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The Renaissance in Italy: a Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento

The Renaissance in Italy: a Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento

Guido Ruggiero’s new social and cultural history of Italy between 1250 and 1575 begins at the end of the world and ends at the beginning of the ‘Great Social Divide’. The world that ended around 1250 was not that of the ‘Second Age of Christ and the New Testament’ expected by ‘semiotically aroused’ (1) spiritual men and women; nor was the world that emerged the ‘Age of Spirit’, which the apocalyptically-minded thought might presage the end of human history. Instead, an urban civilisation led by the new moneymen –

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A Cultural History of Climate

A Cultural History of Climate

My reading of A Cultural History of Climate leaves me with one final question that needs further scrutiny. It is a question equally relevant to our creation of future climates as to our reading of past climates. How do different climatic indices gain their moral polarity? Throughout Behringer’s book – and indeed more broadly in most historical accounts of the interactions between climates and societies – the notation ‘warm + wet = optimum’ and ‘cold + dry = pessimum’ applies. Thus paleoclimatologists talk of the optimum Neolithic climates of 6 to 8 kyr BP, while Behringer labels his section on Roman climates as the ‘Roman Optimum’: ‘It should be noted that climate historians consider [climatic] conditions to have been favourable at this time’ (p. 64). Favourable for what and for whom – for the Roman elites or for the Roman’s slaves? And did the Romans themselves believe their climate was worsening?
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The American Dream: A Cultural History

The American Dream: A Cultural History

This may explain why the book has a slightly musty quality. We’re told that the there were concerns about conformity with the American Dream in the 1950s; that the American Dream was in upheaval in the 1960s; and that it was beset by economic uncertainty in the 1970s. When we rely on journalists alone for our understanding of reality, that reality is almost inevitably going to reflect the tenor, if not the clichés, of the moment. Samuel does little more than reinforce attitudes rather than question or reframe our understanding of events. To many of us, that’s the opposite of what history – or at any rate, historical scholarship – is supposed to do. The most likely reader of this book is going to be an undergraduate who plucks it off a well- resourced library’s shelves (less well-resourced libraries are unlikely to buy it). While that student may gain a better grasp of the arc of American cultural history in a very general sense, it may also serve to obscure, rather than truly clarify, the contours of the past. The student essay on the American Dream that relies on Samuel is likely to be described as a complicated idea that has meant different things to different people at different times – a deadening notion that makes so many of us rightly dread grading papers.
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Historical Perception of Architecture and Cultural History Approach

Historical Perception of Architecture and Cultural History Approach

The stage of art sociology in the cultural history, i.e. 1930s and 1940s, was si- multaneous with the growth of Marxism and attention of researcher to the im- portance of social and economic matters as well as the position of the inferior people in the history. The well-known historian for the art and architecture in this respect is Ernest Gombrich. His most important book “The story of art” is placed among the works for the cultural history, due to the paid attention to the historical and social points of the art and architecture works and attempts for perceiving them by the people in that period. Gombrich has also discussed about the theories of cultural history. His long lecture, which was later published as a book “In search of cultural history” became the basis for transformations in the cultural history. That book is about the intellectual paradigm of the first genera- tion historians of the cultural history, regarding each historical era that consists of a cultural integrated generality. According to Gombrich, such an idea is re- jected, since any art movement or style is mainly originated by the people rather than time. Thus, a cultural historian should be more precise in identifying the past events, and if the origins of the styles and artistic styles are dealt with, he should also consider the effective styles and relations in the artists dealing with the related styles (Ditto). The principles of the new cultural history were gradu- ally formed according to such points of views, and changes were imposed to the past viewpoints.
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The Spectral Arctic: a Cultural History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

The Spectral Arctic: a Cultural History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

methodological framework created by historians of witchcraft, spiritualism, and ghosts, like Owen Davies, Peter Marshall, and Keith Thomas. The Spectral Arctic complements and positions itself confidently within this corpus, which through various empirical lenses has mostly done away with the flawed but longstanding notion of a modernity devoid of magic and has instead drawn up a 19th century of re-enchantment by incorporating realms of imagination and experience into modern cultural history. This became possible by looking at ‘non-authoritative’ voices in records. What this first chapter does well is establish that explorers and the press were not the only authorities to shape British perceptions of the Arctic, but that non-explorers also played a significant role in exploration histories. Imperial exploration was a quest for knowledge, and when this quest left blanks others stepped in to provide alternative ways to fill them. The Spectral Arctic’s source material reveals how other minds imagined the polar regions in myriad ways. They voiced their ideas in private diaries, in magazines, oral traditions, and correspondence, but also in fiction and, notably, in the visual and material cultures of Victorian Britain. There are important differences in tone and content between authoritative and ‘non-authoritative’ sources: McCorristine points out how the spectral and the supernatural are filtered out of print and official correspondence of explorers with home, so that a sterile narrative of rational, healthy men ‘penetrating’ a primordial, female Arctic represented either as fatal beauty or harsh mistress could be maintained. When turning to other sources, ‘marvellous stories’ deemed unfit for publication and often brimming with emotional, sensational, and uncanny details emerge – not only
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Skin, paper, tiles: a cross cultural history of Kadiwéu art

