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American Pietàs

Visions of Race, Death, and the Maternal

Ruby C. Tapia

In American Pietàs, Ruby C. Tapia reveals how visual representations of racialized motherhood shape and reflect national citizenship. By means of a sustained engagement with Roland Barthes’s suturing of race, death, and the maternal in Camera Lucida, Tapia contends that the contradictory essence of the photograph is both as a signifier of death and a guarantor of resurrection.

Tapia explores the implications of this argument for racialized productions of death and the maternal in the context of specific cultural moments: the commemoration of Princess Diana in U.S. magazines; the intertext of Toni Morrison’s and Hollywood’s Beloved; the social and cultural death in teen pregnancy, imaged and regulated in California’s Partnership for Responsible Parenting campaigns; and popular constructions of the “Widows of 9/11” in print and televisual journalism.

Taken together, these various visual media texts function in American Pietàs as cultural artifacts and as visual nodes in a larger network of racialized productions of maternal bodies in contexts of national death and remembering. To engage this network is to ask how and toward what end the racial project of the nation imbues some maternal bodies with resurrecting power and leaves others for dead. In the spaces between these different maternities, says Tapia, U.S. citizen-subjects are born—and reborn.

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Anarchism and Art

Democracy in the Cracks and on the Margins

Mark Mattern

Interprets popular art forms as exhibiting core anarchist values and presaging a more democratic world.

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Anarchy

New York City-January 1998

John Cage

"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.

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Ancient Origins of the Mexican Plaza

From Primordial Sea to Public Space

By Logan Wagner, Hal Box, and Susan Kline Morehead

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.

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And I Said No Lord

A Twenty-One-Year-Old in Mississippi in 1964

Joel Katz

In And I Said No Lord, photographer and writer Joel Katz presents a pictorial chronicle of his travels through the shifting islands of fear and loss, freedom and deliverance that was segregated Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964.

In June 1964, college student Joel Katz boarded a Greyhound bus in Hartford, Connecticut, for Jackson, Mississippi. He carried few possessions—a small bag of clothes, a written invitation to call on Frank Barber, who was special assistant to Governor Paul Johnson, and a Honeywell Pentax H1-A camera with three lenses.

A few days after his arrival in Jackson, the city’s Daily News ran on its front page an FBI alert seeking Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, three field workers from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) who’d gone missing while investigating a church burning in Neshoba County.

In the uneasy silence of their disappearance, Katz began a seven-week journey across the state. Along the way, he met the people of Mississippi, black and white, of all ages and classes, from the humble to the grand. These Mississippians encouraged or obstructed change in their traditional culture or simply observed the edifice of that culture tremble and fall.

During 1964’s Freedom Summer, Katz met ministers making history and journalists writing it. He photographed Martin Luther King Jr. and James Abernathy, taught at a freedom school, interviewed a leader of the White Citizens Councils, was harassed by Jackson police, and escaped death in Vicksburg. Six weeks after Katz arrived in Mississippi, the FBI found the bodies of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner in an earthen dam.

Inspired by the social documentary photographs of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Katz snapped hauntingly quotidian photos on his Pentax camera. Amid acts of brutal savagery and transcendent courage that transfixed the nation, Katz discovered resilient individuals living quiet lives worthy of witness. And I Said No Lord is a moving and luminous record of Americans in evolution.

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Anime’s Media Mix

Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan

Marc Steinberg

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.

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Ante Bellum Houses of the Bluegrass

The Development of Residential Architecture in Fayette County, Kentucky

Clay Lancaster

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.

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Antebellum Architecture of Kentucky

Clay Lancaster

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.

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Antidiets of the Avant-Garde

From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art

Cecilia Novero

Discussing an aspect of the European avant-garde that has often been neglected-its relationship to the embodied experience of food, its sensation, and its consumption-Cecilia Novero exposes the surprisingly key roles that food plays in the theoretical foundations and material aesthetics of a broad stratum of works ranging from the Italian Futurist Cookbook to the magazine Dada, Walter Benjamin's writings on eating and cooking, Daniel Spoerri's Eat Art, and the French New Realists.

Starting from the premise that avant-garde art involves the questioning of bourgeois aesthetics, Novero demonstrates that avant-garde artists, writers, and performers have produced an oppositional aesthetics of indigestible art. Through the rhetoric of incorporation and consumption and the use of material ingredients in their work, she shows, avant-garde artists active in the 1920s and 1930s as well as the neo-avant-garde movements engaged critically with consumer culture, memory, and history.

Attention to food in avant-garde aesthetics, Novero asserts, reveals how these works are rooted in a complex temporality that associates memory and consumption with dynamics of change.

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Apollo & Vulcan

The Art Markets in Italy, 1400-1700

Guido Guerzoni

Guido Guerzoni presents the results of fifteen years of research into one of the more hotly debated topics among historians of art and of economics: the history of art markets. Dedicating equal attention to current thought in the fields of economics, economic history, and art history, Guerzoni offers a broad and far-reaching analysis of the Italian scene, highlighting the existence of different forms of commercial interchange and diverse kinds of art markets. In doing so he ranges beyond painting and sculpture, to examine as well the economic drivers behind architecture, decorative and sumptuary arts, and performing or ephemeral events.
     Organized by thematic areas (the ethics and psychology of consumption, an analysis of the demand, labor markets, services, prices, laws) that cover a large chronological period (from the 15th through the 17th century), various geographical areas, and several institution typologies, this book offers an exhaustive and up-to-date study of an increasingly fascinating topic.

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