This study of modern Japan engages the fields of art history, literature, and cultural studies, seeking to understand how the “beautiful woman” (bijin) emerged as a symbol of Japanese culture during the Meiji period (1868–1912). With origins in the formative period of modern Japanese art and aesthetics, the figure of the bijin appeared across a broad range of visual and textual media: photographs, illustrations, prints, and literary works, as well as fictional, critical, and journalistic writing. It eventually constituted a genre of painting called bijinga (paintings of beauties).
Aesthetic Life examines the contributions of writers, artists, scholars, critics, journalists, and politicians to the discussion of the bijin and to the production of a national discourse on standards of Japanese beauty and art. As Japan worked to establish its place in the world, it actively presented itself as an artistic nation based on these ideals of feminine beauty. The book explores this exemplary figure for modern Japanese aesthetics and analyzes how the deceptively ordinary image of the beautiful Japanese woman—an iconic image that persists to this day—was cultivated as a “national treasure,” synonymous with Japanese culture.
Imazighen! Beauty and Artisanship in Berber Life presents the Peabody Museum's collection of arts from the Berber-speaking regions of North Africa. The book gives an overview of Berber history and culture, focusing on the rich aesthetic traditions of Amazigh (Berber) craftsmen and women. From ancient times to the present day, working with limited materials but an extensive vocabulary of symbols and motifs, Imazighen (Berbers) across North Africa have created objects that are both beautiful and practical. Intricately woven textiles, incised metal locks and keys, painted pottery and richly embroidered leather bags are just a few examples of objects from the Peabody Museum's collections that are highlighted in the color plates. The book also tells the stories of the collectors--both world-traveling Bostonians and Harvard-trained anthropologists--who brought these objects from Morocco or Algeria to their present home in Cambridge in the early twentieth century. The generosity of these donors has resulted in a collection of Berber arts, especially from the Tuareg regions of southern Algeria, that rivals that of major European and North African museums.
Beauty and Brutality provides an exciting, original, and critical encounter with this labyrinthine city’s imagined and material landscape. The authors and contributors investigate the “messy, fleshy, recalcitrant, mercurial, and immeasurable qualities of the city,” examining its urban space and smell: how it is represented in films, literature, music, and urban streetart; how it has endured the politics of colonialism, U.S. imperialism, neoliberalism, and globalization; as well as how its queer citizens engage with digital media platforms to communicate and connect with each other.
The first volume to offer a cultural and urban studies approach to Manila, Beauty and Brutality considers the tensions of the Filipino diaspora as they migrate and “re-turn,” as well as the citizens’ responses to the Marcos (and post-Marcos) dictatorship, President Duterte’s authoritarianism, and “Drug War.” Essays also map out of geographies of repression and resistance in the urban war of classes, genders and sexualities, ethnicities and races, and generations, along with the violence of urban life and growth. Ultimately, Beauty and Brutality frames Manila as a vibrant and ever-evolving metropolis that, even in the face of its difficulties, instills hope.
Contributors: Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Christine Bacareza Balance, Vanessa Banta, Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo, Roland Sintos Coloma, Gary C. Devilles, Faith R. Kares, John B. Labella, Raffy Lerma, Bliss Cua Lim, Ferdinand M. Lopez, Paul Nadal, Jema M. Pamintuan, Oscar Tantoco Serquiña, Jr., Louise Jashil R. Sonido, and the editors.
Beauty and the Beast
Michael Taussig University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress GT499.T39 2012 | Dewey Decimal 646.7
Beauty and the Beast begins with the question: Is beauty destined to end in tragedy? Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the anxious, audacious, and sometimes destructive attempts people make to transform their bodies through cosmetic surgery and liposuction. He balances an examination of surgeries meant to enhance an individual’s beauty with an often overlooked counterpart, surgeries performed—often on high profile criminals—to disguise one’s identity. Situating this globally shared phenomenon within the economic, cultural, and political history of Colombia, Taussig links the country’s long civil war and its bodily mutilation and torture to the beauty industry at large, sketching Colombia as a country whose high aesthetic stakes make it a stage where some of the most important and problematic ideas about the body are played out.
Central to Taussig’s examination is George Bataille’s notion of depense, or “wasting.” While depense is often used as a critique, Taussig also looks at the exuberance such squandering creates and its position as a driving economic force. Depense, he argues, is precisely what these procedures are all about, and the beast on the other side of beauty should not be dismissed as simple recompense. At once theoretical and colloquial, public and intimate, Beauty and the Beast is a true-to-place ethnography—written in Taussig’s trademark voice—that tells a thickly layered but always accessible story about the lengths to which people will go to be physically remade.
Scholarly interest in issues of national identity and representation has been increasing for years, and cinema is a major resource for that work, as it allows for cross-cultural dialogue and the portrayal of different layers of representation and cultural stereotypes. Beauty and the Beast takes a look at the depictions of Italy and the Italians in British cinema.
Elisabetta Girelli draws upon cultural and social history to assess the ongoing representation of “Italianness” in British film, and its crucial role in defining and challenging British national identity. Girelli provides an original survey of archival material such as World War II footage, and an analysis of significant British films like Summer Madness and A Room With A View. Drawing on British literary and filmic tradition to analyze the rise of specific images of the Italian other, Beauty and the Beast is a noteworthy and unique contribution to film and cultural studies.
Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the little-known author of Beauty and the Beast, was a successful novelist and fairytale writer in mid eighteenth-century France. While her novels are rarely read today, her compelling fairytale has become universally recognized. This edition is the first integral English translation of Villeneuve’s original tale. The introduction seeks to illuminate the publication of Beauty and the Beast in its historical and literary context, and brings to life the dynamic female characters that first populated this enchanting tale: the courageous Beauty, the Fairy Queen, the Amazon Queen, the Lady Fairy, and the powerful, but mischievous elderly fairy.
The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series volume 74
These seven essays offer fresh perspectives on beauty’s role in revelation. Each essay features a hermeneutical approach informed by the contemporary study of aesthetics. Covering a series of texts in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, from Adam and Eve in the garden to Jesus on trial in the Fourth Gospel, the authors engage beauty from three overarching perspectives: modern philosophy, contextual criticism, and the postcritical return to beauty’s primary qualities. The three perspectives are not harmonized but rather explored concurrently to create a volume with intriguing methodological tensions. As this collection highlights beauty in the narratives of scripture, it opens readers to a largely unexplored dimension of the Bible. The contributors are Richard J. Bautch, Jo-Ann A. Brant, Mark Brummitt, David Penchansky, Antonio Portalatín, Jean-François Racine, and Peter Spitaler.
Women entered the book trade in significant numbers in China during the late sixteenth century, when it became acceptable for women from “good families” to write poetry and seek to publish their collected poems. At about the same time, a boom in the publication of fiction began, and semiprofessional novelists emerged.
This study begins with three case studies, each of which probes one facet of the relationship between women and fiction in the early nineteenth century. It examines in turn the prefaces written by four women for a novel about women; the activities of a woman editor and writer of fiction; and writings on fiction by three leading literary women. Building on these case studies, the second half of the book focuses on the many sequels to the Dream of the Red Chamber—one of which was demonstrably written by a woman—and the significance of this novel for women. As Ellen Widmer shows, by the end of the century, women were becoming increasingly involved in the novel as critical readers, writers, and editors. And if women and their relationship to fiction changed over the nineteenth century, the novel changed as well, not the least in its growing recognition of the importance of female readers.
Examining the history of phrenology and physiognomy, Beauty and the Brain proposes a bold new way of understanding the connection between science, politics, and popular culture in early America.
Between the 1770s and the 1860s, people all across the globe relied on physiognomy and phrenology to evaluate human worth. These once-popular but now discredited disciplines were based on a deceptively simple premise: that facial features or skull shape could reveal a person’s intelligence, character, and personality. In the United States, these were culturally ubiquitous sciences that both elite thinkers and ordinary people used to understand human nature.
While the modern world dismisses phrenology and physiognomy as silly and debunked disciplines, Beauty and the Brain shows why they must be taken seriously: they were the intellectual tools that a diverse group of Americans used to debate questions of race, gender, and social justice. While prominent intellectuals and political thinkers invoked these sciences to justify hierarchy, marginalized people and progressive activists deployed them for their own political aims, creatively interpreting human minds and bodies as they fought for racial justice and gender equality. Ultimately, though, physiognomy and phrenology were as dangerous as they were popular. In addition to validating the idea that external beauty was a sign of internal worth, these disciplines often appealed to the very people who were damaged by their prejudicial doctrines. In taking physiognomy and phrenology seriously, Beauty and the Brain recovers a vibrant—if largely forgotten—cultural and intellectual universe, showing how popular sciences shaped some of the greatest political debates of the American past.
In the past twenty years or more, there has been a growing interest among philosophers and theologians alike in the transcendentals and especially in the beautiful. This seems fortuitous since so much of contemporary culture is fixated in many ways on beauty, on what might be called a superficial or man-made beauty, intent on outward appearance, with little or no concern for the human person’s interiority and distinctive nature. The Ancients and the Medievals, on the contrary, were sensitive not only to the beauty of nature and art but also to beauty as intelligible, that is, to the beauty of moral harmony and of metaphysical splendor. While the question of whether the beautiful is in fact a transcendental aspect of being continues to be a subject of dispute in contemporary scholarship, the relationship between the beautiful and the good has been accepted since ancient times and has been attended to in recent publications. None of these publications, however, offers a systematic treatment of this relationship by drawing from the wisdom of both ancient and medieval thought in such a way as to bring together the work of scholars in this tradition.
Beauty and the Good intends therefore to make a singular contribution by presenting a richer alternative to the contemporary cult of beauty and appearance on the one hand, and to the concomitant decline of real beauty on the other hand. In addition to highlighting the centrality of beauty in the Aristotelian account of moral virtue, where virtue is kalon and virtuous actions are done for the sake of kalon—an account which is found echoed in the medieval notion of intrinsic goodness (bonum honestum), understood as intelligible or spiritual beauty—this volume will provide the metaphysical and theological grounding for beauty, as influenced in part by Plato and Neoplatonism, together with a much needed account of how we know and judge beauty, and how for the recognition of true good and real beauty we need to be properly disposed. The integration of philosophical and theological reflection on the nature and relationship of beauty and the good, on our perception and judgment of beauty and of the good as beautiful, and on the motivational role of beauty in human action has as its goal to produce a coherent volume of essays.
