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Airports as Urban Narratives

Toward a Cultural History of the Global Infrastructures

Nathalie Roseau

This article focuses on the process of the design of airports and how in particular the urban context has shaped their specific histories. Far from being merely pure technical or functional equipment, they have been mirrors for contemporary expectations, just as they informed the modern urban imaginary. According to this perspective, an urban history of airports can be traced from the first aerodromes dedicated to large urban publics to the development of spectacular airports driven by the massive recent routinization of air transport so intricately bound up with globalization. Based on research on specific cases of the design and building of New York and Paris airports, this article aims to resist the temptations to dehistoricize the airport topic, and to introduce a narrative mode of thinking about these specific and concrete spaces.

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Introduction

Contested Narratives of Storied Places—the Holy Lands

Jackie Feldman

The articles in this special section on pilgrimage and the Holy Lands provide a wide range of perspectives on the practice, representation, and production of sacred space as expressions of knowledge and power. The experience of space of the pilgrim and the politically committed tourist is characterized by distance, impermanence, desire, contestation, and the entwinement of the material and the spiritual. The wealth of historical Christian and Western narratives/images of the Holy Land, the short duration of pilgrimage, the encounter with otherness, the entextualization of sites, and the semiotic nature of tourism all open a gap between the perceptions of pilgrims and those of 'natives'. Although the intertwining of symbolic condensation, legitimation, and power makes these Holy Land sites extremely volatile, many pilgrimages sidestep confrontation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as inimical to the spirit of pilgrimage. A comparative view of the practices of contemporary Holy Land pilgrims demonstrates how communitas and conflict, openness and isolation are constantly being negotiated.

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Rafael Guendelman Hales

Abstract

“Objects Removed for Study” is a creative remaking of a fraction of the Library of Ashurbanipal (part of the Assyrian collection of the British Museum) by a group of women from the Iraqi Community Association in London. Inspired by the main role of the library as a guide for the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, and considering the current situation in Iraq, the women were invited to rewrite and re-create a series of ceramic books and artifacts. This project aims to critically rethink both the identity and the role of these old artifacts in the articulation of new sensitivities and possibilities in today's context of displacement.

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Amy Binning

practitioners, and the American religious and temporal landscape, that is, through the affective experience of narratives of preparedness, disaster, and decline. Buddhism's prophecies of decline—common across nearly all schools—place our current moment on a

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Weapons for Witnessing

American Street Preaching and the Rhythms of War

Kyle Byron

material, narrative, and ideological rhythms of streets, sermons, and military doctrine, respectively, this article advances an analytic framework capable of registering the intersecting rhythmic tensions that give form to performance, religious or

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Dream-Realities

Rematerializing Martyrs and the Missing Soldiers of the Iran-Iraq War

Sana Chavoshian

spread among visitors at the graveside and in women's domestic prayer groups. In an elegiac performance, I heard a biographical narrative. A man with a white beard and a kafiyya —a checkered scarf that is a symbol of the Palestinian resistance and

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From the Throes of Anguished Mourning

Shi‘i Ritual Lamentation and the Pious Publics of Lebanon

Fouad Gehad Marei

supplications to al-Mahdi reminded them of the ghostly omnipresence of their other-worldly messianic redeemer. Together, this cultivated an imaginal sense of ‘being united’ with al-Mahdi and translated the religious Shi‘i meta-narrative into a performed imaginal

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Julián Antonio Moraga Riquelme, Leslie E. Sponsel, Katrien Pype, Diana Riboli, Ellen Lewin, Marina Pignatelli, Katherine Swancutt, Alejandra Carreño Calderón, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Sergio González Varela, Eugenia Roussou, Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Miho Ishii, Markus Balkenhol, and Marcelo González Gálvez

narrative as ‘the mother of the Haitian nation’. Now labeled ‘the Jezebel Spirit’, she is deemed responsible for the bad omen of the Haitian nation. In Mozambican Maputo, urban middle-class women are attracted by the discourse about spirits and witchcraft in

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Ryan Goeckner, Sean M. Daley, Jordyn Gunville, and Christine M. Daley

2016 ). In addition to frequent failings to substantially or accurately represent the movement itself, mainstream media coverage tended to focus on narratives surrounding police brutality or corporate and governmental indifference toward ethnic

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Afterword

The Elsewhere beyond Religious Concerns

Annalisa Butticci and Amira Mittermaier

’ Elsewheres, Butticci (2016) complicates the predominant narrative about the theological and aesthetic clashes between these two expressions of Christianity. She questions the apparently radical differences that divide and oppose Catholicism and