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Shari’a and ‘traditional Tatar Islam’

From Flexibility to Protection

Rozaliya Garipova

Like all the elites of post-Soviet Muslim countries, the political elite and religious officials in Russia have been in the search of a moderate and strictly national Islamic identity, to keep the Muslim population of Russia separate from Arab or Turkish versions of Islam that could be politicised and thus had the potential to undermine the state structure. ‘Tatar traditional Islam’ emerged through this framework.

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John S. Brady and Sarah Elise Wiliarty

In December 1995, the Center for German and European Studies at

the University of California at Berkeley hosted the conference, “The

Postwar Transformation of Germany: Prosperity, Democracy, and

Nationhood.” During the proceedings and in the edited volume that

resulted, conference contributors explored the reasons for Germany’s

success in making the transition to a liberal democratic polity

supported by a rationalized national identity and a modern, dynamic

capitalist economy. In charting postwar Germany’s success, the contributors

weighed the relative contribution institutional, cultural, and

international variables made to the country’s transformation.

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Jeffrey Jackson The Place de la Bastille: The Story of a Quartier by Keith Reader

Carol E. Harrison Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-siècle France: Gender, Politics, and National Identity by Venita Datta

Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel Women and Mass Consumer Society in Postwar France by Rebecca Pulju

Mark Ingram Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft by Graham Jones

Pepper D. Culpepper Contingent Capital: Short-Term Investors and the Evolution of Corporate Governance in France and Germany by Michel Goyer

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The Great War as Reflected in Italian Rabbinical Sermons

Rav S. Zvi Hirsch Margulies, Rav Ya'akov Bolaffio and Rav Giuseppe Levi

Joseph Levi

The article analyses the conflicting attitudes towards the First World War as reflected in the sermons of three Italian rabbis of the period, representing different rabbinical schools. Regardless of their rabbinical formation all three rabbis share a profound preoccupation with the devastating assimilation to Italian non-Jewish culture of Italian Jews after, and as a result of, the emancipation. Yet, while condemning the assimilation tendencies of the Jewish Italian population, they all remain faithful to the ideals of Italian Risorgimento emancipation values. As Italian emancipated Jews, the Rabbis identify themselves with the Italian political shift from liberal and socialist ideals towards national, patriotic war. Not without difficulty they give up prewar previous pacifist attitudes in favour of a patriotic loyalty to the new Italian state and its royal family, inviting their audience to be loyal to what seem to be the needs of their fatherland. Towards the end of the war, however, a significant part of the rabbinical leadership shifted towards a Zionist patriotism, investing their energies in constructing a new religious identity through Zionist, all-compassing, national Jewish identity. These tensions between Italian Risorgimento ideals and Jewish religious and cultural continuity on the one hand, and an Italian versus Zionist national solution to post-war crisis on the other, are analysed and exemplified by the sermons of the three rabbis in this micro-study of Italian Jewish identity before and after the First World War.

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Stephen Welch and Ruth Wittlinger

The aim of this paper is to offer a critique of the proposal of “methodological cosmopolitanism“ in theoretical terms and to substantiate this critique by providing an account of the dynamics of collective memory and identity in postunification Germany. In the first part, we look at the arguments about methodological cosmopolitanism and their derivative, the idea of cosmopolitan memory, illustrated by the case of Holocaust memory. In the second part we look at the case of Germany: firstly at its postwar experience of the attempted construction of “postnational“ identity, and then at more recent trends, contemporaneous with the Berlin Republic, towards a “normalization“ of national identity in Germany. The Holocaust plays a crucial, but different, role in each phase, we suggest. In the conclusion we return to more general themes, asking what the German case tells us about the cosmopolitanization thesis more generally.

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Touring the Regions

(Dis)uniting the Kingdom on Holiday

Hazel Andrews

This article is concerned with social constructions of identity as they are manifest in the charter tourism resorts of Magaluf and Palmanova on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. Based on ethnographic fieldwork involving periods of participant observation, the article highlights the ways in which mediators of tourists’ experiences feed into and off ideas of national identity and how these are practiced, consumed, and performed as an effervescent Britishness. At the same time, the article explores the ways in which this Britishness is informed by regional identities and differences linked to senses of self. The article highlights issues relating to social cohesion at a broad level in society, which has implications for inclusivity at a time when, post-Brexit referendum, these issues appear ever more urgent.

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Amotz Giladi

Israeli poet Yonatan Ratosh was the leader of the Young Hebrews, a nationalist group active from the 1940s to the 1970s. Despite his opposition to Zionism and his aspiration to revive the ancient Hebrews’ premonotheistic civilization, Ratosh shared Zionism’s ambition to elaborate a new Israeli identity. One prominent act of this mission involved enlarging the literary corpus in Hebrew through translation. Although initially a means of income, for Ratosh translation increasingly came to be a way to express his ideological position and his self-image as an intellectual. Thus, Ratosh provides an example of how developing a national identity can coincide with appropriating foreign literature. With his regular exhortations that Hebrew readers attain knowledge of foreign cultures, Ratosh did not intend to promote cosmopolitanism. Rather, he considered these endeavors as ultimately reinforcing a “Hebrew” identity.

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Cowboys, Icebergs, and "Outlaws"

The Paradoxes and Possibilities of the Francophone Belgian Road Movie

Michael Gott

This article builds on recent scholarship on the European road movie, focusing on Francophone Belgian road films that engage with issues of citizenship and personal, national, and transnational identities. The relationship of these films to the process of identity reformulation within new European parameters is examined, using four films from the past decade as case studies: Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008), L'iceberg (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy, 2005), Quand la mer monte/When the Sea Rises (Jeanne Moreau and Gilles Porte, 2004), and Les folles aventures de Simon Konianski/Simon Konianski (Micha Wald, 2008). Despite the limited scale of its territory, this article contends that Belgium's complex make-up and status as a post-colonial “melting pot“ provides the ideal laboratory for cinematic identity quests. While anchored in a distinctively Belgian context, these films demonstrate that national boundaries are no longer an adequate container for identities in contemporary Europe. Particular focus is paid to the ways by which each film employs and distorts the traditional road movie template to stage voyages into citizenship.

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Christine McCourt

In opening this 2009 volume of Anthropology in Action, it seems important to comment on what are self-consciously interesting times. The first quarter of the year has already witnessed the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president, bitter and destructive bombing campaigns in Gaza, and further financial shocks in the world’s markets, with a seeming domino effect of wealthy capitalist institutions turning to national governments for support. Global and local relations, networks, identities and conflicts have been brought into sharp focus by world events, but anthropology is rarely visible in the news, and anthropologists rarely called upon to comment, despite a wealth of potentially valuable knowledge. Applications of anthropology are becoming gradually more accepted within the academy, but seem to have come only a short distance in terms of public profile or ability to influence national and trans-national policies.

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From Black-Blanc-Beur to Black-Black-Black?

“L'Affaire des Quotas” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty-First-Century France

Christopher S. Thompson

Since the mid-1990s, France's national soccer team has been given considerable significance in French debates about post-colonial immigration, national identity, republican citizenship, and the enduring legacies of French imperialism. This article explores the role played by representations of the team in those debates with a particular focus on the so-called “affaire des quotas” of 2010–2011. It argues that those representations reveal that the boundary between the purportedly inclusive civic nationalism of French republicanism according to which any person willing to embrace the duties and rights of democratic citizenship may theoretically become French, and the exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the xenophobic Front national is far less impermeable than is generally assumed in France. Indeed, race and ethnicity inform notions of French citizenship even among persons who reject the essentialist views of the Far Right.