The music world is buzzing about Karl Hagstrom Miller's recent talk at the Experience Music Project (EMP) conference in Seattle. His talk "The New Parlor Piano: Home Recording and the Return of the Amateur" compared today's home composers and musicians with those of the early nineteenth century, gathered around their parlor pianos making their own music. The Village Voice's Eric Harvey was impressed with Miller's talk and caught up with him for an interview. They talk about how record collectors have shaped genres, and about Miller's new book Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow, in which he argues that folklore studies scholars and the music industry helped to create a “musical color line” in the South, associating certain genres with particular racial and ethnic identities.
Duke professor Michael Allen Gillespie published an op-ed in the Durham Herald-Sun yesterday about the recently-concluded NCAA basketball finals. The fact that the schools who ended up facing each other in the championship, Duke and Butler, both are known for serious academics and high graduation rates as well as sports, is a win for all college sports, he says. Earlier this year, David Brooks of the New York Times praised Gillespie's essay on college sports and ethics in the book Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University. We are pleased to offer a free download of the chapter on our website. Click on the "Additional Info" tab on under "Explore More" to see the link.
Anthropologist Lee Baker, author of Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, will be on WUNC's The State of Things today at noon (with a repeat at 9 p.m.). In his book, Baker explores how anthropological study of American Indians helped to shape
academic and popular ideas about race and culture—and how those same
concepts informed the discipline's very different treatment of African
American culture in the 20th century. Listen to him today, and check out this interview he did with Inside Higher Ed last week.
This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of Duke Chapel. There will be a number of commemorative events, including a concert, worship service, and a celebration featuring many speakers, including Will Willimon, former dean of the chapel and editor of Sermons from Duke Chapel: Voices from “A Great Towering Church.” The book contains fifty-eight of the most notable sermons preached in the soaring Gothic space. Contributors include Paul Tillich, William Sloane Coffin, Barbara Brown Taylor, Fleming
Rutledge, Peter J. Gomes, and Billy Graham. Head over to the Chapel for the celebrations and then back home to your armchair to contemplate the many great sermons that have been preached there over the years.
Congratulations to Matthew D. O'Hara, author of A Flock Divided: Race, Religion, and Politics in Mexico, 1749-1857 (2010). His book just received the Thomas McGann Award, Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, for best book published in the previous calendar year. According to the prize committee, "This book brings together the interconnections of race,
religion and politics across the transitional period of the Bourbon reforms and
early republican Mexico. The author makes a significant contribution to our
understanding of race, ethnicity, identity, and religion in colonial and
republican Mexico, and is especially noteworthy for his spatial analysis and
conclusions on secularization. It's nuanced and smart and written with
wit. This book is an important and innovative historiographical contribution in
linking those periods, but also in showing the religious bases of popular
politics as they grew out of Catholic practice. This is a theme that has
been addressed in a number of recent books on Mexico's cultural nationalism in
the 20th century, but no one has made such a sophisticated argument for how
religion shaped social categories in the colonial and early national periods in
such complexity. The book is based almost entirely on solid archival
research. It will appeal to all Latin Americanists, regardless of discipline or
Have you read David Remnick's new biography of Barack Obama yet? Our copy of The Bridgejust arrived and we were pleased to see that it sheds new light on the importance of Obama's mother, S. Ann Dunham, in his life and intellectual development. In his review of the book in the New York Times, Gary Wills writes that in his own book, Dreams From My Father, Obama "makes his mother sound naïve and rather simple." But Remnick "shows that she was a smart and sophisticated scholar." Of course, we at Duke University Press already knew that, because we recently published her dissertation, Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia. Remnick has read the book and has much praise for it: "the dissertation reveals, in its study of a single village, the dense textures of culture inherent in any one place. To read it is to learn the history, beliefs, and skill of nearly every inhabitant of the village; its intricate and evolving social, religious, and class structures; its cultural formation through centuries of foreign and indigenous influence." He concludes that "one cannot help admiring both the complexity of Kajar and the industry of Ann Dunham" (page 86).