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Gideon Kouts

This article will discuss two points, half a century apart: the first Hebrew press review of The Merchant of Venice, and the press coverage of the first production of the play on the Hebrew stage and the public debate that accompanied it. The first review was published in the first Hebrew daily HaYom in St Petersburg on 23 August 1887 and addressed the showing of Merchant by Russian actors. The reviewer was the writer and critic David Frischmann. Merchant was first presented in Hebrew in May 1936 by Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv, directed by Leopold Jessner, who had escaped from Germany. The Hebrew press of the time provided extensive coverage around the production of the play in the context of the violent riots in Palestine and the rise of Nazism in Europe. Among the participants in the public debate were major representatives of the intellectual elite of the time.

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Impolite Interventions?

English Satirical Prints in the Presence of the Academy, c. 1750–1780

Danielle Thom

This article examines the reciprocity between satirical and academic modes of image making, and locates that relationship within the context of an emergent bourgeois public sphere. The cultural and commercial imperatives of that sphere enabled its inhabitants to engage with conflicting modes of cultural output, consuming grotesque and bawdy satire as an exercise in political autonomy, while simultaneously emulating 'elite' politeness. In particular, the commercial growth and increasing visibility of satirical prints challenged the polite hierarchy of art as it was understood by the nascent academies and societies of art established in the same period. This process of establishment needs to be re-framed in the context of satirical intervention, and will be examined via two paintings that provoked distinct satirical responses: Benjamin West's The Death of Wolfe and Francis Hayman's The See-Saw. Correspondingly, satirical print culture itself can be reframed in light of its use (and parody) of academic visual tropes and techniques.

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Guat Kwee See

Over the last fifty years, Muslims and Christians have never talked so much with each other, according to Jean Claude Basset. However, he writes that it is mainly a small elite group of scholars who are doing the talking Ismail Faruqi described Muslim-Christian dialogue as a 'failure, a struggling desperately to survive', and in vain, with no visible results. He argued that Muslim-Christian dialogue has mostly been led by Christians; Muslims as 'invited guests' have thus not been free to speak being obligated to their 'hosts'. Furthermore, participant Muslims are often selected by Church authorities, rather than elected or appointed by their communities. Although a good number of dialogues have been organized at the international level with the support of religious organizations, they claim little impact beyond more local initiatives, have not prevented mistrust and conflicts from occurring, and have offered little help in healing wounds and restoring peace.

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The Many Faces of the State

Living in Peace and Conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Nasir Uddin and Eva Gerharz

Reconsidering the trend in anthropology to conceptualize the multifaceted nature of the state and to focus on the local social dynamics beneath the institutional framework of the state, we argue that “state” is not a single governing entity but rather a multilayered body of practices at various levels of the society. We configure “state” as constructed, imagined, and negotiated by people in their everyday life in four dimensions: zones of limited statehood depicted as “peripheries,” “local state” by which the center governs locales, “public discourse” that represents dominant notions of “stateness,” and ambivalent positioning of political elites who represents state in the margin. This argument is substantiated with the reference to the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a southeastern part of Bangladesh.

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Editorial

Brexit, Sustainability, Economics, Companies’ Responsibilities, and Current Representations

In the first article of this issue, Steve Corbett examines the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom’s (UK) European Union (EU) membership. The author presents the outcome of the referendum, the British Exit (Brexit), as a new EU phenomenon with implications that go beyond the UK’s relationship with the EU. It is an expression of the wider rise of right- and left-wing populism across Europe, including the Freedom Party of Austria and the Netherlands, Front National, Podemos, and Syriza political parties. These parties and their outriders articulate popular anger—among right-wing populists, anger at the perceived preferences given to some minority groups (e.g., immigrants) over others. However, both right- and left-wing populists express anger about disconnected and gilded political elites, about the privatization of profit, and about the socialization of risk for financial institutions and major corporations.

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Consensus for Whom?

