Staging Ground | ,

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In this poignant and personal history of one of America’s oldest theaters, Leslie Stainton captures the story not just of an extraordinary building but of a nation’s tumultuous struggle to invent itself. Built in 1852 and in use ever since, the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is uniquely ghosted. Its foundations were once the walls of a colonial jail that in 1763 witnessed the massacre of the last surviving Conestoga Indians. Those same walls later served to incarcerate fugitive slaves. Staging Ground explores these tragic events and their enduring resonance in a building that later became a town hall, theater, and movie house—the site of minstrel shows, productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, oratory by the likes of Thaddeus Stevens and Mark Twain, performances by Buffalo Bill and his troupe of “Wild Indians,” Hollywood Westerns, and twenty-first-century musicals. Interweaving past and present, private anecdote and public record, Stainton unfolds the story of this emblematic space, where for more than 250 years Americans scripted and rescripted their history. Staging Ground sheds light on issues that continue to form us as a people: the evolution of American culture and faith, the immigrant experience, the growth of cities, the emergence of women in art and society, the spread of advertising, the flowering of transportation and technology, and the abiding paradox of a nation founded on the principle of equality for “all men,” yet engaged in the slave trade and in the systematic oppression of the American Indian..

Performing Arts

Harlem's Theaters | Adrienne Macki Braconi

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Honorable Mention, 2016 Errol Hill Book Award for Outstanding Scholarship in African American Theater, Drama and/or Performance Based on a vast amount of archival research, Adrienne Macki Braconi’s illuminating study of three important community-based theaters in Harlem shows how their work was essential to the formation of a public identity for African Americans and the articulation of their goals, laying the groundwork for the emergence of the Civil Rights movement. Macki Braconi uses textual analysis, performance reconstruction, and audience reception to examine the complex dynamics of productions by the Krigwa Players, the Harlem Experimental Theatre, and the Negro Theatre of the Federal Theatre Project. Even as these theaters demonstrated the extraordinary power of activist art, they also revealed its limits. The stage was a site in which ideological and class differences played out, theater being both a force for change and a collision of contradictory agendas. Macki Braconi’s book alters our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, the roots of the Civil Rights movement, and the history of community theater in America..


The Seven Ranges | Will Hoyt

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When Surveyor-General Thomas Hutchins drove a stake into the ground to mark a “point of beginning” for the 1785 establishment of Seven Ranges of townships on the west bank of the Ohio River, he had to have sensed that he was initiating something larger than a survey. After all, he was working for the newly formed United States, and the purpose of his work was to impose a grid of ideal squares on hill country to make it ready for sale—something that had never been done before. But Hutchins couldn’t by any stretch of the imagination have known that the public survey system he was testing would soon extend all the way to the Pacific or that the land on which he worked would soon become the staging ground for other, similarly revolutionary innovations like strip mining, Pentecostalism, the gaming industry, and tools for emancipating multi-national corporations. In this book, Will Hoyt details the arrival and eventual impact of these eastern Ohio products, and by framing the story of their development within the story of his own decision to move from California to eastern Ohio, he secures a glimpse of our country’s DNA. Readers will close this book with a firm grasp of three things: the grandeur of the American project, the extent to which that project is now at risk, and what we all must do to ensure its survival..


Staging Memory, Staging Strife | Lauren Donovan Ginsberg

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The turbulent decade of the 60s CE brought Rome to the brink of collapse. It began with Nero's ruthless elimination of Julio-Claudian rivals and ended in his suicide and the civil wars that followed. Suddenly Rome was forced to confront an imperial future as bloody as its Republican past and a ruler from outside the house of Caesar. The anonymous historical drama Octavia is the earliest literary witness to this era of uncertainty and upheaval. In Staging Memory, Staging Strife, Lauren Donovan Ginsberg offers a new reading of how the play intervenes in the contests over memory after Nero's fall. Though Augustus and his heirs had claimed that the Principate solved Rome's curse of civil war, the play reimagines early imperial Rome as a landscape of civil strife with a ruling family waging war both on itself and on its people. In doing so, the Octavia shows how easily empire becomes a breeding ground for the passions of discord. In order to rewrite the history of Rome's first imperial dynasty, the Octavia engages with the literature of Julio-Claudian Rome, using the words of Rome's most celebrated authors to stage a new reading of that era and its ruling family. In doing so, the play opens a dialogue about literary versions of history and about the legitimacy of those historical accounts. Through an innovative combination of intertextual analysis and cultural memory theory, Ginsberg contextualizes the roles that literature and the literary manipulation of memory play in negotiating the transition between the Julio-Claudian and Flavian regimes. Her book claims for the Octavia a central role in current debates over both the ways in which Nero and his family were remembered as well as the politics of literary and cultural memory in the early Roman empire..


