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Performance, Race, and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance
James F. Wilson uncovers fascinating new material on the Harlem Renaissance, shedding light on the oft-forgotten gay and lesbian contributions to the era's creativity and Civil Rights. Extremely well researched, compellingly written, and highly informative. ---David Krasner, author of A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1927 Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies shines the spotlight on historically neglected plays and performances that challenged early twentieth-century notions of the stratification of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. On Broadway stages, in Harlem nightclubs and dance halls, and within private homes sponsoring rent parties, African American performers of the 1920s and early 1930s teased the limits of white middle-class morality. Blues-singing lesbians, popularly known as "bulldaggers," performed bawdy songs; cross-dressing men vied for the top prizes in lavish drag balls; and black and white women flaunted their sexuality in scandalous melodramas and musical revues. Race leaders, preachers, and theater critics spoke out against these performances that threatened to undermine social and political progress, but to no avail: mainstream audiences could not get enough of the riotous entertainment. Many of the plays and performances explored here, central to the cultural debates of their time, had been previously overlooked by theater historians. Among the performances discussed are David Belasco's controversial production of Edward Sheldon and Charles MacArthur's Lulu Belle (1926), with its raucous, libidinous view of Harlem. The title character, as performed by a white woman in blackface, became a symbol of defiance for the gay subculture and was simultaneously held up as a symbol of supposedly immoral black women. African Americans Florence Mills and Ethel Waters, two of the most famous performers of the 1920s, countered the Lulu Belle stereotype in written statements and through parody, thereby reflecting the powerful effect this fictional character had on the popular imagination. Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies is based on historical archival research including readings of eyewitness accounts, newspaper reports, songs, and playscripts. Employing a cultural studies framework that incorporates queer and critical race theory, it argues against the widely held belief that the stereotypical forms of black, lesbian, and gay show business of the 1920s prohibited the emergence of distinctive new voices. Specialists in American studies, performance studies, African American studies, and gay and lesbian studies will find the book appealing, as will general readers interested in the vivid personalities and performances of the singers and actors introduced in the book. James F. Wilson is Professor of English and Theatre at LaGuardia Community College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit
Butch Queens Up in Pumps examines Ballroom culture, in which inner-city LGBT individuals dress, dance, and vogue to compete for prizes and trophies. Participants are affiliated with a house, an alternative family structure typically named after haute couture designers and providing support to this diverse community. Marlon M. Bailey’s rich first-person performance ethnography of the Ballroom scene in Detroit examines Ballroom as a queer cultural formation that upsets dominant notions of gender, sexuality, kinship, and community.
Essays on Law, Narrative, and the Family
Carol Weisbrod uses a variety of stories to raise important questions about how society, through law, defines relationships in the family. Beginning with a story most familiar from the opera Madame Butterfly, Weisbrod addresses issues such as marriage, divorce, parent-child relations and abuses, and non-marital intimate contact. Each chapter works with fiction or narratives inspired by biography or myth, ranging from the Book of Esther to the stories of Kafka. Weisbrod frames the book with running commentary on variations of the Madame Butterfly story, showing the ways in which fiction better expresses the complexities of intimate lives than does the language of the law. Butterfly, the Bride looks at law from the outside, using narrative to provide a fresh perspective on the issues of law and social structure---and individual responses to law. This book thoroughly explores relationships between inner and public lives by examining what is ordinarily classified as the sphere of private life---the world of family relationships. Carol Weisbrod is Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut. Her other books include The Boundaries of Utopia and Emblems of Pluralism.
Repurposing Music in the Digital Age
From Attali’s “cold social silence” to Baudrillard’s hallucinatory reality, reproduced music has long been the target of critical attack. Steve Savage, however, deploys an innovative combination of designed recording projects, ethnographic studies of contemporary music practice, and critical analysis to challenge many of these traditional attitudes about the creation and reception of music. Savage adopts the notion of “repurposing” as central to understanding how every aspect of musical activity, from creation to reception, has been transformed, arguing that the tension within production between a naturalizing “art” and a self-conscious “artifice” reflects and feeds into our evolving notions of creativity, authenticity, and community. Three original audio projects form an integral part of the work, drawing from rock & roll, jazz, and traditional African music. Through these projects, Savage is able to target areas of contemporary practice that are particularly significant in the cultural evolution of the musical experience from the perspective of composers, musicians, and listeners. This work stems from Savage’s experience as a professional recording engineer and record producer. “Instead of focusing solely on legal aspects, as many authors have done, Savage takes the time to study not only how technologies have altered the way we make and consume music, but also how technology relates to culture. This balance between ‘empirical’ and ‘critical’ approaches is powerful.” — Serge Lacasse, Université Laval
The Race for Governor
Campaign Dynamics: The Race for Governor explores the dynamic interaction between candidates and voters that takes place during campaigns. It finds that voters respond in a meaningful way to what candidates say and do during their campaigns. Candidates for state-wide and national offices spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to convey their messages to voters. Do voters hear them and respond? More specifically, do the issues candidates stress on the campaign trail influence the choices voters make when casting their ballots? The evidence presented in this book suggests that the answer is a resounding yes. Campaign Dynamics examines more than one hundred gubernatorial elections from 1982 through 1994, beginning with case studies of the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey in 1993. Combining interviews and observations with empirical analysis of public opinion polls, the case studies develop the basic understanding of how campaigns define the set of important issues in an election. Then the analysis is expanded to consider the abortion issue in thirty-four gubernatorial elections in 1990. Later chapters test these ideas in over one hundred gubernatorial elections, combining exit poll data on upwards of 100,000 voters from dozens of races with measures of campaign themes developed out of a content analysis of newspaper coverage. This book employs multiple methods and sources of data and represents one of the most comprehensive theoretical and empirical efforts to understand the role of campaigns in voting behavior ever undertaken. Campaign Dynamics will be of interest to those who study state politics, voting behavior and campaigns, and democratic theory. It should also guide students and scholars interested in performing empirical tests of formal models and those wishing to combine multiple methods in their research. Thomas M. Carsey is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Insights and Evidence
What is wrong with American political campaigns? How could the campaign process be improved? This volume brings the expertise of leading political scientists to the public debate about campaign reform. These scholars probe the reality behind the conventional wisdom that nasty, vacuous campaigns dominated by big money and cynical media coverage are perverting our political process and alienating our citizenry. Some of their conclusions will be startling to campaigners and critics alike. For example, "attack" advertisements prove to be no more effective than self-promotional advertisements, but are more substantive. Indeed, candidates in their advertisements and speeches focus more on policy and less on strategy and process than any major news outlet, including the New York Times. The volume suggests that, as a result, prospective voters in 1996 knew more about the candidates' issue positions than in any presidential election in decades, yet turnout and public faith in the electoral process continued to decline. For aspiring reformers, Bartels and his colleagues provide a bracing reality check. For students and scholars of electoral politics, political communication, and voting behavior, they provide an authoritative summary and interpretation of what we know about the nature and impact of political campaigns. The insights and evidence contained in this volume should be of interest to anyone concerned about the present state and future prospects of American electoral process. Larry M. Bartels is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Lynn Vavreck is Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College. Other contributors are Bruce Buchanan, Tami Buhr, Ann Crigler, John G. Geer, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Marion Just, Daron R. Shaw, and John Zaller.
In Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy Linda L. Fowler provides a wide-ranging examination of candidacy as a source of both stability and change in U.S. politics. An expert on political candidates, she brings a novel perspective to the topic by emphasizing that candidates are necessary instruments for popular control of government. Fowler maintains that the ambitions of individual candidates are essential to the functioning of the nation's constitutional system and are important factors in its political history. She traces the influence of candidates in fostering electoral competition, promoting the representation of such newly mobilized groups of citizens as women and ethnic minorities, and transforming political institutions and parties. Despite the importance of candidacy, the institution is poorly understood because both scholars and voters tend to limit their focus on candidates to the narrow context of election campaigns. The author argues that a broader view reveals how candidates are linked to a variety of trends and contradictions in contemporary U.S. politics.
Capital Mobility, Central Bank Independence, and the Political Control of the Economy
Capitalism, Not Globalism shows that, while much has been made of recent changes in the international economy, the mechanisms by which politicians control the economy have not changed throughout the postwar period. Challenging both traditional and revisionist globalization theorists, William Roberts Clark argues that increased financial integration has led to neither a widening nor a narrowing of partisan differences in macroeconomic polices or outcomes. Rather, he shows that the absence of partisan differences in macroeconomic policy is a long-standing feature of democratic capitalist societies that can be traced to politicians' attempts to use the economy to help them survive in office. Changes in the structural landscape such as increased capital mobility and central bank independence do not necessarily diminish the ability of politicians to control the economy, but they do shape the strategies they use to do so. In a world of highly mobile capital, politicians manipulate monetary policy to create macroeconomic expansions prior to elections only if the exchange rate is flexible and the central bank is subservient. But they use fiscal policy to induce political business cycles when the exchange rate is fixed or the central bank is independent. William Roberts Clark is Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, New York University.
The Marketability of Political Skills
What would you do if, the very day you were hired, you knew you could be unemployed in as little as two years? You'd seek opportunities in your current job to develop a portfolio of skills and contacts in order to make yourself more attractive to future employers. Representatives and senators think about their jobs in Congress in this way, according to Glenn R. Parker. While in office, members of Congress plan not merely for the next election but for the next stage of their careers. By networking, serving on committees, and championing particular legislation, they deliberately accumulate human capital---expertise, networks, and reputation---which later will give them bargaining power in the job market. Parker's study of the postelective careers of more than 200 former members of Congress, both U.S. representatives and senators, who have left office during the last half century shows that such strategic planning generally succeeds. In most cases, the human capital these politicians amassed while in office increased their occupational mobility and earning power. Capitol Investments offers a sophisticated yet accessible analysis of the acquisition and marketability of political skills. It suggests that an awareness of the trade in human capital shapes an officeholder's actions as much as the desire to win another election. Glenn R. Parker is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.
Capturing Campaign Effects is the definitive study to date of the influence of campaigns on political culture. Comprising a broad exploration of campaign factors (debates, news coverage, advertising, and polls) and their effects (priming, learning, and persuasion), as well as an impressive survey of techniques for the collection and analysis of campaign data, Capturing Campaign Effects examines different kinds of campaigns in the U.S. and abroad and presents strong evidence for significant campaign effects. "Capturing Campaign Effects is an accessible and penetrating account of modern scholarship on electoral politics. It draws critical insights from a range of innovative analyses." --Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan "What a wonderful way to usher in the new era of election studies! This book spotlights fascinating paradoxes in the literature of voting behavior, highlights many promising approaches to resolving those paradoxes, and shows how these strategies can yield important findings with terrific payoffs for our understanding of contemporary democracy. Fasten your seatbelts, folks: scholarship on elections is about to speed up thanks to this collection of great essays." --Jon Krosnick, Stanford University "The past decade has seen a renewed interest in understanding campaign effects. How and when do voters learn? Does the election campaign even matter at all? Capturing Campaign Effects draws on leading political scientists to address these matters. The result is a collection that will become the major reference for the study of campaigns. The lesson that emerges is that campaigns do affect voter decision making, usually for the better." --Robert S. Erikson, Columbia University Henry E. Brady is Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, and Director of the Survey Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Richard Johnston is Professor and Head of Political Science and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of British Columbia.