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Diane Duclos, Sylvain L. Faye, Tidiane Ndoye and Loveday Penn-Kekana

The notion of performance has become dominant in health programming, whether being embodied through pay-for-performance schemes or through other incentive-based interventions. In this article, we seek to unpack the idea of performance and performing in a dialogical fashion between field-based evaluation findings and methodological considerations. We draw on episodes where methodological reflections on performing ethnography in the field of global health intersect with findings from the everyday practices of working under performance-based contracts in the Senegalese supply chain for family planning. While process evaluations can be used to understand contextual factors influencing the implementation of an intervention, we as anthropologists in and of contemporary global health have an imperative to explore and challenge categories of knowledge and practice. Making room for new spaces of possibilities to emerge means locating anthropology within qualitative global health research.

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Fanfic’ing Film

Queer Youth Cinema Reclaims Pop Culture

Andrew Scahill

Fairy Tales Film Festival 2018, Calgary Queer Arts Society, Youth Queer Media Program

For the study of youth in cinema, we, as scholars, must always remind ourselves that most images we analyze are created by adults representing youth, not by youth representing themselves. As such, they represent an idea of youth—a memory, a trauma, a wish. They are stories these adults tell themselves about what they need youth to be in that moment. Coming out becomes the singular narrative of queer youth, and positions adulthood as a safe and stable destination after escaping the traumatic space of adolescence. The stories in these films provide important moments for adult queers to “feel backward” (2009: 7) as Heather Love says, and to process the pain of a queer childhood. And for young people exploring their sexuality, these stories are essential for at-risk youth who feel hopeless, trapped, or alone.

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The Far Eastern Railway in the 1930s

Relations and Reactions to the Repressions in the USSR

Elena Gnatovskaya and Alexander Kim

This article evaluates the relationship among the railroad staff of the Far East during the most dramatic events in the political life of the country at that time—repressions. As a rule, Russian academic literature indicates that few workers perceived the Soviet state’s mechanisms of pressure negatively. This article demonstrates that the railroad staff’s position was far more diverse than traditionally argued, which is a result of the broad variety of social groups working for the railroad in the Far East. The article demonstrates this diversity of opinions by focusing on those events that affected a significant number of railroad workers.

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Günther Jarfe

This article tries to elucidate Gabriel’s story ‘Steps’ to some extent. Here, as elsewhere, the narrator’s deliberate failure to clearly separate actual from imaginary facts and incidents causes problems of understanding. Initially, we are told that the protagonist has long been living in Paris. A little later, however, we hear that he has moved to Wales with his second wife. So where does the man live? While other stories remain ambiguous throughout, ‘Steps’ seems less impenetrable. The protagonist, we learn, often indulged fantasies when he went for his strolls in Paris and is quoted as saying ‘Going up and down steps lets the mind float free’. When at the end of the story the narrative suddenly shifts to the present tense – ‘…he climbs the steps of the rue St. Julien’ – this seems to suggest that most of the story represents aspects of the protagonist’s ‘alternative lives’, as envisaged during his walks.

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Maxmillian Julius Chuhila, Veena Das, Alex Pillen and Knut Christian Myhre

This issue inaugurates the First Book Symposium as a feature in the pages of Social Analysis. Instead of including ourselves among the journals that devote a section to book reviews in their regular issues, as we have done for many years, we feel that a more focused approach is better suited to our goal of exploring the potentials of anthropological analysis. Adopting from other journals the format of the book symposium, in which a single book is subjected to sustained critical engagement by relevant scholars, we devote it in particular to discussion of books by first-time authors. Our aim is, on the one hand, to give a platform to scholars who are not already widely known and established and, on the other, to acquaint our readers with ideas and analytical approaches that are fresh.

Knut Christian Myhre, Returning Life: Language, Life Force and History in Kilimanjaro (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018), 336 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. eBook. eISBN 9781785336669.

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Ted Nannicelli

Welcome to the first issue of our first three-issue volume of Projections. We begin this issue with a truly exciting collaboration between a filmmaker (and scholar), Karen Pearlman, and a psychologist, James E. Cutting. Cutting and Pearlman analyze a number of formal features, including shot duration, across successive cuts of Pearlman’s 2016 short film, Woman with an Editing Bench. They find that the intuitive revisions that Pearlman made actually track a progression toward fractal structures – complex patterns that also happen to mark three central pulses of human existence (heartbeat, breathing, walking).

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Gabriel Josipovici

Three Figures

David Herman

This article explores three central figures that recur in Gabriel Josipovici’s critical writing. All three are essentially solitary. First, there is the creative figure – the artist, the composer, the writer – alone in their study or studio. Second, there is a curiously impersonal figure, more elusive, harder to pin down. Not the writer or artist but an anonymous figure walking down the road, Wordsworth’s solitaries in The Prelude and Paul Klee’s Wander-Artist. And, finally, there are Jewish figures, especially from Kafka and the Hebrew Bible. What are these bare, elusive anonymous figures doing in Josipovici’s writing? Why do they come up so often, throughout his work, from the mid 1970s to the present? And are they lifeless or are they full of life, deeply human, rooted in history and literature?

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Howard Cooper

There are many approaches to reading the Hebrew Bible, from the pietistic in both Jewish and Christian traditions to the scholarly. Gabriel Josipovici’s approach is not about seeking the reductive ‘meaning’ of a text, but encouraging readers into an open relationship with the text in order to preserve the ambiguities and mysteries that adhere to such texts. Joseph’s encounter with an unnamed stranger in Genesis 37 is used as an illustration of this approach. Standing ‘face to face’ with the text requires humility, and trust in the storyteller.

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Gabriel Josipovici at 75

A Celebration and Personal Contribution

Jeremy Lane

This article, as a tribute to Gabriel Josipovici, describes his impact on the author over many decades, initially as his teacher and thesis supervisor, later as colleague and friend at the University of Sussex. This impact included broadening his knowledge of contemporary French literary critics and of writers engaged with criticism, and opening up European dimensions to otherwise insular English academic approaches to literature. A study of Josipovici’s novel Migrations (1977) shows how it manages to explore the many dimensions of the condition of migrancy, even though held here within the bounds of a novel that is tightly packed but opens into a whole world.

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A Generative Theory of Anticipation

Mood, Intuition and Imagination in Architectural Practice

Christopher Stephan

In this article, I argue that anticipation unfolds within a range of experiential modalities. Because moods and emotions, intuitions and imagination, among other forms of experience, can all appear as disclosing something about the future, anticipation is heterogeneous. Building on work in phenomenological anthropology and philosophy, I offer a generative phenomenology of the range of anticipatory experience, arguing that some forms of experience are relatively more implicit while others may prove more salient and offer more explicable forms of anticipation. As anticipation emerges in time, the more implicit experiential modes such as mood and intuition operate as antecedents to more explicit ones such as imagination. Turning to apply these ideas to ethnographic materials from my fieldwork among architectural design teams in San Francisco, I demonstrate how attentiveness to this gradient of anticipatory experience allows us to account for anticipatory experiences as they unfold through time.