Tuning is the secret lens through which the history of music falls into focus, says Kyle Gann. Yet in Western circles, no other musical issue is so ignored, so taken for granted, so shoved into the corners of musical discourse.A classroom essential and an invaluable reference, The Arithmetic of Listening offers beginners the grounding in music theory necessary to find their own way into microtonality and the places it may take them. Moving from ancient Greece to the present, Kyle Gann delves into the infinite tunings available to any musician who feels straitjacketed by obedience to standardized Western European tuning. He introduces the concept of the harmonic series and demonstrates its relationship to equal-tempered and well-tempered tuning. He also explores recent experimental tuning models that exploit smaller intervals between pitches to create new sounds and harmonies.Systematic and accessible, The Arithmetic of Music provides a much-needed primer for the wide range of tuning systems that have informed Western music.
In this audacious book, Ana María Ochoa Gautier explores how listening has been central to the production of notions of language, music, voice, and sound that determine the politics of life. Drawing primarily from nineteenth-century Colombian sources, Ochoa Gautier locates sounds produced by different living entities at the juncture of the human and nonhuman. Her "acoustically tuned" analysis of a wide array of texts reveals multiple debates on the nature of the aural. These discussions were central to a politics of the voice harnessed in the service of the production of different notions of personhood and belonging. In Ochoa Gautier's groundbreaking work, Latin America and the Caribbean emerge as a historical site where the politics of life and the politics of expression inextricably entangle the musical and the linguistic, knowledge and the sensorial.
In Indian Voices, Alison Owings takes readers on a fresh journey across America, east to west, north to south, and around again. Owings's most recent oral history—engagingly written in a style that entertains and informs—documents what Native Americans say about themselves, their daily lives, and the world around them.
Young and old from many tribal nations speak with candor, insight, and (unknown to many non-Natives) humor about what it is like to be a Native American in the twenty-first century. Through intimate interviews many also express their thoughts about the sometimes staggeringly ignorant, if often well-meaning, non-Natives they encounter—some who do not realize Native Americans still exist, much less that they speak English, have cell phones, use the Internet, and might attend powwows and power lunches.
Indian Voices, an inspiring and important contribution to the literature about the original Americans, will make every reader rethink the past—and present—of the United States.
Listening in Detail is an original and impassioned take on the intellectual and sensory bounty of Cuban music as it circulates between the island, the United States, and other locations. It is also a powerful critique of efforts to define "Cuban music" for ethnographic examination or market consumption. Contending that the music is not a knowable entity but a spectrum of dynamic practices that elude definition, Alexandra T. Vazquez models a new way of writing about music and the meanings assigned to it. "Listening in detail" is a method invested in opening up, rather than pinning down, experiences of Cuban music. Critiques of imperialism, nationalism, race, and gender emerge in fragments and moments, and in gestures and sounds through Vazquez's engagement with Alfredo Rodríguez's album Cuba Linda (1996), the seventy-year career of the vocalist Graciela Pérez, the signature grunt of the "Mambo King" Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban music documentaries of the 1960s, and late-twentieth-century concert ephemera.
From bell ringing to fireworks, gongs to cannon salutes, a dazzling variety of sounds and soundscapes marked the China encountered by the West around 1800. These sounds were gathered by diplomats, trade officials, missionaries, and other travelers and transmitted back to Europe, where they were reconstructed in the imaginations of writers, philosophers, and music historians such as Jean-Philippe Rameau, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, and Charles Burney. Thomas Irvine gathers these stories in Listening to China, exploring how the sonic encounter with China shaped perceptions of Europe’s own musical development.
Through these stories, Irvine not only investigates how the Sino-Western encounter sounded, but also traces the West’s shifting response to China. As the trading relationships between China and the West broke down, travelers and music theorists abandoned the vision of shared musical approaches, focusing instead on China’s noisiness and sonic disorder and finding less to like in its music. At the same time, Irvine reconsiders the idea of a specifically Western music history, revealing that it was comparison with China, the great “other,” that helped this idea emerge. Ultimately, Irvine draws attention to the ways Western ears were implicated in the colonial and imperial project in China, as well as to China’s importance to the construction of musical knowledge during and after the European Enlightenment. Timely and original, Listening to China is a must-read for music scholars and historians of China alike.
