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The New Imitation Game

The Queer Sinitic Potentialities of Internet Romance Games

Carlos Rojas

Taking as its starting point the “original” variant of Alan Turing’s famous “imitation game” (in which a test subject attempts to differentiate, based purely on textual output, between a man and a woman), this article considers the ways in which gender and sexuality are simulated in the contemporary genre of virtual romance or dating video games. The article focuses on three Sinitic games, each of which strategically queers this predominantly heteronormative genre. In queering desire, moreover, these Sinitic games simultaneously suggest ways in which Chinese society itself may also be strategically queered.

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Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary

Abstract

Based on an extensive bibliographical review of the region– gender nexus, the article first assesses the quasi inexistence of gender issues in regional journals and the symmetrical absence of regional issues in gender publications. In so doing, it establishes the specific positioning of the Regions & Cohesion journal within that broad panorama. In launching an agenda to reverse that trend, the text then sets to offer two goals for future research and publication: (1) gendering the people, feminizing the regions; (2) queering the regions: the transborder condition as an inspiration.

Resumen

Con base en una extensa revisión bibliográfica de la producción científica sobre el vínculo entre región y género, este artículo comienza estableciendo la virtual inexistencia de temas de género en las publicaciones científicas de estudios regionales y la simétrica ausencia de los temas regionales en las revistas de estudios de género. Al hacerlo, establece la posición específica de la revista Regions & Cohesion dentro de este amplio panorama. El texto procede a proveer las bases de un programa encaminado a invertir esta tendencia, proponiendo dos objetivos para las investigaciones y publicaciones futuras: (1) dar un género a “la gente” que compone las regiones, feminizándolas; (2): “queering the regions”, analizar las regiones con lentes “queer”, observando la condición transfronteriza como fuente de inspiración en este campo.

Résumé

Sur la base d'une analyse bibliographique approfondie de la production scientifique concernant les liens entre région et genre, cet article commence par établir la quasi-inexistence des questions de genre dans les publications scientifiques en études régionales et celle, symétrique, des questions régionales dans les revues en études de genre. Ce faisant, il établit la position spécifique de la revue Regions & Cohesion au sein de ce panorama très large. Le texte procède enfin à poser les fondations d'un agenda destiné à inverser cette tendance et ce, en proposant deux objectifs pour les recherches et les publications à venir : 1/ Donner un genre aux « gens » qui composent les régions en les féminisant : 2/ « Queering the regions », c'est-à-dire faire passer les régions au crible d'une grille de lecture « queer », l'analyse de la condition transfrontière pouvant servir de source d'inspiration dans ce domaine.

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Asma Abbas

Abstract

That the present moment ties multiple crises together—not least because each is a future of pasts that wound(ed) through each other—must be factored into our intercessions and visions. If every crisis is also a call to order, then what order, old or new, does the pandemic call us to? Its literality provokes us to keep both the pan and the demos in sight, just as they are being extinguished through borders, disease, poverty, insecurity, hatred, and disposability in the global postcolony. We are asked to remember that capital and colony are inseparable, that the nation-state is too suspicious a source of comfort, that the eroding claims of citizenship across the postcolonial and post-democratic fascist failed states are instructive and prophetic, and that the assumptions of place and movement in our frames of the democratic political need revisiting.

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Nourrir les vivants par la grâce des saints

La nourriture et le sacré dans le chiisme iranien

Sepideh Parsapajouh

Abstract: In Iran, the giving of food for a religious purpose is a widespread act among Shiite believers, which can be observed daily in the city and in the villages, in both affluent and popular milieus. In order to understand the social, material and spiritual virtues of such food in the everyday life and worldview of Shiite devotees, this article proposes to analyse the process of preparation and sacredness of such food, and to study some important occasions of votive food giving in the lives of believers. The information in this article comes from previous research carried out in Iranian popular milieus, in some Shiite shrines and at the Behesht Zahra cemetery in Tehran, as well as from interviews conducted for this specific purpose.

Résumé : En Iran, le don de nourriture pour une intention religieuse est un acte très répandu chez les croyants chiites, que l’on peut observer quotidiennement en ville comme à la campagne, dans les milieux aisés comme dans les milieux populaires. Pour comprendre les vertus sociales, matérielles et spirituelles d’une telle nourriture dans la vie pratique et la vision du monde des pieux chiites, cet article propose d’analyser le processus de préparation et de sacralisation de cette nourriture, et d’étudier quelques occasions importantes de don de nourriture votive dans la vie des croyants. Les données de cet article proviennent de recherches précédemment effectuées dans les milieux populaires iraniens, dans quelques sanctuaires chiites et au cimetière de Behesht Zahra de Téhéran, ainsi que d’entretiens réalisés à cette fin précise.

