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Reinventing Play

Autistic Children and the Normativity of Play in Postwar France

Jonathyne Briggs

In postwar France, the definition of play helped to situate the meaning of childhood in a manner that marginalized disabled children from the common understanding of childhood. Three thinkers—Françoise Dolto, Maud Mannoni, and Fernand Deligny—all advocated more nuanced and open definitions of play that allowed for the recognition of disabled children’s forms of play, which often operated outside of social norms. In their practices, each of these thinkers articulated new interpretations of play that expanded its meaning in social and therapeutic contexts. This recognition was important in questioning the isolation of disabled children, in identifying their belonging among other children, and in revealing the changing boundaries of definitions of childhood.

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Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues

The Portuguese animal rights movement has been extremely active in campaigning against bullfighting. Indeed, from 2002 to 2014, this was their main priority in terms of campaigns. In this article, I assess how these campaigns have been carried out, arguing that the animal rights movement in Portugal has been othering supporters and practitioners of bullfights in their campaigns. In other words, their campaigns have consisted of drawing a sharp contrast between bullfight supporters and practitioners and the rest of the population. I argue that a consequence of this is that the speciesist practices of the majority of Portuguese have become normalised; consequently, leading to the reinforcement of some speciesist norms.

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Kenneth Baynes

This essay explores two largely distinct discussions about equality: the 'luck egalitarian' debate concerning the appropriate metric of equality and the 'equality and difference' debate which has focused on the need for egalitarianism to consider the underlying norms in light of which the abstract principle to 'treat equals equally' operates. In the end, both of these discussions point to the importance of political equality for egalitarianism more generally and, in the concluding section, an attempt is made to show how the ideal of 'equal concern and respect' might best be pursued given the results of these important discussions.

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War, Politics and Race

Reflections on Violence in the 'War on Terror'

Saul Newman and Michael P. Levine

The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's idea that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other.

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David Drake

Conventional wisdom holds that the political evolution of an individual passes from youthful radicalism to the conservatism of later years. In this respect, as in many others, Sartre declined to follow the norm. As a young man, despite his detestation of the bourgeoisie, his anti-militaristic sentiments, his anti-authoritarianism and unconventional lifestyle, Sartre remained aloof from politics, while it was towards the end of his life that his most radical commitment occurred, triggered in large part by the events of May-June 1968. This paper will establish that although Sartre supported the 1968 student movement, he remained essentially outside it and it made little immediate impact on his thinking or practice; it was only several months later that the ‘events’ made themselves felt to Sartre, leading him to question the definition of himself as intellectual which he had defended hitherto.

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The Emotional Disturbances of Old Age

On the Articulation of Old-Age Mental Incapacity in Eighteenth-Century Tuscany

Mariana Labarca

This article explores the role attributed to disturbed emotions in the understanding of old-age mental incapacity in eighteenth-century Tuscany. It claims that interdiction procedures provided a fertile forum for the negotiation of what constituted mental incapacity in old age, which progressively involved a discussion on accepted or proper emotional reactions. Delving into the language employed in interdiction narratives, it argues that references to disturbed emotional states were increasingly employed as a means of providing evidence of disordered states of mind. It also suggests that the constituent elements of mental incapacity and the emotional reactions deemed indicative of its presence were dependent on the familial and sociocultural context in which the behavior was identified. Interdictions thus reveal the articulation of a collective, culturally embedded language of mental incapacity that was profoundly entrenched in the formulation of behavioral norms and the shaping of standards of emotional reaction.

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Autobiography, Journalism, and Controversy

Freya Stark's Baghdad Sketches

Mary Henes

This article examines Freya Stark's life-writing over a forty-year period in order to shed light on her experience of Baghdad from 1929 to 1933. The article focuses on Stark's resistance to expected feminine norms of the British community, and contextualizes her experience alongside that of Gertrude Bell and Stefana Drower. Stark's experiences, and those of Drower, reveal the ways in which British women resisted the mundane expatriate lifestyle, and gained a great deal of cultural understanding though their interaction with Iraqis. Furthermore, the article discusses Stark's work at the Baghdad Times, a literary apprenticeship that also led to the publication of Baghdad Sketches. The article not only highlights the plurality of autobiographical presentation characteristic of Stark's oeuvre, but also reveals how Stark refashioned her experiences throughout her life, taking into account her changing status and the different political and cultural climates in which the works were published.

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Humanitarian Ideals between the Wars

(Re)Constructing Switzerland through Travel Writing

Sara Steinert Borella

Swiss authors and travelers Ella Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach set off to drive from Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford roadster in late 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Their subsequent texts reveal as much about cultural norms prevalent in Switzerland in the late 1930s as they do about the actual journey to Afghanistan. This article explores Ella Maillart's The Cruel Way (1947) and Annemarie Schwarzenbach's All the Roads Are Open (2011) as constructions of the humanitarian principles that the Swiss have come to call their own. Both travel narratives call into question the national value of neutrality while echoing the language of emerging political and legal human rights discourses. The travel narratives of Maillart and Schwarzenbach thus contribute to the development of a literary discourse of human rights that will later become the standard narrative for Switzerland during and following World War II.

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New Men, Old Europe

Being a Man in Balkan Travel Writing

Wendy Bracewell

Much modern Western travel writing presents Eastern Europe, and especially the Balkans, as a sort of museum of masculinity: an area where men, whether revolutionaries, politicians or workers, are depicted as behaving in ways that are seen as almost exaggeratedly masculine according to the standards of the traveller. Physical toughness and violence, sexual conquest and the subordination of women, guns, strong drink and moustaches feature heavily. This is a region where men are men - and sometimes so are the women, whether 'sworn virgins' living their lives as honorary men, heroic female partisans or, in more derisive accounts, alarmingly muscular and hirsute athletes, stewardesses and waitresses. But the notion of a characteristically masculine Balkans is not limited to outsiders. It can appear in travel accounts from the region as well, ranging from Aleko Konstantinov's emblematic fictional Bulgarian traveller, Bai Ganyo Balkanski, with his boorish disregard of European norms of behaviour (Konstantinov 1895/1966), to more polished travel writers who nonetheless find it useful to contrast a 'Balkan' model to Western versions of manliness.

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Book Reviews

Hegelianisms without Metaphysics?

David James, Bahareh Ebne Alian, and Jean Terrier

actualisation (or realisation) through its objectification in ethical, legal, social and political norms and the institutions that embody these norms. Hegel's philosophy of objective spirit has been classed as reactionary because of his claim in the preface to