Listening to Cougar
Marc Bekoff University Press of Colorado, 2007 Library of Congress QL737.C23L57 2007
This spellbinding tribute to Puma concolor honors the big cat's presence on the land and in our psyches. In some essays, the puma appears front and center: a lion leaps over Rick Bass's feet, hurtles off a cliff in front of J. Frank Dobie, gazes at Julia Corbett when she opens her eyes after an outdoor meditation, emerges from the fog close enough for poet Gary Gildner to touch. Marc Bekoff opens his car door for a dog that turns out to be a lion. Other works evoke lions indirectly. Biologists describe aspects of cougar ecology, such as its rugged habitat and how males struggle to claim territory. Conservationists relate the political history of America's greatest cat. Short stories and essays consider lions' significance to people, reflecting on accidental encounters, dreams, Navajo beliefs, guided hunts, and how vital mountain lions are to people as symbols of power and wildness.
Contributors include: Rick Bass, Marc Bekoff, Janay Brun, Julia B. Corbett, Deanna Dawn, J. Frank Dobie, Suzanne Duarte, Steve Edwards, Joan Fox, Gary Gildner, Wendy Keefover-Ring, Ted Kerasote, Christina Kohlruss, Barry Lopez, BK Loren, Cara Blessley Lowe, Steve Pavlik, David Stoner, and Linda Sweanor.
Marc Bekoff has published twenty books, including The Emotional Lives of Animals, and is a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Writer and photographer Cara Blessley Lowe is author of Spirit of the Rockies and co-founder of The Cougar Fund.
BK Loren, in Listening to Cougar: "If the lion, in all its dark, nocturnal otherness, in all its light, internal sameness, does not exist for future generations, if we destroy its habitat, or call open season on it, what could we possibly find to replace it? It is precisely because we fear large predators that we need them. They hold within them so many things that we have lost, or are on the verge of losing, personally and collectively, permanently and forever. If we sacrifice the fear, we also sacrifice the strength, the wildness, the beauty, the awe." Foreword by Jane Goodall
Listening to Design takes readers on a unique journey into the singular psychology of design. Drawing on his experience as a teacher, architect, and psychotherapist, Andrew Levitt breaks down the entire creative process, from the first moments an idea appears to the final presentation of a project. Combining telling anecdotes, practical advice, and personal insights, this book offers a rarely seen glimpse into the often turbulent creative process of a working designer. It highlights the importance of active listening, the essential role of empathy in solving problems and overcoming obstacles, and reveals how the act of designing is a vehicle for personal development and a profound opportunity for self-transformation.
With clear, jargon-free, and inspirational prose, sections on “Storytelling and the Big Idea,” “Listening and Receiving,” “Getting Stuck,” “Empathy and Collaboration,” and “Presenting and Persuading” signal a larger shift in design toward staying true to creative instincts and learning to trust the surprising power and resilience of the creative process itself. This enlightening and timely book is essential reading for designers, architects, and readers working in all creative fields.
The Homeric poems were not intended for readers, but for a listening audience. Traditional in their basic elements, the stories were learned by oral poets from earlier poets and recreated at every performance. Individual nuances, tailored to the audience, could creep into the stories of the Greek heroes on each and every occasion when a bard recited the epics.
For a particular audience at a particular moment, "tradition" is what it believes it has inherited from the past--and it may not be particularly old. The boundaries between the traditional and the innovative may become blurry and indistinct. By rethinking tradition, we can see Homer's methods and concerns in a new light. The Homeric poet is not naive. He must convince his audience that the story is true. He must therefore seem disinterested, unconcerned with promoting anyone's interests. The poet speaks as if everything he says is merely the repetition of old tales. Yet he carefully ensures that even someone who knows only a minimal amount about the ancient heroes can follow and enjoy the performance, while someone who knows many stories will not remember inappropriate ones. Pretending that every detail is already familiar, the poet heightens suspense and implies that ordinary people are the real judges of great heroes.
