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Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church
In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center. In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as "champion of life"-an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance.The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the "creative class," Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.
Religion and Tourism in Branson, Missouri
Over the past century, Branson, Missouri, has attracted tens of millions of tourists. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, it offers a rare and refreshing combination of natural beauty and family-friendly recreation—from scenic lakes and rolling hills to theme parks and variety shows. It has boasted of big name celebrities, like Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, and Petula Clark, as well as family entertainers like Mickey Gilley, the Shanghai Magic Troupe, Jim Stafford, and Yakov Smirnoff. But there is more to Branson's fame than just recreation. As Aaron K. Ketchell discovers, a popular variant of Christianity underscores all Branson's tourist attractions and fortifies every consumer success. In this lively and engaging study, Ketchell explores Branson's unique blend of religion and recreation. He explains how the city became a mecca of conservative Christianity—a place for a "spiritual vacation"—and how, through conscious effort, its residents and businesses continuously reinforce its inextricable connection with the divine. Ketchell combines the study of lived religion, popular culture, evangelicalism, and contemporary American history to present an accurate and honest account of a distinctly American phenomenon.
Dissent through American Popular Culture
The Simpsons questions what is culturally acceptable, showcasing controversial issues like homosexuality, animal rights, the war on terror, and religion. This subtle form of political analysis is effective in changing opinions and attitudes on a large scale. Homer Simpson Marches on Washington explores the transformative power that enables popular culture to influence political agendas, frame the consciousness of audiences, and create profound shifts in values and ideals. To investigate the full spectrum of popular culture in a democratic society, editors Timothy M. Dale and Joseph J. Foy gather a top-notch team of scholars who use television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, All in the Family, The View, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report, as well as movies and popular music, to investigate contemporary issues in American popular culture.
Vol. 1, no. 3 (1999); v. 2 (2000/01)
Hopscotch represents an invitation to look at past and present Hispanic cultures anew, to revisit its multifaceted history and identity by reencountering its diverse roots and heritage-from indigenous peoples to European settlers, from African slaves brought during colonial times to the subsequent waves of immigration from Asia, the Middle East, and Western and Eastern Europe. The journal covers art, literature, cinema, and politics and begins to consider the many faces of Hispanics in the world today.
Concepts, Contests, Contingencies
Today the language of human rights, if not human rights themselves, is nearly universal. Human Rights brings together essays that attend to both the allure and criticism of human rights. They examine contestation and contingency in today's human rights politics and help us rethink some of the basic concepts of human rights. Questions addressed in Human Rights include: Can national self-determination be reconciled with human rights? Can human rights be advanced without thwarting efforts to develop indigenous legal traditions? How are the forces of modernization associated with globalization transforming our understanding of human dignity and personal autonomy? What does it mean to talk about culture and cultural choice? Is the protection of culture and cultural choice an important value in human rights discourse? How do human rights figure in local political contests and how are those contests, in turn, shaped by the spread of capitalism and market values? What contingencies shape the implementation of human rights in societies without a strong tradition of adherence to the rule of law? What are the conditions under which human rights claims are advanced and under which nations respond to their appeal? Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College. Thomas R. Kearns is William H. Hastie Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, Amherst College.
From Bigger Thomas to Biggie Smalls
Investigates a variety of texts in which the self-image of poor, urban black men in the U.S. is formed within, by, and against a culture of racial terror and state violence.
Imagined Londons explores the diverse ways that Britain’s “global city” has been imagined and represented in literature, history, the arts, and popular culture, from the mid–nineteenth century to the present day. American and British contributors examine a variety of topics, ranging from poetry to architecture, from dance music to gay pornography, from “tube” maps to the role of Bangladeshi communities in shaping contemporary London politics. Broadly interdisciplinary and deeply attentive to London’s historical diversity, the book is unified by its attention to a single question: How have the many imaginations and representations of London shaped—and been shaped by—history and culture? The answers provided within this volume offer the chance to view London in surprising new ways.
At a time when the idea of wilderness is being challenged by both politicians and intellectuals, Imagining Wild America examines writing about wilderness and wildness and makes a case for its continuing value. The book focuses on works by John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, and Mary Oliver, as each writer illustrates different stages and dimensions of the American fascination with wild nature. John Knott traces the emergence of a visionary tradition that embraces values consciously understood to be ahistorical, showing that these writers, while recognizing the claims of history and the interdependence of nature and culture, also understand and attempt to represent wild nature as something different, other. A contribution to the growing literature of eco-criticism, the book is a response to and critique of recent arguments about the constructed nature of wilderness. Imagining Wild America demonstrates the richness and continuing importance of the idea of wilderness, and its attraction for American writers. John R. Knott is Professor of English, University of Michigan. His previous books include The Huron River: Voices from the Watershed, coedited with Keith Taylor.
How does a 'national' popular culture form and grow over time in a nation comprised of immigrants? How have immigrants used popular culture in America, and how has it used them?
Immigration and American Popular Culture looks at the relationship between American immigrants and the popular culture industry in the twentieth century. Through a series of case studies, Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick uncover how specific trends in popular culture—such as portrayals of European immigrants as gangsters in 1930s cinema, the zoot suits of the 1940s, the influence of Jamaican Americans on rap in the 1970s, and cyberpunk and Asian American zines in the1990s—have their roots in the complex socio-political nature of immigration in America.
Supplemented by a timeline of key events and extensive suggestions for further reading, Immigration and American Popular Culture offers at once a unique history of twentieth century U.S. immigration and an essential introduction to the major approaches to the study of popular culture. Melnick and Rubin go further to demonstrate how completely and complexly the processes of immigration and cultural production have been intertwined, and how we cannot understand one without the other.