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Shapeshifters

Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship

Jennifer Bethune

Aimee Meredith Cox. 2015. Can Citizenship Care? Black Girls Reimagining Citizenship. Durham, NC, Duke University Press.

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Spatializing Radical Political Imaginaries

Neoliberalism, Crisis, and Transformative Experience in the Syntagma Square Occupation in Greece

Dimitris Soudias

This article seeks to make sense of why participants in square occupations point to the transformative character of their experience. Drawing from narrative research on the 2011 occupation of Syntagma Square in Athens, I argue that the transformative quality of the occupation lies in the spatialized emergence and practice of radical political imaginaries in these encampments, which signify a demarcation from and an alternative to the neoliberalizing of everyday life in Greece. By scrutinizing the spatial demarcation between the “upper” and “lower” parts of the Syntagma Square occupation, one can think more carefully about the conditions of possibility for the emergence of the radical imagination.

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Janet Staiger

Todd Berliner’s Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema (2017) offers useful broad theoretical arguments about how to understand our pleasures in viewing cinema. Yet, moving to individual cases requires recognizing the historical conditions of spectatorship including contemporaneous ideological issues, levels and types of knowledges, and cooperation (or non-cooperation) by a spectator.

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Patrick Keating

In this article, I offer a response to Todd Berliner’s splendid book Hollywood Aesthetic. Although the book is an innovative and well-crafted contribution to the study of Hollywood cinema, I argue that it underestimates the extent to which unity and coherence contribute to the aesthetic value of a film.

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Taxes for Independence

Rejecting a Fiscal Model of Reciprocity in Peri-urban Bolivia

Miranda Sheild Johansson

In peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia, the ‘informally’ employed population reject the government’s fiscal offer of taxes in return for welfare, infrastructure, and rights, including the offer’s underlying logic of reciprocity. Instead, they disaggregate the fiscal landscape by choosing to engage with some taxes and avoid others, understanding the exchanges that do take place as vehicles for independence from the state as opposed to interdependence with the state. An anthropology of tax must do the same: deconstruct fiscal systems, examine the multiple exchange logics at play, investigate the production of diverse forms of ‘economic citizenship’, and locate emic definitions of tax within their historical and cultural context. Specifically, reciprocity should not be assumed to be an organizing principle of fiscal imaginaries or realities.

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Anna Stilz and Christine Hobden

18 November 2019

CH: Thank you for agreeing to do this. The prompt for the interview was to talk about your recently published book, Territorial Sovereignty, but I thought before we got into that you could say something about your earlier work and how that led you to be interested in this particular project that you deal with in the book.

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The Territorialization of Vietnam’s Northern Upland Frontier

Migrant Motivations and Misgivings from World War II until Today

Sarah Turner, Thi-Thanh-Hien Pham and Ngô Thúy Hạnh

Agricultural expansion and resource exploitation are reconfiguring the Southeast Asian Massif in important ways, with related in-migration to these uplands increasing rapidly. Within this region, the northern Vietnam frontier has an unusual migration history, including state-sponsored resettlement and spontaneous migration. While analyzing the reflections of 90 migrants, we investigate the patterns and processes by which Vietnam’s northern uplands have been peopled with lowland migrants from World War II until today, revealing three key waves or temporal groups. Focusing on these groups, we compare migrants’ everyday lived experiences during and soon after their journeys, with a range of unmet expectations, concerns, and tensions becoming apparent. This combination means that while the taming and territorialization of this upland frontier can be considered structurally complete, for migrant settlers their new home remains an ambiguous social space.

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Tolerating the Conditionally Tolerant

The Uneasy Case of Salvation Religions

William A. Edmundson

How can a tolerant, liberal political culture tolerate the presence of only conditionally tolerant illiberal sub-cultures while remaining true to its principles of tolerance? The problem falls within the intersection of two developments in the thinking of two of the leading anglophone philosophers of the last half-century, Bernard Williams and John Rawls. Rawls, particularly, struggled with the problem of how a liberal society might stably survive the clash of plural sub-cultures that a liberal society – unless it is oppressively coercive – must itself foster and allow to flourish. And he separately struggled with the problem of how liberal peoples might peacefully share the planet with illiberal, but “decent” peoples elsewhere. This article shows that Rawls’s two solutions do not easily mix, and argues that state-approved early education must do more than merely to inform children that losing their faith will not land them in jail.

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Towards a Fairer Future

An Activist Model of Black Girl Leadership

Courtney Cook

In the study on which this article is based, I examine the correlation between the number of Black girls in leadership programs and the number of Black female leaders in nonprofit organizations. I carried out research on Black girl leadership to understand the shortcomings of programs meant to teach Black girls appropriate leadership skills and I conducted interviews with female leaders to determine the hurdles faced by Black women trying to obtain leadership roles in the nonprofit sector. My findings show that there is a disconnect between Black and white women in leadership roles and that impediments for Black women affect leadership prospects for Black girls. This article is a call to create an activist model that supports the professional trajectories of Black girls.

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Transit Migration in Niger

Stemming the Flows of Migrants, but at What Cost?

Sébastien Moretti

Since 2015, the European Union has stepped up its efforts to curb irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa through increasingly restrictive measures targeting transit countries along migratory routes, including Niger. While the EU has heralded the success of its policies to limit migration through Niger, EU migration policies have disrupted the economic system in Agadez, where transit migration has been one of the main sources of income and a factor of stability since the end of the Tuareg rebellions in 2009. This article discusses the impact that EU migration policies may have at the local level in countries of transit, and highlights the potential for these policies to fuel tensions between local and national authorities. The Agadez case study illustrates the importance of a multilevel approach to migration governance that takes into full consideration the role of local authorities and local communities in countries of transit.