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Gendering Balkanisms

Gender, Culture, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Women's Travelogues in the Balkans

Marina Matešić

This article links nineteenth-century travelogues about the Balkans written by European women travelers—Dora d'Istria, Maria Karlova, Emily Strangford, and Paulina Irby and Georgina Mackenzie—both to a broader historical discourse called Balkanism and to the socio-historical contexts of the authors themselves. It examines the ways in which these texts adopted existing hegemonic dichotomies of Balkanism concerning culture, ethnicity/religion, and gender and whether they set new paths for Balkanist discourse. Written during the time of anti-Ottoman uprisings and nation-building movements, the travelogues expressed diverse humanitarian, Christian, feminist, anti-imperial/Turkish and other agendas and discussed the crucial role of (Balkan) women in it. Through a particular focus on domestic life and the lives of women, these women travelers also spoke of their own position in society, bringing to light their struggle for equality in traveling, writing, and participating in broader political and social life, and in that way disturbed the male-centered Balkanist discourse.

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Cornelia Wilhelm

This article explores the changing perception of "diversity" and "cultural difference" in Germany and shows how they were central in the construction of "self" and "other" throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries affecting minorities such as Jews, Poles, and others. It examines different levels of legal and political action toward minorities and immigrants in this process and explores how the perception and legal framework for the Turkish minority in the past sixty years was influenced by historical patterns of such perceptions and their memory. The article tries to shed some light on how the nature of coming-to-terms with the past ( Vergangenheitsbewältigung ) and the memory of the Holocaust have long prohibited a broader discussion on inclusion and exclusion in German society. It makes some suggestions as to what forced Germans in the postunification era to reconsider legislation, as well as society's approach to "self" and "other" under the auspices of the closing of the "postwar period" and a newly emerging united Europe.

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To Russia with love

Hope, confinement, and virtuality among youth on the Georgian Black Sea coast

Martin Demant Frederiksen

Among young unemployed or underemployed men in the port city of Batumi, the regional center of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in Georgia, the Black Sea is a social and imaginary horizon that signifies both geographical mobility and confinement. Since Georgia gained independence, Batumi went from being a Soviet borderland to being an opening to the West. However, due to visa regulations, “the West”—and the opportunities associated with it—has long been limited to the other Black Sea countries of Turkey and Ukraine. Following the August 2008 war, Russia, although being a much more desirable destination, became out of reach for the majority of these men. Through the notions of social and geographical horizons, this article argues that the young men, despite their sense of confinement, manage to forge alternative connections to Russia via Internet sites, where the online dating of Russian women was used as a means to gain access to Russia via marriage.

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Rethinking Universalism

Olympe Audouard, Hubertine Auclert, and the Gender Politics of the Civilizing Mission

Rachel Nuñez

Building on Joan Scott's argument that the struggles of feminists since the Revolution have been rooted in the paradoxes of republican universalism, this article explores how two nineteenth-century feminists—Olympe Audouard and Hubertine Auclert—sought to escape the problem of sexual difference through engagement with the civilizing mission. They criticized the civilizing mission as chauvinistic and misogynistic to reveal how republican universalism had failed to address inequalities of both sex and race. They also proposed more inclusive forms of universalism: in her writing on Turkey, Audouard advocated cosmopolitanism, in which all peoples, regardless of race or sex, could contribute to civilization, while Auclert, in her writing on Algeria, supported assimilation as a way to endow both French women and Arabs with the rights of French men. Yet their versions of universalism were no less paradoxical than republican universalism. Through cosmopolitanism and assimilation, they invoked new others and worked strategically to displace sexual difference with racial, national, and religious difference.

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From Rhetoric to Practice

A critique of immigration policy in Germany through the lens of Turkish-Muslim women's experiences of migration

Sherran Clarence

The largest group of migrants in Germany is the Turkish people, many of whom have low skills levels, are Muslim, and are slow to integrate themselves into their host communities. German immigration policy has been significantly revised since the early 1990s, and a new Immigration Act came into force in 2005, containing more inclusive stances on citizenship and integration of migrants. There is a strong rhetoric of acceptance and open doors, within certain parameters, but the gap between the rhetoric and practice is still wide enough to allow many migrants, particularly women, to fall through it. Turkish-Muslim women bear the brunt of the difficulties faced once they have arrived in Germany, and many of them are subject to domestic abuse, joblessness and poverty because of their invisibility to the German state, which is the case largely because German immigration policy does not fully realise a role and place for women migrants. The policy also does not sufficiently account for ethnic and cultural identification, or limitations faced by migrants in that while it speaks to integration, it does not fully enable this process to take place effectively. Even though it has made many advances in recent years towards a more open and inclusive immigration policy, Germany is still a 'reluctant' country of immigration, and this reluctance stops it from making any real strides towards integrating migrants fully into German society at large. The German government needs to take a much firmer stance on the roles of migrant women in its society, and the nature of the ethnic and religious identities of Muslim immigrants, in order to both create and implement immigration policy that truly allows immigrants to become full and contributing members to German social and economic life, and to bring it in line with the European Union's common directives on immigration.

