What are the ethical responsibilities of the historian in an age of mass murder and hyperreality? Can one be postmodern and still write history? For whom should history be written?
Edith Wyschogrod animates such questions through the passionate figure of the "heterological historian." Realizing the philosophical impossibility of ever recovering "what really happened," this historian nevertheless acknowledges a moral imperative to speak for those who have been rendered voiceless, to give countenance to those who have become faceless, and hope to the desolate. Wyschogrod also weighs the impact of modern archival methods, such as photographs, film, and the Internet, which bring with them new constraints on the writing of history and which mandate a new vision of community. Drawing on the works of continental philosophers, historiographers, cognitive scientists, and filmmakers, Wyschogrod creates a powerful new framework for the understanding of history and the ethical duties of the historian.
With its varied and glorious history, Istanbul remains one of the world’s perennially fascinating cities. Richard Tillinghast, who first visited Istanbul in the early 1960s and has watched it transform over the decades into a vibrant metropolis, explores its rich art and architecture, culture, cuisine, and much more in this book.
Istanbul was known in Byzantine times as the “Queen of Cities” and to the Ottoman Turks as the “Abode of Felicity.” Steeped in Istanbul’s history, Tillinghast takes his readers on a voyage of discovery through this storied cultural hub, and he is as comfortable talking about Byzantine mosaics and dervish ceremonies as Iznik ceramics and the imperial mosques. His lyrical writing brings Istanbul alive on the page as he accompanies readers to cafés, palaces, and taverns, perfectly conjuring the atmospheric delights, sounds, and senses of the city. Illuminating Istanbul’s great buildings with tales that bring Ottoman and Byzantine history to life, Tillinghast is adept at discovering both what the city remembers and what it chooses to forget.
Once upon a time, Baghdad was home to a flourishing Jewish community. More than a third of the city’s people were Jews, and Jewish customs and holidays helped set the pattern of Baghdad’s cultural and commercial life. On the city’s streets and in the bazaars, Jews, Muslims, and Christians—all native-born Iraqis—intermingled, speaking virtually the same colloquial Arabic and sharing a common sense of national identity. And then, almost overnight it seemed, the state of Israel was born, and lines were drawn between Jews and Arabs. Over the next couple of years, nearly the entire Jewish population of Baghdad fled their Iraqi homeland, never to return. In this beautifully written memoir, Nissim Rejwan recalls the lost Jewish community of Baghdad, in which he was a child and young man from the 1920s through 1951. He paints a minutely detailed picture of growing up in a barely middle-class family, dealing with a motley assortment of neighbors and landlords, struggling through the local schools, and finally discovering the pleasures of self-education and sexual awakening. Rejwan intertwines his personal story with the story of the cultural renaissance that was flowering in Baghdad during the years of his young manhood, describing how his work as a bookshop manager and a staff writer for the Iraq Times brought him friendships with many of the country’s leading intellectual and literary figures. He rounds off his story by remembering how the political and cultural upheavals that accompanied the founding of Israel, as well as broad hints sent back by the first arrivals in the new state, left him with a deep ambivalence as he bid a last farewell to a homeland that had become hostile to its native Jews.
In essays about communities as varied as Alaskan Native, East Indian, Palestinian, Mexican, and African American, oral historians, folklorists, and anthropologists look at how traditional and historical oral narratives live through re-tellings, gaining meaning and significance in repeated performances, from varying contexts, through cultural and historical knowing, and due to tellers' consciousness of their audiences.
What is the value of memory in human culture? More specifically, what role should remembering—and forgetting—play in our daily lives? These are the central questions that David Gross addresses in this original and thought-provoking book. For centuries, Gross points out, remembering was considered essential not only to the perpetuation of society but to the maintenance of individual existence. Survival often depended on the memory of how to perform specific tasks, what values to honor, and what personal or collective identity to assume. Remembering, in short, put one in touch with the things that mattered, engendering wholeness and wisdom. Forgetting, on the other hand, led to emptiness, ignorance, and death. With the advent of modernity, however, doubts about the value of memory grew while the negative implications of forgetting were reevaluated. In many quarters, forgetting came to be defended for the way it frees us from the past, opening the door to new perceptions, new possibilities, and new beginnings. Now, in late modernity, Gross argues, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. For the first time in history, we are able to decide, without the pressure of social or cultural constraints, whether we want to remember or forget and to live our lives accordingly. But which is the better choice? Should we build our lives upon the meanings and values of a faded past? If so, what ought we to remember, and for what purpose? Or should we instead opt to forget what has come before and focus our attention on the present and future, thereby perpetually reinventing ourselves and the world we inhabit? According to Gross, our answers to these questions will determine not only who we are but what we will become as we pass from late modernity into the terra incognita of the "postmodern" age.
