The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel

Author: Clayton Childress

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400885272

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 4049

Under the Cover follows the life trajectory of a single work of fiction from its initial inspiration to its reception by reviewers and readers. The subject is Jarrettsville, a historical novel by Cornelia Nixon, which was published in 2009 and based on an actual murder committed by an ancestor of Nixon's in the postbellum South. Clayton Childress takes you behind the scenes to examine how Jarrettsville was shepherded across three interdependent fields—authoring, publishing, and reading—and how it was transformed by its journey. Along the way, he covers all aspects of the life of a book, including the author's creative process, the role of the literary agent, how editors decide which books to acquire, how publishers build lists and distinguish themselves from other publishers, how they sell a book to stores and publicize it, and how authors choose their next projects. Childress looks at how books get selected for the front tables in bookstores, why reviewers and readers can draw such different meanings from the same novel, and how book groups across the country make sense of a novel and what it means to them. Drawing on original survey data, in-depth interviews, and groundbreaking ethnographic fieldwork, Under the Cover reveals how decisions are made, inequalities are reproduced, and novels are built to travel in the creation, production, and consumption of culture.
Read More

The Construction of Scientific Facts

Author: Bruno Latour,Steve Woolgar

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400820413

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 9555

This highly original work presents laboratory science in a deliberately skeptical way: as an anthropological approach to the culture of the scientist. Drawing on recent work in literary criticism, the authors study how the social world of the laboratory produces papers and other "texts,"' and how the scientific vision of reality becomes that set of statements considered, for the time being, too expensive to change. The book is based on field work done by Bruno Latour in Roger Guillemin's laboratory at the Salk Institute and provides an important link between the sociology of modern sciences and laboratory studies in the history of science.
Read More

Value in Creative Careers

Author: Alison Gerber

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503604039

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 615

Artists are everywhere, from celebrities showing at MoMA to locals hoping for a spot on a café wall. They are photographed at gallery openings in New York and Los Angeles, hustle in fast-gentrifying cities, and, sometimes, make quiet lives in Midwestern monasteries. Some command armies of fabricators while others patiently teach schoolchildren how to finger-knit. All of these artists might well be shown in the same exhibition, the quality of work far more important than education or income in determining whether one counts as a "real" artist. In The Work of Art, Alison Gerber explores these art worlds to investigate who artists are (and who they're not), why they do the things they do, and whether a sense of vocational calling and the need to make a living are as incompatible as we've been led to believe. Listening to the stories of artists from across the United States, Gerber finds patterns of agreements and disagreements shared by art-makers from all walks of life. For professionals and hobbyists alike, the alliance of love and money has become central to contemporary art-making, and danger awaits those who fail to strike a balance between the two. The stories artists tell are just as much a part of artistic practice as putting brush to canvas or chisel to marble. By explaining the shared ways that artists account for their activities—the analogies they draw, the arguments they make—Gerber reveals the common bases of value artists point to when they say: what I do is worth doing. The Work of Art asks how we make sense of the things we do and shows why all this talk about value matters so much.
Read More

Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192860927

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 2334

An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit
Read More

Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792-1803

Author: Tia DeNora

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520211588

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 232

View: 9815

"It was high time that someone tried to explain more fully, and on the basis of the known documents, the course of Beethoven's meteoric rise to fame in Vienna at the end of the eighteenth century. . . . I would consider this cleverly written and authoritative book to be the most important about Beethoven in twenty-five years. No one considering the subject will be able to overlook DeNora's research."—H.C. Robbins Landon, author of Beethoven: His Life, Work, and World "This is a study with the power to reshape our perceptions of Beethoven's first decade in Vienna and substantially refine our notions of the creation and foundations of Beethoven's career."—William Meredith, Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, San Jose State University "Professor DeNora's achievement in placing Beethoven, and the reception of Beethoven's music, in social context is all the more impressive because it goes so much against the grain of conventional habits of thought. In illuminating how changing social institutions created opportunities for Beethoven to gain contemporary and posthumous recognition, and, in so doing, created new forms for thinking and talking about musical achievement—the author at once provides fresh insights into the institutional origins of 'classical' music and offers an exemplary contribution to the sociological study of the arts."—Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University "An important landmark in our understanding of the relationship of the creative musician to society, and a vital contribution to debates about the central phenomenon which distinguishes Western music from other musical traditions: the phenomenon of the Great Composer."—Julian Rushton, University of Leeds "This original book argues that Beethoven's high reputation was created as much by the social-cultural agendas of his aristocratic Viennese patrons in the 1790s as by the qualities of his music. DeNora's persuasive reading of this momentous cultural-artistic event will be welcome to sociologists for its successful contextualization of a hero of 'absolute music,' as well as to musicologists and music-lovers who wish to move beyond the myth of Beethoven as 'the man who freed music.'"—James Webster, Cornell University "Lucid, well-researched, and theoretically informed, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius is one of the best works yet published in the historical sociology of culture. DeNora makes important contributions not only to our knowledge of Beethoven and of the social construction of genius but to the general problems of how identities are created, shaped, and sustained and of how aesthetic claims gain authority."—Craig Calhoun, University of North Carolina
Read More

