The Avant-Garde and the Popular in Modern China explores how an important group of Chinese performing artists invested in politics and the pursuit of the avant-garde came to terms with different ways of being “popular” in modern times. In particular, playwright and activist Tian Han (1898-1968) exemplified the instability of conventional delineations between the avant-garde, popular culture, and political propaganda. Liang Luo traces Tian’s trajectory through key moments in the evolution of twentieth-century Chinese national culture, from the Christian socialist cosmopolitanism of post–WWI Tokyo to the urban modernism of Shanghai in 1920s and 30s, then into the Chinese hinterland during the late 1930s and 40s, and finally to the Communist Beijing of the 1950s, revealing the dynamic interplay of art and politics throughout this period. Understanding Tian in his time sheds light upon a new generation of contemporary Chinese avant-gardists (Ai Wei Wei being the best known), who, half a century later, are similarly engaging national politics and popular culture.
For as long as Mexicans have emigrated to the United States they have responded creatively to the challenges of making a new home. But although historical, sociological, and other aspects of Mexican immigration have been widely studied, its cultural and artistic manifestations have been largely overlooked by scholars—even though Mexico has produced the greatest number of cultural works inspired by the immigration process. And recently Chicana/o artists have addressed immigration as a central theme in their cultural productions and motifs. Culture across Borders is the first and only book-length study to analyze a wide range of cultural manifestations of the immigration experience, including art, literature, cinema, corridos, and humor. It shows how Mexican immigrants have been depicted in popular culture both in Mexico and the United States—and how Mexican and Chicano/Chicana artists, intellectuals, and others have used artistic means to protest the unjust treatment of immigrants by U.S. authorities. Established and upcoming scholars from both sides of the border contribute their expertise in art history, literary criticism, history, cultural studies, and other fields, capturing the many facets of the immigrant experience in popular culture. Topics include the difference between Chicano/a and Mexican representation of immigration; how films dealing with immigrants are treated differently by Mexican, Chicano, and Hollywood producers; the rich literary and artistic production on immigration themes; and the significance of immigration in Chicano jokes. As a first step in addressing the cultural dimensions of Mexican immigration to the United States, this book captures how the immigration process has inspired powerful creative responses on both sides of the border.
A widely disseminated photograph of Phoolan Devi, India’s famous bandit queen, surrendering to police forces in 1983 became an emotional touchstone for Indians who saw the outlaw as a lower-caste folk hero. That affective response was reignited in 1994 with the release of a feature film based on Phoolan Devi’s life. Despite charges of murder, arson, and looting pending against her, the bandit queen was elected to India’s parliament in 1996. Bishnupriya Ghosh considers Phoolan Devi, as well as Mother Teresa and Arundhati Roy, the prize winning author turned environmental activist, to be global icons: highly visible public figures capable of galvanizing intense affect and sometimes even catalyzing social change. Ghosh develops a materialist theory of global iconicity, taking into account the emotional and sensory responses that these iconic figures elicit, the globalized mass media through which their images and life stories travel, and the multiple modernities within which they are interpreted. The collective aspirations embodied in figures such as Barack Obama, Eva Perón, and Princess Diana show that Ghosh’s theory applies not just in South Asia but around the world.
Mamie Smith's 1920 recording of "Crazy Blues" is commonly thought to signify the beginning of commercial attention to blues music and culture, but by that year more than 450 other blues titles had already appeared in sheet music and on recordings. In this examination of early popular blues, Peter C. Muir traces the genre's early history and the highly creative interplay between folk and popular forms, focusing especially on the roles W. C. Handy played in both blues music and the music business.
Long Lost Blues exposes for the first time the full scope and importance of early popular blues to mainstream American culture in the early twentieth century. Closely analyzing sheet music and other print sources that have previously gone unexamined, Muir revises our understanding of the evolution and sociology of blues at its inception.
An internationally recognized pianist, composer, scholar, and conductor, Peter C. Muir is the cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Music and Health in Verbank, New York.
When thinking of indigenous music, many people may imagine acoustic instruments and pastoral settings far removed from the whirl of modern life. But, in contemporary Peru, indigenous chimaycha music has become a wildly popular genre that is even heard in the nightclubs of Lima. In Making Music Indigenous, Joshua Tucker traces the history of this music and its key performers over fifty years to show that there is no single way to “sound indigenous.” The musicians Tucker follows make indigenous culture and identity visible in contemporary society by establishing a cultural and political presence for Peru’s indigenous peoples through activism, artisanship, and performance. This musical representation of indigeneity not only helps shape contemporary culture, it also provides a lens through which to reflect on the country’s past. Tucker argues that by following the musicians that have championed chimaycha music in its many forms, we can trace shifting meanings of indigeneity—and indeed, uncover the ways it is constructed, transformed, and ultimately recreated through music.
Drawing on deconstruction, postcolonial theory, cultural studies, and subaltern studies, The Other Side of the Popular is as much a reflection on the limitations and possibilities for thinking about the politics of Latin American culture as it is a study of the culture itself. Gareth Williams pays particular attention to the close relationship between complex cultural shifts and the development of the neoliberal nation-state. The modern Latin American nation, he argues, was built upon the idea of "the people," a citizenry with common interests transcending demographic and cultural differences. As nations have weakened in relation to the global economy, this moment—of the popular as the basis of nation-building—has passed, causing seismic shifts in the relationships between governments and cultural formations. Williams asserts that these changed relationships necessitate the rethinking of fundamental concepts such as "the popular" and "the nation." He maintains that the perspective of subalternity is vital to this theoretical project because it demands the reimagining of the connections between critical reason and its objects of analysis.