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On Halbwachs's Sociology of Knowledge Program

The Two Hidden Categories of ‘La doctrine d'Émile Durkheim’

Jean-Christophe Marcel

Abstract

‘La doctrine d'Émile Durkheim’, sheds light on the intellectual connection between Durkheim and Halbwachs. Halbwachs agrees with Durkheim that knowledge consists of a set of classifications whose origin is social, and that evolution moves from totemic classifications to spatial classifications and contemporary conceptual thinking, but without much knowledge of the passage from the second to the third stage of this evolution. Halbwachs sketches, as a complement, an element of response to fill this void, and in doing so, announces his future work. To the categories of thought studied by Durkheim, he adds those of change and of the individual, which he will use in his later works to explain the movement of civilization. In doing so, he proves his involvement in developing the durkheimian program onsociology of knowledge.

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On Sinofuturism

Resisting Techno-Orientalism in Understanding Kuaishou, Douyin, and Chinese A.I.

Yunying Huang

Dominant design narratives about “the future” contain many contemporary manifestations of “orientalism” and Anti-Chineseness. In US discourse, Chinese people are often characterized as a single communist mass and the primary market for which this future is designed. By investigating the construction of modern Chinese pop culture in Chinese internet and artificial intelligence, and discussing different cultural expressions across urban, rural, and queer Chinese settings, I challenge external Eurocentric and orientalist perceptions of techno-culture in China, positing instead a view of Sinofuturism centered within contemporary Chinese contexts.

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David Owen

Abstract

This paper considers the implications of COVID for open borders. It notes that while COVID concerns do not directly challenge arguments for open borders, the pandemic has revealed two more general phenomena that are salient for such arguments. The first concerns the increasing unmooring of legal borders from physical spaces and the interaction of surveillance and identification technologies with this process. The second addresses the issue of interdependency and the potentially negative implications of open borders if not underpinned by a global basic structure.

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Post-Carroll

Functional Elements of the Moving Image

Philip Cowan

Abstract

Analyzing moving images is one of the fundamental practices in our attempt to understand the medium. Building on Noël Carroll's functional theory of film style, this article attempts to define a taxonomy of functional elements of shot composition in order to establish a clear methodology for the analysis of a moving image. Carroll criticizes forms of stylistic analysis that limit themselves to a few pre-selected aspects of the moving image, for example, genre motifs, individual filmmakers’ personal traits, or broad studies of film movements. Numerous writers have presented breakdowns of component parts of a moving image, often in wider discussions of film form. However these lists are often incomplete or do not have a clear methodology. This article identifies the key components of a moving image that could serve a functional purpose in individual films.

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Protesting in Pandemic Times

COVID-19, Public Health, and Black Lives Matter

Binoy Kampmark

The COVID-19 pandemic raised questions about reconciling health priorities with the exercise of certain liberties and rights. Public safety has come into conflict with matters of mobility, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. How can the threat of viral transmission be reconciled with the urgency of political protests, such as in the Black Lives Matter movement? This article discusses various approaches, referring to debates in the United States and Australia, where law enforcement authorities and politicians warned against protest marches, generally citing the protection of public health as a qualifying exception. Numerous epidemiologists, while acknowledging risks, argued that a calculus of risk be deployed, citing public health as a variegated, multilayered concept. A similar balancing act was deployed in Australian courts. Such reasoning led to accusations that public health science had been politicized. Striking the balance remains a pragmatic approach to holding such gatherings during times of pandemic.

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Provincial Shakespeare

Donald Wolfit, Marginality, and The Merry Wives of Windsor

Christopher Marlow

With reference to aspects of the career of the twentieth-century actor-manager Donald Wolfit and the use of the concept of provincialism in English criticism, this article argues that idealist and universalist values are repeatedly valorised in order to devalue materialist and what might be called ‘provincial’ interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays. I pay attention to conditions of production of early modern drama in the sixteenth century, and to Wolfit’s Second World War performances of Shakespeare, the reception of which is offered as evidence for the persistence of a critical prejudice against what is understood as provincial marginality. The article concludes with a reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor that argues that the play supports the provincial values that have so often been dismissed by critics.