Author: Joan Wallach Scott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691147981

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 8338

In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all. Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions. The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.
Read More

Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form

Author: Damon J. Phillips

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140084648X

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 4786

There are over a million jazz recordings, but only a few hundred tunes have been recorded repeatedly. Why did a minority of songs become jazz standards? Why do some songs--and not others--get rerecorded by many musicians? Shaping Jazz answers this question and more, exploring the underappreciated yet crucial roles played by initial production and markets--in particular, organizations and geography--in the development of early twentieth-century jazz. Damon Phillips considers why places like New York played more important roles as engines of diffusion than as the sources of standards. He demonstrates why and when certain geographical references in tune and group titles were considered more desirable. He also explains why a place like Berlin, which produced jazz abundantly from the 1920s to early 1930s, is now on jazz's historical sidelines. Phillips shows the key influences of firms in the recording industry, including how record companies and their executives affected what music was recorded, and why major companies would rerelease recordings under artistic pseudonyms. He indicates how a recording's appeal was related to the narrative around its creation, and how the identities of its firm and musicians influenced the tune's long-run popularity. Applying fascinating ideas about market emergence to a music's commercialization, Shaping Jazz offers a unique look at the origins of a groundbreaking art form.
Read More

Author: Edward W. Said

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804153868

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 6974

More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More

Author: Joseph Campbell

Publisher: New World Library

ISBN: 1577315936

Category: Psychology

Page: 418

View: 1431

Discusses the universal legend of the hero in world mythology, focusing on the motif of the hero's journey through adventure and transformation.
Read More

Performance and Cultural Politics

Author: Soyica Diggs Colbert

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813588545

Category: Art

Page: 232

View: 3481

Black Movements analyzes how artists and activists of recent decades reference earlier freedom movements in order to imagine and produce a more expansive and inclusive democracy. The post–Jim Crow, post–apartheid, postcolonial era has ushered in a purportedly color blind society and along with it an assault on race-based forms of knowledge production and coalition formation. Soyica Diggs Colbert argues that in the late twentieth century race went “underground,” and by the twenty-first century race no longer functioned as an explicit marker of second-class citizenship. The subterranean nature of race manifests itself in discussions of the Trayvon Martin shooting that focus on his hoodie, an object of clothing that anyone can choose to wear, rather than focusing on structural racism; in discussions of the epidemic proportions of incarcerated black and brown people that highlight the individual’s poor decision making rather than the criminalization of blackness; in evaluations of black independence struggles in the Caribbean and Africa that allege these movements have accomplished little more than creating a black ruling class that mirrors the politics of its former white counterpart. Black Movements intervenes in these discussions by highlighting the ways in which artists draw from the past to create coherence about blackness in present and future worlds. Through an exploration of the way that black movements create circuits connecting people across space and time, Black Movements offers important interventions into performance, literary, diaspora, and African American studies.
Read More

A Novel

Author: Cornelia Nixon

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 1582436541

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 1083

Based on a true story from the author’s family history, Jarrettsville begins in 1869, just after Martha Jane Cairnes has shot and killed her fiancé, Nicholas McComas, in front of his Union cavalry militia as they were celebrating the anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. To find out why she murdered him, the story steps back to 1865, six days after the surrender, when President Lincoln has just been killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth belongs to the same Rebel militia as Martha’s hot-headed brother Richard, who has gone missing along with Booth. Martha is loyal to her brother but in love with Nicholas McComas, a local hero of the Union cause, and their affair is fraught with echoes of the bloody conflict just ended. The story is set in Northern Maryland, six miles below the Mason-Dixon line, where brothers literally fought on opposing sides, and former slave-owners live next door to abolitionists and freed men. Such tension proves key to Martha’s motives in killing the man she loves, and why — astonishingly — she is soon acquitted by a jury of her peers, despite more than fifty eyewitnesses to the crime.
Read More

Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Author: Janice A. Radway

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807898856

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 9408

Originally published in 1984, Reading the Romance challenges popular (and often demeaning) myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers. Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. They claim that romances enforce the woman reader's dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture. Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention "must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading." She examines that event, from the complicated business of publishing and distribution to the individual reader's engagement with the text. Radway's provocative approach combines reader-response criticism with anthropology and feminist psychology. Asking readers themselves to explore their reading motives, habits, and rewards, she conducted interviews in a midwestern town with forty-two romance readers whom she met through Dorothy Evans, a chain bookstore employee who has earned a reputation as an expert on romantic fiction. Evans defends her customers' choice of entertainment; reading romances, she tells Radway, is no more harmful than watching sports on television. "We read books so we won't cry" is the poignant explanation one woman offers for her reading habit. Indeed, Radway found that while the women she studied devote themselves to nurturing their families, these wives and mothers receive insufficient devotion or nurturance in return. In romances the women find not only escape from the demanding and often tiresome routines of their lives but also a hero who supplies the tenderness and admiring attention that they have learned not to expect. The heroines admired by Radway's group defy the expected stereotypes; they are strong, independent, and intelligent. That such characters often find themselves to be victims of male aggression and almost always resign themselves to accepting conventional roles in life has less to do, Radway argues, with the women readers' fantasies and choices than with their need to deal with a fear of masculine dominance. These romance readers resent not only the limited choices in their own lives but the patronizing atitude that men especially express toward their reading tastes. In fact, women read romances both to protest and to escape temporarily the narrowly defined role prescribed for them by a patriarchal culture. Paradoxically, the books that they read make conventional roles for women seem desirable. It is this complex relationship between culture, text, and woman reader that Radway urges feminists to address. Romance readers, she argues, should be encouraged to deliver their protests in the arena of actual social relations rather than to act them out in the solitude of the imagination. In a new introduction, Janice Radway places the book within the context of current scholarship and offers both an explanation and critique of the study's limitations.
Read More

Technology, Culture, and the Art of Studio Recording from Edison to the LP

Author: Susan Schmidt Horning

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421410222

Category: History

Page: 292

View: 8858

The recording studio, she argues, is at the center of musical culture in the twentieth century.
Read More

The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Author: Ibram X. Kendi

Publisher: Nation Books

ISBN: 1568584644

Category: History

Page: 592

View: 4165

A searing history of how racist ideas were created, disseminated, and entrenched in America Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy "The most ambitious book of 2016."-The Washington Post Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled the doom of racism. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them--and in the process, gives us reason to hope.
Read More

Uranium Communities and Environmental Justice

Author: Stephanie A. Malin

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 081356980X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 238

View: 345

Rising fossil fuel prices and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are fostering a nuclear power renaissance and a revitalized uranium mining industry across the American West. In The Price of Nuclear Power, environmental sociologist Stephanie Malin offers an on-the-ground portrait of several uranium communities caught between the harmful legacy of previous mining booms and the potential promise of new economic development. Using this context, she examines how shifting notions of environmental justice inspire divergent views about nuclear power’s sustainability and equally divisive forms of social activism. Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted in rural isolated towns such as Monticello, Utah, and Nucla and Naturita, Colorado, as well as in upscale communities like Telluride, Colorado, and incorporating interviews with community leaders, environmental activists, radiation regulators, and mining executives, Malin uncovers a fundamental paradox of the nuclear renaissance: the communities most hurt by uranium’s legacy—such as high rates of cancers, respiratory ailments, and reproductive disorders—were actually quick to support industry renewal. She shows that many impoverished communities support mining not only because of the employment opportunities, but also out of a personal identification with uranium, a sense of patriotism, and new notions of environmentalism. But other communities, such as Telluride, have become sites of resistance, skeptical of industry and government promises of safe mining, fearing that regulatory enforcement won’t be strong enough. Indeed, Malin shows that the nuclear renaissance has exacerbated social divisions across the Colorado Plateau, threatening social cohesion. Malin further illustrates ways in which renewed uranium production is not a socially sustainable form of energy development for rural communities, as it is utterly dependent on unstable global markets. The Price of Nuclear Power is an insightful portrait of the local impact of the nuclear renaissance and the social and environmental tensions inherent in the rebirth of uranium mining.
Read More

Globalization, De-unionization, and Declining Job Quality in the North American Auto Industry

