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Paperwork Selves and Arab Refugee Girls’ Experiences of Resettlement in Tennessee

Ida Fadzillah Leggett

Abstract

For refugees, the experience of displacement does not always end with resettlement. Multidisciplinary research with educators and refugee students at a Tennessee high school demonstrates how some school personnel prioritized the alienating concept of so-called paperwork selves when talking about their refugee students, highlighting exotic stereotypes of innocence, ignorance, and a lack of educational history. I focus here on educators’ perceptions of Arabic-speaking refugee girl students, and contrast these with the girls’ own words about their experiences and self-understanding. The girls’ narratives demonstrate their keen sense of identity as young women connected to real places, remembered histories, and imaginaries of a future as transnational young women with global possibilities.

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Planning, state building, and the days after in Palestine

Kareem Rabie

Abstract

Drawn from ethnographic fieldwork and documentary research, this article examines three shifts in national-scale planning in Palestine. In the period after the Oslo accords, Palestinian planners were tasked with the responsibility to create formal structures of governance and build for a future, eventual state there. Through that process and especially after the second intifada, national planning came to focus almost exclusively on market openness, privatization, and capitalistic development as part of a state and economy building project. Increasingly since 2015, planners have attempted to re-take some kind of formal authority. This article argues that such regimes show how Palestine is increasingly crafted at the state-scale as a node in wider global political economies in order to ostensibly stabilize the political situation, and in ways that have wide consequences for Palestine.

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Poesis, God, and the Connectedness of All Beings

J. G. Herder's Comparative Method

Tanvi Solanki

Abstract

The article examines the significance of J. G. Herder's analogical thinking in the history of comparative practices. It shows how Herder's comparative method, of positing one phenomenon as another in its own singular and inimitable manner, emerges from his concept of God and nature as informed by Baruch Spinoza, as well as his study of scientific and cultural phenomena, including the active mechanisms of poesis as sensory perception. While Herder's concept of comparison and his analogical practices influenced prominent thinkers contemporary to him such as J.W. Goethe, the specificity of his comparative method has been overlooked by scholars past and present, such as Michel Foucault, as Herder's approach resists assimilation in histories of comparativism centered on nineteenth-century projects of comparison. Yet his outlook on the tension between difference and identity offers fresh insight into relations between distinct cultures and entities without effacing their particularity or placing them in static hierarchies. Herder's comparative method provides new perspectives on contemporary debates on the benefits of and dangers of historical analogies.

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Postcolonial Studies Meets Global History

Rendez-vous in the Francophone World

Burleigh Hendrickson

Abstract

In the aftermath of the French Revolution, Georg W. F. Hegel labeled it a “world-historical” event. Just a few decades later, Karl Marx was equally fascinated by this Revolution, contributing to the notion that it served as a global turning point that would bend European society toward a post-feudal, modern world. Though scholars of postcolonial studies have long scrutinized these nineteenth-century thinkers’ narratives of progress, they played a large part in cementing the French Revolution's place in world history. Scholars of French studies have recently challenged long-held notions of French exceptionalism. This article explores the relationship between postcolonial studies and global history, both tenuous and complementary, as they relate to the emerging field of global French studies. Providing a reading of these intersecting methods in the historiography of both the French Revolution and 1968 in France, I contend that postcolonial studies is a form of global history.

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Property and Pa-Tree-Archy

A Cross-National Analysis of Gendered Rights and Forest Loss in Low- and Middle-Income Nations

Jamie M. Sommer, Rebekah Burroway, and John M. Shandra

Abstract

Although previous studies have examined the causes of deforestation from a cross-national, quantitative perspective, these studies tend to neglect the role of women in mitigating forest loss. Yet, evidence from case studies shows that when women own land they tend to protect forests, replant trees, and engage in agricultural practices that place less pressure on forests. Building on this work, we use ordinary least squares regression models to analyze data on forest loss derived from satellite imagery for a sample of 67 low- and middle-income nations. The results suggest that improving gender equality in immovable property rights does help save trees. Furthermore, our analysis also suggests that men and women have different priorities when it comes to forest sustainability. Women's rights have a protective effect on forests, while men's rights have no statistically significant effect. Given the extent to which we rely on forests for health, environmental, and economic reasons, these findings imply that when women's rights are curtailed, the consequences extend beyond women themselves.

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The proxy war in Ukraine

History, political economy, and representations

Chris Hann

Overwhelming empathy with all the civilians and conscripts who have suffered from the ongoing violence in Ukraine, which began years before the Russian invasion of February 2022, must be complemented by analysis and explanation. What can anthropologists contribute? I have been disappointed by one-sided accounts endorsing the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the cause of the Ukrainian nation that have dominated in the Western mass media and anglophone academic work, including that of anthropologists. From an anthropological perspective, to invoke international law and sacralize political sovereignty is inadequate (Hann 2023; Malinowski 1944). Instead, we need to scrutinize the complex history of the Ukrainian nation, which is being consummated through the present violence. We need to recognize that Zelensky heads an Atlanticist, market-oriented, nationalist regime of dubious legitimacy. This critical stance does not mean deference to the Kremlin in the spirit of the “realist school” of international relations. It does mean recalling that as late as autumn 2021 President Vladimir Putin was putting forward proposals for a peaceful resolution of the crisis brought about by Western geopolitical and economic ambitions since the end of the Cold War. For the Russian political classes (not just for Putin and his oligarchical allies), when it came to NATO expansion Ukraine was a unique red line. However, too many interest groups in Washington as well as in Kyiv actually wanted the war that began in February 2022 (though this could not be declared publicly).