Skin, paper, tiles: a cross cultural history of Kadiwéu art

This article focuses on the global traffic in images relating to Kadiwéu culture in South America, analyzing the extent to which they are entangled in the group’s continuing sense of presence. It begins with Kadiwéu designs as they appeared in the sketchbook of the artist-explorer Guido Boggiani in the late nineteenth century. It then explores the mapping of Kadiwéu territory and the practices and protocols informing a politics of land rights, cultural property and economic survival, looking in particular at the commissioning of Kadiwéu designs for a housing estate and an associated exhibition in Berlin early in the twentieth-first century. By developing a cross-cultural history of Kadiwéu art that considers the transnational networks across different times and spaces, including the case of a transcultural history of copyright, the article seeks to contribute to the ongoing re-thinking of the colonial archive and its afterlife.
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Traditional Knowledge of Sankardev Than: A Cultural History Paradigm

Traditional Knowledge of Sankardev Than: A Cultural History Paradigm

Traditional knowledge focuses to the thought, originality and practices of indigenous and local communities. Generally, traditional knowledge is spreaded orally from generation to generation. India has its prosperous heritage of traditional knowledge passed on between generations in the course of folklore and orally. Assam has also its distinctiveness to protect and conserve the rich cultural heritage.

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'Memory wrapped round a corpse' : a cultural history of English Hecubas

'Memory wrapped round a corpse' : a cultural history of English Hecubas

2003 onwards, entails a striking shift in England’s cultural conception of and attitude towards war-victims. The long-established tradition of Euripides’ so- called ‘Peace-Play’, with its more straightforward depiction of passive and pitiful victimhood, was rejected. 106 In Trojan Women the attitude to the murder of children is unambiguous; the slaughter of Astyanax is ‘unheard of savagery’, an act of ‘blind panic, [and] unreasoning terror in rational men’ (p.52). But in turning to Hecuba the same Trojan Women are now willing to murder young boys in the pursuit of “justice”; now they hide knives in their robes and make improvised weaponry from any objects available to them: brooch-pins and fingernails. There are fourteen occurrences of the word pity and its variants in Hecuba – all fourteen are spoken prior to Agamemnon’s refusal to aid Hecuba’s revenge. 107 When Agamemnon refuses to allow his pity to sway his political decisions, Hecuba and Hecuba become pitiless. The description of Polyxena’s murder in Hecuba is structured by binary oppositions: good versus bad, female versus male, disempowered versus powerful, beautiful dignity versus immoral ugliness. These binaries replicate the dichotomising structure of Trojan Women and it is this structure which allows that play as well as Polyxena’s murder to be considered pitiful ennobling tragedies. The cathartic tragedy of Polyxena is, however, entirely usurped and exposed as a rhetorical construct by the bloody conclusion to Hecuba in which all such binary distinctions collapse.
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At Home in Hollywood: Hope of Heaven as Cultural History, Autobiography, and Fiction

At Home in Hollywood: Hope of Heaven as Cultural History, Autobiography, and Fiction

of detective: trying to make sense of Henderson's version of Miller's story, Malloy suggests to Peggy, "Well, let's us be detectives" (128).. And Malloy plays a convincing detect[r]

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'Black Athena' and Africa's contribution to global cultural history

'Black Athena' and Africa's contribution to global cultural history

Asia and North East Africa, and of the con~imction, in recent centuries, of the Greek miracle as a Eurocentric, racialist myth: the appropriation and application of [r]

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Tosca’s Prism: Three Moments in Western Cultural History

Tosca’s Prism: Three Moments in Western Cultural History

The numerous contributors reflect international and disciplinary diversity, with writers specializing in history, poetic and dramatic literature, musicology, music theory, and perform- ance. The essays unveil new insights about sources, reexamine Puccini’s dramaturgical and musical aesthetics, link music theory and compositional practice, debunk current performance practices, elaborate on the relation between opera and its audience, address the role of the libret- tists, confront religion and anticlericalism in turn-of-the-century Italy, and more. In short, the collection offers an interdisciplinary perspective that contributes to a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of Tosca.
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California’s Cross: A Cultural History of Pentecostalism, Race, and Agriculture

