of different narrative structures, metaphors, and images. With these narrative self-presentations, they seek to express in what ways the new approach to technology can be distinguished from the old, as well as to legitimize their research activities
Sanne van der Hout and Martin Drenthen
The Case of the Transition Network in Portugal
Vera Ferreira and António Carvalho
This article analyzes narratives and characteristics of socioecological transitions, drawing on research conducted with members of the Transition Network (TN) in Portugal. The TN was founded in Totnes, United Kingdom, in 2005, by Rob Hopkins, a
This article is based on the findings of an empirical study that is being conducted in Austria, Poland, and Germany. The material consists of a total of sixty group discussions with families, people of different age groups, as well as individuals dealing professionally with history and memory, including historians, teachers, politicians, journalists, displaced persons, and Jewish communities. Even if there are differences within every country, one clearly can observe dominant country-specific ways of speaking about the past. The German discourse could be described as a meta-narrative. Germans do not speak mainly about the past itself, but rather about how it should or should not be represented. The narrations are highly skeptical and unheroic. By contrast, the Polish discourse is almost devoid of skeptical narratives. Notions such as “historical truth,” “national pride” and “national history” were dominant in the discussions. The article concludes by noting that even though the modes of narrating the past are different in Germany and Poland, its function remains untouched: the past is always a resource for the construction of coherence and meaning.
Contested Narratives of Storied Places—the Holy Lands
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.
Isabelle Hertner and Alister Miskimmon
This article outlines how Germany has sought to project a strategic narrative of the Eurozone crisis. Germany has been placed center stage in the Eurozone crisis, and as a consequence, the German government's crisis narrative matters for the future of the common currency. We highlight how the German government has sought to narrate a story of the cause of the Eurozone crisis and present policy solutions to influence policy decisions within the EU and maintain domestic political support. This focus on the public communication of the crisis is central to understanding the development of Germany's policy as it was negotiated with EU partners, the U.S. and international financial institutions. We draw on speeches and interviews by Chancellor Angela Merkel and two of her senior cabinet ministers delivered at key moments of the Eurozone crisis between May 2010 and June 2012. The article argues that while Merkel and her governments have been able to shore up domestic support for her Eurozone policies, she has struggled to find a coherent strategic narrative that is both consistent with German domestic preferences and historical memory, and with those of other Eurozone members.
An Intra-Imperial Approach to Colonial Canada and Louisiana
Daniel H. Usner
The effort to compare and connect different French colonies in North America encounters some treacherous roadblocks, including the powerful impact of Canadian and United States nation building on the treatment of French colonial regions and the widely divergent approaches taken by scholars of New France and French Louisiana. This essay attempts to explain why these obstacles appeared in the first place and to suggest how they might be overcome in the future. At a time when historians of early America are vigorously seeking new analytical frameworks and meaningful historical narratives, intraimperial research on complex relationships and comparative issues in French North America constitutes an essential area of study. Whether examining the role of Canadian families in the founding of Louisiana, the influence of Acadian settlers on south Louisiana culture, or the character of Indian relations in French colonies—among other issues—a shared history of early Canada and Louisiana will significantly improve our understanding of North American peoples and places.
This article discusses the genre of family narratives in contemporary German literature against the backdrop of cultural memory in postunification Germany.1 Family narratives lend themselves to a critical study of memory as they enact the transmission and transformation of memories from one generation to the next. Thus, these texts serve a pivotal role as both archives for and reflections on individual and collective memories of 20th century Germany history. Since the late 1990s, i.e., almost a decade after the collapse
Joanne Sayner, Isabelle Hertner, and Sarah Colvin
Anniversaries provide moments for taking stock. In the wake of the so-called Supergedenkjahr of 2014—the year of numerous significant commemorative events for Germany, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and of German unification—it seems particularly timely to engage with debates about what it means to be German. Such retrospection is now an established and widespread part of the German habitus, and the number of organized moments of contemplation—moments that say as much about the present as the past—has multiplied since unification. Within Germany and beyond, the question of what it means to be German is frequently being asked by those who want to define local, national and international agendas for the future and to redefine agendas of the past. Representing an individual, a community or a nation involves the construction of narratives and identities, a process now often informed by sophisticated understandings of image and audience, of beliefs and branding. In fact, the numerous facets that make up an image of “Germany” have, for the most part, been perceived affirmatively; in recent international polls Germany has been the country seen as most likely to have an overwhelmingly positive influence on the world.
Hunting is an important basis for conservation, but hunters are surprisingly scarce in global networks of environmental advocacy and governance, and hunting management systems are not given the attention they should receive. This article reveals the messages promoted by hunting advocates through an analysis of museum representations and interviews in order to understand the limitations of and basis upon which further integration of hunters into conservation advocacy circles worldwide could occur. Museums feature representations that reflect the cultural elucidations of their host organization. This article will show how the International Wildlife Museum—maintained by Safari Club International—produces messages of the inseparability of humans from nature, purposive management of nature, dependence upon global capitalism and predation, and the neutrality of scientific knowledge. Through these messages a narrative space for the management of wildlife is produced that attempts to unite the commodification and conservation of nature, namely, “sustainable hunting”. This article concludes by identifying contradictions among the messages of sustainable hunting that may limit hunting advocates' ability to work with other stakeholders to further improve hunting management systems.
This article uses a narrative approach to investigate the learning experiences of third-year medical students in a transnational higher educational setting, specifically during an elective period abroad. The students evaluate their learning experiences in an unfamiliar environment both in relation to previous learning and in relation to their possible or imagined future professional identities. Through this process, these students demonstrate how learning may take place through participation outside or alongside the formal curriculum, in the informal and the hidden curriculum (Leask and Bridge 2013). These narrative evaluations represent a reflective resource for the learners and their peers. They may also provide other stakeholders in transnational higher educational settings, including teachers, programme coordinators, educational managers and policy-makers, with an understanding of the experiences of mobile students in the informal curriculum.