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Fraught Balance

The Embodied Politics of Dabke Dance Music in Syria

Fraught Balance

Format: 
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780819501028
Pub Date: 07 May 2024
Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Series: Music / Culture
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780819501035
Pub Date: 07 May 2024
Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Series: Music / Culture
A vivid and intricate study of dance music traditions that reveals the many contradictions of Syrian identity in the 21st century Dabke, one of Syria's most beloved dance music traditions, is at the center of the country's war and the social tensions that preceded conflict. Drawing on almost two decades of ethnographic, archival, and digital research, Shayna M. Silverstein shows how dabke dance music embodies the fraught dynamics of gender, class, ethnicity, and nationhood in an authoritarian state. The book situates dabke politically, economically, and historically in a broader account of expressive culture in Syria's recent (and ongoing) turmoil. Silverstein shows how people imagine the Syrian nation through dabke, how the state has coopted it, how performances of masculinity reveal—and play with—the tensions and complexities of the broader social imaginary, how forces opposed to the state have used it resistively, and how migrants and refugees have reimagined it in their new homes in Europe and the United States. She offers deeply thoughtful reflections on the ethnographer's ethical and political dilemmas on fieldwork in an authoritarian state. Silverstein's study ultimately questions the limits of authoritarian power, considering the pleasure and play intrinsic to dabke circles as evidence for how performance cultures sustain social life and solidify group bonds while reproducing the societal divides endemic to Syrian authoritarianism.

Wembley Speaks

What the Nextdoor Neighbours are Saying: A Grassroots Sociology
Format: Paperback
Pages: 412
ISBN: 9781915023223
Pub Date: 01 May 2024
Imprint: EnvelopeBooks
Wembley Speaks is a new type of grassroots sociology. Based entirely on postings on Nextdoor, the hyper-local community app, over the course of one calendar year, the book offers a twenty-first-century equivalent of Henry Mathew’s groundbreaking study, London Labour and the London Poor (1851). For the first time in print, the reader is able to gain a fascinating insight into what matters to people, what triggers their attitudes and emotions, how they engage with each other, how they support and challenge each other, how they use language, what they find funny and even how they think. The community under observation - Wembley, in north-west London - happens to house England’s national football stadium, but is also a very typical suburb, ethnically diverse, with stresses and strengths that this book fully reveals.

Where’s the Harm?

