Space on the Side of the Road Cultural Poetics in an Other America

ISBN-10: 0691011036
ISBN-13: 9780691011035
Edition: 1996
Authors: Kathleen Stewart
List price: $46.00 Buy it from $14.31
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Description: A Space on the Side of the Roadvividly evokes an "other" America that survives precariously among the ruins of the West Virginia coal camps and "hollers." To Kathleen Stewart, this particular "other" exists as an excluded subtext to the American  More...

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Book details

List price: $46.00
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 3/7/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

A Space on the Side of the Roadvividly evokes an "other" America that survives precariously among the ruins of the West Virginia coal camps and "hollers." To Kathleen Stewart, this particular "other" exists as an excluded subtext to the American narrative of capitalism, modernization, materialism, and democracy. In towns like Amigo, Red Jacket, Helen, Odd, Viper, Decoy, and Twilight, men and women "just settin'" track a dense social imaginary through stories of traumas, apparitions, encounters, and eccentricities. Stewart explores how this rhythmic, dramatic, and complicated storytelling imbues everyday life in the hills and forms a cultural poetics. Alternating her own ruminations on language, culture, and politics with continuous accounts of "just talk," Stewart propels us into the intensity of this nervous, surreal "space on the side of the road." It is a space that gives us a glimpse into a breach in American society itself, where graveyards of junked cars and piles of other trashed objects endure along with the memories that haunt those who have been left behind by "progress." Like James Agee's portrayal of the poverty-stricken tenant farmers of the Depression South inLet Us Now Praise Famous Men,this book uses both language and photographs to help readers encounter a fragmented and betrayed community, one "occupied" by schoolteachers, doctors, social workers, and other professionals representing an "official" America. Holding at bay any attempts at definitive, social scientific analysis, Stewart has concocted a new sort of ethnographic writing that conveys the immediacy, density, texture, and materiality of the coal camps.A Space on the Side of the Roadfinally bridges the gap between anthropology and cultural studies and provides us with a brilliant and challenging experiment in thinking and writing about "America."

List of Photographs
Acknowledgments
Prologue
The Space of Culture
A Space of Critique
"Subjects" and "Objects" in the Space of an Immanent Critique
The Space of Story
The Space on the Side of the Road
An Ethnographic Space
Mimetic Excess in an Occupied Place
An "Other" America
An Occupied Place
The Hills as a Social Imaginary
Being Caught
The Spectacle of Impacts
A Lost Homeland
Unforgetting: The Anecdotal and the Accidental
Unforgetting
A Near Miss
The Diacritics of Interruptions
An Other Interruption, or an Interruption from the Other Side
Chronotopes
Roaming the Ruins
The Shock of History
Riley's Last Ride
Mr. Henry's Sticks
Encounters
The Bourgeois Imaginary
Spaces of Encounter
Encountering Alterity
The Sign of the Body
Hollie Smith's Encounter
Afterthought
The Space of the Sign
The Social Semiotics of Signs
Signs of Sociality
The Space of the Gap
The Space of Performance
A Visit(ation)
The Accident
A Visit(ation)
A Postcard
The Place of Ideals
The Space of Mediation
Claims and Counterclaims
Ideals in the Space of Desire
In the Realm of Negations
Placing People
A Space on the Side of the Road
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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