Today well over two hundred museums focusing on African American history and culture can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Many of these institutions trace their roots to the 1960s and 1970s, when the struggle for racial equality inspired a movement within the black community to make the history and culture of African America more “public.” This book tells the story of four of these groundbreaking museums: the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago (founded in 1961); the International Afro-American Museum in Detroit (1965); the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in Washington, D.C. (1967); and the African American Museum of Philadelphia (1976). Andrea A. Burns shows how the founders of these institutions, many of whom had ties to the Black Power movement, sought to provide African Americans with a meaningful alternative to the misrepresentation or utter neglect of black history found in standard textbooks and most public history sites. Through the recovery and interpretation of artifacts, documents, and stories drawn from African American experience, they encouraged the embrace of a distinctly black identity and promoted new methods of interaction between the museum and the local community. Over time, the black museum movement induced mainstream institutions to integrate African American history and culture into their own exhibits and educational programs. This often controversial process has culminated in the creation of a National Museum of African American History and Culture, now scheduled to open in the nation’s capital in 2015.
Guitars inspire cult-like devotion: an aficionado can tell you precisely when and where their favorite instrument was made, the wood it is made from, and that wood’s unique effect on the instrument’s sound. In The Guitar, Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren follow that fascination around the globe as they trace guitars all the way back to the tree. The authors take us to guitar factories, port cities, log booms, remote sawmills, Indigenous lands, and distant rainforests, on a quest for behind-the-scenes stories and insights into how guitars are made, where the much-cherished guitar timbers ultimately come from, and the people and skills that craft those timbers along the way.
Gibson and Warren interview hundreds of people to give us a first-hand account of the ins and outs of production methods, timber milling, and forest custodianship in diverse corners of the world, including the Pacific Northwest, Madagascar, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Japan, China, Hawaii, and Australia. They unlock surprising insights into longer arcs of world history: on the human exploitation of nature, colonialism, industrial capitalism, cultural tensions, and seismic upheavals. But the authors also strike a hopeful note, offering a parable of wider resonance—of the incredible but underappreciated skill and care that goes into growing forests and felling trees, milling timber, and making enchanting musical instruments, set against the human tendency to reform our use (and abuse) of natural resources only when it may be too late. The Guitar promises to resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love with a guitar.
Dub is the avant-garde verso of reggae, created by manipulating and reshaping recordings using studio strategies and techniques. While dub was one of the first forms of popular music to turn the idea of song inside out, it is far from being fully explored. Tracing the evolution of dub, Remixology travels from Kingston, Jamaica, across the globe, following dub’s influence on the development of the MC, the birth of sound system culture, and the postwar Jamaican diaspora.
Starting in 1970s Kingston, Paul Sullivan examines the origins of dub as a genre, approach, and attitude. He stops off in London, Berlin, Toronto, Bristol, and New York, exploring those places where dub had the most impact and investigates its effect on postpunk, dub-techno, jungle, and the dubstep. Along the way, Sullivan speaks with a host of international musicians, DJs, and luminaries of the dub world, from DJ Spooky, Adrian Sherwood, Channel, and Roy to Shut Up and Dance and Roots Manuva. Wide-ranging and lucid, Remixology sheds new light on the dub-born notions of remix and reinterpretation that set the stage for the music of the twenty-first century.
Tracing the Relational examines the recent emergence of relational ontologies in archaeological interpretation and how this perspective can help archaeologists better understand the past. Traditional representational approaches reflect modern or Western perspectives, which focus on the individual and see the world in terms of dichotomies that separate culture and nature, human and object, sacred and secular. In contrast, ancient societies saw themselves as connected to and entangled with other human and nonhuman entities. In order to gain deeper insight into how people in the ancient world lived, experienced, and negotiated their lives, contributors argue, archaeologists must explore the myriad relationships and entanglements between humans and other beings, places, and things. As contributors unravel these relationships, they demonstrate that movement is an inherent feature of these relational webs and is the driving force behind a continually shifting reality. Chapters focus on various regions and time periods throughout the Americas, tracing how movements between other-worldly dimensions, spirits and deities, and temporalities were integral to everyday life.