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‘As a Stranger Give it Welcome’

Foreignness and Wonder in Jacobean London

Lois Potter

The two early modern meanings of the word ‘stranger’ (someone one does not know; a foreigner) have become separated in modern English. This article looks at attitudes to the ‘stranger’ both as pathetic victim and as someone outside Anglophone language and culture, with special reference to the arrival of a Scottish king and his followers in 1603–04. Horatio’s ‘wondrous strange’ (here, referring to the apparent ubiquity of the Ghost’s voice) is as metatheatrical as Hamlet’s later jokey comment on ‘this fellow in the cellarage’. The language of ‘wonder’, a particularly Jacobean phenomenon, suggests that intense artistic experiences, like experiences of shock and horror, can make the spectator or listener – as Milton put it – ‘marble with too much conceiving’.

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Between Science and Utopia

Physical and Astronomical Notions within French and Polish Fourierism

Piotr Kuligowski and Quentin Schwanck

This article investigates the role of physical and astronomical notions in the formation process of transnational political ideologies. It does so by focusing on the striking example of nineteenth-century early socialist movements, particularly Fourierism. Indeed, Fourier’s bold cosmogony enabled him to connect many fields of knowledge, and soon became a powerful vehicle for his ideas on the international scale. The article likewise analyses the ideological process through which Fourierist astronomical conceptions were adopted by foreign socialists, focusing on examples of Polish thinkers such as Jan Czyński and Stanisław Bratkowski who, in drawing on Fourierist ideas and usage of scientific terms, tried to embed his vocabulary in the ongoing nineteenth-century debates about Polish history and, more generally, the burning issue of the independence of the Polish state. Our comparative analysis highlights the contextual influences which contributed to re-shaping such ideas within a new absorbing context.

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Huaiyu Chen

East German sinologists organized an international conference on East Asian studies in Leipzig in October 1955, bringing together scholars from most communist states and several scholars from Western Europe. This conference served to unite sinologists from both the Communist Bloc and West Germany in the early Cold War era. Since the Chinese delegation was particularly honored, this article suggests that China expanded its political influence in East Europe after the Korean War and the death of Stalin, which prompted a tension within the international communist community, especially between China and the Soviet Union. Moreover, this conference demonstrated a strong “modern turn” in the rising field of Asian studies, sinology in particular, because of the rise of the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s.

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Joachim Frenk and Lena Steveker

The prologue of Thomas Heywood’s tragicomedy The English Traveller, which was first performed around 1627 and first printed in 1633, seeks to focus the minds of its audience on what is to follow on stage:

A Strange Play you are like to haue, for know, We use no Drum, nor Trumpet, nor Dumbe shew; No Combate, Marriage, not so much to day, As Song, Dance, Masque, to bumbaste out a play: […] (The English Traveller, n.p.)

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Lisa Hopkins

From the 1620s to the 1630s, John Ford revisited Shakespeare and made him strange. ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore inverts Romeo and Juliet by making its core relationship endogamous rather than exogamous. Perkin Warbeck is a sequel to Richard III, but undoes its original by telling a story fundamentally incompatible with Shakespeare’s. The Lover’s Melancholy echoes both Twelfth Night and King Lear, collapsing the distinction between comedy and tragedy. Above all, Ford reworks Othello, which lies behind the plots of four of his plays. The estranging effect produced by these reshapings is underlined by Perkin Warbeck’s subtitle ‘A Strange Truth’ and the word ‘strange’ appears forty-nine times in his plays. Ford uses familiar Shakespearean stories to highlight the strangeness of the stories which he himself tells.

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Etienne Lock

Cet article est une réfl exion sur la question identitaire telle que portée et exprimée dans l’itinéraire historique du mouvement Présence Africaine. Il met en exergue une dimension fondamentale, voire l’essence même de l’engagement de ce mouvement, jusqu’ici non explorée. Tout en faisant redécouvrir les défi s et de grands événements quiont fait la notoriété de Présence Africaine soutenue par une revue et une maison d’édition, cette réfl exion s’articule aussi autour des débats philosophiques et théologiques au sein de ce mouvement, et se déploie par ailleurs en référence aux indépendances africaines. L’opportunité d’une telle réfl exion s’explique par le fait que la question identitaire reste un enjeu important pour les sociétés contemporaines.

This article examines the issue of identity as expressed in the historical journey of the intellectual movement Présence Africaine. It highlights a fundamental dimension of the commitment of that movement not yet explored in academic research. The current study uncovers the challenges and the great events that shaped the reputation of Présence] Africaine as an African intellectual movement with a journal and a publishing house. It also deals with the identity issue through philosophical and theological debates as well as in reference to the independence era in Africa. The relevance of such a study is due to the topicality of the identity issue for contemporary societies.

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The Leftist “Imagined Community”

The Transnational Imagination of Left-Wing Subversive Organizations in Western Europe

Mikuláš Pešta

This article concerns radical leftist subversive organizations in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s and their transnational shared imagination. It shows that despite the scarcity of direct contacts, there existed a sense of belonging to the same transnational current, the “imagined community.” On selected criteria (Images – Semantics – Practice), the article provides analysis of the shared tropes in self-perception and in the communication. The patterns were shared among the Western European subversive organizations but also imported from the countries of the Global South. The article further presents the lack of eff ort of the subversive organizations to create their own mark and graphic identity, whether consciously or not, to become a part of the “global anti-imperialist front.” It puts into question the utility of the traditional categorization of subversive organizations and discusses the use of the term “terrorism” regarding its self-perception and global context.

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Massinger’s Strange Pirates

Strangeness, Law(s) and Genre in The Double Marriage and The Unnatural Combat

Susanne Gruss

This article analyses the pirate figures in The Double Marriage (1619–22) and The Unnatural Combat (1624–26) by delineating the crucial role of strangeness in the depiction of piracy on the one hand and the generic status of these plays on the other. In both texts, the main pirate figure moves from strange outsider to morally upright anti-hero. Strangeness (and with it, piracy) thus serves to question and undermine the stability of the social status quo. Strangeness and unnaturalness also inherently affect the generic status of both plays. In The Unnatural Combat, a revenge plot becomes obsolete with the death of one of the protagonists; and The Double Marriage becomes strange in its undermining of generic expectations, generating a tragicomic plot and at least three different revenge plots.

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Giles Watson

Rivets and The Hanney Brooch By Giles Watson

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Putting Strangeness in Perspective

John Fletcher’s The Island Princess

Anja Müller-Wood

I consider ‘strangeness’ as a performative phenomenon directly related to the experimental multiperspectivity of the early Stuart stage. As such, it is not a quality ascribed to individual characters, but the norm ruling interactions between them: all characters are strangers to each other. This constellation drives theatrical agon and suspense, turning spectators into privileged witnesses to an all-encompassing strangeness of which characters are often unaware. This theatrical take on strangeness supplements and potentially undercuts contextual and thematic explanations of the early modern stage’s fascination with the odd and exotic. Thus in John Fletcher’s The Island Princess (1621), the conflict between Christianity and Islam ostensibly depicted in this tragicomedy is challenged, if not superseded, by a more existential and ubiquitous notion of strangeness at the play’s core.