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Jack Kerouac's Wild Form
Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form connects the personal and creative development of the Beat generation's famous icon with cultural changes in postwar America. Michael Hrebeniak asserts that Jack Kerouac's "wild form"—self-organizing narratives free of literary, grammatical, and syntactical conventions—moves within an experimental continuum across the arts to generate a Dionysian sense of writing as raw process. Action Writing highlights how Kerouac made concrete his 1952 intimation of "something beyond the novel" by assembling ideas from Beat America, modernist poetics, action painting, bebop, and subterranean oral traditions.
Geared to scholars and students of American literature, Beat studies, and creative writing, Action Writing places Kerouac's writing within the context of the American art scene at midcentury. Reframing the work of Kerouac and the Beat generation within the experimental modernist and postmodernist literary tradition, this probing inquiry offers a direct engagement with the social and cultural history at the foreground of Kerouac's career from the 1940s to the late 1960s.
Always Danger offers a lyrical and highly imaginative exploration into the hazards that surround people’s lives—whether it’s violence, war, mental illness, car accidents, or the fury of Mother Nature. In his second collection of poems, David Hernandez embraces the element of surprise: a soldier takes refuge inside a hollowed-out horse, a man bullies a mountain, and a giant pink donut sponsors age-old questions about beliefs. Hernandez typically eschews the politics that often surround the inner circle of contemporary literature, but in this volume he quietly sings a few bars with a political tone: one poem shadows the conflict in Iraq, another reflects our own nation’s economic and cultural divide. Always Danger parallels Hernandez’s joy of writing: unmapped, spontaneous, and imbued with nuanced revelation.
Taking its title from an Audubon painting, American Flamingo shares with the artist an exquisite attention to detail and the suggestion of a larger sense of time and place through depictions of the intimate interactions between creatures and their habitats. In his fifth collection of poetry, Greg Pape melds memorable images from the natural world with the drama of ordinary experience to capture small transformations of human character in American settings from Arizona’s Sonora Desert to the icy streets of Washington, D.C. Through elegies, character sketches, and lyric and narrative evocations of family and place, Pape offers lucid and startling poems that bridge the spaces between the past and the present, men and women, and urban and rural landscapes.
The Work of NBC's Stockton Helffrich
In America's First Network TV Censor, Robert Pondillo uses the records of Stockton Helffrich, the first manager of the NBC censorship department, to look at significant subjects of early censorship and how Helffrich used censorship to promote positive changes in the early days of television in the 1940s and 1950s.
Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy
10,000 Years in the Saline Valley of Illinois
Archaeological sites throughout southern Illinois provide a chronicle of the varying ways people have lived in that area during the past 10,000 years. This book focuses on the results of a five-year archaeological investigation in a 143-acre area known as the Carrier Mills Archaeological District. This area, rich in archaeological treasures, offers many keys to the prehistoric people of southern Illinois. Archaeologists in this study have sought to learn the ages of the various prehistoric occupations represented at the sites; to better understand the technology and social organization of these prehistoric people; to collect information about diet, health, and physical characteristics of the prehistoric inhabitants; and to investigate the remains of the 19th-century Lakeview settlement.
In recent years, archaeologists have used the terms hybrid and hybridity with increasing frequency to describe and interpret forms of material culture. Hybridity is a way of viewing culture and human action that addresses the issue of power differentials between peoples and cultures. This approach suggests that cultures are not discrete pure entities but rather are continuously transforming and recombining. The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture discusses this concept and its relationship to archaeological classification and the emergence of new ethnic group identities. This collection of essays provides readers with theoretical and concrete tools for investigating objects and architecture with discernible multiple influences.
The twenty-one essays are organized into four parts: ceramic change in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean; ethnicity and material culture in pre-Hispanic and colonial Latin America; culture contact and transformation in technological style; and materiality and identity. The media examined include ceramics, stone and glass implements, textiles, bone, architecture, and mortuary and bioarchaeological artifacts from North, South, and Central America, Hawai‘i, the Caribbean, Europe, and Mesopotamia. Case studies include Bronze Age Britain, Iron Age and Roman Europe, Uruk-era Turkey, African diasporic communities in the Caribbean, pre-Spanish and Pueblo revolt era Southwest, Spanish colonial impacts in the American Southeast, Central America, and the Andes, ethnographic Amazonia, historic-era New England and the Plains, the Classic Maya, nineteenth-century Hawai‘i, and Upper Paleolithic Europe. The volume is carefully detailed with more than forty maps and figures and over twenty tables.
The work presented in The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture comes from researchers whose questions and investigations recognized the role of multiple influences on the people and material they study. Case studies include experiments in bone working in middle Missouri; images and social relationships in prehistoric and Roman Europe; technological and material hybridity in colonial Peruvian textiles; ceramic change in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean; and flaked glass tools from the leprosarium at Kalawao, Moloka‘i. The essays provide examples and approaches that may serve as a guide for other researchers dealing with similar issues.