Priscilla Wald's book, Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative,is reviewed in the most recent issue of Bookforum. The reviewer writes: "Wald is at her best when probing the literary and historical roots of
today’s conventions, homing in on particular moments in the past. She
is superb, for instance, in recalling how an immigrant Irish cook named
Mary Mallon was deemed a typhoid carrier, recast as the notorious
Typhoid Mary, and banished to an island off the Bronx."
Thomas Glave was the
first reader at Jamaica's Calabash
literary festival last
Friday. Before reading from his new book Our
Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles, Glave
bravely spoke out about recent anti-gay remarks made by Jamaican Prime Minister
Bruce Golding. To loud applause, Glave said, "Mr Golding, think about how
much you are not helping Jamaica the next time you decide to stand up and say
that only some Jamaicans – heterosexuals, in this case – have the right
to live in their country as full citizens with full human rights, while others
– homosexuals – do not. That is not democracy. That is not humane
leadership. That is simply the stupidity and cruelty of bigotry.” His full
remarks are available at the Long Bench blog.
Joanna Frueh's Clairvoyance (For Those In The Desert) is reviewed in the Tucson Weekly. Reviewer Jarret Keene writes, "Clairvoyance is a great place to start learning about not just
20th-century performance art, but also about one of the more intriguing
and unheralded performance artists of our time." He describes the book as a "beautiful and very pink 400-page tome that looks great on a coffee table" and compares Frueh to "a rock star."
This week's Time Magazine has an article about the fiftieth anniversary of Robert Frank's landmark documentary photography book The Americans. The book is being reissued this month. In 2007, Robert Frank served as the celebrity judge for the third Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. The winner, Danny Wilcox Frazier, cites Frank as a major influence. His book,Driftless: Photographs from Iowa was published last fall to much acclaim. Frank chose Frazier for the prize
because of his “passionate photographs without sentimentality.
. . . his work reaches out: let me tell your story, it is important.”
In his weekly column for Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee examines the new VH1 miniseries Sex: The Revolution and laments the lack of academics interviewed for the show. He comments that Linda Williams, editor of Porn Studies and author of the forthcoming Screening Sex, is the only academic he saw on the show, and then only for a couple of soundbites. But, he says, "That does not mean that the series lacks a coherent perspective.
On the contrary, it pretty strictly follows a very streamlined version
of what Foucault, in the first volume of The History of Sexuality (1976), called 'the repressive hypothesis.'"
Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Jamie Tarabay talked about watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD in her hotel room while she was a reporter in Iraq. She drew parallels between Buffy's situation as lonely, misunderstood slayer and her own feelings as she went about her dangerous work. The contributors to Duke's collection of Buffy scholarship, Undead TV, all argue for the continuing relevance of Buffy in today's world.
Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles, edited by Thomas Glave, is featured in the Bay Area Reporter. They're looking forward to the collection's release in June and write, "Glave has gathered little-known writers and such
established figures as Reinaldo Arenas, Audre Lorde, Michelle Cliff and Assotto Saint, and his contributors hail from the Bahamas,
Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama,
Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, St, Kitts, Suriname and Trinidad. An excerpt from
Arenas' Before Night Falls gets the action started, and titles
from pieces we're still to read do titillate, such as the poem "Saturday
Night in San Juan with the Right Sailors" by Rane Arroyo, and the story "We Came All the Way from Cuba
So You Could Dress Like This?" by Achy Obejas."
Marina Silva, the Environment Minister in Brazil, has stepped down according to the BBC News. She was a staunch defender of the Amazon rainforests and, according to the BBC, "Correspondents say Ms Silva's resignation will reinforce a perception
that President Lula is more concerned with economic development than
conservation." Brazil's environmental efforts at both the state and local level are the subject of Kathryn Hochstetler and Margaret E. Keck's 2007 book Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society. The book challenges the claim that environmentalism came to Brazil from abroad, and retells the story of environmentalism in Brazil from the inside out, analyzing the extensive efforts within the country to save its natural environment, and the interplay of those efforts with transnational environmentalism.
Linda Williams, editor of Porn Studies, and author of the forthcoming book Screening Sex (November 2008), is quoted in a Chicago Tribune op-ed by Laura Hodes. Hodes writes about the differing treatment of male and female nudity in recent films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Female nudity is displayed with intent to arouse the audience, while male nudity is played for a laugh, she argues. Linda Williams says, ""There is nervousness about male nudity, and what you do when you are
nervous is you laugh. It is almost a permanent adolescent reaction that is built
into American movies, and we haven't gotten beyond the adolescent
reaction to the more adult reaction." Hodes includes further comments by Williams on her blog.