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Traveling “Back” to India

Globalization as Imperialism in Pico Iyer's Video Night in Kathmandu

Malini Johar Schueller

This article teases out the complex intersections between Pico Iyer's Video Night in Kathmandu as an Orientalist travel narrative and as a treatise on the cultural flows of globalization by analyzing the politics of Iyer's adoption of a migrant, cosmopolitan persona as well as his conscious attempt to rewrite the gendered hierarchies of imperialism. It examines the unspoken privileges of whiteness and Westernness in Iyer's adoption of a decentered persona that struggles to overcome (particularly in his chapter on India) being interpellated as “Indian.” The larger purpose of the essay is to interrogate the rhetoric of cultural globalization as beyond the hierarchies of imperialism.

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Mariaconcetta Costantini

At the beginning of the new century (and the new millennium) Victorian revivalism is still a large-scale cultural phenomenon. Instead of abating, the obsession with the past seems to have intensified. Rewritings of the Victorian age have continued to flourish in many cultural domains, while critics have increasingly answered to the appeal for a 'rigorous scholarly analysis' of 'the prominence of the nineteenth century for postmodernism'. On the literary scene, young writers have joined the ranks of the earlier postmodern revivalists. These writers have contributed to keeping alive the interest in the Victorian past, but they have also introduced some thematic and formal innovations which require critical attention.

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Textbook Conflicts in South Asia

Politics of Memory and National Identity

Deepa Nair

The aftermath of World War II saw the emergence of many new nation-states on the Asian geopolitical map and a simultaneous attempt by these states to claim the agency of nationhood and to create an aura of a homogenous national identity. Textbooks have been the most potent tools used by nations to inject an idea of a national memory - in many instances with utter disregard for fundamental contradictions within the socio-political milieu. In South Asia, political sensitivity towards transmission of the past is reflected in the attempts of these states to revise or rewrite versions which are most consonant with the ideology of dominant players (political parties, religious organizations, ministries of education, publishing houses, NGOs, etc.) concerning the nature of the state and the identity of its citizens. This paper highlights the fundamental fault lines in the project of nation-building in states in South Asia by locating instances of the revision or rewriting of dominant interpretations of the past. By providing an overview of various revisionist exercises in South Asia, an attempt will be made to highlight important issues that are fundamental to the construction of identities in this diverse continent.

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Rod Cooke

This paper examines the similarities between the narrative techniques employed in the final three Tintin albums, and the novels of the lesser-known French naturalist authors from the 1880s. Both Hergé and these writers were driven by a pessimism, both existential and aesthetic, to rewrite the earlier works in whose shadow they stood, undermining their mimetic character. As a result, such apparently diverse genres as the bande dessinée and the naturalist novel come to share features like misleading nomenclature, the erosion of character agency and circular narratives. The praise frequently lavished on Les Bijoux de la Castafiore ['The Castafiore Emerald'] at the expense of the two following albums, therefore, overlooks their fundamental kinship. Hergé removes Tintin from the centre of his later narratives and often diminishes his role. His interviews and biographies confirm his deteriorating feelings toward his creation, a sentiment that had been foreshadowed in 1880s France. There, authors like Hennique, Huysmans and Céard felt oppressed by the style of writing mastered by Flaubert and Zola before them. In both contexts, the paradoxical result of such disillusionment is a focus on rewriting the earlier texts, exposing the mechanisms of mimesis relied upon by Zola and the younger Hergé.

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Wrestling with Shylock

Contemporary British Jewish Theatre and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Jeanette R. Malkin and Eckart Voigts

How does Shakespeare’s ambivalent character Shylock affect British theatre artists of Jewish heritage today? Since the 1970s, stage adaptations of The Merchant by British Jewish directors and actors have struggled to glean an interpretation that would make The Merchant relevant or palatable for a post-Shoah generation. This article has a double focus: we discuss the difference between the adaptations of the older generation – Arnold Wesker’s character rewriting in The Merchant (1976) and Charles Marowitz’s deconstruction in Variations on the Merchant of Venice (1977) – and the contemporary revision in Julia Pascal’s 2008 The Shylock Play. Secondly, we focus on the reaction of contemporary Jewish theatre artists in Britain to the centrality of Shylock as the canonical figure of the Jew in Britain. We asked a number of contemporary British Jewish theatre artists – from Tom Stoppard to Samantha Ellis – about their personal relationship to Shylock and we present a digest of their responses.

