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Moisés Orfali

This discussion of the processes of Spanish acculturation among Moroccan Jews deals with influences that Spanish Jews brought to Morocco both before and after 1492, especially their regulations establishing a considerable improvement in the status of Jewish women and restrictions on expenditure on the occasion of family celebrations. In accordance with the Valladolid Takkanot (1432), they forbade the wearing of certain jewellery and the display of valuable finery. These social and ethical-religious measures also expressed a concern not to expose property and people to the envy of non-Jews. The megorashim (newcomers from Spain) spread the Castilian custom of ritual slaughter of animals for consumption. The re-Hispanisation of the Judeo-Spanish language (Ḥaketía) was consciously considered among the descendants of the megorashim as part of their Spanish identity and collective memory.

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Luke Brunning

Value monists and value pluralists disagree deeply. Pluralists want to explain why moral life feels frustrating; monists want clear action guidance. If pluralism is true, our actions may be unable to honour irredeemably clashing values. This possibility could prompt pessimism, but the ‘avoidance approach’ to pluralism holds that although values may conflict inherently, we can take pre-emptive action to avoid situations where they would conflict in practice, rather like a child pirouetting to avoid the cracks on a pavement. Sadly, this view is hostage to epistemic problems and unforeseen consequences and is liable to generate timidity. It rests on the intuition that honouring values in action is more important than doing so in other ways, but this is a premise we have reason to reconsider.

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Becoming an Agricultural Growth Corridor

African Megaprojects at a Situated Scale

Serena Stein and Marc Kalina

Agricultural growth corridors (AGCs) have begun proliferating across the actual and policy landscapes of southeastern Africa. Cast as an emerging megaproject strategy, AGCs combine the construction of large-scale logistics (i.e., roads, railways, ports) with attracting investment in commercial agribusiness and smallholder farming. While scholars have long attended to spatial development schemes in the Global South, literature on the rising AGCs of Africa’s eastern seaboard has only recently shifted from anticipatory to empirical studies as policy implementation reaches full force. The article reflects on a new crop of studies that confront the problem of tracing policy imaginaries to the people, places, practices, and ecologies shaped by AGC schemes. In contrast to scholarship that accepts corridors as given entities, we explore directions for research that interrogate the grounded yet provisional becoming of these megaprojects. At such sites, the return of high modernist development logics encapsulated by the corridor concept may be questioned.

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Between Conflicting Systems

An Ordinary Tragedy in Now-Capitalist Albania

Matthew Rosen

‘Business as usual’ in contemporary Albania takes place between different and conflicting systems of meaning and value. Drawing from ethnographic material collected in Tirana, Albania, this article examines the complexities of social and economic life in a city where distinct moral economies routinely clash with the capitalist principle of profit. Starting from the ethnographic impulse to learn how two local booksellers made sense of the contradictory systems of meaning operating in their everyday lives, the analysis shows how a grinding of discordant value systems produced the more general paradox of an ‘ordinary tragedy’.

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The Bible, Hayden White, and the Settlements

Teaching Religious Zionist History in the Postmodern Era

Roy Weintraub

In recent decades, the impact of postmodern approaches to history teaching has triggered an extensive worldwide debate that accommodates diverse and contrasting voices. This article examines how the education system of Religious Zionism, one of the most important ideological movements in Israel, copes with this issue. This inquiry, which is based on Peter Seixas’s conceptualization, analyzes the system’s history curriculum, its latest textbooks, and an array of lesson plans. The analysis reveals a complex method of coping with postmodernism, including the adoption of clearly postmodern attitudes at the declarative level and the neutralization of their influence in practice.

