In the study of history, it’s easy to fall back on national identities: “Irish music,” an “English accent,” “American Exceptionalism” are just a few examples. But a closer examination of the local cultures—music, dialects, history—that exist within nations demonstrates how misleading those generalizations can be. Just look through one of the British Library’s “Sound Maps” and you’ll be convinced.
Getz/Gilberto was not North America’s first encounter with bossa nova, the lyrical fusion of samba and cool jazz emanating from the smoky nightclubs, recording studios, and performance halls of Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1950s. Yet the eight-track LP was by far the most successful.
by Jorge Cañizares Esguerra Two flights had been cancelled in Chicago and I had already waited for seven hours to catch a plane. As temperatures kept dropping and a snowstorm was fast approaching, I just jumped on a bus to go to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. I plowed my way to the Morris […]
On June 8, 2010 an Egyptian Google executive based in Dubai, named Wael Ghonim, was stunned by a YouTube video that featured a fellow citizen by the name of Khaled Said, bloodied and disfigured. It turned out that the Egyptian police had beaten Said to death and mutilated his body. Appalled by this short video that ran viral through Arab social media, Wael Ghonim created a Facebook page that came to symbolize the involvement of ordinary people in creating change.
For the fifth installment of our “Making History” series, Zach Doleshal talks to Robert Matthew Gildner, a senior doctoral student in history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the interview, Robert explains why 1952 represented a unique moment for indigenous Bolivians, why previous historians have overlooked this history, and how a trip to Holland inspired him to work on Latin American history.
Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1961, remains a figure of mythic proportions in the popular Dominican imagination. A light-skinned mulatto with Haitian ancestry, Trujillo rose from obscurity as a sugar plantation guard to establish one of Latin America’s most enduring dictatorships.
In 1746 Dr. Andrés Arce y Miranda, a creole attorney from Puebla, Mexico, criticized a series of paintings known as the cuadros de castas or casta paintings. Offended by their depictions of racial mixtures of the inhabitants of Spain’s American colonies, Arce y Miranda feared the paintings would send back to Spain the damaging message that creoles, the Mexican-born children of Spanish parents, were of mixed blood.
Before John Dower’s Embracing Defeat, many English-language accounts of the United States’ occupation of Japan contextualized the event in terms of American foreign policy and the emerging Cold War. Scholars writing from this Western-centric perspective produced much fine scholarship, and no doubt will continue to do so.
Matthäus Schwarz of Augsburg was, in many respects, a rather typical (if unusually successful) early modern merchant: he worked his way up from an apprentice clerk to a chief accountant in the powerful Fugger banking dynasty, he married, went to war, had children, and, in 1574, he died.
How can we make sense of the coexistence of bumper stickers depicting Rambo and Che Guevara in a traffic jam in Bangkok, Thailand? Although this book never answer its opening question, such an insight might allow us to understand Casey’s attempt to explore the different uses of an image that remains remarkably vital decades after its capture.