Access your Project MUSE content using one of the login options below Close(X)
Browse Results For:
The Hollywood Empire and the VCR
A funny thing happened on the way to the movies. Instead of heading downtown to a first-run movie palace, or even to a suburban multiplex with the latest high-tech projection capabilities, many people’s first stop is now the neighborhood video store. Indeed, video rentals and sales today generate more income than either theatrical releases or television reruns of movies. This pathfinding book chronicles the rise of home video as a mass medium and the sweeping changes it has caused throughout the film industry since the mid-1970s. Frederick Wasser discusses Hollywood’s initial hostility to home video, which studio heads feared would lead to piracy and declining revenues, and shows how, paradoxically, video revitalized the film industry with huge infusions of cash that financed blockbuster movies and massive marketing campaigns to promote them. He also tracks the fallout from the video revolution in everything from changes in film production values to accommodate the small screen to the rise of media conglomerates and the loss of the diversity once provided by smaller studios and independent distributors.
This book originated in the summer of 2006, in the burial ground of the First Church of Christ, Congregational, of East Haddam, Connecticut, where a team of forensic scientists began excavating the graves of two emancipated slaves, Venture Smith (d. 1805) and his wife, Marget (d. 1809). Those requesting this remarkable investigation were the Smiths’ direct descendants, members of the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh generations, who were determined to honor the bicentennial of their founding ancestor’s death by discovering everything possible about his life. Opening burial plots in the hope of recovering DNA for genealogical tracing proved a compelling first step. But what began as a scientific inquiry into African origins rapidly evolved into an unparalleled interdisciplinary collaboration between historians, literary analysts, geographers, genealogists, anthropologists, political philosophers, genomic biologists, and, perhaps most revealingly, a poet. Their common goal has been to reconstruct the life of an extraordinary African American and to assay its implications for the sprawling, troubled eighteenth-century world of racial exploitation over which he triumphed. This volume displays the rich results of that collaboration. A highly intelligent, deeply self-motivated and immensely energetic slave transported from Africa, Venture Smith transformed himself through unstinting labor into a respectable Connecticut citizen, a successful entrepreneur, and the liberator of other enslaved African Americans. As James O. Horton emphasizes in his foreword to this volume, “Venture Smith’s saga is a gift to all who seek to understand the complex racial beginnings of America. It helps to connect the broad American story with the stories of many Americans whose lives illustrate the national struggle to live out the national ideals.” In addition to Horton and volume editor James Brewer Stewart, contributors include Cameron Blevins, Vincent Carretta, Anna Mae Duane, Robert P. Forbes, Anne L. Hiskes, Paul Lovejoy, Marilyn Nelson, David Richardson, Chandler B. Saint, Linda Strausbaugh, Kevin Tulimieri, and John Wood Sweet.
The short stories in this rich debut collection embody in their complexity Alice Munro’s description of the short story as “a world seen in a quick, glancing light.” In chiseled and elegant prose, Lieberman conjures wildly disparate worlds. A middle aged window washer, mourning his wife and an estranged daughter, begins to grow attached to a young woman he sees through the glass; a writer, against his better judgment, pursues a new relationship with a femme fatale who years ago broke his heart; and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor struggles with the delicate decision of whether to finally ask her aging mother how it was that she survived. It is all here—the exigencies of love, of lust, the raw, unlit terrain of grief. Whether plumbing the darker depths or casting a humorous eye on a doomed relationship, these stories never force a choice between tragedy and redemption, but rather invite us into the private moments and crucibles of lives as hungry and flawed as our own. “Quiet, moving, masterfully crafted. Such are the nine stories in Venus in the Afternoon. Tehila Lieberman writes with precision, restraint, with a compassionate heart. She inhabits her characters, young or old, men or women, honestly, but without judgment, until they rise off the page and stand before us breathing and alive. New York, the Atacama desert, Amsterdam or Cuzco in Peru, the settings in Venus in the Afternoon are just as varied as the lives which they contain. A wonderful collection, one that will stay in your mind long after you have bid it goodbye.” —Miroslav Penkov, author of East of the West and judge
Subject and Nation in Literary Discourse
As the most widely read Roman poem in antiquity, the Aeneid was indelibly burned into the memories of generations of Roman school children. In her new book, Yasmin Syed analyzes the formative influence the poem exerted on its broad audience of educated Romans. Syed analyzes Roman pedagogy and reading practices as well as ancient beliefs about the powerful influence of poetry. Her study considers these cultural components together with the aspects of identity that define the Aeneid's characters. By doing so, Syed shows how Vergil's ancient audiences saw themselves---their experiences, goals, and values---reflected in the poem and guided by it. In particular, Syed's treatment of gender and ethnicity brings to light the key role of Vergil's poem in the formation of Romanity. Yasmin Syed is Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Language and Identity in Medieval French Jewish Communities
A thirteenth-century text purporting to represent a debate between a Jew and a Christian begins with the latter's exposition of the virgin birth, something the Jew finds incomprehensible at the most basic level, for reasons other than theological: "Speak to me in French and explain your words!" he says. "Gloss for me in French what you are saying in Latin!" While the Christian and the Jew of the debate both inhabit the so-called Latin Middle Ages, the Jew is no more comfortable with Latin than the Christian would be with Hebrew. Communication between the two is possible only through the vernacular.
