Drawing on feminist conceptualisations of the body, this essay analyses Iva Pekárková’s novel, Truck Stop Rainbows (published as Péra a Perutě [Feathers and wings] in 1989, translated into English in 1992), to show how this contemporary Czech writer challenges the metaphor of the female body as a container through which communist propaganda in Czechoslovakia offi cially sanctioned and established a normative female identity in maternal, economic and civic functions. I seek to demonstrate how Fialka, the female protagonist who lives under the Czechoslovak communist regime of the 1980s, critiques discursive and epistemic formations that conceptualised the female body as a vessel for reproduction and labour and denied the female body the authority to function as a source of knowledge. Striving to spotlight the body in its cognitive role, I argue for an understanding of the body not as an instrument of knowledge or a neutral medium that enables knowledge production but, rather, as a condition of the possibility of knowing.
Communism and Epistemology in Iva Pekárková's Novel Truck Stop Rainbows
Narratives of Four Jamaican Girls’ Identity and Academic Success
Rowena Linton and Lorna McLean
Black females achieve high standards of success yet their lived experiences are frequently absent from educational literature in Canada. This article documents the navigational strategies adopted by four Jamaican-Canadian girls to achieve academic success and discusses how they conceptualized their identity and the role(s) their identity played in their schooling experiences. In contrast to the deficiencies that are often highlighted in studies on the schooling experiences of black students, we draw on critical theories to shed light on the positive aspects of these black females’ schooling experiences. Such an approach disrupts negative views of black students as lagging behind in education and provides examples for other students on how to excel in the face of educational barriers. These narratives provide education policy makers with current perspectives on how students struggle to overcome obstacles to achieve academic success in a system that promises to be accessible to all students.
The Reclaiming of Girls’ Education Discourses in Malala Yousafzai’s Autobiography
The cause of girls’ education in developing countries has received unprecedented attention from international organizations, politicians, transnational corporations, and the media in recent years. Much has been written about the ways in which these seemingly emancipatory campaigns reproduce historical discourses that portray women in former colonies as in need of rescue by the West. However, to date little has been written about the ways in which young women’s and girls’ education activists represent themselves. In this article I analyze I Am Malala, the autobiography of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, written for her own age group. Using a feminist, poststructuralist approach to discourse analysis, it considers the way in which Yousafzai negotiates and challenges discourses around young women, Pakistan, and Islam. I conclude that a truly emancipatory understanding of girls’ rights would look not to the words and policies of powerful organizations but, rather, to young women themselves.
Indigenous Resurgence, Decolonization, and Movements for Environmental Justice
This volume of Environment and Society aims to set forth a theoretical and discursive interruption of the dominant, mainstream environmental justice movement by reframing issues of climate change and environmental degradation through an anticolonial lens. Specifically, the writers for this volume are invested in positioning environmental justice within historical, social, political, and economic contexts and larger structures of power that foreground the relationships among settler colonialism, nature, and planetary devastation.
Most academics that I know take it for granted that higher education in capitalist countries has become deeply corporatised over the last thirty years. But as an undergraduate student in the 1990s, dreaming of joining the ranks of the professoriate, the institutional and structural changes that were transforming the university were largely hidden from my view. Looking back, I had no idea how such trends might be impacting the men and women who excited my intellect and set me on an academic path. I did not even think to ask.
Sacrifice is an act and a concept of considerable importance to contemporary conflict. However, interpretations of the role and nature of sacrifice vary historically, culturally, and situationally. This article discusses the various ways that sacrifice has been interpreted in the anthropological literature, including an analysis of forms of conflict, negotiation, and sacrifice pertaining to Bougainville. Professional conciliators and government emissaries negotiating a solution to the Bougainville conflict brought into play ideologies and processes they often claimed were based on an understanding of indigenous ways of resolving conflict. A critical assessment of this claim discusses the possible effects of the co-option of ritual and traditional means of negotiation and considers what is lost in translation.
Prisons, Checkpoints, and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle
Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been subject to increasing confinement, starting with prisons in the 1970s and 1980s and growing into a regime of checkpoints and walls that encircle entire towns and villages. After a historical review of the incremental stages of this incarceration, the article examines the overall impact of prisons, checkpoints, and walls, based on observations garnered from more than a dozen research trips over two decades and a review of research by others. Although these architectures are built and used in the name of security, findings show that mass imprisonment debilitates the Palestinian economy, forcing Palestinians to flee or resist. The final section compares the Israeli carceralization of the Occupied Territories to the US occupation of Iraq, suggesting that similar, albeit more violent, processes are underway.
Surveillance and Resistance in Yevgeny Zamyatin's We
Michael D. Amey
Observation plays an increasingly significant role in twentieth-century society as a means of regulation. In this regulatory function, observation manifests itself in the ubiquitous CCTV, traffic cameras and other surveillance techniques used to monitor and record the activities of ordinary citizens. One of the more alarming recent manifestations of the potential for all-pervasive surveillance is the announcement of the development of an urban surveillance system by the United States military, which 'would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city,' and which could potentially be used by governments on their own citizens. The dramatic increase of surveillance in the twentieth-century has also been matched by an increase of voyeuristic entertainment, exemplified by the Orwellian titled television game show Big Brother. The entertainment value of voyeuristic surveillance has arguably rendered individuals more …accepting of regulatory surveillance in their personal lives. This trend towards increasing surveillance coupled with a citizenry inured to a constant invasion of its privacy has formed the basis for a number of twentieth-century dystopian novels and films, such as George Orwell's 1984 (1949), George Lucas's THX-1138 (1971), Stephen King's The Running Man (1982), Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998), Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium (2002) and the Warchowski brothers' Matrix trilogy (1999-2003). The widely acknowledged forerunner of these works, however, was a novel, We, written in 1921 by the Russian author, Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Temporary Nodes of Resistance to Capitalism
This article assesses squatted social centers in London as a means to understand the cycles, contexts and institutionalization processes of the local squatters movement. This diffuse social movement had its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s when there were 30,000 squatters and still exists today despite squatting in residential buildings being criminalized in 2012. Analysis is based on a database of 245 social centers, which are examined in terms of duration, time period, type of building and location. Important centers are briefly profiled and important factors affecting the squatters movement are examined, in particular institutionalization, gentrification, and criminalisation.
J. David Case
The study of historical memory in its various forms is a burgeoning
area of inquiry among historians. The debate over public, official,
government-supported memory and private individual memories
reveals a complex dynamic among myth, memory, and history,
which as Michel Foucault and others have argued, is simply the dominant
form of memory in a society at a given time.1 Some of the most
revealing instances of the intersection between public and private
memory are commemorations and memorial sites where personal
memories are created and sustained within the context of the official
representation of the event and those involved. The constant need to
locate memories within a larger social frame of reference ensures
that supporters of different memories of the same event will directly
and forcefully link images from the present with their memories of
the past, no matter how incongruous these images may appear.