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When first published in 1970, Cabbagetown Diary’s rowdy concoction of grit and violence and rooming-house sleaze had a strongly polarizing effect on its readers. Many admired the frankness of Butler’s depiction of a sordid environment, and others deplored the obscenity of the language and the dangerous and careless ways in which his characters behave, bent as they are on downward self-transcendence. But Cabbagetown Diary was undeniably a promising debut by a young writer whose brash tone and pungent subject matter were unique in Canadian writing at that time.
The novel takes the form of a diary written by a disaffected young Toronto bartender, Michael, over the course of his four-month liaison with Terry, a naive teenager who is new to the city. Michael introduces her to his friends and his inner-city haunts, to drink and drugs, and to the nihilist politics espoused by some in his circle. With hard-bitten cynicism and flashes of dark humour, Michael relates the vicissitudes of their summer together.
This reissue of Cabbagetown Diary includes a biographical sketch by Charles Butler Mackay and an afterword by Tamas Dobozy.
Mark Dion and the University as Installation
"Dying never / ends for us. It only slowly rearranges us," writes Steve Scafidi in his poignant new collection. Inspired by his own work as a cabinetmaker -- defined by the peppery dust from the woodworker planing a walnut board, turning an oak spindle at the lathe, or honing chisels while gazing out a window -- Scafidi's poems reveal both the tenuous and the everlasting nature of existence.
Television Beyond Broadcasting
Cable television, on the brink of a boom in the 1970s, promised audiences a new media frontier-an expansive new variety of entertainment and information choices. Music video, 24–hour news, 24-hour weather, movie channels, children's channels, home shopping, and channels targeting groups based on demographic characteristics or interests were introduced.
Cable Visions looks beyond broadcasting’s mainstream, toward cable's alternatives, to critically consider the capacity of commercial media to serve the public interest. It offers an overview of the industry's history and regulatory trends, case studies of key cable newcomers aimed at niche markets (including Nickelodeon, BET, and HBO Latino), and analyses of programming forms introduced by cable TV (such as nature, cooking, sports, and history channels).
The Geopolitics of the New Information System in the Americas, 1866-1903
In recent decades the Internet has played what may seem to be a unique role in international crises. This book reveals an interesting parallel in the late nineteenth century, when a new communications system based on advances in submarine cable technology and newspaper printing brought information to an excitable mass audience. A network of insulated copper wires connecting North America, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe delivered telegraphed news to front pages with unprecedented speed.
Britton surveys the technological innovations and business operations of newspapers in the United States, the building of the international cable network, and the initial enthusiasm for these electronic means of communication to resolve international conflicts. Focusing on United States rivalries with European nations in Latin America, he examines the Spanish American War, in which war correspondents like Richard Harding Davis fed accounts of Spanish atrocities and Cuban heroism into the American press, creating pressure on diplomats and government leaders in the United States and Spain. The new information system also played important roles in the U.S.-British confrontation in the Venezuelan boundary dispute, the building of the Panama Canal, and the establishment of the U.S. empire in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Constructing a New Society after the Angel Chiefdom Collapse
An important case study of chiefdom collapse and societal reemergence. Caborn-Welborn, a late Mississippian (A.D. 1400?) farming society centered at the confluence of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers (in what is now southwestern Indiana, southeastern Illinois, and northwestern Kentucky), developed following the collapse of the Angel chiefdom (A.D. 1000?). Using ceramic and settlement data, David Pollack examines the ways in which that new society reconstructed social, political, and economic relationships from the remnants of the Angel chiefdom. Unlike most instances of the demise of a complex society led by elites, the Caborn-Welborn population did not become more inward-looking, as indicated by an increase in extraregional interaction, nor did they disperse to smaller more widely scattered settlements, as evidenced by a continuation of a hierarchy that included large villages. This book makes available for the first time detailed, well-illustrated descriptions of Caborn-Welborn ceramics, identifies ceramic types and attributes that reflect Caborn-Welborn interaction with Oneota tribal groups and central Mississippi valley Mississippian groups, and offers an internal regional chronology. Based on intraregional differences in ceramic decoration, the types of vessels interred with the dead, and cemetery location, Pollack suggests that in addition to the former Angel population, Caborn-Welborn society may have included households that relocated to the Ohio/Wabash confluence from nearby collapsing polities, and that Caborn-Welborn's sociopolitical organization could be better considered as a riverine confederacy. "A fine scholarly presentation of the data, resulting in a new interpretation of this culture. . . . Dr. Pollack has produced an excellent case study of the collapse of a Mississippian society and its subsequent reformation. Since the unfortunate looting of the Slack Farm site in the late 1980s, archaeologists have wanted to see information on this society. . . . The graphics are most impressive." â€”Marvin T. Smith, Valdosta State University David Pollack is Staff Archaeologist with the Kentucky Heritage Council and Director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey.
Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture
Soaring images, rhythmic language, and wry humor come together in these three narrative poems that explore travel from an African American historical and social perspective. A cab ride turns into an amazing encounter with the driver, an amateur physicist whose ideas about space and time travel spark the poet's musings on chutzpah and artistic ambition. A trip to Triolet, a Creole village in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, leads the poet to ponder the past and present as she reflects on the ironic complexities of the slave trade and its legacy shared by so many peoples. And in "The Cachoeira Tales," longing to take her family on a journey to "some place sanctified by the Negro soul," the poet finds herself in Brazil's Bahia, along with a theater director, a jazz musician, a retired commercial pilot, an activist, a university student, and two mysterious African American women whom they meet along the way. In rhymed couplets, each pilgrim tells a story, and the result is a rollicking, sensual exploration of spirit and community, with a nod to Chaucer and to traditional Trickster tales.
Using her remarkable ability to educate and inspire, Marilyn Nelson demonstrates the power of travel to transform our imaginations. We have long known that travel broadens; in these poems, it also deepens and makes wiser.
Joined skin to skin, we moved like molecules
in the great, impossible miracle
of atmosphere, swaying to the music,
all eyes on the stage, all hearts attuning
themselves in beautiful polyrhythmy,
one shaking booty. On one side of me
a young man danced; I felt his muscled warmth
flow into mine, his pure, sexual strength.
On my other sides young women danced, whose curves
bumped me softly, dancing without reserve,
hands waving in the air, releasing scent
fragrant as nard. We danced in reverent,
silent assent to the praise-song of drums.
-- from "Olodum" of "The Cachoeira Tales"
The Web Spun by Taino Rulers Between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico
Cemís are both portable artifacts and embodiments of persons or spirit, which the Taínos and other natives of the Greater Antilles (ca. AD 1000-1550) regarded as numinous beings with supernatural or magic powers. This volume takes a close look at the relationship between humans and other (non-human) beings that are imbued with cemí power, specifically within the Taíno inter-island cultural sphere encompassing Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The relationships address the important questions of identity and personhood of the cemí icons and their human “owners” and the implications of cemí gift-giving and gift-taking that sustains a complex web of relationships between caciques (chiefs) of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
Oliver provides a careful analysis of the four major forms of cemís—three-pointed stones, large stone heads, stone collars, and elbow stones—as well as face masks, which provide an interesting contrast to the stone heads. He finds evidence for his interpretation of human and cemí interactions from a critical review of 16th-century Spanish ethnohistoric documents, especially the Relación Acerca de las Antigüedades de los Indios written by Friar Ramón Pané in 1497–1498 under orders from Christopher Columbus. Buttressed by examples of native resistance and syncretism, the volume discusses the iconoclastic conflicts and the relationship between the icons and the human beings. Focusing on this and on the various contexts in which the relationships were enacted, Oliver reveals how the cemís were central to the exercise of native political power. Such cemís were considered a direct threat to the hegemony of the Spanish conquerors, as these potent objects were seen as allies in the native resistance to the onslaught of Christendom with its icons of saints and virgins.