Williams develops his argument through studies of events highlighting Latin America’s uneasy, and often violent, transition to late capitalism over the past thirty years. He looks at the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico, genocide in El Salvador, the Sendero in Peru, Chile’s and Argentina’s transitions to democratic governments, and Latin Americans’ migration northward. Williams also reads film, photography, and literary works, including Ricardo Piglia’s The Absent City and the statements of a young Salvadoran woman, the daughter of ex-guerrilleros, living in South Central Los Angeles.
The Other Side of the Popular is an incisive interpretation of Latin American culture and politics over the last few decades as well as a thoughtful meditation on the state of Latin American cultural studies.
Out in Culture charts some of the ways in which lesbians, gays, and queers have understood and negotiated the pleasures and affirmations, as well as the disappointments, of mass culture. The essays collected here, combining critical and theoretical works from a cross-section of academics, journalists, and artists, demonstrate a rich variety of gay and lesbian approaches to film, television, popular music, and fashion. This wide-ranging anthology is the first to juxtapose pioneering work in gay and lesbian media criticism with recent essays in contemporary queer cultural studies. Uniquely accessible, Out in Culture presents such popular writers as B. Ruby Rich, Essex Hemphill, and Michael Musto as well as influential critics such as Richard Dyer, Chris Straayer, and Julia Lesage, on topics ranging from the queer careers of Agnes Moorehead and Pee Wee Herman to the cultural politics of gay drag, lesbian style, the visualization of AIDS, and the black snap! queen experience. Of particular interest are two "dossiers," the first linking essays on the queer content of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, and the second on the production and reception of popular music within gay and lesbian communities. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography—the most comprehensive currently available—of sources in gay, lesbian, and queer media criticism. Out in Culture explores the distinctive and original ways in which gays, lesbians, and queers have experienced, appropriated, and resisted the images and artifacts of popular culture. This eclectic anthology will be of interest to a broad audience of general readers and scholars interested in gay and lesbian issues; students of film, media, gender, and cultural studies; and those interested in the emerging field of queer theory.
Contributors. Sabrina Barton, Edith Becker, Rhona J. Berenstein, Nayland Blake, Michelle Citron, Danae Clark, Corey K. Creekmur, Alexander Doty, Richard Dyer, Heather Findlay, Jan Zita Grover, Essex Hemphill, John Hepworth, Jeffrey Hilbert, Lucretia Knapp, Bruce La Bruce, Al LaValley, Julia Lesage, Michael Moon, Michael Musto, B. Ruby Rich, Marlon Riggs, Arlene Stein, Chris Straayer, Anthony Thomas, Mark Thompson, Valerie Traub, Thomas Waugh, Patricia White, Robin Wood
A field-shaping anthology by top cultural critics and practitioners representing a wide range of disciplines and art forms, Performing Brazil is the first book to bring together studies of the many and varied manifestations of Brazilian performance in and beyond their country of origin. Arguing that diverse forms of performance are best understood when presented in tandem, it offers new takes on better-known forms, such as carnival and capoeira, as well as those studied less often, including gender acts, curatorial practice, political protest, and the performance of Brazil in the United States.
The contributors to the volume are Maria José Somerlate Barbosa, Eric A. Galm, Annie McNeill Gibson, Ana Paula Höfling, Benjamin Legg, Bryan McCann, Simone Osthoff, Fernando de Sousa Rocha, Cristina F. Rosa, Alessandra Santos, and Lidia Santos.
In Los Angeles, night after night, the city's salsa clubs become social arenas where hierarchies of gender, race, and class, and of nationality, citizenship, and belonging are enacted on and off the dance floor. In an ethnography filled with dramatic narratives, Cindy García describes how local salseras/os gain social status by performing an exoticized L.A.–style salsa that distances them from club practices associated with Mexicanness. Many Latinos in Los Angeles try to avoid "dancing like a Mexican," attempting to rid their dancing of techniques that might suggest that they are migrants, poor, working-class, Mexican, or undocumented. In L.A. salsa clubs, social belonging and mobility depend on subtleties of technique and movement. With a well-timed dance-floor exit or the lift of a properly tweezed eyebrow, a dancer signals affiliation not only with a distinctive salsa style but also with a particular conceptualization of latinidad.
Since its emergence in the 1960s, salsa has transformed from a symbol of Nuyorican pride into an emblem of pan-Latinism and finally a form of global popular culture. While Latinos all over the world have developed and even exported their own “dance accents,” local dance scenes have arisen in increasingly far-flung locations, each with their own flavor and unique features.
Salsa Worldexamines the ways in which bodies relate to culture in specific places. The contributors, a notable group of scholars and practitioners, analyze dance practices in the U.S., Japan, Spain, France, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Writing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, and performance studies, the contributors explore salsa’s kinetopias - places defined by movement, or vice versa- as they have arisen through the dance’s interaction with local histories, identities, and musical forms.
Taken together, the essays in this book examine contemporary salsa dancing in all its complexity, taking special note of how it is localized and how issues of geography, race and ethnicity, and identity interact with the global salsa industry.
Contributors include Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez,Katherine Borland, Joanna Bosse, Rossy Díaz, Saúl Escalona, Kengo Iwanaga, Isabel Llano, Jonathan S. Marion, Priscilla Renta, Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel, and the editor.
In the series Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel