Book picks similar to
Treme: Race and Place in a New Orleans Neighborhood (Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation) by Michael E. Crutcher Jr.
To Repel Ghosts: The Remix
Kevin Young - 2005
Along the way Young riffs on Basquiat's paintings and sayings, on the music he loved, on the artists he ran with (Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, among them), and on the black heroes (Charlie Parker, Muhammad Ali, Billie Holiday) who inspired him.Young's poetic channeling of Basquiat--a jostling, poignant brand of downtownspeak--makes for an urban epic in the tradition of Langston Hughes's "A Dream Deferred." To Repel Ghosts, along with Young's Jelly Roll: A Blues and Black Maria, his recent book of film noir verse, forms an American trilogy--Devil's Music--that explores other art forms through poetry. In its creation, Yound has become a poet whose work speaks both for and beyond his genre, with a music all its own.
Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic
Michael Eric Dyson - 2008
Released in 1994, Illmatic was hailed as an instant masterpiece and has proven one of the most influential albums in hip-hop history. With its close attention to beats and lyricism, and riveting first-person explorations of the isolation and desolation of urban poverty, Illmatic was pivotal in the evolution of the genre.In Born to Use Mics, Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai have brought together renowned writers and critics including Mark Anthony Neal, Marc Lamont Hill, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., and many others to confront Illmatic song by song, with each scholar assessing an individual track from the album. The result is a brilliant engagement with and commentary upon one of the most incisive sets of songs ever laid down on wax.
Sebastian and Sons: A Brief History of Mrdangam Makers
T.M. Krishna - 2020
Yet—startling as this is— the instrument as we know it is only a century old. T.M. Krishna investigates the history of the mrdangam and meets the invisible keepers of a tradition: the mrdangam makers.The making process is an intellectually, aesthetically and physically taxing one. From acquiring the skins for the circular membranes and straps to the wood for the drum, from curing the material to the final construction, and at the end of it all, making sure that it has the tone that the mrdangam player wants, mrdangam-making is also a highly nuanced operation at every stage.While several artists have been credited with the evolution of the instrument, including the stalwart Palghat Mani Iyer, none of them had knowledge of a fundamental aspect of the making: hide. The quality of the hide and how it is cured, cut, stretched, bound and braided impacts the tone, timbre and sound of the instrument. This requires a highly tuned ear and an ability to translate abstract ideas expressed by musicians into the corporeal reality of a mrdangam. Yet, their contribution to the art of the mrdangam is dismissed as labour and repair—when it is spoken of at all.There are legendary mrdangam players, yes; there are also distinguished mrdangam makers, many of them from Dalit Christian communities, who remain on the fringes of the Karnatik community. Sebastian and Sons explores the world of these artists, their history, lore and lived experience to arrive at a more organic and holistic understanding of the music that the mrdangam makes.
African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms
John M. Chernoff - 1979
. . . Not many scholars will ever be able to achieve the kind of synthesis of 'doing' and 'writing about' their subject matter that Chernoff has achieved, but he has given us an excellent illustration of what is possible."—Chet Creider, Culture"Chernoff develops a brilliant and penetrating musicological essay that is, at the same time, an intensely personal and even touching account of musical and cultural discovery that anyone with an interest in Africa can and should read. . . . No other writing comes close to approaching Chernoff's ability to convey a feeling of how African music 'works'"—James Koetting, Africana Journal"Four stars. One of the few books I know of that talks of the political, social, and spiritual meanings of music. I was moved. It was so nice I read it twice."—David Byrne of "Talking Heads"The companion cassette tape has 44 examples of the music discussed in the book. It consists of field recordings illustrating cross-rhythms, multiple meters, call and response forms, etc.
Love and Honor in the Himalayas: Coming to Know Another Culture
Ernestine McHugh - 2001
It was in their steep Himalayan villages that McHugh came to know another culture, witnessing and learning the Buddhist appreciation for equanimity in moments of precious joy and inevitable sorrow.Love and Honor in the Himalayas is McHugh's gripping ethnographic memoir based on research among the Gurungs conducted over a span of fourteen years. As she chronicles the events of her fieldwork, she also tells a story that admits feeling and involvement, writing of the people who housed her in the terms in which they cast their relationship with her, that of family. Welcomed to call her host Ama and become a daughter in the household, McHugh engaged in a strong network of kin and friendship. She intimately describes, with a sure sense of comedy and pathos, the family's diverse experiences of life and loss, self and personhood, hope, knowledge, and affection. In mundane as well as dramatic rituals, the Gurungs ever emphasize the importance of love and honor in everyday life, regardless of circumstances, in all human relationships. Such was the lesson learned by McHugh, who arrived a young woman facing her own hardships and came to understand--and experience--the power of their ways of being.While it attends to a particular place and its inhabitants, Love and Honor in the Himalayas is, above all, about human possibility, about what people make of their lives. Through the compelling force of her narrative, McHugh lets her emotionally open fieldwork reveal insight into the privilege of joining a community and a culture. It is an invitation to sustain grace and kindness in the face of adversity, cultivate harmony and mutual support, and cherish life fully.
