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Lev Taylor

Abstract

Until recently, scholars have assumed that Liberal Judaism's pre-war stance against Zionism was motivated primarily by a desire to assimilate into bourgeois English cultural mores. This article argues to the contrary: that the founders of Liberal Judaism were expressly trying to combat secular assimilation. Focusing on speeches and writings from Liberal Judaism's three primary founders, Lily Montagu, Claude Montefiore and Rabbi Israel Mattuck, I find they took a nuanced and principled approach to opposing Jewish nationalism. Their opposition to Zionism stemmed, instead, from a desire to contest definitions of Jewishness. In particular, they were concerned that national conceptions of Jewishness undermined their ethical and spiritual project. I conclude that many of their concerns anticipate problems in modern-day Israel, so that their arguments are worth revisiting.

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Beholding Ourselves

Black Girls as Creators, Subjects, and Witnesses

Erin M. Stephens and Jamaica Gilmer

The bus was full of excited chatter as it pulled up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (known universally as The Met) on Fifth Avenue on a cold morning in January. Thirteen girls, along with invited loved ones, had traveled for nine-and-a-half hours from Durham, NC, to view their art displayed in the exhibit, “Pens, Lens, and Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project” (hereafter, “Pens, Lens, and Soul”). First, the girls filed off the bus to take a photograph on the steps of The Met. As their family and friends waited to disembark, they laughed and shivered while posing for numerous photographs and videos on the cold steps. As they stood at the bottom of the steps of the grand prestigious museum, the impressiveness of their accomplishment was just beginning to dawn on many of them. As she walked around the exhibit one of the artists would comment, “I feel surprised because I didn’t realize it was this big of a thing and I was here and it’s a thing, it’s a big thing … we are capable of doing anything.”

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Active learning in criminal justice

The benefits of student investigation of wrongful convictions in a higher education setting

Jill Dealey

Abstract

Active learning, with students engaging in research or activities within the community, is a favoured approach in contemporary higher education. To support this approach, the Criminology and Forensic Studies programmes at the University of Winchester have included student research into miscarriages of justice. The students interrogate evidence from a criminal trial to attempt to establish if there has been a wrongful conviction. This article discusses the importance of this work for students of Criminology. It considers the contribution to the learning experience of the range of opportunities available to undergraduate and postgraduate students and evaluates the potential impact on curriculum and learning development during the degree programme, in addition to the benefits for future employment.

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Afterword

Putting Together the Anthropology of Tax and the Anthropology of Ethics

Soumhya Venkatesan

Abstract

Placing the anthropology of tax and taxation in conversation with the anthropology of ethics yields productive insights into both subfields. This is because discussions and disputations about tax and taxation reveal the ways in which people articulate and evaluate their relations with others, with the state, with ‘ought’ and ‘is’, and in terms of ownership and responsibility. They open up the complex relationship between legal obligations construed as moral and ethical understandings that are grounded in reflection and seek to articulate and enact particular understandings of the ‘good’ and ‘right’. This afterword draws on my own research with English right-wing activists, the articles that make up this special issue, and key discussions in the anthropology of ethics.

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Against Analogy

Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail

Roberto Frega

Abstract

This article asks whether the analogy between state and firm is a promising strategy for promoting workplace democracy and provides a negative answer, explaining why analogical arguments are not a good strategy for justifying workplace democracy. The article contends that the state-firm analogy is misguided for at least three reasons: (1) it is structurally inconclusive, (2) it is based on a category mistake, and (3) it leads us away from the central question we should ask, which is: What would concretely imply, and what is required, in order to democratize the workplace? I begin by offering an interpretation of the state-firm analogy which shows that use of the analogical argument in Dahl's justification of workplace democracy engenders excessive and unnecessary theoretical costs which bear negatively on his conclusion. I then proceed to examine more recent contributions to the debate and show that supporters and critics of the state-firm analogy alike do not advance our understanding of the analogical argument. In the last part of the article I provide a general theoretical explanation of why arguments based on the state-firm analogy are not good candidates for defending workplace democracy.