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Gabriel Pirický

Local populations in Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, and to a lesser degree in the Czech Republic, experienced much interaction with Muslims throughout the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the Ottomans, as well as the Crimean Tatars, invaded the Kingdom of Hungary and waged wars against the Polish-Lithuanian state and the Habsburg Hereditary Lands. The Ottoman era has usually been reflected in the history textbooks of these four countries under the headings "Turkish Wars" or "Ottoman Expansion." Since the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989, all four ex-communist states have been involved in rewriting textbooks, although the perception of the Ottomans and Muslims has not changed in all cases. Without claiming to map the entire historical presentation of the Ottomans, this article demonstrates the polyphony found in the textbooks of this region. By analyzing secondary school educational materials in all four languages, it is possible to identify stereotypes, prejudices, and distortions within the perception of the Ottoman Turks.

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Mark Donovan

The European elections of 12 and 13 June 2004, and the simultaneous

partial local elections, were of great significance for Italy’s

national-level politics. For all that European and sub-national elections

are quite different from national ones, the European elections

were a nationwide test, of a sort, of the relative electoral appeal of the

government and opposition. More importantly, both levels of elections

had a powerful impact on the evolution of relations within the

House of Freedoms and between the opposition parties. Within the

government majority, the European elections saw Prime Minister Berlusconi’s

party, Forza Italia, weaken markedly, thus reinforcing the

aspirations of the prime minister’s most reluctant allies, the National

Alliance (AN) and the Union of Christian Democrats and Center Democrats

(UDC), to force a rewrite of the government program and, in

the most ambitious (and unstated) of hypotheses, to put an end to the

prime-ministerial aspect of Berlusconi’s government—perhaps even to

Berlusconi’s leadership itself.

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Deepa Nair

The controversy over rewriting history textbooks in India in 2000 not only revealed the divergent renditions of collective memory but also evoked decades of contention over self-representation and cultural identity. This article explores these "multiple" renderings of a "singular" past and contends the formation of "historical identities" by arguing that divergent use of reason and interpretation leads to a layered and uid Indian identity leaving it open for contestation. By situating the case of the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb within the milieu from which textbook controversies emanate, the article suggests an alternative dimension for looking at the controversy—instead of the usual binary concept of "secular" versus "communal" history. At the root of the controversy is not merely politicization but also divergent perspectives of looking at the past and the resultant rethinking and reworking of dominant notions of it.

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Imparting Ethno-aesthetic Knowledge in John Hawkesworth’s Report on Cook’s First Voyage to the South Pacific (1768–1771)

Sebastian Kaufmann

Artistic practices in ethnological knowledge transfer can be found in the wellknown account of James Cook’s first voyage (1768–1771) by John Hawkesworth (Account of the Voyages […] in the Southern Hemisphere, 1773), which shows that such travel accounts are not only vehicles of knowledge transfer but also means of knowledge (re)construction, and at times this process of remolding knowledge extends to a rewriting that includes elements of fiction. Hence, the article will draw on the material assembled by Cook and Joseph Banks in their Endeavour Journals to identify in Hawkesworth’s examples of (ethno-aesthetic) knowledge construction and “invention.” A comparison of the diff erent types of texts is rewarding not least because Hawkesworth’s account strove to present the new knowledge to a broader audience. An identification of Hawkesworth’s departures from his sources facilitates the reading of the act of knowledge transfer as a process of knowledge transformation.

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Jay Lockenour, Soldiers as Citizens: Former Wehrmacht Officers in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945-1955 (University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln and London, 2001)

Review by Omer Bartov

Volker R. Berghahn, America and the Intellectual Cold Wars in Europe: Shepherd Stone Between Philanthropy, Academy, and Diplomacy (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2001)

Review by Robert Gerald Livingston

Geoff Eley, Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2002)

Review by Paul Lerner

Tanja A. Börzel, States and Regions in the European Union: Institutional Adaptation in Germany and Spain (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Review by Richard Haesly

Christoph Kleßmann, ed., The Divided Past: Rewriting Post-War German History (Oxford: Berg, 2001)

Review by Andrew H. Beattie

Wilfried Schubarth and Richard Stöss, eds., Rechtsextremismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Eine Bilanz (Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 2001)

Review by Lars Rensmann

Erik Ryding and Rebecca Pechefsky, Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001)

Review by Pamela Potter