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The sanctioning state

Official permissiveness and prohibition in India

Ajay Gandhi

This article examines the Indian state’s engagement with deportable foreign migrants. It draws on an ethnography of officials’ responses in Mumbai to noncitizens from Bangladesh and countries in Africa. The conceptual focus is on the “sanctioning state”: official powers that alternately permit or prohibit migrants’ presence. At one level, the Indian state sanctions, or prohibits, unauthorized migration. Simultaneously, via authorities’ discretionary power, the state can sanction, or permit, foreigners’ presence. To address why state actors simultaneously sanction migrants’ enduring presence, and also sanction their intermittent removal, this article delves into the Indian state’s historical evolution and everyday functioning. The domains of bureaucratic practice, discretionary authority, and differentiated citizenship are framed by antecedent logics. This historical survey undergirds an ethnographic study of the state in migrant-saturated neighborhoods in Mumbai. Based on interviews and observations with officials and migrants, this article elucidates the rationales, capacities, and strategies that comprise the “sanctioning state.”

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Tyler Stovall

This article considers how the life of Aimé Césaire constitutes a template for the black presence in Paris. It concentrates on three themes: Paris as a (conflicted) symbol of liberty; Paris as an artistic and intellectual center; and Paris as a global city. It shows how, as the life of Césaire exemplifies, the black communities of Paris have seen the French capital as both a site of diasporic encounters and as a beacon of liberty. Like Césaire, the black presence in Paris has both challenged and underscored traditions of French universalism.

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Eric Langenbacher

Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan, eds., The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Jan-Werner Müller, ed., Memory and Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

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A Wandering View

Writing Jews and Jewishness on British Television

James Jordan

This article discusses four different representations of Jews and Jewishness as seen on British television since 1960. The first three – Victor Gollancz's appearance on Face to Face (1960), an episode of the situation comedy Please Sir! (1968), and Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews (2013) all feature individuals who consciously articulate their identity as 'a Jew' in different ways. The final section argues for the subconscious presence of Jewishness in the central character of the BBC's long-running series Doctor Who.

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Eveline Goodman-Thau

The destruction of European Jewry as an intellectual presence and living tradition in the heart of Europe, the virtual absence of Jewish life in eastern Europe in the last half of this century, and the rebuilding of Jewish communities in many countries in east and west, but in particular, in Germany, requires an investigation of the path of European intellectual history and its beginnings in the light of the Jewish legacy of Europe.

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Raperas of the NeoRevolución

young women, capitalism and Cuban hip hop culture

Ardath Whynacht

This article explores female representation in mainstream hip hop culture in Cuba as a case study for analyzing how the presence of a commercial recording industry affects girls' participation as artists at the community level. The author raises questions about the role of a commercial recording industry, within a neoliberal political culture, in skewing youth culture from its underground roots, and about how young women navigate and resist such challenges in order to participate in hip hop culture.

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Intimidation, reassurance, and invisibility

Israeli security agents in the Old City of Jerusalem

Erella Grassiani and Lior Volinz

Jerusalem is a city of extremes, where tourists and pilgrims come to see the sights and pray, but where violence is also a daily affair. In the square kilometer called the Old City, which is part of East Jerusalem and thus considered by the international community as occupied territory, the tensions accumulate as (Jewish) Israeli settlers move into houses in the middle of the Muslim and Christian quarters. In order to secure them, numerous cameras have been installed by the police that show all that happens in the narrow streets of the quarter and private security personnel are stationed on many roofs to watch the area. Furthermore, undercover police officers patrol the streets and at times check IDs of Palestinians. In this article, we focus on policing strategies that Israeli private and public security agents use to control this small and controversial urban space. We argue that the constant presence and movement of police, security personnel, and their surveillance technologies in and through the heart of the Muslim quarter should be analyzed within a colonial context and as a deliberate strategy to control and discipline the local population and to legitimize the larger settler project of the Israeli state. This strategy consists of different performances and thus relationships with policed audiences. First, their (undercover) presence is visible for Palestinians with the effect or intention of intimidating them directly. At the same time they also serve to reassure the Israeli settlers living in the Old City and when in uniform foreign tourists. Both Palestinians and settlers will recognize agents and other security arrangements through experience and internalization of the Israeli security mentality, while tourists see them only when in uniform. However, simultaneously, when undercover, their presence remains largely unseen for this third “audience”; the tourists who are not to be alarmed. By showing their presence to some while remaining invisible to others, security actors and technology “perform” for different audiences, manifesting their power within urban space and legitimizing the Israeli occupation.

