Both “populism” and “populist” have long been considered ill-defined terms, and therefore are regularly misapplied in both scholarly and popular discourses.1 This definitional difficulty is exacerbated by the Babelian confusion of voices on populism, where the term’s meaning differs within and between global regions (e.g. Latin America versus Western Europe); time periods (e.g. 1930s versus the present), and classifications (e.g. left/ right, authoritarian/libertarian, pluralist/antipluralist, as well as strains that muddy these distinctions such as homonationalism, xenophobic feminism and multicultural neonationalism). While useful efforts have been made to navigate the vast and heterogeneous conceptual terrain of populism,2 they rarely engage with each other. The result is a dizzying proliferation of different definitions unaccompanied by an understanding as to how they might speak to each other. And this conceptual fragmentation reinforces, and is reinforced by, diverging assessments of populism which tend to cast it as either “good” or “bad” for democracy (e.g. Dzur and Hendriks 2018; Müller 2015).
A state of the field review (2008-2018)
Jean-Paul Gagnon, Emily Beausoleil, Kyong-Min Son, Cleve Arguelles, Pierrick Chalaye and Callum N. Johnston
Decolonizing the Curriculum
Despite sustained critical attention to the politics of knowledge, contemporary anthropology disproportionately engages with ideas produced by academics based in European and North American universities. The ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ movement speaks to core areas of anthropological interest while making a critical comment on the academic structures in which anthropologists produce their work. The articles in this collection interrogate the terms on which academic work engages with its own history, and ask how the production of knowledge relates to structures of race, gender and location. The collection considers the historical, political and institutional context of the ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ movement, the potential impact that the movement might make on education and research, and the major challenges facing it.
Bryan Loughrey and Graham Holderness
In October 2016, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Department of Philology, Literature, Linguistics of the University of Pisa organized a conference on the topic of ‘Shakespeare and Money’. This issue of Critical Survey publishes some of the keynote papers from that conference.
One of the opportunities that we can offer as a journal is to publish papers delivered at conferences whose subject matter fits our overall remit. They may appear as a section within an issue of the journal which otherwise covers a miscellaneous range of topics. Sometimes, when there are sufficient materials, we invite the organizers to consider providing someone to be a guest editor so that the entire issue can be devoted to the particular conference. Some recent examples are: The State of Ladino Studies 2010/11; German Rabbis Abroad 2012; Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain 2014; Rabbis and the Great War 2015.
What Do We Do and Where Are We Going?
This issue of the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology is the first under my tenure as the new editor. The journal began life in 1973 under the title Cambridge Anthropology. The first issue aimed to provide a forum for University of Cambridge ‘undergraduates, research students and staff in which ideas and different theoretical approaches can be developed’ (Cambridge Anthropology 1973: ii). I inherit the journal forty-five years later, during which time the scope of the journal has expanded.
Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham
It cannot have escaped the notice of any Israel Studies Review readers—or, indeed, of much of the world’s literate population—that 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. Academics commemorated the anniversary in their usual way, with a host of conferences in Israel, the US, and plenty of other places on innumerable topics relating to everything Israeli.
Ethnographic Explorations of Moral Economies across Europe
Sabine Strasser and Luisa Piart
For this special issue we are bringing together six ethnographic cases of intimate uncertainties that are situated within different regimes of reproduction, healthcare and borders in and beyond Europe. These ethnographic inquiries exemplify unprecedented settings of moral ir/responsibility shaping the intimate on different scales and in various sites of power (agencies, clinics, borderlands). These uncertainties in times of major transitions from old to new moral orders, from industrial to postindustrial, from welfare to austerity spark off a renewed debate on moral economy. The authors of these contributions all focus the theoretical lens of moral economy squarely onto the intimate.
The introduction offers an overview of English-language and Spanish-language scholarship about Spanish comics since 2000. This research is typically concerned with one of four main chronological periods, i.e. early comics history 1875-1939; the Francoist dictatorship 1939-1975; the Political Transition 1970-1985; and Democratic Spain from the early 1980s, and some of its recurrent themes are memory, gender, regional identities and history, and/or a focus on social or educational comics. The articles in the two special issues on Spanish comics (11.1 and 11.2) almost all relate to these periods and themes in different ways, and together they show that comics scholarship about Spanish comics is a fascinating field, and one that offers plenty of opportunities for further study.
Doing Ritual While Thinking about It?
Religious anthropology and ritual studies have increasingly acknowledged that ritual and religion are subject to criticism. There is stil a tendency, however, to argue that doubt, skepticism, and forms of ‘critical reflexivity’ develop somewhere outside the ritual ‘frame’, in connection with external processes. In presenting this special section of Religion and Society, this introduction harks back to past research arising out of structural and performative approaches to rite, introduces the notion of critical reflexivity, and outlines the ways it is used to shed light on overlooked formal aspects of religious rituals. In order to stress the subtle connection between ritual action and (local) reflection on this action as evidenced in situ in the course of performance, linked with internal features of ritual activity, the article evokes two lines of empirical inquiry: institutionalized episodes of ritual assessment and ritual ‘accidents’ that do not necessarily imply ritual ‘failure’.