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Legitimizing an Authoritarian Regime
In Brazilian Propaganda, Nina Schneider examines the various modes of official, and unofficial, propaganda used by an authoritarian regime.
Such propaganda is commonly believed to be political, praising military figures and openly legitimizing state repression. However, Brazil's military dictatorship (1964-1985) launched seemingly apolitical official campaigns that were aesthetically appealing and ostensibly aimed to "enlighten" and "civilize." Some were produced as civilian-military collaborations and others were conducted by privately owned media, but undergirding them all was the theme of a country aspiring to become a developed nation.
Focusing primarily on visual media, Schneider demonstrates how many short films of the period portrayed a society free from class and racial conflicts. These films espoused civic-mindedness while attempting to distract from atrocities perpetuated by the regime.
Mining a rich trove of materials from the National Archives in Rio and conducting interviews with key propagandists, Schneider demonstrates the ambiguities of twentieth-century Brazilian propaganda. She also challenges the notion of a homogeneous military regime in Brazil, highlighting its fractures and competing forces. By analyzing the strategy, production, mechanisms, and meaning of these films and reconstructing their effects, she provides an alternative interpretation of the propagandists' intentions and a new framework for understanding this era in Brazil's history.
Black Nationalism, Feminism, and Integration in the United States, 1896-1935
High-profile rivalries between black male leaders in the early twentieth century have contributed to the view that integrationism and black nationalism were diametrically opposed philosophies shaped primarily by men. Bridging Race Divides challenges this conceptualization by examining prominent "race women" (including Amy Jacques Garvey, Mary McLeod Bethune, Madame C. J. Walker) as well as other participants in the Harlem Renaissance, Garveyism and the clubwomen's movement to reveal the depth and complexity of women's contributions to both black feminist and black nationalist traditions of activism in the early twentieth century.
Ideas of authenticity and respectability were central to the construction of black identities within black cultural and political resistance movements of the early twentieth century. Unfortunately both concepts have also been used to demonize black middle-class women whose endeavors towards racial uplift are too frequently dismissed as assimilationist and whose class status has apparently disqualified them from performing "authentic" blackness and exhibiting race pride.
Kate Dossett challenges these conceptualizations in a thorough examination of prominent black women leaders' political thought and cultural production in the years between the founding of the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 and the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. Through an analysis of black women's political activism, entrepreneurship and literary endeavor, Dossett argues that black women made significant contributions toward the development of a black feminist tradition which enabled them to challenge the apparent dichotomy between black nationalism and integrationism.
By exploring the connections between women like the pioneering black hairdresser Madam C. J. Walker and her daughter, A'Lelia, as well as clubwoman Mary McLeod Bethune and United Negro Improvement Association activist Amy Jacques Garvey, Dossett also makes a distinctive contribution to the field of women's history by positioning black women at the forefront of both intellectual and practical endeavors in the struggle for black autonomy.
African identities have been written and rewritten in both British and African literature for decades. These revisions have opened up new formulations of what it really means to be British or African.
By comparing texts by authors from African and British backgrounds across a wide variety of political orientations, Simon Lewis analyzes the deeper relationships between colonizer and colonized. He brings issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality into the analysis, providing new ways for cultural scholars to think about how empire and colony have impacted one another from the late eighteenth century through the decades following World War II.
In his comparisons, Lewis focuses on commonalities rather than differences. By examining the work of writers including Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, T. S. Eliot, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Zoe Wicomb, Yvette Christianse, and Chris van Wyk, he demonstrates how Britain’s former African colonies influence British culture just as much as African culture was influenced by British colonization.
Lewis brings a uniquely informed perspective to the topic, having lived in South Africa, Tanzania, and Great Britain, and having taught African literature for over a decade. The book demonstrates his expert knowledge of local cultural history from 1945 to the present, in both Africa and Britain.
It has long been accepted that film helped shape the modernist novel and that modernist poetry would be inconceivable without the typewriter. Yet radio, a key influence on modernist literature, remains the invisible medium.
The contributors to Broadcasting Modernism argue that radio led to changes in textual and generic forms. Modernist authors embraced the emerging medium, creating texts that were to be heard but not read, incorporating the device into their stories, and using it to publicize their work. They saw in radio the same spirit of experimentation that animated modernism itself.
Because early broadcasts were rarely recorded, radio's influence on literary modernism often seems equally ephemeral in the historical record. Broadcasting Modernism helps fill this void, providing a new perspective for modernist studies even as it reconfigures the landscape of the era itself.
Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora
The initial push for a federation among British Caribbean colonies might have originated among the white elites, but the banner for federation was quickly picked up by Afro-Caribbean activists who saw in the possibility of a united West Indian nation a means of securing political power and more.