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Alejandro Lugo

Following Ann Stoler's analysis of 'imperial debris' and Gastón Gordillo's notion of the 'void', this article examines how, in the context of the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848, imperial and religious impulses have endured from the mid-nineteenth century to the present at the US-Mexico border. Using photographs taken at different 'sites of memory' located along the 60-mile corridor that connects Las Cruces, New Mexico, with El Paso, Texas, this analysis demonstrates that the continuing American occupation of Mexican lands has contributed to the oblique inclusion and parallel exclusion or erasure of the historical presence of the Mexican community, as well as its political, cultural, and historical legitimacy in the region. However, the essay argues that ultimately the 'voidable' status of the American presence in the US-Mexico border region continues to reproduce itself. The article closes with a series of photographs of churches that capture religious landscapes that manifest, challenge, and transcend the occupied borderlands through the materiality of their presence.

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Shakespeare's Church and the Pilgrim Fathers

Commemorating Plymouth Rock in Stratford

Clara Calvo

The presence of Americans and American interests in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, stretches beyond the Shakespeare Memorial Fountain in Market Square. In the course of mapping this presence, this article reveals how the bond between America and Stratford, mostly forged by Victorian and Edwardian visitors and benefactors, rests on contradictory, ambivalent symbols. As so often happens in rites of remembrance, in which the commemorators often commemorate themselves, American presence in Stratford celebrates Shakespeare and asserts national identity at the same time. American commemoration of Shakespeare in Stratford works in two opposite directions, strengthening bonds with Shakespeare's England while simultaneously asserting self-determination and memorialising independence from the nation that gave birth to Shakespeare. While exploring these issues, this article unpacks the links between one of Stratford's iconic tourist destinations (Holy Trinity Church) and one of America's foundational myths, Plymouth Rock, which are jointly construed as sites of remembrance and symbols of origin in a late-Victorian stained glass window erected with money from American donors in Shakespeare's church. By arguing that the link between Shakespeare's Stratford and the Pilgrim's Rock is possible through the erasure of historical evidence, this article shows how communities remember and how communities choose to forget.

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Sex and Death in Quebec

Female AutobioBD and Julie Doucet's Changements d'adresses

Catriona MacLeod

In comparison to the U.S. market, the trend for autobiographical sequential art arrived late within the history of the francophone bande dessinée. Its rising popularity throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium coincided, and to an extent connected, with another belated development in the French-language industry however: that of the growing presence of the female artist. This article considers the strong presence of life narratives in bandes dessinées created by women, before presenting a case-study examining the manipulation of the medium to an autobiographical end in Québécoise artist Julie Doucet's 1998 Changements d'adresses ['Changes of Addresses']. It considers how, in this coming-of-age narrative set first in Montreal and then New York, Doucet utilises the formal specificity of the bande dessinée to emphasise both the fragmentation and then reintegration of her hybrid enunciating instances. It further examines Doucet's usage of the life-narrative bande dessinée to oppose her representation from that of the disruptive male figures in her life, whose sexual presence in her personal evolution is often connected to images of dysfunction and death, finally suggesting via this examination of Julie Doucet and Changements d'adresses the particular suitability of female-created life narratives to feminist reappropriations of the francophone bande dessinée.