In Vernacular Voices, Kirsten Fudeman looks at the roles played by language, and especially medieval French and Hebrew, in shaping identity and culture. How did language affect the way Jews thought, how they interacted with one another and with Christians, and who they perceived themselves to be? What circumstances and forces led to the rise of a medieval Jewish tradition in French? Who were the writers, and why did they sometimes choose to write in the vernacular rather than Hebrew? How and in what terms did Jews define their relationship to the larger French-speaking community?
Drawing on a variety of texts written in medieval French and Hebrew, including biblical glosses, medical and culinary recipes, incantations, prayers for the dead, wedding songs, and letters, Fudeman challenges readers to open their ears to the everyday voices of medieval French-speaking Jews and to consider French elements in Hebrew manuscripts not as a marginal phenomenon but as reflections of a vibrant and full vernacular existence. Applying analytical strategies from linguistics, literature, and history, she demonstrates that language played a central role in the formation, expression, and maintenance of medieval Jewish identity and that it brought Christians and Jews together even as it set them apart.
Vernon and Irene Castle popularized ragtime dancing in the years just before World War I and made dancing a respectable pastime in America. The whisper-thin, elegant Castles were trendsetters in many ways: they traveled with a black orchestra, had an openly lesbian manager, and were animal-rights advocates decades before it became a public issue. Irene was also a fashion innovator, bobbing her hair ten years before the flapper look of the 1920s became popular. From their marriage in 1911 until 1916, the Castles were the most famous and influential dance team in the world. Their dancing schools and nightclubs were packed with society figures and white-collar workers alike. After their peak of white-hot fame, Vernon enlisted in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps, served at the front lines, and was killed in a 1918 airplane crash. Irene became a movie star and appeared in more than a dozen films between 1917 and 1922. The Castles were depicted in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), but the film omitted most of the interesting and controversial aspects of their lives. They were more complex than posterity would have it: Vernon was charming but irresponsible, Irene was strong-minded but self-centered, and the couple had filed for divorce before Vernon's death (information that has never before been made public). Vernon and Irene Castle's Ragtime Revolution is the fascinating story of a couple who reinvented dance and its place in twentieth-century culture.
A Literary Biography
Vernon Lee, born Violet Paget in 1856 to English parents who lived on the Continent, bridged two worlds and many cultures. She was a Victorian by birth but lived into the second quarter of the twentieth century. Her chosen home was Italy, but she spent part of every year in England, where she published over the years an impressive number of books: novels, short stories, travel essays, studies of Italian art and music, psychological aesthetics, polemics. She was widely recognized as a woman of letters and moved freely in major literary and social circles, meeting and at times having close friendships with a huge number of the major writers and intellectuals of her time, among them Robert Browning, Walter Pater, Henry James, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, Bernard Berenson, and Mario Praz. Although she never committed herself to one program of political activism, she was an advocate for feminism and social reform and during World War I was an ardent pacifist. In her last years she watched with dismay the emergence of fascism.
From Gnomes to Now
Amply illustrated, The Vernor's Story -- From Gnomes to Now captures the spirit and genius of the people who transformed Vernors into an iconic American soft drink that has spanned two centuries of shifting public taste. With over seventy photographs depicting the history of the company, The Vernor's Story is an insider's look at early operations, as well as the firm's famous marketing blitz, featuring Vernor's distinctive green and gold packaging and its engaging gnome. Add to that the legion of devoted Vernor's fans, and the beverage itself, a unique, spicy, mysteriously flavored carbonated ginger drink that's appealed to generations of Michiganders and others alike, and you have the makings of a great American success story. A treasure on its own and sure to be a future collectible, this is a fascinating slice of Americana for Vernor's fans everywhere. Lawrence Rouch is President of Studio3/Innovations, a marketing and consulting firm representing fine artists in the automotive and fine-arts fields.
Le monde change et continuera de changer ! Sachez tirer profit des connaissances, de l'expérience et du point de vue des plus grands penseurs et praticiens reconnus à travers le monde. Découvrez les tendances qui feront les organisations de l'avenir en Amérique, en Europe et en Asie.
En s'appuyant sur les fondements historiques des relations industrielles en Amérique du Nord, l'auteur dresse le portrait des syndicalismes américain, canadien et québécois, en tenant compte des lois qui les sous-tendent. Afin d'élaborer un nouveau régime de relations industrielles, il pose les principes à respecter et définit les étapes à franchir en vue d'instaurer de bonnes conditions de travail, garantissant ainsi une meilleure qualité de vie aux citoyens américains et canadiens.