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Jonathan Magonet

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Andrew Sanchez

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Paul L. Scham and Yoram Peri

This is the first of three special, guest-edited issues of ISR that will precede the retirement of the current editors from the journal. This issue, co-edited by Nir Gazit and Yagil Levy, takes on the unusual and seemingly somewhat arcane subject of military policing in Israel—that is, in the West Bank and on the Gaza border. The subject seemed somewhat arcane when we started planning it early in 2019, but now, as this issue reaches publication, we find that military policing is closely related to current events around the world, especially in the US, sometimes even competing with the coronavirus pandemic for the headlines. See the guest editors’ introduction immediately following this note for a fuller exposition before delving into the articles that follow.

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Judith Bovensiepen, Martin Holbraad, and Hans Steinmüller

During the current global pandemic, a series of transitions have taken place at Social Analysis. Judith Bovensiepen from the University of Kent and Hans Steinmüller from the London School of Economics have joined Martin Holbraad, University College London. The three of us will edit the journal from this issue onward as a team, supported by our editorial assistant, Alonso Zamora Corona, and the staff at Berghahn.

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Francisca Lladó

This article analyses the various components of a graphic novel, El Perdón y la furia [Forgiveness and Fury] by Antonio Altarriba and Keko, about the Baroque painter José de Ribera. It does so within a framework drawn from art history and studies the transgressive role of images through citation, intertextual borrowing, or creation by Keko in the manner of Ribera. A comparative analysis of the artist’s biography and the graphic narration uncovers a series of parallels between historically attested and fictitious events that can be seen as the common thread in a thriller based on the fight against power. It concludes by returning to the same themes within a contemporary setting, while Ribera’s story and that of his present-day fictional counterpart simultaneously reveal human truths.

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Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar and Helping the Persecuted

Scope of the Research and Some Reflections

Frank Dabba Smith


As a study of corporate and individual behaviour in the context of Nazi Germany, my research concerning Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar – the manufacturer of the Leica camera – is situated and seeks to build on the insights of scholars writing histories of businesses during this period. Leitz's highly unusual activities to help approximately eighty Jews and non-Jews, throughout the duration of the Nazi regime, involved training, employment, financial aid, and assistance both to leave Germany and when abroad. Where necessary, Leitz also intervened to help employees subjected to criminal prosecution. Ambivalence is present when discussing Leitz's increasingly conformist public face and producing sophisticated armaments, designed and built by in-house experts. Leitz also relied on forced labourers brought from Ukraine. These ambivalent activities, along with maintaining an extensive range of critical relationships with those holding authority, crucially enabled Ernst Leitz to survive and retain ownership of his firm.

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Experiments in Excreta to Energy

Sustainability Science and Bio-Necro Collaboration in Urban Ghana

Brenda Chalfin


In the quest for alternatives to energy extraversion and carbon-heavy extraction, transformation of waste to energy is growing worldwide. In Ghana's working-class city of Ashaiman, an international NGO converts faecal waste into electricity through a massive biodigester. Fed by public toilets, the power is sold back to residents. Touted as an exemplar of sustainable development, Ashaiman's case demonstrates that when power comes from human waste, the entanglement of energopolitics and biopolitics, but also energopower and necropower – the political uses of death and decay – is undeniable. Premised on such ‘bio-necro collaborations’ and enabled by sustainability science, these interventions activate state monopolies of waste while assimilating bodily excesses of urban dwellers. Marking the intimate exploitations of internal energy frontiers, an ever-tightening circuitry of energy production and political-economic incorporation results.

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Yoram Peri

David Greenblum, From the Heroism of the Spirit to the Sanctification of Power: Power and Heroism in Religious Zionism between 1948 and 1968 (Tel Aviv: Open University, 2016).

Uri S. Cohen, The Security Style and the Hebrew Culture of War (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2017).

Dan Arev, Dying to Watch: War, Memory, and Television in Israel 1967–1991 (Tel Aviv: Resling, 2017).

Dalia Gavriely-Nuri, Tel Aviv Was Also Once an Arab Village: The Normalization of the Territories in Israeli Discourse, 1967 (Cambridge, MA: Israel Academic Press, 2017).

Nitza Ben-Dov, The Life of War: On the Military, Revenge, Loss, and War Consciousness in Israeli Prose (Jerusalem: Schocken Books, 2016).

Haya Milo, Songs Through the Barrel of the Gun: Israeli Soldiers’ Folk Songs (Tel Aviv: Open University, 2017).

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Thierry Groensteen

Thierry Groensteen looks back over the years during which he edited Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée, transformed from the earlier Schtroumpf into a publication that promoted analysis and brought challenging and ambitious comics to the attention of readers, in a context where an earlier generation of comics studies pioneers had deserted the medium, and the experimentation of 1970s comics had given way to the dominance of more commercially viable series. Groensteen details the complex labour of putting a journal together, the recruiting of contributors, the coexistence of disparate theoretical approaches, and the hostility from certain quarters of the comics milieu that considered the journal pretentiously intellectual. The legacy of Les Cahiers endures in the form of major works for which it laid the foundations.