Readings i Return To
culture and society | dance | language and literature | music | philosophy, etc. | science | south asia
Brubaker, Rogers and Frederick Cooper. "Beyond 'Identity.'" Theory and Society 29/1 (2000): 1–47.
Chow, Rey. Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993.
Peckham, Morse. Art and Pornography: An Experiment in Explanation. New York: Basic Books, 1969.
------. Explanation and Power: The Control of Human Behavior. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979.
------. Man's Rage for Chaos: Biology, Behavior, and the Arts. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965.
Stewart, Robert L. Living and Acting Together: An Essay in Social Psychology. Dix Hills, NY: General Hall, 1998.
The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
Robyns, Clem. "Translation and Discursive Identity." Poetics Today 15/3 (1994): 405–428.
Essays on Music. Edited by Richard Leppert. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
Blume, Friedrich. Classic and Romantic Music: A Comprehensive Survey. Trans. M. D. Herder Norton. New York: W. W. Norton, 1970.
Fun, old-style (and inevitably Germano-centric) musicology, if one can set aside the author's Nazi associations. Useful for teaching.
Cook, Nicholas. "Theorizing Musical Meaning." Music Theory Spectrum 23/2 (2001): 170–195.
Great article on how we derive meaning from music, although it badly mischaracterizes the thought of Adorno.
Cook, Nicholas and Mark Everist. Rethinking Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
A still thought-provoking collection of essays.
Gelbart, Matthew. The Invention of "Folk Music" and "Art Music": Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Meyer, Leonard B. Emotion and Meaning in Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.
------. Music, the Arts, and Ideas: Patterns and Predictions in Twentieth-Century Culture. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1994.
------. Style and Music: Theory, History, and Ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.
Raynor, Henry. Music and Society since 1815. New York: Schocken Books, 1976.
------. A Social History of Music: From the Middle Ages to Beethoven. New York: Schocken Books, 1972.
Like Blume, Raynor provides an engaging way to learn about vast swathes of Western art music history. Full of colorful details; also useful for teaching.
Shepherd, John and Peter Wicke. Music and Cultural Theory. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1997.
Subotnik, Rose Rosengard. Developing Variations: Style and Ideology in Western Music. Minneapolis/Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.
Another favorite critic/essayist in the tradition of Adorno and Meyer.
Tomlinson, Gary. "Cultural Dialogics and Jazz: A White Historian Signifies." Black Music Research Journal 11/2 (1991): 229–264.
------. "Vico's Songs: Detours at the Origins of (Ethno)Musicology." The Musical Quarterly 83/3 (1999): 344–377.
Trans. and ed. Robert Hullot-Kentor. London: Continuum, 1997.
------. "The Essay as Form." Trans. Bob Hullot-Kentor and Frederic Will. New German Critique 32 (1984): 151–171.
First published in Noten zur Literatur I in 1958 (translated as Notes to Literature, Volume One by Shierry Weber Nicholsen in 1991). I regard this essay as a propaedeutic to everything I write.
------. Negative Dialectics. Trans. E. B. Ashton. London/New York: Routledge, 1973. Also translated by Dennis Redmond.
Jameson, Frederic. Late Marxism: Adorno or the Persistence of the Dialectic. London/New York: Verso, 1990.
A helpful discussion of three of Adorno's major works (Negative Dialectics, Dialectic of Enlightenment, and Aesthetic Theory), with forays into other thinkers (such as Benjamin).
Levinas, Emmanuel. Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998.
------. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1969.
------. “The Trace of the Other.” In Deconstruction in Context: Literature and Philosophy, ed. Mark C. Taylor, trans. Alphonso Lingis, 345–359. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Simmel, Georg. The Philosophy of Money. Ed. David Frisby, trans. Tom Bottomore, David Frisby, and Kaethe Mengelberg. Third enlarged edition. London/New York: Routledge, 2004.
Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011.
Jaynes, Julian. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976.
Weird and wild book on the origin of consciousness. Many of its particulars, of course, are obsolete by now. Yet its style and its ability to evoke a world entirely other than the one we think we know still have thought-provoking power.
Two Men and Music: Nationalism in the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2005.
Chatterjee, Partha. The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.
Mitchell, Lisa. Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Mohapatra, Pragati. "The Making of a Cultural Identity: Language, Literature and Gender in Orissa in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries." PhD diss., University of London, 1997.
Patnaik, Tandra. Śūnya Puruṣa: Bauddha Vaiṣṇavism of Orissa. New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, 2005.
Pollock, Sheldon. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
------ (ed.). Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Weidman, Amanda J. Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India. Durham, NC/London: Duke University Press, 2006.