Download PDF by Bruce Robbins: Commodity Histories

By Bruce Robbins

Essay's first paragraph:

One remarkable attribute of commodity histories, a unexpectedly ubiquitous style of well known non-fiction, is a definite overkill of their subtitles. A consultant pattern may possibly contain, say, Corn and Capitalism: How a Botanical Bastard Grew to worldwide Dominance; Tobacco: A Cultural background of ways an unique Plant Seduced Civilization; The Potato: How the standard Spud Rescued the Western World; The global of Caffeine: The technological know-how and tradition of the World’s most well-liked Drug; Cod: A Biography of the Fish that modified the World; and Mauve: How One guy Invented a colour that modified the World. basically a bit much less over-the-top than the “changed the world” clause, which additionally looks in fresh histories of vanilla, apartment cats, ping pong balls, dishwashing liquid, and pocket lint, is the trend for two-word titles within which an adjective, frequently a commodity-identifying colour, is paired with the main coveted of helpful metals. a few examples are Blue Gold (water), White Gold (rubber), Black Gold (oil), and Green Gold (tea and marijuana). Such titles recommend that every one of those commodities, even the humblest, have the facility to get continents came upon, dynasties toppled, mountains moved. We take a few of these commodities with no consideration, yet them all have replaced the world.

Citation:

Robbins, Bruce. "Commodity Histories." PMLA, 120.2 (Mar., 2005): 454-463.

Show description

Read or Download Commodity Histories PDF

Best cultural studies books

Read e-book online 'Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Gay Men's Dress in the PDF

"Gay kind really units traits. It’s what immediately humans take type from. "--Tony Woodcock

From the recent Edwardians and muscle boys to Radical Drag, homosexual men’s gown has had a profound impression on type. in spite of the fact that, you'll be able to disregard that, with few exceptions, homosexual males previous within the century took nice pains to hide their sexual id. males akin to Quentin Crisp, whereas hugely influential, have been faraway from the norm. such a lot homosexual males resorted to a host of refined costume codes to spot themselves to different homosexual males -- from Oscar Wilde’s well-known eco-friendly carnation, which used to be nonetheless being worn within the Nineteen Thirties, via to suede sneakers.

Beginning with a glance at the subcultural international of homosexual males within the early a part of this century -- rather in big apple and London -- this interesting booklet analyzes the developments in costume followed via homosexual males in addition to the problem homosexual variety has made to mainstream men’s style. the significance of gown option to the formation of sexual identification is highlighted, as is homosexual impression on punk and the style as a complete. the increase of new costume offerings within the wake of homosexual liberation is analyzed with specific emphasis at the masculinization of homosexual gown. The significance of the physique to homosexual tradition is addressed, from the body magazines of the Nineteen Fifties, via to tattooing and physique piercing, and their origins within the S&M scene.

Anyone attracted to homosexual tradition or the historical past of gown will locate this publication to be crucial analyzing.

Aramis, or the Love of Technology by Bruno Latour PDF

Bruno Latour has written a distinct and lovely story of a technological dream long gone incorrect. because the younger engineer and professor stick with Aramis' trail--conducting interviews, reading files, assessing the evidence--perspectives preserve moving: if truth be told published as multilayered, unascertainable, comprising an array of probabilities priceless of Rashomon. The reader is finally ended in see the undertaking from the perspective of Aramis, and alongside the way in which profits perception into the connection among humans and their technological creations. This fascinating and profound booklet, half novel and half sociological learn, is Latour at his thought-provoking top.

Download e-book for iPad: Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today by Jasper Becker

Jasper Becker's e-book, The chinese language, was once hailed because the top single-volume advent to this huge, immense, inscrutable society. The Washington publish acknowledged, "He has been far and wide and requested each question," describing his conclusions as "right in either info and research. " considering that then, China's position in international affairs has purely grown larger.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When Mother Knows Best, - download pdf or read online

Because the 800,000+ U. S. fanatics of Elaine Lui’s web site comprehend, her mom, aka The Squawking fowl, is a giant consider Elaine’s existence. She pulls no punches, specially together with her in basic terms baby. “Where’s my funds? ” she asks each time she sees Elaine. “You’ll by no means be leave out Hong Kong,” she expert her daughter whilst she was once a lady.

Additional resources for Commodity Histories

Example text

I contend that if we recognize that signs are fundamental units of language, if we recognize that meanings are necessary attributes of signs, if we recognize that the idea of signs having no meanings is plain nonsense, we must recognize that syntax — that is, the study of how words link with one another to form sentences and parts of sentences — is the study of the meanings of these links. Therefore we must consider syntax to be part of semantics. Generally, grammar and seman­ tics are not two separate domains of the study of language.

Similarly, the essence of language is in the rules of its grammar, not in biology. Both games and languages are supported by biology, but their essence is in that they are systems of rules serving as specific forms of human communication. 4 Methodological fallacy of reductionism Both natural languages and languages of science are cultural entities. We must correctly understand the relation of languages to human nature. As part of hu­ man nature language has biological inheritance. But is biological inheritance a cause shaping languages as cultural entities?

Any semiotics of a nonlinguistic system must use language semiotics for self-interpretation. Hence, any semiotics of a non-linguistic system can exist only due to the existence of language semiotics. It does not matter that in this case language is used as an instrument rather than object of analysis. The important thing is that language is the interpretant of all other semiotic systems, both linguistic and nonlinguistic ones. Language is the only system that is semiotic with respect to both its formal structure and functioning.

Download PDF sample

Commodity Histories by Bruce Robbins


by Michael
4.3

Rated 4.62 of 5 – based on 35 votes