Andrew Field, “Shanghai’s Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics, 1919-1954” (The Chinese University Press, 2010)
“To think of Shanghai is to think of its nightlife: the two are synonymous.” From here, Andrew Field takes us on a dance across modern Chinese history, through its nightscapes and ballrooms, into the sprawls of its settlements and the… Read More
David Ciarlo, “Advertising Empire: Race and Visual Culture in Imperial Germany” (Harvard UP, 2011)
If you’re a native-born American, you’re probably familiar with Aunt Jemima (pancake syrup), Uncle Ben (precooked rice), and Rastus (oatmeal)–commercial icons all. They were co-oped in whole or part from stock characters in American minstrel shows, largely because they suggested… Read More
Allen Guttmann, “Sports and American Art from Benjamin West to Andy Warhol” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)
When I was a kid, I used to pore over an illustrated history of American sports that I had received as a birthday gift. The oversized, hardcover book featured some of the iconic images of 20th-century sports: Lou Gehrig standing… Read More
Erin Haney, “Exposures: Photography and Africa” (Reaktion Books, 2010)
In Chapter 3 of Erin Haney’s excellent book Photography and Africa (Reaktion Books, 2010) there are seven photos taken in central Africa at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Six advertise progress – from the smartly dressed and… Read More
Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)
Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on… Read More
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