Ohio University Press
Christianity and public culture in Africa.
The 10 articles of this collection are based in the 2007-8 year of the Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme and associated conference. Based on the contributors' research, the articles offer detailed case studies of Christian churches, missions, policies, and influence in Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, and in the area of south-central Africa. Among the topics are the Catholic response to scientific socialism in Zambia, reproductive politics, and relationship to Islamic believers. Englund (social anthropology, U. of Cambridge) provides an introduction to the field. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Cinematic Hamlet; the films of Olivier, Zeffirelli, Branagh, and Almereyda.
Cook (English, George Washington U.) deconstructs the technique of four Hollywood film adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet, placing each in its unique position relative to film history, the spectrum of Shakespearean theater and cinema production, and each other. He describes Lawrence Olivier's groundbreaking 1948 film as a fundamentally cinematic interpretation, Freudian-influenced, visually complex, and conspicuously unfaithful to the original; considers the further editing of both scenes and dialog in Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 Mel Gibson vehicle, and his use of musical and visual cues as well as silence to support the diminished script; argues the inherently experimental nature of Kenneth Branagh's 1993 production, which used Shakespeare's complete script and was shot in 70mm, allowing for unusual technical and psychological techniques; and appreciates the dense visual language, modern setting, and extraordinary creativity in Michael Almereyda's 2000 interpretation. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Pachakutik and the rise and decline of the Ecuadorian indigenous movement.
The authors (both affiliated with East Tennessee State U.) explore the politics of indigenous mobilization in Ecuador through a case study of the Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement-New Country, which emerged in 1995 out of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador and sought to engage in the world of Ecuadorian electoral politics, a decision that the authors deem to be ill-fated, particularly in terms of the decisions to ally with Lucio Gutiérrez for the 20002 presidential elections and to run an Indian for the presidency in 2006 only to be resoundingly defeated by current president Rafael Correa, decisions they argue led to the current debilitated state of the movement. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Sugar girls & seamen; a journey into the world of dockside prostitution in South Africa.
Trotter, a doctoral student in African history at Yale U. who draws from his research for this volume aimed at general readers, examines dockside prostitution in South Africa and the cultural interaction that occurs between "sugar girls" and the sailors they interact with, which he argues distinguishes it from other prostitution sectors. He spent several months observing and interviewing about 90 prostitutes and 50 foreign sailors and others, and describes the interactions, the women's experiences, and how they participate in globalized port cities by becoming traffickers of culture, ideas, languages, styles, goods, currencies, genes, and diseases. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)