Gaming the Market for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna through the Empire of Bureaucracy

Jennifer E. Telesca

This article takes an inside look at ocean governance and asks what is so good about consensus as the dominant mode of decision making in international law. As an accredited observer of the treaty body known as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), I draw upon three years of ethnographic research to document how global elites in closed-door meetings decided the fate of the planet's most valuable fish – bluefin tuna – now depleted. I probe the diplomatic vernacular of a 'game' to unpack how bureaucratic work got done, most poignantly among rich and rogue delegations. At stake was not only money in glamour fish but also status. Implicated, too, is the 'empire of bureaucracy', or the power of a supranational regulatory regime to fix, manage and reproduce inequalities, even if unknowingly, for the postcolonial organization of world affairs.

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Thomas M. Wilson

Anthropological attention to political and cultural borders has grown considerably over the last twenty years. This has been due in most part to the increasing scholarly attention paid to international and other political borders, in ways that mirror political and economic elites who have continued to place borders centre-stage in their debates on the good and bad effects of globalisation. Once principally the focus of geography, today the study of borders – including their territorial, geophysical, political and cultural dimensions – has become a primary interest across the disciplines due to changing scholarly approaches to such key research subjects and objects as the state, nation, sovereignty, citizenship, migration and the over-arching forces and practices of globalisation.

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Weapons of Mass Instruction

Schoolbooks and Democratization in Multiethnic Central Europe

Charles Ingrao

History schoolbooks are part of a much broader legitimation process through which every society's ruling elite secures the uncritical acceptance of the existing political, social and economic system, together with the cultural attributes that re ect its hegemony. In central Europe, the need to justify the creation of nation-states at the beginning and end of the twentieth century has generated proprietary accounts that have pitted the region's national groups against one another. Post-communist democratization has intensi ed these divisions as political leaders feel obliged to employ hoary myths—and avoid inconvenient facts— about their country's history in order to survive the electoral process. In this way they succumb to the "Frankenstein Syndrome" by which the history taught in the schools destroys those who dare to challenge the arti cial constructs of the past. The article surveys history teaching throughout central Europe, with special emphasis on the Yugoslav successor states.

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William M. Reddy Politics and Theater: The Crisis of Legitimacy in Restoration France, 1815-1830 by Sheryl Kroen

Willa Z. Silverman Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris by Robin Walz

Lenard R. Berlanstein The Modernist Enterprise: French Elites and the Threat of Modernity, 1900-1940 by Marjorie A. Beale

Laura Lee Downs Ouvrières parisiennes: marchés du travail et trajectoires professionnelles au vingtième siècle by Catherine Omnès

Mary D. Lewis The Colonial Unconscious: Race and Culture in Interwar France by Elizabeth Ezra

Seth Armus The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach by Alice Kaplan

Robert C. Ulin Crafting the Culture and History of French Chocolate by Susan J. Terrio

Thomas Bénatouïl Comparer l’incomparable by Marcel Detienne

John Mollenkopf The Social Control of Cities: A Comparative Perspective by Sophie Body-Gendrot

W. Rand Smith Tocqueville’s Revenge: State, Society, and Economy in Contemporary France by Jonah D. Levy

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Culture Trumps Scientific Fact

‘Race’ in US American Language

Augustine Agwuele

Once described as humankind’s most dangerous myth, ‘race’ remains a most contentious concept: it is defined one way but used in another. This article examines the use of the term ‘race’ in the utterances of American opinion leaders (scholars and the judiciary, executive, and media) and employs it to explore the dissonance between substantiated knowledge and cultural impositions and the manner in which customary norms outperform scientific facts in everyday interactions. Arguing that the use of the word ‘race’ by opinion leaders furthers its socio-culturally assumed connotations and excites associated emotions and worldviews, the article asks if the change in behavior expected from learning ever occurs in social matters and what the responsibilities of (American) elites are in providing purposeful leadership toward a just and fair society.