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Movement, Musidora, and the Crime Serials of Louis Feuillade
The crime serials by French filmmaker Louis Feuillade provide a unique point of departure for film studies, presenting modes rarely examined within early cinematic paradigms. Made during 1913 to 1920, the series of six films share not only a consistency of narrative structure and style but also a progressive revelation of the criminal threat—a dislocation of both cinematic and ideological subjectivity—as it shifts realms of social, cultural, and aesthetic disturbance. Feuillade’s work raises significant questions of cinema authorship, film history, and film aesthetics, all of which are examined in Vicki Callahan’s groundbreaking work Zones of Anxiety, the first study to address the crime serials of Louis Feuillade from a feminist perspective. Zones of Anxiety merges cultural history and feminist film theory, arguing for a different kind of film history, a “poetic history” that is shaped by the little-examined cinematic mode of “uncertainty.” Often obscured by film technique and film historians, this quality of uncertainty endemic to the cinema comes in part from the formal structures of repetition and recursion found in Feuillade’s serials. However, Callahan argues that uncertainty is also found in the “poetic body” of the actress Musidora who is featured in two of the serials. It is the mobility of the Musidora figure—socially, culturally, sexually, and textually—that makes her a powerful image and also a place to view the historical blind spots of film studies and feminist studies with regard to questions of race, class, and sexuality. Callahan’s substantial focus on archival research builds a foundation for a host of compelling arguments for a new feminist history of film. Other studies have touched on the issue of gender in early cinema, though until now neither Feuillade’s work nor French silent film have been examined in light of feminist film theory and history. Zones of Anxiety opens up the possibility of alternate readings in film studies, illuminating our understanding of subjectivity and situating a spectatorship that acknowledges social and cultural differences.
Literature, Postcolonialism, and the Nation
Attempts by writers and intellectuals in former colonies to create unique national cultures are often thwarted by a context of global modernity, which discourages particularity and uniqueness. In describing unstable social and political cultures, such "third-world intellectuals" often find themselves torn between the competing literary requirements of the "local" culture of the colony and the cosmopolitan, "world" culture introduced by Western civilization. In Zones of Instability, Imre Szeman examines the complex relationship between literature and politics by exploring the production of nationalist literature in the former British empire. Taking as his case studies the regions of the British Caribbean, Nigeria, and Canada, Szeman analyzes the work of authors for whom the idea of the"nation" and literature are inexorably entwined, such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, C.L.R. James, Frantz Fanon, and V.S. Naipaul. Szeman focuses on literature created in the two decades after World War II, decades in which the future prospects for many colonies went from extreme political optimism to extreme political disappointment. He finds that the "nation" can be read as that space in which literature is thought to be able to conjoin two things that history has separated—the writer and the people.
Lynn Powell’s earlier work has deservedly brought her prestigious prizes and a loyal following. Now, in The Zones of Paradise, Powell extends her range and raises her language to a new intensity. These poems travel from Australia to New Mexico, from the Garden of Eden to her own back yard in Ohio, and everywhere they tremble with the restless exploration of desire, thwarted or fulfilled: “my heart another / Magellan of memory and want.” The Zones of Paradise may offer a vision of what it is like to live in “the fallout of The Fall,” but Powell’s lines dazzle with their sensuous intelligence and vivid wit, introducing an undaunted Eve who can announce, “I want to take April as my personal savior.” In poems that embrace both the risks and pleasures of experience, Lynn Powell celebrates the only world we know.
In November, 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong ordered that some 150 Africans be murdered by drowning so that the ship's owners could collect insurance monies. Relying entirely on the words of the legal decision Gregson v. Gilbert--the only extant public document related to the massacre of these African slaves--Zong! tells the story that cannot be told yet must be told. Equal parts song, moan, shout, oath, ululation, curse, and chant, Zong! excavates the legal text. Memory, history, and law collide and metamorphose into the poetics of the fragment. Through the innovative use of fugal and counterpointed repetition, Zong! becomes an anti-narrative lament that stretches the boundaries of the poetic form, haunting the spaces of forgetting and mourning the forgotten.
The author combines the unique multidisciplinary backgrounds of an academic, a political scientist, a lawyer and an urban planner to provide the reader with a novel and challenging discussion about the economic nature of land use zoning. Besides establishing a coherent framework for zoning based on the Coasian property rights paradigm, the book offers the reader several up-to-date case studies, including the government role in assigning exclusive property rights via marine fish culture zoning in Hong Kong.