Listening to Homer transcends present controversies about Homeric tradition and invention by rethinking how tradition functions. Focusing on reception rather than on composition, Ruth Scodel argues that an audience would only rarely succeed in identifying narrative innovation. Homeric narrative relies on a traditionalizing, inclusive rhetoric that denies the innovation of the oral performance while providing enough information to make the epics intelligible to audiences for whom much of the material is new.
Listening to Homer will be of interest to general classicists, as well as to those specializing in Greek epic and narrative performance. Its wide breadth and scope will also appeal to those non-classicists interested in the nature of oral performance.
Ruth Scodel is Professor of Greek and Latin, University of Michigan, and former president of the American Philological Association.
"Ruth Scodel's Listening to Homer proves it is still possible to explore the workings of epic without recourse to a battery of jargon or technicalities. This is not a 'one big idea' book but a rich . . . set of reflections; it makes refreshing reading . . . ."
---Greece & Rome
"This is an important book, putting the receiving rather than the sending side of the performance of the Homeric epics center stage. The many observations on narrative technique are often new and worthwhile."
---Irene J.F. de Jong, Gnomon
Listening to Images
Tina M. Campt Duke University Press, 2017 Library of Congress TR183.C366 2017
In Listening to Images Tina M. Campt explores a way of listening closely to photography, engaging with lost archives of historically dismissed photographs of black subjects taken throughout the black diaspora. Engaging with photographs through sound, Campt looks beyond what one usually sees and attunes her senses to the other affective frequencies through which these photographs register. She hears in these photos—which range from late nineteenth-century ethnographic photographs of rural African women and photographs taken in an early twentieth-century Cape Town prison to postwar passport photographs in Birmingham, England and 1960s mug shots of the Freedom Riders—a quiet intensity and quotidian practices of refusal. Originally intended to dehumanize, police, and restrict their subjects, these photographs convey the softly buzzing tension of colonialism, the low hum of resistance and subversion, and the anticipation and performance of a future that has yet to happen. Engaging with discourses of fugitivity, black futurity, and black feminist theory, Campt takes these tools of colonialism and repurposes them, hearing and sharing their moments of refusal, rupture, and imagination.
Listening to Mozart
Charles Wyatt University of Iowa Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3573.Y19L5 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
With all the drama and complexity of a symphony, Listening to Mozart traces forty years in the life of flutist James Baxter. Many of the stories in this collection—actually a novel in stories—center on or revolve around James' relationship with Anna, a potter and artist. Each story is a separate movement, yet they combine to create a deeply textured whole work. The stories chronicle James' inward journey, as well as his life and loves, with a voice repeatedly transformed through the years.
“Bach Suite” serves as a prologue and deals with the split in consciousness that often accompanies musical performance. The story imitates the musical form it describes and tunes the reader's ear to the innermost thoughts of a musician. Each succeeding story introduces another episode in James' life—his music school days in Philadelphia with his first love, Zoe, his stint in the U.S. Marine Band during the Vietnam War when he meets Anna, his adventures with his friend Franklin, his experiences with the mysterious Dalawa, a trip with Anna to Toronto to immerse themselves in the culture and music of South India. James' friendships, affairs, experiences, and occasional angst resound in each story.
In all the stories, in all his relationships, James finds himself experiencing his life in much the way he experiences music. There is a moment for which he is waiting, yet for which he is never fully prepared, a moment which passes inexorably. Sometimes, in the rare musical experience, he is able to penetrate that moment and allow time to fall away. These moments are the signposts of his life, like the movements of the Bach suite, but unbidden, and they give him his only perspective and vision.
