The early novels of Elinor Glyn (1864–1943) were very well received for their ‘originality, wit and high spirits’. They were written at the turn of the century when Glyn was in her early 30s in order to solve financial problems and they are acutely observed accounts of the late Victorian and Edwardian marriage market. She contrasts British high society with continental arrangements to manage wives and mistresses and in doing so tentatively begins to explore the place of sexuality within marriage or more significantly the prospect of extramarital liaisons as young brides become mature women. Biographical accounts of Glyn’s career emphasise the surprise and hurt she felt at the response from the press and society acquaintances to Three Weeks (1907) when it was published. Whereas her other novels were seen as humorous and daring, this is the novel that overstepped the mark. Three Weeks became notorious because its focus is not society manners or pre-nuptial morality, but an adulterous affair that is treated sympathetically, almost reverentially by the authoress. Even more controversially, it is an older woman who seduces a younger man, with the intention of conceiving a child. The gender relations regarding class, culture, money, initiative, status, and more specifically power are unequivocally reversed and celebrated in the expression of a mature woman’s sexual pleasure.
Henry A. Giroux
This article argues that democracy is on life support in the United States. Throughout the social order, the forces of predatory capitalism are on the march—dismantling the welfare state, corrupting politics with outside money, defunding higher education, expanding the corporate-surveillance-military state, widening inequalities in wealth and income, and waging a war on low income and poor minorities. As market mentalities and moralities tighten their grip on all aspects of society, democratic institutions and public spheres are being downsized, if not altogether disappearing. As these institutions vanish—from higher education to health care centers—there is also a serious erosion of the discourses of community, justice, equality, public values, and the common good. This article argues that given this current crisis, educators, artists, intellectuals, youth, and workers need a new political and pedagogical language centered around the notion of radical democracy in order to address the changing contexts and issues facing a world in which capital draws upon an unprecedented convergence of resources—financial, cultural, political, economic, scientific, military, and technological—to exercise powerful and diverse forms of control.
Commemorating Plymouth Rock in Stratford
The presence of Americans and American interests in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, stretches beyond the Shakespeare Memorial Fountain in Market Square. In the course of mapping this presence, this article reveals how the bond between America and Stratford, mostly forged by Victorian and Edwardian visitors and benefactors, rests on contradictory, ambivalent symbols. As so often happens in rites of remembrance, in which the commemorators often commemorate themselves, American presence in Stratford celebrates Shakespeare and asserts national identity at the same time. American commemoration of Shakespeare in Stratford works in two opposite directions, strengthening bonds with Shakespeare's England while simultaneously asserting self-determination and memorialising independence from the nation that gave birth to Shakespeare. While exploring these issues, this article unpacks the links between one of Stratford's iconic tourist destinations (Holy Trinity Church) and one of America's foundational myths, Plymouth Rock, which are jointly construed as sites of remembrance and symbols of origin in a late-Victorian stained glass window erected with money from American donors in Shakespeare's church. By arguing that the link between Shakespeare's Stratford and the Pilgrim's Rock is possible through the erasure of historical evidence, this article shows how communities remember and how communities choose to forget.
Contemporary Ecologies of Value
Patrick Gallagher and Danielle DiNovelli-Lang
Current efforts to locate value in material nature arise from the contrary notion that there is no value in nature. The roots of this paradox are entangled with the birth of classical economics, which distinguished itself from what it deemed the superstitions of both its European past and the exotic elsewhere by claiming to have discovered that the wealth of nations lay not in land (as the physiocrats believed), nor in money (as the mercantilists thought), but in the productivity of human labor, which alone could make more of the “necessaries and conveniences of life” from a finite and basically inert natural substrate (Locke  1960). Once the productive capacity of the land was formally separated, or “disembedded,” from its particular natural qualities (Polanyi 1944), it became a puzzle to retroactively determine the value of the latter’s contribution to the overall means of production. The articles collected in the present volume each operate squarely in the context set by this classical riddle, which situates value, on the one hand, and nature, on the other, as the two absolutely necessary yet diametrically opposed elements of the modern political economy of “sustainability”.
This summary article situates the articles in this collection within the historical unfolding of the commodification and neoliberalisation of higher education. From the 1970s to the present, the article suggests that commodification and neoliberalisation are two social forces that in many nations are difficult to disentangle. It is important to see these forces as analytically distinct as they set up contradictions whilst transforming higher education in many nations in the world. While commodification begins the process of turning university programmes and degrees into commodities that a consuming public buys, neoliberalism puts pressure on universities to document that people are getting value for the money they spend. Neoliberalism also questions how we measure the quality of a product. Together these forces create an increasingly contradictory space where faculty work becomes very conflicted. The article then goes on to situate each of the articles in this contradictory university space. Finally the article discusses some ways faculty can move beyond resistance and collusion and find ways to reclaim higher education.
Anna J. Wesselink, Wiebe E. Bijker, Huib J. de Vriend, and Maarten S. Krol
This article shows how Dutch technological culture has historically dealt with and developed around vulnerability with respect to flooding and indicates recent developments in attitude towards the flood threat. The flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina temporarily made the Dutch public worry about the flood defense infrastructure in the Netherlands, exemplified by the Delta Works. Could this happen in the Netherlands? After the flooding disaster of 1953, a system of large dams was built to offer safety from flooding with—in theory at least—protection levels that are much higher than in New Orleans. In the public's perception the protection offered is absolute. In practice not all flood defense structures are as secure as they are supposed to be, but their upgrading takes time and money. Katrina has served as a reminder of what is at stake: Can the Dutch afford to take another 10 years to restore the protection level of their flood defenses? Calls for pride in clever engineering are the latest in a continuing debate on the best way to continue life below sea level.
