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Adam R. Kaul, Loredana Salis, Mairead Nic Craith, and Stefan Handler

Coleman, S. and P. Collins (2007) (eds), Locating the Field, Space, Place and Context in Anthropology (Oxford: Berg), 256 pp., Pb: £19.99, ISBN-13: 978-1845204037.

Screeton, P. (2008), Mars Bars and Mushy Peas: Urban Legend and the Cult of Celebrity (Loughborough: Heart of Albion), 184 pp., Pb: £14.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-905646-11-1.

Smith, L, and A. Natsuko (2009) (eds), Intangible Heritage (London and New York: Routledge) 312 pp., Pb: £23.99, Hb: £70.00, ISBN-13: 978-0-415-47396-5.

Tiesler, N. C. (2006), Muslime in Europa: Religion und Identitätspolitiken unter veränderten gesellschaftlichen Verhältnissen (Münster: LIT), 240 pp., Pb: €24.90, ISBN-13: 978-3-8258-9490-0.

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The Miserable, Mythical, Magical Marmiton

Representing Culinary Apprenticeship in Early Third Republic France

Michael D. Garval

Revealing paradoxes abounded in early Third Republic French representations of the marmiton, or culinary apprentice. Investigative reportage and reformist discourse exposed apprentices’ miserable existence while still depicting these young fellows as playful and carefree. Conversely, popular marmiton mythology, particularly in children’s literature, idealized culinary apprenticeship, amid glimpses of harsh living and working conditions, while also highlighting admittedly rare opportunities for ambitious apprentices to achieve substantial public success. Max Jacob’s children’s book Histoire du Roi Kaboul Ier et du Marmiton Gauwain provides an emblematic example with its parodic fairy-tale rendering of celebrity chef Auguste Escoffier’s extraordinary triumphs. Ultimately, while enchanting, the rosy popular vision of the magical marmiton obfuscated exploitative child labor practices underpinning the whole culinary enterprise in this supposed golden age of French gastronomy.

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Roger Sabin

The article argues that the significance of the nineteenth-century comics character Ally Sloper cannot be understood without reference to the parallel career that this fictional celebrity developed across other media, most notably music hall. The history and evolution of the textual character, and of his various incarnations on stage and screen, are chronicled, with the aim both of documenting the expansion of working-class leisure culture and of demonstrating the centrality of Sloper to the development of a specifically British theatrical tradition that moved away from earlier continental models. Contemporary responses to Sloper, including moral outrage, are discussed, and the article concludes by analysing the skilled commercial exploitation of the character which would influence later practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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The Dispersed and Dismissed

The World of Irish Women's Best-sellers

Kathy Cremin

This is the opening of Patricia Scanlan’s first best-seller, City Girl, and it also marks the beginning of a compelling chapter in Irish publishing. In 1990, City Girl made the publishers, Poolbeg, a household name in Ireland, finally establishing them in the commercial market they had been chasing since Meave Binchy defected to English publishers with her break through novel Light a Penny Candle (1982). Within twelve months of City Girl’s first run, Scanlan and her editor were media celebrities and other publishers were finding suitable candidates for the packaging process – resulting in best-sellers Deirdre Purcell and Liz Ryan. By best-selling fiction I am referring to high-selling, widely read, popular fiction. The genre is identifiable by packaging, location and theme: fat books about love and relationships, four hundred pages at the least; two or three word titles often eclipsed in size and prominence by the author’s name. These books are widely available outside conventional bookshops, on sale in airports, train stations, supermarkets, large newsagents and corner shops. This thriving best-seller genre has gone largely unremarked in Irish cultural criticism. Yet there has been a remarkable coincidence between its appearance and an upsurge of feminist writing questioning the literary, historical and political heritage of ‘mother Ireland’ for Irish women.

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Industrialising Print, Sport, and Authorship

Nimrod, Surtees, and the New Sporting Magazine

Yuri Cowan

In the early Victorian period, sporting literature found a new audience among the young century's industrialists and prosperous merchants who, enabled by the growth of the railroads and increased access to the countryside, chose to use their increased leisure time to experience English rural life and to hobnob on equal terms, at least superficially, with the rural ancien régime. The New Sporting Magazine, established in 1831, positioned itself to speak both to the existing devotees of sport and to the middle-class audience which was about to make its presence felt in the field. The parallel refinement of English sport and its print discourse is described by and exemplified in the two best-known sport writers of the early Victorian era: Robert Smith Surtees and Charles Apperley ('Nimrod'). Surtees and Nimrod, though highly professional and well remunerated, habitually put forward their own work as 'correspondence', contributing to the illusion that the magazine was a playground for gentlemen of leisure. The careful blend of the conservative and modern in the New Sporting Magazine thus extends to its contributors as well: in this magazine's pages the eighteenth-century culture of the gentleman correspondent was beginning to merge with the culture of the paid celebrity author that would become such a force in the mass literary environment of the nineteenth century.

