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France’s Great War from the Edge

Susan B. Whitney

World War I has been studied extensively by historians of France and for good reason. Waging the first industrial war required mobilizing all of France’s resources, whether military, political, economic, cultural, or imperial. Politicians from the left and the right joined forces to govern the country, priests and seminarians were drafted into the army, factories were retooled to produce armaments and other war material, and women and children were enlisted to do their part. So too were colonial subjects. More than 500,000 men from France’s empire fought in Europe for the French Army, while another 200,000 colonial subjects labored in France’s wartime workplaces. The human losses were staggering and the political, economic, and cultural reverberations long-lasting, both in the metropole and in the colonies. More than 1.3 million French soldiers and an estimated 71,000 colonial soldiers lost their lives, leaving behind approximately 1.1 million war orphans and 600,000 war widows.

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Toward a Queer Sinofuturism

Ari Heinrich, Howard Chiang, and Ta-wei Chi

This special issue on “Queer Sinofuturisms” aims to explore how artists and writers working across various media in Sinophone contexts use science to envision — and indeed to fabulate — non-normative gender and erotic expressions in relation to the corporeal future of humanity. By investigating visions of the future that incorporate queerness and creative applications of computer and biotechnology, “Queer Sinofuturisms” aims to counter pervasive techno-Orientalist discourses, such as those discourses in the Blade Runner movies (Ridley Scott, 1982; and Denis Villeneuve, 2017) that frame “Asian” futures as strictly dystopian—and heteronormative by default. What happens, this issue of Screen Bodies asks, if we simultaneously destabilize techno-Orientalist narratives of the future while queering assumptions about the heteronormativity so often inscribed upon that future in mainstream iterations and embodiments? What kinds of fabulous fabulations might emerge?

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Film Studies and Analytic Aesthetics in Dialogue

Mario Slugan and Enrico Terrone

Since the 1970s with Stanley Cavell's work, and later with contributions such as those by Noël Carroll, George Wilson, Gregory Currie, and Berys Gaut, film has become a respectable object of philosophizing among Anglo-Saxon philosophers. Still, when it comes to the relationship between film and philosophy, the focus is mostly on how philosophy can help better understand film with little or nothing on how film studies can contribute to philosophical aesthetics. This special issue is aimed at encouraging a more balanced interaction between analytic aesthetics and film studies.

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Graham Holderness

In this issue of Critical Survey, the journal continues to publish cutting-edge research on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, together with innovative work in modern literature and theatre studies.

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Afsaneh Hojabri

Abstract: In light of the recent surge of Iranians’ autobiographies and fictions in the West, this article will examine ‘food writing’ as an emerging genre of diasporic narrative dominated by Iranian women. It will explore the multiple avenues through which these cookbooks/food memoirs seek not only to make accessible the highly sophisticated Persian culinary tradition but also to ameliorate the image of Iran. Such attempts are partly in response to the challenges of exilic life, namely, the stereotypical portrayal of Iranians in the Western media. Three books with strong memoir components will be further discussed in order to demonstrate how the experiences of the 1979 revolution, displacement, and nostalgia for prerevolutionary Iran are interwoven with the presentation of Iranian food and home cooking abroad.

Résumé : À la lumière de la vague récente d’autobiographies et de fictions d’Iraniens dans l’ouest cet article examinera “l’écriture culinaire” en tant que genre émergent de récit diasporique dominé par les femmes iraniennes. Il explorera les multiples voies pas lesquelles ces livres de cuisine / mémoires culinaires cherchent non seulement à rendre accessible la tradition culinaire persane très sophistiquée, mais aussi à améliorer l’image de l’Iran. Une telle tentative est une réponse aux défis de la vie en exil, à savoir la représentation stéréotypée des Iraniens dans les médias occidentaux. Trois livres avec de fortes composantes de mémoire seront discutés plus en détail afin de démontrer comment les expériences de la révolution de 1979, le déplacement et la nostalgie de l’Iran pré-révolutionnaire sont entrelacés avec la présentation de la cuisine iranienne et de la cuisine maison à l’étranger.

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Islam, Travel, and Learning

A Case Study on Indonesian Muslim Student Diasporas in Saudi Arabia

Sumanto Al Qurtuby


This article focuses on the study of the relationship between Islam, travel, and learning by conducting a case study on Indonesian Muslim students who studied (or are studying) in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, it examines the changing dynamics of these students who traveled, immigrated to, and studied in Saudi Arabia in search of knowledge from previous centuries to the contemporary era. This article shows that Indonesian students in this peninsula are deeply plural and complex, far from being a monolithic group in terms of social background, religious affiliation, political orientation, major field of study, and motive of their study, among other factors. Thus, the present article aims at demystifying and challenging the common beliefs and narratives which hold that Saudi Arabia–trained Indonesian students have been exporters of Islamist intolerance, radicalism, or even terrorism.

