@ is For Activism examines the transformation of politics through digital media, including digital television, online social networking and mobile computing.
Joss Hands maps out how political relationships have been reconfigured and new modes of cooperation, deliberation and representation have emerged. This analysis is applied to the organisation and practice of alternative politics, showing how they have developed and embraced the new political and technological environment.
Hands offers a comprehensive critical survey of existing literature, as well as an original perspective on networks and political change. He includes many case studies including the anti-war and global justice movements, peer production, user created TV and 'Twitter' activism. @ is For Activism is essential for activists and students of politics and media.
In Another Aesthetics Is Possible Jennifer Ponce de León examines the roles that art can play in the collective labor of creating and defending another social reality. Focusing on artists and art collectives in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, Ponce de León shows how experimental practices in the visual, literary, and performing arts have been influenced by and articulated with leftist movements and popular uprisings that have repudiated neoliberal capitalism and its violence. Whether enacting solidarity with Zapatista communities through an alternate reality game or using surrealist street theater to amplify the more radical strands of Argentina's human rights movement, these artists fuse their praxis with forms of political mobilization from direct-action tactics to economic resistance. Advancing an innovative transnational and transdisciplinary framework of analysis, Ponce de León proposes a materialist understanding of art and politics that brings to the fore the power of aesthetics to both compose and make visible a world beyond capitalism.
A Rediscovered History That Will Become Essential Reading for Civil War Studies
The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–65, is a comprehensive overview and analysis of the U.S. Army’s field artillery service in the Civil War’s principal battles, written by John C. Tidball, a distinguished artilleryman of the era. The overview, which appeared in the Journal of the Military Service Institution from 1891 to 1893, and nearly impossible to find today, examines the Army of the Potomac, including the battles of Fair Oaks, Gaines’s Mill, Mechanicsville, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; the Army of the Tennessee, including the battles of Stones River and Chickamauga, and the Army of the Ohio’s battle of Shiloh. Tidball, a decorated Civil War veteran and superintendent of artillery instruction for the army, expertly presents the war through an artilleryman’s eyes in explaining the organization, equipping, and manning of the artillery service. His analysis highlights how the improper use of artillery, tying batteries down to relatively small infantry commands that diluted their firepower, seriously undermined the army’s effectiveness until reforms produced independent artillery commands that could properly mass artillery fire in battle.
The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, edited by historian Lawrence M. Kaplan and presented here in one volume for the first time, includes additional material from an unpublished paper Tidball wrote in 1905 which contains further insights into the artillery service, as well as a general overview of the Petersburg campaign. A major new discovery in Civil War scholarship, The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion contains essential information that will change earlier historical interpretations of key battles and will be essential reading for all those interested in the war or contemplating writing about it.
By the late 1970s, drugs, blue jeans, rock and roll, and sexual precocity appeared to be all that remained of the cultural ferment of the 1960s. In this classic new study of high school-aged youth in the eartly 70s, Gary Schwartz reveals subtle yet significant changes in the style of deviance in adolescent culture. He argues that a new sort of peer-group pluralism emerged from the counter-culture movement of the 60s, a deviance defined less by persistent violations of the law than by disengagement from traditional images of success and civic responsibility.
A challenge to the prevailing idea that Confederate ironclads were inherently defective
The development of steam propulsion machinery in warships during the nineteenth century, in conjunction with iron armor and shell guns, resulted in a technological revolution in the world’s navies. Warships utilizing all of these technologies were built in France and Great Britain in the 1850s, but it was during the American Civil War that large numbers of ironclads powered solely by steam proved themselves to be quite capable warships.
Historians have given little attention to the engineering of Confederate ironclads, although the Confederacy was often quite creative in building and obtaining marine power plants. Engines of Rebellion: Confederate Ironclads and Steam Engineering in the American Civil War focuses exclusively on ships with American built machinery, offering a detailed look at marine steam-engineering practices in both northern and southern industry prior to and during the Civil War.
Beginning with a contextual naval history of the Civil War, the creation of the ironclad program, and the advent of various technologies, Saxon T. Bisbee analyzes the armored warships built by the Confederate States of America that represented a style adapted to scarce industrial resources and facilities. This unique historical and archaeological investigation consolidates and expands on the scattered existing information about Confederate ironclad steam engines, boilers, and propulsion systems.
