06 September 2001 |

Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age
By Andrew F. Jones

Early 20th century music critics derisively referred to the fusion of American jazz, Hollywood film music and Chinese folk forms as “yellow” or “pornographic” music. In this book, Andrew Jones, assistant professor of Chinese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, offers the first history of the emergence of Chinese popular music and urban media culture in early 20th century. As he analyzes global media cultures in the postcolonial world, Jones teaches the reader to hear not only the American influence on Chinese popular music but also the Chinese influence on American music.

“Yellow Music,” writes Duke University cultural anthropologist Ralph Litzinger, “is a fantastic, one-of-a-kind read: a beautifully written, theoretically rich, and empirically grounded story about the relationship between American jazz music and the politics of colonialism and modernity in China during the interwar years.”

Duke University Press, 2001
213 pages

Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story Between the Great Wars
By William A. Shack

During the years between the world wars, a small but dynamic community of African American jazz musicians left the United States and settled in Paris, creating a vibrant expatriate musical scene and introducing jazz to the French. While the Harlem Renaissance was taking off across the Atlantic, entertainers in Montmartre, the epicenter of the Parisian scene, contributed enthusiastically to a culture that thrived for two decades, until the occupation of the city by German troops on June 18, 1940.

In “Harlem in Montmartre,” the late Professor of Anthropology William Shack explores this extraordinary cultural moment, one in which African American musicians could flee the racism of the United States to pursue their lives and art in the relatively free context of bohemian Europe. His book is the first comprehensive treatment of the rise and decline of the African American music community in Paris. In it, he considers the international dimensions of black experience in the modern era and explores the similarities and differences of Harlem-style jazz and culture in Europe and America. Fusing biographical, sociological, and historical details, he brings this unique era to life and demonstrates how the Paris jazz scene played a crucial role in legitimizing jazz-both in Europe and the United States.

University of California Press, 2001
191 pages

Operators and Promoters: The Story of Molecular Biology and its Creators
By Harrison Echols
Edited by Carol A. Gross

During the past four decades, molecular biology has dominated the life sciences, but no participant in this scientific revolution has previously attempted a book-length history of the development of this powerful science. The late Harrison Echols, who taught molecular biology at Berkeley, here relates the intellectual history of the most influential discoveries in molecular biology. After his death, his wife, UCSF microbiologist Carol Gross, edited and refined his account.

Echol’s insider’s account of the science of molecular biology joins his extensive scientific knowledge with personal interviews of key players in the field, revealing how the personalities of scientists and their competitive and collaborative relations have shaped new ideas and discoveries.

“It is the best kind of history,” writes Evelyn Witkin, Rutgers University professor emerita, “because it presents the ideas and experiments in their scientific and human context, so reading it is almost like living through the period again.”

University of California Press, 2001
466 pages

The Romances of Chrétien de Troyes
By Joseph Duggan

This study of 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes, one of the most important and influential writers in Western literature of the middle ages, provides a comprehensive treatment of five major romances (“Erec and Enide,” “Cliges,” “Lancelot,” “Yvain,” and “Perceval”) viewed in their social and cultural contexts.

Author Joseph Dugan, professor of French and comparative literature and an associate dean of the Graduate Division, emphasizes the ways in which Chrétien’s characters and plots reflect the mentalities, customs, and secular moral standards of 12th-century aristocratic society. Chapters focus on major issues in the romances: the importance of kinship and genealogy, the system of values, the depiction of interiority, the role of Celtic myth and tradition, the representation of knighthood, and the author’s literary art.

Writes Professor Jacques Merceron of Indiana University at Bloominton: “This book will become a landmark in Chrétien scholarship, one that will refocus attention on neglected areas, open up new avenues of research, and generate passionate discussions.”

Yale University Press, 2001
390 pages

The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness
Edited by Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Eric Klinenberg, Irene J. Nexica and Matt Wray

Bringing together new articles and essays from the controversial 1997 Berkeley conference of the same name, “The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness” explores the nature of white identity from a range of perspectives.

The pieces anthologized come from academics, independent scholars, community organizers and antiracist activists.
Berkeley contributors are Troy Duster, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology, writing on “The ‘Morphing’ Properties of Whiteness;” Michael Omi, professor of comparative ethnic studies, writing on “(E)racism: Emerging Practices of Antiracist Organizations;” and editors Birgit Rasmussen, a doctoral student in comparative ethnic studies, and Matt Wray, who received his Ph.D. from the same department.

Duke University Press, 2001
343 pages


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