Thus, the book could have been an updated version of the dissertation with appropriate corrections. But it is also about the problematic use of historical studies which were available before his dissertation. Hancock obviously never visited New York for his dissertation. That becomes clear when reading his study, and there particularly page 7. All the remarkable scholars and enthusiasts of the Lindy Hop have been in New York for searching and interviewing those who defined various styles of the Lindy Hop between the s and the s revival .
It could be argued that no one who takes the Lindy Hop and its history seriously can bypass New York. It seems that the New York scene did not similarly affect Dr. Hancock as it did many others before him. The dismissal of the New York scene leads to problems in his historical analysis, and it also affects other analysis.
Two of the most significant problems in the historical analysis are his explanation of the birth of the Lindy Hop and its continuation after the s. That had become clear to Dr. Hancock to establish the Lindy unequivocally as an original African-American, Harlem-born dance. Marshall Stearns refers in Jazz Dance to the fact that also whites claimed to have invented the Lindy Hop .
The latest research has brought out the fact that there existed various Lindy Hop dances since Charles Lindbergh did his famous flight over the Atlantic in May These Lindy Hop dances were not connected to Harlem, and likely they were not invented by African-Americans.
Without Snowden and Purnell as the creators, it would be possible to claim that the Lindy Hop was not originally from Harlem, and an African-American invention. Given Harlem as the birthplace of the Harlem Lindy Hop, it could still be claimed that Harlemites only plagiarized whites as to the naming of the Lindy. Thus, obscuring the origin of the Lindy Hop as a dance created by unknown or unnamed Harlemites without showing more precisely which of them really created the dance makes it possible to claim that actually it was white people who invented the dance.
In addition to the issue of plagiarism, leaving only the role in the naming to Snowden does not help either because there does not exist proper evidence for that. Snowden purportedly named the dance in the dance marathon between June and July , but there was no mention of the Harlem Lindy Hop in the US press until September The gap between the dance marathon and the first use of the term does not make sense if Snowden really named his invention as the Lindy Hop between June and July.
It is also unclear whether it was Snowden or somebody else who named the dance for the newspaper articles and advertisements in which the term was used for the first time in September. Hancock was not aware of this when he did his dissertation. However, he should have been aware of Dr. Spring brought out the fact that the term in connection with the Harlem Lindy Hop was used for the first time in newspapers in September As I agree that the dance mutated and the interest waned during the decades before the s revival, Dr.
The Lindy Hop was still practiced in its all three modes: social, performance and competition by both African-American and white dancers between the s and the s. Its popularity waned, but it was maintained by various African-American and white dancers and dance groups before the revival. Thus, Dr. Hancock should have asked what the revivalists between the s and the s exactly revived and discovered?
Had Dr. Hancock examined the decades between the s and the s, he would have realized that there was nothing else to revive but the mainstream interest in the Lindy Hop. On page , Dr. Thus, the proper name of the dance reemerged. Delving deeper into this issue could have shed more light on it. The usage of the terms in the African-American press at the same time and the decades before was only minimal compared to the mainstream press.
This is reinforced by Terry Monaghan who claimed that Harlemites considered a swing dancer the dancer who could not lindy hop properly. Thus, combining this with Dr. Hancock argues on page that the term jitterbug was a white name for the Lindy Hop, while on page 13 he confirms the sameness between Jitterbug and the Lindy Hop by quoting Frankie Manning who explained that Jitterbug and the Lindy Hop meant the same dance .
Indeed, Dr. By doing a proper etymological analysis of the origin of the terms, the real racial identity of the terms could have been examined. Given Dr. Hancock fails to discuss appropriately, is correct music for lindy hopping. Crease in the s, who inadvertently played Dixieland jazz as good swing dancing music. Savoy Lindy Hoppers danced usually in the Corner and there in a circle formation called the Circle at the Savoy.
Sometimes, the Savoy Ballroom was full of circles. So, also other Savoy dancers than Savoy Lindy Hoppers danced in circles. Hancock should criticize the original Lindy Hop culture and African-American jazz dance which the circles and steps originated from. On pages — , Dr. Hancock describes in detail an episode where his dance partner refused to participate in a basic jazz class by the Joel Hall Company, although the instructor of the class invited her to participate in it for free. Hancock criticizes his partner who did not want to participate in the class because she as a white person was afraid of being compared to skilled African-American dancers, whom the company and the class consisted of.