The Confucian-Legalist State: A New Theory of Chinese History | Dingxin Zhao

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In The Confucian-Legalist State, Dingxin Zhao offers a radically new analysis of Chinese imperial history from the eleventh century BCE to the fall of the Qing dynasty. This study first uncovers the factors that explain how, and why, China developed into a bureaucratic empire under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE. It then examines the political system that crystallized during the Western Han dynasty, a system that drew on China's philosophical traditions of Confucianism and Legalism. Despite great changes in China's demography, religion, technology, and socioeconomic structures, this Confucian-Legalist political system survived for over two millennia. Yet, it was precisely because of the system's resilience that China, for better or worse, did not develop industrial capitalism as Western Europe did, notwithstanding China's economic prosperity and technological sophistication beginning with the Northern Song dynasty. In examining the nature of this political system, Zhao offers a new way of viewing Chinese history, one that emphasizes the importance of structural forces and social mechanisms in shaping historical dynamics. As a work of historical sociology, The Confucian-Legalist State aims to show how the patterns of Chinese history were not shaped by any single force, but instead by meaningful activities of social actors which were greatly constrained by, and at the same time reproduced and modified, the constellations of political, economic, military, and ideological forces. This book thus offers a startling new understanding of long-term patterns of Chinese history, one that should trigger debates for years to come among historians, political scientists, and sociologists..

Performing Arts

Theatre Institutions in Crisis | Christopher Balme,Tony Fisher

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Theatre Institutions in Crisis examines how theatre in Europe is beset by a crisis on an institutional level and the pressing need for robust research into the complex configuration of factors at work that are leading to significant shifts in the way theatre is understood, organised, delivered, and received. Balme and Fisher bring together scholars from different disciplines and countries across Europe to examine what factors can be said to be most common to the institutional crisis of European theatre today. The methods employed are drawn from systems theory, social-scientific approaches, economics and statistics, theatre and performance, and other interpretative approaches (hermeneutics), and labour studies. This book will be of great interest to researchers, students, and practitioners working in the fields of performance and theatre studies. It will be particularly relevant to researchers with a particular interest in European theatre and its networks..

Literary Criticism

Staging the Renaissance | David Scott Kastan,Peter Stallybrass

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The essays in Staging the Renaissance show the theatre to be the site of a rich confluence of cultural forces, the place where social meanings are both formed and transformed. The volume unites some of the most challenging issues in contemporary Renaissance studies and some of our best-known critics, including Stephen Orgel, Margaret Ferguson, Catherine Belsey, Jonathan Goldberg, Marjorie Garber, Lisa Jardine, and Jonathan Dollimore-- demonstrating the variety and vitality not only of contemporary criticism, but of Renaissance drama itself..


You Shall Know Our Velocity | Dave Eggers

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In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is..

Biography & Autobiography

I’M Not a Crazy Cabbie | Chuck Okofor

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Every day, in every city in the world, people climb into cabs, but how much thought do they really give to the driver? How much do they know about their story, their lives, and their abilities? In his native Nigeria, Chuck Okofor earned a masters degree and taught English literature and English as a second language. In the early 1990s, his family immigrated to the United States with their four young children. His wife worked as a nurse, and Chuck cared for their children during the day. Out of necessity, Chuck took what he thought would be a temporary job as a cab driver, but he grew to love it. In, his memoir, this veteran Chicago driver invites you inside the front seat of the cab. For seventeen years, Chuck was one of almost twenty thousand men and women who took on the challenge of navigating the Windy Citys crazy roads and often-crazier drivers. Now, he gives readers an insiders view into the life of a Chicago cabbie. Youll learn about the complicated relationship shared by cabbies, cops, and the courts; the challenges of driving a cab in daunting Chicago traffic; and what good drivers like Chuck think of cab-service thieves. Youll be amazed at some of the encounters hes had with passengers, including women of easy virtue. Chuck also shares valuable tips into staying safe in traffic, reducing stress behind the wheel, and the real hazards of Chicago roads..