Through analysis of steam machinery development during the Civil War, Bisbee assesses steam plants of twenty-seven ironclads by source, type, and performance, among other factors. The wartime role of each vessel is discussed, as well as the stories of the people and establishments that contributed to its completion and operation. Rare engineering diagrams never before published or gathered in one place are included here as a complement to the text.
The years after the Civil War brought struggle to the Southern farmer as the economic mainstay of the South—cotton—steadily dropped in price. Prompted by hard times, farmers in Lampasas County, Texas, gathered in 1877 to discuss what could be done. From these modest origins emerged the National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union, later known as the Southern Farmers Alliance, a powerful protest movement that played an important role in the formation in 1892 of a new political force, the People's party. In the "solid South," particularly in Texas, large numbers of voters abandoned the Democratic party for the new party. Yet despite this support, the decline of the People's party after 1894 was swift. Farmers in Rebellion recounts the compelling story of these two crucial and closely related movements. Donna A. Barnes examines their developmental histories, asking such important questions as: Under what conditions do protest movements remain weak? Under what conditions do they prosper, amassing large numbers of supporters? And under what conditions do successful protest movements lose their momentum and die? The author explores these complex questions with deft use of archival data that allows her to reflect on the adequacy of the past sociological answers to these questions. Farmers in Rebellion is a book rich in detail and scope in its look at a critical juncture in the growth of national populist movements. Of interest to sociologists, historians, and political scientists, it stands as an important contribution to our understanding of a pivotal time in Texas, and national, history.Donna A. Barnes is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wyoming.
Three Scottish weavers, James Wilson, Andrew Hardie and John Baird, were hanged and beheaded for high treason in the summer of 1820. Nineteen more men were transported to the penal colony of Botany Bay. Their crime? To have taken up arms against a corrupt and nepotistic parliament, and the aristocratic government that refused to reform it.
This 'Radical War' was the culmination of five years of unsuccessful mass petitioning of Westminster by working people in Scotland and England. The contempt and intransigence of the Tory government forced an escalation in tactics, and on Easter Monday of 1820, the call for a general strike was answered throughout the western counties of Scotland. Their demands were threefold: the vote for all men, annual parliaments and equal constituencies. Coupled with an armed rebellion, the strike was met by the full military might of the British state; hundreds were arrested and imprisoned without trial, while hundreds more fled the country.
This Scottish general strike and insurrection is a little-known chapter of British history and yet remains an immensely important one in the long fight for democracy. In The Fight for Scottish Democracy, Murray Armstrong brings these events dramatically to life.
In the winter of 1834, twenty men convened in Keene, New Hampshire, and published a fiery address condemning their state's legal system as an abomination that threatened the legacy of the American Revolution. They attacked New Hampshire's constitution as an archaic document that undermined democracy and created a system of conniving attorneys and judges. They argued that the time was right for their neighbors to rise up and return the Granite State to the glorious pathway blazed by the nation's founders.
Few people embraced the manifesto and its radical message. Nonetheless, as Eric J. Morser illustrates in this eloquently written and deeply researched book, the address matters because it reveals how commercial, cultural, political, and social changes were remaking the lives of the men who drafted and shared it in the 1830s. Using an imaginative range of sources, Morser artfully reconstructs their moving personal tales and locates them in a grander historical context. By doing so, he demonstrates that even seemingly small stories from antebellum America can help us understand the rich complexities of the era.
From Rebellion to Riots is a critical analysis of the roots of contemporary violence in one of Indonesia’s most ethnically heterogeneous provinces, West Kalimantan. Since the late 1960s, this province has suffered periodic outbreaks of ethnic violence among its Dayak, Malay, Madurese, and ethnic Chinese populations. Citing evidence from his research, internal military documents, and ethnographic accounts, Jamie S. Davidson refutes popular explanations for these flare-ups. The recurrent violence has less to do with a clash of cultures, the ills of New Order-led development, or indigenous marginalization than with the ongoing politicization of ethnic and indigenous identity in the region.
Looking at key historical moments, markedly different in their particulars, Davidson reveals the important links between ethnic violence and subnational politics. In one case, army officers in Soeharto’s recently established New Order regime encouraged anti-Chinese sentiments. To move against communist-inspired rebellion, they recruited indigenous Dayaks to expunge tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese from interior towns and villages. This counter-insurgent bloodshed inadvertently initiated a series of clashes between Dayaks and Madurese, another migrant community. Driven by an indigenous empowerment movement and efforts by local elites to control benefits provided by decentralization and democratization, these low-intensity riots rose to immense proportions in the late 1990s. From Rebellion to Riots demonstrates that the endemic violence in this vast region is not the inevitable outcome of its ethnic diversity, and reveals that the initial impetus for collective bloodshed is not necessarily the same as the forces that sustain it.
