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Where Character Is King

Gregory Doran’s Henriad

Alice Dailey

This article studies ‘King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings’, the RSC’s recent four-play Henriad directed by Gregory Doran and performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in April 2016. In keeping with Doran’s directorial style, the cycle was conspicuously lean on concept, offering few moments of design-driven staging and instead spotlighting character and ensemble acting. The cycle thus presents an opportunity for exploring some of the claims of character criticism, which has recently made something of a comeback in Shakespeare studies. Combining the perspectives of performance theorists, theatre practitioners and literary scholars, character criticism describes dramatic character as a phenomenon constituted through the cooperation of text and body. Thinking about Doran’s Henriad in these terms not only highlights the achievements and flaws of ‘King and Country’ but discloses Shakespeare’s diverse mechanisms for constructing theatrical kings.

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Vistas of Future New Mobility Studies

Transfers and Transformations

Georgine Clarsen

With our eighth volume of this journal, the Transfers editorial team celebrates our achievements under our outgoing editor, Gijs Mom. This article outlines our priorities under our new editor, Dagmar Schäfer, and reaffirms our commitment to the burgeoning field of new mobility studies. The presentations by Mimi Sheller and Peter Merriman, fellow members of the editorial team, at our journal’s panel at the recent T2M conference, “Vistas of Future Mobility Studies: Transfers and Transformations” is summed up for the convenience of those who were not able to attend. This journal will continue to encourage and publish work that places mobilities at the center of our scholarship, with special emphasis on the humanities. Our commitment is to good, innovative, activist scholarship that can help us move toward alternative mobility futures.

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Awraham Soetendorp

This article details some memories of early encounters with Lionel Blue, which impacted my life. They include a 1957 visit by Lionel to Amsterdam, to consult my father Jacob who was Rabbi of the Progressive Jewish community there. Lionel, the first student at the just-established Leo Baeck College, had serious doubts about continuing his studies. The visit not only helped Lionel to stay at the college, but also set me on my path to the Rabbinate. How Lionel resolved my vehement opposition to having the first post-war Jewish youth conference in Berlin, through his startling invitation to become its chair, which paved the long road towards reconciliation. His ability to discover hidden talents in others, as exemplified by his sudden invitation to me to say the closing prayers at a fundraising meeting fully unprepared. How we arrived at a compromise theme, 'Belief and Action', for the Youth Section conference at Keele University.

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Vegetables and Social Relations in Norway and the Netherlands

A Comparative Analysis of Urban Allotment Gardeners

Esther J. Veen and Sebastian Eiter

This article aims to explore differences in motivation for and actual use of allotment gardens. Results from questionnaire surveys and semistructured interviews in two Norwegian and one Dutch garden show that growing vegetables and consuming the harvest is a fundamental part of gardening. The same is true for the social element—meeting and talking to other gardeners, and feeling as part of a community. Although gardeners with different socioeconomic backgrounds experience gardening to some extent similarly, access to an allotment seems more important for gardeners with disadvantaged personal backgrounds: both their diets and their social networks rely more on, and benefit more from, their allotments. This underlines the importance of providing easy access to gardening opportunities for all urban residents, and disadvantaged groups in particular. Public officers and policy makers should consider this when deciding upon new gardening sites or public investments in urban food gardens.

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Lionel Blue

In this article Lionel Blue recalls his introduction to the UK Reform Jewish movement, at the time the ‘Association of Synagogues of Great Britain’. His work with the youth groups coincided with a pioneering engagement with a post-war German generation, something considered problematical at the time, and similarly the beginning of a Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue. The movement at the time increased its support for Israel and joined with the American Reform Jewish movement in the World Union for Progressive Judaism both of which had their influence on its development. But missing were important spiritual questions: Did God still exist for us and how; Where did we locate Him in the horror of the Holocaust? Despite criticisms of some developments of the movement, what remains important is the friendliness, care and concern of the members, its humanity and preferring people as they are to ideological templates.

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Pushkar Sohoni

The domestication and use of animals is an integral part of the history of technology, as beasts were used to improve the efficiency of agricultural, military, and transportation activities. Individuals and social groups often had to be introduced along with animal technologies, as the domestication, breeding, training, and handling of animals was a culture that could not be immediately learned. In the age of European empires, several ethnic groups were imported along with the animals that they tended. This article highlights the role of humans as part of animal technologies, as an important anthropological component when technologies that involve animals are introduced to new settlements and areas. Using three case studies in which animal technologies from Asia were introduced to other parts of the world, it can be seen that humans are an essential and integral component of animal technologies.

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Jeffrey Newman

Rabbi Lionel Blue's extraordinary achievements and contributions to the post-war development of Anglo-Jewry are reviewed by means of personal reminiscences stretching back more than fifty years. It is suggested that they essentially derive from three personal characteristics - humour, humanity and humility - combined with a fierce intellectual passion and honesty that is sometimes overlooked. Key to Lionel's work and life was his personal relationship with God. Reference is made to the central role that his homosexuality played in his life, particularly in his work with those suffering from HIV Aids. Here he was a pioneer, as he was also as Britain's radio rabbi, the founder of the first Jewish-Muslim-Christian work, the new type of prayer book or the essential role of European Judaism.

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Lionel Blue

All the traps of earthly love are there in spiritual love but more difficult to see. The things to watch out for if your special conversation with God gets too lovey-dovey: at the beginning of your inner conversation this is bound to occur. It is the sheer surprise that the Cosmos can be so complimentary about you.

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Sine Dolore

Relative Painlessness in Shakespeare’s Laughter at War

Daniel Derrin

How do we understand Shakespeare’s invitation to laugh in the context of war? Previous critical accounts have offered too simple a view: that laughter undercuts military ideals. Instead, this article draws on the Aristotelian description of laughable ‘deformity’ and Plato’s description of laughable ignorance in order to characterize Shakespeare’s laughter in the context of war more carefully as an expression of ‘relative painlessness’. It discusses how the fraught amusement of Coriolanus (Coriolanus), the reciprocality of Falstaff and Hotspur as laughable military failures (1 Henry IV) and the laughter of Bertram at Paroles (All’s Well That Ends Well) each engage with an ancient philosophical conundrum articulated poignantly by St. Augustine: the requirement that a Christian civilization engage in war to defend itself against honour-obsessed aggressors without turning into a like aggressor itself. Shakespeare’s laughter at war enacts the desire for that balance.

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Shelling from the ivory tower

Project Camelot and the post–World War II operationalization of social science

Philip Y. Kao

This article is a historical examination of several watershed episodes in the militarization of US social science. It off ers an assessment of the actual “science” underpinning such initiatives as Project Camelot, and traces how American anthropology in its reaction to Project Camelot and Cold War studies moved from certain kinds of scientific/knowledge production toward others. By critiquing the intellectual foundations of Project Camelot alongside other examples of action-oriented social science, this article examines the connections between functionalism and the conceptual bias toward social order. What linked development, militarism, and imperialism was a more often than not oversimplified view of human behavior. In order to comprehend how models of development and modernization continue to shape American hegemony, this article scrutinizes a particular history of “military modernity.”