Through interviews with Iraqi Kurdish refugees who are currently living in and around Binghamton, New York, this study aims to evaluate details about the impact of the diaspora on these refugees and its effects on the development of Kurdish identity. Specifically, it focuses on the narratives of refugees who have faced physical pressure and violence, cultural assimilation and ethnic cleansing in their homeland, which has left an indelible mark on their memories and identities. Lastly, these notes from the field articulate how collective memory gives voice to the shared Kurdish past, refugees’ experiences in diaspora and the importance of spreading memories of the older generations, particularly to second-generation refugees, in shaping identities and reconstructing place in the United States.
Kurdish Diasporic Experience in Binghamton
Aynur de Rouen
Digital Repatriation and the Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge Workshop Report
Joshua A. Bell, Kimberly Christen and Mark Turin
On 19 January 2012, the workshop After the Return: Digital Repatriation and the Circulation of Indigenous Knowledge was held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. With support from the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian’s Understanding the American Experience and Valuing World Cultures Consortia, this workshop brought together twenty-eight international participants for a debate around what happens to digital materials after they are returned to communities (however such communities are conceived, bounded, and lived). The workshop provided a unique opportunity for a critical debate about the very idea of digital return in all of its problematic manifestations, from the linguistic to the legal, as indigenous communities, archives, libraries, and museums work through the terrain of digital collaboration, return, and sharing. What follows is a report on the workshop’s presentations and discussions.
Connecting Learning in a Field of Experience
Learning networks do not arise from nothing. They are born out of personal connections, exchanged conversations, constructed spaces, and shared visions. Other broader contexts (e.g., the theoretical contexts or funding policies available within a globalized economy) are also part of this landscape. The Museum Mediators in Europe course is one of such learning networks that came to be in 2013 with the aim of representing institutional and professional needs of mediation professionals in the European countries involved in this project: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and Estonia. The project argues that a clearly defined set of best practices in museum education is called for and that leadership/mentoring programs for museum mediators should be utilized to foster professional learning communities within museums.
Engaging Anthropological Legacies toward Cosmo-optimistic Futures?
Sharon Macdonald, Henrietta Lidchi and Margareta von Oswald
How to deal with the legacies of colonial and other problematic pasts is a challenge shared by most museums of ethnography and ethnology. In this introduction to the following special section on the same topic, the section editors provide an overview and analysis of the burdens and potentials of the past in such museums. They set out different strategies that have been devised by ethnographic museums, identifying and assessing the most promising approaches. In doing so, they are especially concerned to consider the cosmopolitan potential of ethnographic museums and how this might be best realized. This entails explaining how the articles that they have brought together can collectively go beyond state-of-the-art approaches to provide new insight not only into the difficulties but also into the possibilities for redeploying ethnographic collections and formats toward more convivial and cosmo-optimistic futures.
Tourism, Travel Journalism, and the Construction of a Modern National Identity in Sweden
Tourism research has analyzed how modern nations are marketed to attract tourists from abroad and how domestic tourism has been used in the construction of national identities. Less attention has been given to the construction of outbound tourism as a central aspect of how a nation becomes modern. The following article studies Swedish travel journalism in the 1930s, when older forms of masculine colonial travel shared space with modern tourism trips. Even though few Swedes could travel abroad, tourism, both domestic and outbound, was vividly discussed as an established practice. To travel was practically a duty and something that would make the Swedes healthy, modern, and worldly. It would also foster proper national sentiments. The ideal of a warm but not chauvinistic celebration of one’s own country is a common Swedish position in relation to the world.
The first issue of volume four of Sartre Studies International exemplifies the full range of Sartre’s intellectual output: literary, philosophical and political. Three articles by Colin Davis, Edward Greenwood and Paul Reed are centred on the multiple interactions in Sartre’s work between philosophy and literature. In a penetrating analysis of Sartre’s Le Mur, Colin Davis explores the complex relationship between ethics and fiction, between Moral Law and jouissance. ‘The lie of Sartre’s narrator in “Le Mur”’, contends Davis, ‘represents a way of sharing the pain of his/her powerlessness and mortality’, and is coincidental with ‘an assault through fiction on the reader whose power to judge and comprehend is wrested away’.
Henri Lefebvre rarely looms large in discussions of Sartre, and vice versa. With the notable exception of Mark Poster, critics have generally ignored the role of France’s leading Marxist philosopher in mediating Sartre’s encounter with Marxism. As a result, Sartre’s well-known footnote in the Critique de la raison dialectique, quoted above, may appear as a characteristically quixotic gesture on his part. The purpose of this article is to argue that this relatively isolated acknowledgement is the tip of an iceberg, beneath which there lies a deep and complex philosophical and political relationship. The text was published in 1957 at a moment when Sartre and Lefebvre came to share an unusual degree of common ground. This itself requires detailed examination, but it first needs to be situated in a wider context embracing most of the lifetime of the two thinkers up until that point.
“Rosarno: Immigrant revolt, hundreds of cars damaged” was the
alarming headline in La Repubblica on 7 January 2010. An immigrant
protest and ensuing episodes of violence in the small town of Rosarno
in Calabria in southern Italy were followed with intense interest by the
national and international media and prompted a heated public debate
in Italy. Upcoming regional elections and shared political responsibility
for immigration resulted in politicians blaming their opponents
for the disorder. Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni’s immediate
response was to maintain that the events were the result of too much
tolerance toward undocumented immigrants. Following the discovery
that the majority of migrants involved were legally resident in Italy,
the government subsequently emphasized the role of inadequate labor
market controls and organized crime.
In 2011 the editors of the Canada-based journal Left History ran a special issue on “Active History.“ Jim Clifford of York University pointed out that one aspect of the active history project “is for historians to work with and share authority with the community whose history they study.“ This is not quite the same as activist history, nor is it a project that simply suggests that history matters. The tenor is to see if academic historians could find ways to engage with social movements. I am greatly sympathetic to this project, and would like to reflect on its implications. But I am also aware that in some areas of social life, movements do not exist. What is the capacity of an historian to work “actively“ with the currents of our time, and what are its implications for institutional careers and intellectual trajectories?
Colonialism and the Possibilities of a Franco-German Rapprochement before 1914
This article argues against the importance of colonial tensions for the worsening of Franco-German relations between the two Moroccan Crises in 1905 and 1911. Traditionally, historians have interpreted the clashes of French and German interests over Morocco in the first two decades of the twentieth century as putting France and Germany on the path to armed conflict in 1914. This article shows, however, that the First Moroccan Crisis engendered intense efforts by both German and French pro-colonialists to come to a peaceful understanding with each other. The article thus demonstrates that in the early years of the twentieth century, French and German colonialists indeed thought in transnational terms; that is, their understanding of their own and their counterpart's interests was based on the recognition of mutually shared values and racial features that transcended both countries' European borders.