My Life of Crime: An alternative introduction to criminology
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
ISBN: 9781915023216
Pub Date: 01 May 2024
Imprint: EnvelopeBooks
Where’s the Harm? is a Criminology anti-textbook that questions the real sources of a crime - or, more precisely, the real sources of harm. The criminal justice systems that we see in many developed countries are the legacy of centuries of precedent, privilege and prejudice. The result is a corpulent system costing billions of dollars each year and producing, for certain crimes, an accused more than 95 percent likely to walk free. What might we do with a clean slate of thought? What if we rejected the idea of crime and looked instead at the many sources of harm? What if the criminal justice system became a societal justice system where we all understood the probable outcomes and our responsibility for them? This book offers real-world situations, steps away from the idea of punishing antiquated notions of crimes isolated in time and space and challenges the reader to consider the factors contributing to the past, present and future of harm.
The Outrider Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781463246211
Pub Date: 30 Apr 2024
Imprint: Gorgias Press
Series: Islamic History and Thought
A biography of Abū al-Faḍl al-ʿAbbās, the half brother, diplomat, and negotiator of al-Ḥusayn. The author was named Distinguished Scholar of Shia Studies in the Islamic Republic of Iran's 28th World Book Awards in 2020. He is at present a resident faculty member of PISAI, lecturing in Shīʿī Islamic studies, Qurʾān and Islamic Ethics, and a visiting lecturer at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. 
Strengthening South Korea–Japan Relations Cover Strengthening South Korea–Japan Relations Cover
Format: 
Pages: 234
ISBN: 9780813199214
Pub Date: 09 Apr 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Asia in the New Millennium
Pages: 234
ISBN: 9780813199221
Pub Date: 09 Apr 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Asia in the New Millennium
At the conclusion of WWII, no part of the world experienced a more dramatic transformation than East Asia. The region's political stability throughout the postwar period prompted exponential economic growth that ultimately established South Korea, Japan, and China as East Asia's most important powers.   While many citizens of these nations now live in a time of unprecedented prosperity, the arrangement that supported this region's transformation is fragile. With the second largest economy and a burgeoning military sector, China is widely acknowledged as the preeminent rising world power. The onus of maintaining balance in the region now rests primarily with South Korea and Japan in partnership with the United States. However, because of long-standing weaknesses in South Korea–Japan relations and an inconsistent US commitment to the region, the possibility that China could usher in a more uncertain era of revisionism has never been more likely. In Strengthening South Korea-Japan Relations: East Asia's International Order and a Rising China, Dennis Patterson and Jangsup Choi address the historical roots of this weak alliance. Combining decades of research with current public opinion data, the authors warn that the tendency of these nations to rely on the United States to maintain the status quo has become dangerously unstable. A new strategy, one of cooperation and collaboration, is needed to prevent China from upending the region's current liberal international order.
Deviant Hollers Cover Deviant Hollers Cover
Format: 
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9780813199306
Pub Date: 01 Apr 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voices
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9780813199337
Pub Date: 01 Apr 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voices
Deviant Hollers: Queering Appalachian Ecologies for a Sustainable Future uses the lens of queer ecologies to explore environmental destruction in Appalachia while mapping out alternative futures that follow from critical queer perspectives on the United States' exploitation of the land. With essays by Lis Regula, Jessica Cory, Chet Pancake, Tijah Bumgarner, MJ Eckhouse, and other essential thinkers, this collection brings to light both emergent and long-standing marginalized perspectives that give renewed energy to the struggle for a sustainable future. A new and valuable contribution to the field of Appalachian studies, rural queer studies, Indigenous studies, and ethnographic studies of the United States, Deviant Hollers presents a much-needed objection to the status quo of academic work, as well as to the American exceptionalism and white supremacy pervading US politics and the broader geopolitical climate. By focusing on queer critiques and acknowledging the status of Appalachia as a settler colony, Deviant Hollers offers new possibilities for a reimagined way of life.

