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Attempts to create a national opera in Spain repeatedly failed throughout the 19th century. Some authors have attributed this phenomenon to a deficit in the nationalization process. Others, to the contrary, have proved that there was a strong sense of Spanish national musicality from the middle of the 19th century onward. This article tries to explain this paradox underlining some essential elements that are not always attended by specialists: the importance of transnational, social, and economic dynamics that interfered in the process of the cultural construction of modern national identities. The projects of the Spanish nationalist intellectuals of the 19th century in relation to the definition of a national music were marked by the Romantic construction of Spanish musical exoticism, the new industry of entertainment, the existential situation of Spanish musicians, the formation of new artistic and musical fields, and the appearance of new forms of social distinction in the aftermath of the Spanish Liberal Revolution of the 1830s.
In my ethnographic fieldwork in the contemporary dance scene in Brussels, I followed closely which struggles Moya Michael had to overcome as a South African maker in the European contemporary dance sector trying to sell her work. As a female artist of color, she cannot escape the fetishistic gaze emphasizing her exoticized body, a body imagined as exotic vis-à-vis institutional whiteness. This article examines how the work environment in the continental European contemporary dance sector forms a breeding ground for the fetishization of Afrodiasporic artists. After unpacking the general issues related to identity in the European contemporary dance sector, this article continues to discuss the dance solo Khoiswan, which Michael created in 2018 as the first part of an ongoing series called Coloured Swans. In this choreographic work, Michael centers and explores her multilayered identity on her own terms.
The chapter examines Alberto Franchetti’s Germania, written primarily for the Italian opera market and premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1902); and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Der Roland von Berlin, commissioned by the German Emperor Wilhelm II to celebrate the Hohenzollern dynasty, and premiered at the Berlin court opera in 1904. Starting with a brief summary of the two operas’ origins and plots, the chapter illustrates how in both cases operatic italianità was used to represent German national myths. Conventional concepts of operatic italianità were challenged through musical references to German folk songs. German critics employed generic meanings of italianità to articulate their disdain at these 'foreign' depictions of national identity, claiming an exclusive right for German composers to write on patriotic topics. As a consequence, productions of Franchetti’s and Leoncavallo’s works in Imperial Germany provoked some of the most hostile reactions ever articulated against Italian composers during the years before World War I. Furthermore, the defamation of Leoncavallo included a barely concealed criticism of the emperor himself.
Why did women and men want more stuff? What did such goods mean to those who produced, marketed, purchased, and used them? This chapter examines the social and cultural context of the consumer revolution. Borrowing from sociologists Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, and Norbert Elias, historians have long explained the rise of consumption in terms of social emulation. According to this theory, lower social groups imitated higher social groups, spreading new practices of consumption down the social hierarchy. However, while social emulation did occur, it does not explain everything. Patterns of consumption did not always reflect traditional social hierarchies. Examining eighteenth-century material culture, this chapter suggests an alternative approach, which considers how producers, retailers, commentators, and consumers attached meanings to consumer goods and creating a host of new consumer values, including novelty, fashion, selfhood, domesticity, comfort, simplicity, authenticity, cleanliness, health, and exoticism. Such values reflected the development of a modern Enlightenment consumer culture that valorized the present over the past. The social ramifications of eighteenth-century consumer culture were complex. Rising consumption was accompanied by egalitarian ideas, but it did not always promote social mobility. Many consumers bought into the world of goods to reinforce horizontal claims of respectability, not to leap into a new class. Poor laborers who could ill afford to express new consumer values through consumption were marginalized.
This chapter examines the marketing of consumer goods. Shops proliferated in the eighteenth century, as did the ranks of peddlers, smugglers, and street sellers. While most shops sold basic goods over rough-hewn counters or through open street-windows, many luxury and semiluxury shops adopted new strategies to lure well-off customers into their establishments. “Shopping,” a word coined in this period, became a leisure activity for women and men of the upper and middling classes. Retailers extended credit to customers to boost sales. New methods of advertising fueled demand. Marketing occurred mainly at the site of the shop, but printed trade cards and handbills, some of which were illustrated with exotic images, increasingly stimulated interest in goods. Advertisements also appeared in newspapers and fashion journals. Mediated by merchants and retailers, new channels of dialogue opened between producers and consumers, supporting a reciprocal relationship between supply and demand. Not only were more points of contact between retailers and customers established but more information flowed between them. The information exchanged in this dialogue created feedback loops between producers and consumers that often (though not always) stimulated supply and demand. Thus, demand was neither a direct emanation of primordial human needs nor an automatic response to commercial manipulation. It was a social and cultural force that developed through communication systems mediated by information brokers of all types.