“A comprehensive case study . . . . Essential reading for students of the West Kalimantan violence.”—Dave McRae, Indonesia
The British public school is an iconic institution, a training ground for the ruling elite and a symbol of national identity and tradition. But beyond the elegant architecture and evergreen playing fields is a turbulent history of teenage rebellion, sexual dissidence, and political radicalism. James Brooke-Smith wades into the wilder shores of public-school life over the last three hundred years in Gilded Youth. He uncovers armed mutinies in the late eighteenth century, a Victorian craze for flagellation, dandy-aesthetes of the 1920s, quasi-scientific discourse on masturbation, Communist scares in the 1930s, and the salacious tabloid scandals of the present day.
Drawing on personal experience, extensive research, and public school representations in poetry, school slang, spy films, popular novels, and rock music, Brooke-Smith offers a fresh account of upper-class adolescence in Britain and the role of elite private education in shaping youth culture. He shows how this central British institution has inspired a counterculture of artists, intellectuals, and radicals—from Percy Shelley and George Orwell to Peter Gabriel and Richard Branson—who have rebelled against both the schools themselves and the wider society for which they stand. Written with verve and humor in the tradition of Owen Jones’s The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It, this highly original cultural history is an eye-opening leap over the hallowed iron gates of privilege—and perturbation.
For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its vibrant past. How accurate is this prediction? Is Newark on the verge of revitalization? Robert Curvin, who was one of New Jersey’s outstanding civil rights leaders, examines the city, chronicling its history, politics, and culture. Throughout the pages of Inside Newark, Curvin approaches his story both as an insider who is rooting for Newark and as an objective social scientist illuminating the causes and effects of sweeping changes in the city
Based on historical records and revealing interviews with over one hundred residents and officials, Inside Newark traces Newark’s history from the 1950s, when the city was a thriving industrial center, to the era of Mayor Cory Booker. Along the way, Curvin covers the disturbances of July 1967, called a riot by the media and a rebellion by residents; the administration of Kenneth Gibson, the first black mayor of a large northeastern city; and the era of Sharpe James, who was found guilty of corruption. Curvin examines damaging housing and mortgage policies, the state takeover of the failing school system, the persistence of corruption and patronage, Newark’s shifting ethnic and racial composition, positive developments in housing and business complexes, and the reign of ambitious mayor Cory Booker.
Inside Newark reveals a central weakness that continues to plague Newark—that throughout this history, elected officials have not risen to the challenges they have faced. Curvin calls on those in positions of influence to work for the social and economic improvement of all groups and concludes with suggestions for change, focusing on education reform, civic participation, financial management, partnerships with agencies and business, improving Newark’s City Council, and limiting the term of the mayor. If Newark’s leadership can encompass these changes, Newark will have a chance at a true turnaround.
On April 5, 1918, as American troops fought German forces on the Western Front, German American coal miner Robert Prager was hanged from a tree outside Collinsville, Illinois, having been accused of disloyal utterances about the United States and chased out of town by a mob. In Labor, Loyalty, and Rebellion: Southwestern Illinois Coal Miners and World War I, Carl R. Weinberg offers a new perspective on the Prager lynching and confronts the widely accepted belief among labor historians that workers benefited from demonstrating loyalty to the nation.
The first published study of wartime strikes in southwestern Illinois is a powerful look at a group of people whose labor was essential to the war economy but whose instincts for class solidarity spawned a rebellion against mine owners both during and after the war. At the same time, their patriotism wreaked violent working-class disunity that crested in the brutal murder of an immigrant worker. Weinberg argues that the heightened patriotism of the Prager lynching masked deep class tensions within the mining communities of southwestern Illinois that exploded after the Great War ended.
Between 1880 and 1922, the coal fields of southern West Virginia witnessed two bloody and protracted strikes, the formation of two competing unions, and the largest armed conflict in American labor history—a week-long battle between 20,000 coal miners and 5,000 state police, deputy sheriffs, and mine guards. These events resulted in an untold number of deaths, indictments of over 550 coal miners for insurrection and treason, and four declarations of martial law. Corbin argues that these violent events were collective and militant acts of aggression interconnected and conditioned by decades of oppression. His study goes a long way toward breaking down the old stereotypes of Appalachian and coal mining culture. This second edition contains a new preface and afterword by author David A. Corbin.
