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The Experience of Dislocated Listening

“It is only in his music [. . .] that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear,” so wrote James Baldwin in “Many Thousands Gone.” Throughout his career, James Baldwin returned to this incomprehension of African-American experience. He continually privileged music in his literature, crafting his own literary blues to address it. Baldwin’s blues resonated even more powerfully and painfully for its emotional and geographical dislocation. In this article, Rashida K. Braggs argues that it was the combination of music, word, and migration that prompted Baldwin’s own deeper understanding. Exploring her term dislocated listening, Braggs investigates how listening to music while willfully dislocated from one’s cultural home prompts a deeper understanding of African-American experience. The distance disconcerts, leaving one more vulnerable, while music impels the reader, audience, and even Baldwin to identify with some harsh realities of African-American experience. Baldwin evokes the experience of dislocated listening in his life and in “Sonny’s Blues.” Braggs also creates an experience of dislocated listening through her video performance of Baldwin’s words, thus attempting to draw the reader as well into a more attuned understanding of African-American experience.

James Baldwin Review

a dancing bear in a Kurdish village in Turkey, the hunting of a long-horned wild goat in the Taurus mountains on the border with Syria, and an encounter with an Iraqi desert police detachment mounted on camels. Eventually, however, the trio reached what was then Persia and is now Iran, where they met with Sir Arnold Wilson, chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and Gertrude Bell, the celebrated Near East specialist. It was Wilson who suggested to them that they should film the remarkable annual migration of the Bakhtiari sheep pastoralists

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
Sharing anthropology

general monograph of a similar length published in 1954. Otherwise, Rouch's most significant published work was a detailed report on his post-doctoral research into migration from the edge of Sahel to the cities on the coast of West Africa. This ran to almost two hundred pages and appeared in 1956 in a French academic journal, directly complementing the films that he was making at the same time. But he also published a considerable number of other articles and reports on migration, and an even greater quantity of articles about ethnographic film

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture

century when two developments radically changed the conditions and contours of memory in American culture. Modernisation and industrialisation sparked an unprecedented movement of peoples across the globe, while the birth of the cinema and other technological innovations led to the emergence of a truly mass culture. In the context of mass migrations, memory would be required to play a crucial new role

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
The Queen in Australia

deliberations, it would seem that primary stake-holding ministries in the mid-1950s (Territories, External Affairs and Migration) were quite clear in wanting a film information service department , not one producing art documentary auspiced by an independent board. 36 Such concerns were not purely localised: Grierson complained of a similar diminution in the UK, writing to Hawes that ‘The grand old principle

in The British monarchy on screen

approach, apologetically undertaken) but also as aesthetic artefacts. It would not do to over-state the achievement: after all, it is a period in which directors such as Alberto Cavalcanti, Thorold Dickinson, Carol Reed and Robert Hamer (as Philip Kemp persuasively demonstrates in this collection) for the most part failed to deliver on the promise they had shown in the late 1940s. It is also a period which sees a migration to

in British cinema of the 1950s

migration, Prince Charles saw the series as an opportunity to disseminate some insights from anthropology into the reasons for cultural difference and thereby help reduce prejudice against immigrant populations. 9 The series began production in 1976 and was broadcast in seven one-hour instalments in 1978. In contrast to Family of Man , which had presented cultural variation as largely a function of differences in family organisation

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
Yale’s Chronicles of America

upon the collapse of a common culture. This elite contention echoed that of the previous century, when Southern and Eastern European immigration, African-American migration to large urban centres and the ‘threat’ of a rapidly expanding industrial working class had led to similar concerns about American culture and identity. These parallel circumstances, vastly different in many respects but alike

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
History, legend and memory in John Sayles’ Lone Star

and nation associated with conservative historians and theorists, Sayles allows Sam and Pilar a ‘second life’ as an anti-essentialist identity forged from movements and migrations rather than formed by a single and rooted attachment to one place. 42 The territorialism and essentialism that the film works against is further challenged as their ‘new beginning’ begins with a ‘line of flight’, a Deleuzian

in Memory and popular film
Continuity and change

going on. My mum was all excited.’ The inclusion of a Northern Irish voice is intriguing; aside from suggesting that not everyone in the crowds appreciated the spectacle, it demonstrates the migration of people from different parts of the British Isles to London. It also, perhaps, reminds the viewer of the delicate political balance still being maintained in the province. Returning to the gap between 1953 and

in The British monarchy on screen