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L’estomac, le chemin du coeur et la transformation du monde

Femmes, nourriture, relations et parenté pratiques en Turquie

Marie Helene Sauner-Leroy

Abstract: Based on a survey carried out with middle-class, married, practicing and non-practicing Muslim women living in Istanbul, this work is focused on female relational networks, their link to cooking and gender relations. The article argues that the disruptions, modifications and accommodations put in place by women and men in their management of everyday life are reflected through daily food practices. The study emphasises the pivotal role of older women in the changes in male/female relationships. The disruptions do not seem to be based on one’s positional relation to religion, but rather on one’s belonging to age, class, or social status.

Résumé : Fondé sur une enquête réalisée avec des femmes de la classe moyenne, mariées, musulmanes pratiquantes et non-pratiquantes et résidant à Istanbul, ce travail s’est intéressé aux réseaux relationnels féminins, à leur lien au culinaire et aux relations de genre. Par le biais des pratiques alimentaires sont ainsi abordés les ruptures, les évolutions et accommodements mis en place par les femmes et les hommes dans leur gestion du quotidien. L’article insiste sur le rôle pivot des aînées dans les changements des rapports homme / femme. Les fractures ne semblent pas fondées sur le positionnement vis-à-vis de la religion, mais bien plutôt sur l’appartenance à une classe d’âge, ou à une classe sociale.

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L'humanisme et la question du langage

Sartre lecteur de Brice Parain

Hiroaki Seki


In this paper we examine the dialogue between Sartre and one of his contemporaries, the philosopher of language, Brice Parain. First, after clarifying what is common and different in their backgrounds, we will see that Sartre and Parain share a common belief that language itself has taken ill, as a result of the First World War, an illness for which both feel a need to find a remedy. Secondly, we will show how Sartre's reading of Parain allowed him to construct a theory of language that is consistent with his own humanism and the principles of committed literature. Finally, we will examine the influence of the religious dimension of Parain's argument on Sartre's theory of authorship.


Cet article examine un dialogue important mais peu étudié entre Sartre et le philosophe du langage Brice Parain. Les deux écrivains constatent un mal du langage, issu de la Grande Guerre de 1914-18 et de ses traumatismes que les mots proférés par les survivants sont incapables de prendre en charge. Dans ce monde « inhumain », où trouver un remède ? Pour Parain et Sartre le retour à n'importe quel humanisme implique une réflexion sur le langage. A travers sa lecture de Parain et ce qu'il propose, Sartre repense les bases de sa propre conception du langage d'une manière qui lui permet de développer son propre humanisme et les principes de la littérature engagée. Mais la dimension religieuse de l'argumentation de Parain, écartée par Sartre, laisse-t-elle des traces sur la conception sartrienne de l'auteur ?

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Latin America and COVID-19

Political Rights and Presidential Leadership to the Test

Brigitte Weiffen


Latin America was hit by COVID-19 in a moment of (socio-)economic distress and political unrest. This essay reflects on the immediate repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis for democracy in the region. It expounds how responding to the pandemic put to the test the still consolidating democracies with their long-standing defects in the areas of political and civil rights and horizontal accountability. In the course of coping with the crisis, it is precisely in these problem areas that additional risks for democracy have arisen due to infringements of political rights and the performance of presidents. Regarding the latter, the ambiguities of presidential leadership become particularly evident when comparing pragmatic and populist responses to the crisis.

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Le “7 épices” libanais

Un substitut heureux au piment de Jamaïque ?

Aïda Kanafani-Zahar

Résumé : Le piment de Jamaïque, une épice peu connue en France, est au coeur de la cuisine libanaise, du littoral comme de l’intérieur des terres, domestique et professionnelle. Elle est indispensable dans les mets carnés et, par affection et attachement, dans des préparations non carnées de légumes, de légumes secs et de plantes potagères. Son ampleur aromatique est telle qu’avec d’autres épices, elle est jugée la plus performante pour débarrasser les viandes et les abats de la zankha, miasme honni des Libanais, et pour les parfumer. Pour les jeunes générations, le mélange « 7 épices » partage des prérogatives similaires. Après avoir analysé le lien entre carné, zankha, et épice, ce texte s’interroge sur la pertinence d’un mélange aromatique dans la composition culinaire.

Abstract: Little known in France, allspice is at the heart of the Lebanese cuisine, of the littoral and inland, among home and restaurant cooks. It is imperative for meat preparations, and, by affection and attachment, in vegetable and pulse dishes. Its aromatic scope is such that, with other spices, it is deemed most efficient to invalidate meats and offal from zankha, an abhorred miasma, and to bestow fragrance to them. For younger generations, the “7 spice mixture” shares similar prerogatives. After analysing the correlation between meat, zankha and spice, this study ponders on the pertinence of an aromatic mixture in the elaboration of culinary compositions in Lebanon.