Shachar Pinsker, professor, Judaic Studies and Middle East Studies, University of Michigan discusses his book A Rich Brew: How Cafes Created Modern Jewish Culture. The book explores the ways in which cafes provide a window into understanding modern Jewish culture and modernity. Through its focus on Jewish cafe culture in six cities: Odessa, Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, New York, and Tel Aviv, we see how Jews who migrated to cities gravitated towards cafes as important spaces and sites for producing Jewish culture. It is a story of the global aspects of Jewish modernity, what it means to be part of the public sphere, and the ways in which cafes present an important backdrop to the changes and challenges of modernity.
This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale. This event is in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA), an organization of scholars, cooks, food writers, nutritionists, collectors, students, and others interested in the study of culinary history and gastronomy. Their mission is to promote the study of culinary history through regular programs open to members and guests, through the quarterly newsletter Repast, and through exchanges of information with other such organizations.
We welcome University of Michigan professor Alexandra Minna Stern to discuss her new book, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination, which Kirkus calls “An important study that extends the knowledge from other recent books that have demonstrated a stubbornly pervasive network of white nationalists.”
About the book: What is the alt-right? What do they believe, and how did they take center stage in the American social and political consciousness?
From a loose movement that lurked in the shadows in the early 2000s, the alt-right has achieved a level of visibility that has allowed it to expand significantly throughout America’s cultural, political, and digital landscapes. Racist, sexist, and homophobic beliefs that were previously unspeakable have become commonplace, normalized, and accepted—endangering American democracy and society as a whole. Yet in order to dismantle the destructive movement that has invaded our public consciousness, we must first understand the core beliefs that drive the alt-right.
To help guide us through the contemporary moment, historian Alexandra Minna Stern excavates the alt-right memes and tropes that have erupted online and explores the alt-right’s central texts, narratives, constructs, and insider language. She digs to the root of the alt-right’s motivations: their deep-seated fear of an oncoming “white genocide” that can only be remedied through swift and aggressive action to reclaim white power. As the group makes concerted efforts to cast off the vestiges of neo-Nazism and normalize their appearance and their beliefs, the alt-right and their ideas can be hard to recognize. Through careful analysis, Stern brings awareness to the underlying concepts that guide the alt-right and animate its overlapping forms of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, and anti-egalitarianism. She explains the key ideas of “red-pilling,” strategic trolling, gender essentialism, and the alt-right’s ultimate fantasy: a future where minorities have been removed and “cleansed” from the body politic and a white ethnostate is established in the United States. By unearthing the hidden mechanisms that power white nationalism, Stern reveals just how pervasive this movement truly is.
Professor Stern is the author of the prize-winning book Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, (University of California Press, 2005) and Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences.
We welcome University of Michigan Professor Susan J. Douglas in support of her new book, Celebrity: A History of Fame. Free and open to the public, book signing to follow.
About the book: Today, celebrity culture is an inescapable part of our media landscape and our everyday lives. This was not always the case. Over the past century, media technologies have increasingly expanded the production and proliferation of fame. Celebrity explores this revolution and its often under-estimated impact on American culture. Using numerous precedent-setting examples spanning more than one hundred years of media history, Douglas and McDonnell trace the dynamic relationship between celebrity and the technologies of mass communication that have shaped the nature of fame in the United States.
Susan J. Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan. She is the author of five books, including The Rise of Enlightened Sexism (2010), Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination (1999) and Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (1994).
After writing 9 books about the joy of canoeing & kayaking rivers, lifelong Michigan resident Doc Fletcher moves to dry land for his latest book: The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull, honoring The Cathedral at The Corner where – together with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, children, godchildren, & friends – we have cheered our Detroit Tigers. Although the structure is gone, the memories remain…
“It was a night game, the field a shade of green that was the most beautiful color I’d ever seen, the smells, sounds, and sights of the pre-game action delightfully overwhelming… the air filled with the bouquet of hot dogs, spilt beer, and a cigar aroma much like that of the House of Windsor stogies preferred by my Dad. Cries of the vendors peddling those items pierced the air. Several Tigers were engaged in a game of pepper along the box seats down the right field foul line, as nearby Bill Freehan tossed a ball back ‘n forth with a teammate, entertaining the fans by playfully catching the ball behind his back.”
