for war, with the American people behind him, and then proceeded to use the conflict to further his foreign policy agenda of expanding U.S. interests in the Caribbean and Far East.
Miller examines the shifting media portrayals of U.S. actions for the duration of the conflict, from liberation to conquest. She shows how the media capitalized on the public's thirst for drama, action, and spectacle and adapted to emerging imperial possibilities. Growing resistance to American imperialism by the war's end unraveled the consensus in support of U.S policy abroad and produced a rich debate that found expression in American visual and popular culture.
From Popular to Insurgent Intellectuals explains how a group of Catholic lay catechists educated in liberation theology came to take up arms and participate on the side of the rebel FMLN during El Salvador’s revolutionary war (1980-92). In the process they became transformed from popular intellectuals to insurgent intellectuals who put their organizational and cognitive skills at the service of a collective effort to create a more egalitarian and democratic society. The book highlights the key roles that peasant catechists in northern Morazán played in disseminating liberation theology before the war and supporting the FMLN during it—as quartermasters, political activists, and musicians, among other roles. Throughout, From Popular to Insurgent Intellectuals highlights the dialectical nature of relations between Catholic priests and urban revolutionaries, among others, in which the latter learned from the former and vice-versa. Peasant catechists proved capable at making independent decisions based on assessment of their needs and did not simply follow the dictates of those with superior authority, and played an important role for the duration of the twelve-year military conflict.
When capitalism is clearly catastrophically out of control and its excesses cannot be sustained socially or ecologically, the ideas of Herbert Marcuse become as relevant as they were in the 1960s. This is the first English introduction to Marcuse to be published for decades, and deals specifically with his aesthetic theories and their relation to a critical theory of society.
Although Marcuse is best known as a critic of consumer society, epitomised in the classic One-Dimensional Man, Malcolm Miles provides an insight into how Marcuse's aesthetic theories evolved within his broader attitudes, from his anxiety at the rise of fascism in the 1930s through heady optimism of the 1960s, to acceptance in the 1970s that radical art becomes an invaluable progressive force when political change has become deadlocked.
Marcuse's aesthetics of liberation, in which art assumes a primary role in interrupting the operation of capitalism, made him a key figure for the student movement in the 1960s. As diverse forms of resistance rise once more, a new generation of students, scholars and activists will find Marcuse’s radical theory essential to their struggle.
In Evidence is a collection of poems in the voices of allied troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps in Europe in the sprong of 1945. Barbara Helfgott Hyett heard poems in the eyewitness testimony of United States soldiers. She has shaped the words of thirty speakers into a songle narrative, a single voice.
Conflict over information has become a central part of twenty-first century politics and culture. Currents of liberation and exploitation course through the debates about Edward Snowden and surveillance, Anonymous, the Arab Spring, search engines, and social media. In Information Politics, Tim Jordan confronts contemporary panic about whether we are being controlled by digital systems, such as social networks, iPhones, and Google. He approaches these issues in relation to the information politics that have emerged with the rise of mass digital cultures and the internet. Within our modern world, he argues for possibilities of rebellion and liberation interwoven among social and political conflicts including gender, class, and ecology.
The first of Pluto Press’s new Digital Barricades series, focusing on ground-breaking critical explorations of resistance within the digital world, Information Politics explores the exploitations both facilitated by, and contested through, increases in information flows; the embedding of information technologies in daily life; and the intersection of network and control protocols. Anyone hoping to get to grips with the rapidly changing terrain of digital culture and conflict should start here.
Though many of the details of Jewish life under Hitler are familiar, historical accounts rarely afford us a real sense of what it was like for Jews and their families to live in the shadow of Nazi Germany’s oppressive racial laws and growing violence. With Jews in Nazi Berlin, those individual lives—and the constant struggle they required—come fully into focus, and the result is an unprecedented and deeply moving portrait of a people.
Drawing on a remarkably rich archive that includes photographs, objects, official documents, and personal papers, the editors of Jews in Nazi Berlin have assembled a multifaceted picture of Jewish daily life in the Nazi capital during the height of the regime’s power. The book’s essays and images are divided into thematic sections, each representing a different aspect of the experience of Jews in Berlin, covering such topics as emigration, the yellow star, Zionism, deportation, betrayal, survival, and more. To supplement—and, importantly, to humanize—the comprehensive documentary evidence, the editors draw on an extensive series of interviews with survivors of the Nazi persecution, who present gripping first-person accounts of the innovation, subterfuge, resilience, and luck required to negotiate the increasing brutality of the regime.
