Hip hop has long been a vehicle for protest in the United States, used by its primarily African American creators to address issues of prejudice, repression, and exclusion. But the music is now a worldwide phenomenon, and outside the United States it has been taken up by those facing similar struggles. Flip the Script offers a close look at the role of hip hop in Europe, where it has become a politically powerful and commercially successful form of expression for the children and grandchildren of immigrants from former colonies.
Through analysis of recorded music and other media, as well as interviews and fieldwork with hip hop communities, J. Griffith Rollefson shows how this music created by black Americans is deployed by Senegalese Parisians, Turkish Berliners, and South Asian Londoners to both differentiate themselves from and relate themselves to the dominant culture. By listening closely to the ways these postcolonial citizens in Europe express their solidarity with African Americans through music, Rollefson shows, we can literally hear the hybrid realities of a global double consciousness.
A commercial company established in 1600 to monopolize trade between England and the Far East, the East India Company grew to govern an Indian empire. Exploring the relationship between power and knowledge in European engagement with Asia, Indian Ink examines the Company at work and reveals how writing and print shaped authority on a global scale in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Tracing the history of the Company from its first tentative trading voyages in the early seventeenth century to the foundation of an empire in Bengal in the late eighteenth century, Miles Ogborn takes readers into the scriptoria, ships, offices, print shops, coffeehouses, and palaces to investigate the forms of writing needed to exert power and extract profit in the mercantile and imperial worlds. Interpreting the making and use of a variety of forms of writing in script and print, Ogborn argues that material and political circumstances always undermined attempts at domination through the power of the written word.
Navigating the juncture of imperial history and the history of the book, Indian Ink uncovers the intellectual and political legacies of early modern trade and empire and charts a new understanding of the geography of print culture.
Public lettering in all its forms—official inscriptions on
buildings, commercial graphics, signs, epitaphs on tombstones,
graffiti—is a fixture of urban life. In Public Lettering, Armando Petrucci reconstructs the history of
public writing in the West and traces its social functions
from the eleventh century through the modern period.
Taking the city of Rome as a case study, Petrucci begins
with a consideration of the first civic inscriptions after
ancient times. Substantial chapters on the uses of public
writing in the industrial revolution and the early twentieth
century prepare the way for his provocative discussions of
public lettering in the the contexts of fascism, post-war
radicalism, and the student revolutions of 1968 and 1977.
Throughout, Petrucci is concerned with the relations
between the functions and styles of letters and the places
where they appear. Writing, he argues, is one of the
instruments of public power; display lettering is often the
image and mirror of power itself, making the social use of
written forms a type of conquest. Because of Rome's role as
a “World-City,” Petrucci's interdisciplinary study has
wide-ranging implications for our understanding of the social
function of graphic design.
Social scientists generally agree that relations between the different life stages in advanced industrial societies are changing. Far less agreement exists over how to interpret these changes. Using an innovative approach to the study of life course, Marlis Buchmann explores the changes in educational, occupational, and family careers that threaten an end to familiar life patterns characteristic of the mid-twentieth century.
In this original and interdisciplinary work, Jing Tsu advances the notion of “literary governance” as a way of understanding literary dynamics and production on multiple scales: local, national, global. “Literary governance,” like political governance, is an exercise of power, but in a “softer” way - it begins with language, rather than governments. In a globalizing world characterized by many diasporas competing for recognition, the global Chinese community has increasingly come to feel the necessity of a “national language,” standardized and privileging its native speakers. As the national language gains power within the diasporic community, members of the diaspora become aware of themselves as a community. Eventually, they move from the internal state of awakened identity to being recognized as a community, and finally exercising power as a community. But this hegemony of the “national language” is constantly being challenged by different, nonstandard language uses, including various Chinese dialects, multiple registers, contested alphabet usage, and Chinese men and women who write in foreign languages. “Literary governance” reflects both the consensus-building power and the inherent divisiveness of these debates about language and is useful as a comparative model for thinking about not only Sinophone, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone literatures, but also any literary field that is currently expanding beyond the national.
Analyzes textbooks in the Dominican Republic for evidence of reproducing Haitian Otherness
Unmastering the Script: Education, Critical Race Theory, and the Struggle to Reconcile the Haitian Other in Dominican Identity examines how school curriculum–based representations of Dominican identity navigate black racial identity, its relatedness to Haiti, and the culturally entrenched pejorative image of the Haitian Other in Dominican society. Wigginton and Middleton analyze how social science textbooks and historical biographies intended for young Dominicans reflect an increasing shift toward a clear and public inclusion of blackness in Dominican identity that serves to renegotiate the country’s long-standing antiblack racial master script.
The authors argue that although many of the attempts at this inclusion reflect a lessening of “black denial,” when considered as a whole, the materials often struggle to find a consistent and coherent narrative for the place of blackness within Dominican identity, particularly regarding the ways in which blackness continues to be meaningfully related to the otherness of Haitian racial identity. Unmastering the Script approaches the text materials as an example of “reconstructing” and “unburying” an African past, supporting the uneven, slow, and highly context-specific nature of the process.
This work engages with multiple disciplines including history, anthropology, education, and race studies, building on a new wave of Dominican scholarship that considers how contemporary perspectives of Dominican identity both accept the existence of an African past and seek to properly weigh its importance. The use of critical race theory as the framework facilitates unfolding the past political and legal agendas of governing elites in the Dominican Republic and also helps to unlock the nuance of an increasingly black-inclusive Dominican identity. In addition, this framework allows the unveiling of some of the socially damaging effects the Haitian Other master script can have on children, particularly those of Haitian ancestry, in the Dominican Republic.