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.
Medical Discourse on Girls in Sweden c. 1880-1930
The sick girl was a popular stereotype in Swedish medical discourse around 1900. It was established by medical authorities at the time that a substantial number of Swedish girls suffered from various diseases and ailments. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, at a time when the welfare state was gradually evolving in the Nordic countries, the scientific opinion of girls changed. The new girl was represented as healthy and active. This article examines the medical discourse on girls, and their activity and health in Sweden during circa 1880 to 1930. It reveals patterns of the medicalization of girls as well as categorizations and constructions of girlhood that corresponded with contemporaneous notions of gender. It reveals a recurring, if inconstant, problematization of girls' illness and lack of adequate physical activity. In this article I will show how the discussions about girls around 1900 share several similarities with current ones.
Danish Middle-Class Consumption, Egalitarianism, and the Sanctity of Inner Space
Jeppe Trolle Linnet
In this article, the style of social interaction known as hygge is analyzed as being related to cultural values that idealize the notion of 'inner space' and to other egalitarian norms of everyday life in Scandinavian societies. While commonly experienced as a pleasurable involvement in a social and spatial interior, hygge is also examined as a mode of withdrawal from alienating conditions of modernity. In spite of its egalitarian features, hygge acts as a vehicle for social control, establishes its own hierarchy of attitudes, and implies a negative stereotyping of social groups who are perceived as unable to create hygge. The idea of hygge as a trait of Scandinavian culture is developed in the course of the interpretation, and its limitations are also discussed against ethnographic evidence that comparable spatial and social dynamics unfold in other cultural contexts.
Western representations of the Other are criticized by anthropologists, but similar hegemonic classifications are present in the relationships between anthropologists who are living in the West and working on the (post-socialist) East, and those working and living in the (post-communist) East. In a hierarchical order of scholars and knowledge, post-socialist anthropologists are often perceived as relics of the communist past: folklorists, theoretically backward empiricists, and nationalists. These images replicate Cold War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigm shifts as well as actual practices triggered by the transnationalization of scholarship. Post-socialist academics either approve of such hegemony or contest this pecking order of wisdom, and their reactions range from isolationism to uncritical attempts at “nesting intellectual backwardness“ in the local context (an effect that trickles down and reinforces hierarchies). Deterred communication harms anthropological studies on post-socialism, the prominence of which can hardly be compared to that of post-colonial studies.
Looking at Five Israeli Dystopias
This article analyzes different images of Judaism presented in dystopic (anti-utopian) Israeli novels written in two different decades. In the earlier novels, written during the 1980s, Judaism was portrayed as an ancient religion revived by zealots who terrorize Israeli society, Taliban-style. Then I look at the thorough changes that Israeli dystopias have gone through in the last decade: for the first time in this genre, Judaism is imagined in new ways. It is presented as a religion that is not 'frozen' or 'radical'. Its followers are not stereotypical Diaspora Jews, but, rather, representatives of new Jewish identities that are taking shape in current Israeli society. This is emblematic of the deep changes now taking place in Israeli Judaism, particularly the weakening of the traditionally sharp secular-religious dichotomy.
Watching Politics of Race at the Ballpark
Thomas D. Bunting
Drawing on recent literature on political spectatorship, I show how sport, and baseball in particular, can both illuminate and shape American politics. Following the history of racial segregation and immigrant assimilation in baseball, one sees that it mirrors American race politics on the whole. I argue that Jackie Robinson and the desegregation of baseball changed both American politics and the horizons within which citizens think. Although it is tempting to focus on this positive and emergent moment, I argue that for the most part, looking at the history of race in baseball shows instead coded language that reinforces racial stereotypes. This example of baseball and race shows how powerful spectatorship can be in the democratic world. Spectatorship need not be passive but can be an important sphere of activity in democratic life.
Sharifah Aishah Osman
Rape culture is a provocative topic in Malaysia; the public discourse on it is plagued by gender stereotyping, sexism, misogyny, and rape myths. Recent literary works aimed at Malaysian adolescent girls have interrogated rape culture more pointedly as a means of addressing gender-based violence through activism and education. In this article, I discuss two short stories, “The Girl on the Mountain” and “Gamble” as retellings of Malaysian legends and feminist responses to the normalization and perpetuation of rape culture in this society. Through the emphasis on female agency, consent, and gender equality, these two stories reflect the subversive power of Malaysian young adult literature in dismantling rape culture, while affirming the significance of the folktale as an empowering tool for community engagement and feminist activism.
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.
Reading Muslim Masculinities through Muslim Femininities in Ms. Marvel
Shenila S. Khoja-Moolji and Alyssa D. Niccolini
In this article we examine the production and operation of the character, Kamala Khan, a Muslim American-Pakistani superheroine of the Ms. Marvel comic series, to glean what this reveals about Islam and Muslims, with particular attention to representations of Muslim masculinities. We argue that Ms. Marvel's invitation to visualize Muslim girls as superheroes is framed by a desire to interrupt rampant Islamophobia and xenophobia, yet, in order to produce such a disruption it relies on, and (re)produces, stereotypical conceptualizations of Muslim masculinities as mirrored in men who are conservative, prone to irrational rage, pre-modern, anachronistic, and even bestial. However, as the series progresses we notice the emergence of representations of complex and complicated Muslim masculinities that cast doubt on these tired, hackneyed ones, thus making way for a comic to undertake the pedagogical work of resistance. We see this graphic novel, like the shape-shifting Kamala herself, as wielding potentially dynamic and transformative power in social imaginaries.
Amina Triki-Yamani, Marie McAndrew, and Sahar El Shourbagi
Perceptions of the Treatment of Islam and the Muslim World in History Textbooks by Secondary School Teachers in Quebec
This article focuses on the ways in which Francophone Quebecois secondary 1 and 2 junior high school teachers adapt and transmit the treatment of Islam and the Muslim world in textbooks used for history and citizenship education. The authors focus on the teachers' capacity to identify factual errors, stereotypes or ethnocentric biases concerning these questions. In order to do this, they analyze fourteen semi-structured interviews carried out with teachers on the island of Montreal, considering dimensions and indicators that relate to their relationship to the formal curriculum, as well as to scholarly and social knowledge of these issues. At the same time, we consider their relationship to the real curriculum or to scholarly knowledge as these are transmitted in real-life learning situations.
French Notre article porte sur la manière dont les enseignants du premier cycle du secondaire québécois francophone s'approprient et transmettent le traitement de l'islam et du monde musulman dans le matériel didactique de la discipline d'histoire et d'éducation à la citoyenneté et plus particulièrement, sur leur capacité à identi er les erreurs factuelles, les stéréotypes ou les biais ethnocentriques concernant ces questions. Pour ce faire, nous avons relevé, dans l'analyse des quatorze entretiens semi-directifs menés auprès d'enseignants de l'Ile-de-Montréal, les dimensions et indicateurs portant, d'une part, sur leur rapport au curriculum prescrit, et plus précisément sur leur rapport aux savoirs scolaires, sociaux et parfois de référence sur ces enjeux, et, d'autre part, sur leur rapport au curriculum réel ou aux savoirs scolaires tels que transmis en situation réelle d'apprentissage.