Browse

You are looking at 51 - 60 of 1,844 items for :

  • Cultural Studies x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: Articles x
Clear All Modify Search
Full access

Invoking the “Yolocaust”?

German Memory Politics, Cultural Criticism, and Contemporary Popular Arts

Ralph Buchenhorst

Abstract

The present study understands comedy in relation to the Holocaust as an attempt by Germany's third and fourth generations to create alternative forms of commemoration. Analyzing the country's history of coming to terms with the Shoah, it highlights that recent forms of subversive satire are reacting to a crystallization in official memory politics through counter-discourse to political correctness and the defenders of moralism. The article finds that it is possible to combine comedy and Holocaust memory if Jewish victimhood is not spoofed and the limitations of official memory politics are debunked. Finally, it contends that not every historical assessment based on a local/national context can serve as a global blueprint. The recognition of national historical guilt and the establishment of distinct collective memories are still crucial for understanding specific pasts. Accordingly, German popular culture referring to the Nazi past differs from u.s. comedy dealing with the Holocaust.

Restricted access

Les Enfants Perdus

Asylum Reform, Parents’ Groups, and Disability Rights in France, 1968–1975

Jonathyne Briggs

Abstract

Following the deaths of fourteen children at a children's residential facility in Froissy in November 1968, a moment of national interest in France in the challenges facing disabled children led parents’ associations to press for systemic reform. Concomitantly, social critiques following the protests of May 1968 focused on poor institutional conditions as evidence of society's failures. Though government inquiry into the incident placed the blame on the proprietors, media reports and advocates asserted the failure of the French government to protect the disabled. This viewpoint aligned with the rhetoric of reformers seeking to dismantle institutions to instigate social change. However, an alliance of reformers and parents’ groups did not materialize, even after the important reforms of the law of 30 June 1975. That law articulated the government's commitment to the equality of disabled citizens, but it had limited impact due to its failure to address conditions for the mentally disabled.

Restricted access

Navigating the Fourth Republic

West African University Students between Metropolitan France and Dakar

Harry Gamble

Abstract

Through the end of the Third Republic, only tiny numbers of West African students managed to study at France's universities. Barriers to higher education began to fall after World War II, especially after African populations collectively gained citizenship. Higher education became a high-stakes policy area, as French officials and West African students and politicians vied to influence the parameters and possibilities of the postwar order. Amid escalating concerns about West African student migrations to the metropole, French officials eventually opened an Institute of Higher Studies in Dakar. However, this inchoate institution ended up highlighting the fundamental ambiguities of overseas citizenship. As West African students turned increasingly to anti-colonial activism, French authorities finally committed to establishing a full university in Dakar. Paradoxically, the construction and consolidation of this French university took place during the period of active decolonization.

Restricted access

Obscene or Exemplary? Robert Marchand's Cycling World Hour Record

Sport, Aging, and Neoliberalism in Contemporary France

Hugh Dauncey and Jonathan Ervine

Abstract

The cycling world hour record for riders over 105 years old set in 2017 by Robert Marchand was much discussed in France in a context of neoliberal discourses about work and retirement. Within a debate about work characterized by desires to encourage “active aging,” Marchand's sporting athletic effort was variously perceived as exemplary hard work and productive old age, or as an obscene abuse of athleticism. This article examines the reception of Marchand's record within the wider context of contemporary neoliberal trends in French politics, culture, and society. It considers Marchand's working life, active sporting retirement, and left-wing politics. It shows how media coverage and public discussion of the sporting “work” of his “performance” exemplified competing discourses in France's national discussions about neoliberalism.

Restricted access

Political Comedy as Fuel for Populist Rhetoric?

Representations of Politicians and Institutions in the German TV Shows “Eichwald MdB” and “Ellerbeck”

Niko Switek

Abstract

In popular culture, politics are frequently framed with negative stereotypes, and there is some overlap between the anti-establishment rhetoric of political humor and populist challengers. This article probes similarities shared by politicians as presented in the television comedies Eichwald MdB (about a backbencher in the Bundestag) and Ellerbeck (about a kindergarten teacher turned mayor) and supporters of the (right-)populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD). The analysis of the storylines uncovers representations of self-serving and incompetent politicians that align with the fundamental critique expressed by the AfD. However, the negative depictions in the shows are interwoven with positive elements that speak to a responsiveness of democratic institutions. The two case studies help us better understand the specific form of German political satire produced by a public broadcaster and how satirical entertainment oscillates between negativity and meaningful critique of political power.