Susan Fraiman. Back to the Future. Karl Besel. Race Frameworks.
Zeus Leonardo. Cities of Europe.
Yuri Kazepov. Death beyond Disavowal. Grace Kyungwon Hong. Getting Smart. Patti Lather. Carlos Teixeira. Against the Wall. Elijah Anderson. Social Perspectives in Lesbian and Gay Studies. Peter M. Police in the Hallways. Kathleen Nolan. Asian American Sexual Politics. Rosalind S. Carmen L. Deconstructing the High Line. Christoph Lindner. Troubling the Family. Habiba Ibrahim. Varieties of Feminist Liberalism. Amy R. Finding Voice. Kim S Berman.
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Studying Society. Karen Evans. Lawrence Grossberg. Joop de Wit. Weird City. Joshua Long. Planning and Housing in the Rapidly Urbanising World. Paul Jenkins. Reading, Writing, and the Rhetorics of Whiteness. Wendy Ryden. Democratic Ideals and the Politicization of Nature. Modeling Urban Dynamics. Alan Rabinowitz. Welcome to the Jungle. Kobena Mercer. Long Slow Burn. Kath Weston. Social Theory, Volume I. Roberta Garner. Changing Theories. Social Theory: Continuity and Confrontation. Media Matters. John Fiske.
Power Plays Power Works. Rethinking Contemporary Social Theory. Social Theory, Volume II. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long.
At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. It was here that Ron introduced me to the nonfiction work of Ralph Ellison, which proved to be the theoretical turning point in my thinking, and through which everything else was to filter.
To Ron I owe an ongoing debt of gratitude for his unending generosity for clearing time for coffee and conversation on spur-of-the-moment trips to Madison over the years that followed. If there is any musical quality to my work, it is indebted to Ron. For all your generosity, I hope you find your kindness reflected back here.
They were so receptive to such an unusual project and allowed it to unfold with as much leeway as needed. Each one of you brought something unique to the book. I hope you find your support and encouragement echoing throughout. Beyond these important markers of American Allegory , it is necessary to thank all the friends who helped me through the early days of working on this book and talked me down from the bell tower: Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Brad Manzolillo, Ron Mize, Dan Steward, and Josh Whitford.
A special recognition goes out to Tanarra Schneider for her friendship, inspiration, and support. She was a guiding voice in keeping me straight, or at least straightish over the years. To Harry Saito, a perfect partner in crime on so many adventures. Julie Siragusa deserves special mention as the greatest dance partner I have ever known, and as a friend who helped me through my darkest days to get the book into its final form, I owe you more than I can ever say. To Paul Stern, my wartime consigliere. Javier Auyero deserves credit for helping me forge my most challenging article, articulating both theoretical and methodological aspects of the ethnographic process into a coherent vision in Qualitative Sociology 30 Thank you for all your guidance navigating those ethnographic waters.
From our first meeting back in to today, his support has been tireless. Chas Camic deserves special recognition for his unflagging support through my highs and lows, my successes and the failures, along the way. Despite my sometimes questionable choices, such as that brilliant insight I had into the work of Bataille or why Roland Barthes was the greatest undiscovered sociologist of the late twentieth century, he never left my side or abandoned his faith in me.
Over the last several years it has been his guiding support and wisdom that have allowed me to bring American Allegory from possibility to print. During the redrafting of the book, I was asked once why a theorist had such a gravitational pull on my ethnographic work. I responded that if one could undertake historical-contextual work, such as the type Chas Camic does, and wander around the nineteenth century long enough until one found something of significance, then he more than anyone else could grasp and guide a project as mundane as the Lindy Hop.
Two reviewers for the University of Chicago Press provided invaluable feedback that improved the book immeasurably. Upon our very first meeting, he has not only laid time, but knew when to take the lead and change up the tempo. If a dancer can only express himself within the pocket he is given, then Doug Mitchell is the Jo Jones of editors. Minstrelsy was the beginning of a long relationship between blacks and whites and black entertainment and white appropriation of it. As I waited in the long line for admission to Club Liquid, the sounds of Swing and jump blues billowed past the red velvet curtains into the dimly lit atrium.
