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Raphael Cohen-Almagor

This article examines the tension between liberalism and Orthodoxy in Israel as it relates to censorship. The first section aims to explain Israel's vulnerability as a multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. The next section presents the dilemma: should Israel employ legal mechanisms to counter hate speech and racism? The third section details the legal framework, while the fourth reviews recent cases in which political radicals were prosecuted for incitement to racism. The final section discusses cases in which football supporters were charged with incitement after chanting “Death to Arabs“ during matches. I argue that the state should consider the costs and risks of allowing hate speech and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech that are associated with censorship.

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David Lethbridge

Sartre's interventions at the Vienna, Berlin, and Helsinki Congresses of the World Peace Council are examined in depth. Neglected and overlooked for over a half-century, it is argued that the themes Sartre elaborated in these speeches were consonant with the political and intellectual projects he had been developing since the mid-1930s. Although Sartre spoke as a Marxist who had allied himself with the Communist Party, his deepest concern was to build international unity in opposition to the escalating threat of nuclear war, and to restore political and economic sovereignty to a Western Europe crushed by dependency on America. Freedom for all the world's peoples, Sartre argued, depended on mutual interdependence between nations, built from the ground up by the popular masses.

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From “Clan” to Speech Community

Administrative Reforms, Territory, and Language as Factors of Identity Development among the Ilimpii Evenki in the Twentieth Century

Nadezhda Mamontova

This article deals with the relationships between identity, language, and “clan organization” among Ilimpii Evenki, and how these relationships formed and changed over the course of the twentieth century under the influence of Soviet nationalities policy, administrative reform, and local discursive practices. It is based on the author’s field materials collected in the period 2007 to 2012 in the Evenki Municipal District (Evenkia) of Krasnoiarskii Krai, as well as on unpublished sources stored in the archives of Tura (Evenkia), Krasnoiarsk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. The central question under investigation deals with why the names of the former administrative clans of contemporary Ilimpii Evenki were used to label language communities; the results suggest that the main reasons were the specifics of the Soviet nationalities policy of the 1920s—which shaped the establishment of national regions on the basis of Evenki “clan” organization—as well the emergence of a new literary Evenki language and resettlement campaigns in the mid-twentieth century.

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Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra

Lady Lumley’s Iphigenia, a dramatization of sacrifice for a political cause, echoes the Lumley family’s participation in the politics of the 1550s. The role of Lady Lumley’s father in the events surrounding Lady Jane Grey’s death illuminates his daughter’s translation of Euripides, revealing affinities with Palestinian constructions of gender and female ‘martyrdom’ whereby women transcend convention while self-silencing their voices of protest. In both the fictional world of Lumley’s Iphigenia and contemporary Palestine, marriage and sacrifice are metaphorically associated. Clytemnestra’s opposition to Agamemnon’s plan to sacrifice Iphigenia and the Chorus’s complicity with the former enacts a presentist dialogue with contemporary Palestinian mothers divided in their support of or opposition to their daughters’ participation in armed resistance. Controversially, in common Palestinian parlance those dying defending the Palestinian cause (including, even more controversially, suicide bombers) are termed ‘martyrs’ for a just cause. Iphigenia’s heroism and Agamemnon’s indecisions therefore bear contemporary resonances.

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The digital ethnography of law

Studying online hate speech online and offline

Richard Ashby Wilson

The ethnography of social media is still a developing field, and the anthropology of online legal topics is even more incipient. This article charts a digital ethnography of the regulation of hate speech online by examining the infrastructure of social media platforms, the content of speech acts (including coded speech) and their offline effects. These three levels can be analysed using an adapted version of Erving Goffman’s heuristic model of backstage, onstage and offstage presentations of the self in everyday life. A digital ethnography of law implies both a qualitative and quantitative study of offline effects of online speech, including harmful consequences that are direct as well as indirect. On this basis, the article presents findings that, while it is difficult to identify direct effects of online hate speech on violence, show indirect effects including the silencing of dissent and an undermining of trust and cooperation in wider society.

