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Neoliberalism, Hedonism and the Dying Public

Reclaiming Political Agency through the Exercise of Courage

Grant M. Sharratt and Erik Wisniewski

Abstract

While the pursuit of hedonism is legitimated by neoliberal governmentality, its disciplining and isolating forces prevent individuals from being fulfilled by their pursuit of pleasure. Concomitantly, this hedonism (pursuing pleasure to avoid pain) causes individuals to withdraw from public political life. In this article we argue that, instead of attempting to pursue pleasure through the experience of material comfort, individuals ought to orient themselves towards membership in substantive political associations. Further, we argue that it is through such membership that one can attain genuine fulfilment, while simultaneously reclaiming agency, both on individual and collective terms. Though individuals must be willing to take on the risk of pain, their membership in substantive political associations provides genuine fulfilment, while also allowing for the construction of new worlds through political action.

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Non “Religious” Knowing in Pilgrimages to Sacred Sites

Greek Cypriots’ “return” Pilgrimages to the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas (Cyprus)

Evgenia Mesaritou

Abstract

Even though pilgrimages may often be directed toward what can conventionally be seen as “religious” sacred sites, religious and ritual forms of knowledge and ignorance may not necessarily be the only, or even the most prominent, forms in their workings. Focusing on Greek Cypriots’ return pilgrimages to the Christian-Orthodox monastery of Apostolos Andreas (Karpasia) under the conditions of Cyprus's ongoing division, in this article I explore the non “religious” forms of knowing and ignoring salient to pilgrimages to sacred religious sites, the conditions under which they become relevant, and the risks associated with them. Showing how pilgrimages to the monastery of Apostolos Andreas are situated within a larger framework of seeing “our places,” I will argue that remembering and knowing these places is the type of knowledge most commonly sought out by pilgrims, while also exploring what the stakes of not knowing/forgetting them may be felt to be. An exclusive focus on “religious” forms of knowledge and ignorance would obscure the ways in which pilgrimage is often embedded in everyday social and political concerns.

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Gill Gregory

Departed, by Gill Gregory

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Radical Reactionary

The Politics of William Le Queux

Harry Wood

Abstract

This article provides a detailed examination of the politics of William Le Queux. It argues that he is best understood as a product of the Edwardian radical right. Firstly, through exploring the politics of pre-1914 invasion anxieties and invasion-scare fiction, the article will question the idea that such literature was fundamentally Tory in quality. Instead, this emerging genre of popular fiction will be placed to the right of Edwardian Conservatism. Approaching Le Queux through his position as the most prominent author of British invasion literature at this time, the article will re-examine the available biographical evidence, highlighting the challenges scholars face in pinpointing his political leanings. Le Queux's numerous invasion-scare novels will be interpreted through the disparate ideas of the radical right. Although Le Queux's writing had little intellectual influence on radical right thinking in Britain, his novels provided this developing ideology with a prominent popular platform.

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Sarah Richmond

I am so grateful to Matthew Eshleman and Adrian van den Hoven for their generous, insightful comments. Translating can be a lonely activity, especially when the text is as lengthy as BN. At the end of hours of involvement with Sartre's French – perched, as it were, on the edge of his mind – I often felt in need of other, auxiliary minds to re-centre me, to save me from toppling over completely into Sartre's consciousness and drowning. In these moments, I usually turned to dictionaries and other internet resources to bolster my critical distance; more rarely, I would email fellow translators or philosophers for help. But I have had very little of the attentive, fine-grained dialogue offered here, and I have immensely enjoyed, and benefited from, this exchange. Hopefully, SSI readers will also find it of interest.

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Adrian van den Hoven

Abstract

Sarah Richmond's translation makes an important contribution to Sartrean scholarship. L'Etre et le néant was first translated by Hazel Barnes in 1956 but it contained various errors. Richmond also had access to the internet and to Sartre's French and German sources. Her edition also contains an Introduction and a ‘Notes on the translation’ section.

Sartre published his work in 1943 and, unable to access all the works he cited, he often did so from memory. He also adopted certain translators’ neologisms: for example, Corbin's translation of Heidegger's Qu'est-ce que la métaphysique? , and when he quoted Nietzsche, he used two different translations, and he quotes Spinoza using a text by Hegel. He quotes a line from the playwright Beaumarchais without clarifying the context.

Sarah Richmond deals with many of these problems and also notes that the French gender system can be problematic. Also, Sartre's neologisms rendered finding English equivalents difficult. This is an excellent translation.

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Sociality, Seriousness, and Cynicism

A Response to Ronald Santoni on Bad Faith

Jonathan Webber

Abstract

This article is a clarification and development of my interpretation of Sartre's theory of bad faith in response to Ronald Santoni's sophisticated critique, published in this issue. It begins by clarifying Sartre's conception of a project and explaining his claim that one project is fundamental, thereby elucidating the idea that bad faith is a fundamental project. This forms the groundwork of my responses to Santoni's critique of my interpretation, which comprises four arguments: Sartre does not consider us to be ontologically and congenitally disposed to bad faith; Santoni is right that social pressure cannot explain the prevalence of bad faith, but this is a problem with Sartre's theory rather than a problem for my interpretation of it; Sartre's conception of seriousness is merely an optional strategy of bad faith; and Sartre is right to deny that bad faith is an inherently cynical project.

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Professor Anna Stilz and Interviewed by Dr Christine Hobden

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“Welcome to Divinity College”

Subjectification in Pilgrimage to the Iran-Iraq War Battlefields in Contemporary Iran

Mahshid Zandi

Abstract

“Welcome to Divinity College,” reads a welcome sign to the state-sponsored fieldtrips of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) battlefields in Iran. Rahian-e Noor battlefield tours follow the model of Shia pilgrimage and commemorative rituals, while also tapping into nationalist discourses of the country as an ancient homeland. I ask whether these trips are a means of disseminating knowledge, and what forms of ignorance are assumed to prevail among the visitors that this “Divinity College” seeks to eliminate? Even more importantly, since the tours are state-sponsored, what ignorances are rendered possible, if not encouraged, at the cost of this selective knowledge dissemination? Drawing on fieldwork, I argue that the tours provide a space of encounter with what is presupposed as the visitors’ already acquired knowledge. On RN tours, both knowledge and ignorance are co-constitutive of the transformative power of pilgrimage, where ultimate knowledge is interpreted as putting the already-known-words into deeds.

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John Eade

Abstract

This article focuses primarily on the role of the camera in representing the famous, much visited Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, France, and what this role tells us about the relationship between gazing, knowledge, and the body. After outlining the historical development of the shrine, the discussion proceeds to consider the growth of popular media and the cinematic gaze, the expansion of tourism, debates concerning the morality of gazing at bodies as personal cameras and smartphones becoming increasingly available and used at the shrine, the representation of human and saintly bodies, and the part played by the camera in the attempt to ensure security.