A stunning reconstruction of a storied community as it faced destruction, Jews in Nazi Berlin renders that loss with a startling immediacy that will make it an essential part of our continuing attempts to understand World War II and the Holocaust.
This important new study by one of Korea’s leading historians focuses on the international relations of colonial Korea – from the Japanese rule of the peninsula and its foreign relations (1905–1945) to the ultimate liberation of the country at the end of the Second World War. In addition, it fills a significant gap – the ‘blank space’ – in Korean diplomatic history. Furthermore, it highlights several other fundamental aspects in the history of modern Korea, such as the historical perception of the policy-making process and the attitudes of both China and Britain which influenced US policy regarding Korea at the end of World War II.
A new biography of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, one of the most influential political figures in twentieth-century African history.
As the first prime minister and president of the West African state of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah helped shape the global narrative of African decolonization. After leading Ghana to independence in 1957, Nkrumah articulated a political vision that aimed to free the country and the continent—politically, socially, economically, and culturally—from the vestiges of European colonial rule, laying the groundwork for a future in which Africans had a voice as equals on the international stage.
Nkrumah spent his childhood in the maturing Gold Coast colonial state. During the interwar and wartime periods he was studying in the United States. He emerged in the postwar era as one of the foremost activists behind the 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress and the demand for an immediate end to colonial rule.
Jeffrey Ahlman’s biography plots Nkrumah’s life across several intersecting networks: colonial, postcolonial, diasporic, national, Cold War, and pan-African. In these contexts, Ahlman portrays Nkrumah not only as an influential political leader and thinker but also as a charismatic, dynamic, and complicated individual seeking to make sense of a world in transition.
Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa is an account of the community development programs of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. It covers the emergence of the movement’s ideas and practices in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s, then analyzes how activists refined their practices, mobilized resources, and influenced people through their work. The book examines this history primarily through the Black Community Programs organization and its three major projects: the yearbook Black Review, the Zanempilo Community Health Center, and the Njwaxa leatherwork factory. As opposed to better-known studies of antipolitical, macroeconomic initiatives, this book shows that people from the so-called global South led development in innovative ways that promised to increase social and political participation. It particularly explores the power that youth, women, and churches had in leading change in a hostile political environment. With this new perspective on a major liberation movement, Hadfield not only causes us to rethink aspects of African history but also offers lessons from the past for African societies still dealing with developmental challenges similar to those faced during apartheid.
The years before World War I were a time of social and political ferment in Europe, which profoundly affected the art world. A major center of this creative tumult was Paris, where many avant-garde artists sought to transform modern art through their engagement with radical politics. In this provocative study of art and anarchism in prewar France, Patricia Leighten argues that anarchist aesthetics and a related politics of form played crucial roles in the development of modern art, only to be suppressed by war fever and then forgotten.
Leighten examines the circle of artists—Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, František Kupka, Maurice de Vlaminck, Kees Van Dongen, and others—for whom anarchist politics drove the idea of avant-garde art, exploring how their aesthetic choices negotiated the myriad artistic languages operating in the decade before World War I. Whether they worked on large-scale salon paintings, political cartoons, or avant-garde abstractions, these artists, she shows, were preoccupied with social criticism. Each sought an appropriate subject, medium, style, and audience based on different conceptions of how art influences society—and their choices constantly shifted as they responded to the dilemmas posed by contradictory anarchist ideas. According to anarchist theorists, art should expose the follies and iniquities of the present to the masses, but it should also be the untrammeled expression of the emancipated individual and open a path to a new social order. Revealing how these ideas generated some of modernism’s most telling contradictions among the prewar Parisian avant-garde, The Liberation of Painting restores revolutionary activism to the broader history of modern art.
