“What is a nation?” Ernest Renan’s famous rhetorical question to an audience at the Sorbonne on 11 March 1882 has remained vital for a wide variety of scholars in fields as diverse as history, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Renan initially posed the question barely ten years after the close of the Franco-Prussian War, which had sparked the establishment of the French Third Republic, the unification of Germany under the leadership of Wilhelm I, and the transfer of the disputed territory of Alsace-Lorraine from French to German control in the months between July 1870 and May 1871. Renan made no overt mention of these events while he was speaking, but he rejected any possible answer to his question that might attempt to base the creation of nations and national identities on shared “race, language, [economic] interests, religious affinity, geography, [or] military necessities.” This explicit refusal constituted an implicit rejection of the entire range of German justifications for the acquisition of the two recently French border provinces.
Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
The politics of French and German cinema between the onset of the Great Depression and the end of World War II is far from a new topic of study. However, scholars have typically focused on one country or the other, rather than comparing the two, and prioritized high-profile directors (for example, Jean Renoir, Jean-Paul Le Chanois, Leni Riefenstahl, and Veit Harlan) whose work benefited from direct party sponsorship and served a clearly propagandistic function. Reflecting the evolution of cultural history and film studies over the past decade, this collection of essays seeks to enrich the traditional approach in three ways. The first is by expanding the definition of politics beyond official party or state discourse to include power-related issues such as representation of gender and gender roles; access to material resources including funding and technology; relationships between film creators and industry or government officials; and competition between commercial and ideological priorities in film production, censorship, and distribution.
Katherine Hennessey and Margaret Litvin
Palestinian theatre practitioners and with the German partners of Palestine’s first BA programme in theatre, and al-Saber’s own experience of directing the 2011 production, illustrate the complexities of Shakespeare’s postcolonial legacy, and the joys and
Elizabeth A. Bowman
The first internationally staged “terrorist” event—the Palestinian kidnapping of Israeli athletes—occurred in Munich Germany during the 1972 Summer Olympics. Sartre’s article “About Munich” concerns this event.
A Political Symbol in Comparative and Historical Perspective
The headscarf has become a cultural flashpoint, a freighted symbol of many of the central social, cultural, political, and religious tensions of this first decade of the twenty-first century. When I first began to research the French controversy surrounding the Muslim headscarf in 2001, it was little known in the United States. Since then, the issue has attained global prominence. In late 2003, the Stasi Commission, which Prime Minister Jacques Chirac had appointed several months earlier, recommended a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in public primary and secondary schools.1 The legislature promptly passed such a ban, which became law on 15 March 2004.2 Since then, Germany, Turkey, and Britain, among other countries, have wrestled with their own headscarf controversies. The debate reached international proportions when the European Court of Human Rights upheld Turkey’s ban on the headscarf in universities, in the 2005 case of Sahin v. Turkey.
Confounded, Discomposed, Recomposed
This special issue of Journeys brings together writers whose origins and research expeditions lie in different parts of the world (United Kingdom, Germany, India, Africa, Japan and the Caribbean) to explore the relationship between different kinds of movement (walking, voyaging, bus-tours, animal-tracking) and the accompanying transformations in body and perception that emerge when journeying near and far from home. Journeys are indelibly associated with movement through lands and across seas, but like songs and stories, they also are works of composition, sometimes carefully crafted, other times improvised, often unique, and frequently unfinished. Although a journey, like any other work of composition, unfolds over time and can be thought to have a narrative structure of beginning, middle, and end, it is likely to contain many unstructured moments: unexpected detours, various contingencies and chance encounters, moments of social and cultural disorientation, and unresolved questions that are neither planned nor initiated by the author. Journeys, therefore, can often take us into strange “inner” places. Perhaps then we might say that journeys involve a process of discomposition, an unravelling and disordering of habitual thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and normative presuppositions, which are made explicit in the face of new lands and may become temporarily reconstituted amid the diversity of people one encounters there.
Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction
George Robb and W. Brian Newsome
atrocities as commonplace or as magnified by propagandists; the influence of the war on women’s work and relationship to the home; the extent to which food shortages in Germany were caused by the British blockade or by poor management of resources by German
‘William Le Queux, Master of Misinformation’
Ailise Bulfin and Harry Wood
imminent large-scale conflict and of foreign invasion. 3 These fears arose largely out of escalating tensions between the European ‘great powers’ – Britain, France, Germany and Russia – over dominance in Europe, particularly after the newly militarised
Identities in Transformation after World War I
: “What is this absurd dream, to implant Western science, Western thinking on Mount Scopus?” he asked rhetorically. 6 His response, which drew on the ideas of the German Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and the French Jewish orientalist scholar Sylvain
Travel, Media, and the Politics of Representation
a method of promoting a particular ideology. The first article in this issue takes us to Australia via Germany. The author, Siegfried Mattl, makes the case that the use of travel texts and documentary film by Colin Ross to represent travel has