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College of Arts and Sciences

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society

Center for Research on
Race and Ethnicity in Society

Faculty Affiliate Bookshelf :: MEDIA & CULTURE

Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life
Cara Caddoo
Harvard University Press, 2014

Viewing turn-of-the century African American history through the lens of cinema, Envisioning Freedom examines the forgotten history of early black film exhibition during the era of mass migration and Jim Crow. By embracing the new medium of moving pictures at the turn of the twentieth century, black Americans forged a collective—if fraught—culture of freedom.

book imageThe Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War
Deborah Cohn
Vanderbilt, 2012

During the 1960s and 1970s, when writers such as Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa entered the international literary mainstream, Cold War cultural politics played an active role in disseminating their work in the United States. Deborah Cohn documents how U.S. universities, book and journal publishers, philanthropic organizations, cultural centers, and authors coordinated their efforts to bring Latin American literature to a U.S. reading public during this period, when interest in the region was heightened by the Cuban Revolution. She also traces the connections between the endeavors of private organizations and official foreign policy goals.

book imageThe Politics and Poetics of Black Film: Nothing but a Man
Michael T. Martin
Indiana University Press, 2015

Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer, 1964) tells the story of a drifter turned family man who struggles with the pressures of small-town life and the limitations placed on him and his community in the Deep South, an area long fraught with racism. Though unmistakably about race and civil rights, the film makes no direct reference to the civil rights movement. Despite this intentional absence, contemporary audiences were acutely aware of the social context for the film's indictment of white prejudice in America. To help frame and situate the film in the context of black film studies, the book gathers primary and secondary resources, including the original screenplay, essays on the film, statements by the filmmakers, and interviews with Robert M. Young, the film’s producer and cinematographer, and Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

book imageBabylon East: Performing Dancehall, Roots Reggae and Rastafari in Japan
Marvin Sterling
Duke University Press, 2010

In Babylon East, Marvin D. Sterling traces the history of the Japanese embrace of dancehall reggae and other elements of Jamaican culture, including Rastafari, roots reggae, and dub music. Sterling provides a nuanced ethnographic analysis of the ways that many Japanese involved in reggae as musicians and dancers, and those deeply engaged with Rastafari as a spiritual practice, seek to reimagine their lives through Jamaican culture. He illuminates issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class as he discusses topics ranging from the cultural capital that Japanese dancehall artists amass by immersing themselves in dancehall culture in Jamaica, New York, and England, to the use of Rastafari as a means of critiquing class difference, consumerism, and the colonial pasts of the West and Japan.

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
1022 E. 3rd St., Room 209,
Bloomington, IN 47405
812-855-8016

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