The production, acquisition, and use of consumer goods defines our daily lives, and yet consumerism is seen as increasingly controversial. Movements for sustainable and ethical consumerism are gaining momentum alongside an awareness of how our choices in the marketplace can affect public issues. How did we get here? This volume advances a bold new interpretation of the 'consumer revolution' of the eighteenth century, when European elites, middling classes, and even certain labourers purchased unprecedented quantities of clothing, household goods, and colonial products. Michael Kwass adopts a global perspective that incorporates the expansion of European empires, the development of world trade, and the rise of plantation slavery in the Americas. Kwass analyses the emergence of Enlightenment material cultures, contentious philosophical debates on the morality of consumption, and new forms of consumer activism to offer a fresh interpretation of the politics of consumption in the age of abolitionism and the Atlantic Revolutions.
Chapter 2 surveys some different ways in which Asia features in the Irish literary imagination from Lafcadio Hearn and W. B. Yeats to the present. Ronan Sheehan’s Foley’s Asia, dealing with a celebrated nineteenth-century Irish sculptor of imperial monuments, and Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times, set in Hong Kong against the backdrop of a ‘rising China’, are its contemporary examples. In early twentieth-century writing, Asia represented an exotic non-modern alternative to Western modernity. Later, it served as a backdrop to the fall of the British Empire. More recently, it suggests a strange new hyper-modernity with which the West will have to catch up. In all versions, Asia is conceived somewhere between the exotic and apocalyptic, a world at once tantalizing and threatening.
It is no surprise that Fauré has never been associated with orientalism or exotic musics. Aside from a few paragraphs by Sylvain Caron, no one has ventured to write a study of Fauré and orientalism.1 Indeed, it almost seems as if the composer himself ordained this dissociation for his own legacy. His final two song cycles, Mirages, Op. 113, and L’horizon chimérique, Op. 118, bring the point home. The titles of both works evoke faraway geographies. But the first song of Mirages, “Cygne sur l’eau,” works in the opposite direction: the itinerary reaches inward.
This essay examines the pervasive use of racist humor in Shakespeare’s comedies through stereotypical characters, exoticism, scapegoating, and ethnic slurs. While we may consider the ways in which Shakespeare’s comedies at times question or critique racist attitudes, ultimately the essay encourages readers to acknowledge and to wrestle with the racist language of the plays. The essay offers readers tools with which to identify and analyze racist humor in Shakespeare’s comedies, and to understand the role of racist humor in the social construction of race and the production of stigmatized groups.
From Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s Paul et Virginie (1788) to colonial literature at the end of the ‘long’ nineteenth century, the French novel is marked by the experience of colonialism. It responds to anxieties about individual and national identity as well as about its own generic proximity to scientific narratives, oriental tales and travel writing. Many nineteenth-century novels use colonial love plots in which the – almost always doomed – relationships are situated along an axis stretching from incest, real or symbolic, at one extreme, to racial mixing or miscegenation at the other. The first half of the century also sees novels dealing with political themes in the form of slavery, revolution, or inter-colonial rivalry. In the later decades of the century the novel responds to the rise of scientific racialism and, after 1870, to national anxieties about decadence and the birth rate: colonialism is generally held up as a source of renewal and national re-energisation, though some writers reflect anxiety about cultural and racial mixing in the colonies. French colonial literature seeks to justify itself in theoretical writing, hampered by a sense of inauthenticity compared to its British imperial rival, and frequently tempted towards ironic self-deprecation or doubt.
This chapter examines the role of magical realism in the literary marketplace with regard to questions of aestheticism, commodification, escapism and exoticism. It draws on literary texts (Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under and Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet) together with their paratexts (such as websites, author comments and interviews, publicity material and reviews) and argues that the appeal of magical realism as a commercial label must also be taken into account when we speak about the cultural work performed by this mode. This is not in order to evaluate and judge specific texts in comparison with others, but because readers and their predilections, and the appeal of what is often called 'fabulist narration' in the description of magical realist books, decisively influence the effect of magical realist literature.
