Diaspora remixed in the urban jungle

This chapter examines the emergence of jungle, the first original black musical culture in London. It discusses the relation of jungle both to rave and to the Black Atlantic traditions of reggae, hip hop and soul, and argues that jungle can be thought of as both a distinct black British musical form and as articulating a particular form of multicultural politics. It explores the emergence of jungle from the ‘ardkore circuits of East London in the way 1990s, and the approach to technology that links it with wider black Atlantic practice.

in It’s a London thing
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Music and the multicultural city

This chapter places the music scenes the book has discussed in the context of the politics of space and music in contemporary London. It considers the rise of the ‘plutocratic’ city’ in the early 21st century, and considers the emergences of subsequent music genres of grime, drill and new London jazz in terms of what they tell us about the contemporary state of London multiculture.

in It’s a London thing
Brixton acid and rave

This chapter discusses the emergence of acid house, a new form of club culture in the city, which reorganises London clubs culture and eventually that of the whole UK. This involves a critical discussion of the ‘Ibiza myth’, the conventional way in which rave is understood, examination of the racial politics of the acid house movement and shifts the focus onto the cultural work of black Londoners who have been excluded from the story of rave. This chapter also discusses the complex racial politics of house music and critically assesses rave claims to have transcended divisions of race, class and gender.

in It’s a London thing
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London’s racial geography, 1960–80

This chapter provides an historical account of the racialisation of London in the post-war period, with particular focus on Caribbean migration, the “re-racialisation” of the city, the forms of spatial discipline – like sus – which militated against multiculture and the way leisure, including pubs and football were racialised spaces from which black youth was excluded. In the context of this exclusion the chapter discusses the emergence of the semi-autonomous black colony and the role reggae sound systems and Notting Hill Carnival played in providing the sites and resources for the emergence of new kinds of black British culture. The chapter also focuses on the emergence of multiculture in London space- at schools, and in the mixed musical cultures of soul.

in It’s a London thing
Abstract only
London’s sonic space

This chapter introduces the main book themes: dance music cultures in London in the 1980s and 90s and their relation to multiculture. Introducing some of the key ideas around the relationship between space and music (eg Lefebvre) and the politics of multiculturalism this chapter discusses some of the historical background to the idea of London as a Black Metropolis, the role black musical genres have played in the city and the how London has functioned as key site in Black Atlantic culture

in It’s a London thing
How rare groove, acid house and jungle remapped the city

This book discusses the emergence in London of three specific dance music multicultures in the context of the racialised city. Focusing on rare groove, acid house and jungle it places the emergence of these multi-racial music cultures in the context of theories of space and the historical forces which racialised the city in the late 20th century. Based on a wide range of original interviews with cultural producers – DJs, promoters, producers and dancers - undertaken over 20 years, read alongside cultural theory and contemporary accounts, it argues that music and the practices of space around music have been a crucial way in which racial segregation has been challenged and multiculture has emerged in London.

Using Henri Lefebvre’s notion of ‘diverting’ space this chapter analyses the emergence of warehouse parties in the mid-1980s, self-organised club culture in abandoned industrial buildings in the city, and the kinds of culture which emerged there. It discusses the context in which they emerged, the main innovators and the changes in club culture which drove the warehouse phenomenon. It also analyses the genre of rare groove - American soul and funk of the 1970s – which dominated the warehouse parties and discusses some of the key innovations of the era in terms of race and gender, particularly the activity of black women.

in It’s a London thing

Chapter 10 is a comment on the book as a whole that addresses its central questions against the backdrop of the long history of history of medicine and its audiences, and with particular reference to the issue of ‘public history’. The author suggests that public history, designating the interface between academic history and all of its potential audiences, would be a promising field of study to further develop the themes of the book.

in Communicating the history of medicine
Historiographical and research political reflections

This chapter discusses the reception of recent historical work on eugenics and compulsory sterilization in Denmark. The contrast between the media’s view of this work as a criticism of eugenics and the author’s view of it as an attempt to study eugenics on its own historical terms is discussed as an example of a complicated case of ‘audiencing’. The chapter further attempts to historicize the notion of grand societal challenges in science. The fear of degeneration of the genetic quality of the population was one such grand challenge in the early twentieth century, when the effects of scientists’ perceived social responsibility in actively promoting eugenics had very undesirable results.

in Communicating the history of medicine
Sidney’s literary rebirth

Chapter 3 is concerned with the problems involved in reconciling a poet’s life-narrative with the vita activa model and examines the potential causes for the ‘gap’ between Sir Philip Sidney’s public life and his works, which continues to pose a challenge for modern biographers. It considers the two ‘waves’ of responses to Sidney’s death: the elegies published in the immediate aftermath of his death and funeral, which seek to establish him as an exemplary soldier and courtier, and the first portrayals of Sidney as an exemplary poet figure (often referred to as ‘Astrophil’ or ‘Philisides’), following the printing of his works during the 1590s. For the most part, these two categories of life-narrative provided for Sidney remained distinct from each other, and there were few attempts to read his works biographically, beyond an ‘identification’ of Stella as Penelope Rich. Nevertheless, there is one remarkable exception: Edmund Spenser’s ‘Astrophel’, which should be read not as an unsuccessful belated elegy for Sidney but as a response to his rebirth in print and an innovative attempt to bridge the gap between the dead knight and the poet ‘borne in Arcady’.

in English literary afterlives