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Des hommes et des citoyens

Paternalism and Masculinity on the Republican Right in Interwar France, 1919-1939

Geoff Read

"Des Hommes et des citoyens: Paternalism and Masculinity on the Republican Right in Interwar France, 1919-1939," explores the masculine ideals of France's three main right-of-centre republican parties during the interwar period: the Fédération républicaine, the Parti démocrate populaire, and the Alliance démocratique. These parties desired men to be determined, principled, inflexible, respectable, hard-working, selfless, paternalist, republican and nationalist, and to father as many legitimate children as possible. Moreover, a discourse of paternalism pervaded the republican right's rhetoric and ideology, thereby providing the basis for many of its policies, as well as an obstacle to those, including feminists, who wished to challenge the status quo. This paternalism was consonant with the parties' class position and commingled with a masculine conception of citizenship that underlay the parties' principles and obstructed proponents of women's suffrage.

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Farid Azfar

This essay offers a close reading of a highly influential ballad, one that played a significant role in the excise crisis of 1733 when it helped turn public sentiment against Robert Walpole's government. The ballad, which plays upon Walpole's use of the term "sturdy beggars" to insult a group of petitioning merchants, manipulates both positive and negative visions of beggary. At the same time, the ballad aligns the merchants who opposed the excise bill with several cultural iterations of the strong and suffering type, including social bandits and martyred heroes. In the decades that followed, the sturdy beggars affair came to represent the extreme malleability of political rhetoric. It explains the emergence in the 1730s of a powerful strain of postpolitical exhaustion with demotic culture.

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Leonie Ansems de Vries

Michel Foucault's genealogy of the entry of life into politics provides an incisive account of the manner in which life came to be governed on the basis of its understood biological capacities and requirements. Foucault problematises biopolitics as a mode of governance through which life's potentialities are both produced and immobilised via the continuous (re)production of circulations, or the constitution of the milieu. The question is whether governance can be (dis)ordered such that this problem of biopolitical foreclosure is overcome. This problematique will be broached in this article by staging an encounter between Foucault's problematisation of biopolitical life and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's biophilosophy, which offers the promise of an ontological movement to think political life anew. Engaging Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the milieu, the article explores whether a shift of focus to an understanding of political life in terms of its potentialities of mobile and relational becoming within a wider play of forces can offer a viable strategy to counter the problematic foreclosure of politics to which Foucault draws attention.

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Miriam Shadis

twelfth and thirteenth centuries—also document items that might not show up in other kinds of sources, such as symbols of royal authority and military power. Royal wills also inventory religious and political concerns that might not have been mirrored by

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Opposing Political Philosophy and Literature

Strauss's Critique of Heidegger and the Fate of the 'Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry'

Paul O'mahoney

Strauss's critique of Heidegger's philosophy aims at a recovery of political philosophy, which he saw as threatened by Heidegger's radical historicism; for Strauss, philosophy as a whole could not survive without political philosophy, and his return to the classical tradition of political philosophy, while inspired by the work of Heidegger, was directed against what he saw as the nihilism that was its consequence. Here I wish to examine a dimension of Strauss's critique which, though hinted at, remains neglected or unexplored by Strauss: that is, how the critique of Heideggarian historicism should naturally link with Strauss's frequent attention to the issue of the ancient 'quarrel between philosophy and poetry'. It has often been observed by other commentators that through Heidegger's work, philosophy appears liable to be supplanted by contemporary literature, whether poetry or philosophy. As some of Strauss's explicit statements extend his definition of what falls under the category of 'poetry' in the modern age to contemporary novels and poetry, this aspect of Heidegger should have commanded more of his attention. Endurance of the quarrel between philosophy and poetry becomes through the prism of Strauss's work the confrontation of political philosophy with literature, particularly the novel form. It was not so much the rise of modern, non-teleological natural science that threatened the endurance and dignity of philosophy, then, but the rise of modern literature; the critique of historicism, when viewed in the light of the enduring 'quarrel', should lead one to a consideration of a crucial issue which remained oddly neglected, or was only hinted at, by Strauss.

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Gender and the Politics of Literary Fame

Christina Rossetti and The Germ

Alexis Easley

The chronology of events leading to the publication of The Germ in 1850 is familiar to most scholars of nineteenth-century literature. In 1849, soon after the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), Dante Gabriel Rossetti persuaded the group to found a journal that would promote their aesthetic principles and establish their literary reputation. After much discussion, the brethren decided to title their periodical The Germ and appointed William Michael Rossetti its editor. In addition to involving members of the PRB, other like-minded writers were invited to contribute, including Coventry Patmore, William Bell Scott and Christina Rossetti.

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Steven Matthews

I take it that, when thinking through notions of literature and history in the Thirties, and of the Thirties text in history, it is essential to look at the ways in which the text has become established within historical narratives of the Thirties, as well as the relationship to history which the text seeks to establish for itself. For the two seem curiously interwoven in the subsequent formulations of the distinctiveness of the period, whereby claims made in the Thirties find their absolute echoes in later narratives of its ideas and patternings.

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Sue Kossew

One of the most fraught and, possibly, most tricky issues, both in theory and in practice, for current literary criticism in post-apartheid South Africa is how to read and reread the texts of those now-canonical white South African writers whose reputations were made, both nationally and internationally, by their ‘writing against apartheid’, now that this particular kind of literature of resistance could be seen as passé. What is at stake here is not just a critical re-evaluation of such writers as J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and André Brink, whose voices may now be seen to be marginalised in favour of those ‘subaltern’ voices freed to speak in a post-apartheid state, but a re-situating of the very nature of their literary resistance. Inextricably tied to any such discussion is the complex nature of literary resistance itself and the debates surrounding the categorisation of ‘South African literature’ within ‘world literatures’. These debates have evolved around such questions as whether post-colonial theory and criticism have any relevance to such texts; whether ‘white’ South African literature should be regarded as part of other settler literatures (despite its obvious differences in not having just one ‘imperial centre’ and in the neo-colonial structures of apartheid); and whether even locating such a division between ‘white’ and ‘black’ writing in South Africa imposes a retrospective form of apartheid within critical practice itself. This article addresses some of these issues and considers them as part of a process of reconciling differences and moving beyond the fixed binaries that characterise both the apartheid mentality and colonialism itself.

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David Plotke

What if anything should democratic polities do with respect to political forces and citizens who oppose democratic practices? One strategy is toleration, understood as non-interference. A second approach is repression, aimed at marginalizing or breaking up non-democratic political forces. I argue for a third approach: democratic states and citizens should respond to non-democratic political forces and ideas mainly through efforts at political incorporation. This strategy can protect democratic practices while respecting citizens' rights; its prospects are enhanced by the diverse political composition of most contemporary anti-democratic projects and the integrative effects of democratic procedures.

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Raymond Geuss

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair has appealed to the other members of the European Union to engage constructively with the Bush administration as a means of working towards peace in a perilous world. The combination of highly developed destructive capacity, relative economic decline, diplomatic incompetence, and continuing political divisions among a frustrated and resentful population that is deeply ignorant of the wider world and subject to recurrent bouts of collective paranoia does indeed make the United States a dangerous international agent. One of the main ways, in particular, in which the U.S. represents a particular menace to world peace at the moment is that it has come to be in Washington’s short-term interest to make the world a place in which the quick recourse to violence, and the constant threat of violence, is accepted as part of normal practice in international relations. The use of military power presents itself as an increasingly attractive option primarily because the U.S. is becoming weaker and weaker economically and politically, and force is one of the few means U.S. politicians can deploy that offer any hope whatever of allowing them to advance or protect what they think are their vital interests.