I was very moved by Jonathan [Magonet]’s talk, and it brought to mind many cherished memories of my own. After all, it was one key experience from the pre-stage of the JCM that got me hooked. During one of those Jewish–Christian–Muslim weekends at the Evangelische Akademie Berlin on the Middle East conflict in 1969, an intense debate ensued between two secular Jewish speakers and the rabbis Albert Friedlander and Lionel Blue with whom I have been friends ever since. It was about Jewish claims to the Holy Land, still a burning issue, and questions of privileges and ethical obligations, and it opened my eyes to the lively dynamics within the Jewish faith group far beyond the stereotypes common in the Muslim students’ community in those days. At the same time, it strengthened my resolve to concentrate on talking to each other rather than talking about each other, both between our faith groups and within them.
Expanding Indigenous “Expertise” Beyond Ecoprimitivism
This article analyzes a series of litigations that began with the Aguinda v. Texaco Inc. case as a site of production of new legal subjectivities for indigenous communities in the region of the Ecuadorian Amazon polluted by oil extraction activities. They engage in the transnational and local legal structures, contribute to and generate legal and scientific knowledge and expertise, and articulate multiple legal subjectivities that position them not only as homogenous plaintiffs in a highly publicized lawsuit, but also as legal actors in complex relation to each other, and to the state. Through such engagements with this legal process, indigenous actors are recrafting their collective representations in ways that challenge the ‘ecoprimitive’ stereotypes of indigeneity, historically associated with the ‘paradox of primitivism.’
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
How is it possible to reconcile what I learn in the field with what I teach for a living? This paper shows how an answer seems to have formulated itself in practice. The reconciliation is fractured. The problem could have been more easily solved if I had decided to ‘teach’ (transcode for academic use) what I learned in the field. I hope you will work out from what follows why this is not an option for my stereotype of myself, why that solution would have been more a part of the problem, for me, than this incoherence. I give you the dilemma, as its reconciliation. The first section is about what I learn in the field: other women. The second about how that has changed what I teach for a living: literary criticism.
This paper seeks to offer an assessment of the nature of identity among Poland's German minority and to investigate why since 1950 large numbers of that minority have migrated to Germany. It does so by examining the nature of identity in the historic Polish-German borderlands, by recounting the experiences of those Germans who remained behind in Poland after the post World War Two expulsion process was completed in 1949, and by examining the continued salience of negative stereotypes of Germans and Germany among elements of Polish society. The paper highlights a number of salient factors of importance for members of the minority in deciding whether or not to stay in Poland or to migrate to Germany.
Ambiguity and excess in “postethnic” Rwanda
Following the 1994 genocide, the government of Rwanda embarked on a “deethnicization” campaign to outlaw Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa labels and replace them with a pan-Rwandan national identity. Since then, to use ethnic labels means risking accusations of “divisionism” or perpetuating ethnic schisms. Based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in the university town of Butare, I argue that the absence of ethnic labels produces practical interpretive problems for Rwandans because of the excess of possible ways of interpreting what people mean when they evaluate each other's conduct in everyday talk. I trace the historical entanglement of ethnicity with class, rural/urban, occupational, and moral distinctions such that the content of ethnic stereotypes can be evoked even without ethnic labels. In so doing, I aim to enrich understandings of both the power and danger inherent in the ambiguous place of ethnicity in Rwanda's “postethnic” moment.
The present essay attempts to shed light on the gender politics of Tobias Smollett's novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker in relation to its spatial politics, and argues that geographic space functions as a framework within which gender contextualises both urban and rural culture. Drawing primarily on Henri Lefebvre's seminal post-modernist study of space, the paper argues that space is a social production that gives rise to representational effects. Chief among them is gender, and the essay analyses the way Smollett invokes and then subverts the traditional literary and cultural binary between country/femininity and city/masculinity. It thus advances a deconstruction of a familiar binary opposition between geographic and sexual stereotypes. Thus, the ultimate 'traveller' of Smollett's picaresque novel is none other than the reader who is invited to explore his/her identity by analysing Smollett's presentation of the formation of subjectivity through the intersections of space and gender as well as his ambiguous stance towards his contemporary status quo.
Michael G. Vann
André Joyeux's La Vie large des colonies ['The Colonial Good Life'] is an insider's portrait of the French colonial encounter in Southeast Asia. Published in Paris in 1912 but most likely penned in Saigon, the collection of cartoons explores the racial order of the colony. Although the artist critiques many aspects of the colony and highlights certain gross injustices, such as the coloniser's sexual predation and physical violence, he also articulates many of the bluntly racist French stereotypes of the Vietnamese, Chinese and other Asians in the colony. Joyeux, as an artist and as an art teacher, contributed to the development of cartoon and caricature as a medium in Vietnam, which would eventually be used in the anti-colonial, nationalist and communist movements. La Vie large des colonies is of importance as a primary source in the study of empire.
As host of the 2006 soccer World Cup in June and July 2006, Germany was suddenly full of different Germans, waving millions of black-red-gold mini flags and wearing their (and others') national colors with abandon. Was this show of nationalism a new kind of trans/national patriotism? Most certainly, the national enthusiasm exhibited in Germany had nothing whatsoever to do with past demonstrations of patriotism. With the focus on the country as host to world soccer aficionados, the world also learned of a multicultural Germany that has existed for the last fifty years or so. It learned that it is not always successful with its social and economic problems, and that the desire for national unity is sometimes difficult to fulfill. Quite correctly, the national media described Germany as joyous, generous, and open-minded hosts. In the foreign press, too, the old stereotypes were broken down.
The Woman Veteran in Iulia Drunina's Postwar Poetry
Adrienne M. Harris
The article uses Soviet poet Iuliia Drunina's deeply personal and o en autobiographical poetry as a lens through which to view the woman veteran's experience, especially during the time of the state-promoted cult of World War II and the erosion of the cult during perestroika. Gender and World War II remain consistent themes in Drunina's poetry, but in her oeuvre, one finds an evolution in how the poet-veteran relates to the war. From 1942 on, Drunina consciously assumed the role of the voice for women soldiers, but as the war receded into the past and the number of veterans dwindled, Drunina began to write more frequently on behalf of veterans of both sexes. This article details numerous war and gender-related themes: gendered otherness during the war, demobilization, stereotypes of women soldiers, the sacred nature of the war, the duty to remember, front-line friendship, and the persistence of the war in veterans' lives.
This essay is an intimate account of my encounter with Aimé Césaire. I first met him in high school. I was seventeen years old, and I had never read any work comparable to his Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. That book left me confused. The more I read the less I understood. A student in lettres modernes at Université Charles De Gaulle, I became tormented by identity issues. My years in France introduced me to racism, to an other who observed me without seeing me—between us centuries of violence, stereotypes, misunderstanding, unrequited love, unresolved conflict, unshared suffering. How do you get rid of the cutting glance that murders the Promise of Tomorrow? Césaire gave me an answer to that question.