In 2010, Arizona’s legislature passed a bill that increased the state’s ability to enforce immigration law, epitomizing the growing xenophobia in the United States. Along with similar legislation, this law attempts to reclaim the centrality of Empire by controlling the bodies within the sovereign’s borders. In order to investigate the discursive relationship between sovereignty and the immigrant, I draw on Jacques Derrida’s discussion of hospitality. I argue that the current immigration laws operate as laws of conditional hospitality, interpreting the guest – the immigrant – within the rule of the host – the sovereign. However, the immigrant subject potentially violates these rules and insists upon an unconditional hospitality. From Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s theories on Empire and the multitude, I examine how the immigrant unveils Empire’s vulnerability, forcing Empire to respond violently. The possibility of the multitude opens up the possibility of an unconditional hospitality. The immigrant’s ironic exodus – an exodus of arrival – suggests an opportunity to disrupt the violence of Empire and to work toward democracy.
Radio was an extraordinarily influential technology in the period between the two World Wars. While historians from Warren Susman to Michele Hilmes have tended to interpret radio in this period as a homogenizing force, it also provoked fears of anti-democratic demagoguery that were frequently associated with fascism. This essay focuses on the work of the most influential radio theorists of the interwar period, Theodor Adorno, Rudolph Arnheim and Hadley Cantril, to develop a cultural interpretation of radio that addresses its perceived anti-democratic potential. Apparently homogenizing but clearly multiplicitous and chaotic, radio appealed to emotions at the sub-rational level while also attracting listeners into complexly shifting social formations. As Adorno, Arnheim, and Cantril argue, albeit in importantly different ways, the attractions of radio created a homogeneity that was not always conducive to democratic culture. The intervention of these three thinkers is especially important as some of the earliest reflection on the effects of the new mass media on American political culture.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the United States witnessed massive shifts in the ways in which individuals conceived and embodied "masculinity." These shifts resulted in part from reactions to more conservative notions of masculinity in previous years, and, in the 1930s and 1940s, the notion of "masculinity" became increasingly diverse in terms of its applications and manifestations. This essay examines how shifting notions of masculinity arise within the realm of popular music. Although numerous genres explored many facets of gender, three particular genres—crooning, country, and the blues—offer insightful examples of how questions of masculinity surfaced and evolved within the realm of popular music and performance. Exploring a few iconic artists within each genre, this study illuminates how the artists reflect larger trends in regards to masculinity and gender normativity. Ultimately, this article reveals the way in which popular music, as a commodity, became more regionalized, specialized, and diversified, and it demonstrates how conventional notions of masculinity followed a similar trajectory.
This paper argues for a need to re-evaluate the importance of Judy Blume’s work among youths and teens. While discussing the history of “book banning” and more recent debates on the idea of censorship, this author argues that Blume’s work stands as a point of familiarity, comfort and understanding amongst adolescents. The paper finds its primary focus in Blume’s exploration of the idea of sexual normativity and acceptance amongst peers, but the paper also speaks to the broader issues that Blume explores in her texts – diseases, abnormalities, parental association and peer-pressure. Overall, this author asks that both readers and critiques re-examine the social, environmental and literary value of Blume’s work within, what the author seems to argue, is an unaccepting, often sceptical social milieu. The author supports her thesis that Blume’s work has been pivotal as a tool for social affirmation and growth among adolescents by citing letters, opinions and critiques who responses reaffirm their love for Blume’s work.
This article explores how contemporary vampire stories present the vampire’s perspective, placing it in the context of long-seated American fears about monsters going back to seventeenth-century Puritans, who feared that they lived in a world where the devil was constantly lurching. It also engages with modern rewritings of famous, classical literary works trying to present the other side of the story, a convention that vampire stories, in giving a fresh look on the vampire’s perspective, also develop. This article further analyzes the portrayal of the vampire in the light of the dark hero and feminist criticisms of the gender dynamics in Twilight.