Restricted access

The Potentiality to Move

Mobility and Future in Digital Nomads’ Practices

Patrícia Matos and Elisenda Ardévol

Abstract

The digital nomad lifestyle, which combines remote work and travel, has grown in the last decade among tech and creative industry professionals. “Freedom,” “inspiration,” and “work–life balance” are frequently mentioned by respondents when describing what led them to be location-independent workers. This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Barcelona. From participant observation and in-depth interviews, we study participants’ socialities and narratives to analyze the imaginaries that connect work, mobility, and lifestyle. We argue that digital nomadism is not solely centered on constant travel, but on the potential to move. This points to understanding mobility in relation to the future, not only in the form of participants’ aspirations but also their anticipatory practices. Despite the massive impact of the coronavirus pandemic on many aspects of people's lives, mobility being just one of them, we believe that such imaginaries still persist.

Restricted access

The Rue d'Isly, Algiers, 26 March 1962

The Contested Memorialization of a Massacre

Fiona Barclay

Abstract

This article examines the memorial discourses surrounding the massacre that occurred on 26 March 1962 when, in the week following the Franco–FLN ceasefire, French soldiers opened fire on a demonstration of unarmed European settler civilians, killing forty-six and wounding two hundred. Largely unknown among wider French society, references to the massacre have become a staple of the pied-noir activist discourse of victimhood, often advanced as evidence that they had no choice but to leave Algeria in 1962. The article draws on French and Algerian press articles, as well as online, print, and film publications produced by the repatriated European population. It reveals how settlers’ narratives first dehistoricized the massacre and then invested it with a significance that drew on multidirectional memories borrowed from a range of sometimes jarring international contexts. The analysis accounts for why the massacre contributed to the repatriated settler community's sense of identity and relationship to the wider French nation.

Restricted access

Staying Local, Going Global

Sustaining German Culture in “Dark” Times

Annika Orich

Abstract

Streaming technology has facilitated the global distribution of foreign-language shows such as Netflix's Dark. The worldwide popularity of Dark, the streaming giant's first original series made in Germany, raises questions about Netflix's business strategy of producing “local stories with global appeal” as well as the international allure of German culture today. This article examines how Dark's pop-cultural engagement with nuclear power connects to Germany's post-war policies on atomic energy and the circulation of the country's sustainability politics on the international stage. The show's particular blend of local and global aesthetics of nuclear power, sustainability, and climate change demonstrates how German culture is now viewed as a fitting medium to reveal, correspond to, and have an impact on today's zeitgeist globally. It also signals a shift in the dynamic between local and global media forms, and thus German film.

Restricted access

The Temporality of and Competition between Infrastructures

Taxis and E-Hailing in China

Jack Linzhou Xing

Abstract

This article examines the competition between taxis and e-hailing from the perspective of the temporality of infrastructures, which refers to 1) decay and maintenance of infrastructures, 2) imaginations of infrastructures regarding old, new, past, and future, and 3) the (spatio)temporal experience of infrastructure supporters. I propose that taxis and e-hailing are simultaneously transport and livelihood infrastructures that facilitate passengers’ and drivers’ lives, and that they are maintained by the two parties. One reason that taxis are maintained in this competition lies in taxi drivers’ preference for taxis as a livelihood infrastructure. The article highlights infrastructure supporters’ labor and spatiotemporal experience, emphasizes the importance of the perspective of the decay and maintenance of infrastructures, and proposes a dialectic view of the infrastructure-related imaginations of old and new, especially in a context in which disruptive innovations in infrastructural technologies are continuously emerging.

Restricted access

The Transformation of Urban Mobility Practices in Maastricht (1950–1980)

Coevolution of Cycling and Car Mobility

Marc Dijk, Anique Hommels, and Manuel Stoffers

Abstract

This article reconstructs the historical transformation of mobility in the city of Maastricht in the period 1950–1980, from cycling as the most popular mode of traveling in the 1950s to car driving by the end of the 1970s. Based on an analysis of written sources and oral history interviews with Maastricht travelers and other practitioners who experienced this shift themselves, this article sheds light on this historical transformation, its key actors, and its main drivers. Combining insights from studies of social practice-based perspectives on mobility, historical sociotechnical transitions, and the model of urban obduracy, this study seeks to contribute to understanding why and how cities may transform toward being unsustainable places. Furthermore, it aims to show how social practice approaches can give more context-sensitive insights into processes of transformation and transition compared to established MLP-based transition approaches, by giving more attention to local meanings.