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Caleb Heldt

In The Imaginary, Sartre provides the foundation upon which the development of his theory of bad faith is built, pointing to a fundamental choice at the level of image consciousness between the unreflective projection of the image and the impure reflection upon that image constitutive of imaginative comprehension, or what he refers to in this text as pure comprehension. Pure comprehension can be seen as Sartre's early formulation of pure reflection in which thought is characterised by movement rather than the reification of thought indicative of impure reflection and imaginative comprehension. This will prove to have consequences for the interpretation of Sartre's conceptualizations of desire and bad faith and consequently for Sartrean ontology, psychoanalysis and ethics.

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Repetitions of Desire

Queering the One Direction Fangirl

Hannah McCann and Clare Southerton

Like other fangirls, fans of former boyband One Direction (“Directioners”) have often been represented in media discourse as obsessive and hysterical, with fan behaviour interpreted as longing for heterosexual intimacy with band members. Subverting this heteronormative framing, a group of Directioners known as “Larries” have built a sub-fandom around imagining a relationship (“ship”) between two of the band members, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Representation of the Larry fandom has gone beyond pathologizing fangirls to framing their shipping practice in terms of “fake news.” The conspiracy theory panic around Larries misses the complex ways that subtext and queer reading are mobilized within the fandom to invoke feelings of queer intimacy and belonging. Drawing on a digital ethnography conducted on Twitter with Larries, we argue that these fans engage in queer reading strategies to explicitly imagine and interrupt dominant heterosexual narratives, and thus queer the figure of the fangirl.

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The nationalization of desire

Transnational marriage in Dutch culturist integration discourse

Willem Schinkel

Dutch discourse on “integration” is currently characterized by a strong focus on the “culture” of especially Turks and Moroccans, two minority populations in Dutch society mostly of Muslim orientation. This article discusses the issue of the “import bride” as a case study of contemporary culturist discourse. It argues that this issue is problematized because transnational marriage is construed as circumventing loyalty to Dutch society and nation-state.

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Banu Nilgün Uygun

This essay explores the sexual-economic transactions between Turkish men and women from the former Soviet Union (FSU), focusing on Trabzon, a Turkish port town on the southeast coast of the Black Sea. I first provide background on 'the new migration' from the FSU to Turkey, paying particular attention to some of the political stakes in discussions of transnational sex work. I then explore these issues through the stories of two migrant women from the FSU who live in Trabzon. In these stories I highlight the ambiguity and complexity of sexual-economic transactions between local men and migrant women to show the inadequacy of the category 'sex work'. Finally, I turn to the demand side of the equation and consider the ideologies shaping the perceptions of local men. I situate them within the context of discourses of modernity in Turkey as they are reconfigured by Turkey's integration into global markets.

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Stephen Wang

Jean-Paul Sartre argues that human beings are fundamentally incomplete. Self-consciousness brings with it a presence-to-self. Human beings consequently seek two things at the same time: to possess a secure and stable identity, and to preserve the freedom and distance that come with self-consciousness. This is an impossible ideal, since we are always beyond what we are and we never quite reach what we could be. The possibility of completion haunts us and we continue to search for it even when we are convinced it can never be achieved. Sartre suggests that we have to continue seeking this ideal in the practical sphere, even when our philosophical reflection shows it to be an impossibility. Sartre puts this existential dilemma in explicitly theological terms. 'God' represents an ideal synthesis of being and consciousness which remains a self-contradictory goal. This dilemma remains unresolved in his thinking.

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The Effect of 'Affect'

Henrietta Moore's Turn

Anette Fagertun

Henrietta L. Moore, Still Life: Hopes, Desires and Satisfactions (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), 242 pp. ISBN 9780745636467.

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Vera Schwarcz and Robert Weinberg

Before I Knew Shabbat Desire for Words

Moving a Large Library from My Apartment after 28 Years A Hope for Reincarnation Involving Significant Others

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Pocahontas's Baptism

Reformed Theology and the Paradox of Desire

Erica Fudge

John Rolfe’s letter detailing his internal struggles concerning his relationship with his future wife Pocahontas brings into play many of the issues which are central to Reformed ideas – conscience, judgement, salvation and desire. The struggle between flesh and faith, desire and salvation which Rolfe presents fits our understanding of Calvinist thought to the extent that Peter Hulme has called the letter a ‘classic Puritan document’. Rolfe’s denial of ‘the unbridled desire of carnall affection’ seems archetypal in its renunciation of the flesh, but there also is another form of desire at work in the letter. Where Rolfe denies that his yearning is carnal he celebrates his longing to convert the native. This is very different, but a recognition of the link between the two desires – for the flesh and for the spirit – is necessary if we are to truly understand the Reformed theology which travelled across the Atlantic in the early seventeenth century.

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Paul Reed

Whenever Daniel has been the focus of critical attention, he has invariably been seen within an ontological framework, in terms of a desire to ‘be’, in the Sartrean sense. It has now come to be regarded as a truism that Daniel’s attempts at self-punishment signify such a desire. The interpretation originates with Iris Murdoch who, quoting an extract from Le Sursis, in which Daniel expresses a desire ‘to be a pederast, as an oaktree is an oaktree’, concludes that ‘[Daniel] is never able to experience a pure coincidence with his vice; he remains detached from it, an observer, a possibility. His attempts to achieve coincidence take the form of self-punishment’.

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Mike Hulme

This article suggests that our current (fearful) preoccupation with climate change emerges from two paradoxical desires: the desire to recover some mythical benign stable state for the world's climate and the desire to assert ourselves over the world's climate by engineering our way to achieve this outcome. But by seeing climate either as something to be idealized or as something to master, we fail to see what is happening to the world's climate. It is being reinvented as a novel entity, now co-produced between human and nonhuman actors. Rather than resist and lament the results of this new creative force, we must learn to live with them.