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From his reporting on Islamic true believers to his descriptions of the postcolonial world, V. S. Naipaul has been a controversial figure in contemporary letters. Winner of the Nobel Prize, Naipaul has traveled throughout the world, looking at its varied cultures and seeking out others' stories, recording and transforming them. His engagement with postcolonial cultures informs his novels, such as Guerrillas and A Bend in the River. However, it is his documentaries (such as Among the Believers and Beyond Belief) and his works that combine actual and fictional histories and memories (Finding the Center, The Enigma of Arrival, and A Way in the World) that best exhibit a growing awareness of the complexities of cultural difference -- and the incompleteness and uncertainty of understanding "strangers." In this book, Dagmar Barnouw explores the sophisticated strategies and experimentations that Naipaul employs in his cultural critique and in his enterprise of learning about and documenting the enduring strangeness of this world.
The Paradox of a Fragmented City
Despite being a large capital city in Africa in terms of size and its regional role, Nairobi is an unrecognised entity. For the majority of its inhabitants, the capital of Kenya is a transit point rather than a dwelling place. Since its origins, Nairobi has been a city of migrants, more predisposed to their rural roots than to their current city status. It is a non-conforming town, which conceals its urbanity more than it claims it, and whose identity remains evasive. Nairobi presents itself as a mosaic of residential areas which bring to mind the cityís history. The racial segregation that stratified the development of the colonial city has today disappeared, but it has given way to a form of social segregation. One must, therefore, not seek a unique identity in Nairobi, but rather, several identitiesóthose of different communities that comprise the city and whose dynamics are seen at village and residential estate level. However, Nairobi is also a city that is contradictory. This East African capital city is often associated with slums and crime, and their increase and growth stigmatises the failure of urban policies. Therefore, it is at these cracks and fringes of the city that we should seek out the identities and dynamics that have shaped the city for a century. Nairobi is a fragmented city that can be understood in steps. The 13 contributory articles in Nairobi Today thus reveal the city. This multidisciplinary collective work invites us to gain entry into certain areas of the city, to visit its communities and to familiarise ourselves with its formal and informal institutions. This is a requirement in order to fully understand what makes Nairobi what it is today.
Buraku and the Writing of Ethnicity
Uncovering the Body in Anglo-Saxon England
At different times and in different places, the human form has been regarded in different ways. The Ancient Greeks thought it was the most admirable subject for art, whereas early Christians often viewed it as lascivious in our post-lapsarian state. With illustrations taken from manuscripts, statuary and literary, this is a fascinating collection of essays with much that will be new to scholars and general readers alike.
Cold War Modernism and the Politics of Popular Culture
The Naked Communist argues that the political ideologies of modernity were fundamentally determined by four basic figures: the world, the enemy, the secret, and the catastrophe. While the "world" names the totality that functioned as the ultimate horizon of modern political imagination, the three other figures define the necessary limits of this totality by reflecting on the limits of representation. The book highlights the enduring presence of these figures in the modern imagination through detailed analysis of a concrete historical example: American anti-Communist politics of the 1950s. Its primary objective is to describe the internal mechanisms of what we could call an anti-Communist "aesthetic ideology." The book thus traces the way anti-Communist popular culture emerged in the discourse of Cold War liberalism as a political symptom of modernism. Based on a discursive analysis of American anti-Communist politics, the book presents parallel readings of modernism and popular fiction from the 1950s (nuclear holocaust novels, spy novels, and popular political novels) in order to show that, despite the radical separation of the two cultural fields, they both participated in a common ideological program.
Following the convening of Hong Kong International Poetry Nights 2013, The World of Words is a collection of selected works by some of the most internationally acclaimed poets today. The poem of "Naked Picnic" by Un Sio San (Macau) is finest contemporary poetry in trilingual or bilingual presentation.
Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right
Taking an unprecedented, counterintuitive look at America’s conflict over sexuality, Naked Truth reveals how the attack on the exotic dance industry by the activist Christian Right threatens the separation of church and state and undermines our civil liberties.
Why Hollywood Doesn't Make X-rated Movies
From parents and teachers to politicians and policymakers, there is a din of voices participating in the debate over how young people are affected by violence, strong language, and explicit sexual activity in films. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) responded to this concern in 1968 when it introduced a classification and rating system based on the now well-known labels: "G," "PG," PG-13," "R," and "X." For some, these simple tags are an efficient way to protect children from viewing undesirable content. But do the MPAA ratings only protect children? In The Naked Truth, Kevin S. Sandler argues that perhaps even more than viewers, ratings protect the Hollywood film industry. One prime indicator of this is the collective abandonment of the NC-17 rating in 1990 by the major distributors of the MPAA and the main exhibitors of the National Association of Theatre Owners. By categorizing all films released by Hollywood and destined for mainstream theaters into R ratings (or lower), the industry ensures that its products are perceived as "responsible entertainment"-films accessible by all audiences and acceptable to Hollywood's various critics and detractors.
Unraveling the Mystery of One of Illinois's Most Infamous Crimes
Upon discovering that her great-great aunt was the victim and central figure in one of Illinois’s most notorious crimes, author Susan Elmore set out to learn more. She uncovered a perplexing case that resulted in multiple suspects, a lynch mob, charges of perjury and bribery, a failed kidnapping attempt, broken family loyalties, lies, cover-ups, financial devastation, and at least two suicides.
In June 1882, when young schoolteacher Emma Bond was brutally gang-raped and left for dead in her country schoolhouse near Taylorville, Illinois, an enduring mystery was born. The case was covered by newspapers across the country, but some of the injuries inflicted upon the victim were so appalling that the press refused to print the ugliest details, referring to them only as “nameless indignities.” Emma’s life hung in the balance for months, but she survived. Eighteen months went by before three of the six suspects were finally brought to trial. Citizens expected a swift conviction but were shocked to learn of the defendants’ acquittal.
What should have been the end of the Bond story was actually just the beginning. Permanently crippled in the attack, Emma spent time in a sanitarium and was stricken by amnesia. In the years that followed, new theories on the crime emerged. Some suggested that she had concocted her story as a cover-up for an unwanted pregnancy or abortion. Doctors labeled her as a mentally unstable hysteric and a malingerer who purposely lied. Within a decade, the tides turned against Emma and her life began to crumble as she tried to cope with the demons of her past.
At the time, educators, editors, politicians, lawyers, and doctors eagerly weighed in on the case and its ramifications. Doctors of the Victorian era couldn’t agree on anything of a physical or a psychological nature, and as a result, Emma paid dearly. The crime also took a toll on local residents, pitting families and neighbors against one another. The fact that the case was never solved gave it staying power, with unanswered questions and intrigue persisting for decades.
Elmore spent years digging through historical newspapers and documents, trying to crack this whodunit. In the process, she uncovered startling new facts about some of the defendants and based on those discoveries developed her own theory on what really happened. Her theory concludes Nameless Indignities