Bertolt Brecht once worried that our sympathy for the victims of a social problem can make the problem’s “beauty and attraction” invisible. In The Beauty of a Social Problem, Walter Benn Michaels explores the effort to overcome this difficulty through a study of several contemporary artist-photographers whose work speaks to questions of political economy.
Although he discusses well-known figures like Walker Evans and Jeff Wall, Michaels’s focus is on a group of younger artists, including Viktoria Binschtok, Phil Chang, Liz Deschenes, and Arthur Ou. All born after 1965, they have always lived in a world where, on the one hand, artistic ambition has been synonymous with the critique of autonomous form and intentional meaning, while, on the other, the struggle between capital and labor has essentially been won by capital. Contending that the aesthetic and political conditions are connected, Michaels argues that these artists’ new commitment to form and meaning is a way for them to depict the conditions that have taken US economic inequality from its lowest level, in 1968, to its highest level today. As Michaels demonstrates, these works of art, unimaginable without the postmodern critique of autonomy and intentionality, end up departing and dissenting from that critique in continually interesting and innovative ways.
THE BEAUTY OF BEING, A COLLECTION OF FABLES, SHORT STORIES AND ESSAYS, is Abiodun Oyewole's debut collection of prose. Oyewole writes frankly about his experience as a young poet and activist, and provides life lessons with fables and a fascinating travelogue that promotes resilience and self-care to his readers. As the title suggests, THE BEAUTY OF BEING investigates a natural, moral, and sacred spiritual being of self-love, reminding readers if they use these elements as part of the beauty within, endless possibilities await. In his fables, Oyewole has a unique eye for the tiniest details that sheds light on the whole. In his essays, he provides an analysis about The Last Poets, the state of poetry today, and shares first-hand accounts of what activism means to him. Perhaps the most riveting part of this book are his stories of remembrance, which at first glance read like a travelogue but when closely examined, is a love story with a beautiful mediation on grief and loss. Throughout THE BEAUTY OF BEING, Oyewole brilliantly yet subtly interweaves mediations on race, class, culture, life and death, illusion and reality, while deftly showcasing several points of view in a contained space. In THE BEAUTY OF BEING, Oyewole connects to readers with sincerity, humor, heart and grace.
In his contemplative works on nature, Aristotle twice appeals to the general principle that being is better than not being. Taking his cue from this claim, Christopher V. Mirus offers an extended, systematic account of how Aristotle understands being itself to be good.
Mirus begins with the human, examining Aristotle’s well-known claim that the end of a human life is the good of the human substance as such—which turns out to be the good of the human capacity for thought. Human thought, however, is not concerned with human affairs alone. It is also contemplative, and contemplation is oriented toward the beauty of its objects. In each of the three branches of contemplative thought—mathematics, natural science, and theology—the intelligibility of being renders it beautiful to thought. Both in nature and in human life, moreover, the being that is beautiful through its intelligibility serves also as an end of motion and of action; hence it counts not only as beautiful (kalon), but also as good (agathon).
The persistent concern of thought with the beautiful reveals what is at stake for human beings in Aristotle’s larger metaphysics of the good: in the connection between goodness and actuality that structures his natural science and metaphysics, in his explicit claim that being is better than not being, and in his concepts of order and determinacy, which help connect being with goodness. These in turn shed light on his concepts of the complete and the self-sufficient, on his teleological understanding of the four elements, and on the curious role of the honorable in his natural science and metaphysics.
Now available in English for the first time, translated by the poet Jack Hirschman, this beautiful collection of poems by the Algerian poet Jean Sénac (1926–1973) was originally published when he was forty-one. Sénac represented the hope of the new generation of Algerians who were celebrating their independence from France after 130 years of colonialism, and in the tradition of René Char and the early Albert Camus, he portrayed an Algeria whose land and people would finally sing with their own voice. Sénac celebrates revolution, love, and the body, beginning with the resonant verses: “And now we’ll sing love / for there’s no Revolution without love.” He sang, as well, of beauty: “No morning without smiling. / Beauty on our lips is one continuous fruit.”
From the 1890s to the 1930s, a growing number of Germans began to scrutinize and discipline their bodies in a utopian search for perfect health and beauty. Some became vegetarians, nudists, or bodybuilders, while others turned to alternative medicine or eugenics. In The Cult of Health and Beauty in Germany, Michael Hau demonstrates why so many men and women were drawn to these life reform movements and examines their tremendous impact on German society and medicine.
Hau argues that the obsession with personal health and fitness was often rooted in anxieties over professional and economic success, as well as fears that modern industrialized civilization was causing Germany and its people to degenerate. He also examines how different social groups gave different meanings to the same hygienic practices and aesthetic ideals. What results is a penetrating look at class formation in pre-Nazi Germany that will interest historians of Europe and medicine and scholars of culture and gender.
