The Cultures of Celebrations
Edited by Ray B. Browne and Michael T. Marsden University of Wisconsin Press, 1994 Library of Congress GT3930.C85 1994 | Dewey Decimal 394.26
Popular entertainments are windows into the attitudes and values of the people who participate in them. They both reflect and affect society as they celebrate an aspect of life. The fifteen essays in this collection demonstrate various aspects of celebrations of cultures and the importance they have in those cultures.
Topics include: feminine processions and masculine parades; political activism and quietism in Shi’a rituals; civic socializing in Puritan New England; the circus and American culture; the Wild West shows; beauty pageants; theme parks; Bourbon Street, New Orleans; and Stonehenge.
Film and television are subjects of intense study throughout higher education today. Popular culture has undergone a revolution during the last generation, progressing from a discipline at the margins that was reflexively treated with contempt to one of the most widespread and productive topic areas in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The increased attention on film and television is clearly part of this overall acceptance and growing cachet now accorded popular culture in the academy.
The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association found a fixed canon and revolutionized the study of the humanities and social sciences in the United States and around the world by making that canon fluid. The full ramifications of this revolt against traditional academia not finished nor fully understood. This is a record of the goals and accomplishments of the pioneers in this field. The essays recall the barriers that the first pop culture scholars faced and tracks their achievements.