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Cutting the Face

Kinship, State and Social Media Conflict in Networked Jordan

Geoffrey Hughes

Abstract

The local uptake of new media in the Middle East is shaped by deep histories of imperialism, state building, resistance and accommodation. In contemporary Jordan, social media is simultaneously encouraging identification with tribes and undermining their gerontocratic power structures. Senior men stress their own importance as guarantors (‘faces’), who restore order following conflicts, promising to pay their rivals a large surety if their kin break the truce. Yet, ‘cutting the face’ (breaking truces) remains an alternative, one often facilitated by new technologies that allow people to challenge pre-existing structures of communication and authority. However, the experiences of journalists and other social media mavens suggest that the liberatory promise of the new technology may not be enough to prevent its reintegration into older patterns of social control.

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Richard Wright and the 1955 Bandung Conference

A Re-Evaluation of The Color Curtain

Babacar M'Baye

The Color Curtain reflects Richard Wright's problematical assessment of the 1955 Bandung Conference and his difficult attempts to reconcile his sincere denunciation of the consequences of colonialism and racism on people of Asian and African descent with his condescending representation of Third World nationalism during the middle of the twentieth century. The book reveals striking paradoxes in Wright's evaluation of a nationalism that he occasionally vilifies as an ideology that was grounded on impassioned and essentialist cultural or religious affiliations and feelings. Yet Wright's demeaning, elitist, and patronizing attitudes about Third World nationalism and cultures did not prevent him from identifying with the core spirit of the Bandung Conference. In his assessment of the summit, Wright occasionally reveals his admiration for a Third World nationalism that echoed his disparagement of Western racism and imperialism.

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Claudia Lieb, Donald Weber, Anita Perkins, Monika Domman, Manuel Appert, Liz Millward, Ueli Haefeli, Heloise Finch-Boyer, Natalie Roseau, Charissa Terranova, Massimo Moraglio, Christopher Neumaeier, and Clay McShane

Christian Kassung, Die Unordnung der Dinge. Eine Wissens- und Mediengeschichte des Unfalls Claudia Lieb

Matthieu Flonneau and Arnaud Passalacqua, Utilités de l'utilitaire. Aperçu Réaliste des Services Automobiles Donald Weber

Fred Dervin, Analysing the Consequences of Academic Mobility and Migration Anita Perkins

Regine Buschauer, Mobile Räume. Medien- und Diskursgeschichtliche Studien zur Tele-Kommunikation Monika Domman

Sébastien Gardon, Goût de bouchons. Lyon, les villes françaises et l'équation automobile Manuel Appert

Peter Adey, Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Effects Liz Millward

Rainer Ruppmann, Schrittmacher des Autobahnzeitalters: Frankfurt und das Rhein-Main-Gebiet Ueli Haefeli

Frances Steel, Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, c. 1870-1914, Studies in Imperialism Heloise Finch-Boyer

Kelly Shannon and Marcel Smets, The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure Natalie Roseau

Andrew Bush, Drive Charissa Terranova

Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind, Moving Minds. Conservatives and Public Transportation Massimo Moraglio

Ann Johnson, Hitting the Brakes. Engineering Design and the Production of Knowledge Christopher Neumaeier

Barron H. Lerner, One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900 Clay McShane

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Victor Cazares, Itay Snir, José María Rosales, Ferenc Laczó, Anja Osiander, and Heikki Haara

Zachary Sayre Schiffman, The Birth of the Past (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), xvi + 316 pp.

Sophia Rosenfeld, Common Sense: A Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), 337 pp.

Joris Gijsenbergh, Saskia Hollander, Tim Houwen, and Wim de Jong, eds., Creative Crises of Democracy (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2012), 444 pp.

Mary L. Dudziak, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 221 pp.

Anneli Wallentowitz, “Imperialismus” in der japanischen Sprache am Übergang vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhundert: Begriffsgeschichte im außereuropäischen Kontext [“Imperialism” in the Japanese language at the turn of the 20th century: A history of concepts in a non-European context] (Bonn: Bonn University Press, 2011), 380 pp., incl. Japanese-German glossary.

Annabel S. Brett, Changes of State: Nature and the Limits of the City in Early Modern Natural Law (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 242 pp.

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Naomi J. Andrews and Jennifer E. Sessions

Scholarly attention to the history and legacies of France's overseas empire is a welcome development of the last two decades, but the field of modern French colonial history has become overly focused on the “tensions” and “contradictions” of universalist republican imperialism. This introduction argues that we must recognize the ideological diversity of the French state and the complexity of the relationships between colonial and metropolitan histories in the modern period. The articles in this special issue show the critical role of the non-republican regimes of the nineteenth century in the construction of the modern French empire, and the ways that colonial entanglements shaped processes of post-Revolutionary reconstruction in France under the Restoration (1815–1830), July Monarchy (1830–1848), Second Republic (1848–1851), and Second Empire (1852–1870).

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From Black-Blanc-Beur to Black-Black-Black?