In 2011, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) turned one hundred years old. But our profession is endlessly beginning, constantly transforming itself and its purpose as new voices and identities claim their rights in our classrooms and in our country. The recognition of such claims, however, does not occur without a struggle, without collective work. Listening to our Elders attempts to capture the history of those collective moments where teachers across grade levels and institutions of higher education organized to insure that the voices, heritages, and traditions of their students and colleagues were recognized within our professional organizations as a vital part of our classrooms and our discipline. In doing so, Listening to Our Elders demonstrates this recognition was not always easily given. Instead, whether the issue was race, sexuality, class, or disability, committed activist organizations have often had to push against the existing limits of our field and its organizations to insure a broader sense of common responsibility and humanity was recognized. Listening to Our Elders features interviews with Malea Powell (Native American Caucus), Joyce Rain Anderson (Native American Caucus), Jeffery Paul Chan (Asian/Asian American), James Hill (Black Caucus), James Dolmage (Committee for Disability Issue in College Composition), Geneva Smitherman (Language Policy Commitee), Carlota Cárdenas de Dwyer (Latino/a Caucus), Victor Villanueva (Latino/a Caucus), Louise Dunlap (Progressive Caucus), Karen Hollis (Progressive Caucus), Louie Crew (Queer Caucus), William Thelin (Working Class Culture and Pedagogy SIG), Bill Macauley (Working Class Culture and Pedagogy SIG).
It has long been assumed that people who prefer Led Zeppelin to Mozart live aesthetically impoverished lives. But why? In Listening to Popular Music, award-winning popular music scholar Theodore Gracyk argues that aesthetic value is just as important in popular listening as it is with “serious” music. And we don’t have to treat popular music as art in order to recognize its worth. Aesthetic values are realized differently in different musical styles, and each requires listening skills that people must learn.
Boldly merging insights from popular music studies, aesthetic theory, cognitive science, psychology, identity theory, and cultural studies, Gracyk crafts an innovative study that argues that understanding aesthetic value is crucial to the enjoyment of all forms of music. Listening to Popular Music thusoffers a new, general framework for understanding what it means to appreciate music, showing that an informed preference for popular music is a response to real values of the music, including aesthetic values.
"Finally, a book on aesthetics that's philosophically grounded, anti-elitist, and tailored to popular music. Much needed and deftly achieved."
—William Echard, Department of Music, and Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture, Carleton University
"A sophisticated account of aesthetic value in popular music that revealingly challenges orthodoxies of cultural studies and traditional aesthetics."
—Stephen Davies, Department of Philosophy, University of Auckland, and author of The Philosophy of Art
"Gracyk's arguments are thoughtful, clear, and persuasive, and it's refreshing to see him expose the flaws in commonly repeated critiques of popular music. This book will challenge open-minded doubters to take popular music seriously."
—Mark Katz, Assistant Professor of Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music
Theodore Gracyk is Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is the author of Rhythm and Noise: An Aesthetics of Rock and I Wanna Be Me: Rock Music and the Politics of Identity, which won the 2002 IASPM-US Woody Guthrie Book Award.
The Cacapon and Lost Rivers are located in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Well loved by paddlers and anglers, these American Heritage Rivers are surrounded by a lush valley of wildlife and flora that is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Although still rural and mostly forested, development and land fragmentation in the Cacapon and Lost River Valley have increased over the last decades. Listening to the Land: Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley is a conversation between the people of this Valley and their land, chronicling this community’s dedication to preserving its farms, forests, and rural heritage.
United around a shared passion for stewardship, the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust and local landowners have permanently protected over 11,000 acres by incorporating local values into permanent conservation action. Despite the economic pressures that have devastated nearby valleys over the past twenty years, natives and newcomers alike have worked to protect this valley by sustaining family homesteads and buying surrounding parcels.This partnership between the Land Trust and the people of this Valley, unprecedented in West Virginia and nationally recognized for its success, greatly enriches historic preservation and conservation movements, bringing to light the need to investigate, pursue, and listen to the enduring connection between people and place.
Through a rigorous integration of policy and science, Robert Wilder suggests a much-improved second-generation governance of the oceans and coasts and proposes new ideas for resolving the environmental policy stalemate found within the U.S. government.
Listening to the Whispers gives voice to scholars in philosophy, medical anthropology, physical therapy, and nursing, helping readers re-think ethics across the disciplines in the context of today's healthcare system. Diverse voices, often unheard, challenge readers to enlarge the circle of their ethical concerns and look for hidden pathways toward new understandings of ethics. Essays range from a focus on the context of corporatization and managed care environments to a call for questioning the fundamental values of society as these values silently affect many others in healthcare. Each chapter is followed by a brief essay that highlights issues useful for scholarly research and classroom discussion. The conversations of interpretive research in healthcare contained in this volume encourage readers to re-think ethics in ways that will help to create an ethical healthcare system with a future of new possibilities.