Doc will share stories from the book of the characters on the field, in the stands, and those in the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark, as well as about the broadcasters who brought the action to us when we couldn’t be there ourselves.
This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale.
Ann Arbor Natives Polly Rosenwaike and Cody Walker are joining us in conversation around their most recent works. Polly will be sharing her beautifully written series of stories about… conception and Cody, he will share his brilliantly written comedic poetry.
Author: Polly Rosenwaike
Title: Look How Happy I’m Making You
A candid, ultimately buoyant debut story collection about the realities of the “baby years,” whether you’re having one or not.
The women in Polly Rosenwaike’s Look How Happy I’m Making You want to be mothers, or aren’t sure they want to be mothers, or—having recently given birth—are overwhelmed by what they’ve wrought. Sharp and unsettling, wry and moving in its portrayal of love, friendship, and family, this collection expands the conversation about some of women’s most intimate experiences.
Author: Cody Walker
Title: The Trumpiad
The new U.S. president doesn’t read books, but for everyone else, there’s Cody Walker’s The Trumpiad, a blistering and hilarious take on America’s political collapse. Key Difference: I wouldn’t lump / Trump / in with Hitler and Mussolini. / Trump’s hands are littler. (They’re teeny.) The Trumpiad will be published on April 29th 2017, which, if no one manages to stop him, will mark Trump’s 100th day in office.
About the Authors
Polly Rosenwaike’s story collection, Look How Happy I’m Making You, was a featured book pick in O Magazine, Ms., People, and New York Magazine. Her stories, reviews, and essays have been published in The O. Henry Prize Stories, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Cut, the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Lit Hub, and The Millions. She is the fiction editor of the Michigan Quarterly Review.
Cody Walker directs the Creative Writing Sub-concentration at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He’s the author of two full-length poetry collections—The Self-Styled No-Child and Shuffle and Breakdown—and a chapbook, The Trumpiad. (The chapbook doubles as a fundraiser for the ACLU.) His work appears in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and The Best American Poetry. He’s the co-director of the Bear River Writers’ Conference and the co-editor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest.
ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.
We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.
Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.
Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!
$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.
8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.
Wayétu Moore’s debut novel She Would Be King reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years. It was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed.
Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a non-profit organization that creates and distributes culturally relevant books for underrepresented readers. Her first bookstore opened in Monrovia, Liberia in 2015. Her writing can be found in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR, NBC, BET and ABC, among others, for her work in advocacy for diversity in children’s literature.
She is a graduate of Howard University, University of Southern California and Columbia University. Moore is a founding faculty member of Randolph College MFA program and a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Syracuse University.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers
For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org– we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. A lactation room (Angell Hall #5209), reflection room (Haven Hall #1506), and gender-inclusive restroom (Angell Hall 5th floor) are available on site. ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request; please email email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event.
From Motown to soul and rock to techno, Detroit’s contributions to American musical culture have been long celebrated. Now, Mark Stryker’s new book, Jazz From Detroit, refocuses attention on the city’s influential role as one of the most prolific breeding grounds for innovative jazz musicians and front-rank stylists, from Elvin Jones and Ron Carter to Geri Allen and Regina Carter.
Stryker will give a talk and we’ll have a signing (books will be for sale), then we can head over to Blue LLama on Main Street in Ann Arbor for a FREE set of Detroit jazz by Motor City mainstay Marion Hayden whose band is performing there at 8:30 pm as part of the A2 Jazz Fest.
The founding curator at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this musician, author, archivist, and professor has made a career collecting countless items that define pop history. Bruce Conforth will be joining us to share his new book Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson. He will be jamming with some other local musicians!
About the Book
Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the history of the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his tragic death at age 27. This single notion can be recited by everyone who has ever heard of him, but the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson’s death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson’s life and music in 1970 and made it his personal mission to try to fill in the gaps in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every possible interview, resource and document, most of it material that no one has ever seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a very human and tragic story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson—most of those things are wrong—and will be a great read for anyone interested in blues, black culture and American music..
About the Authors
Bruce Conforth was a longtime professor of folklore, blues, popular culture and the history of social movements at the University of Michigan. He was also the founding curator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Gayle Dean Wardlow is a highly regarded blues historian who has amassed the world’s largest collection of prewar blues records. His book Chasin’ That Devil Music is a classic of blues literature. He lives in Pensacola, Florida.