The Princes of Persia | Charles N. Pope

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Significance of the Persian Period in royal and biblical history..

Social Science

Troubled Ground | Claude A. Clegg

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In Troubled Ground, Claude A. Clegg III revisits a violent episode in his hometown's history that made national headlines in the early twentieth century but disappeared from public consciousness over the decades. Moving swiftly between memory and history, between the personal and the political, Clegg offers insights into southern history, mob violence, and the formation of American race ideology while coming to terms on a personal level with the violence of the past. Three black men were killed in front of a crowd of thousands in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1906, following the ax murder of a local white family for whom the men had worked. One of the lynchers was prosecuted for his role in the execution, the first conviction of its kind in North Carolina and one of the earliest in the country. Yet Clegg, an academic historian who grew up in Salisbury, had never heard of the case until 2002 and could not find anyone else familiar with the case. In this book, Clegg mines newspaper accounts and government records and links the victims of the 1906 case to a double-lynching in 1902, suggesting a complex history of lynching in the area while revealing the determination of the city to rid its history of a shameful and shocking chapter. The result is a multi-layered, deeply personal exploration of lynching and lynching prosecutions in the United States..

Literary Criticism

Home Ground and Foreign Territory | Janice Fiamengo

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The first multi-disciplinary collection of essays to focus exclusively on early Canadian literature with the aim of reassessing the field and proposing new approaches..

Political Science

Emotions, Politics and War | Linda Åhäll,Thomas Gregory

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A growing number of scholars have sought to re-centre emotions in our study of international politics, however an overarching book on how emotions matter to the study of politics and war is yet to be published. This volume is aimed at filling that gap, proceeding from the assumption that a nuanced understanding of emotions can only enhance our engagement with contemporary conflict and war. Providing a range of perspectives from a diversity of methodological approaches on the conditions, maintenance and interpretation of emotions, the contributors interrogate the multiple ways in which emotions function and matter to the study of global politics. Accordingly, the innovative contribution of this volume is its specific engagement with the role of emotions and constitution of emotional subjects in a range of different contexts of politics and war, including the gendered nature of war and security; war traumas; post-conflict reconstruction; and counterinsurgency operations. Looking at how we analyse emotions in war, why it matters, and what emotions do in global politics, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of critical security studies and international relations alike..


The Right to the City | Don Mitchell

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Includes a 2014 Postscript addressing Occupy Wall Street and other developments. Efforts to secure the American city have life-or-death implications, yet demands for heightened surveillance and security throw into sharp relief timeless questions about the nature of public space, how it is to be used, and under what conditions. Blending historical and geographical analysis, this book examines the vital relationship between struggles over public space and movements for social justice in the United States. Don Mitchell explores how political dissent gains meaning and momentum--and is regulated and policed--in the real, physical spaces of the city. A series of linked cases provides in-depth analyses of early twentieth-century labor demonstrations, the Free Speech Movement and the history of People's Park in Berkeley, contemporary anti-abortion protests, and efforts to remove homeless people from urban streets..

Performing Arts

Nomadic Theatre | Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

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Fluid stages, morphing theatre spaces, ambulant spectators, and occasionally disappearing performers: these are some of the key ingredients of nomadic theatre. They are also theatre's response to life in the 21st century, which is increasingly marked by the mobility of people, information, technologies and services. While examining how contemporary theatre exposes and queries this mobile turn in society, Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink introduces the concept of nomadic theatre as a vital tool for analyzing how movement and mobility affect and implicate the theatre, how this makes way for local operations and lived spaces, and how physical movements are stepping stones for theorizing mobility at large. This book focuses on ambulatory performances and performative installations, asking how they stage movement and in turn mobilize the stage. By analyzing the work of leading European artists such as Rimini Protokoll, Dries Verhoeven, Ontroerend Goed, and Signa, Nomadic Theatre demonstrates that mobile performances radically rethink the conditions of the stage and alter our understanding of spectatorship. Nomadic Theatre instigates connections across disciplinary fields and feeds dramaturgical analysis with insights derived from media theory, urban philosophy, cartography, architecture, and game studies. It illustrates how theatre, as a material form of thought, creatively and critically engages with mobile existence both on the stage and in society..

