- Editor's Note
The first two essays in this issue examine responses and critiques to colonialism in very different historical, political, and cultural contexts. Jennifer Ponce de León discusses Raiders of the Lost Crown (2013), Fran Ilich's multiplatform alternative reality game in which players recapture a legendary Aztec headdress from an Austrian museum. Both the ingenuity of Ilich's game and the eloquence of Ponce de León's reading of it take us on a journey through the history of indigenismo, a critique of the neocolonial Mexican state, and a speculative and utopic future beyond colonial modernity. Going back a century, Kiara Vigil's essay looks at Camp Oahe, a summer outdoor education program for girls founded in New Hampshire in 1916 by Charles Eastman, a Dakota physician, author, and activist, and his family. The essay illuminates how the Eastmans sought to engage white girlhood to teach the future mothers of the nation about Dakota values and Indian culture. Vigil thus points to a performative and pedagogical tactic for survivance within the structural limits of settler colonialism.
The next two essays both deal with cultural politics in the age of rock 'n' roll. Tyina Steptoe looks at the effect of the sociopolitical climate of the Cold War and civil rights era on queer artists by tracing the careers of two musicians, "Big Mama" Thornton and "Little Richard" Penniman. Even as the backlash against queerness circumscribed the ways black artists could express gender nonconformity, both Thornton and Penniman found ways to subvert normative notions of gender and helped establish the rebellious nature of rock 'n' roll. Paul Williams and Brian Edgar revisit Arthur Janov's best-selling The Primal Scream (1970), which announced a new mode of psychotherapy to free patients from neurotic suffering. Through analysis of Janov's writings and sources on other practitioners of primal therapy, the authors identify the left-wing critique and activism underpinning the practice and its complex trajectory even in the later years when the inward turn led to the common characterization of primal therapy and other countercultural practices as depoliticization. Janov's passing just as this issue was going to press makes the work all the more timely and suggestive.
The four book reviews introduce exciting new writings in various areas, from transimperial geographies across the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and the Americas to the history of American food to critical prison studies and poetics, aesthetics, criticism, and experimental writing. [End Page vii]