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Sercan Çınar and Francisca de Haan

Şirin Tekeli made a decisive contribution to the scholarly literature on women’s history in Turkey. She did so as a prominent feminist scholar in the fields of political science and history and as a leading activist of the “second-wave” feminist

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Despite decades of official denial, modern Germany has always been a

country of immigration. From Poles migrating to the Ruhr in the late nineteenth

century, to German refugees and expellees after World War II, to

Italians and Greeks in the 1950s, to ethnic Germans from the former

Soviet Union and refugees from Bosnia in the 1990s, the country has a

long history of attracting newcomers. In fact, according to the recently

released 2011 census data, approximately 19 percent of the Federal Republic’s

population of around 80 million has a “migration background.”1 Of

course, this national average masks substantial variation at the state or city

level—places like Hamburg, Berlin and Baden-Württemberg have shares of

residents with such a background of a quarter or more, whereas the eastern

Länder have proportions under 5 percent. This sizeable population is

also very different than a generation ago—increasingly rooted and diverse:

60 percent of this group has German citizenship and about half of this subgroup

was born in Germany. Regarding countries of origin or ancestry,

17.9 percent have origins in Turkey, 13.1 percent in Poland, and about 8.7

percent in both Russia and Kazakhstan.

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Todd Samuel Presner, Mobile Modernity: Germans, Jews, Trains (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

Reviewed by Robert Tobin

Ruth Mandel, Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Hilary Silver

Wolfram Kaiser, Christian Democracy and the Origins of the European Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Reviewed by Clay Clemens

David Raub Snyder, Sex Crimes under the Wehrmacht (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

Reviewed by Regina Mühlhäuser

Paul Hockenos, Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic. An Alternative History of Postwar Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Joyce M. Mushaben

Katherine Pence and Paul Betts, eds. Socialist Modern: East German Everyday Culture and Politics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Eli Rubin

Patricia Heberer and Jürgen Matthäus, eds., Atrocities on Trial: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008)

Reviewed by Joachim J. Savelsberg

Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007)

Reviewed by Michael Brenner

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Eugenia C. Kiesling The Legacy of the French Revolutionary Wars: The Nation-in-Arms in French Republican Memory by Alan Forrest

Holly Grout Colette’s Republic: Work, Gender, and Popular Culture in France, 1870–1914 by Patricia A. Tilburg

Laird Boswell Alsace to the Alsatians? Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870–1939 by Christopher J. Fischer

Rosemary Wakeman Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 by Jeffrey H. Jackson

Nicole Rudolph Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad by Whitney Walton

Carolyn J. Eichner Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris by Jennifer Anne Boittin

Robert Zaretsky The French Who Fought for Hitler: Memories from the Outcasts by Philippe Carrard

Paul V. Dutton Conflicts of Interest and the Future of Medicine: The United States, France, and Japan by Marc A. Rodwin

James Shields Party Competition Between Unequals: Strategies and Electoral Fortunes in Western Europe by Bonnie M. Meguid

Jonathan Laurence Secularism and State Policies Toward Religion: The United States, France and Turkey by Ahmet T. Kuru

Johanna Siméant Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France by Miriam Ticktin

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Judezmo

The Jewish Language of the Ottoman Sephardim

David M. Bunis

Judezmo, the traditional language of the Sephardic Jews of the former Ottoman Empire, is presented as a member of the group of Jewish languages, fusing elements of Ibero-Romance, Greek, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, French, Italian and other linguistic stocks. In common with speakers of other Jewish languages, Judezmo speakers perceived their language as 'Jewish' and denoted it as such (Djudezmo, Djidyó). They wrote it in the Hebrew or 'Jewish' alphabet; used an archaizing variety of it (Ladino) to translate sacred Hebrew texts literally; and made frequent use in everyday language of words and phrases from Hebrew, and allusions to Hebrew texts, Jewish rituals and other facets of Judaism as a civilization. They preserved words from the pre-languages (Jewish Greek, Jewish Arabic) used by the ancestors of the Judezmo speakers in medieval Iberia, and following the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, incorporated much material from the languages spoken by ethnic groups encountered in the Ottoman Empire. Distinct from both medieval and modern Spanish, Judezmo served as a lingua franca among the Sephardim throughout the ethnically and linguistically diverse regions of the Eastern Mediterranean. A special variety functioned as a secret code among Sephardic merchants. Today, Judezmo is treasured by its speakers as the unique, independent Jewish language of the Mediterranean Sephardim. However, the number of its speakers is constantly decreasing, making Judezmo an endangered language.