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Rumba under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi

ed. Irina Dumitrescu

Published onNov 27, 2021
Rumba under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi
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Rumba under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi

edited by Irina Dumitrescu

  • ISBN: 978-0-692-65583-2

  • Paperback, 5×8 in., B/W, 264pp.

  • Publication date: February 29, 2016

  • Price: $22

  • BISAC: LCO015000, LCO010000

  • Thema: DNL, DNP

  • Categories: Literary Collections

“Irina Dumitrescu’s edited collection Rumba under Fire … is full of stories of people still managing to write, teach and learn in the cruellest circumstances… These heartening tales put our own troubles into proportion. They show us that the human will, and our inescapably social instincts, usually find a way.”

~ Joe Moran, The Guardian

A professor of poetry uses a deck of playing cards to measure the time until her lover returns from Afghanistan. Congolese soldiers find their loneliness reflected in the lyrics of rumba songs. Survivors of the siege of Sarajevo discuss which book they would have never burned for fuel. A Romanian political prisoner writes her memoir in her head, a book no one will ever read. These are the arts of survival in times of crisis.

Rumba under Fire proposes we think differently about what it means for the arts and liberal arts to be “in crisis.” In prose and poetry, the contributors to Rumba under Fire explore what it means to do art in hard times. How do people teach, create, study, and rehearse in situations of political crisis? Can art and intellectual work really function as resistance to power? What relationship do scholars, journalists, or even memoirists have to the crises they describe and explain? How do works created in crisis, especially at the extremes of human endurance, fit into our theories of knowledge and creativity?

The contributors are literary scholars, anthropologists, and poets, covering a broad geographic range — from Turkey to the United States, from Bosnia to the Congo. Rumba under Fire includes essays, poetry and interviews by Tim Albrecht, Carla Baricz, Greg Brownderville, William Coker, Andrew Crabtree, Cara De Silva, Irina Dumitrescu, Denis Ferhatović, Susannah Hollister, Prashant Keshavmurthy, Sharon Portnoff, Anand Taneja, and Judith Verweijen.

“The humanities evolve to survive regardless of the circumstances, but this book makes a good case for the value in preserving and promoting them at all costs.”

~ Bitch Magazine

Irina Dumitrescu teaches medieval literature at the University of Bonn, and writes on literature, food, immigration, and dance. Her scholarly essays have appeared in PMLA, Anglia, Exemplaria, Forum for Modern Language Studies, and in various collections. Her belletristic writing has appeared in The Yale Review, The Southwest Review, the Washington Post, The Manifest-Station, and Petits Propos Culinaires. She blogs about dance at Atisheh and about culinary disasters at Food Gone Wrong.

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