During the period 1769-1850, republican national institutions slowly replaced colonial and monarchical rule. This was a turbulent time in rural Mexico. It was a period of political instability marked by violent peasant rebellions that were longer, more violent, and involved more people than those that occurred in the colonial era. Mexican villagers became skilled insurrectionists. In this book, Michael Ducey analyzes the peasant rebellions in Mexico’s Huasteca region over that time, beginning with short-lived colonial riots, progressing through a long and brutal insurrection associated with the war of independence and several region-wide uprisings, and culminating in the "Caste War of the Huasteca" of the 1840s.
He asks not just why villagers revolted but how their discontent fit into the political drama of early national Mexico. Ducey shows how the war offered opportunities for villagers to settle scores with members of the local elite as peasants discovered new ways of imagining the state. They were far from being the isolated traditionalists who occasionally rebelled against political or economic change described in older scholarship. At least until the 1848-1850 Caste War, political disputes were more important than land.
This region’s peasants were both remarkably diverse and politically astute. Villagers adapted colonial political culture and later republican ideas to fashion local institutions that fit their own needs. Over the course of a hundred years, peasant tactics and political discourse evolved in a constant dialogue with the changing political climate, shifting from rhetorical statements of loyalty to the king to proclamations of federalism and their rights as citizens. A Nation of Villages ably demonstrates that rural villagers were more aware of elite ideologies than urban rulers were of the villagers’ political ideas. This long-term analysis of one region illuminates how rural people helped shape the republican state.
Arkansas, the Old South’s last frontier, was forced, after the election of Lincoln, to face the issue of secession. A decade earlier, the state had spurned all efforts from within to withdraw from the Union, but the following ten years drew Arkansas deeper into the economic and cultural community that bound it to the other slaveholding states. Now rumblings of secession were heard even before the president-elect assumed office on March 4, 1861. The question was asked on street corners, in offices, barbershops and living rooms: Would Arkansas leave the Union?
Answers to that question caused a fundamental realignment of politics in Arkansas during the winter of 1860–61. The former political coalition of Democrat and Whig fell away in a geographical split between the uplands and the lowlands. In this important and exciting book, the first to tell the story of Arkansas’s road to secession, James Woods examines the differences between uplanders, whose mountain regions offered little useful farmland for any crop, and lowlanders, whose vast deltas were ideally suited for cotton farming. The southern portion of the state began to rely increasingly upon slavery as it became linked to the economy of cotton and Southern antebellum values, but the northern region of the state did not. Woods focuses upon the resulting social, economic, and geographic divisions that grew within Arkansas before and during the secession crisis. He captures the political struggles of the state as it tore away from the nation, and as it threatened, in so doing, to tear itself apart.
Rebellion in the Backlands
Euclides da Cunha University of Chicago Press, 1957 Library of Congress F2537.C9752 | Dewey Decimal 981
Euclides da Cunha's classic account of the brutal campaigns against religious mystic Antonio Conselheiro has been called the Bible of Brazilian nationality.
"Euclides da Cunha went on the campaigns [against Conselheiro] as a journalist and what he returned with and published in 1902 is still unsurpassed in Latin American literature. Cunha is a talent as grand, spacious, entangled with knowledge, curiosity, and bafflement as the country itself. . . . On every page there is a heart of idea, speculation, dramatic observation that tells of a creative mission undertaken, the identity of the nation, and also the creation of a pure and eloquent prose style."—Elizabeth Hardwick, Bartleby in Manhattan
How General Washington Avoided the Peril From Within His Own Forces "It gives me great pain to be obliged to solicit the attention of the honorable Congress to the state of the army...the greater part of the army is in a state not far from mutiny...I know not to whom to impute this failure, but I am of the opinion, if the evil is not immediately remedied and more punctuality observed in future, the army must absolutely break up."—George Washington, September 1775
Mutiny has always been a threat to the integrity of armies, particularly under trying circumstances, and since Concord and Lexington, mutiny had been the Continental Army's constant traveling companion. It was not because the soldiers lacked resolve to overturn British rule or had a lack of faith in their commanders. It was the scarcity of food—during winter months it was not uncommon for soldiers to subsist on a soup of melted snow, a few peas, and a scrap of fat—money, clothing, and proper shelter, that forced soldiers to desert or organize resistance. Mutiny was not a new concept for George Washington. During his service in the French and Indian War he had tried men under his command for the offense and he knew that disaffection and lack of morale in an army was a greater danger than an armed enemy.
