Category Archives: Diaspora

Mirrored on the Stage: A Selection of Books on African and African-Diaspora Theater

Stories are an integral part of how we understand our communities—both their histories and our place within them. Theater is uniquely suited to this function, as every dramatic performance creates space removed one step from reality. On the stage, we can explore not just who we are, but who we might be.

A highlight of Telling Our Stories of Home, an ongoing 6-day conference-festival that brings artists, activists, and scholars together to examine the concept of “home” in African and African-Diaspora communities, will be the performance of Torn Asunder, a specially commissioned play based on the book Help Me to Find My People by Heather Williams, that focuses on the quest of African-American families to reunite after the Civil War.

It is from Torn Asunder that we take our cue, providing some complementary resources that expand on the intersection of theater and TOSH’s theme of “home.” The following list consists of a small selection of the Stone Center Library’s theater-related books that we hope will spur your imagination and curiosity in this fascinating and vital discussion. All quoted summaries are taken from the UNC-CH library catalog.

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‘Racialized Spaces and Proper Places: Frantz Fanon, Decolonization, and the Rise of New Territorialities’

Alvaro Reyes Flyer

Professor Alvaro Reyes, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and  current UNC-CH Institute of African American Research (IAAR) fellow, will be delivering a talk titled ‘Racialized Spaces and Proper Places: Frantz Fanon, Decolonization, and the Rise of New Territorialities’ on  February 19, 2015, at 1pm in the Hitchcock Room of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.

More information about Professor Reyes’ work can be found here.

Department of Sociology Colloquium – Karen Fields

Karen Fields Flyer

Karen E. Fields will be delivering a lecture on February 4, 2015, at 12:00pm in the Hitchcock Room of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.

Dr. Fields is an independent scholar and the author of several articles and three published books: Revival and Rebellion in Colonial Central Africa; Lemon Swamp and Other Places: A Carolina Memoir (with Mamie Garvin Fields), and a translation of Emile Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. She also has two book-length works in progress: Bordeaux’s Africa and Race Matters in the American Academy.

She holds degrees from Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the Sorbonne.

Fields’ talk will focus on the French cities of Bordeaux and Nantes and their role in the “triangular trade” of slaves, manufactured goods and colonial products illustrated below.

Selected relevant UNC Library resources:

The Atlantic Slave Trade: Effects on Economies, Societies, and Peoples in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Ed. Stanley L. Engerman, et al. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992.

Bordeaux Au XVIIIe Siècle: Le Commerce Atlantique Et l’Esclavage. Ed. Christian Block, et al. Bordeaux: Le Festin, 2010.

Deveau, Jean-Michel. La Traite Rochelaise. Paris: Karthala, 1990.

Eltis, David, and David Richardson. “Productivity in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.Explorations in economic history 32.4 (1995): 465-84.

Fields, Karen E., Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. Ed. Barbara Jeanne Fields and . London;New York: Verso, 2012.

Harms, Robert W., The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Lindsay, Lisa A. Captives as Commodities: The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.

Miller, Christopher L., The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

Morgan, Kenneth. “Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” International history review XXX.4 (2008): 785-95.

Saugera, Éric. Bordeaux, Port Négrier: Chronologie, Économie, Idéologie, XVIIe-XIXe Siècles. Biarritz; Paris: J & D éditions; Karthala, 1995.

Stein, Robert Louis. The French Slave Trade in the Eighteenth Century: An Old Regime Business. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1979.

Walvin, James, author. Crossings: Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade. London: Reaktion Books, 2013.

These and other sources are available as a printable PDF.

IAAR Brown Bag – “Brazilian Quilombos: Historical & Contemporary Struggles”

The UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of African American Research (IAAR) will be holding the first in their spring 2015 series of brown bag lectures –  “Brazilian Quilombos: Historical & Contemporary Struggles” presented by Adam Bledsoe, UNC-CH Department of Geography – on January 12, 2015 at 12:00pm in Room 309C of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.

The Stone Center Library staff has prepared a bibliography to accompany this lecture, the PDF of which can be found here.

 

New @the SCL, Part 1: Literature & Literary Studies!

If you’ve been by the Stone Center Library lately, you may have noticed some great new books on display. If not, here’s the first of three posts highlighting some recent acquisitions in literature and literary studies available here at the SCL:

Juice: a Novel (Ishmael Reed)

Cross-Cultural Visions in African American Literature: West meets East (Edited by Yoshinobu Hakutani)

Salvage the Bones: A Novel (Jesmyn Ward) — 2011 National Book Award winner!

Authentic Blackness / Real Blackness: Essays on the Meaning of Blackness in Literature and Culture (edited by Martin Japtok and Jerry Rafiki Jenkins)

Conversations with Walter Mosley (Edited by Owen E. Brady)

Wench: a Novel (Dolen Perkins-Valdez)

The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature (Edited by Michael A. Bucknor and Alison Donnell)

“Girl, Colored” and Other Stories: A Complete Short Fiction Anthology of African American Women Writers in The Crisis Magazine, 1910-2010 (Edited by Judith Musser)

Stay tuned for more new titles in dance, religion, politics, and more!

Cesária Évora: 08/27/1941-12/17/2011

Renown Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora died this past weekend at age 70. Earning monikers such as “The Barefoot Diva”  and “The Queen of Morna,” Évora began performing at age 16. Releasing her first album in 1988, by 2003 she had earned a Grammy for her album Voz D’Amor.