The postcolonial spread of democratic ideals such as freedom and equality has taken place all over the world despite the widespread cultural differences that would seem to inhibit such change. In her new book, Literatures of Liberation: Non-European Universalisms and Democratic Progress, Mukti Lakhi Mangharam questions how these “universalisms” came to be and suggests that these elements were not solely the result of Europe-based Enlightenment ideals. Instead, they also arose in context-specific forms throughout the world (particularly in the Global South), relatively independently from Enlightenment concepts. These translatable yet distinct cognitive frameworks, or “contextual universalisms,” as she argues, were central to the spread of modern democratic principles in response to the relentless expansion of capital.
In this way, she posits that these universalisms reconceptualize democratic ideals not as Western imports into precolonial societies but as regional phenomena tied to local relations of power and resistance. In charting these alternative democratic trajectories, Mangharam examines oft-overlooked regional and vernacular literary forms and provides a fresh approach to current theorizations of postcolonial and world literatures.
In Paris in 1954, a young man named André Baudry founded Arcadie, an organization for “homophiles” that would become the largest of its kind that has ever existed in France, lasting nearly thirty years. In addition to acting as the only public voice for French gays prior to the explosion of radicalism of 1968, Arcadie—with its club and review—was a social and intellectual hub, attracting support from individuals as diverse as Jean Cocteau and Michel Foucault and offering support and solidarity to thousands of isolated individuals. Yet despite its huge importance, Arcadie has largely disappeared from the historical record.
The main cause of this neglect, Julian Jackson explains in Living in Arcadia, is that during the post-Stonewall era of queer activism, Baudry’s organization fell into disfavor, dismissed as conservative, conformist, and closeted. Through extensive archival research and numerous interviews with the reclusive Baudry, Jackson challenges this reductive view, uncovering Arcadie’s pioneering efforts to educate the European public about homosexuality in an era of renewed repression. In the course of relating this absorbing history, Jackson offers a startlingly original account of the history of homosexuality in modern France.
Jainism originated in India and shares some features with Buddhism and Hinduism, but it is a distinct tradition with its own key texts, art, rituals, beliefs, and history. One important way it has often been distinguished from Buddhism and Hinduism is through the highly contested category of Tantra: Jainism, unlike the others, does not contain a tantric path to liberation. But in Making a Mantra, historian of religions Ellen Gough refines and challenges our understanding of Tantra by looking at the development over two millennia of a Jain incantation, or mantra, that evolved from an auspicious invocation in a second-century text into a key component of mendicant initiations and meditations that continue to this day.
Typically, Jainism is characterized as a celibate, ascetic path to liberation in which one destroys karma through austerities, while the tantric path to liberation is characterized as embracing the pleasures of the material world, requiring the ritual use of mantras to destroy karma. Gough, however, argues that asceticism and Tantra should not be viewed in opposition to one another. She does so by showing that Jains perform “tantric” rituals of initiation and meditation on mantras and maṇḍalas. Jainism includes kinds of tantric practices, Gough provocatively argues, because tantric practices are a logical extension of the ascetic path to liberation.
On August 4, 1983, Captain Thomas Sankara led a coalition of radical military officers, communist activists, labor leaders, and militant students to overtake the government of the Republic of Upper Volta. Almost immediately following the coup’s success, the small West African country—renamed Burkina Faso, or Land of the Dignified People—gained international attention as it charted a new path toward social, economic, cultural, and political development based on its people’s needs rather than external pressures and Cold War politics. James E. Genova’s Making New People: Politics, Cinema, and Liberation in Burkina Faso, 1983–1987 recounts in detail the revolutionary government’s rise and fall, demonstrating how it embodied the critical transition period in modern African history between the era of decolonization and the dawning of neoliberal capitalism. It also uncovers one of the revolution’s most enduring and significant aspects: its promotion of film as a vehicle for raising the people’s consciousness, inspiring their efforts at social transformation, and articulating a new self-generated image of Africa and Africans. Foregrounding film and drawing evocative connections between Sankara’s political philosophy and Frantz Fanon, Making New People provides a deeply nuanced explanation for the revolution’s lasting influence throughout Africa and the world.
Is conventional money simply a discourse? Is it merely a socially constructed unit of exchange? If money is not an actual thing, are people then free to make collective agreements to use other forms of currency that might work more effectively for them? Proponents of “better money” argue that they have created currencies that value people more than profitability, ensuring that human needs are met with reasonable costs and decent wages—and supporting local economies that emphasize local sustainability. How did proponents develop these new economies? Are their claims valid?
