How is identity produced in global 'textual environments'? What forms of narrative generate solidarity in a world in which globalization and trans-nationality can often appear to be a fait accompli?
This brilliant, coruscating book, written by one of the most formidable and original thinkers in cultural studies, examines questions of nationality, identity, the use of anecdote to build solidarity and the role of institutions in shaping culture. Ranging across many fields, including film and media, gender, nationality, globalization and popular culture, it provides a mind-clearing exercise in recognizing what culture is, and how it works, today.
Illustrated with a fund of relevant and insightful examples, it addresses the central questions in cultural studies today: identity, post-identity, the uses of narrative and textual analysis, the industrial organization of solidarity and the opportunities and dilemmas of globalization.
Penetrating, arresting and inimitable, the book is a major contribution to the field of cultural studies. It is of interest to students of cultural studies, media, film and cultural sociology.
This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love.Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education, at Wesleyan University.
The alchemy of their remarkable union has drawn the support of community members and celebrities alike—The Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are among their fans—and their work has changed the lives of many of Kibera’s most vulnerable population: its girls. Jess and Kennedy founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place. But Jessica and Kennedy are just getting started—they have expanded their model to connect essential services like health care, clean water, and economic empowerment programs. They’ve opened an identical project in Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, and intend to expand their remarkably successful program for change.
Ultimately this is a love story about a fight against poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made possible by a true love, and the power of young people to have a deep impact on the world.