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A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity
Portraits. We know what they are, but why do we make them? Americans have been celebrating themselves in portraits since the arrival of the first itinerant portrait painters to the colonies. They created images to commemorate loved ones, glorify the famous, establish our national myths, and honor our shared heroes. Whether painting in oil, carving in stone, casting in bronze, capturing on film, or calculating in binary code, we spend considerable time creating, contemplating, and collecting our likenesses.
In this sumptuously illustrated book, Richard H. Saunders explores our collective understanding of portraiture, its history in America, how it shapes our individual and national identity, and why we make portraits—whether for propaganda and public influence or for personal and private appreciation. American Faces is a rich and fascinating view of ourselves.
Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture
Do recent changes in American law and politics mean that our national motto -- e pluribus unum -- is at last becoming a reality? Lawrence H. Fuchs searches for answers to this question by examining the historical patterns of American ethnicity and the ways in which a national political culture has evolved to accommodate ethnic diversity. Fuchs looks first at white European immigrants, showing how most of them and especially their children became part of a unifying political culture. He also describes the ways in which systems of coercive pluralism kept persons of color from fully participating in the civic culture. He documents the dismantling of those systems and the emergence of a more inclusive and stronger civic culture in which voluntary pluralism flourishes.
In comparing past patterns of ethnicity in America with those of today, Fuchs finds reasons for optimism. Diversity itself has become a unifying principle, and Americans now celebrate ethnicity. One encouraging result is the acculturation of recent immigrants from Third World countries. But Fuchs also examines the tough issues of racial and ethnic conflict and the problems of the ethno-underclass, the new outsiders. The American Kaleidoscope ends with a searching analysis of public policies that protect individual rights and enable ethnic diversity to prosper.
Because of his lifelong involvement with issues of race relations and ethnicity, Lawrence H. Fuchs is singularly qualified to write on a grand scale about the interdependence in the United States of the unum and the pluribus. His book helps to clarify some difficult issues that policymakers will surely face in the future, such as those dealing with immigration, language, and affirmative action.
Visions of Race, Death, and the Maternal
New York City-January 1998
"That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." This quote from Henry David Thoreau's Essay on Civil Disobedience is one of thirty quotations from which John Cage created Anarchy, a book-length lecture comprising twenty mesostic poems. Composed with the aid of a computer program to simulate the coin toss of the I Ching, Anarchy draws on the writings of many serious anarchists including Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, and Mario Malatesta, not so much making arguments for anarchism as "brushing information against information," giving the very words new combinations that de-familiarize and re-energize them. Now widely available of the first time, Anarchy marks the culmination of Cage's work as a poet, composer and as a thinker about contemporary society.
From Primordial Sea to Public Space
Extensively illustrated with detailed site plans and photographs, this architectural history of the Mexican plaza reveals why this central public space has been the heart of the community from ancient Mesoamerican times until the present.
A Twenty-One-Year-Old in Mississippi in 1964
Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan
In Anime’s Media Mix, Marc Steinberg convincingly shows that anime is far more than a style of Japanese animation. Beyond its immediate form of cartooning, anime is also a unique mode of cultural production and consumption that led to the phenomenon that is today called “media mix” in Japan and “convergence” in the West.
According to Steinberg, both anime and the media mix were ignited on January 1, 1963, when Astro Boy hit Japanese TV screens for the first time. Sponsored by a chocolate manufacturer with savvy marketing skills, Astro Boy quickly became a cultural icon in Japan. He was the poster boy (or, in his case, “sticker boy”) both for Meiji Seika’s chocolates and for what could happen when a goggle-eyed cartoon child fell into the eager clutches of creative marketers. It was only a short step, Steinberg makes clear, from Astro Boy to Pokémon and beyond.
Steinberg traces the cultural genealogy that spawned Astro Boy to the transformations of Japanese media culture that followed—and forward to the even more profound developments in global capitalism supported by the circulation of characters like Doraemon, Hello Kitty, and Suzumiya Haruhi. He details how convergence was sparked by anime, with its astoundingly broad merchandising of images and its franchising across media and commodities. He also explains, for the first time, how the rise of anime cannot be understood properly—historically, economically, and culturally—without grasping the integral role that the media mix played from the start. Engaging with film, animation, and media studies, as well as analyses of consumer culture and theories of capitalism, Steinberg offers the first sustained study of the Japanese mode of convergence that informs global media practices to this day.
The Development of Residential Architecture in Fayette County, Kentucky
The ante bellum homes of Lexington and Fayette County, Kentucky, are both more numerous and more distinctive in design than those of many communities of similar age. Founded in 1775, Lexington by the turn of the century had become the chief cultural center north of New Orleans and west of the Alleghenies. During the eight decades between the Revolution and the Civil War, Fayette County was the focus of converging streams of immigration, and a phenomenal amount of building activity took place in Lexington and the surrounding area. Although local builders followed the trends of national architecture, they were not primarily concerned with "correctness," and developed a provincial style which was distinguished by originality and a high level of craftsmanship.
In Ante Bellum Houses of the Bluegrass, Clay Lancaster seeks to define the indigenous character of Fayette County building, which he concludes is of unusually distinguished quality. A second aim is the presentation of authentic data as a guide for intelligent restoration of existing old buildings, many of which have been defaced by unnecessary changes and inappropriate additions. He traces the development of house building in this restricted area from the first crude log cabins, through frame, stone, and early brick residences, to the substantial homes built by wealthy landowners and merchants in the mid-nineteenth century.
The text is supplemented by 200 line drawings which present the essential features of each building free from the later alterations and decay which would be recorded by the camera. These illustrations have been compiled on the basis of intensive research, from old photographs, maps, drawings, and other records. An album of halftone illustrations, many of which are reproductions of old photographs of buildings which have been altered or demolished, supplements these illustrations.
During the eight decades preceding the Civil War, Kentucky was the scene of tremendous building activity. Located in the western section of the original English colonies, midway between North and South, Kentucky saw the rise of an architecture that combined the traditions of nationally known designers, eager to achieve the refinements of their English mother culture, alongside the innovativeness and bold originality proper to the frontier. Tradition thus provided a tangible link with world architectural development, while innovation offered refreshing variations. The result was a distinctive regional architecture.
In his newest look at Kentucky architecture, Clay Lancaster broadens his scope to include analyses of significant structures from throughout the commonwealth, illustrating the entire range of stylistic development. Like his acclaimed earlier book Antebellum Houses of the Bluegrass, the current volume provides historical background as well as drawings, photographs, and floor plans, showing both general features and details.
Among the many Kentucky buildings discussed are examples by such well-known early American architects as Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Thomas Jefferson, James Dakin, Isaiah Rogers, Alexander J. Davis, and Francis Costigan, as well as the work of local master builders such as Matthew Kennedy, Micajah Burnett, Gideon Shryock, Thomas Lewinski, and John McMurtry. Also included are Kentucky buildings designed from nationally distributed architectural books and builders' guides.
Lancaster gives special attention to the Geometric Style, which evolved further and produced more noteworthy monuments in Kentucky than anywhere else in America. Such buildings, in turn, bestowed a simplicity and straightforwardness on structures in later styles.
As Lancaster shows, the architecture that resulted from Kentucky's fertile eclecticism constitutes a rich and rewarding architectural heritage. All lovers of fine architecture will treasure this handsome and informative book.