Grappling with these questions and more, Money and Liberation examines the experiences of groups who have tried to build a more equitable world by inventing new forms of money. Presenting in-depth profiles of the trading networks that have been constructed both historically and more recently, including Local Exchange Trading Schemes (England), Green Dollars (New Zealand), Talente (Hungary), and the barter system in Argentina, Peter North shows how the use of currency has been redefined as part of political action, revealing surprising political ambiguity and a nuanced understanding of the potential and limits on alternative currencies as a resistance practice.
Peter North is lecturer in geography at the University of Liverpool.
The Allied landings on the coast of Normandy on June 6, 1944, have assumed legendary status in the annals of World War II. But in overly romanticizing D-day, Olivier Wieviorka argues, we have lost sight of the full picture. Normandy offers a balanced, complete account that reveals the successes and weaknesses of the titanic enterprise.
In addition to describing the landings with precision and drama, Wieviorka covers the planning and diplomatic background, Allied relationships, German defensive preparations, morale of the armies, economics and logistics, political and military leaders, and civilians’ and soldiers’ experience of the fighting. Surprisingly, the landing itself was not the slaughter the general staff expected. The greater battle for Normandy—waged on farmland whose infamous hedgerows, the bocage, created formidable obstacles—took a severe toll not only in lives lost, but on the survivors who experienced this grueling ordeal.
D-day, Wieviorka notes, was a striking accomplishment, but it was war, violent and cruel. Errors, desertions, rivalries, psychological trauma, self-serving motives, thefts, and rapes were all part of the story. Rather than diminishing the Allied achievement, this candid book underscores the price of victory and acknowledges the British, American, and Canadian soldiers who dashed onto the Normandy beaches not as demigods, but as young men.
A Ghanaian scholar of religion argues that poverty is a particularly complex subject in traditional African cultures, where holistic worldviews unite life’s material and spiritual dimensions. A South African ethicist examines informal economies in Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, and South Africa, looking at their ideological roots, social organization, and vulnerability to global capital. African American theologians offer ethnographic accounts of empowering religious rituals performed in churches in the United States, Jamaica, and South Africa. This important collection brings together these and other Pan-African perspectives on religion and poverty in Africa and the African diaspora.
Contributors from Africa and North America explore poverty’s roots and effects, the ways that experiences and understandings of deprivation are shaped by religion, and the capacity and limitations of religion as a means of alleviating poverty. As part of a collaborative project, the contributors visited Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, as well as Jamaica and the United States. In each location, they met with clergy, scholars, government representatives, and NGO workers, and they examined how religious groups and community organizations address poverty. Their essays complement one another. Some focus on poverty, some on religion, others on their intersection, and still others on social change. A Jamaican scholar of gender studies decries the feminization of poverty, while a Nigerian ethicist and lawyer argues that the protection of human rights must factor into efforts to overcome poverty. A church historian from Togo examines the idea of poverty as a moral virtue and its repercussions in Africa, and a Tanzanian theologian and priest analyzes ujamaa, an African philosophy of community and social change. Taken together, the volume’s essays create a discourse of mutual understanding across linguistic, religious, ethnic, and national boundaries.
Contributors. Elizabeth Amoah, Kossi A. Ayedze, Barbara Bailey, Katie G. Cannon, Noel Erskine, Dwight N. Hopkins, Simeon O. Ilesanmi, Laurenti Magesa, Madipoane Masenya, Takatso A. Mofokeng, Esther M. Mombo, Nyambura J. Njoroge, Jacob Olupona, Peter J. Paris, Anthony B. Pinn, Linda E. Thomas, Lewin L. Williams
Barbie Zelizer reveals the unique significance of the photographs taken at the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany after World War II. She shows how the photographs have become the basis of our memory of the Holocaust and how they have affected our presentations and perceptions of contemporary history's subsequent atrocities. Impressive in its range and depth and illustrated with more than 60 photographs, Remembering to Forget is a history of contemporary photojournalism, a compelling chronicle of these unforgettable photographs, and a fascinating study of how collective memory is forged and changed.