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Veronica Davidov

This literature review of biomimicry and related models of treating nature as a meta-resource on a mega-scale integrates concepts of resources and abundance. Biomimicry, which lies at the intersection of biosciences and industrial design, is a praxis for drawing on designs and processes found in nature and using them as inspirational sources for technologies. Environmental anthropology often focuses on processes such as extraction and commodification that position nature as governed by an economy of scarcity with its existential state characterized by attenuation. The paradigm of biomimicry, on the other hand, construes nature as an infinitely renewable and generative mega-resource and meta-resource, one that is governable by an economy of abundance rather than scarcity. This literature review analyzes intellectual and epistemological trends and frameworks that have served as precursors to and have emerged around biomimicry across disciplines that treat the paradigm of biomimicry as a highly variable epistemological object.

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Avi Shilon

Ehud Olmert, In Person [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth Books, 2018), 896 pp. Hardback, $42.00.

Avi Gil, The Peres Formula: Diary of a Confidant [in Hebrew] (Modi’in: Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, 2018), 368 pp. Hardback, $28.00.

Ehud Barak, My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018), 496 pp. Hardback, $29.99.

Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu (London: Hurst, 2018), 432 pp. Hardback, $36.95. Kindle, $19.99.

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Kobi Michael, Rob Geist Pinfold, Nadav Shelef, Hayim Katsman, Paul L. Scham, Russell Stone, Haim Saadoun, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Tamar Hermann, Hanna Herzog, Sam Lehman-Wilzig and Ruvi Ziegler

Stuart A. Cohen and Aharon Klieman, eds., Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security (New York: Routledge, 2018), 350 pp. Hardback, $220.00.

Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), 367 pp. Hardback, $65.00.

Dmitry Shumsky, Beyond the Nation-State: The Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 320 pp. Hardback, $40.00.

Moshe Hellinger, Isaac Hershkowitz, and Bernard Susser, Religious Zionism and the Settlement Project: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Disobedience (New York: SUNY Press, 2018), 348 pp. Hardback, $95.00.

Avi Sagi and Dov Schwartz, Religious Zionism and the Six-Day War: From Realism to Messianism (New York: Routledge, 2018), 134 pp. Hardback, $140.00.

Yoav Peled and Horit Herman Peled, The Religionization of Israeli Society (New York: Routledge, 2018), 250 pp. Hardback, $150.00.

Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold, eds., Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges (New York: Routledge, 2018), 292 pp. Hardback, $145.00. Paperback, $51.95. Kindle, $25.98.

Orit Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 320 pp. Hardback, $85.00.

Shapiro Prize Winner: Diego Rotman, The Stage as a Temporary Home: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927–1980) [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2017), 354 pp. Paperback, $33.00.

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Marcos Mendoza, Sierra Ramirez, Antonia Sohns, Alex Souchen, Marcus Hamilton and Erika Techera

Barandiarán, Javiera. 2018. Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 284 pp. ISBN: 978-0-262-53563-2.

Hoover, Elizabeth. 2017. The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 360 pp. ISBN: 978-1-51790-303-9.

McKenzie, Matthew. 2018. Breaking the Banks: Representations and Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866–1966. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 224 pp. ISBN: 978-1-625-34391-8.

Sarathy, Brinda, Vivien Hamilton, and Janet Farrell, eds. 2018. Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. 317 pp. ISBN: 978-0-822-94531-4.

Scott, James C. 2018. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-0-300-24021-4.

Westbrook, Vivienne, Shaun Collin, Dean Crawford and Mark Nicholls. 2018. Sharks in the Arts: From Feared to Revered. London: Routledge. 188 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-92966-1.

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Capitalism, Kinship, and Fraud

The Case of Bernie Madoff

Sherry B. Ortner

Investment broker Bernie Madoff ran what is still considered the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors over a 20-year period of more than $20 billion. He worked his game almost entirely through kinship connections—relatives, friends of relatives, and relatives of friends. The relationship between kinship and capitalism has drawn renewed attention by anthropologists, part of a broader effort to rethink capitalism not as a free-standing ‘economy’ but as deeply embedded in a wide range of social relations. In this article I use the Madoff case to illustrate, and develop further, several aspects of the kinship/capitalism connection. I also consider briefly the boundary between fraud and ‘legitimate’ capitalism, which many economic historians consider a fuzzy boundary at best.