'Dirty Realism' in Contemporary American and Irish Fiction
Although not strictly speaking a ‘dirty realist’ novel, American Pastoral is clearly indebted to the genre. Concerned with a generation which, despite its money, is only one removed from the city’s Old Prince Street ghetto – Seymour Levov’s father left school at fourteen to work in a tannery to support a family of nine – the 1960s proves ‘dirtier’ than the past. Prosperous Newark becomes ‘the car-theft capital of the world’ and the Levov’s neighbourhood, reminiscent of ‘dirty realist’ writing, becomes a seedy district where, apart from a liquor store, a pizza stand and a church, everything is ruined and boarded up. Initially, as in ‘dirty realist’ writing, fantasies about family and community hide ‘the way things actually work’.1 But a significant element of American Pastoral is its implicit argument in favour of ‘dirty realism’. If we accept the novel’s gist, the need for Seymour to be released from myth into the complexity and messiness of history, then ‘dirty realism’, as beyond pastoral and outside a linear, progressive model of history, is relocated as a mode of writing which buys into postmodern critiques of monolithic narratives and fixed subject-positions.
Capitalism and the Environment
Paige West and Dan Brockington
Capitalism is the dominant global form of political economy. From business-as-usual resource extraction in the Global South to the full-scale takeover of the United Nations 2012 conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, Brazil by corporations advocating the so-called green economy, capitalism is also one of the two dominant modes of thinking about, experiencing, and apprehending the natural world. The other dominant mode is environmentalism. There are many varieties of environmentalism, but the dominant mode we refer to is “mainstream environmentalism.” It is represented by powerful nongovernmental organizations and is characterized by its closeness to power, and its comfort with that position. Th is form of environmentalism is a well-meaning, bolstered by science, view of the world that sees the past as a glorious unbroken landscape of biological diversity. It continuously works to separate people and nature, at the same time as its rhetoric and intent is to unite them. It achieves that separation physically, through protected areas; conceptually, by seeking to value nature and by converting it to decidedly concepts such as money; and ideologically, through massive media campaigns that focus on blaming individuals for global environmental destruction.
For over fifty years Francis Jeanson has been one of the world’s exemplary radical thinkers and actors. We Sartreans know him as the author of one of the earliest, and still most insightful, books on Sartre’s philosophy, Le Problème moral et la philosophie de Jean-Paul Sartre [Available in translation. See Sartre and the Problem of Morality, Bloomington, 1980], Sartre par lui-même, and Sartre dans sa vie, as well as of the review of Camus’ L’Homme révolté [The Rebel, New York, 1954] which instigated the Sartre/Camus break. Then came Algeria. As his biographer writes, “His intervention against the Algerian War shapes our collective destiny. Without Francis Jeanson, the resistance of French intellectuals to this colonial war would have been different” (Marie-Pierre Ulluoa, Francis Jeanson: un intellectuel en dissidence [Paris: Berg International, 2001], 244). At the beginning of the insurrection he and his first wife wrote a book about French colonialism and its effects on Algeria. He then organized the Jeanson network, the “porteurs des valises” who hid Algerian activists and deserters from the French army, and raised money for the FLN. In this role he lived underground for several years and was tried and sentenced in absentia to 10 years prison, a sentence which was only commuted at the end of the war. Jeanson was invited to Chalon-sur-Saône to direct its House of Culture and then worked as a philosopher participating in a continuing education program for psychiatrists in a mental hospital. He then returned to a small family house in Claouey, on the Bassin d’Arcachon, where he has continued to write and involve himself in such activities as the France-Sarajevo Association, which has encouraged a multi-ethnic Bosnia.
James F. Lee
Nettie Honeyball and Florence Dixie founded the British Ladies Football Club (BLFC) in 1894 with the aim to provide football-playing opportunities for girls and young women, but also as a means of making money. Theirs, in effect, was an attempt to create a professional football league for women. Public interest in 'the lady footballers' was enormous, at least in its early stages, and generated considerable attention from the press. Overall, press coverage of the BLFC was negative (football is a man's sport; football is a working-class sport; women are physically incapable of playing the game; women shouldn't appear publicly in bifurcated garments, etc.), with only a few notable exceptions. Did the stance adopted depend on the political leaning of the newspaper? Or were the reporters simply reflecting the social and economic realities of their time, struggling to 'explain' a marginal group - women athletes, or more specifically, middle-class women football players - engaging in a working-class male game? This article examines the press coverage of the BLFC. The double standard evident in the newspaper coverage was, on the surface, as one might expect: if a woman played well, she was a freak, possibly a man in disguise; if she didn't play well, it proved that women shouldn't play football. But on closer examination, the double standard was actually rather nuanced: if she played well and looked the part of a woman, she could be subject to praise; yet if she played well and didn't conform to the standard of feminine beauty, she faced ridicule, and her gender called into question.