Fabulous yet fierce, imperious yet impetuous, boss yet bitchy—divas are figures of paradox. Their place in culture is equally contradictory, as they are simultaneously venerated and marginalized, hailed as timeless but then frequently forgotten or exhumed as cult icons by future generations.
Focusing on four early twentieth-century divas—Aida Overton Walker, Loïe Fuller, Libby Holman, and Josephine Baker—who were icons in their own time, Moving Performances considers what their past and current reception reveals about changing ideas of race and gender. Jeanne Scheper examines how iconicity can actually work to the diva’s detriment, reducing her to a fetish object, a grotesque, or a figure of nostalgia. Yet she also locates more productive modes of reception that reach to revive the diva’s moving performances, imbuing her with an affective afterlife.
As it offers innovative theorizations of performance, reception, and affect, Moving Performances also introduces readers to four remarkable women who worked as both cultural producers and critics, deftly subverting the tropes of exoticism, orientalism, and primitivism commonly used to dismiss women of color. Rejecting iconic depictions of these divas as frozen in a past moment, Scheper vividly demonstrates how their performances continue to inspire ongoing movements.
China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) produced propaganda music that still stirs unease and, at times, evokes nostalgia. Lei X. Ouyang uses selections from revolutionary songbooks to untangle the complex interactions between memory, trauma, and generational imprinting among those who survived the period of extremes. Interviews combine with ethnographic fieldwork and surveys to explore both the Cultural Revolution's effect on those who lived through it as children and contemporary remembrance of the music created to serve the Maoist regime. As Ouyang shows, the weaponization of music served an ideological revolution but also revolutionized the senses. She examines essential questions raised by this phenomenon, including: What did the revolutionization look, sound, and feel like? What does it take for individuals and groups to engage with such music? And what is the impact of such an experience over time?
Perceptive and provocative, Music as Mao's Weapon is an insightful look at the exploitation and manipulation of the arts under authoritarianism.
In this graceful and compelling book, Regina Schwartz presents a powerful reading of Paradise Lost by tracing the structure of the poem to the pattern of "repeated beginnings" found in the Bible. In both works, the world order is constantly threatened by chaos. By drawing on both the Bible and the more contemporary works of, among others, Freud, Lacan, Ricoeur, Said, and Derrida, Schwartz argues that chaos does not simply threaten order, but rather, chaos inheres in order.
"A brilliant study that quietly but powerfully recharacterizes many of the contexts of discussion in Milton criticism. Particularly noteworthy is Schwartz's ability to introduce advanced theoretical perspectives without ever taking the focus of attention away from the dynamics and problematics of Milton's poem."—Stanley Fish
Remembering the AIDS Quilt
Charles E. Morris III Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress NX180.A36R46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
A collaborative creation unlike any other, the Names Project Foundation’s AIDS Memorial Quilt has played an invaluable role in shattering the silence and stigma that surrounded the epidemic in the first years of its existence. Designed by Cleve Jones, the AIDS Quilt is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Since its conception in 1987, the Quilt has transformed the cultural and political responses to AIDS in the U.S. Representative of both marginalized and mainstream peoples, the Quilt contains crucial material and symbolic implications for mourning the dead, and the treatment and prevention of AIDS. However, the project has raised numerous questions concerning memory, activism, identity, ownership, and nationalism, as well as issues of sexuality, race, class, and gender. As thought-provoking as the Quilt itself, this diverse collection of essays by ten prominent rhetorical scholars provides a rich experience of the AIDS Quilt, incorporating a variety of perspectives, critiques, and interpretations.