The Miss America pageant has been held in Atlantic City for the past hundred years, helping to promote the city as a tourist destination. But just a few streets away, the city hosts a smaller event that, in its own way, is equally vital to the local community: the Miss’d America drag pageant.
Drag Queens and Beauty Queens presents a vivid ethnography of the Miss’d America pageant and the gay neighborhood from which it emerged in the early 1990s as a moment of campy celebration in the midst of the AIDS crisis. It examines how the pageant strengthened community bonds and activism, as well as how it has changed now that Rupaul’s Drag Race has brought many of its practices into the cultural mainstream. Comparing the Miss’d America pageant with its glitzy cisgender big sister, anthropologist Laurie Greene discovers how the two pageants have influenced each other in unexpected ways.
Drag Queens and Beauty Queens deepens our understanding of how femininity is performed at pageants, exploring the various ways that both the Miss’d America and Miss America pageants have negotiated between embracing and critiquing traditional gender roles. Ultimately, it celebrates the rich tradition of drag performance and the community it engenders.
Addressing contemporary interest in the relationship between metaphysics and ethics, as well as the significance of beauty for ethics, Alice Ramos presents an accessible study of the transcendentals and provides a dynamic rather than static view of truth, goodness, and beauty.
A central concern of nearly every environmental ethic is its desire to extend the scope of direct moral concern beyond human beings to plants, nonhuman animals, and the systems of which they are a part. Although nearly all environmental philosophies have long since rejected modernity’s conception of individuals as isolated and independent substances, few have replaced this worldview with an alternative that is adequate to the organic, processive world in which we find ourselves. In this context, Brian G. Henning argues that the often overlooked work of Alfred North Whitehead has the potential to make a significant contribution to environmental ethics. Additionally inspired by classical American philosophers such as William James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Pierce and environmental philosophers such as Aldo Leopold, Peter Singer, Albert Schweitzer, and Arne Naess, Henning develops an ethical theory of which the seminal insight is called “The Ethics of Creativity.”
By systematically examining and developing a conception of individuality that is equally at home with the microscopic world of subatomic events and the macroscopic world of ecosystems, The Ethics of Creativity correctly emphasizes the well-being of wholes, while not losing sight of the importance of the unique centers of value that constitute these wholes. In this way, The Ethics of Creativity has the potential to be a unique voice in contemporary moral philosophy.
In Experiments in Skin Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu examines the ongoing influence of the Vietnam War on contemporary ideas about race and beauty. Framing skin as the site around which these ideas have been formed, Tu foregrounds the histories of militarism in the production of US biomedical knowledge and commercial cosmetics. She uncovers the efforts of wartime scientists in the US Military Dermatology Research Program to alleviate the environmental and chemical risks to soldiers' skin. These dermatologists sought relief for white soldiers while denying that African American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians were also vulnerable to harm. Their experiments led to the development of pharmaceutical cosmetics, now used by women in Ho Chi Minh City to tend to their skin, and to grapple with the damage caused by the war's lingering toxicity. In showing how the US military laid the foundations for contemporary Vietnamese consumption of cosmetics and practices of beauty, Tu shows how the intersecting histories of militarism, biomedicine, race, and aesthetics become materially and metaphorically visible on skin.
Fashion and Ethics focuses on issues of power, social positioning, and practices among creators, producers, practitioners, wearers, and consumers of fashion. With a special emphasis on the moral fabric of clothing, contributors to the book offer a critique of some of the fundamental assumptions of ethical fashion and expose how products are often framed as fair trade in order to relieve consumers' guilt.
With essays that problematize issues such as ethical fashion’s self-appointed morality, the first-world notion that the environment should take priority over human development, the conflict between business profit and ethics, the unintended agendas involved in consuming green cosmetics or ethical culinary trends, and the discursive strategies of denial of the extreme cruelty in the procurement of animal skin and fur for use in fashion, Fashion and Ethics applies its uncompromising scrutiny to all areas of fashion. Throughout, the volume forces readers to confront the question: Does ethical fashion go deep enough into challenging unethical behavior or is it just a charade of good intentions?
In her insightful study, Fashioning Diaspora, Vanita Reddy carefully maps how transnational itineraries of Indian beauty and fashion shape South Asian American cultural identities and racialized belonging from the 1990s to the late-2000s. She observes how diasporic subjects engage with and respond to various encounters with Indian beauty and fashion.
One of the first books to consider beauty and fashion as a point of entry into an examination of South Asian diasporic public cultures, Fashioning Diaspora examines a range of literature, visual art, and live performance. Through careful analyses of novels by Bharati Mukherjee and Jhumpa Lahiri, young adult literature, performance art by Shailja Patel, as well as objects of popular culture including an Indian American fashion doll, and beauty and adornment practices, Reddy challenges fashion and beauty as a set of dematerialized, overly commodified cultural practices. She argues instead that beauty and fashion structure South Asian Americans’ uneven access to social mobility, capital, and citizenship, and demonstrates their varying capacities to produce social attachments across national, class, racial, gender, and generational divides.
