Author: Kathy Peiss
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2011-05-23
ZOOT SUIT (n.): the ultimate in clothes. The only totally and truly American civilian suit. —Cab Calloway, The Hepster's Dictionary, 1944 Before the fashion statements of hippies, punks, or hip-hop, there was the zoot suit, a striking urban look of the World War II era that captivated the imagination. Created by poor African American men and obscure tailors, the "drape shape" was embraced by Mexican American pachucos, working-class youth, entertainers, and swing dancers, yet condemned by the U.S. government as wasteful and unpatriotic in a time of war. The fashion became notorious when it appeared to trigger violence and disorder in Los Angeles in 1943—events forever known as the "zoot suit riot." In its wake, social scientists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians all tried to explain the riddle of the zoot suit, transforming it into a multifaceted symbol: to some, a sign of social deviance and psychological disturbance, to others, a gesture of resistance against racial prejudice and discrimination. As controversy swirled at home, young men in other places—French zazous, South African tsotsi, Trinidadian saga boys, and Russian stiliagi—made the American zoot suit their own. In Zoot Suit, historian Kathy Peiss explores this extreme fashion and its mysterious career during World War II and after, as it spread from Harlem across the United States and around the world. She traces the unfolding history of this style and its importance to the youth who adopted it as their uniform, and at the same time considers the way public figures, experts, political activists, and historians have interpreted it. This outré style was a turning point in the way we understand the meaning of clothing as an expression of social conditions and power relations. Zoot Suit offers a new perspective on youth culture and the politics of style, tracing the seam between fashion and social action.
Author: Catherine S. Ramírez
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2010-07-01
Genre: Social Science
The Mexican American woman zoot suiter, or pachuca, often wore a V-neck sweater or a long, broad-shouldered coat, a knee-length pleated skirt, fishnet stockings or bobby socks, platform heels or saddle shoes, dark lipstick, and a bouffant. Or she donned the same style of zoot suit that her male counterparts wore. With their striking attire, pachucos and pachucas represented a new generation of Mexican American youth, which arrived on the public scene in the 1940s. Yet while pachucos have often been the subject of literature, visual art, and scholarship, The Woman in the Zoot Suit is the first book focused on pachucas. Two events in wartime Los Angeles thrust young Mexican American zoot suiters into the media spotlight. In the Sleepy Lagoon incident, a man was murdered during a mass brawl in August 1942. Twenty-two young men, all but one of Mexican descent, were tried and convicted of the crime. In the Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943, white servicemen attacked young zoot suiters, particularly Mexican Americans, throughout Los Angeles. The Chicano movement of the 1960s–1980s cast these events as key moments in the political awakening of Mexican Americans and pachucos as exemplars of Chicano identity, resistance, and style. While pachucas and other Mexican American women figured in the two incidents, they were barely acknowledged in later Chicano movement narratives. Catherine S. Ramírez draws on interviews she conducted with Mexican American women who came of age in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s as she recovers the neglected stories of pachucas. Investigating their relative absence in scholarly and artistic works, she argues that both wartime U.S. culture and the Chicano movement rejected pachucas because they threatened traditional gender roles. Ramírez reveals how pachucas challenged dominant notions of Mexican American and Chicano identity, how feminists have reinterpreted la pachuca, and how attention to an overlooked figure can disclose much about history making, nationalism, and resistant identities.
First produced in 1998 at the famous Vienna Burgtheater, the remarkable and provocative Sports Play by Austrian playwright Elfriede Jelinek is a postdramatic theatrical exploration of the making, marketing and sale of the human body and of emotions in sport. It explores contemporary society’s obsession with fitness and body culture bringing into sharp focus our need to belong to a group, a team or a nation. Sport is seen as a form of war in peacetime
Author: Stanis_aw Ignacy Witkiewicz
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Release Date: 1993
Edited and translated by Daniel Gerould and C.S. Durer, foreword by Jan Kott. Painter, playwrights, novelist, aesthetician, philosopher, and expert on drugs, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz - or Witkacy, as he called himself - remains Poland's outstanding figure in the arts between the two world wars. This volume brings together three of Witkiewicz's best works for the stage as well as a selection from his critical writing. The plays deal with the author's principal themes and obsessions: the dilemma of the artist in the twentieth century; the revolutions in science and politics; and the bankruptcy of all ideology, the decline of western civilization, and the coming of totalitarianism. Yet, far from being solemn or even serious in tone, these apocalyptic dramas are permeated with grotesque humor and characterized by a wild theatricality that particularly appeals to contemporary sensibility.
Author: Josefina L. Pez
Publisher: Wpr Publishing
Release Date: 2011-10-01
This is Volume 2 in The Essential Latino Plays Series and comes to us from one of the hardest working playwrights around: Josefina L pez. The book includes five plays: Detained in the Desert is a satirical look at the anti-immigrant laws that brings together twocompletely different people on opposite ends of the immigration debate through a karmic debt that must be paid.Trio Los Machos is a loving tribute to Latino men, their music and their contribution to the U.S.through the "Bracero Program."When Nature Calls is a call to women to own their inner voice that demands they take their rightful place in the world as defenders of mother earth and the sacred feminine.Boyle Heights explores what the American Dream means to a Mexican-American family and thewomen who must stop running away and come home to their true selves.Lola Goes to Roma is a comedy about a repressed mother-daughter relationship that is transformed over one unforgettable European vacation where secrets are uncovered.
Author: Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Release Date: 2013-10-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A memoir in short stories, Starting from Loomis chronicles the life of accomplished writer, playwright, poet, and actor Hiroshi Kashiwagi. In this dynamic portrait of an aging writer trying to remember himself as a younger man, Kashiwagi recalls and reflects upon the moments, people, forces, mysteries, and choices—the things in his life that he cannot forget—that have made him who he is. Central to this collection are Kashiwagi’s confinement at Tule Lake during World War II, his choice to answer “no” and “no” to questions 27 and 28 on the official government loyalty questionnaire, and the resulting lifelong stigma of being labeled a “No-No Boy” after his years of incarceration. His nonlinear, multifaceted writing not only reflects the fragmentations of memory induced by traumas of racism, forced removal, and imprisonment but also can be read as a bold personal response to the impossible conditions he and other Nisei faced throughout their lifetimes.