Remember the Alamo! reverberates through Texas history and culture, but what exactly are we remembering? Over nearly two centuries, the Mexican victory over an outnumbered band of Alamo defenders has been transformed into an American victory for the love of liberty. Why did the historical battle of 1836 undergo this metamorphosis in memory and mythology to become such a potent master symbol in Texan and American culture? In this probing book, Richard Flores seeks to answer that question by examining how the Alamo’s transformation into an American cultural icon helped to shape social, economic, and political relations between Anglo and Mexican Texans from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. In the first part of the book, he looks at how the attempts of heritage society members and political leaders to define the Alamo as a place have reflected struggles within Texas society over the place and status of Anglos and Mexicans. In the second part, he explores how Alamo movies and the transformation of Davy Crockett into an Alamo hero/martyr have advanced deeply racialized, ambiguous, and even invented understandings of the past.
Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East is among the first comprehensive treatments to present the diverse ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations memorialized and honored their dead, using mortuary rituals, human skeletal remains, and embodied identities as a window into the memory work of past societies.
In six case studies, teams of researchers with different skillsets—osteological analysis, faunal analysis, culture history and the analysis of written texts, and artifact analysis—integrate mortuary analysis with bioarchaeological techniques. Drawing upon different kinds of data, including human remains, ceramics, jewelry, spatial analysis, and faunal remains found in burial sites from across the region’s societies, the authors paint a robust and complex picture of death in the ancient Near East.
Demonstrating the still underexplored potential of bioarchaeological analysis in ancient societies, Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East serves as a model for using multiple lines of evidence to reconstruct commemoration practices. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian societies, the archaeology of death and burial, bioarchaeology, and human skeletal biology.
On February 2, 1848, representatives of the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially ending hostilities between the two countries and ceding over one-half million square miles of land to the northern victors. In Mexico, this defeat has gradually moved from the periphery of dishonor to the forefront of national consciousness. In the United States, the war has taken an opposite trajectory, falling from its once-celebrated prominence into the shadowy margins of forgetfulness and denial.
Why is the U.S.–Mexican War so clearly etched in the minds of Mexicans and so easily overlooked by Americans? This book investigates that issue through a transnational, comparative analysis of how the tools of collective memory—books, popular culture, historic sites, heritage groups, commemorations, and museums—have shaped the war's multifaceted meaning in the 160 years since it ended. Michael Van Wagenen explores how regional, ethnic, and religious differences influence Americans and Mexicans in their choices of what to remember and what to forget. He further documents what happens when competing memories clash in a quest for dominance and control.
In the end, Remembering the Forgotten War addresses the deeper question of how remembrance of the U.S.–Mexican War has influenced the complex relationship between these former enemies now turned friends. It thus provides a new lens through which to view today's cross-border rivalries, resentments, and diplomatic pitfalls.
Remembering the Future
Luciano Berio Harvard University Press, 2006 Library of Congress ML60.B4685 2006 | Dewey Decimal 780
In Remembering the Future Luciano Berio shares with us some musical experiences that "invite us to revise or suspend our relation with the past and to rediscover it as part of a future trajectory." His scintillating meditation on music and the ways of experiencing it reflects the composer's profound understanding of the history and contemporary practice of his art.
There is much in this short book that provides insight on Berio's own compositions. Indeed, he comments that writing it "led me to formulate thoughts that might otherwise have remained concealed in the folds of my work." He explores themes such as transcription and translation, poetics and analysis, "open work," and music theater. The reader will also find here numerous insights on the work of other composers, past and present, and much more. A figure of formidable intellect, Berio ranges easily among topics such as Schenkerian analysis, the criticism of Carl Dahlhaus and Theodor Adorno, the works of his friends and sometime collaborators Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco. But Berio carries his learning lightly--his tone is conversational, often playful, punctuated by arresting aphorisms: "The best possible commentary on a symphony is another symphony."
From the colonial period through the mid-twentieth century, haciendas dominated the Latin American countryside. In the Ecuadorian Andes, Runa-Quichua-speaking indigenous people-worked on these large agrarian estates as virtual serfs. In Remembering the Hacienda: Religion, Authority, and Social Change in Highland Ecuador, Barry Lyons probes the workings of power on haciendas and explores the hacienda's contemporary legacy.Lyons lived for three years in a Runa village and conducted in-depth interviews with elderly former hacienda laborers. He combines their wrenching accounts with archival evidence to paint an astonishing portrait of daily life on haciendas. Lyons also develops an innovative analysis of hacienda discipline and authority relations. Remembering the Hacienda explains the role of religion as well as the reshaping of Runa culture and identity under the impact of land reform and liberation theology. This beautifully written book is a major contribution to the understanding of social control and domination. It will be valuable reading for a broad audience in anthropology, history, Latin American studies, and religious studies.