In A New Writing Classroom, Patrick Sullivan provides a new generation of teachers a means and a rationale to reconceive their approach to teaching writing, calling into question the discipline's dependence on argument.
Including secondary writing teachers within his purview, Sullivan advocates a more diverse, exploratory, and flexible approach to writing activities in grades six through thirteen. A New Writing Classroom encourages teachers to pay more attention to research in learning theory, transfer of learning, international models for nurturing excellence in the classroom, and recent work in listening to teach students the sort of dialogic stance that leads to higher-order thinking and more sophisticated communication.
The conventional argumentative essay is often a simplistic form of argument, widely believed to be the most appropriate type of writing in English classes, but other kinds of writing may be more valuable to students and offer more important kinds of cognitive challenges. Focusing on listening and dispositions or "habits of mind” as central elements of this new composition pedagogy, A New Writing Classroom draws not just on composition studies but also on cognitive psychology, philosophy, learning theory, literature, and history, making an exciting and significant contribution to the field.
In The Race of Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim traces the ways in which sonic attributes that might seem natural, such as the voice and its qualities, are socially produced. Eidsheim illustrates how listeners measure race through sound and locate racial subjectivities in vocal timbre—the color or tone of a voice. Eidsheim examines singers Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, and Jimmy Scott as well as the vocal synthesis technology Vocaloid to show how listeners carry a series of assumptions about the nature of the voice and to whom it belongs. Outlining how the voice is linked to ideas of racial essentialism and authenticity, Eidsheim untangles the relationship between race, gender, vocal technique, and timbre while addressing an undertheorized space of racial and ethnic performance. In so doing, she advances our knowledge of the cultural-historical formation of the timbral politics of difference and the ways that comprehending voice remains central to understanding human experience, all the while advocating for a form of listening that would allow us to hear singers in a self-reflexive, denaturalized way.
We live in a world of talk. Yet Race Sounds argues that we need to listen more—not just hear things, but actively listen—particularly in relation to how we engage race, gender, and class differences. Forging new ideas about the relationship between race and sound, Furlonge explores how black artists—including well-known figures such as writers Ralph Ellison and Zora Neale Hurston, and singers Bettye LaVette and Aretha Franklin, among others—imagine listening. Drawing from a multimedia archive, Furlonge examines how many of the texts call on readers to “listen in print.” In the process, she gives us a new way to read and interpret these canonical, aurally inflected texts, and demonstrates how listening allows us to engage with the sonic lives of difference as readers, thinkers, and citizens.
Intervening in discourses of African American and black feminist literatures, where sound and voice dominate, Furlonge shifts our attention to listening as an aural strategy of cultural, social, and civic engagement that not only enlivens how we read, write, and critique texts, but also informs how we might be more effective audiences for each other and against injustice in our midst. The result is a fascinating examination that brings new insights to African American literature and art, American literature, democratic philosophy, and sound studies.
Extending the feminist rhetorical project to define and model rhetorical listening
Long-ignored within rhetoric and composition studies, listening has returned to the disciplinary radar. Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness argues that rhetorical listening facilitates conscious identifications needed for cross-cultural communication.
Krista Ratcliffe establishes eavesdropping, listening metonymically, and listening pedagogically as approaches to rhetorical listening. She defines and models rhetorical listening, addressing identifications with gender and whiteness within public debates, scholarship, and pedagogy. Offering an approach grounded in classical rhetorical theory, Heideggerian theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory, Ratcliffe presents rhetorical listening as an invention tactic that engages spoken and written texts and supplements reading, writing, speaking, and silence as a rhetorical art.
Theorizing intersections of gender and whiteness, Rhetorical Listening examines how whiteness functions as an "invisible" racial category and provides disciplinary and cultural reasons for the displacement of listening and for the use of rhetorical listening as a code of cross-cultural conduct. Ratcliffe presents rhetorical listening in terms of cultural logics, stances, and dominant interpretive tropes. She highlights the modern identification theory of Kenneth Burke and the postmodern identification and disidentification theory of Diana Fuss and presents nonidentification as a more productive site for rhetorical listening.