In Building a Nation, Eric Duke moves beyond the narrow view of federation as only relevant to Caribbean and British imperial histories. By examining support for federation among many Afro-Caribbean and other black activists in and out of the West Indies, Duke convincingly expands and connects the movement’s history squarely into the wider history of political and social activism in the early to mid-twentieth century black diaspora.
Exploring the relationships between the pursuit of Caribbean federation and Black Diaspora politics, Duke posits that federation was more than a regional endeavor; it was a diasporic, black-nation building undertaking--with broad support in diaspora centers such as Harlem and London--deeply immersed in ideas of racial unity, racial uplift, and black self-determination.
Prehistoric Wooden Post Architecture in the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes
The study of ancient architecture reveals much about the social constructs and culture of the architects, builders, and inhabitants of the structures, but few studies bridge the gap between architecture and archaeology. This comprehensive examination of sites in the Ohio Valley, going as far north as Ontario, integrates structural engineering and wood science technology into the toolkit of archaeologists. Presenting the most current research on structures from pre-European contact, Building the Past allows archaeologists to expand their interpretations from simply describing postmold patterns to more fully envisioning the complex architecture of critical locations like Hopewell, Moorehead Circle, and Brown’s Bottom.
Church Arson in the American South
In the 1990s, churches across the southeastern United States were targeted and set ablaze. These arsonists predominately targeted African American congregations and captured the attention of the media nationwide. Using oral histories, newspaper accounts, and governmental reports, Christopher Strain gives a chronological account of the series of church fires.
Burning Faith considers the various forces at work, including government responses, civil rights groups, religious forces, and media coverage, in providing a thorough, comprehensive analysis of the events and their fallout. Arguing that these church fires symbolize the breakdown of communal bonds in the nation, Strain appeals for the revitalization of united Americans and the return to a sense of community.
Combining scholarly sophistication with popular readability, Strain has produced one of the first histories of the last decade that demonstrates that the increasing fragmentation of community in America runs deeper than race relations or prejudice.
Its Development and Implementation
Michael Boston offers a radical departure from other interpretations of Booker T. Washington by focusing on the latter’s business ideas and practices.
More specifically, Boston examines Washington as an entrepreneur, spelling out his business philosophy at great length and discussing the influence it had on black America. He analyzes the national and regional economies in which Washington worked and focuses on his advocacy of black business development as the key to economic uplift for African Americans.
The result is a revisionist book that responds to the skewed literature on Washington even as it offers a new framework for understanding him. Based upon a deep reading of the Tuskegee archives, it acknowledges Washington not only as a champion of black business development but one who conceived and implemented successful strategies to promote it as well.
The Business Strategy of Booker T. Washington makes abundantly clear that Washington was not an accommodationist; it will be required reading for any future discussion of this titan of history.
A World Renewal Cult Heterarchy
Cahokia is located in the northern expanse of American Bottom, the largest of the Mississippian flood plains, and opposite St. Louis, Missouri. Byers overturns the current political characterization of this largest known North American prehistoric site north of Mexico. Rather than treating Cahokia as the seat of a dominant Native American polity, a "paramount chiefdom," Byers argues that it must be given a religious characterization as a world renewal cult center. Furthermore, the social and economic powers that it manifests must not be seen to reside in Cahokia itself but in multiple world renewal cults distributed across the American Bottom and in the nearby upland regions.
Byers argues that Cahokia can be thought of as an affiliation of mutually autonomous cults that pooled their labor and other resources and established their collective mission as the performance of world renewal rituals by which to maintain and enhance the sacred powers of the cosmos. The cults, he argues, adopted two forms of sacrifice: one was the incrementally staged manipulation of the deceased (burial, disinterment, bone cleaning, and reburial), with each unfolding step constituting a mortuary act having different and greater world renewal sacrificial force. The other was lethal human sacrifice--probably correlated with long distance warfare by which to procure victims.
Thomas Rice uses the concept of cannibalism (what he calls "dismemberment, ingestion, and reprocessing") to describe Joyce's incorporation of so many literary and cultural allusions, both "high" and "popular." Beginning with examples of actual and symbolic cannibalism that fascinated Joyce--the Donner party, the Catholic Eucharist--Rice moves on to the ways Joyce appropriated language and elements of material culture into his work.
In Cannibal Joyce, Rice deftly offers a wide range of surprising connections and fascinating insights. A look at Berlitz's approach to teaching language leads to an examination of Joyce's aesthetic of disjunction in language. He compares Joyce and Joseph Conrad in light of the difficulties of modernism for readers through a startling and convincing discussion of the condom. And by focusing attention on colonial tales of cannibalism and Britain's treatment of the Irish, he provides a unique perspective on Joyce's politics.