Bound to the Fire

How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine
Format: Paperback
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9780813198545
Pub Date: 31 Mar 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
For decades, smiling images of "Aunt Jemima" and other historical and fictional black cooks could be found on various food products and in advertising. Although these images were sanitized and romanticized in American popular culture, they represented the untold stories of enslaved men and women who had a significant impact on the nation's culinary and hospitality traditions, even as they were forced to prepare food for their oppressors. Kelley Fanto Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. She reveals how these men and women were literally "bound to the fire" as they lived and worked in the sweltering and often fetid conditions of plantation house kitchens. These highly skilled cooks drew upon knowledge and ingredients brought with them from their African homelands to create complex, labor-intensive dishes. However, their white owners overwhelmingly received the credit for their creations. Deetz restores these forgotten figures to their rightful place in American and Southern history by uncovering their rich and intricate stories and celebrating their living legacy with the recipes that they created and passed down to future generations.
Death and Display Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9789464262124
Pub Date: 31 Mar 2024
Imprint: Sidestone Press
During funerals of nobles in the Kuba kingdom (Democratic Republic of Congo), visitors used to theatrically offer so-called bongotols to the deceased and the mourning family. These highly appreciated valuables were either positioned under the corpse to support it or displayed on top of it.In addition to their religious meaning they displayed the status and wealth of both givers and takers. Visitors would receive similar items in return. Afterwards the bongotols were stashed until, on occasion of a next burial, they would continue their cycles of gift and counter gift among the titled Kuba aristocracy.Death and display brings ethnographic research and archival sources to bear on these intriguing heirlooms. Their rich iconography offers a kaleidoscope of traditional Kuba sociality, cosmology and ritual.
Final Words Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 1184
ISBN: 9780813197838
Pub Date: 31 Mar 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
In 1976 the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the legality of capital punishment in their ruling on Gregg v. Georgia. In the 46 years since the decision was handed down, 1,551 convicted prisoners have been executed. The United States is the only Western nation - and one of four advanced democracies - that regularly applies the death penalty. While the death penalty is legal in 27 states, only 21 have the means to carry out death sentences. Of those states, Texas has executed the most prisoners in recent history, condemning 578 people to death since the 1976 ruling, beginning with the death of Charlie Brooks in 1982. Texas retains the third-largest death row population behind California and Florida. In the summer of 2020, the Trump administration broke a nearly 17-year stay during which the federal government did not sanction any executions when it put 13 inmates to death over six months. Seventeen of the 45 current federal death row inmates, the highest proportion of any state, are currently incarcerated in Texas.   Final Words is a project that addresses the death penalty in the United States as a violation of human rights. Consisting of a collection of government documents relating to the 578 executed Texas inmates, each set of pages reveals a portrait of a life bookended by violence in which final moments are often spent expressing words of love for family and friends, sorrow for victims, and gratitude for life lived. The compilation stands as a stark indictment of a system built by institutions rampant with racism, classism, and sexism. Each entry, each story, each utterance will challenge readers to answer the question: is there room for humanity in the American justice complex?
South Sea Island Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 450
ISBN: 9788771849134
Pub Date: 30 Mar 2024
Imprint: Aarhus University Press
South Sea Island. The Geography of Pleasure is a literary history of European, Russian and American travelogues, films, paintings, philosophical treatises, all fascinated by the Polynesian islands. Our ideas of nature, growth and sustainability are currently being challenged by climate change and sea level rise, with major identity and security policy implications that are particularly evident in the Pacific, but will also have consequences for the entire planet. The book is a contribution to a new global literary history and provides a historical in-depth perspective for highly topical discussions in interdisciplinary areas such as Pacific Studies, Island Studies, Ocean Studies and Planetary Studies. The Danish version of the book was nominated for 'Book of the year' in one of Denmark's most prominent newspaper and in another described as "epoch-making literary history" and shortlisted among the 5 non-fiction books in 2018, "which has made a difference". In addition, it was awarded the prestigious 'Georg Brande's Award' because it is "pioneering" and as the committee wrote: "Sydhavsøen [South Sea Island] is a book that conveys fascinating knowledge and theory in an exemplary way".
Power and Place Cover Power and Place Cover
Format: 
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780813197739
Pub Date: 29 Feb 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780813198224
Pub Date: 29 Feb 2024
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies
Rural life and culture hold a practical and symbolic importance in American society. A central tenet to the survival of our cherished values—and of ourselves as a species—is the stewardship of cultural diversity and the places that foster it, like rural America. These may be the places that teach us to use land to make a living and to make a life, to forge and carry on our identities, and to feel history. They may yield a harvest of policies for managing an environmental balancing act that will preserve essential resources for America's children's children. Power and Place: Preservation, Progress, and the Culture War over Land examines the ongoing culture wars that pit conservation against economic progress. For author Melinda Bollar Wagner, what began as a study of Appalachia's long-standing and continuing status as an energy sacrifice zone evolved into a twenty-four-year research project that sheds new light on the physical and emotional parameters of cultural attachment to land. Drawing on interviews with more than 220 residents from ten communities in five Appalachian counties, Power and Place gives voice to rural citizens whose place at the table is far from assured with regard to critical energy, environmental, and infrastructure decisions.
Rhet Ops Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780822967149
Pub Date: 29 Feb 2024
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Composition, Literacy, and Culture
In this edited volume, authors seek to document and analyze how state and non-state actors leverage digital rhetoric as a twenty-first-century weapon of war. Rhet Ops offer readers a chance to focus on the human dimension of rhetorical practice within mobile technologies and social networks: to reflect not only on the durable question of what it means to conduct oneself ethically as a speaker or writer, but also what it means to learn the art of rhetoric as a means to engage adversaries in war and conflict.