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'Tensile Nationality'

National Identity as an Everyday Way of Being in a Scottish Hospital

Nigel Rapport

This article reports on research undertaken in a Scottish hospital on the theme of national identity, specifically Scottishness. It examines the ways and extents to which Scottishness was expressed in the workplace: as a quotidian aspect of individual and institutional identity, in a situation of high-pro file political change. The research was to situate nationality as a naturally occurring 'language-game': to explore everyday speech-acts which deployed reference to nationality/Scottishness and compare these to other kinds of overt affirmation of identity and other speech-acts when no such identity-affirmations were ostensibly made. In a contemporary Scottish setting where the inauguration of a new Parliament has made national identity a prominent aspect of public debate, the research illuminates the place of nationality amid a complex of workaday language-games and examines the status of national identity as a 'public event'.

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The Word of the Lord to Shylock

Biblical Forms in the Translations of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to Hebrew

Atar Hadari

Dror Abend-David’s Scorned My Nation in its comparative literary analysis of the German, Yiddish and Hebrew translations of The Merchant of Venice concludes that cultural context and political intentions changed dramatically between the two Hebrew translations in 1921 and 1972, limiting his textual analysis to the closing line of Shylock’s famous speech: ‘it shall go hard’. I examine two key words in that speech in the two translations to detect which biblical texts the translator called on, consciously or unconsciously, and gauge what the literary resources of the Hebrew language can make of Shylock and his complaint and whether the language portraying Shylock and his complaint did actually change over those fifty years.

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David Ball

There were probably close to ten thousand tracts, fliers, and leaflets written and distributed in French cities in May-June 1968, part of the sudden explosion of speech (“la parole”) in the public space. Both the quantity of political speech in all walks of life—not just among students—and its subject (transforming society) point to a revolutionary wish, whether openly stated in serious, often Marxist, language or implicitly expressed through satire, play, and derision. Thousands of impassioned leaflets call for the profound transformation of social relations in the workplace and ultimately for the abolition of capitalism; many others use various forms of mockery to subvert established authority, which, in that political context, amounted to the same thing. This remarkable mass of literature suggests that—contrary to revisionist views of “Mai” now widely aired in France—May '68 was revolutionary at heart.

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People's Mic and democratic charisma

Occupy Wall Street's frontier assemblies

Chris Garces

The People's Mic is a new genre of political speech. In Occupy Wall Street (OWS) general assemblies, this tactile media for public deliberation was integral to embodying new political community across American cities in a globally oriented movement of the squares. Whether or not OWS has exemplified direct democracy per se, the People's Mic has cultivated new forms of democratic charisma between previously disaggregated constituencies-a “leaderful charisma“, with historical roots in pious American oratorical traditions (“hallowed speech“) and more recent movements for intercultural solidarity building (global justice, horizontalist, feminist, etc.). In this article, I signal how the People's Mic atavistically conjured and resembled the American town hall meeting in a contemporary and heterogeneous US frontier assembly. Before its strategic incapacitation, the Occupy movement's widespread use of People's Mic served to undermine the authority of private-public monopolies and to place a check on mounting police repression of urban space.

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Mantras and Spells

Durkheim and Mauss, Religious Speech and Tantric Buddhism

Louise Child

This article, located within the sociology of religion, aims to demonstrate ways in which the insights of Durkheim and Mauss can be applied to the study of tantric Buddhism. In order to do so it explores a specific theme, the significance of speech in religion. I will therefore begin with sections from the recent translation of Mauss's thesis on prayer, highlighting two essential propositions (1909/t.2003). Firstly, Mauss argues that prayer is an extremely diverse phenomenon, which can take a variety of forms. A second, related point is his suggestion that speech is particularly important to our understanding of religion, because it is related to both belief and action. It is this second idea that I will explore extensively in the context of tantric Buddhism because it illuminates a number of features of this religious tradition. In addition, these reflections may contribute to a broader debate, concerning the role of collective representations in the thought of both Durkheim and Mauss.