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Overlapping Time and Place

Early Modern England’s Girlhood Discourse and Indigenous Girlhood in the Dominion of Canada (1684-1860)

Haidee Smith Lefebvre

For nearly two hundred years, Indigenous girls and young women were at the heart of Canada’s fur trade. As wives to British fur traders and as daughters of these unions, they liaised with traders and tribes. Although wives and daughters were viewed initially from an Indigenous perspective they gradually lost their separate identities as traders increasingly held them up to European ideals. Simultaneously, England’s fascination with girls and girlhood fluctuated between seeing girlhood as a gendered life-stage leading to matrimony on the one hand, and girlhood as a rhetorical device unhindered by biology or chronology on the other. In my article I link these two contexts so as to interpret Pauline Johnson’s essay, A Strong Race Opinion. Her essay criticizes contemporaneous Anglo-Canadian authors for depicting Indian heroines in an artificial light rather than as flesh-and-blood girls. My interpretation considers girlhood from an Indigenous perspective as a unique, distinct, and natural identity.

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James Gibbs

This study of Sartre's first novel seeks to move beyond the metaphysical constraints that are implicit when specifically focusing on either the work's literary or philosophical qualities, instead approaching the text as metafiction. Through an understanding of the novel's self-referentiality, its awareness of its accordance to narrative technique or reliance on existential verbatim, one gains an understanding of Sartre's fascination with the dialogue that exists between literature and philosophy. The examination of La Nausée and its Anglo-American criticism leads to a re-evaluation of the role of bad faith, in which character, author and, particularly, reader, are implicit. For reading is, like Roquentin's concluding understanding of existence, a balancing-act between the in-itself and the for-itself; an interaction with bad faith in which it is the individual/the reader that is responsible for attributing meaning to experience/La Nausée.

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René, Ginette, Louise et les autres

nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste

Barbara Lebrun

France's retro rock music (chanson néo-réaliste) of the 1990s and 2000s favors acoustic music and "old-fashioned" instruments such as the accordion in order to reject today's fascination with novelty and consumerism. In doing so, this music genre looks back to pre-war France and rehabilitates an all-white national culture that is problematically nostalgic, in a similar fashion to the film Amélie. This article explores the ways in which chanson néo-réaliste still manages to forge a sense of protest identity in contemporary France, while engaging in apparently reactionary tactics. The specificities of this music genre are explored through an analysis of the lyrics, music, iconography and performance of, primarily, the group Têtes Raides, while contrasting their nostalgia of "protest" with that of the more commercially successful genre of variétés.

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What Am I Still Doing Here?

Travel, Travel Writing, and Old Age

Robin Jarvis

This article offers preliminary thoughts on travel writing from a gerontological perspective. Gender, race, and sexuality have provided important analytical frames for travel writing studies, but age has yet to function as a topic or point of reference. Through a consideration of five travel books by respected modern authors—Jan Morris, Dervla Murphy, V. S. Naipaul, Paul Theroux, and Colin Thubron—the article asks what motivates travel writers to stay “on the road” into their seventies and beyond, and what the distinctive features of travel narratives written at this life stage might be. The article aims to demonstrate the intrinsic fascination of travel books in which a strong abiding curiosity about the world coexists with an acute—and often melancholy—awareness of the passing of time and personal mortality.

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The Mobilization of Weimar Radio

Actuality, Microphone, Radio-film

Brían Hanrahan

This essay addresses the effects and experiences that become possible, and become the object of fascination and reflection, when early German radio mobilized-when it moved out of the studio to transmit from places in the "outside world." Mobile electro-acoustic technologies enabled a new sense of exteriority and new experiences of time and space. The paper reconstructs and analyzes three rhetorical figures associated with this mobilized radio. First, the complex concept of actuality, among other things, referred to temporal liveness and the palpable auditory presence of location sound. Second, the popular rhetorical and visual image of the "traveling microphone," emphasized new relations of inside and outside, studio and world, reality and representation. Third, comparisons between radio and film-including the term "radio-film," an early name for live location broadcasts-provided a vocabulary for understanding the properties of a mobile radio, including the intense sense of an outside world made present for the listener at home.

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Released from Her Fetters?

Natural Equality in the Work of the Russian Sentimentalist Woman Writer Mariia Bolotnikova

Ursula Stohler

This contribution examines the ways in which Sentimentalist ideas about natural equality, which circulated in Russia during the first two decades of the nineteenth century, were reflected in the work of a little-known woman author, Mariia Bolotnikova (dates of birth and death unknown). By exploring the democratic potential inherent in Sentimentalist discourse, this article suggests that the Sentimentalists' unconditional valuation of all human beings was applied not only to the problem of serfdom, but also to women's social inequality. This tendency manifested itself in the works of renowned male writers such as Nikolai Karamzin (1766–1826), and in those of little-known female authors, such as Mariia Bolotnikova. A provincial woman poet with seemingly few contacts to established literary society, Bolotnikova used Sentimentalism's fascination with nature and femininity to legitimise her activity as an author and to emphasise the woman question. Her criticism of the sexual discrimination that shaped the culture in which she lived was an early, if admittedly small, step towards the creation of awareness of the social inequality of the sexes in Russia.

