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For a Synaesthetics of Seeing

Naisargi N. Dave


This Afterword explores the volume's ambivalent relationship to witnessing, and argues for a synaesthetics of seeing. Drawing on literature fictive and otherwise, with an emphasis on animality (fictive and otherwise), it reflects on how sound and touch enable us to see.

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The Anthropologist's Video Camera as Stage

Forced Displacement and Production of Audio-visual Witnessing in Northern Sudan

Valerie Hänsch


In this article, I explore how Sudanese communities have attempted to visually document, witness and communicate a silenced history of forced displacement. Thousands of peasants in rural Northern Sudan were flooded out of their homes along the Nile during the 2003–2009 Merowe Dam construction project. My aim is to examine both the complex local interactions with and appropriations of the anthropologist's video camera, which, in the relational process of witnessing, turned into a stage to provide audio-visual evidence against hegemonic discourses of Sudan's successful hydroelectric future. I show how my video camera's affordances of capturing and mediating ‘truth’ evoked specific performative genres of representation in moments of crisis and illustrate how these usages differ from everyday interactions with a video camera. These performative genres of ‘crisis witnessing’, I contend, resonate with globally distributed media realities and thereby reproduce certain practices of communication that are stereotyped in the mass media.

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Becoming a global citizen?

Developing community-facing learning in the social sciences

Jane Booth


This article will propose a more authentic learning environment for students of the social sciences, one that is not only learner-centred but community-centred. Drawing on the principles of social pedagogy, cultural-based learning, place-based learning and co-production, this article advocates engaging community groups as co-producers in the generation of knowledge, enhancing learning within – and beyond – the university. By not using the community simply as a source of research data or placement opportunities, the curriculum is more likely to produce reflexive graduates better equipped to engage with complex global problems, enhancing their global citizenship and that of the wider community.

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Zora Kostadinova and Chakad Ojani

Darryl Li, The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity. Stanford University Press, pp. 364, 2020.

Hannah Knox, Thinking Like a Climate: Governing a City in Times of Environmental Change. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 328, 2020.

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Naomi Caffee, Paul Dukes, and Aimar Ventsel

Mists on the River: Folktales from Siberia Yeremei Aipin, Translated by Marina Aipin and Claude Clayton Smith (Brunswick, ME: Shanti Arts Publishing, 2020), 51 pp. ISBN 978-1-951651-40-4.

Regional'naia elita Dal'nego Vostoka v mekhanizme vneshnei politiki: Dokumental'naia istoriia voennogo konflikta na KVZHD mezhdu SSSR i Kitaem, 1929 Marina Fuchs (New York: South Eastern Publishers, 2020), 513 pp., 570 notes, with a summary in English, 54 pp.

Lifestyle in Siberia and the Russian North Joachim Otto Habeck, ed. (Cambridge, UK: Open Book, 2019), 490 pp. ISBN paperback: 978-1-78374-717-7; ISBN cloth: 978-1-78374-718-4.

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Jessica Belue Buckley and Søren S. E. Bengtsen

Janet Haddock-Fraser, Peter Rands and Stephen Scoffham (2018), Leadership for Sustainability in Higher Education. London: Bloomsbury, 221pp., ISBN: 978-1-350-00612-6

Sónia Cardoso, Orlanda Tavares, Cristina Sin and Teresa Carvalho (eds) (2020), Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Education: Social, Political and Student Expectations. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 410pp., ISBN: 978-3-030-38045-8

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Bridges or Walls? Or Bridges are Walls?

Hegemony, Situational Selection and Counter Narratives at the Boundaries of Spain and Europe

Elaine McIlwraith

This Forum contribution considers the idea of bridges and walls. It compares two cultural programmes in Granada, Andalusia, that use the concepts of ‘dialogue’ and ‘tolerance’ along with the idea of a bridge between Spain and Europe, and the Arab-Islamic world. Ethnographic data suggest that the idea of bridges and walls are not always mutually exclusive. The former can incorporate subtleties that reinforce the latter. Consolidation of either depends on how closely hegemonic and subaltern narratives align. Even when bridge narratives have a significant presence within a country, ideas of walls at national borders reinforce the exclusion of an imagined ‘Other’. Considering hegemonic processes helps to clarify the emergence of these narratives and their effects on both cross-border and local ethnic connections.

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Building Bridges over Troubled Waters

EU Civil Servants and the Transcendence of Distance and Difference

Seamus Montgomery

This Forum contribution presents fragmented accounts of historical narratives collected while conducting ethnographic fieldwork among civil servants in and around the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. It focuses on the roles that heritage-making practices play in articulating European identity and belonging within these institutional spaces. In the ongoing debates over ‘bridges’ and ‘walls’, Commission officials advocate building the former and tearing down the latter. The European heritage narratives they enact tell the story of a supranational community formed from the expansion of external borders and the elimination of internal ones. Through the transcendence of borders, both physical and cognitive, geographic distances and social differences are made increasingly irrelevant. Their efforts in this regard are nonetheless hindered by futurist temporalities that orient Europeanness in opposition to the past.

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Building ships while breaking apart

Container economies and the limits of chaebol capitalism

Elisabeth Schober


With the center of gravity of the maritime industry over recent decades progressively moving eastwards, South Korea is today a giant in both shipping and shipbuilding. Its largely family-controlled industrial enterprises are nowadays increasingly engaged in risky business experiments abroad, which on occasion fail in a spectacular manner. By following the story of how one family-run economic actor invested unsuccessfully in the Philippines, I combine an exploration of the political-economic factors involved in this failure with an investigation of how these larger structures are entangled with a complex family story inside a Korean conglomerate. The forced separation between family and business that ensued in this case illuminates changing and competing ideals of “waterborne” capitalism in the twenty-first century.

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“Close to the skin”

Conceptualizing the intimate functioning of the US–Mexico border

Miranda Dahlin

Jusionyte, Ieva. 2018. Threshold: Emergency responders on the US-Mexico border. Oakland: University of California Press.

Yeh, Rihan. 2017. Passing: Two publics in a Mexican border city. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.