Poetry is exciting, but elusive to most. This is troublesome for Christians because the Bible, John Poch reminds us, is largely composed of poetical verse. In God’s Poems, Poch re-introduces sacred text as purposefully poetic, and explains what that means and invites the reader to with this insight live more thoughtfully and beautifully.
But that is not all. Poch as a well-established and regarded poet, turns his eye to contemporary poetry and vindicates its function in a “created and creative world.” Today many have abandoned the genre as a wasteland of misguided voice that really has nothing to say. The poet is a truth-teller, and Poch as devoted writer, teacher, and believer sends out a renewed call to turn to verse as a means of seeing oneself as God’s poeima, or poem (Letter to Ephesians). The depth of self-knowing relates directly to an aptitude to engage the category of poetry at some level. A tragic void is filled with Poch’s effort to exhort the reader to patiently reconnect with poetry even though it has been hijacked by persons who want to be heard more than speak well. (This book is essential, therefore, for aspiring poets.)
For faithful readers or those seeking to return, Poch is a place to begin to understand contemporary writers worth knowing and which poets of the past must remain with us. In Virgilian fashion, he can see the panorama behind him and that which lies immediately ahead and instills a recovered love of an eternal medium that will be restored to a state of coherency and enlightened perspective. If Poch has faith in poetry it is because poetry is indeed a source of faith. If Justin Martyr claimed that everything that is true belongs to Christians, Poch shows us that everyone who speaks truth is to some degree a poet. Even God with his revealed wisdom chooses poetry as medium par excellence. It is essential to know how poetry works. “Great poems that we consider literature give us what we never expected. They go beyond the usefulness of conveying a feeling and unveiling beauty; and they tell us who we are.”
We all know there is a politics of skin color, but is there a politics of hair?In this book, Noliwe Rooks explores the history and politics of hair and beauty culture in African American communities from the nineteenth century to the 1990s. She discusses the ways in which African American women have located themselves in their own families, communities, and national culture through beauty advertisements, treatments, and styles. Bringing the story into today's beauty shop, listening to other women talk about braids, Afros, straighteners, and what they mean today to grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, and boyfriends, she also talks about her own family and has fun along the way. Hair Raising is that rare sort of book that manages both to entertain and to illuminate its subject.
From Queen Latifa to Count Basie, Madonna to Monk, Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music traces popular music back to its roots in jazz, blues, country, and gospel through the rise in rock 'n' roll and the emergence of heavy metal, punk, and rap. Yet despite the vigor and balance of these musical origins, Martha Bayles argues, something has gone seriously wrong, both with the sound of popular music and the sensibility it expresses.
Bayles defends the tough, affirmative spirit of Afro-American music against the strain of artistic modernism she calls 'perverse.' She describes how perverse modernism was grafted onto popular music in the late 1960s, and argues that the result has been a cult of brutality and obscenity that is profoundly anti-musical.
Unlike other recent critics of popular music, Bayles does not blame the problem on commerce. She argues that culture shapes the market and not the other way around. Finding censorship of popular music "both a practical and a constitutional impossibility," Bayles insists that "an informed shift in public tastes may be our only hope of reversing the current malignant mood."
Peter Ackroyd’s writing is obsessed with the defining heterogeneity of London—its rich diversity of human experience, mood, and emotion, of actions and events, and of the tools through which all of this heterogeneity is represented and reenacted. But for Ackroyd, one of the foremost of the so-called “London writers,” this energizing heterogeneity also has a sinister side, largely originating outside social norms and mainstream pathways of cultural production. Touching on everything from occult practices to the plotting of radical groups, crime and fraud, dubious scientific experiments, and popular, dramatic forms of ritual and entertainment, Ackroyd contends that these forces both contest prescribed cultural modes and supply the city with its characteristic dynamism and capacity for spiritual renewal.
This idiosyncratic London construct is particularly prominent in Ackroyd’s novels, in which his ideas about the city’s nature and his connection to English literary sensibilities combine to create a distinct chronotope with its own spatial and temporal properties. A Horror and a Beauty explores this world through six defining aspects of the city as Ackroyd identifies them: the relationship between London’s past and present, its uncanny manifestations, its felonious tendencies, its inhabitants’ psychogeographic and antiquarian strategies, its theatricality, and its inherently literary character.
The Invisible Dragon made a lot of noise for a little book When it was originally published in 1993 it was championed by artists for its forceful call for a reconsideration of beauty—and savaged by more theoretically oriented critics who dismissed the very concept of beauty as naive, igniting a debate that has shown no sign of flagging.
With this revised and expanded edition, Hickey is back to fan the flames. More manifesto than polite discussion, more call to action than criticism, The Invisible Dragon aims squarely at the hyper-institutionalism that, in Hickey’s view, denies the real pleasures that draw us to art in the first place. Deploying the artworks of Warhol, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mapplethorpe and the writings of Ruskin, Shakespeare, Deleuze, and Foucault, Hickey takes on museum culture, arid academicism, sclerotic politics, and more—all in the service of making readers rethink the nature of art. A new introduction provides a context for earlier essays—what Hickey calls his "intellectual temper tantrums." A new essay, "American Beauty," concludes the volume with a historical argument that is a rousing paean to the inherently democratic nature of attention to beauty.
