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Mimi Sheller and Gijs Mom

Th is issue sheds new light on one of the classic concerns of mobility studies: transitions in forms of personal transportation. Mobility transitions are arguably one of the key issues of the twenty-first century, as societies around the world face the pressing questions of climate change mitigation and adaptation. A better understanding of recent and historical transitions not only in vehicle technologies but also in urban forms could be crucial to guiding future transition dynamics. At the same time, a deeper appreciation of historical transitions in transportation can also inform how we think about the present: what methods we use, what factors we take into consideration, and what theoretical perspectives we employ.

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Eva L. Hulse, Dustin M. Keeler, Ezra B.W. Zubrow, Gregory J. Korosec, Irina Y. Ponkratova and Caitlin Curtis

In 2009, a team of archaeologists from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Northeastern State University at Magadan completed the first year of a three-year archaeological and geological project near Nerpich'e (Nerpich'ye) Lake on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. This research will explore the relationship between mid-Holocene human settlement and environmental changes due to volcanic and seismic activity and climate. The Kamchatka Peninsula contains detailed tephra stratigraphy from the mid-Holocene, which will enable detailed chronological reconstruction of social and environmental change. Preliminary results indicate that human settlement locations remained stable over long periods of time, despite repeated volcanic eruptions.

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Tropiques Nostalgiques

Fatal Homesickness in French Algeria

Thomas Dodman

People once died of nostalgia. This article traces the remarkable trajectory of “la nostalgie africaine” from its original understanding as a clinical form of homesickness to the wistful, but wholly benign, feeling we are familiar with today. It does so by looking at French attempts at colonizing Algeria in the nineteenth century against the backdrop of changing medico-scientific theories of human acclimatization to warm climates. I argue that the latter provoked a positive reevaluation of homesickness and led to the development of a “nostalgic simulacra”: a replica French environment capable of sustaining the sepia-tainted illusion of an “Algérie française.”

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Suzanne Desan

“All history is contemporary history,” observed Benedetto Croce. Work on the French Revolution has often proven his insight.* In today’s globalizing climate, it is worth examining French revolutionary historians’ uneven embrace of the current historiographic trend toward transnational approaches. On one hand, scholarship has been comparatively slow to take this turn for several reasons, notably the persistent belief in the centrality of the nation. The revolutionaries themselves built claims of French exceptionalism into their construction of universalism, and historians have inherited the strong sense that the Revolution held particular power and played an integral role in constructing French national identity.

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Peter Scholten

Policy innovation is necessary for many environmental issues such as climate change and water management. Highly motivated individuals, who are both willing and able to take the lead and press home innovative proposals and as such transform existing policy, are vital in this process. This article focuses on such individuals. An exploration of the literature is confronted with the findings of an empirical study among local policy makers with a reputation for daring. The result is a conceptual map that can be used to further explore and understand the role of leadership and particularly daring decision making in environmental policy innovation.

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In any region of the world, in any country, each beginning of the year offers us a scenario for potential changes, purposes, goals and hopes, and 2019 does not have to be the exception. Despite various forecasts of slower global economic growth in the coming year (World Bank, Forbes, Reuters), and despite the latest reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on stressful atmospheric conditions, among other environmental discomforts around the planet, we cannot limit our human capacity to see the future with courage and optimism.

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Trading places

Post-socialist container markets and the city

Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja

This article discusses a vast, new and semi-legal marketplace of shipping containers on the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine. It is suggested that such markets, which have sprung up at several places in post-socialist space where routes intersect, have certain features in common with mediaeval trade fairs. However, today's markets have their own specificities in relation to state and legal regimes, migration, and the cities to which they are semi-attached. The article analyzes the Seventh Kilometer Market (Sed'moi) near Odessa as a particular socio-mythical space. It affords it own kind of protection and opportunities to traders, but these structures may be unstable in a changing economic climate.

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Migration and Citizenship in “Athens of Crisis”

An Interview with Vice Mayor Lefteris Papagiannakis

Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Nina Papachristou

In this interview with UCL’s Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou, Lefteris Papagiannakis explains his role as Athens’ vice mayor for migrants and refugees. He discusses the city’s responses to the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants in the last few years. He reflects on the complex relationship of the municipality of Athens with non-government support networks, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, as well as autonomous local activists, in providing support services to migrants. Papagiannakis also addresses how Athens negotiates its support for these groups in the current European anti-immigrant climate, and the relationship between the Greek economic crisis and the so-called “refugee crisis.”

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Anthony Holiday

John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University speaks to the concerns of African educationalists, not despite, but because of the circumstance that his fidelity to the ideal of a university as a seat of universal knowledge is tied to his argument for the inclusion of theology as an indispensable part of any university syllabus. It is not the case, moreover, that his idealism resonates with us purely because it is carried by a magnificent prose style. Rather, Newman’s thoughts about the universality of higher learning touch us across a considerable culturo-temporal divide, because Africans in their quest for a form of university education which will harmonize with their Africanness are driven by an innate conviction, too seldom made explicit, that such education would have to be inseparable from their own spirituality and religious commitments. If the conviction remains largely unspoken, this has much to do with the global climate of scientism and secularism in which humanity’s aspirations – religious and educational – must seek expression. It is, perhaps, because we are denizens of this climate that we can scarcely suppress a smile at Newman’s claim that theology is a factual science much as, say, physics is a factual science and why his assertion in the Fourth Discourse that “the preservation of our race in Noah’s Ark is an historical fact which history never would arrive at without revelation”1 strikes us (quite rightly) as being something of a howler.

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Bret Gustafson, Francesco Carpanini, Martin Kalb, James Giblin, Sarah Besky, Patrick Gallagher, Andrew Curley, Jen Gobby and Ryan Anderson

Cepek, Michael. 2018. Life in Oil: Cofán Survival in the Petroleum Fields of Amazonia. Austin: University of Texas Press. 302 pp. ISBN 978-1477315088.

Choné, Aurélie, Isabelle Hajek, and Philippe Hamman, eds. 2017. Rethinking Nature: Challenging Disciplinary Boundaries. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. xiv + 268 pp. (Paperback) ISBN 978-1-138-21493-4.

Davis, Diana K. 2016. The Arid Lands: History, Power, Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 271 pp. ISBN 978-0262034524.

Gissibl, Berhard. 2016. The Nature of German Imperialism: Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in Colonial East Africa. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. 374 pp. ISBN 978-1-78533-175-6.

Ives, Sarah. 2017. Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea. NC: Duke University Press. 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-8223-6986-8.

Martínez-Reyes, José. Moral Ecology of a Forest: The Nature Industry and Maya Post-Conservation. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 216 pp. ISBN 978-0816531370.

Powell, Dana E. 2017. Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0822369943.

Raygorodetsky, Gleb. 2017. The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change. New York: Pegasus Books. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-1681775326.

Wright, Christopher, and Daniel Nyberg. 2015. Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 254 pp. ISBN 978-1107435131.