Monthly Archives: May 2011

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! 🙂

Summary: Syndetic Solutions
Reviews: Lexington Books website

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! Resources available @the Stone Center Library!

In celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, here’s a quick sampling of some Stone Center Library titles on Afro-Asian topics:

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting : Afro-Asian connections and the myth of cultural purity. 2001. By Vijay Prashad.

  • “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting examines five centuries of remarkable cultural & political interaction between black & Asians around the world. Prashad offers the theory of polyculturalism, which allows for solidarity, not just lip service to diversity.”**

AfroAsian encounters : culture, history, politics. 2006. Edited by Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Shannon Steen; with a foreword by Vijay Prashad and afterword by Gary Okihiro.

  • “the first anthology to look at the mutual influence of and relationships between members of the African and Asian diasporas. While these two groups have often been thought of as occupying incommensurate, if not opposing, cultural and political positions, scholars from history, literature, media, and the visual arts here trace their interconnections and interactions, as well as the tensions between the two groups that sometimes arise. AfroAsian Encounters probes beyond popular culture to trace the historical lineage of these coalitions from the late nineteenth century to the present.”**
  • “Fred Ho and Bill V. Mullen have assembled a first-rate dossier of Afro-Asian work. It is equal parts lyrical and analytical. Flies like a butterfly; stings like a bee.”–Vijay Prashad, author of “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity”**

Happy reading!

**Source: reviews provided by Syndetic Solutions.

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, 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!