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Reflections on Co-Creativity in Early Modern Drama

Stylistic Adaptation and Practices of Collaboration

Matthias Bauer and Angelika Zirker

Abstract

While co-authorship was common practice in early modern drama, poetological treatises remain silent about it. They speak about the poet but not about collaboration. It is, hence, one of the aims of this article to arrive at conceptualisations of co-authorship through immanent reflections of co-creativity and authorial interaction. In particular, we will show that stylistic practices form an essential part of such reflections, which also helps us dissociate style from the identification of individual authorship. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding have been chosen to show how juxtapositions and adaptations of style in both single-authored and co-authored works reveal practices of collaboration in early modern theatre. As a result of our investigation, elements of a poetics of collaborative playwriting will emerge.

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Rejoinder

Chris Hann

It is exciting to hear of numerous ethnographies of Ukraine and its inhabitants, both recently published and in the pipeline. One hopes that they remain free of the asymmetry discussed by Volodymyr Ishchenko, and that their authors will investigate all nooks and crannies, including those where the voices of Western “civil society” actors are not yet voluble. I am a committed practitioner of slow ethnography myself (especially in Hungary, hence my final section). But I also believe in lifelong learning and historically informed comparison.

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Religence

Conceptualising Posthuman Religion

Michael W. Scott

Abstract: In this article I contribute to posthuman anthropology by developing two lines of thought. I first suggest that the post-Cartesian ontology integral to posthumanism accommodates a new scientifically informed version of negative theology. I then explore how this new negative theology implies a posthuman religion. By analysing Michel Serres’s reconceptualisation of religion as the opposite of negligence and engaging with efforts to build on this thought by Tim Ingold and Bruno Latour, I develop a theory of posthuman religion I call religence. With the innovation of this term, I bring posthuman religion into view and, to show how religence may be approached anthropologically, I draw on Anna Tsing’s ‘critical description’ of the interdependence between Tricholoma fungi and pine trees. Religence, I conclude, is best understood not as a single pervasive and unchanging mode of relating that can eliminate negligence, but as a plurality of provisional and shift ing religence–negligence complexes.

Résumé: Dans cet article, je contribue à l’anthropologie posthumaniste en développant deux axes de réflexion. Je suggère d’abord que l’ontologie postcartésienne, qui fait partie intégrante du posthumanisme, s’adapte à une nouvelle version scientifi quement informée de la théologie apophatique ou négative. En tant que forme de non-dualisme relationnel, l’ontologie posthumaine permet de conceptualiser un dieu incomplet et inconnaissable, néanmoins sous-entendu dans les performances de toutes choses. J’explore ensuite comment cette nouvelle théologie négative implique une religion posthumaine. Je dénoue les fils étymologiques de la reconceptualisation de la religion par Michel Serres, selon laquelle la religion est l’opposé de la négligence, et suis les efforts de Tim Ingold et Bruno Latour qui visent à construire sur cette pensée. C’est à partir de cela que je développe une théorie de la religion posthumaine que j’appelle la religence. Avec l’innovation de ce terme, je mets en lumière la religion posthumaine et, afin de montrer la façon par laquelle la religence peut être abordée de manière anthropologique, je m’appuie sur la « critical description » d’Anna Tsing de l’interdépendance entre les champignons Tricholoma et les pins. Je conclus que la religence doit être mieux comprise non pas comme un mode relationnel unique, omniprésent et immuable, capable d’éliminer la négligence, mais comme une pluralité de religions-négligences provisoires et changeantes.

Open access

Retheorising Civil Disobedience in the Context of the Marginalised

Simon Stevens

Abstract

This article proposes a retheorisation of Rawlsian civil disobedience through examining the burdens we expect people to bear when they practice civil disobedience, focussing specifically on marginalised groups. First, I consider public concerns over civil disobedience, to elicit the idea of an ‘authentic civil disobedience’. I then assess the claim that civil disobedience occurs within a ‘nearly just’ society in order to recognise the more complex position of marginalised civil disobedients. This allows me to frame any criteria we theorise for civil disobedience as a wicked problem. Next, I examine one particular criterion dominant within the literature: that to be interpreted as civil disobedience, disobedients must show a willingness to suffer the legal consequences – and so, must not act anonymously. I claim that this asks too much of civil disobedients in a marginalised context and conclude civil disobedience theory needs retheorising to consider when and why anonymity is acceptable.