In the first comprehensive look at Iranian art and visual culture since the 1979 revolution, Talinn Grigor investigates the official art sponsored by the Islamic Republic, the culture of avant-garde art created in the studio and its display in galleries and museums, and the art of the Iranian diaspora within Western art scenes. Divided into three parts—street, studio, and exile—the book argues that these different areas of artistic production cannot be understood independently, revealing how this art offers a mirror of the sociopolitical turmoil that has marked Iran’s recent history.
Exploring the world of galleries, museums, curators, and art critics, Grigor moves between subversive and daring art produced in private to propaganda art, martyrdom paraphernalia, and museum interiors. She examines the cross-pollination of kitsch and avant-garde, the art market, state censorship, the public-private domain, the political implications of art, and artistic identity in exile. Providing an astute analysis of the workings of artistic production in relation to the institutions of power in the Islamic Republic, this beautifully illustrated book is essential reading for anyone interested in Iranian history and contemporary art.
During a field trip in Detroit on a summer day in 1989, a group of African American fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders talked, laughed, and ate snacks as they walked. Later, in the teacher’s lounge, Jeanetta, an African American teacher chided the teachers, black and white, for not correcting poor black students for “eating on the street,” something she saw as stereotypical behavior that stigmatized students.
These thirty children from Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood were enrolled in the Dewey Center Community Writing Project. Taught by seven teachers from the University of Michigan and the Detroit public schools, the program guided students to explore, to interpret, and to write about their community.
According to David Schaafsma, one of the teachers, the “eating on the street” controversy is emblematic of how cultural values and cultural differences affect education in American schools today. From this incident Schaafsma has written a powerful and compelling book about the struggle of teaching literacy in a racially divided society and the importance of story and storytelling in the educational process.
At the core of this book is the idea of storytelling as an interactive experience for both the teller and listener. Schaafsma begins by telling his own version of the “eating on the street” conflict. He describes the history of the writing program and offers rich samples of the students’ writing about their lives in a troubled neighborhood. After the summer program, Schaafsma interviewed all the teachers about their own version of events, their personal histories, and their work as educators. Eating on the Street presents all of these layered stories - by Schaafsma, his collegues, and the students - to illustrate how talking across multiple perspectives can enrich the learning process and the community-building process outside the classroom as well.
These accounts have strong implications for multicultural education today. They will interest teachers, educational experts, administrators, and researchers. Uniting theory and practice, <I>Eating on the Street</I> is on the cutting edge of pioneering work in educational research.
Toronto prides itself on being “the world’s most diverse city,” and its officials seek to support this diversity through programs and policies designed to promote social inclusion. Yet this progressive vision of law often falls short in practice, limited by problems inherent in the political culture itself. In Everyday Law on the Street, Mariana Valverde brings to light the often unexpected ways that the development and implementation of policies shape everyday urban life.
Drawing on four years spent participating in council hearings and civic association meetings and shadowing housing inspectors and law enforcement officials as they went about their day-to-day work, Valverde reveals a telling transformation between law on the books and law on the streets. She finds, for example, that some of the democratic governing mechanisms generally applauded—public meetings, for instance—actually create disadvantages for marginalized groups, whose members are less likely to attend or articulate their concerns. As a result, both officials and citizens fail to see problems outside the point of view of their own needs and neighborhood.
Taking issue with Jane Jacobs and many others, Valverde ultimately argues that Toronto and other diverse cities must reevaluate their allegiance to strictly local solutions. If urban diversity is to be truly inclusive—of tenants as well as homeowners, and recent immigrants as well as longtime residents—cities must move beyond micro-local planning and embrace a more expansive, citywide approach to planning and regulation.
The homeless men and women represented in this book speak candidly about their plight, its origins, and the many obstacles to escaping it. They discuss the unique challenges and opportunities that Las Vegas’s focus on tourism, indulgence, and diversion offers its homeless residents. This compelling and emotionally charged ethnography counters many of the stereotypes of homeless men and women, revealing the remarkable diversity of their circumstances. It also offers their perspectives on social services and civic attitudes toward homelessness.
A selection of savvy observations on urban ecology from one of the Midwest's foremost authorities on the subject, Hunting for Frogs on Elston collects the best of naturalist Jerry Sullivan's weekly Field & Street columns, originally published in the Chicago Reader. Engaging, opinionated, inspiring, and occasionally irreverent, Hunting for Frogs on Elston pays tribute to Chicago's natural history while celebrating one of its greatest champions.