Written with a verve that is all too rare in serious criticism, this expanded and refurbished edition of The Invisible Dragon will be sure to captivate a new generation of readers, provoking the passionate reactions that are the hallmark of great criticism.
A Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University Kingdom of Beauty shows that the discovery of mingei (folk art) by Japanese intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s was central to the complex process by which Japan became both a modern nation and an imperial world power. Kim Brandt’s account of the mingei movement locates its origins in colonial Korea, where middle-class Japanese artists and collectors discovered that imperialism offered them special opportunities to amass art objects and gain social, cultural, and even political influence. Later, mingei enthusiasts worked with (and against) other groups—such as state officials, fascist ideologues, rival folk art organizations, local artisans, newspaper and magazine editors, and department store managers—to promote their own vision of beautiful prosperity for Japan, Asia, and indeed the world. In tracing the history of mingei activism, Brandt considers not only Yanagi Muneyoshi, Hamada Shōji, Kawai Kanjirō, and other well-known leaders of the folk art movement but also the often overlooked networks of provincial intellectuals, craftspeople, marketers, and shoppers who were just as important to its success. The result of their collective efforts, she makes clear, was the transformation of a once-obscure category of pre-industrial rural artifacts into an icon of modern national style.
In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, nation builders, artists, and intellectuals manufactured ideologies that continue to give shape to popular understandings of indigeneity and mestizaje today. Postrevolutionary identity tropes emerged as part of broader efforts to reunify the nation and solve pressing social concerns, including what was posited in the racist rhetoric of the time as the “Indian problem.” Through a complex alchemy of appropriation and erasure, indigeneity was idealized as a relic of the past while mestizaje was positioned as the race of the future. This period of identity formation coincided with a boom in technology that introduced a sudden proliferation of images on the streets and in homes: there were more photographs in newspapers, movie houses cropped up across the country, and printing houses mass-produced calendar art and postcards. La Raza Cosmética traces postrevolutionary identity ideals and debates as they were dispersed to the greater public through emerging visual culture.
Critically examining beauty pageants, cinema, tourism propaganda, photography, murals, and more, Natasha Varner shows how postrevolutionary understandings of mexicanidad were fundamentally structured by legacies of colonialism, as well as shifting ideas about race, place, and gender. This interdisciplinary study smartly weaves together cultural history, Indigenous and settler colonial studies, film and popular culture analysis, and environmental and urban history. It also traces a range of Indigenous interventions in order to disrupt top-down understandings of national identity construction and to “people” this history with voices that have all too often been entirely ignored.
In this abundant space and isolation, the energy lords extract their bounty of natural resources, and the curators of mass destruction once mined their egregious weapons and reckless acts. It is a land of absolutes, of passion and indifference, lush textures and inscrutable tensions. Here violence can push beauty to the edge of a razor blade. . . . Thus Ellen Meloy describes a corner of desert hard by the San Juan River in southeastern Utah, a place long forsaken as implausible and impassable, of little use or value—a place that she calls home. Despite twenty years of carefully nurtured intimacy with this red-rock landscape, Meloy finds herself, one sunbaked morning, staring down at a dead lizard floating in her coffee and feeling suddenly unmoored. What follows is a quest that is both physical and spiritual, a search for home.
Globalization and economic restructuring have decimated formal jobs in developing countries, pushing many women into informal employment such as direct selling of cosmetics, perfume, and other personal care products as a way to "make up the difference" between household income and expenses. In Ecuador, with its persistent economic crisis and few opportunities for financially and personally rewarding work, women increasingly choose direct selling as a way to earn income by activating their social networks. While few women earn the cars and trips that are iconic prizes in the direct selling organization, many use direct selling as part of a set of household survival strategies.
In this first in-depth study of a cosmetics direct selling organization in Latin America, Erynn Masi de Casanova explores women's identities as workers, including their juggling of paid work and domestic responsibilities, their ideas about professional appearance, and their strategies for collecting money from customers. Focusing on women who work for the country's leading direct selling organization, she offers fascinating portraits of the everyday lives of women selling personal care products in Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil. Addressing gender relations (including a look at men's direct and indirect involvement), the importance of image, and the social and economic context of direct selling, Casanova challenges assumptions that this kind of flexible employment resolves women's work/home conflicts and offers an important new perspective on women's work in developing countries.
In Glen Canyon waters rose, inundating petroglyphs and creating Lake Powell. Now the Colorado River basin is experiencing the longest dry spell in modern history—one that shows alarming signs of becoming the new normal.
In A New Form of Beauty photographer Peter Goin and writer Peter Friederici tackle science from the viewpoint of art, creating a lyrical exploration in words and photographs, setting Glen Canyon and Lake Powell as the quintessential example of the challenges of perceiving place in a new era of radical change. Through evocative photography and extensive reporting, the two document their visits to the canyon country over a span of many years. By motorboat and kayak, they have ventured into remote corners of the once-huge reservoir to pursue profound questions: What is this place? How do we see it? What will it become?
