Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship
by Lucy E. Salyer
Harvard University Press (October 2018)
In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. "Under the Starry Flag" recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were known, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guaranteed the right to renounce one’s citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves.
The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, "Under the Starry Flag" raises important questions about citizenship and immigration.
Funeral Culture: AIDS, Work, and Cultural Change in an African Kingdom
by Casey Golomski
Indiana University Press (June 4, 2018)
Contemporary forms of living and dying in Swaziland cannot be understood apart from the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, according to anthropologist Casey Golomski. In Africa’s last absolute monarchy, the story of 15 years of global collaboration in treatment and intervention is also one of ordinary people facing the work of caring for the sick and dying and burying the dead. Golomski’s ethnography shows how AIDS posed challenging questions about the value of life, culture, and materiality to drive new forms and practices for funerals. Many of these forms and practices―newly catered funeral feasts, an expanded market for life insurance, and the kingdom’s first crematorium―are now conspicuous across the landscape and culturally disruptive in a highly traditionalist setting. This powerful and original account details how these new matters of death, dying, and funerals have become entrenched in peoples’ everyday lives and become part of a quest to create dignity in the wake of a devastating epidemic.
Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media
by Scott E. Weintraub
New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies Routledge (June 4, 2018)
"Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media" analyzes the ways in which poetry and multimedia installations by six prominent poets and artists engage, and in turn are engaged by, scientific discourses. In its innovative readings of contemporary digital media works, "Latin American Technopoetics" is the first book to investigate the powerful dialogue between recent techno-cultural phenomena, literature, and various scientific fields. This cutting-edge analysis of poetic and artistic experimentation — robots that compose and recite poetry, algorithms that create visualizations of poetic language or of the connections between everyday language and scientific terminology, arrays of multi-dimensional poetic spaces, and telematic and transgenic art — makes a strong case for the increasing viability of a scientific poetics currently gaining prominence in Latin American literary and media studies, digital humanities, and science and technology studies.
The History of Policing America: From Militias and Military to the Law Enforcement of Today
by Laurence Armand French
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 8, 2018)
America’s first known system of law enforcement was established more than 350 years ago. Today law enforcement faces issues such as racial discrimination, use of force, and Body Worn Camera (BWC) scrutiny. But the birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. In "The History of Policing America: From Militias and Military to the Law Enforcement of Today," Laurence Armand French traces how and why law enforcement agencies evolved and became permanent agencies; looking logically through history and offering potential steps forward that could make a difference without triggering unconstructive backlash.
From the establishment of the New World to the establishment of the Colonial Militia; from emergence of the Jim Crow Era to the emergence of the National Guard; from the creation of the U.S. Marshalls, federal law enforcement agencies, and state police agencies; this book traces the historical geo-political basis of policing in America and even looks at how certain events led to a call for a better trained, and subsequently armed, police, and the de facto militarization of law enforcement.
The current controversy regarding policing in America has a long, historical background, and one that seems to repeat itself. "The History of Policing America" successfully portrays the long lived motto you can’t know who you are until you know where you’ve come from.
American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824–62
by Brigitte Bailey
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures Edinburgh University Press (April 2018)
"American Travel Literature" analyses U.S. tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response, and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices, and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity.
Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, the book historicises aesthetic practices by tracing nineteenth-century U.S. representations of Italy. It draws connections between tourist writing and visual culture as means of understanding the depth of Americans’ turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.