"[A] fascinating study. . . . Here we have a completely fresh look at the emergence of photography as a major component of journalistic reporting in the course of the liberation of the camps by the Western Allies. . . . Well written and argued, superbly produced with more photographs of atrocity than most people would want to see in a lifetime, this is clearly an important book."—Omer Bartov, Times Literary Supplement
Based on eighteen months of intensive participant-observation, Ring of Liberation offers both an in-depth description of capoeira—a complex Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines feats of great strength and athleticism with music and poetry—and a pioneering synthetic approach to the analysis of complex cultural performance.
Capoeira originated in early slave culture and is practiced widely today by urban Brazilians and others. At once game, sport, mock combat, and ritualized performance, it involves two players who dance and "battle" within a ring of musicians and singers. Stunning physical performances combine with music and poetry in a form as expressive in movement as it is in word.
J. Lowell Lewis explores the convergence of form and content in capoeira. The many components and characteristics of this elaborate black art form—for example, competing genre frameworks and the necessary fusion of multiple modes of expression—demand, Lewis feels, to be given "body" as well as "voice." In response, he uses Peircean semiotics and recent work in discourse and performance theory to map the connections between physical, musical, and linguistic play in capoeira and to reflect on the general relations between semiotic systems and the creation and recording of cultural meaning.
In Soundscapes of Liberation, Celeste Day Moore traces the popularization of African American music in postwar France, where it signaled new forms of power and protest. Moore surveys a wide range of musical genres, soundscapes, and media: the US military's wartime records and radio programs; the French record industry's catalogs of blues, jazz, and R&B recordings; the translations of jazz memoirs; a provincial choir specializing in spirituals; and US State Department-produced radio programs that broadcast jazz and gospel across the French empire. In each of these contexts, individual intermediaries such as educators, producers, writers, and radio deejays imbued African American music with new meaning, value, and political power. Their work resonated among diverse Francophone audiences and transformed the lives and labor of many African American musicians, who found financial and personal success as well as discrimination in France. By showing how the popularity of African American music was intertwined with contemporary structures of racism and imperialism, Moore demonstrates this music's centrality to postwar France and the convergence of decolonization, the expanding globalized economy, the Cold War, and worldwide liberation movements.
Even as feminism has become increasingly central to our ideas about institutions, relationships, and everyday life, the term used to diagnose the problem—“patriarchy”—is used so loosely that it has lost its meaning. In Vexy Thing Imani Perry resurrects patriarchy as a target of critique, recentering it to contemporary discussions of feminism through a social and literary analysis of cultural artifacts from the Enlightenment to the present. Drawing on a rich array of sources—from nineteenth-century slavery court cases and historical vignettes to writings by Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde and art by Kara Walker and Wangechi Mutu—Perry shows how the figure of the patriarch emerged as part and parcel of modernity, the nation-state, the Industrial Revolution, and globalization. She also outlines how digital media and technology, neoliberalism, and the security state continue to prop up patriarchy. By exploring the past and present of patriarchy in the world we have inherited and are building for the future, Perry exposes its mechanisms of domination as a necessary precursor to dismantling it.
How can we account for the apparent increase in ethnic violence across the globe? Donald L. Donham develops a methodology for understanding violence that shows why this question needs to be recast. He examines an incident that occurred at a South African gold mine at the moment of the 1994 elections that brought apartheid to a close. Black workers ganged up on the Zulus among them, killing two and injuring many more. While nearly everyone came to characterize the conflict as “ethnic,” Donham argues that heightened ethnic identity was more an outcome of the violence than its cause. Based on his careful reconstruction of events, he contends that the violence was not motivated by hatred of an ethnic other. It emerged, rather, in ironic ways, as capitalist managers gave up apartheid tactics and as black union activists took up strategies that departed from their stated values. National liberation, as it actually occurred, was gritty, contradictory, and incomplete. Given unusual access to the mine, Donham comes to this conclusion based on participant observation, review of extensive records, and interviews conducted over the course of a decade. Violence in a Time of Liberation is a kind of murder mystery that reveals not only who did it but also the ways that narratives of violence, taken up by various media, create ethnic violence after the fact.