Author: Jeffrey S. Rothstein

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813576083

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 200

View: 1964

From Chinese factories making cheap toys for export, to sweatshops in Bangladesh where name-brand garments are sewn—studies on the impact of globalization on workers have tended to focus on the worst jobs and the worst conditions. But in When Good Jobs Go Bad, Jeffrey Rothstein looks at the impact of globalization on a major industry—the North American auto industry—to reveal that globalization has had a deleterious effect on even the most valued of blue-collar jobs. Rothstein argues that the consolidation of the Mexican and U.S.-Canadian auto industries, the expanding number of foreign automakers in North America, and the spread of lean production have all undermined organized labor and harmed workers. Focusing on three General Motors plants assembling SUVs—an older plant in Janesville, Wisconsin; a newer and more viable plant in Arlington, Texas; and a “greenfield site” (a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility) in Silao, Mexico—When Good Jobs Go Bad shows how global competition has made nonstop, monotonous, standardized routines crucial for the survival of a plant, and it explains why workers and their local unions struggle to resist. For instance, in the United States, General Motors forced workers to accept intensified labor by threatening to close plants, which led local unions to adopt “keep the plant open” as their main goal. At its new factory in Silao, GM had hand-picked the union—one opposed to strikes and committed to labor-management cooperation—before it hired the first worker. Rothstein’s engaging comparative analysis, which incorporates the viewpoints of workers, union officials, and management, sheds new light on labor’s loss of bargaining power in recent decades, and highlights the negative impact of globalization on all jobs, both good and bad, from the sweatshop to the assembly line.
Read More

The Making of Virtuosos

Author: Izabela Wagner

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813575338

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 5637

Driven by a passion for music, for excellence, and for fame, violin soloists are immersed from early childhood in high-pressure competitions, regular public appearances, and arduous daily practice. An in-depth study of nearly one hundred such children, Producing Excellence illuminates the process these young violinists undergo to become elite international soloists. A musician and a parent of a young violinist, sociologist Izabela Wagner offers an inside look at how her young subjects set out on the long road to becoming a soloist. The remarkable research she conducted—at rehearsals, lessons, and in other educational settings—enabled her to gain deep insight into what distinguishes these talented prodigies and their training. She notes, for instance, the importance of a family culture steeped in the values of the musical world. Indeed, more than half of these students come from a family of professional musicians and were raised in an atmosphere marked by the importance of instrumental practice, the vitality of music as a vocation, and especially the veneration of famous artists. Wagner also highlights the highly structured, rigorous training system of identifying, nurturing, and rewarding talent, even as she underscores the social, economic, and cultural factors that make success in this system possible. Offering an intimate portrait of the students, their parents, and their instructors, Producing Excellence sheds new light on the development of exceptional musical talent, as well as draw much larger conclusions as to “producing prodigy” in other competition-prone areas, such as sports, sciences, the professions, and other arts. Wagner’s insights make this book valuable for academics interested in the study of occupations, and her clear, lively writing is perfect for general readers curious about the ins and outs of training to be a violin soloist.
Read More

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 0307401944

Category: Fiction

Page: 544

View: 1806

Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides’ witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy. But there’s a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set our narrator’s life in motion. Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It’s a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world. Justly acclaimed when it was released in Fall 2002, it announces the arrival of a major writer for our times. From the Hardcover edition.
Read More

A History of the Frankenstein Narratives

Author: Lester D. Friedman,Allison B. Kavey

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 081357370X

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 256

View: 9945

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein is its own type of monster mythos that will not die, a corpus whose parts keep getting harvested to animate new artistic creations. What makes this tale so adaptable and so resilient that, nearly 200 years later, it remains vitally relevant in a culture radically different from the one that spawned its birth? Monstrous Progeny takes readers on a fascinating exploration of the Frankenstein family tree, tracing the literary and intellectual roots of Shelley’s novel from the sixteenth century and analyzing the evolution of the book’s figures and themes into modern productions that range from children’s cartoons to pornography. Along the way, media scholar Lester D. Friedman and historian Allison B. Kavey examine the adaptation and evolution of Victor Frankenstein and his monster across different genres and in different eras. In doing so, they demonstrate how Shelley’s tale and its characters continue to provide crucial reference points for current debates about bioethics, artificial intelligence, cyborg lifeforms, and the limits of scientific progress. Blending an extensive historical overview with a detailed analysis of key texts, the authors reveal how the Frankenstein legacy arose from a series of fluid intellectual contexts and continues to pulsate through an extraordinary body of media products. Both thought-provoking and entertaining, Monstrous Progeny offers a lively look at an undying and significant cultural phenomenon.
Read More

Latino Suburbanization in Postwar Los Angeles

Author: Jerry González

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813583179

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 8118

Residential and industrial sprawl changed more than the political landscape of postwar Los Angeles. It expanded the employment and living opportunities for millions of Angelinos into new suburbs. In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills examines the struggle for inclusion into this exclusive world—a multilayered process by which Mexican Americans moved out of the barrios and emerged as a majority population in the San Gabriel Valley—and the impact that movement had on collective racial and class identity. Contrary to the assimilation processes experienced by most Euro-Americans, Mexican Americans did not graduate to whiteness on the basis of their suburban residence. Rather, In Search of the Mexican Beverly Hills illuminates how Mexican American racial and class identity were both reinforced by and took on added metropolitan and transnational dimensions in the city during the second half of the twentieth century.
Read More