This edition of Theoria encompasses an examination of the character of historical enquiry, critical encounters with contemporary perspectives in political theory, reflections on religion and the state, an exploration of the implications of the commodification of time and work and an examination of the role of human rights in the contemporary international context. In this it extends discussion of themes that have come to define the coherence and unity of the journal as an editorial project.
Zeynep Kılıç and Jennifer Petzen
This article invites scholars of race and migration to look at the visual arts more closely within the framework of comparative race theory. We argue that within a neoliberal multicultural context, the marketing of art relies on the commodification and circulation of racial categories, which are reproduced and distributed as globalized racial knowledge. This knowledge is mediated by the racial logic of neoliberal multiculturalism. Specifically, we look at the ways in which the global art market functions as a set of racialized and commodified power relations confronting the “migrant“ artist within an orientalizing curatorial framework.
This article examines two German films which, in different ways, engage with ethical questions raised by scientific advances in biotechnology and the specter of eugenics: Blueprint (Rolf Schübel, 2003), an adaptation of Charlotte Kerner's Blaupause, and The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen, Oskar Roehler, 2006), a cinematic interpretation of Michel Houellebecq's novel with the same title. Assuming different positions, the films contribute to the divisive public debate surrounding human cloning. Their visions vacillate between dystopian warnings of a commodification of human existence and euphoric promises of the potential to genetically erase human flaws forever. The films' main concern, however, is a critique of ideological positions associated with the generation of 1968, and the directors use the debate on genetics to infuse this discussion with an element of radicalism. This article explores the ways in which the films engage with the memory discourse in Germany through the lens of discourses on ethics and biotechnology.
Indonesian Mortuary Materials and Museums
Kathleen M. Adams
This article contributes to comparative museology by examining curation practices and politics in several “museum-like” heritage spaces and locally run museums. I argue that, in this era of heritage consciousness, these spaces serve as creative stages for advancing potentially empowering narratives of indigeneity and ethnic authority. Understanding practices in ancestral spaces as “heritage management” both enriches our conception of museums and fosters nuanced understandings of clashes unfolding in these spaces as they become entwined with tourism, heritage commodification, illicit antiquities markets, and UNESCO. Drawing on ethnographic research in Indonesia, I update my earlier work on Toraja (Sulawesi) museum-mindedness and family-run museums, and analyze the cultural politics underlying the founding of a new regional Toraja museum. I also examine the complex cultural, religious, and political challenges entailed in efforts to repatriate stolen effigies (tau-tau) and grave materials, suggesting that these materials be envisioned as “homeless heritage” rather than “orphan art.”
Islam, Secularism, and Women's Fashion in the New Europe
This article examines another European iteration of the headscarf debate, this time in postcommunist Bulgaria, the European Union member with the largest Muslim minority. Bulgaria is a country that has always been at a crossroads between East and West, and women's bodies and their fashion choices have increasingly become the symbols of the "backward Orient" or the "corrupt and decadent West" for those on either side of an ongoing national identity crisis. For the Orthodox Christian/Secular majority, the headscarf represents all that is troubling about the country's Ottoman past and Islam's presumed oppression of women. For a growing number of Bulgarian Muslims, the miniskirt has come to represent the shameless commodification of women's bodies and the moral bankruptcy of global capitalism.
Deviant Heritage Comes Out of the Shadows
Rachel F. Giraudo
Amid changing state laws to legalize the growing, selling, and use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in the United States, activists and advocates continue to help legitimize cannabis through museum-like practices and heritage work. They recognize the importance of destigmatizing the plant and its users, and effectively use exhibits to educate the public as one means of spreading their message. Given the rapid commodification of legal cannabis, some are also documenting its prohibition in order to protect members of cannabis subcultures whose livelihoods are now threatened. Through engaged scholarship, I examine efforts of two museums and two groups of advocates to represent and make visible the heritage of cannabis in the United States.
Paying Attention to Social Media
render its scale wider than ever before. Whether on Facebook, Tinder, Twitter, or Instagram: compulsory self-commodification and visibility (Foucault’s panoptic nightmare) is, increasingly, the only game in town. Our participation in the ‘virtual world
Paula Mota Santos and Hugo DeBlock
politics and cultural poetics underlying the birth of a new North Toraja Regency museum (Indonesia), Adams also showcases how certain current-day neoliberal conditions (tourism expansion, the commodification of sacred heritage arts, and Indonesian nation
Space, Time, and Text
Benjamin C. Fortna
(both foreign and domestic) in the field of education, the physically distinct places for “modern-style” schooling, the rapid rise in literacy, and the commodification of a number of practices associated with learning and reading were all important
Textbooks during French Colonization and the Modern Literature of Global Tourism
, through its commodification. 41 Therefore, by valuing authenticity, beyond promoting the recognition of a group, one gives economic and market-added value. Thus globalization, an era devoted to economy and profit, through the uses it makes of a