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British Forts and Their Communities

Archaeological and Historical Perspectives

Christopher R. DeCorse

While the military features of historic forts usually receive the most attention from researchers, this volume focuses instead on the people who met and interacted in these sites. Contributors to British Forts and Their Communities look beyond the defensive architecture, physical landscapes, and armed conflicts to explore the complex social diversity that arose in the outposts of the British Empire.

The forts investigated here operated at the empire's peak in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, protecting British colonial settlements and trading enclaves scattered across the globe. Locations in this volume include New York State, Michigan, the St. Lawrence River, and Vancouver, as well as sites in the Caribbean and in Africa. Using archaeological and archival evidence, these case studies show how forts brought together people of many different origins, ethnicities, identities, and social roles, from European soldiers to indigenous traders to African slaves.

Characterized by shifting networks of people, commodities, and ideas, these fort populations were microcosms of the emerging modern world. This volume reveals how important it is to move past the conventional emphasis on the armed might of the colonizer in order to better understand the messy, entangled nature of British colonialism and the new era it helped usher in.

Contributors: Zachary J.M. Beier | Flordeliz T. Bugarin | Robert Cromwell | Christopher R. DeCorse | Liza Gijanto | Guido Pezzarossi | Douglas Pippin | Amy Roache-Fedchenko | Gerald F. Schroedl | David R. Starbuck | Douglas C. Wilson

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Broadcasting Modernism

Edited by Debra Rae Cohen, Michael Coyle, and Jane Lewty

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.

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Broken Chains and Subverted Plans

Ethnicity, Race, and Commodities

Christopher C. Fennell

Using case studies from frontier regions in nineteenth-century Virginia and Illinois, this book reveals how marginalized ethnic and racial communities thwarted the attempts of officials and investors to control them through capitalist economic systems, global commodity chains, and development plans.

In backcountry Virginia, German immigrants opted to purchase ceramic wares produced by their own local communities instead of buying manufactured goods supplied by urban centers. Examining archaeology sites and account books and ledgers maintained by local stores, Christopher Fennell reveals how these consumer preferences were influenced by ethnic affiliations and traditions of stylistic expression, emphasizing the community’s cohesiveness.

Free African Americans in the town of New Philadelphia, Illinois, worked to obtain land, produce agricultural commodities, and provide services as blacksmiths and carpenters. In doing so, they defied the structural and aversive racism meant to channel resources and economic value away from them. Fennell surveys these racial dynamics--as well as those of Miller Grove, Brooklyn, and the Equal Rights settlement outside of Galena--to show how social networks, racism, and markets shaped individual, family, and societal experiences.

The small choices made by these two populations had ripple effects through developments in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States. Looking at the economic systems of these regions in relation to transatlantic and global factors, Fennell offers rare insight into the dynamics of America’s consumer economy.

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Building a Nation

Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora

Eric D. Duke

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.

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Building the Past

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.

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Burning Faith

Church Arson in the American South

Christopher B. Strain

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.

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The Business Strategy of Booker T. Washington

Its Development and Implementation

Michael B. Boston

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.

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Cahokia

A World Renewal Cult Heterarchy

A. Martin Byers

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.

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Cannibal Joyce

Thomas Jackson Rice

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.

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Carnival and National Identity in the Poetry of Afrocubanismo

Thomas F. Anderson

The poetry associated with Afrocubanismo has been of great interest to academics since the movement began in the late 1920s. Thomas Anderson’s detailed analysis infuses new life into the study of these remarkable works. Focusing on the representations of carnival and its comparsas (carnival bands and music), Carnival and National Identity in the Poetry of Afrocubanismo offers thought-provoking new readings of poems by seminal Cuban poets, demonstrating how their writings on and about these traditions both contributed to and detracted from the development of a recognizable Afro-Cuban identity.

This volume is the first to examine, from a literary perspective, the long-running debate between the proponents of Afro-Cuban cultural manifestations and the predominantly white Cuban intelligentsia who viewed these traditions as “backward” and counter to the interests of the young Republic. Including analyses of the work of Felipe Pichardo Moya, Alejo Carpentier, Nicolás Guillén, Emilio Ballagas, José Zacarías Tallet, Felix B. Caignet, Marcelino Arozarena, and Alfonso Camín, this rigorous, interdisciplinary volume offers a fresh look at the canon of Afrocubanismo and offers surprising insights into Cuban culture during the early years of the Republic.

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