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The Missing and the Lost

Celebrity and Politics in Gordon Burn's Born Yesterday

Daniel Lea

Attempting to convey the experience of the present in all its seeming confusion and disorderliness is a challenge that pushes realist fiction to its limits. Gordon Burn's Born Yesterday (2008) is an ambitious attempt to concertina the space/time between event and representation by portraying the news items of the summer of 2007 with an immediacy rare in narrative fiction. Melding the structure of rapid, associative shifts common to 24-hour news presentation with the docu-realism of the non-fiction novel, Burn articulates the complex symbolic interactions that inform an aesthetic and cultural snapshot of the early twenty-first century. This essay explores the novel's portrayal of the mass mediatisation of contemporary British society and its blurring of the lines between fact and fiction. By comparing the quasi-celebrity attributed to the parents of the abducted child, Madeleine McCann, with the manipulation of the media employed during the Tony Blair/Gordon Brown exchange of power, the essay argues that the dominant logic of specular commoditisation goes hand in hand with the novel's focus on narratives of loss, abandonment, and emptiness.

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'War, Women and Song'

The Case of Hanka Ordonówna

Beth Holmgren

This article analyses the performances of the Polish cabaret singer-cum-movie star, Hanka Ordonówna/Ordonka, during the Second World War, and subsequent representations of her through physical monuments and biographical treatments in print and on film. It locates Ordonka in the context of female performers entertaining the troops, the lone woman on the front socially approved for her tasteful display of a morale-boosting sexuality before an audience of largely male combatants. ‘War, Women and Song’ argues for Ordonka’s exceptional case due to her popular pre-war celebrity and her own war time experience, when she shared or witnessed her compatriots’ tragic fate of occupation, deportation, mass death and, in many cases, permanent exile. In her war work, Ordonka doubly incarnated for her audiences a lost pre-war culture of urbane sophistication and eroticised charm and a war time victim turned conventional national heroine when she spearheaded a rescue mission of five hundred Polish children orphaned by Soviet atrocities. Ordonka came to represent to her nation both an irresistible lover and an exemplary surrogate parent with the qualities of a self- sacrificing matka polka (Polish mother).

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Elliot Neaman

The epigraph seems to border on hyperbole: were the debates in the

fall of 2001 really “exclusively” subsumed by domestic politics? But

Bassam Tibi, one of the hundreds of experts who made the rounds

on the endless talk shows and conferences in Germany, may be on to

something. In a recent book about how the public intellectuals, religious

leaders, and celebrities reacted to the terror attacks of September

11th, Der Spiegel essayist Hendryk Broder made a similar point as

he aimed his bittersweet satirical wit at the navel-gazing, self-righteousness,

and hypocrisy of Germany’s public intellectuals.2 Broder’s

book is a self-conscious example of that timeless German genre, the

Streitschrift, an erudite polemic in the service of both noble edification

and less high-minded settling of scores with one’s intellectual

opponents. Although exaggerated, one-sided, and terribly funny,

Broder’s analysis of the German public discourse of the fall of 2001

does contain some serious arguments that anyone interested in the

European perception of America cannot ignore. In this essay, I will

sketch the contours of that reaction by focusing first on the kinds of

issues that preoccupied German intellectuals in the wake of the

attacks of September 11th; second, I will contrast that reaction to how ordinary Germans and government officials perceived those

events; third, I will explore the role that anti-Americanism played in

the intellectual debates of fall 2001; and finally, I will reflect on the

significance of September 11th for German society in general.

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Suzan Hirsch

This paper reports on case studies spanning four consecutive years (2005-2008) focused on addressing and challenging Australian primary school boys’ disengagement with English, particularly reading, using an action research process informed by both quantitative and qualitative data. Primary participants were all male and ranged from 8 to 11 years of age. Boys were identified and selected for each case study based on the questionnaire and interview results from whole grade surveys of both males and females. The data results identified the boys with negative views of literacy and boys who identified reading as being a feminine activity, thereby narrowing their perceptions of masculinity. These boys were involved in a reading/mentoring program with high profile professional Rugby League players. The celebrity rugby league players were involved in ten weekly mentoring and reading sessions with male participants each year. These sessions focused on building positive male identity, shifting negative attitudes to reading and challenging negative stereotypes of both professional sportsmen and boys as readers. After each of the case studies, quantitative and qualitative data indicated a positive change in the participants’ attitudes towards reading as well as their perceived stereotypes of males as readers and increased involvement in voluntary reading.

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'One of the few books that doesn't stink'

The Intellectuals, the Masses and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Faye Hammill

Anita Loos's tribute to Aldous Huxley appeared in a memorial volume compiled by Julian Huxley in 1966. Among the contributors were Lord David Cecil, Stephen Spender, T.S. Eliot, Osbert Sitwell, Leonard Woolf and Isaiah Berlin. Loos was on eof Aldous Huxley's most famous friends: she was a successful and well connected screenwriter, and the astonishing sales of her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) made her a millionaire and a celebrity. The novel also significantly increased her cultural capital, since it was admired by eminent writers and thinkers including James Joyce, Edith Wharton, H.L. Mencken, William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, William Empson, George Santayana and Rose Macaulay. For many years, Loos was one of the best known women in the United States, and 1966 was the year she published her autobiographical volume A Girl Like I, which received enthusiastic reviews and led to retrospectives of her films. And yet, if Anita Loos today stands out from the list of Julian Huxley's contributors, it is because the other names are still so familiar, while hers has become obscure.