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Veiled Strangers

Rabindranath Tagore's America, in Letters and Lectures

Amardeep Singh

The Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore visited the United States several times, though his second trip in 1916-1917 seems to have generated the most excitement. On the verge of American entry into World War I, the Nobel prize-winning writer embarked on an extensive lecture tour critiquing the excesses of nationalism and imperialism. The visit generated a number of remarkable texts, including a series of important letters to family and friends written on the trip and the four long lectures collected and published in 1917 as Nationalism. I argue that the lectures on “Nationalism,” can and should be read as a form of “reverse Orientalist” travel writing, where Tagore aimed to show Americans how their own political and economic system could be seen as rather similar to the European powers. Tagore uses the lectures to develop a series of metaphors for the modern, instrumentalist deployment of power in the nation-state and the colonial world, against which he posited an ideal of modern man cultivated and “perfected,” rather like a work of art.

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"[W]hat Beauty in Oriental Art Means"

Asian Arts, Soft Diplomacy, and New Zealand Cultural Nationalism—The Loan Exhibition of Oriental Art, Christchurch, 1935

James Beattie and Louise Stevenson

This article presents new historical research on Asian art—particularly Chinese art—in New Zealand through the examination of the content and reception of the Loan Exhibition of Oriental Art, which was held in Christchurch from May to June 1935. It situates the exhibition within the context of Depression-era New Zealand, examines the place of Chinese art, in particular, in the developing cultural nationalism of New Zealand of this period, and highlights the role of one local connoisseur in the making of the exhibition. Moreover, the article’s focus on the southern hemisphere fills a gap in global histories of Chinese art exhibition in this period.

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The Ariadne’s thread that runs through, and connects, the articles in this issue of Theoria is the modern state. How should the state approach welfare policy? Is the state’s power as absolute as once it had been? What is the importance of nationalism for states? What assumptions about the relationship between the state and civil society should be examined, and how? What, especially in a developing society such as South Africa, is—or should be—the relationship between the state and the poor? These are the overarching questions that knit together the contributions.

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Zohar Segev

This article examines American Zionist leaders' positions on the Jerusalem issue, taking into consideration that from the 1920s until 1948, they acted within the Zionist movement as an independent political force that sought to play an active role in shaping the Yishuv and the State of Israel according to their own worldview. Their position on Jerusalem included recognition of its significance in Jewish history and the necessity of consolidating Jewish nationalism in Palestine. Yet they demonstrated a clear preference for social and economic patterns that, they maintained, had consolidated in Tel Aviv as a counterbalance to Jerusalem.

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Naomi Chazan

Israel’s democratic order is currently being assailed in a concerted effort to reformulate its priorities and redefine its identity. The civic nature of Israeli nationalism, as delineated by its founders, is being questioned by a growing neo-nationalist wave bent on displacing the universal and Jewish values of equality, justice, and tolerance ensconced in its declaration of independence with an ethnically driven worldview that links the connection between the land and the people with an exclusivist package, which denies diversity and denigrates pluralism.

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Israel's Palestinian Minority

From 'Quietism' to Ethno-nationalism

Jonathan Mendilow

Hillel Cohen, The Rise and Fall of Arab Jerusalem: Palestinian Politics and the City since 1967 (New York: Routledge, 2011), 162 pp.

Oded Haklai, Palestinian Ethnonationalism in Israel (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 243 pp.

Amal Jamal, Arab Minority Nationalism in Israel: The Politics of Indigeneity (New York: Routledge, 2011), 324 pp.

Ilan Pappé, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011), 336 pp.

Ilan Peleg and Dov Waxman, Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 262 pp.

Yitzhak Reiter, National Minority, Regional Majority: Palestinian Arabs versus Jews in Israel (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2009), 403 pp.

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Marielle Stigum Gleiss and Weiqiang Lin

Historical research has recently found new interest in aviation and aeromobilities. Though productive, these discussions have mostly concentrated on knowledge frames emanating from the 'West.' This article surveys the limited range of literatures that highlight how 'other' societies perceive and (re)appropriate flight. In particular, we refer to examples from Asia to demonstrate that actors from this region likewise interact with ideas of aerial imperialism, geopolitical struggles, and nationalism. These studies prompt key historiographical questions on power, agency, and relations between the West and the non-West. They also promote a scholarship that is more reflexive about its centers of knowledge.

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Tyler Stovall

Tzvetan Todorov, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993)

Sue Peabody, “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)

Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995)

Maxim Silverman, Deconstructing the Nation: Immigration, Racism and Citizenship in Modern France (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)

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Keith Hart, Florence Weber, Nathan Schlanger, Gavin Flood and Mike Gane

Marcel Mauss, Manual of Ethnography, edited by N. J. Allen, translated by D. Lussier, Oxford and New York: Durkheim Press/Berghahn Press, 2007, pp. 212.

Marcel Mauss, Techniques, Technology and Civilisation, edited and introduced by Nathan Schlanger, New York and Oxford, Durkheim Press/ Berghahn Books, 2006, pp. 178.

Marcel Mauss, Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, introduction de Florence Weber, Paris: Quadrige/ Presses Universitaires de France, [1925] 2007.

Louise Child, Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness: Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp. vii, 197.

James Dingley, Nationalism, Social Theory and Durkheim, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 221.

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Moroccan Jews in Modern Times

Orientations and Reorientations

Norman A. Stillman

Until the mid twentieth century, Moroccan Jewry constituted the largest non-Ashkenazi Jewish community and had more than double the population of any other Jewish community in the Islamic world. Under the influence of the Alliance Israélite Universelle school network, French colonialism, the experience of World War II and the innate tensions between Zionism and Arab nationalism, the Jews of Morocco underwent a variety of transformations and ultimately the dissolution of the community as a result of the mass exodus to Israel, France and North America.