“Perfect for anyone embracing their crafty side for the first time (or those who just want to keep developing their design chops)” (HGTV). Design enthusiasts are bombarded with beautiful inspiration at every turn, but many lack the foundation necessary to recreate their dream projects. In Materially Crafted, Victoria Hudgins, creator of the popular design blog A Subtle Revelry, uncovers the best and least intimidating ways to work with the most popular crafting materials—from spray paint and concrete to thread, wax, and paper—and presents more than thirty easy projects to get everyone started. Peppered with Hudgins’s tips for “merrymaking the everyday" (using simple DIY ideas to live life more joyfully) plus inspirational photos of projects created by other prominent bloggers, Materially Crafted is an indispensable guide for a new generation of design enthusiasts looking to DIY their own distinctive style. “Her book focuses on materials and great ways (including 30 main projects) to transform them into something special.” —Design*Sponge
In Shakespeare’s Medieval Craft, Kurt A. Schreyer explores the relationship between Shakespeare’s plays and a tradition of late medieval English biblical drama known as mystery plays. Scholars of English theater have long debated Shakespeare’s connection to the mystery play tradition, but Schreyer provides new perspective on the subject by focusing on the Chester Banns, a sixteenth-century proclamation announcing the annual performance of that city’s cycle of mystery plays. Through close study of the Banns, Schreyer demonstrates the central importance of medieval stage objects—as vital and direct agents and not merely as precursors—to the Shakespearean stage. As Schreyer shows, the Chester Banns serve as a paradigm for how Shakespeare’s theater might have reflected on and incorporated the mystery play tradition, yet distinguished itself from it. For instance, he demonstrates that certain material features of Shakespeare’s stage—including the ass’s head of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the theatrical space of Purgatory in Hamlet, and the knocking at the gate in the Porter scene of Macbeth—were in fact remnants of the earlier mysteries transformed to meet the exigencies of the commercial London playhouses. Schreyer argues that the ongoing agency of supposedly superseded theatrical objects and practices reveal how the mystery plays shaped dramatic production long after their demise. At the same time, these medieval traditions help to reposition Shakespeare as more than a writer of plays; he was a play-wright, a dramatic artisan who forged new theatrical works by fitting poetry to the material remnants of an older dramatic tradition.
In an exciting departure in the growing field of discourse analysis, Culture & Text combines a fresh approach to theory with exemplary demonstrations of interdisciplinary analysis. Despite its emphasis on text, cultural studies has kept most forms of discourse analysis at arm's length. Positioned at the conjunction of linguistic and poststructuralist approaches to discourse analysis, this book argues for a textual metalanguage for cultural studies and for a reevaluation of methodology.
Following Tradition is an expansive examination of the history of tradition—"one of the most common as well as most contested terms in English language usage"—in Americans' thinking and discourse about culture. Tradition in use becomes problematic because of "its multiple meanings and its conceptual softness." As a term and a concept, it has been important in the development of all scholarly fields that study American culture. Folklore, history, American studies, anthropology, cultural studies, and others assign different value and meaning to tradition. It is a frequent point of reference in popular discourse concerning everything from politics to lifestyles to sports and entertainment. Politicians and social advocates appeal to it as prima facie evidence of the worth of their causes. Entertainment and other media mass produce it, or at least a facsimile of it. In a society that frequently seeks to reinvent itself, tradition as a cultural anchor to be reverenced or rejected is an essential, if elusive, concept. Simon Bronner's wide net captures the historical, rhetorical, philosophical, and psychological dimensions of tradition. As he notes, he has written a book "about an American tradition—arguing about it." His elucidation of those arguments makes fascinating and thoughtful reading. An essential text for folklorists, Following Tradition will be a valuable reference as well for historians and anthropologists; students of American studies, popular culture, and cultural studies; and anyone interested in the continuing place of tradition in American culture.