Dozens of Swing kids clad in fedoras and two-tone shoes awaited entry into the club. Beyond the curtain was an undulating sea of bodies in motion; socialites, dancers, and musicians were ready to dance until the wee hours. Cocooned red globes dangled from the ceiling; their luminous glow was just bright enough to soften the glare of the glittering martini glasses and small white candles that flickered like fireflies across the bar. A thick haze of cigarette and cigar smoke encircled the patrons anchoring the long oak bar along the left side of the club.
The barstools were packed and the crowd around them was two rows deep, trying desperately to get the attention of the black-vested bartenders pouring Cosmopolitans and Manhattans. Down at the end of the bar, at the back of the room, lay the brightly lit stage and the vast parquet dance floor, where a myriad of colors and shapes twirled, twisted, and spun. Here, hundreds of Swing kids were dancing the Lindy Hop to the sounds of a dozen musicians beating out the charts from Basie and Ellington to Goodman and Henderson.
Amid the flurry of movement and congestion of people, above the fedoras and coiffed hair, I saw a woman doing the splits as she was lift ed into the air, her skirt splaying out around her. At the back corner of the dance floor, a group of people bobbing, weaving, and cheering formed a wall with their backs to the rest of the dancers. The main attraction was there in the jam circle, where the great Lindy Hoppers held court, challenging each other and demonstrating their latest tricks and turns.
As I made my way through the club, I noticed that all of the tables were completely filled; there was standing room only. Men in pinstripe suits with the drape shape and reet pleats socialized with women in cocktail dresses and small pillbox hats. Tonight, everyone was here for the Lindy Hop scene. Whether drinker, dancer, or barfly, they all circulated around the Lindy Hop, the original Swing dance that emerged from its more famously remembered precursor, the Charleston, in the ballrooms of Harlem in the late s.
This was the dance night of the week at the most popular club in town; tonight more than people would come through the doors in search of Swing dancing and the scene that accompanied the latest craze captivating the nation. At the edge of the dance floor, a barrier of bodies congregated two to three deep in places. They served as a human wall, encircling the dance floor and those dancers inside it. This porous wall of bodies functioned as the intersection of activity in the club; some were drinking, some smoking, some watching silently, others were cheering and clapping to the music with enthusiasm, and still others were waiting to get on the floor when space cleared.
Over the top of the crowd, the band was stomping and jumping; their glistening horns trumpeted out swinging jazz and blues as the rhythm section pounded out the heavy syncopated backbeat. Bodies jumped, spun, twisted, and glided all over the dance floor. The eye-dazzling movement of partners changing places and spinning around each other manifested the physicality, sweat, energy, and excitement of hundreds of people on the dance floor connecting through social dancing. The black and white two-tones, the crisp white shirts, the zoot suits, the pinstripes, the fedoras, the billowing dresses, the lace, the twirling crinoline all decorated the swirling bodies as if this were a large staged choreography.
But it was not. I had entered the world of the Lindy Hop, the original Swing dance. This description could have been given by Malcolm X after a visit to the Roseland Ballroom. It could be an account by one of the dancers at the Savoy in Harlem sixty years ago. After moving to Chicago from Madison, I was captivated by this subculture upon my first encounter with it.
This fascination has led not only to a PhD dissertation, but also to an ongoing dance education through my personal struggle to master one of the most elusive of social dances, the Lindy Hop.
American Allegory by Black Hawk Hancock - Read Online
I have never been comfortable separating my personal and professional lives, and the Lindy Hop subculture immediately yielded both a social and a sociologically fascinating world in which I immersed myself completely. That night at Club Liquid was not a costume party or an isolated special event. This was the subculture of the Swing dance revival, alive and thriving in the city of Chicago, across the nation, and all over the world. On closer inspection, something unsettling emerges within this beauty. What was once an African American cultural practice—forged as an alternative expression of identity against the context of overt and explicit white racism, segregation, and exploitation that defined the American landscape at the time—has now become the tribal call of the privileged white middle class.
The Savoy was the home of black dancing; it was the home of Swing —now African Americans must travel to white parts of town to dance the Lindy Hop to Swing music quoted in Burns