Adam Kaul's book Turning the Tune: Traditional Music, Tourism, and Social Change in an Irish Village was released for publication by Berghahn Books this week. The cover blurb describes the book this way:
The last century has seen radical social changes in Ireland, which have impacted all aspects of local life but none more so than traditional Irish music, an increasingly important identity marker both in Ireland and abroad. The author focuses on a small village in County Clare, which became a kind of pilgrimage site for those interested in experiencing traditional music. He begins by tracing its historical development from the days prior to the influx of visitors, through a period called "the Revival," in which traditional Irish music was revitalized and transformed, to the modern period, which is dominated by tourism. A large number of incomers, locally known as "blow-ins," have moved to the area, and the traditional Irish music is now largely performed and passed on by them. This fine-grained ethnographic study explores the commercialization of music and culture, the touristic consolidation and consumption of "place," and offers a critique of the trope of "authenticity," all in a setting of dramatic social change in which the movement of people is constant.
Jan Keesen's book "Cardinal Men and Scarlet Women: A Colorful Etymology of Words that Discriminate" will be released on November 30th. Please checkout the favorable review by the New York Review of Books here.
Peter Kivisto presented a talk on "Citizenship and Immigrant Empowerment: Trends in Western Europe and North America" on November 4 at CEREN, the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, which is located within the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki.
On November 14, he presented a keynote address, "Diversity and the European Public Sphere," at a conference on the Eurosphere, which refers to a European Union funded research project involving teams from 16 European countries. The conference was hosted by the University of Osnabrück, located in the German city of the same name. Given the unique political character of the European Union and the fact that citizens of member states are now also European citizens, the location was significant insofar as Osnabrück was one of the two cities where the Peace of Westphalia treaty was signed in 1648 to end the Thirty Years' War, marking the beginning of the modern age of nation-state sovereignty.
Larry Peterson played at a recital at Grinnell College on Thursday, NOvember 5, 2009 for their convocation series. The program was all music by J.S. Bach.
Molly Todd has signed a contract with the University of Wisconsin Press to publish Beyond Displacement: A Transnational History of Mobile Peasant Communities in the Salvadoran Civil War (ca. 1975-1992). The book will be released in fall 2010 to inaugurate a new series entitled "Critical Human Rights." Molly has also been invited to participate in a research group organized by the Human Rights Initiative at the University of Wisconsin. The group, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will engage the theme of "Vulnerability and Resilience: Rethinking Human Rights for the 21st Centure" in a series of seminars during 2010 and 2011.
Stephen Warren recently published two articles. The first, a co-authored essay, with Randolph Noe, entitled "'The Greatest Travelers in America': Shawnee Survival in the Shatter Zone," challenges the paradigm of place in American Indian history, as survivors of disease, warfare, and colonialism adopted migration as a colonial-era survival strategy. This essay appeared in a volume edited by Robbie Ethridge and Sheri-Shuck-Hall, Mapping the Mississippian Shatter Zone: The Colonial Indian Slave Trade and Regional Instability in the American South (Nebraska, 2009). The second article will appear next month in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 33:4. In "'To Show the Public That We Were Good Indians': Origins and Meanings of the Meskwaki Powwow," Warren used the Hauberg Collection in Augustana's Special Collections, along with images from the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive, to show the ways in which the Meskwaki Indians developed a powwow to make a case for the survival of their community in the twentieth century. Rock Island's John Henry Hauberg played an important, though unintended role, in their efforts. For those who are interested, please read this copy of the essay. Finally, on November 10th, Warren had the privilege of working as a guest speaker for the Rockford Public Schools. Over the course of one school-day, Warren met with seven different 5th grade classes in four different elementary schools. Students watched clips from We Shall Remain: A Native History of America, after which Warren led a discussions of American Indian history.