California’s Cross: A Cultural History of Pentecostalism, Race, and Agriculture

What then is to be made of the quotidian acts of farmworkers? We get a glimpse into subaltern arts by locating the sorts of practices that comprised Apostólico culture. Based on the photographs of church life captured by Apostólico farmworkers in the northern valleys, I suggest that the recovered narratives captured and projected in the photographs introduce a new meaning and novel implications (a la McWilliams) to the history of agriculture in California. They offer a rich archive through which to explore and subsequently compare the crossroads of race, religion, and migration. To begin with a notable and iconic case, I query whether the photographs of Dorothea Lange were any more truth-telling than lower-grade photographs of Pentecostals breaking ground for a new temple? The latter point to inequitable access to resources. While Okies relied on state and federal assistance, Mexican Pentecostals expanded their network of churches, planted new obras, 19 constructed new temples, decorated those temples and radically reinterpreted the landscape. What then may be made of the everyday lives of farmworkers is by and large a matter of where spectators and researchers focused (and focus) their lens, literally and figuratively.
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Religio cultural heritage of libation, memory and Obang cultural history, Northwest Cameroon

Religio cultural heritage of libation, memory and Obang cultural history, Northwest Cameroon

Traditional African perspectives on history and historical records are unique in a variety ways. Before colonial and missionary interventions on the African continent, most societies did not pen their historical memory. The early colonialists and missionaries taught that history starts only when facts are written, and as such, the absence of written records on the African continent for them meant lack of history (Akintoye 1975). African traditional religions have been largely articulated orally, and its beliefs and practices preserved and perpetuated through the memories of individuals – priests, kings, elders and family heads – through cultural, religious, cultic ceremonies, folklores, proverbs and idioms, and through artefacts, images and sculptures, handed down from generation to generation (Tasie 2013:26). Unfortunately, most of those who came in contact with these features in the African universe limited them to religious spirituality and to the paradoxes of remembering and forgetting, modification and subtractions, additions and distortions, exaggerations and understatements, thereby associating them only with the realms of superstition, imagination and fiction, seen as having no element of truth (Awolalu & Dopamu 1979:29). Despite the absence of documented history, traditional memories have continued to survive, especially those stored in ritual ceremonies and mnemonic devices that commemorate kingship, and enhance socio-cultural and political life through regular festivals and ceremonies (Vansina 1965).
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Australian Stories of Coffee in Melbourne and Environs: A Selective Cultural History

Australian Stories of Coffee in Melbourne and Environs: A Selective Cultural History

Our local cafe culture has a long history, and it has taken not only the cafes of the 1950s but also the people who fraternised the cafes at that time who had also come from overseas, [r]

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To Grahamstown and back : towards a Socio-Cultural History of Southern Africa

To Grahamstown and back : towards a Socio-Cultural History of Southern Africa

In a sense, I have come full circle. It was as a first-year student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown that I first caught a glimpse of the full implications of apartheid and its racist legislation. For the first time in my life, whilst attending extra-curricular lectures given by Jeff Peires on the Bantustan homelands of South Africa, I heard about the 1913 Land Act, the ongoing forced removals of people and the structural dispossession of land. My eyes were opened to the racism, legislated structural injustice, full inequity and evil of apartheid. In the same department, Julian Cobbing taught me to question all that I had hitherto been given to read, and to realize that history is, in the end, struggle. These two very different men formed and inspired me as a historian, and gave context to what I saw happening around me.
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"A Peace of Sorts": A Cultural History of the Belfast Agreement, 1998 to 2007

"A Peace of Sorts": A Cultural History of the Belfast Agreement, 1998 to 2007

While the GFA aimed primarily at creating peace, the processes it reflected also shaped how people were able to, or were enabled to, respond to violence. The public debate in which violence was comprehended underwent a distinct shift from that which had characterised the Troubles, when actors such as paramilitary groups maintained significant discursive power. Instead, the post-GFA discussion was shaped more by the power of testimony, the recognition of individual suffering and rights arising from it, and new conceptions of justice defined by civil action more than criminal procedure. In this transition, the perspectives of non-political actors and victims had a role that has largely been ignored by academic literature surrounding the Agreement. The wealth of scholarship so far dedicated to the GFA presents a history from above, concentrating on interactions between powerful political actors, and using opinion polls and elections to assess the success - or failures - of the Agreement. This thesis advances instead an analysis not so much ‘from below’ as of the mediating space of a political culture in which the impact of the GFA can be traced in a more subtle but enduring change in the terms within which success or failure were understood.
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The Cultural History of the Corset and Gendered Body in Social and Literary Landscapes

