Locating Cultural Work: The Politics and Poetics of Rural, Regional and Remote Creativity
Palgrave Macmillan; October 2012; ISBN 9780230355422
This book builds upon the ground-breaking work already undertaken by the author filling the absence of research into the significance, character and value of creative industries beyond major urban centres. What has emerged in this work is the specific centrality of place, time and the natural environment to the creative practice of those who have chosen or found themselves operating outside the mainstream of urban creative milieus. Unlike any existing book in the market, Locating Cultural Work uniquely examines creative workers in terms of three interlinked concerns: the wider history of creativity and place in the UK since the Industrial Revolution (in particular the Romantics and the Arts and Craft Movement, especially as manifest in the Lake District and Cotswolds); the emotional—affective—drivers of creativity and place; and the relationship between rural and regional cultural industries, tourism and environmental awareness.
The Postcolonial Eye: White Australian Desire and the Visual Field of Race
Ashgate; March 2012; ISBN 1409430782
Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, "The Postcolonial Eye" is about the 'eye' and the 'I' in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of 'white' cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft's treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft's book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision.
Cities of Signs: Learning the Logic of Urban Spaces
Peter Lang; February 2012; ISBN 1433111209
Signs exist as fundamental markers of the urban landscape. Whether in the form of street signs offering directions, the airbrushed promises of advertising media or the vandalized détournements of street art, signs pervade urban spaces and provide a tangible text upon which the logics of both cities and ourselves are written. Cities of Signs charts the way that signs exist as key elements of contemporary urban space, and explores what it means to live within these spaces, amongst cities of signs. This refreshing take on the way that urban space is lived and experienced is a timely contribution to the literature in urban studies, sociology and education alike. In decoding the cultural production at play in urban environments, Cities of Signs presents a dynamic approach to understanding how culture is produced and consumed within the cityscape.
Through this timely and engaging book, Andrew T. Hickey answers recent calls for public pedagogical research to explicate how sites work pedagogically. Going beyond surface-level readings of cultural texts to also explore how audiences engage with those texts, Cities of Signs troubles simplistic notions of cultural transmission by explicating the various mechanisms through which signs 'work' to mediate culture. Hence, Cities of Signs presents an account of the ways that public pedagogies actually function. --
Jennifer Sandlin, Co-editor, Handbook of Public Pedagogy