Remembering the Holocaust
Michael E. Stevens Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1997 Library of Congress F590.J5R46 1997 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318
This moving documentary volume brings together fourteen interviews of Holocaust survivors who later settled in Wisconsin. With words and photographs they describe the richness of pre-war Jewish life in Europe; the advent of proscriptive laws, arrests, and deportation; the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi camps; and ultimately the liberation and postwar experiences of the survivors.
Remembering the Power of Words recounts the personal and professional journey of Avel Gordly, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate.
The book is a brave and honest telling of Gordly’s life. She shares the challenges and struggles she faced growing up black in Portland in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as her determination to attend college, the dedication to activism that took her from Portland to Africa, and her eventual decision to run for a seat in the state legislature.
That words have power is a constant undercurrent in Gordly’s account and a truth she learned early in life. “Growing up, finding my own voice,” she writes, “was tied up with denying my voice or having it forcefully rejected and in all of that the memory of my father is very strong. To this day—and I am today a very experienced public speaker—preparation to speak takes a great deal of energy.” That this memoir has its origins as an oral history is fitting since Gordly has used her voice, out loud, to teach and inspire others for so many years.
Important as a biographical account of one significant Oregonian’s story, the book also contributes “broader narratives touching on Black history (and Oregon’s place within it), and most particularly the politics associated with being an African American woman,” according to series editor Melody Rose.
In today's United States, the legacy of the American Revolution looms large. From presidential speeches to bestselling biographies, from conservative politics to school pageants, everybody knows something about the Revolution. Yet what was a messy, protracted, divisive, and destructive war has calcified into a glorified founding moment of the American nation. Disparate events with equally diverse participants have been reduced to a few key scenes and characters, presided over by well-meaning and wise old men.
Recollections of the Revolution did not always take today's form. In this lively collection of essays, historians and literary scholars consider how the first three generations of American citizens interpreted their nation's origins. The volume introduces readers to a host of individuals and groups both well known and obscure, from Molly Pitcher and "forgotten father" John Dickinson to African American Baptists in Georgia and antebellum pacifists. They show how the memory of the Revolution became politicized early in the nation's history, as different interests sought to harness its meaning for their own ends. No single faction succeeded, and at the outbreak of the Civil War the American people remained divided over how to remember the Revolution.
To celebrate the intellectual achievement of the University of Chicago on the occasion of its centennial year, Edward Shils invited a group of notable scholars and scientists to reflect upon some of their own teachers and colleagues at the University.
Remembering the Year of the French is a model of historical achievement, moving deftly between the study of historical events—the failed French invasion of the West of Ireland in 1798—and folkloric representationsof those events. Delving into the folk history found in Ireland’s rich oral traditions, Guy Beiner reveals alternate visions of the Irish past and brings into focus the vernacular histories, folk commemorative practices, and negotiations of memory that have gone largely unnoticed by historians.
Beiner analyzes hundreds of hitherto unstudied historical, literary, and ethnographic sources. Though his focus is on 1798, his work is also a comprehensive study of Irish folk history and grass-roots social memory in Ireland. Investigating how communities in the West of Ireland remembered, well into the mid-twentieth century, an episode in the late eighteenth century, this is a “history from below” that gives serious attention to the perspectives of those who have been previously ignored or discounted. Beiner brilliantly captures the stories, ceremonies, and other popular traditions through which local communities narrated, remembered, and commemorated the past. Demonstrating the unique value of folklore as a historical source, Remembering the Year of the French offers a fresh perspective on collective memory and modern Irish history.