In Rebellion in the Ranks: Mutinies of the American Revolution, John A. Nagy provides one of the most original and valuable contributions to American Revolutionary War history in recent times. Mining previously ignored British and American primary source documents and reexamining other period writings, Nagy has corrected misconceptions about known events, such as the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny, while identifying for the first time previously unknown mutinies. Covering both the army and the navy, Nagy relates American officers' constant struggle to keep up the morale of their troops, while highlighting British efforts to exploit this potentially fatal flaw.
In response to the tragedy of the Ludlow Massacre, John D. Rockefeller Jr. introduced one of the nation’s first employee representation plans (ERPs) to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1915. With the advice of William Mackenzie King, who would go on to become prime minister of Canada, the plan—which came to be known as the Rockefeller Plan—was in use until 1942 and became the model for ERPs all over the world.In Representation and Rebellion Jonathan Rees uses a variety of primary sources—including records recently discovered at the company’s former headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado—to tell the story of the Rockefeller Plan and those who lived under it, as well as to detail its various successes and failures. Taken as a whole, the history of the Rockefeller Plan is not the story of ceaseless oppression and stifled militancy that its critics might imagine, but it is also not the story of the creation of a paternalist panacea for labor unrest that Rockefeller hoped it would be.Addressing key issues of how this early twentieth-century experiment fared from 1915 to 1942, Rees argues that the Rockefeller Plan was a limited but temporarily effective alternative to independent unionism in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre. The book will appeal to business and labor historians, political scientists, and sociologists, as well as those studying labor and industrial relations.
In late 1930, on a secluded mountain overlooking the rural paddy fields of British Burma, a peasant leader named Saya San crowned himself King and inaugurated a series of uprisings that would later erupt into one of the largest anti-colonial rebellions in Southeast Asian history. Considered an imposter by the British, a hero by nationalists, and a prophet-king by area-studies specialists, Saya San came to embody traditional Southeast Asia’s encounter with European colonialism in his attempt to resurrect the lost throne of Burma.
The Return of the Galon King analyzes the legal origins of the Saya San story and reconsiders the facts upon which the basic narrative and interpretations of the rebellion are based. Aung-Thwin reveals how counter-insurgency law produced and criminalized Burmese culture, contributing to the way peasant resistance was recorded in the archives and understood by Southeast Asian scholars.
This interdisciplinary study reveals how colonial anthropologists, lawyers, and scholar-administrators produced interpretations of Burmese culture that influenced contemporary notions of Southeast Asian resistance and protest. It provides a fascinating case study of how history is treated by the law, how history emerges in legal decisions, and how the authority of the past is used to validate legal findings.
Many scholars assert that Mexico’s complex racial hierarchy, inherited from Spanish colonialism, became obsolete by the turn of the nineteenth century as class-based distinctions became more prominent and a largely mestizo population emerged. But the residues of the colonial caste system did not simply dissolve after Mexico gained independence. Rather, Ana Sabau argues, ever-present fears of racial uprising among elites and authorities led to persistent governmental techniques and ideologies designed to separate and control people based on their perceived racial status, as well as to the implementation of projects for development in fringe areas of the country. Riot and Rebellion in Mexico traces this race-based narrative through three historical flashpoints: the Bajío riots, the Haitian Revolution, and the Yucatan’s caste war. Sabau shows how rebellions were treated as racially motivated events rather than political acts and how the racialization of popular and indigenous sectors coincided with the construction of “whiteness” in Mexico. Drawing on diverse primary sources, Sabau demonstrates how the race war paradigm was mobilized in foreign and domestic affairs and reveals the foundations of a racial state and racially stratified society that persist today.
In the late 1800s an unprecedented coalition of American farmers rose to challenge the course of national politics. Aspiring to a society in which justice and equality were the norm, the farmers galvanized thousands of voters, causing two dominant political parties to reshape their agendas. Yet by 1900, the movement was virtually dead. Scott G. McNall analyzes why America's largest mass-democratic movement failed. He focuses his inquiry on Kansas, the center of the agrarian rebellion that led to the creation of the Farmer's Alliance and, later, to the founding of the People's party. Integrating new historical accounts with original analyses of census data, Alliance membership records, and speech transcripts, McNall restores these Kansas voices, revealing their struggle against an entrenched class system, indifferent political parties, and economic hardship.