Published in association with the Chicago Wilderness coalition, Hunting for Frogs on Elston comprehensively chronicles Chicagoland's unique urban ecology, from its indigenous prairie and oft-delayed seasons to its urban coyotes and passenger pigeons. In witty, informed prose, Sullivan evokes his adventures netting dog-faced butterflies, hunting rattlesnakes, and watching fireflies mate. Inspired by regional flora and fauna, Sullivan ventures throughout the metropolis and its environs in search of sludge worms, gyrfalcons, and wild onions. In reporting his findings to otherwise oblivious urbanites, Sullivan endeavors to make "alienated, atomized, postmodern people feel at home, connected to something beyond ourselves."
In the sprawling Chicagoland region, where an urban ecosystem teeming with remarkable life evolves between skyscrapers and train tracks, no writer chronicled the delicate balance of nature and industry more vividly than Jerry Sullivan. An homage to the urban ecology Sullivan loved so dearly, Hunting for Frogs on Elston is his fitting legacy as well as a lasting gift to the urban naturalist in us all.
“All over the city on streets and walks and walls the children . . . have established ancient, essential and ephemeral forms of art, have set forth in chalk and crayon the names and images of their pride, love, preying, scorn, desire. . . . The Lady in this House is Nuts. . . . Lois I have gone up the street. Don’t forget to bring your skates. . . . Ruby loves Max but Max hates Ruby. . . . And drawings, all over, of . . . ships, homes . . . western heroes . . . and monsters . . . which each strong shower effaces.” So wrote James Agee in 1939. He shared this fascination with children’s street drawings and messages with his friend Helen Levitt. Here now are over one hundred of her photographs, made in the years between 1938 and 1948. Most of these pictures have never before been published. They have been selected and arranged by the photographer and carefully reproduced. Robert Coles has written especially for this book an essay on the imaginative live of children and of a time when “. . . children still had some visual independence, some keen-eyed interest in laying pictorial claim to the world around them. . . . I have not seen scenes such as Helen Levitt offers in my wanderings through America’s city streets twenty and thirty and forty years after these were taken. They offer, then, a look backward—though they are also timeless in certain aspects. For children will never really stop being tempted by their imaginative faculties to show and tell—to let others see what they find themselves conceiving in thought and fantasy and dream.”
You see them as faceless shapes on the median or in city parks. You recognize them by their cardboard signs, their bags of aluminum cans, or their weathered skin. But you do not know them.
In Nomads of a Desert City Barbara Seyda meets the gazes of our homeless neighbors and, with an open heart and the eye of an accomplished photographer, uncovers their compelling stories of life on the edge.
Byrdy is a teenager from Alaska who left a violent husband and misses the young daughter her mother now cares for. Her eyes show a wisdom that belies her youth. Samuel is 95 and collects cans for cash. His face shows a lifetime of living outside while his eyes hint at the countless stories he could tell. Lamanda worked as an accountant before an act of desperation landed her in prison. Now she struggles to raise the seven children of a woman she met there. Dorothy—whose earliest memories are of physical and sexual abuse—lives in a shelter, paycheck to paycheck, reciting affirmations so she may continue “to grace the world with my presence.”
They live on the streets or in shelters. They are women and men, young and old, Native or Anglo or Black or Hispanic. Their faces reflect the forces that have shaped their lives: alcoholism, poverty, racism, mental illness, and abuse. But like desert survivors, they draw strength from some hidden reservoir.
Few recent studies on homelessness offer such a revealing collection of oral history narratives and compelling portraits. Thirteen homeless women and men open a rare window to enrich our understanding of the complex personal struggles and triumphs of their lives. Nomads of a Desert City sheds a glaring light on the shadow side of the American Dream—and takes us to the crossroads of despair and hope where the human spirit survives.
Perhaps Paul Kareem Taylor said it best in his piece called On the Road Again: Barbara Hamby's American Odyssey: "Reading Barbara Hamby's poetry is like going on a road trip, one where the woman behind the wheel lets you ride shotgun as she speeds across the open highways of an America where drive-in movie theaters still show Janet Leigh films on Friday nights, hardware stores have not been driven out of business by soulless corporate titans, and where long poetic lines first introduced by Walt Whitman and resurrected by Ginsberg are pregnant with a thousand reasons to marvel at the world we inhabit."
The 1960s are well documented but not well understood; the rhetoric of and reaction to the decade continues to trouble American public discourse. This work by Douglas Knight, who served as president of Duke University from 1963 to 1969 during clashes on that campus, is not only an honest account of one institution’s experience, but draws parallels to the situations on other campuses and seeks to comprehend the time and its enduring influence.
From user generated images of street protests in Istanbul and Hong Kong, to professional architectural renderings of future streets, to GPS-tracked walks in London and Amsterdam, and the visualisation of Sydney's urban change via social media, this collection of essays analyses new practices of how we visualise the street. Today, new technologies allow everyone who carries a smartphone to play an increasingly significant role in the production, editing, and circulation of images and such a technological development has constructed new imaginaries of the street and has had a significant impact on the ways in which contemporary streets are understood, documented, navigated, mediated, and visualised. Visualizing the Street investigates the social and cultural significance of these new developments at the intersection of visual culture and urban space. The interdisciplinary essays provide new concepts, theories, and research methods that combine close analyses of street images with the study of the practices of their production, circulation, and ultimate consumption.