Winner, Wayland Hand Competition for outstanding publication in folklore and history, American Folklore Society
Finalist, award for the best book published about or growing out of public history, National Council on Public History
Winner, Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize for the best study of folklore or folk life in Great Britain and Ireland
“An important and beautifully produced work. Guy Beiner here shows himself to be a historian of unusual talent.”—Marianne Elliott, Times Literary Supplement
“Thoroughly researched and scholarly. . . . Beiner’s work is full of empathy and sympathy for the human remains, memorials, and commemorations of past lives and the multiple ways in which they actually continue to live.”—Stiofán Ó Cadhla, Journal of British Studies
“A major contribution to Irish historiography.”—Maureen Murphy, Irish Literary Supplement
"A remarkable piece of scholarship . . . . Accessible, full of intriguing detail, and eminently teachable.”?—Ray Casman, New Hibernia Review
“The most important monograph on Irish history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to be published in recent years.”—Matthew Kelly, English Historical Review
“A strikingly ambitious work . . . . Elegantly constructed, lucidly written and inspired, and displaying an inexhaustible capacity for research”—Ciarán Brady, History IRELAND
“A closely argued, meticulously detailed and rich analysis . . . . providing such innovative treatment of a wide array of sources, his work will resonate with the concerns of many cultural and historical geographers working on social memory in quite different geographical settings and historical contexts.”—Yvonne Whelan, Journal of Historical Geography
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
Sasaks, a people of the Indonesian archipelago, cope with one of the country's worst health records by employing various medical traditions, including their own secret ethnomedical knowledge. But anxiety, in the presence and absence of illness, profoundly shapes the ways Sasaks use healing and knowledge. Hay addresses complex questions regarding cultural models, agency, and other relationships to conclude that the ethnomedical knowledge they use to cope with their illnesses ironically inhibits improvements in their health care.
M. Cameron Hay is a NSF Advance Fellow and an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Center for Culture and Health.
In The Specter of Salem, Gretchen A. Adams reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nation’s progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, while critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War, southerners evoked witch burning to criticize Union tactics. Shedding new light on the many, varied American invocations of Salem, Adams ultimately illuminates the function of collective memories in the life of a nation.
“Imaginative and thoughtful. . . . Thought-provoking, informative, and convincingly presented, The Specter of Salem is an often spellbinding mix of politics, cultural history, and public historiography.”— New EnglandQuarterly
“This well-researched book, forgoing the usual heft of scholarly studies, is not another interpretation of the Salem trials, but an important major work within the scholarly literature on the witch-hunt, linking the hysteria of the period to the evolving history of the American nation. A required acquisition for academic libraries.”—Choice, Outstanding Academic Title 2009
An exquisitely written memoir—combining sorrow and joy, anger and forgiveness, suffering and healing—that affirms the resilience and strength that imbue the human spirit
Judith Paterson was just nine years old in 1946 when her mother died of a virulent combination of alcoholism and mental illness at the age of 31. Sweet Mystery: A Book of Remembering is Paterson’s harrowing account of the memories of her mother, told with eloquence and understanding. Set largely in Montgomery, Alabama, the story plays out against a backdrop of relatives troubled almost as much by southern conflicts over race and class as by the fallout from a long family history of drinking, denial, and mental illness.
While rich in the details and flavor of small-town life in the South during the 1940s, Sweet Mystery transcends time and regionalism to evoke universal American themes. Ultimately, it confirms the damaging effects of early trauma on children as well as the innate and familial strengths that enable some children to survive, grow up, and heal.
Originally published in 1996 to critical acclaim in the national media, Sweet Mystery was called “a beautifully written, excruciating collision of form and emotion, joy and pain, willpower and self-examination, control and surrender” by the Washington Post. This edition contains a new afterword written by the author as well as a list of suggested readings.
Thomas Hauser is best known as Muhammad Ali's biographer and for his recording of the contemporary boxing scene. Booklist called Hauser "the most respected boxing journalist working today and perhaps the best ever." Robert Lipsyte said Hauser is "the best boxing writer of our time." Still, Hauser's love of sports began not with boxing but with baseball. Long before he turned to the sweet science, America's national pastime had captured his heart. His childhood allegiance was to the New York Yankees. Growing up in the suburbs of New York, he cheered for the Giants in football and Knicks in basketball. In college, the often-hapless Columbia Lions became his cause. Thomas Hauser on Sports brings together Hauser's articles on sports other than boxing. It combines personal memories with issue-oriented commentary and an intimate look at some of the most remarkable athletes of modern times. Hauser has dealt one-on-one with Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Arnold Palmer, Pete Rose, Arthur Ashe, Wilt Chamberlain, and other giants of sports. He has crossed swords with the likes of Marvin Miller and Howard Cosell. Thomas Hauser on Sports is a remarkable journey that begins in the days of Hauser's youth and follows the games we play into the era of steroids and multi-billion-dollar television contracts.