Social Science

The Shock of the News | Brian A. Monahan

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How did the events of September 11, 2001 come to be thought of as 9/11? The Shock of the News is an authoritative account of post-9/11 political and social processes, offering an in-depth analysis of the media coverage of this momentous event. Brian Monahan demonstrates how 9/11 has been transformed into a morality tale centered on patriotism, victimization, and heroes. Introducing the idea of “public drama” as a way of making sense of how media processed and packaged the 9/11 attacks for their audiences, Monahan not only illuminates how and why the coverage took shape as it did, but also provides us with new insights into the social, cultural, and political consequences of the attacks and their aftermath. Monahan explains how and why 9/11 became such a potent symbol, exploring how meanings and symbols get created, reinforced, and disseminated in modern society. Ultimately, Monahan offers an important new understanding of this singular event of our time, and his compelling narrative brings the momentous events back into focus..


Al-Qa-ida-s (Mis)Adventures in the Horn of Africa | ,

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During the early 1990s, al-Qa¿ida was beginning to coalesce as an org., honing its operational techniques and dealing with its first internal conflicts. Its private deliberations during this period are revealed by a trove of documents captured in the course of operations and maintained in a DoD Database. This report, by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, draws on recently declassified documents, predominately from the 1992-1994 time period, original field work by CTC personnel, and careful country studies to enrich our understanding of the terrorist group¿s early successes and failures in the Horn of Africa. The Horn provides the backdrop for an intriguing tale of al-Qa¿ida¿s first efforts to expand beyond Afghanistan and Sudan. Illus..

Literary Criticism

Modern Hebrew | Norman Berdichevsky

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Ben-Yehuda’s vision of a modern Hebrew eventually came to animate a large part of the Jewish world, and gave new confidence and pride to Jewish youth during the most difficult period of modern history, infusing Zionism with a dynamic cultural content. This book examines the many changes that occurred in the transition to Modern Hebrew, acquainting new students of the language with its role as a model for other national revivals, and explaining how it overcame many obstacles to become a spoken vernacular. The author deals primarily with the social and political use of the language and does not cover literature. Also discussed are the dilemmas facing the language arising from the fact that Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora “don’t speak the same language,” while Israeli Arabs and Jews often do..

Social Science

The Anthropologist as Curator | Roger Sansi

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Why do contemporary art curators define their work as ethnography? How can curation illuminate the practice of contemporary anthropology? Does anthropology risk disappearing as a specific discipline within the general model of the curatorial? The Anthropologist as Curator collects together the research of international scholars working at the intersection of anthropology and contemporary art in order to explore these questions. The essays in the book challenge what it means to do ethnographic work, as well as the very definition of the discipline of anthropology in confrontation with the model of the curatorial. The contributors examine these ideas from a variety of angles, and the book includes perspectives from anthropologists who have set up their own exhibitions; those who have conducted fieldwork on the arts, including participatory practices, digital images and sound; and contributors who are currently working in a curatorial capacity at a museum.With case studies from the USA, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, India and Japan, the book represents an international perspective and is relevant to students and scholars of anthropology, contemporary art, museum studies, curatorial studies and heritage studies..


Music, Time, and Its Other | Roger W. H. Savage

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Music, Time, and Its Other explores the relation between the enigmatic character of our temporal experiences and music’s affective power. By taking account of competing concepts of time, Savage explains how music refigures dimensions of our experiences through staking out the borderlines between time and eternity. He examines a range of musical expressions that reply to the deficiency born from the difference between time and an order that exceeds or surpasses it and reveals how affective tonalities of works by Bach, Carolan, Debussy, Schoenberg, Messiaen, and Glass augment our understanding of our temporal condition. Reflections on the moods and feelings to which music gives voice counterpoint philosophical investigations into the relation between music’s power to affect us and the force that the present has with respect to the initiatives we take. Music, Time, and Its Other thus sets out a new approach to music, aesthetics, politics, and the critical roles of judgment and imagination..