“L'Affaire des Quotas” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty-First-Century France

Christopher S. Thompson

Since the mid-1990s, France's national soccer team has been given considerable significance in French debates about post-colonial immigration, national identity, republican citizenship, and the enduring legacies of French imperialism. This article explores the role played by representations of the team in those debates with a particular focus on the so-called “affaire des quotas” of 2010–2011. It argues that those representations reveal that the boundary between the purportedly inclusive civic nationalism of French republicanism according to which any person willing to embrace the duties and rights of democratic citizenship may theoretically become French, and the exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the xenophobic Front national is far less impermeable than is generally assumed in France. Indeed, race and ethnicity inform notions of French citizenship even among persons who reject the essentialist views of the Far Right.

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“The Fourth Reich Is Here”

An Exploration of Populist Depictions of the European Union as a German Plot to Take Over Europe

Julian Pänke

The article explores German leadership in Europe as mirrored in national-populist media discourses in Britain, Greece, and Poland. In an effort to discredit the EU as another attempt at German imperialism, accusations of EU institutions being modeled after German blueprints constrain Berlin’s ability to achieve effective and legitimate European leadership. By applying role theory, the argument investigates why these ideas and images resonate so well. The article presents three supportive contexts of a German leadership paradox that—together with painful World War II memories—lead to the persistence of certain national-populist discourses. These include (1) Germany’s Nazi past; (2) German nation-building, which partly resembles European integration processes; and (3) like the eu, Germany’s projection of its interests in terms of normative power (or Zivilmacht), thereby constructing and recognizing respective selfs in “civilizing missions.” This article does not aim to strengthen such populist readings but instead advocates addressing them more openly.

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Introduction

Beyond Orientalism; Texting the Victorian East

Julia Kuehn and Tamara S. Wagner

Thirty years after its publication in 1978, a reconsideration of Edward Said’s Orientalism invites a shift from contextual and colonial discourse analysis towards a renewed attention to ambiguities of form and structure. The central point of interest of this special issue, ‘Re-Imagining the Victorian Orient’, hinges upon close readings of canonical and noncanonical texts, side by side, in order to highlight the complexities of Victorian literary culture that earlier readings often threatened to deny. The analyses comprise discussions of travel writing as well as of fiction from the 1830s up to the 1920s, covering what is commonly considered the height of imperialism. What brings the essays in this special issue together is the project of opening up the question of the Victorian Orient as a concept and a literary topos, based upon, but also beyond the critical tenets of Orientalism. While this project is rooted in literary history and the history of representation, its main emphasis firmly rests on a ‘texting’ of the Victorian East: an emphasis on genre, aesthetics, and structural metaphors. This collection is held together by the places it foregrounds as much as by this critical redirection towards textual analysis. Divided into two parts, it reads women’s travelogues covering the Middle East, South, and South East Asia, comparing and contrasting them with the ‘notorious’ colonial novels of Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, and Forster.

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Canadian Citizens as Postcolonial Subjects?

Reading Robert Kroetsch's The Lovely Treachery of Words

Bronagh Clarke

Many of the critical essays of the Canadian novelist, poet and theorist Robert Kroetsch, as collected in his 1989 anthology The Lovely Treachery of Words, explore the issue of how Canadian writers attempt to establish a cultural nationalism in the face of the decline of the British Empire. They are an initial expression of ideas about place and language, the problematic discourse of the 'New World', and the reinscription of First Nations peoples into the literature and culture of the Canadian nation. These are concerns which later came to be regarded as 'postcolonial' with the burgeoning of the term in the late 1980s through to the present day. However, his essays are due for reassessment in the light of recent responses to postcolonial subjectivity which critique the 'colonizer-colonized' binary as used in settler-invader contexts. This 'colonizer-colonized' binary has a troubling tendency to efface indigenous peoples. It conceals the imperialistic, land-grabbing aspects of settler-invader history by positing the settler as the true postcolonial subject, searching for a stable national identity – an authentic Canadian sense of citizenship and belonging – in the face of a cultural heritage largely defined by European imperialism.

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Travel as Imperial Strategy

George Nathaniel Curzon Goes East, 1887-1894

Geoffrey Nash

Sometimes a travel theory is enunciated with such transparency as to seem almost a caricature. A key aspect of the debate surrounding Edward Said’s Orientalism has been the argument, adduced by such writers as Reina Lewis (1996), Lisa Lowe (1991), Billy Melman (1992), Dennis Porter (1991) et al., that Said’s construct disallows a space for multivalent positionings within the discourse of Orientalism. In this essay it is not my intention to rescue Said’s thesis from these critics, or to attempt a revision of his correlation of Orientalism with imperialism. My subject can be seen to justify Eurzon’s inclusion, alongside contemporaries like Balfour and Cromer, within that bloc of imperial patronage that sought to inscribe the East within the construct of Western knowledge/power which Said termed Orientalism. As enunciations of an aesthetic of travel, or codifications of imperial administration, Curzon’s writings rarely digress from Foucault’s equation of knowledge and power. But I intend also to problematise the confidence of imperial mastery in Curzon’s Orientalism by articulating the interior anxieties it seeks to cover by its political/racial logocentrism.