This chapter considers the intersection of Gothic and Orientalism in the long eighteenth century from the joint perspective of its origins and ideological relevance. Having traced the influence on Gothic of literary materials imported from the East, it examines the terrifying effects of commercial and imperial concerns in works such as William Beckford’s Vathek, Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya, Matthew Gregory Lewis’s ‘The Anaconda’, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer. The relevance of this commercial and imperial imaginary for figurations of subjectivity, the body and sexuality is then explored with reference to George Colman’s Blue-Beard, Robert Southey’s The Curse of Kehama, Byron’s ‘Turkish Tales’, Walter Scott’s ‘The Surgeon’s Daughter’ and the anonymous novel The Lustful Turk. Through its double focus, the chapter argues that, if the East is a foundational feature in early Gothic, the troubling power of Orientalist Gothic depends on distance and alienness, though also, and more perturbingly, on the proximity and contact promoted by an expanding commercial and territorial imperialism.
A conception of the Argentine literary tradition as one built around creative misreading can be directly linked with Borges. Leading writers Cesar Aira and Ricardo Piglia engage with Borges in a similar manner both to modify and to write themselves into a new Argentine literary tradition. In essays including ’Homage to Roberto Arlt’ and ’Ideology and Fiction in Borges’, Piglia utilizes a reading of Borges in terms of ’erroneous attribution’ to politicize his work and situate himself as Borges’s true descendent. For his part, Aira’s rejection of Borges in his 1993 essay ’Exoticism’ is not as absolute as it appears; an earlier essay of 1981, ’Who is the Greatest Argentine Writer?’, marks him as Borges’s heir.
This chapter focuses on dramatizations of what John Marshall identifies as the central issue of the early Enlightenment, religious toleration, also a crucial pillar of Whig ideology. Addison and Steele were both advocates of toleration, and their fellow dramatists were no less enthusiastic. I analyse John Hughes’s The Siege of Damascus (1718), a play that remained widely popular through the century, famous for its tense scene of religious testing. The play was based on the work of pioneering Arabist Simon Ockley and offers an object lesson in the way a respectful account of Arab history was put into wide circulation. Other plays that used Near Eastern settings, such as Aaron Hill’s Zara (1735) and James Thomson’s Edward and Eleonora (1739) shared Hughes’s tolerationist agenda. By contrast, I also present plays with a much more conservative perspective on religious difference, including John Brown’s Barbarossa (1754).
Boarding an afternoon flight the day before, a State Labor Minister who was also travelling handed me a copy of the Apology that he had just received from a federal colleague. He was curious about what the Koories on board the flight would make of it. Just reading it, I didn’t immediately make much of it. It was not until the following nation-setting day, standing in the gallery of Parliament House, only metres from then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, when I heard the Apology and in doing so witnessed an event that will be forever remembered in the oral history of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, that it had impact.
This article explores Randy Martin's approach to dance studies at the dawn of the discipline in a set of essays written between 1992 and 1998 regarding dance, ethnography, and representation. On one hand, the Marxian basis of Martin's analysis is foregrounded in this article as Martin's working method, and on the other, a theory of the audience (the relation of the spectator to the dance) is identified as what links dance to socialism in Martin's thought; this is the main theoretical motor of his use of dance as an analytic method for social thought.
This chapter focuses on the Atlantis story and its links to the main argument of the Republic and the cosmology of the Timaeus. The Atlantis story is fiction invented by Plato, which is intended to carry an ethical message. The story insists on its own truth, something which is a familiar feature of fiction. The Republic argues for the value and benefit of virtue in a person's life even in the worst conditions of the actual world. In the Timaeus Plato creates a cosmology in which the goodness of the gods, insisted on in the Republic, is seen in the good ordering and construction of the whole cosmos, in which virtue and vice get the appropriate reward despite appearances. In the Timaeus the story is presented as a narrative which supports philosophical ideas. But what has actually appealed about the story is the fantastic and exotic aspect of Atlantis.
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