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Lisa Barg

Bio: Lisa Barg is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Ballad. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 24 citations.
Topics: Ballad

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TL;DR: This article explored how Robeson's persona and sound as folksinger and his political identity and struggles as a radical black intellectual interacted and collided with the cultural-racial politics of "people's music" and with Popular Front discourses on the folk.
Abstract: This essay takes Paul Robeson's 1939 performances of Earl Robinson and John Latouche's popular cantata Ballad for Americans as a focal point to explore how Robeson's persona and sound as folksinger—a “people's artist”—and his political identity and struggles as a radical black intellectual interacted and collided with the cultural-racial politics of “people's music” and with Popular Front discourses on the folk. From its legendary CBS radio premiere in November 1939 throughout the war years, Robeson's voice critically mediated—and most powerfully articulated—not only the work's narrative of nation but also the diverse formal and stylistic sonic frames through which this narrative was sounded. The ideological conflict in Ballad for Americans between accommodation and protest, national affirmation and critique, the realities of racial and ethnic divides and the promise of national inclusiveness indexed troubling contradictions of race and nation. Yet the internationalist contexts of Robeson's work as a singer-activist during this period, in particular the performative black internationalism embodied in his concert programs, suggest other perspectives and interpretive frameworks for rehearing Ballad for Americans.

24 citations


Cited by
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TL;DR: Morrison as mentioned in this paper argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic, and argues that individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.
Abstract: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison provides a personal inquiry into the significance of African-American literary imagination. Her goal, she states at the outset, is to \"put forth an argument for extending the study of American literature\". Author of \"Beloved\", \"The Bluest Eye\", \"Song of Solomon\", and other vivid portrayals of black American experience, Morrison ponders the effect that living in a historically racialized society has had on American writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. She argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic. Her argument is that the central characteristics of American literature - individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell - are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.

244 citations

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TL;DR: The authors argued that the factors responsible for the BNP's recent rise are not dissimilar to those elsewhere in Europe and that it is surely time to abandon the myth that Britain is some special case.
Abstract: that ‘it is surely time to abandon the myth that Britain is some special case’. The BNP’s gains, like the NF’s before them, may be short-lived and may be reversed. But the factors responsible for the BNP’s recent rise are not dissimilar to those elsewhere in Europe. Having transformed its image and tactics, the BNP seeks to become, at least superficially, like the populist Right on the continent, adept at manipulating the ‘politics of resentment’. Where this will take it, in a context in which New Labour has attempted to outflank the Conservatives with its toughness on crime, immigration and asylum and discipline smalltime racists like the BNP, through the use of existing legislation against incitement to racial hatred and projected legislation against incitement to religious hatred, remains, at the time of writing, still to be seen.

167 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Culture as History: The Transformation of American Society in the Twentieth Century as discussed by the authors is a history of American society in the twenty-first century that is partly autobiographical.
Abstract: Culture as History: The Transformation of American Society in the Twentieth Century Warren I. Susman. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2003. Warren Susman is a pioneer and a bridgebuilder. Trained as a historian, he took up the cause of American studies and served both areas well. He even began to explore popular culture, although he never joined "the movement." This book shows how an original thinker can come up with startling new ideas and connections. It is partly autobiographical, because "the writing of history is as personal an act as writing fiction." When he began his own studies in the 1930s, his mentor Merle Curti praised him for undertaking what Susman called "a serious intellectual struggle with my father." Susman replied to his mentor, "I was stunned at your suggestion, supposing my undertaking was an act of disinterested scholarship. If works of history are autobiographical, that does not mean that is all they are." Certainly not in his case. Susman praises Dr. Curti for discussing dime novels and for his use of many off-beat sources. That is exactly what Susman does, coming to see America through the notion of "culture of abundance" and of paradox. We live, he says, in a "hieroglyphic civilization" in which images always supplement ideas. His photographs are one of the highlights of the book. He centers them on critical themes: Our Father, Our Skyscraper, Our Daily Bread, Our Flag, Our Town, and Our Church. In our world of images-turned-icons, we can literally see the fundamental tensions that define the "hieroglyphic civilization" that we have created. Another distinctive feature of America: no previous culture has been so shaped by communication technology or has spent so much of its energy and resources analyzing communication and its problems. He hits home; I spent years in "communications studies" niches. Like Susman, I ended up wondering "whether anyone could really communicate at all. ("What we have here is a problem of communication.") Of course, we have had a few great communicators: Jefferson, Calhoun, Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Susman always pops up with a surprise. He respects President Roosevelt's cultural role without limit, but adds, "If we want to know how people experienced the world in the 1930s, I argue that Mickey Mouse may be more important than President Roosevelt in that understanding" (103). All ages demand symbols that sometimes conflict. In the 1940s, for example, we suffered the pain and anguish of the Okies of the Dust Bowl-and were singing "Oh! What a Beautiful Morning!" in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (1943). Conflicting symbols. Or again: we painstakingly reconstructed colonial Williamsburg as a hedge against the rising techno-industrial order. …

154 citations