Just beyond Las Vegas’s neon and fantasy live thousands of homeless people, most of them men. To the millions of visitors who come to Las Vegas each year to enjoy its gambling and entertainment, the city’s homeless people are largely invisible, segregated from tourist areas because it’s “good business.” Now, through candid discussions with homeless men, analysis of news reports, and years of fieldwork, Kurt Borchard reveals the lives and desperation of men without shelter in Las Vegas.
Borchard’s account offers a graphic, disturbing, and profoundly moving picture of life on Las Vegas’s streets, depicting the strategies that homeless men employ in order to survive, from the search for a safe place to sleep at night to the challenges of finding food, maintaining personal hygiene, and finding an acceptable place to rest during a long day on the street.
That such misery and desperation exist in the midst of Las Vegas’s hedonistic tourist economy and booming urban development is a cruel irony, according to the author, and it threatens the city’s future as a prime tourist destination. The book will be of interest to social workers, sociologists, anthropologists, politicians, and all those concerned about changing the misery on the street.
"The Word On the Street invites humanities scholars to move beyond the classroom and the monograph to share the pleasures of art in ways that engage the intelligence of the common reader, cultivating the critical imagination so vital to American cultural democracy. Lively and thought-provoking, Teres lays out contemporary debates and wades into them with gusto."
---Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University
"At a moment when questions about the literary, 'bookishness,' and the future of print are being urgently raised, with incessant national attention to the perceived crises of literacy and reading, Teres' thoughtful, broadly democratic, but also tough-minded examination of both 'common readers' and academic readers makes a real contribution to the debate."
---Julie Ellison, University of Michigan
Despite significant changes since the mid-twentieth century in American critical culture---the culture emanating from the serious review of books, ideas, and the arts---it attracts only a small and declining minority of Americans. However productive this culture has been, American society has not approached the realization of Emerson's or Dewey's vision of a highly participatory American cultural democracy. Such a culture requires critics who are read by the average citizen, but the migration of critics and intellectuals from the public to the academy has resulted in fewer efforts to engage with ordinary citizens. The Word on the Street investigates this disjunction between the study of literature in the academy and the interests of the common reader and society at large, arguing the vital importance of publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities. Teres chronicles how the once central function of the humanities professorate---to teach students to appreciate and be inspired by literature---has increasingly been lost to literary and cultural studies in the last thirty years.
The Word on the Street argues for a return to an earlier model of the public intellectual and a literary and cultural criticism that is accessible to ordinary citizens. Along the way, Teres offers an illuminating account of the current problem and potential solutions, with the goal of prompting a future vision of publicly engaged scholarship that resonates with the common reader and promotes an informed citizenry.
Harvey Teres is Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University.
Cover image: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times/Redux
Now available in paperback, this provocative study examines the street-level decisions made by police, caught between a sometimes hostile community and a maze of departmental regulations. Probing the dynamics of three sample police departments, Brown reveals the factors that shape how officers wield their powers of discretion. Chief among these factors, he contends, is the highly bureaucratic organization of the modern police department. A new epilogue, prepared for this edition, focuses on the structure and operation of urban police forces in the 1980s. "Add this book to the short list of important analyses of the police at work....Places the difficult job of policing firmly within its political, organizational, and professional constraints...Worth reading and thinking about." —Crime & Delinquency "An excellent contribution...Adds significantly to our understanding of contemporary police." —Sociology "A critical analysis of policing as a social and political phenomenon....A major contribution." —Choice
Although Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson differed dramatically in terms of their lives and writing careers, they shared not only a distaste for writing “for the street” (mass readership) but a preference for the intimate writer–reader relationship created by private publication, especially in the form of manuscripts. In Writing for the Street, Writing in the Garret: Melville, Dickinson, and Private Publication, Michael Kearns shows that this distaste and preference were influenced by American copyright law, by a growing tendency in America to treat not only publications but their authors as commodities, and by the romantic stereotype of the artist (usually suffering in a garret) living only for her or his own work.
For both Melville and Dickinson, private publication could generate the prestige accorded to authors while preserving ownership of both works and self. That they desired such prestige Kearns demonstrates by a close reading of biographical details, publication histories, and specific comments on authorship and fame. This information also reveals that Melville and Dickinson regarded their manuscripts as physical extensions of themselves while creating personae to protect the privacy of those selves. Much modern discourse about both writers has accepted as biographical fact certain elements of those personae, especially that they were misunderstood artists metaphorically confined to garrets.