In Sensing Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim offers a vibrational theory of music that radically re-envisions how we think about sound, music, and listening. Eidsheim shows how sound, music, and listening are dynamic and contextually dependent, rather than being fixed, knowable, and constant. She uses twenty-first-century operas by Juliana Snapper, Meredith Monk, Christopher Cerrone, and Alba Triana as case studies to challenge common assumptions about sound—such as air being the default medium through which it travels—and to demonstrate the importance a performance's location and reception play in its contingency. By theorizing the voice as an object of knowledge and rejecting the notion of an a priori definition of sound, Eidsheim releases the voice from a constraining set of fixed concepts and meanings. In Eidsheim's theory, music consists of aural, tactile, spatial, physical, material, and vibrational sensations. This expanded definition of music as manifested through material and personal relations suggests that we are all connected to each other in and through sound. Sensing Sound will appeal to readers interested in sound studies, new musicology, contemporary opera, and performance studies.
In Silence and Listening as Rhetorical Arts,editors Cheryl Glenn and Krista Ratcliffe bring together seventeen essays by new and established scholars that demonstrate the value and importance of silence and listening to the study and practice of rhetoric. Building on the editors’ groundbreaking research, which respects the power of the spoken word while challenging the marginalized status of silence and listening, this volumemakes a strong case for placing these overlooked concepts, and their intersections, at the forefront of rhetorical arts within rhetoric and composition studies.
Divided into three parts—History, Theory and Criticism, and Praxes—this book reimagines traditional histories and theories of rhetoric and incorporates contemporary interests, such as race, gender, and cross-cultural concerns, into scholarly conversations about rhetorical history, theory, criticism, and praxes. For the editors and the other contributors to this volume, silence is not simply the absence of sound and listening is not a passive act. When used strategically and with purpose—together and separately—silence and listening are powerful rhetorical devices integral to effective communication. The essays cover a wide range of subjects, including women rhetors from ancient Greece and medieval and Renaissance Europe; African philosophy and African American rhetoric; contemporary antiwar protests in the United States; activist conflict resolution in Israel and Palestine; and feminist and second-language pedagogies.
Taken together, the essays in this volume advance the argument that silence and listening are as important to rhetoric and composition studies as the more traditionally emphasized arts of reading, writing, and speaking and are particularly effective for theorizing, historicizing, analyzing, and teaching. An extremely valuable resource for instructors and students in rhetoric, composition, and communication studies, Silence and Listening as Rhetorical Arts will also have applications beyond academia, helping individuals, cultural groups, and nations more productively discern and implement appropriate actions when all parties agree to engage in rhetorical situations that include not only respectful speaking, reading, and writing but also productive silence and rhetorical listening.
What is the relationship between anger and justice, especially when so much of our moral education has taught us to value the impartial spectator, the cold distance of reason? In Sing the Rage, Sonali Chakravarti wrestles with this question through a careful look at the emotionally charged South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which from 1996 to 1998 saw, day after day, individuals taking the stand to speak—to cry, scream, and wail—about the atrocities of apartheid. Uncomfortable and surprising, these public emotional displays, she argues, proved to be of immense value, vital to the success of transitional justice and future political possibilities.
Chakravarti takes up the issue from Adam Smith and Hannah Arendt, who famously understood both the dangers of anger in politics and the costs of its exclusion. Building on their perspectives, she argues that the expression and reception of anger reveal truths otherwise unavailable to us about the emerging political order, the obstacles to full civic participation, and indeed the limits—the frontiers—of political life altogether. Most important, anger and the development of skills needed to truly listen to it foster trust among citizens and recognition of shared dignity and worth. An urgent work of political philosophy in an era of continued revolution, Sing the Rage offers a clear understanding of one of our most volatile—and important—political responses.