The Cultural History of the Corset and Gendered Body in Social and Literary Landscapes

The use of corsetry at present time can be explained in terms of post-feminist ideas borrowing from the contemporary feminist critic Naomi Wolf (2002) who claims that the corset now is replaced by the new control devices of patriarchal culture such as plastic surgery, diet and extreme physical exercise. This shows that Western patriarchal culture still has a lot to shape and correct, deciding what it is beautiful, proper and accepted and what is not. This is an example of how cultural “representations homogenize” and how “these homogenized images normalize” women (Bordo 1993, p.166). However, as the contemporary use of corsetry is more dynamic and eclectic than it has been before, I argue that the device helps create varied subject positions in a certain “habitus” where dress exits as a lived practice, freed and at the same time determined by oppressive forces (Entwistle, 2001). From that angle, the body goes beyond a passive one and the corset rather than a tool for surveillance, participates in creating subject positions, subversive or not. As Entwistle (2001) quotes from P Bourdieu in her work,“ habitus yields a more dynamic theory of embodiment. Bourdieu provides an account of subjectivity which is both embodied, unlike Foucault’s passive body and his technologies of the self and which is active in its adaptation of the habitus. As such, it enables an account of dress which does not fall into voluntarism and assume that one is free to self-fashion autonomously” (Entwistle, 2001, p.57-58).
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America’s Ocean Wilderness: a Cultural History of Twentieth Century Exploration

America’s Ocean Wilderness: a Cultural History of Twentieth Century Exploration

Kroll’s interpretation of the evidence is creative and smart. The final two chapters on Eugenie Clark, Thor Heyerdahl and Jacques Cousteau, are particularly strong. The chapter on Clark, which examines gender and the ocean, and the final chapter’s section on Heyerdahl, which examines the proliferation of Tiki culture in post-war America, is downright entertaining. His analysis of American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews examines 20th-century whaling in new light. Although Kroll considers the gruesome realities of the industry in broad terms, he also homes in on the ways the individual Andrews intellectualized the hunt. Ultimately, as Kroll is keenly aware, it was ideas that shaped an American ocean wilderness. Good environmental histories do not simply track change over time. Rather, they examine culture, perception, and the ways people like Andrews, Murphy, Beebe, Carson, Clark, Heyerdahl, and Cousteau thought about the world around them and how those ideas shaped the physical environment in return.
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Inhabiting the border - A Cultural History of Privacy & Photography

Inhabiting the border - A Cultural History of Privacy & Photography

The 'right' to privacy however, was not truly acknowledged until the twentieth century. From its mere beginnings there was discussion about the boundaries of this 'privacy-law'. The right of privacy, which protects against intrusion by other persons, finds its roots in certain cultural and technological developments, which occurred during the Victorian age (Mensel 24). One of the most important technological developments was photography, and more specifically snapshot photography. Prior to 1884, cameras were large, expensive, and barely portable. When people wanted to have their photo taken they needed to sit still for extended periods of time. In 1884, the Eastman Kodak Company introduced the "snap camera," a low-priced, handheld camera that could instantly take photographs of people in public (Zeronda 1). With the introduction of this technology and the growing popularity of print media it was feared that these instant photos would threaten 'the right to be left alone'.
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'Diplomacy as theatre': recasting the Bandung conference of 1955 as cultural history

'Diplomacy as theatre': recasting the Bandung conference of 1955 as cultural history

For one, the choice of Gedung Merdeka (Freedom Building) as the principal venue of the conference has some significance worth mentioning. Originally, it was built in 1895 as the Concordia Society Club, an elite Dutch social club. When Sukarno visited Bandung to inspect the conference preparations on 7 April 1955, he suddenly announced his decision to rename the venues of the conference to better reflect the spirit of the conference and of the newly independent Indonesia as the host country. Hence, the old Concordia Society Club was rechristened as Gedung Merdeka to be used as the principal venue where the plenary sessions took place; whilst the second venue, Dana Pension Fund Building was renamed Dwi-Warna (‘Two Colours’, signifying the red and the white of the Indonesian national flag) where political, economic and cultural committees sat in session. Sukarno’s vision for creating a post-colonial Bandung extended to renaming the streets. In this way, Jalan Raya Timur became Jalan Asia Afrika and Jalan Alun Alun Barat became Jalan Masjid Agung (the town square – alun alun – where the main mosque of Bandung, that is, Masjid Agung, stood). 35 Of
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