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Doing Democracy
Activist Art and Cultural Politics
Doing Democracy
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Nancy S. Love - Editor
Mark Mattern - Editor
SUNY Series, Praxis: Theory in Action
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 396 pages
Release Date: December 2013
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4911-1

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 396 pages
Release Date: July 2014
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-4910-4

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Demonstrates how activists and others use art and popular culture to strive for a more democratic future.

Doing Democracy examines the potential of the arts and popular culture to extend and deepen the experience of democracy. Its contributors address the use of photography, cartooning, memorials, monuments, poetry, literature, music, theater, festivals, and parades to open political spaces, awaken critical consciousness, engage marginalized groups in political activism, and create new, more democratic societies. This volume demonstrates how ordinary people use the creative and visionary capacity of the arts and popular culture to shape alternative futures. It is unique in its insistence that democratic theorists and activists should acknowledge and employ affective as well as rational faculties in the ongoing struggle for democracy.

“Nancy S. Love and Mark Mattern have collected a first-rate set of studies that illuminate the intersection between art and politics in the contemporary era. The text demonstrates how activist art and cultural politics can promote democratic politics and how democracy is enriched and enlivened by activist art projects. This book should interest everyone concerned with the fate of art and democracy in the contemporary era and how they can help nourish each other.” — Douglas Kellner, author of Media Spectacle and Insurrection, 2011: From the Arab Uprisings to Occupy Everywhere

Nancy S. Love is Professor of Government and Justice Studies at Appalachian State University. She is the author of several books, including Musical Democracy, also published by SUNY Press. Mark Mattern is Professor of Political Science at Baldwin Wallace University and the author of Putting Ideas to Work: A Practical Introduction to Political Thought and Acting in Concert: Music, Community, and Political Action.

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Table of Contents


Part I. Introduction

1. Introduction: Art, Culture, Democracy
Nancy S. Love and Mark Mattern

Part II. Photography and Cartoons

2. Photo-Activism in the Digital Age: Visions from Rio de Janeiro
Frank Möller

3. Framing the Obama Political Cartoons: Injury or Democracy?
Sushmita Chatterjee

Part III. Monuments and Memorials

4. The Moral Economy: “Doing Democracy” via Public Day of the Dead Rituals
Regina Marchi

5. The National D-Day Memorial: An American Military Monument as “Doing Democracy”
Timothy W. Luke

Part IV. Literature and Poetry

6. The Message in the Medium: Poetry Slam as Democratic Practice
Mark Mattern

7. Tragedy and Democracy: The Fate of Liberal Democratic Values in a Violent World
Wairimu Njoya

Part V. Music

8. “You’re an American rapper, so what do you know?”: The Political Uses of British and U.S. Popular Culture by First-Time Voters in the United Kingdom
Sanna Inthorn and John Street

9. Playing with Hate: White Power Music and the Undoing of Democracy
Nancy S. Love

Part VI. Theater

10. Betrayed by Democracy: Verbatim Theater as Prefigurative Politics
Mark Chou and Roland Bleiker

11. Political Actors: Performance as Democratic Protest in Anti-Apartheid Theater
Emily Beausoleil

Part VII. Festival and Spectacle

12. Art in the House: Cultural Democracy in a Neighborhood
Bruce Baum

13. Democracy despite Government: African American Parading and Democratic Theory
Peter G. Stillman and Adelaide H. Villmoare

Part VIII. Conclusion

14. Conclusion: Activist Arts, Community Development, and Democracy
Mark Mattern and Nancy S. Love


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