Philip Metres stakes a claim for the cultural work that poems can perform—from providing refuge to embodying resistance, from recovering silenced voices to building a more just world, in communities of solitude and solidarity. Gathering a decade of his writing on poetry, he widens our sense of poetry as a way of being in the world, proposing that poems can offer a permeability to marginalized voices and a shelter from the imperial noise and despair that can silence us. The Sound of Listening ranges between expansive surveys of the poetry of 9/11, Arab American poetry, documentary poetry, landscape poetry, installation poetry, and peace poetry; personal explorations of poets such as Adrienne Rich, Khalil Gibran, Lev Rubinstein, and Arseny Tarkovsky; and intimate dialogues with Randa Jarrar, Fady Joudah, and Micah Cavaleri, that illuminate Metres’s practice of listening in his 2015 work, Sand Opera.
Sounds of Ethnicity takes us into the linguistic, cultural, and geographical borderlands of German North America in the Great Lakes region between 1850 and 1914. Drawing connections between immigrant groups in Buffalo, New York, and Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, Barbara Lorenzkowski examines the interactions of language and music—specifically German-language education, choral groups, and music festivals—and their roles in creating both an ethnic sense of self and opportunities for cultural exchanges at the local, ethnic, and transnational levels. She exposes the tensions between the self-declared ethnic leadership that extolled the virtues of the German mother tongue as preserver of ethnic identity and gateway to scholarship and high culture, and the hybrid realities of German North America where the lives of migrants were shaped by two languages, English and German. Theirs was a song not of cultural purity, but of cultural fusion that gave meaning to the way German migrants made a home for themselves in North America.Written in lively and elegant prose, Sounds of Ethnicity is a new and exciting approach to the history of immigration and identity in North America.
Everybody’s got a theory . . . or do they?
Thomas McLaughlin argues that critical theory—raising serious, sustained questions about cultural practice and ideology—is practiced not only by an academic elite but also by savvy viewers of sitcoms and TV news, by Elvis fans and Trekkies, by labor organizers and school teachers, by the average person in the street.
Like academic theorists, who are trained in a tradition of philosophical and political skepticism that challenges all orthodoxies, the vernacular theorists McLaughlin identifies display a lively and healthy alertness to contradiction and propaganda. They are not passive victims of ideology but active questioners of the belief systems that have power over their lives. Their theoretical work arises from the circumstances they confront on the job, in the family, in popular culture. And their questioning of established institutions, McLaughlin contends, is essential and healthy, for it energizes other theorists who clarify the purpose and strategies of institutions and justify the existence of cultural practices. Street Smarts and Critical Theory leads us through eye-opening explorations of social activism in the Southern Christian anti-pornography movement, fan critiques in the ‘zine scene, New Age narratives of healing and transformation, the methodical manipulations of the advertising profession, and vernacular theory in the whole-language movement. Emphasizing that theory is itself a pervasive cultural practice, McLaughlin calls on academic institutions to recognize and develop the theoretical strategies that students bring into the classroom.
“This book demystifies the idea of theory, taking it out of the hands of a priestly caste and showing it as the democratic endowment of the people.”—Daniel T. O’Hara, Temple University, author of Radical Parody: American Culture and Critical Agency after Foucault and Lionel Trilling: The Work of Liberation.
“McLaughlin takes seriously the critical and theoretical activity of everyday people and does so in a way that will empower these very populations to take seriously their own activities as theorists. . . . A manifesto that is sure to be heard by the younger generation of thinkers in American cultural studies.”—Henry Jenkins, MIT, author of Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture
Argentina’s repressive 1976–83 dictatorship, during which an estimated thirty thousand people were “disappeared,” prompted the postauthoritarian administrations and human rights groups to encourage public exposure of past crimes and traumas. Truth commissions, trials, and other efforts have aimed to break the silence and give voice to the voiceless. Yet despite these many reckonings, there are still silences, taboos, and unanswerable questions.
Nancy J. Gates-Madsen reads between the lines of Argentine cultural texts (fiction, drama, testimonial narrative, telenovela, documentary film) to explore the fundamental role of silence—the unsaid—in the expression of trauma. Her careful examination of the interplay between textual and contextual silences illuminates public debate about the meaning of memory in Argentina—which stories are being told and, more important, which are being silenced. The imposition of silence is not limited to the military domain or its apologists, she shows; the human rights community also perpetuates and creates taboos.