Goin’s full-color photographs are organized in three galleries—Flora and Fauna, Artifacts, and Low Water—interspersed with three essays by Friederici, and an epilogue gallery on Fire. The book includes two foldout photographs, which allow readers to fully see Lake Powell at high water and low water points
Contemplating humanity’s role in the world it is creating, Goin and Friederici ask if the uncertainties inherent in Glen Canyon herald an unpredictable new future for every place. They challenge us to question how we look at the world, how we live in it, and what the future will be.
All societies around the world and through time value beauty highly. Tracing the evolutions of the Colombian standards of beauty since 1845, Michael Edward Stanfield explores their significance to and symbiotic relationship with violence and inequality in the country. Arguing that beauty holds not only social power but also economic and political power, he positions it as a pacific and inclusive influence in a country “ripped apart by violence, private armies, seizures of land, and abuse of governmental authority, one hoping that female beauty could save it from the ravages of the male beast.” One specific means of obscuring those harsh realities is the beauty pageant, of which Colombia has over 300 per year. Stanfield investigates the ways in which these pageants reveal the effects of European modernity and notions of ethnicity on Colombian women, and how beauty for Colombians has become an external representation of order and morality that can counter the pathological effects of violence, inequality, and exclusion in their country.
This anthology is remarkable not only for the selections themselves, among which the Schelling and the Heidegger essays were translated especially for this volume, but also for the editors' general introduction and the introductory essays for each selection, which make this volume an invaluable aid to the study of the powerful, recurrent ideas concerning art, beauty, critical method, and the nature of representation. Because this collection makes clear the ways in which the philosophy of art relates to and is part of general philosophical positions, it will be an essential sourcebook to students of philosophy, art history, and literary criticism.
Pretty Modern is a riveting account of Brazil’s emergence as a global leader in plastic surgery. Intrigued by a Carnaval parade that mysteriously paid homage to a Rio de Janeiro plastic surgeon, anthropologist Alexander Edmonds conducted research that took him from Ipanema socialite circles to glitzy telenovela studios to the packed waiting rooms of public hospitals offering free cosmetic surgery. The result is provocative exploration of the erotic, commercial, and intimate aspects of beauty in a nation with extremes of wealth and poverty and a reputation for natural sensuality. Drawing on conversations with maids and their elite mistresses, divorced housewives, black celebrities, and favela residents aspiring to be fashion models, Edmonds analyzes what sexual desirability means and does for women in different social positions. He argues that beauty is a distinct realm of modern experience that does not simply reflect other inequalities. It mimics the ambiguous emancipatory potential of capital, challenging traditional hierarchies while luring consumers into a sexual culture that reduces the body to the brute biological criteria of attractiveness. Illustrated with color photographs, Pretty Modern offers a fresh theoretical perspective on the significance of female beauty in consumer capitalism.
What does it mean to have a sense of place? Through history, memoir, poetry, and fiction, the writers of these essays answer this question in a variety of ways, giving us their collective history of natural Arkansas. They speak of the interrelationships of humans and nature, and of the struggles for balance between economic realities and landscape preservation. The book evokes the sheer physical diversity of the Natural State, from the Ozarks and the Boston Mountains to Crowley's Ridge, the Grand Prairie, and the Delta. But far more than mere geography, these are places of intense meaning: sites of enlightenment, conflict, comfort, and vivid experience. Rivers and mountains, plains and forests — these are shorthand terms for specific, beloved, storied places.
For a woman in the Western world, there is no escaping beauty. Either she possesses it, or she lacks it. If she lacks it, she may hope to gain it. If she already has it, she will certainly lose it. But what is "it"? Not an objective thing, Francette Pacteau tells us, but a generic term for an unspecifiable number of psychological experiences in the mind of the observer. What these experiences are, what causes them, and how they manifest themselves as a notion of beauty is the subject of this book.
Less interested in the contingent object of desire than the fantasy that frames it, Pacteau considers the staging of the aesthetic emotion. Her analysis extends from the Classical ideals of beauty, through Renaissance poetry to the recent formulations of Hollywood. Her book is an ambitious attempt to describe the mise-en-scène of beauty within a particular field of representations – that of the beauty of a woman.
Three Faces of Beauty offers a unique approach to understanding globalization and cultural change based on a comparative, ethnographic study of a nearly universal institution: the beauty salon. Susan Ossman traces the images and words of the beauty industry as they developed historically between Paris, Cairo, and Casablanca and then vividly demonstrates how such images are embodied today in salons located in each city. By examining how images from fashion magazines, film, and advertising are enacted in beauty salons, Ossman demonstrates how embodiment is able to display and rework certain hierarchies. While offering the possibility of freedom from the tethers of status, nation, religion, and nature, beauty is created by these very categories and values, Ossman shows. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, she documents the various rituals of welcome, choice-making, pricing practices, and spatial arrangements in multiple salons . She also reveals ways in which patrons in all three cities imagine and co-opt looks they believe are fashionable in the other cities. By observing salons as scenes of instruction, Ossman reveals that beautiful bodies evolve within the intertwining contexts of media, modernity, location, time, postcolonialism, and male expectation.