A Guide to Their Identification and Ecology
Zooplankton play a vital role in the ecology of estuaries and coastal waters. In this revised edition of Johnson and Allen's instant classic, we are offered a guided tour of zooplankton, including early developmental stages of familiar shrimps, crabs, and fishes. Zooplankton of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts details the behavior, morphology, and coloration of these tiny aquatic animals. Precise descriptions and labeled illustrations of hundreds of the most commonly encountered species provide readers with the best source available for identifying zooplankton. Inside the second edition • an updated introduction that orients readers to the diversity, habitats, environmental responses, collection, history, and ecological roles of zooplankton • descriptions of life cycles • illustrations (including 88 new drawings) that identify 340 + taxa and life stages • range, habits, and ecology for each entry located directly opposite the illustration • appendixes with information on collection and observation techniques and suggested readings and citations for more than 1,300 scientific articles and books
The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style
ZOOT SUIT (n.): the ultimate in clothes. The only totally and truly American civilian suit.
—Cab Calloway, The Hepster's Dictionary, 1944
Before the fashion statements of hippies, punks, or hip-hop, there was the zoot suit, a striking urban look of the World War II era that captivated the imagination. Created by poor African American men and obscure tailors, the "drape shape" was embraced by Mexican American pachucos, working-class youth, entertainers, and swing dancers, yet condemned by the U.S. government as wasteful and unpatriotic in a time of war. The fashion became notorious when it appeared to trigger violence and disorder in Los Angeles in 1943—events forever known as the "zoot suit riot." In its wake, social scientists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians all tried to explain the riddle of the zoot suit, transforming it into a multifaceted symbol: to some, a sign of social deviance and psychological disturbance, to others, a gesture of resistance against racial prejudice and discrimination. As controversy swirled at home, young men in other places—French zazous, South African tsotsi, Trinidadian saga boys, and Russian stiliagi—made the American zoot suit their own.
In Zoot Suit, historian Kathy Peiss explores this extreme fashion and its mysterious career during World War II and after, as it spread from Harlem across the United States and around the world. She traces the unfolding history of this style and its importance to the youth who adopted it as their uniform, and at the same time considers the way public figures, experts, political activists, and historians have interpreted it. This outré style was a turning point in the way we understand the meaning of clothing as an expression of social conditions and power relations. Zoot Suit offers a new perspective on youth culture and the politics of style, tracing the seam between fashion and social action.
Though she died penniless and forgotten, Zora Neale Hurston is now recognized as a major figure in African American literature. Best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, she also published numerous short stories and essays, three other novels, a memoir, and two books on black folklore. Even avid readers of Hurston's prose, however, may be surprised to know that she was also a serious and ambitious playwright throughout her career. Although several of her plays were produced during her lifetime-and some to public acclaim-they have languished in obscurity for years. Even now, most critics and historians gloss over these texts, treating them as supplementary material for understanding her novels. Yet, Hurston's dramatic works stand on their own merits and independently of her fiction.Now, eleven of these forgotten dramatic writings are being published together for the first time in this carefully edited and annotated volume. Filled with lively characters, vibrant images of rural and city life, biblical and folk tales, voodoo, and, most importantly, the blues, readers will discover a "real Negro theater" that embraces all the richness of black life.
A historian hoping to reconstruct the social world of all-black towns or the segregated black sections of other towns in the South finds only scant traces of their existence. In Zora Neale Hurston and a History of Southern Life, Tiffany Ruby Patterson uses the ethnographic and literary work of Zora Neale Hurston to augment the few official documents, newspaper accounts, and family records that pertain to these places hidden from history. Hurston's ethnographies, plays, and fiction focused on the day-to-day life in all-black social spaces as well as "the Negro farthest down" in labor camps. Patterson shows how Hurston's work complements the fragmented historical record, using the folklore and stories to provide a full description of these people of these towns as active human subjects, shaped by history and shaping their private world. Beyond the view and domination of whites in these spaces, black people created their own codes of social behavior, honor, and justice. In Patterson's view Hurston renders her subjects faithfully and with respect for their individuality and endurance, enabling all people to envision an otherwise inaccessible world.
Zora Neale Hurston wrote her most famous work, the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, while in Haiti on a trip funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship to research the region’s transatlantic folk and religious culture for her study Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. The essays in Zora Neale Hurston, Haiti and Their Eyes Were Watching God persuasively demonstrate that Hurston’s study of Haitian Voudoun informed the characterization, plotting, symbolism and theme of her novel.