When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets
Timothy Black - 2009
Timothy Black spent years with the brothers and their parents, wives and girlfriends, extended family, coworkers, criminal partners, friends, teachers, lawyers, and case workers. He closely observed street life in Springfield, including the drug trade; schools and GED programs; courtrooms, prisons, and drug treatment programs; and the young men’s struggle for employment both on and off the books. The brothers, articulate and determined, speak for themselves, providing powerful testimony to the exigencies of life lived on the social and economic margins. The result is a singularly detailed and empathetic portrait of men who are often regarded with fear or simply rendered invisible by society.With profound lessons regarding the intersection of social forces and individual choices, Black succeeds in putting a human face on some of the most important public policy issues of our time.
Lydia's Open Door: Inside Mexico's Most Modern Brothel
Patty Kelly - 2008
By delving into lives that would otherwise go unremarked, Kelly documents the modernization of the sex industry during the neoliberal era in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and illustrates how state-regulated sex became part of a broader effort by government officials to bring modernity to Chiapas, one of Mexico's poorest and most conflicted states. Kelly's innovative approach locates prostitution in a political-economic context by treating it as work. Most valuably, she conveys her analysis through vivid portraits of the lives of the sex workers themselves and shows how the women involved are neither victims nor heroines.
The Lobster Gangs of Maine
James M. Acheson - 1988
In reality, he writes, “the lobster fisherman is caught up in a thick and complex web of social relationships. Survival in the industry depends as much on the ability to manipulate social relationships as on technical skills.” Acheson replaces our romantic image of the lobsterman with descriptions of the highly territorial and hierarchical “harbor gangs,” daily and annual cycles of lobstering, intricacies of marketing the catch, and the challenge of managing a communal resource.
Invitations to Love: Literacy, Love Letters, and Social Change in Nepal
Laura M. Ahearn - 2001
Laura M. Ahearn shows that young Nepalese people are applying their newly acquired literacy skills to love-letter writing, fostering a transition that involves not only a shift in marriage rituals, but also a change in how villagers conceive of their own ability to act and attribute responsibility for events. These developments have potential ramifications that extend far beyond the realm of marriage and well past the Himalayas.The love-letter correspondences examined by Ahearn also provide a deeper understanding of the social effects of literacy. While the acquisition of literary skills may open up new opportunities for some individuals, such skills can also impose new constraints, expectations, and disappointments. The increase in female literacy rates in Junigau in the 1990s made possible the emergence of new courtship practices and facilitated self-initiated marriages, but it also reinforced certain gender ideologies and undercut some avenues to social power, especially for women. Scholars, and students in such fields as anthropology, women's studies, linguistics, development studies, and South Asian studies will find this book ethnographically rich and theoretically insightful. Laura M. Ahearn is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University.
Turkey - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
Charlotte McPherson - 2005
These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships.Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include* customs, values, and traditions* historical, religious, and political background* life at home* leisure, social, and cultural life* eating and drinking* do's, don'ts, and taboos* business practices* communication, spoken and unspoken"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer"...as useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times
The Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence, and the American Dream
Randol Contreras - 2012
For this riveting book, he returns to the South Bronx with a sociological eye and provides an unprecedented insider’s look at the workings of a group of Dominican drug robbers. Known on the streets as “Stickup Kids,” these men raided and brutally tortured drug dealers storing large amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and cash.As a participant observer, Randol Contreras offers both a personal and theoretical account for the rise of the Stickup Kids and their violence. He mainly focuses on the lives of neighborhood friends, who went from being crack dealers to drug robbers once their lucrative crack market opportunities disappeared. The result is a stunning, vivid, on-the-ground ethnographic description of a drug robbery’s violence, the drug market high life, the criminal life course, and the eventual pain and suffering experienced by the casualties of the Crack Era. Provocative and eye-opening, The Stickup Kids urges us to explore the ravages of the drug trade through weaving history, biography, social structure, and drug market forces. It offers a revelatory explanation for drug market violence by masterfully uncovering the hidden social forces that produce violent and self-destructive individuals. Part memoir, part penetrating analysis, this book is engaging, personal, deeply informed, and entirely absorbing.
The Broken Fountain
Thomas Belmonte - 1979
Resisting standard depictions of the social and moral lives of the poor, Belmonte presents nuanced portraits of his subjects. He was also one of the first anthropologists to reflect on his own reactions and emotions. He describes the traumatic experience of living alone in a strange urban environment and his social interactions with the residents of Fontana del Re.
Cathy A. Small - 1997
This book includes one of the sanest and most convincing arguments that I have read for experimentation in the writing of ethnography, which is supported by the text itself as an exemplar of a modest, theoretically unpretentious experiment that works very well indeed." George E. Marcus, Rice University"While a few Californians may be aware of the Tongan immigrant population in their midst, most Americans are unaware that the United States is a major terminus for the people of Tonga, an island nation in the South Pacific. Small examines Tongan migration to the United States in a 'transnational' perspective, stressing that many of the new migrant populations seem successfully to manage dual lives, in both the old country and the new. To that end, she describes life in contemporary Tongan communities and in U.S. settings." Library JournalThis book documents the momentous social phenomena of mass migration from agricultural ex-colonies and ex-protectorates to the industrial world. Cathy A. Small provides the poignant perspective of one extended family and one village in the Kingdom of Tonga, an independent island nation in the South Pacific which has lost one third of its population to migration since the mid-1960s. Moving between Tonga and California, Small chronicles the experiences of a family from the village of 'Olunga. Some members stayed and some migrated to California, in successive waves in the 1960s-1990s. Through their lives, she presents a striking picture of Tongan culture in the United States. Returning to 'Olunga with family members and their American-born children, Small shows what happened to village life and to kin relationships thirty years after migration began.