An international star, Évora became famous for her distinctive contralto and soulful performances of songs of lament and longing. Indeed, “Évora was considered one of the world’s greatest exponents of Morna, a form of blues considered the national music of the Cape Verde islands, a former Portuguese colony which gained independence in 1975.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16232543). For more on her life and legacy, see the following links for obituaries published in the New York Times, the BBC, and the Washington Post, among others. You may also hear a brief clip of Évora in performance here.

For those of you who are UNC affiliates, if you’re interested in a more extensive discussion of her career from a sociological perspective we encourage you to make use of the new Articles+ search tool to locate the following article: “Cesária Évora: ‘The Barefoot Diva’ and Other Stories.” (by Carla Martin, in Transition, No. 103, Cabo Verde (2010), pp. 82-97). Here at the SCL we also have Music is the weapon of the future : fifty years of African popular music (2002), which includes the chapter “From Kode di Dona to Cesaria Evora: Sodade in A Major: The Music of Cape Verde”  (p. 191).

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

Did you know? Yesterday marked the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15-October 15. This holiday period was established in 1968 and recognizes the contributions and heritage of those U.S. citizens whose ancestry traces back to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

As explained on the official website, “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

This year’s theme is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit” and a wealth of related resources are available online: exhibitions and collections, images, and even audio and video clips.

Here at the Stone Center Library, we have numerous books on Latin American topics… check out a sampling below, and stay tuned for more highlights over the course of the month!

Happy reading! 🙂

SCL Picks: Dance! Dance! Dance!

Calling all dance enthusiasts! Take a look at a few of our latest titles on dance in the Caribbean:

Pictured above: Making Caribbean dance: continuity and creativity in island cultures (2010)  |  Carlos Acosta: the reluctant dancer (2010)  |  Dance Jamaica: renewal and continuity: the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica 1962-2008 (2009).

Looking for other types of resources? Don’t forget to check out the Dance section of our Guide to the Web!

Happy reading, and hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend! 🙂

SCL Picks: “The Cool-Kawaii: Afro-Japanese Aesthetics and New World Modernity”

In recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, this week the Stone Center Library recommends: 

The cool-kawaii : Afro-Japanese aesthetics and new world modernity. 2011. By Thorsten Botz-Bornstein.

“At the turn of the millennium, international youth culture is mainly dominated by two types of aesthetics: African American cool, which, propelled by hip-hop music, has become the world’s favorite youth culture, and Japanese aesthetics of Kawaii or cute, which is distributed internationally by Japan’s powerful anime industry. The Cool-Kawaii: Afro-Japanese Aesthetics and New World Modernity, by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, analyzes these attitudes and explains the intrinsic powers that are leading to a fusion of both aesthetics.”

Interested in learning more? Check out what two reviewers had to say:

“By investigating the rich manifestations of two globalizing aesthetics—cuteness and coolness—Thorsten Botz-Bornstein offers a subtle interpretation that explores the nexus of consumerism, virtual reality, and ethics. “—Brian J. McVeigh, University of Arizona

“Thorsten Botz-Bornstein’s vast knowledge of philosophy and theory is amalgamated with his keen understanding of Japanese, African-American, and Afro-Japanese cultures to explain with precision, clarity, and valuable insights, tricky concepts such as kawaii, modernity, cuteness, coolness, kitsch, and dandyism. Drawing upon boundless examples, including those of Japanese manga and anime, Botz-Bornstein has given us a volume that will spark discussion and debate in a number of disciplines and set a standard for theoretical analysis.”—John A. Lent, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, International Journal of Comic Art

Happy reading! 🙂

 
Sources:
Summary: Syndetic Solutions
Reviews: Lexington Books website

SCL Picks: Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities

This week, the Stone Center Library recommends yet another new arrival to our collection: Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities. This anthology seeks to respond to the following question: “As a text, how are Black bodies and Black hair read and understood in life, art, popular culture, mass media, or cross-cultural interactions?.”

With editors Regina E. Spellers and Kimberly R. Moffitt at the helm, Blackberries and Redbones is divided thematically into five areas:

  • Part I: Hair/Body Politics as Expression of the Life Cycle
  • Part II: Hair/Body as Power
  • Part III: Hair/Body in Art and Popular Culture
  • Part IV: Celebrations, Innovations, and Applications of Hair/Body Politics
  • Part V: Contradictions, Complications, and Complexities of Hair/Body Politics

An interdisciplinary mix of scholarly essays, poems, and other creative writing, each selection concludes with 2-3 discussion questions for further thought, making this a collection both academically rigorous and supremely accessible to the general public.

Writings include titles such as “From Air Jordan to Jumpman: The Black Male Body as Commodity” (Ingrid Banks); “Weaving Messages of Self-Esteem: Empowering Mothers and Daughters through Hair Braiding” (Tracey Y. Lewis-Elligan); “‘I am More than a Victim’: The Slave Woman Stereotype in Antebellum Narratives by Black Men” (Ellesia A. Blaque); “The Big Girl’s Chair: A Rhetorical Analysis of How Motions for Kids Markets Relaxers to African American Girls;” and “Sun Kissed or Sun Cursed?: Exploring Color Consciousness and Black Women’s Tanning Experiences” (Regina E. Spellers).

You can also check out their companion website www.blackberriesandredbones.com, which features a discussion board (registration required). Interested in learning more? Come by the library and check it out – Blackberries and Redbones is currently featured in our reading area display. Hope to see you soon!