It is now two and a half centuries since Jean-Jacques Rousseau first wrote so evocatively of natural man in Social Contract and of experiential education in Emile. His emphasis on the early years as a crucial part of life drove the Romantic reconceptualization of childhood—the idea that children have a special knowledge of nature, politics, and spirituality to teach their elders as well as the other way around. William Wordsworth’s assertion in the “Intimations Ode” that children’s souls come “trailing clouds of glory” from God has continued to haunt Western literature and culture in spite of attacks from writers and critics from then until now, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Robert Thomas Malthus, T. S. Eliot, Judy Blume, Jerome McGann, and Jacqueline Rose.
Displaying careful scholarship, sophisticated use of contemporary literary theory, and close readings of texts while recovering and analyzing materials from more than two centuries of British and other Anglophone cultural history, this collection of new essays traces the evolution of the Romantic child. The contributors play off one another, both within the three traditional historical periods—Romantic, Victorian, and modern/postmodern—and across intellectual and disciplinary categories.
Time of Beauty, Time of Fear offers a stunning array of essays. In some, the authors focus on canonical texts by such writers as Wordsworth, Maria Edgeworth, Charlotte Smith, and Mrs. Molesworth. Other authors consider the Victorian concerns with missionary literature for children and with the boyish pastime of collecting bird’s nests, folk voices of the 1960s, homeschooling, the Teletubbies television program, and Alan Moore’s Promethea series of graphic novels. Measured in terms of both range and quality, this volume is destined to become essential reading for scholars from numerous disciplines.
Like 75% of American women, Ronnie Citron-Fink dyed her hair, visiting the salon every few weeks to hide gray roots in her signature dark brown mane. She wanted to look attractive, professional, young. Yet as a journalist covering health and the environment, she knew something wasn’t right. All those unpronounceable chemical names on the back of the hair dye box were far from natural. Were her recurring headaches and allergies telltale signs that the dye offered the illusion of health, all the while undermining it?
So after twenty-five years of coloring, Ronnie took a leap and decided to ditch the dye. Suddenly everyone, from friends and family to rank strangers, seemed to have questions about her hair. How’d you do it? Are you doing that on purpose? Are you OK? Armed with a mantra that explained her reasons for going gray—the upkeep, the cost, the chemicals—Ronnie started to ask her own questions.
What are the risks of coloring? Why are hair dye companies allowed to use chemicals that may be harmful? Are there safer alternatives? Maybe most importantly, why do women feel compelled to color? Will I still feel like me when I have gray hair?
True Roots follows Ronnie’s journey from dark dyes to a silver crown of glory, from fear of aging to embracing natural beauty. Along the way, readers will learn how to protect themselves, whether by transitioning to their natural color or switching to safer products. Like Ronnie, women of all ages can discover their own hair story, one built on individuality, health, and truth.
"What a splendid book! Reading it is a joy, and for me, at least, continuing reading it became compulsive. . . . Chandrasekhar is a distinguished astrophysicist and every one of the lectures bears the hallmark of all his work: precision, thoroughness, lucidity."—Sir Hermann Bondi, Nature
The late S. Chandrasekhar was best known for his discovery of the upper
limit to the mass of a white dwarf star, for which he received the Nobel
Prize in Physics in 1983. He was the author of many books, including The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes and, most recently, Newton's Principia for the Common Reader.
Weavers of Tradition and Beauty presents new information on contemporary Native American basketry of the Great Basin, largely from the viewpoint of the weavers themselves. In collecting their stories, Kathleen Curtis and Mary Lee Fulkerson traveled throughout Nevada, never dreaming their odyssey over back-roads and to reservations would stretch into years. Finding a deep connection to the people of the sage, the authors accompanied the weavers as they gathered and prepared their special willow, dyed the bracken fern root, and wove their baskets. Baskets—and the people who weave them—have always been revered and honored by Native Americans. Fulkerson and Curtis depict, in text and full color and black and white photographs, how their art prevails—even over adverse environmental, social, and economic conditions. Today, contemporary weavers continue their work by creating baskets in the manner of their ancestors. Teaching their children and grandchildren how to weave baskets, these artisans carry on a long and strong tradition. By documenting the basketry of Nevada's native people, the authors make a significant contribution in preserving this ancient and beautiful craft. Foreword by Catherine S. Fowler.
For over one hundred years, Navajos have gone to work in significant numbers on Southwestern railroads. As they took on the arduous work of laying and anchoring tracks, they turned to traditional religion to anchor their lives.
Jay Youngdahl, an attorney who has represented Navajo workers in claims with their railroad employers since 1992 and who more recently earned a master's in divinity from Harvard, has used oral history and archival research to write a cultural history of Navajos' work on the railroad and the roles their religious traditions play in their lives of hard labor away from home.
This richly illustrated volume examines the remarkable Kashmiri shawls of the Walter Koelz Collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. Part I presents the history, production, forms, and ornamentation of Kashmiri shawls, focusing on the impact of social contexts and the advent of the Jacquard loom on shawl development. Part II is a detailed descriptive catalogue of the shawls in the Koelz Collection. An accompanying CD-ROM includes color illustrations of the shawls in the collection as well as a transcribed manuscript by Koelz.