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The Editors

With this issue, Contributions to the History of Concepts, a publication of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group (HPSCG), relaunches under the auspices of a new publisher and new sponsorship, and with a new editorial team. Berghahn Journals, the new publisher, is an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. The new host and sponsor is the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, an intellectual center for the interdisciplinary study and discussion of issues related to philosophy, society, culture and education.

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The Editors

This is the second issue of Aspasia. The inaugural volume, focussing on Central, Eastern and Southeastern European feminisms, was published in 2007. As editors, we are proud of the breath and richness of the essays and Forum contributions in that first issue. We hope this volume lives up to the standard of excellence set by the premier volume.

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The Editors

When we agreed in 2014 to devote this special issue of Israel Studies Review to the subject “Resisting Liberalism in Israel,” we did not realize how timely it would be. At this point in early 2016, it is a truism to say that Israel has moved well to the right, both politically and religiously—a phenomenon that is equally obvious to this trend’s proponents and opponents. It is thus particularly important that the articles in this issue examine different aspects of the reasons that ‘liberalism’, broadly understood, has little appeal to the disparate group of approximately half of Jewish Israelis generally gathered under the rubric ‘Mizrahim’.

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The Editors

We have perhaps been remiss in not calling attention earlier to the appearance of a major new institution in the field of Israel Studies, located just a few miles from us in downtown Washington, DC. This is the Israel Institute, founded in 2012 and headed by Itamar Rabinovich, a former President of Tel Aviv University and, before that, Israel’s Ambassador to the US, who is currently a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University. Primarily funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Israel Institute “supports scholarship, research, and cultural exchanges to build a multi-faceted field of Israel Studies and expand opportunities to explore the diversity and complexity of contemporary Israel.”

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Editors' Note

Slouching toward Armageddon

The Editors

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is famously multilayered. It includes a struggle between two national movements over the right of self-determination, a political battle between two peoples over the same small piece of land, and a clash between two cultures. For many decades it reflected the global competition between the superpowers, while more recently it has been partially subsumed into a struggle between regional powers. In addition, of course, religion is increasingly involved. Fortunately, the leaders of both nations have generally been aware that if the religious dimension came to the point of overshadowing the others, it would lead to havoc and destruction for all. Therefore, although this dimension was embedded in the conflict, it was generally somewhat subdued and not as visible as many of the other issues.

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The Editors

Were Israel Studies Review a monthly, or even a quarterly, journal, we would have commented at some length on—and perhaps even dedicated a forum discussion to—the important proposed ‘ethics code’ for Israeli institutions of higher education that was prepared by Professor Asa Kasher at the request of the Ministry of Education and made public in June of this year. However, since we come out only every six months (a schedule that is going to change), we know that the situation will be different by the time you read this. Nevertheless, we cannot completely ignore this unprecedented phenomenon.

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Editors' Note

Threats to Academic Freedom

The Editors

As we prepare this issue to go to print, the Association for Israel Studies is facing a serious challenge. The Israeli government recently escalated its measures against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and announced that it may ban BDS supporters belonging to specified organizations from entering Israel. This escalation is supported in Israel not only by the government coalition but also by the opposition parties, most of the public at large, and the media.

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Editorial

European Comic Art Reaches Its Tenth Year

The Editors

With this issue, European Comic Art, the first peer-reviewed academic journal on comics, moves into its tenth year of existence. Over the past few years, the field has become more crowded, as scholarly interest in comics has expanded, but the quality and quantity of submissions that we receive is ever increasing. We are proud to have published articles by major comics theorists, as well as by emerging young researchers, and to have contributed to debates on formal, graphic and narrative resources of the medium; temporality and duration in comics; adaptation and the mutual influence between comics and other arts, including the novel, film, fine art (especially modernism) and the performing arts; and the diverse influences on the development of comics, including caricature and satirical prints.

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Editorial

Historical Perspectives – Theory and Practices

The Editors

The five articles in this issue of European Comic Art briefly summarised below overlap and complement each other in interesting ways. They all take up a historical perspective, either in relation to comics theory or in relation to the politics of magazine publishing. Three of them have as their point of departure formal characteristics of the medium, offering a reappraisal of some critical terms and concepts. Three are concerned with the Franco-Belgian heritage, whether as repository of childhood memories or ideological battleground, and one with the changing British comics scene of the 1970s and 1980s. All five articles touch upon the question of borders, defended or contested, both on a formal level and in relation to cultural and national identity.

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The Editors

Among the many new books on comic strips published in the past year one of the most provocative has been Nicolas Rouvière’s Astérix ou la parodie des identités [‘Asterix or the Parody of Identities’].1 Rouvière provides a fascinating analysis of questions of national identity in René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s famous series of albums. Grosso modo, he suggests that the strips undermine hard nationalist prejudices, to create universal understanding between peoples. Rouvière contends that the Astérix series encourages the French to question the myths of their own national identity, and satirises their stereotyping of their neighbours (the French image of the British, the Belgians, the Swiss, etc.). He concludes that Astérix runs counter to a world based on the ‘clash of civilisations’ model famously employed by Samuel Huntington.