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Anxiety and learning

Cultural polarisation in social science courses

Jose Leonardo Santos

Abstract

University social science instructors sometimes encounter student silence or quarrels around culturally contentious subjects. In a culture that promotes distrust around the issues they teach, how do professors perceive and cope with such difficulties? Preliminary research using qualitative interviews with teachers from two different US universities explores problems they encounter and strategies they employ in the face of student struggles with nuance and a phenomenon referred to here as polarisation anxiety. Professors strategise how to teach the complexity of phenomenon some students have been culturally predisposed to oversimplify, polarise or remain silent about.

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Anxious Breath

An Autoethnographic Exploration of Non-binary Queerness, Vulnerability, and Recognition in Step Out

Lara Bochmann and Erin Hampson

Abstract

This article is a theoretical, audiovisual, and personal exploration of being a trans and non-binary person and the challenges this position produces at the moment of entering the outside world. Getting ready to enter public space is a seemingly mundane everyday task. However, in the context of a world that continuously fails or refuses to recognize trans and non-binary people, the literal act of stepping outside can mean to move from a figurative state of self-determination to one of imposition. We produced a short film project called Step Out to delve into issues of vulnerability and recognition that surface throughout experiences of crossing the threshold into public space. It explores the acts performed as preparation to face the world, and invokes the emotions this can conquer in trans and non-binary people. Breathing is the leading metaphor in the film, indicating existence and resistance simultaneously. The article concludes with a discussion of affective states and considers them, along with failed recognition, through the lens of Lauren Berlant's concept of “cruel optimism.”

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Archival Resistance

Reading the New Right

Annika Orich

Abstract

The popularity of Pegida and success of the Alternative for Germany has raised the question of how Germany should respond to the New Right. This article argues that reading in archives has emerged as a sociopolitical act of resistance against far-right movements, and that archival reading across time, borders, and media has turned into a strategy to defend democratic ideals. As the New Right's rise also originates in an archival investment to control public opinion and policy, the practice of archivally reading today's far right shows that contemporary Germany is in the midst of renegotiating its cultural archive, memory, and democratic principles.

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Asymmetries of Spatial Contestations

Controlling Protest Spaces and Coalition-Building during the Iranian December 2017 Protests

Tareq Sydiq

Abstract

Based on fieldwork carried out from 2017 and 2018, this article examines various attempts to both organize publicly and disrupt such attempts during the Iranian protests during that time. It argues that interference with spatial realities influenced the social coalitions built during the protests, impacting the capacity of actors to build such coalitions. The post-2009 adaptation of the state inhibited cross-class coalitions despite being challenged, while actors used spatial phrasing indicating they perceived spatial divisions to emulate political ones. Meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of the December 2017 protests, further attempts to control protest actions impacted not only those who would be able to participate in such events in the future, but also those who felt represented by them and who would be likely to sympathize with them. Based on the spatial conditions under which coalitions form, I argue that asymmetrical contestations of spatiality determined the outcome of the December 2017 protests and may contribute to an understanding of how alliances in Iran will form in the future.

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‘At the Mercy of the German Eagle’

Images of London in Dissolution in the Novels of William Le Queux

Antony Taylor

Abstract

In the years before 1914 the novels of William Le Queux provided a catalyst for British debates about the economic, military and political failures of the empire and featured plots that embodied fears about new national and imperial rivals. For Le Queux, the capture of London was integral to German military occupation. Representative of the nation's will to resist, or its inability to withstand attack, the vitality of London was always at issue in his novels. Drawing on contemporary fears about the capital and its decay, this article considers the moral panics about London and Londoners and their relationship to Britain's martial decline reflected in his stories. Engaging with images of anarchist and foreign terrorism, and drawing on fears of covert espionage rings operating in government circles, this article probes the ways in which Le Queux's fiction expressed concerns about London as a degenerate metropolis in the process of social and moral collapse.