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René Devisch

Since the early 1970s, the author has been working among the poverty-stricken Yaka people in rural southwestern Congo and suburban Kinshasa. A descendant of a colonizing society, the author sought immersion in a particular Congolese community and later in suburban Kinshasa, as well as insights from within the host group's own rationale and perceptions. Through reciprocal fascination and compassionate encounter, hosts and anthropologists transfer onto each other images, longings, and thoughts that in many ways are unconsciously biased. The self-reflective experience of integration in other life-worlds has helped the author to self-critically scrutinize his own native Belgian socio-cultural matrix. The article advocates a type of post-colonial and psychoanalytically inspired anthropology that urges self-critical understanding of definitions of self-creation in relation to alterity constructs. Any further development of psychoanalytically informed anthropology, or of culture-sensitive psychoanalysis, should draw on this understanding of co-implication and intercultural polylogue, thereby allowing these disciplines to transcend their Eurocentric antecedents.

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From 'The Purest Literature We Have' to 'A Spirit Grown Corrupt'

Embracing Contamination in Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction

Gill Plain

In Powers of Horror (1982), Julia Kristeva suggests that the corpse is ‘the utmost in abjection. It is death infecting life’. This categorical statement, while not intended for the genre of crime fiction, nonetheless does much to explain the power and appeal of the twentieth century’s most successful fictional formula. For Kristeva, the abject is ‘the in-between, the ambiguous, the composite’ (4); it is experienced as an encounter with ‘an other who precedes and possesses me’ (10) and it is ‘a border that has encroached upon everything’ (3). Borders both defend and confine. They are the necessary limits that protect the subject from psychosis, and they are that which deny us our desired return to a lost imaginary plenitude. Kristeva’s abject evokes seepage, it speaks to the instability of borders, and the impossibility of the pristine, the firm, the uncontaminated. And it is just this sense of unavoidable defilement, this tension between the maintenance and collapse of cultural and social boundaries, that underpins both the crime genre and our fascination with the form.

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The Ant and the Grasshopper

Rationalising Exclusion and Inequality in the Post-apartheid City

Richard Ballard

As with many other genres of storytelling, fables are as much about the socialisation of political values as they are about the amusement of children. Although their timeless appearance presents their truths as absolute, the meanings of fables change as they are reinterpreted through time by particular ideologies. Thus we find that The Ant and the Grasshopper, a children’s favourite about the need for hard work and careful saving, has recently been commandeered by conservative adults who are searching for ever more coded ways of communicating in today’s anti-racist contexts. This story is attributed to Æsop, a mythical sixth century B.C. slave and storyteller (Adrados 1999). During the renaissance, Europe’s fascination with antiquity prompted renewed interest in Æsop’s fables as vehicles of commentary on the politics of the time (Hanazaki 1993-1994 & Patterson 1991). Their popularity accelerated with the industrial revolution since some of the fables, such as The Tortoise and the Hare and The Ant and the Grasshopper, were particularly suited to the socialisation of selfrestraint and a strong work ethic. The Ant and the Grasshopper tells the story of the ant that worked hard collecting food during summer, while the carefree grasshopper did not. During winter, the ant survived while the grasshopper starved. This story conveyed to children that the threat of lean times was ever present but that hard work would stave off starvation.

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Sociology, Primitivism and Museums

The Museology of George Henri Rivière, Follower of Marcel Mauss

Raymond de la Rocha Mille

The Musée de l'Homme closed its ethnological collections to the public during April 2003, after years of failing to receive appropriate finances, which brought about the run-down state of its premises, a lack of qualified staff and a distressing intellectual and moral atmosphere (Heritage-Augé 1991). With its library in the process of dispersion and its galleries emptied and silent, it is difficult to understand the fascination that the museum has had on vast sections of the population and the convergence of artistic, philosophical and political expectations of its creators in the 1930s (see Karsenti 1997). This article explores the influence of the Durkheimian school of sociology in the shaping of the so-called 'myth of primitivism' (Rubin 1984; Hiller 1991). It also addresses the meaning and significance given to objects and to collections in the avant-garde circles close to the Musée de l'Homme and notably amongst the immediate friends and collaborators of the French museologist, Georges Henri Rivi´re. It was an ideology that could be characterized as an object-based and philosophically inspired anthropology shaped by the unique convergence of multiple and often conflicting politico- and socio-cultural streams existing in the France of the Third Republic. This article also focuses on the epistemological con-sequences of a museology of 'presence' in the context of a growing heterogeneous society and of an aesthetic of collage 'that valued the fragmented, curious collections, unexpected juxtapositions, that works to provoke the manifestation of extraordinary realities drawn from the domains of the erotic, the exotic and the unconscious' (Clifford 1994:118).