Social Sciences  /  Anthropology & Sociology

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.
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.
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.
Death and Display Cover Death and Display Cover
Format: 
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9789464262131
Pub Date: 22 Feb 2024
Imprint: Sidestone Press
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.
Unorganized Women Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780822947554
Pub Date: 06 Feb 2024
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Composition, Literacy, and Culture
Across a range of industrial, domestic, and agricultural sites, Greer shows how repetitive discursive performances served as rhetorical tools as women workers sought to rescript power relations in their workplaces and to resist narratives about their laboring lives. The case studies reveal noteworthy patterns in how these women’s words helped to construct the complex web of class relations in which they were enmeshed. Rather than a teleological narrative of economic empowerment over the course of a century, Unorganized Women speaks to the enduring obstacles low- and no-wage women face, their creativity and resilience in the face of adversity, and the challenges that impede the creation of meaningful coalitions. By focusing on repetitive rhetorical labor, this book affords a point of entry for analyzing the discursive productions of a range of women workers and for constructing a richer history of women’s rhetoric in the United States.
African Dolls Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9789492940162
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Blikvelduitgevers Publishers
Series: The Private Collection Series
This private collection of African dolls, sometimes spontaneously decorated with beadwork, are witnesses of people's hopes and beliefs. The book is richly illustrated with overviews and detailed photographs of the objects and, apart from a description of their history, also gives the reader a personal account of collecting these dolls single-handedly over a period of 45 years.
Hemispheric Blackness Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 260
ISBN: 9780822947226
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Pitt Latin American Series
Hemispheric Blackness and the Exigencies of Accountability examines the way Afrodescendant and Black communities use the land on which they live, the rule of law, and their bodies to assert their historical, ontological, and physical presence across South, Central, and North America. Their demand for the recognition of ancestral lands, responsive policies, and human rights sheds new light on their permanent yet tenuous presence throughout the region. The authors argue that by deploying a discourse of transcontinental historical continuity, Black communities assert their presence in local, national, and international political spheres. This conceptualization of hemispheric Blackness is the driving force confronting the historical loss, dismissal, and disparagement of Black lives across the Américas. Through twelve case studies that cover a wide range of locations, their work examines contemporary manifestations of sovereignty of Black body and mind, Black-Indigenous nexuses, and national revisions that challenge more than a quincentennial of denial and state unaccountability in the hemisphere.
Journal of the Himalayan Institute of Cultural Heritage Studies Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 112
ISBN: 9789492940186
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Blikvelduitgevers Publishers
Series: Journal of the Himalayan Institute of Cultural and Heritage Studies
The Journal of the Himalayan Institute of Cultural and Heritage Studies is an endeavor to include research oriented articles on the Himalayas from different sections of academia which includes and is not limited to archaeology, anthropology, history, art history, geology, sociology, art, music, theatre and law.
Making the Frontier Man Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780822947875
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
For western colonists in the early American backcountry, disputes often ended in bloodshed and death. Making the Frontier Man examines early life and the origins of lawless behavior in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio from 1750 to 1815. It provides a key to understanding why the trans-Appalachian West was prone to violent struggles, especially between white men. Traumatic experiences of the Revolution and the Forty Years War legitimized killing as a means of self-defense—of property, reputation, and rights—transferring power from the county courts to the ordinary citizen. Backcountry men waged war against American Indians in state-sponsored militias as they worked to establish farms and seize property in the West. And white neighbors declared war on each other, often taking extreme measures to resolve petty disputes that ended with infamous family feuds.      Making the Frontier Man focuses on these experiences of western expansion and how they influenced American culture and society, specifically the nature of western manhood, which radically transformed in the North American environment. In search of independence and improvement, the new American man was also destitute, frustrated by the economic and political power of his elite counterparts, and undermined by failure. He was aggressive, misogynistic, racist, and violent, and looked to reclaim his dominance and masculinity by any means necessary.   
Wearables 01 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9789492940179
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2024
Imprint: Blikvelduitgevers Publishers
Series: Wearables
Wearables is an annual magazine edition, attractively illustrated, bringing together a variety of ethnographic topics on costume and jewellery traditions, placed in their cultural setting.    

Tar Hollow Trans

Essays
Format: Hardback
Pages: 152
ISBN: 9780813197555
Pub Date: 20 Jun 2023
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voices
"I've lived a completely ordinary life, so much that I don't know how to write a transgender or queer or Appalachian story, because I don't feel like I've lived one... Though, in searching for ways to write myself in my stories, maybe I can find power in this ordinariness." Raised in southeast Ohio, Stacy Jane Grover would not describe her upbringing as "Appalachian." Appalachia existed farther afield—more rural, more country than the landscape of her hometown.   Grover returned to the places of her childhood to reconcile her identity and experience with the culture and the people who had raised her. She began to reflect on her memories and discovered that group identities like Appalachian and transgender are linked by more than just the stinging brand of social otherness.   In Tar Hollow Trans, Grover explores her transgender experience through common Appalachian cultural traditions. In "Dead Furrows," a death vigil and funeral leads to an investigation of Appalachian funerary rituals and their failure to help Grover cope with the grief of being denied her transness. "Homeplace" threads family interactions with farm animals and Grover's coming out journey, illuminating the disturbing parallels between the American Veterinary Association's guidelines for ethical euthanasia and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's guidelines for transgender care.   Together, her essays write transgender experience into broader cultural narratives beyond transition and interrogate the failures of concepts such as memory, metaphor, heritage, and tradition. Tar Hollow Trans investigates the ways the labels of transgender and Appalachian have been created and understood and reckons with the ways the ever-becoming transgender self, like a stigmatized region, can find new spaces of growth.