Thursday, June 23, 2011

"House Signs and Collegiate Fun"

New from Indiana University Press: House Signs and Collegiate Fun: Sex, Race, and Faith in a College Town by Chaise LaDousa.

About the book, from the publisher:
It’s no secret that fun is important to American college students, but it is unusual for scholars to pay attention to how undergraduates represent and reflect on their partying. Linguist and anthropologist Chaise LaDousa explores the visual manifestations of collegiate fun in a Midwestern college town where house signs on off-campus student residences are a focal point of college culture. With names like Boot 'N Rally, The Plantation, and Crib of the Rib, house signs reproduce consequential categories of gender, sexuality, race, and faith in a medium students say is benign. Through his analysis of house signs and what students say about them, LaDousa introduces the reader to key concepts and approaches in cultural analysis.
Among the early praise for House Signs and Collegiate Fun:
"A fascinating, surprising, and intriguing look at pervasive house signs in a Midwestern U.S. college town, this book will delight college students, appeal to those who teach them, and engage those who study them across several disciplines. It is a skillful analysis of contemporary material culture, its playfulness, creativity, and ambiguities. It is also a vivid example of the multiple ways in which people engage with signs (visual or verbal)—from assuming that they have obvious meanings to privileging particular interpretations ,and even to denying that signs have any meaning at all." —Virginia Dominguez, University of Illinois