McNall rejects the traditional view that blames the failure of the Alliance on a turn to mass-based electoral politics, but rather sees the move into national politics by the Farmer's Alliance as part of a rational strategy to better wage their fight for economic justice. The Kansas populists failed, he argues, because of their inability to embrace a broad, working-class base, to provide an effective alternative vision, and ultimately to create a distinct class organization. Debates about how classes come into being, or how democracy is to be realized, cannot be settled in the abstract. McNall's recreation of this heroic struggle is a model in the analysis of class formation. At the same time, The Road to Rebellion is dynamic social history, which holds vital lessons for structuring and realizing alternative political agendas today.
Winner of the Herbert G. Gutman Prize from the Labor and Working-Class History Association
In Spirit of Rebellion, Jarod Roll documents an alternative tradition of American protest by linking working-class political movements to grassroots religious revivals. He reveals how ordinary rural citizens in the south used available resources and their shared faith to defend their agrarian livelihoods amid the political and economic upheaval of the first half of the twentieth century.
On the frontier of the New Cotton South in Missouri's Bootheel, the relationships between black and white farmers were complicated by racial tensions and bitter competition. Despite these divisions, workers found common ground as dissidents fighting for economic security, decent housing, and basic health, ultimately drawing on the democratic potential of evangelical religion to wage working-class revolts against commodity agriculture and the political forces that buoyed it. Roll convincingly shows how the moral clarity and spiritual vigor these working people found in the burgeoning Pentecostal revivals gave them the courage and fortitude to develop an expansive agenda of workers' rights by tapping into the powers of existing organizations such as the Socialist Party, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the NAACP, and the interracial Southern Tenant Farmers' Union.
A pioneer of American modern drama and founding member of the Provincetown Players, Susan Glaspell (1876–1948) wrote plays of a kind that Robert Brustein defines as a “drama of revolt,” an expression of the dramatists’ discontent with the prevailing social, political, and artistic order. Her works display her determination to put an end to the alienating norms that, in her eyes and those of her bohemian peers, were stifling American society. This determination both to denounce infringements on individual rights and to reform American life through the theatre shapes the political dimension of her drama of revolt.
Analyzing plays from the early Trifles (1916) through Springs Eternal (1943) and the undated, incomplete Wings, author Emeline Jouve illustrates the way that Glaspell’s dramas addressed issues of sexism, the impact of World War I on American values, and the relationship between individuals and their communities, among other concerns. Jouve argues that Glaspell turns the playhouse into a courthouse, putting the hypocrisy of American democracy on trial. In staging rebels fighting for their rights in fictional worlds that reflect her audience’s extradiegetic reality, she explores the strategies available to individuals to free themselves from oppression. Her works envisage a better future for both her fictive insurgents and her spectators, whom she encourages to consider which modes of revolt are appropriate and effective for improving the society they live in. The playwright defines social reform in terms of collaboration, which she views as an alternative to the dominant, alienating social and political structures. Not simply accusing but proposing solutions in her plays, she wrote dramas that enacted a positive revolt.
A must for students of Glaspell and her contemporaries, as well as scholars of American theatre and literature of the first half of the twentieth century.
Our most modern monster and perhaps our most American, the zombie that is so prevalent in popular culture today has its roots in African soul capture mythologies. The Transatlantic Zombie provides a more complete history of the zombie than has ever been told, explaining how the myth’s migration to the New World was facilitated by the transatlantic slave trade, and reveals the real-world import of storytelling, reminding us of the power of myths and mythmaking, and the high stakes of appropriation and homage.
Beginning with an account of a probable ancestor of the zombie found in the Kongolese and Angolan regions of seventeenth-century Africa and ending with a description of the way, in contemporary culture, new media are used to facilitate zombie-themed events, Sarah Juliet Lauro plots the zombie’s cultural significance through Caribbean literature, Haitian folklore, and American literature, film, and the visual arts. The zombie entered US consciousness through the American occupation of Haiti, the site of an eighteenth-century slave rebellion that became a war for independence, thus making the figuration of living death inseparable from its resonances with both slavery and rebellion. Lauro bridges African mythology and US mainstream culture by articulating the ethical complications of the zombie as a cultural conquest that was rebranded for the American cinema.
As The Transatlantic Zombie shows, the zombie is not merely a bogeyman representing the ills of modern society, but a battleground over which a cultural war has been fought between the imperial urge to absorb exotic, threatening elements, and the originary, Afro-diasporic culture’s preservation through a strategy of mythic combat.