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Mirrors for Margraves

Peter Damian’s Models for Male and Female Rulers

Alison Creber

In the 1060s Peter Damian wrote “mirrors for margraves” to the rulers of two different Italian marks: Godfrey, margrave of Tuscany, and Adelaide, de facto ruler of the mark of Turin. Although he wrote to them both on the subject of rule and justice, Damian offered Godfrey and Adelaide different models for rule. Godfrey was to mete out harsh punishments; Adelaide was to act with mercy and restraint. Godfrey was presented with images of paternal care, Adelaide with maternal imagery. Godfrey was encouraged to emulate historical figures; Adelaide was to emulate biblical heroines. Through comparing and contrasting the gendered way in which Damian constructs the image of the ideal margrave in each of these letters, this article demonstrates that Damian consciously used different models for Godfrey and Adelaide on the basis of their gender, rather than their status or behavior.

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Jonathan Magonet

That all happened many years ago. To my surprise, and regret, I am the one still here to tell the story. Ruth was younger than me by so many years, but the hand of God works in its own mysterious way. There are those who still say that her death was my punishment for marrying someone like her, from an enemy people and a godless society. So I feel it is up to me to set the record straight. To tell Ruth's story as she might have told it herself. I will do my best and I hope to do justice to an extraordinary woman., who in a brief moment changed my prejudice and fear into acceptance and love. Who gave me a new life. When Oved comes of age he can learn from her own words the story of his true mother.

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Doing Time in College

Student-Prisoner Reading Groups and the Object(s) of Literary Study

Ed Wiltse

Taking stock of ten years of a service learning project that brings together small groups of college students and prisoners in jailhouse classrooms to discuss literary representations of crime and punishment, this essay finds in project participants' reading journals some remarkable trends. Complex dynamics of authenticity and authority emerge in the groups' weekly meetings, as participants negotiate their own and their groups' identities and commitments with respect to each other and to the literary texts, in the absence of professors, corrections officers, or other guardians of discipline. These dynamics are investigated in light of participants' discussions of a range of works, before looking in greater detail at responses to Sherman Alexie's 1996 novel Indian Killer, which are found to complicate stable notions of pedagogical authority and the object(s) of literary study.

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Republican Freedom in the Labour Market

Exploitation Without Interpersonal Domination

Fausto Corvino

In this article, I query whether participation in the labour market can hinder neo-republican freedom as non-domination. I briefly present the view of Philip Pettit on the topic, based on the distinction between offering a reward and threatening a punishment. I compare it to the analysis of labour republicans, recently reconstructed by Alex Gourevitch, according to whom, the exclusion of a group of individuals from the control of productive assets represents a form of structural domination. Then, I explain why I take a position that is different from both. I hold that capitalist structural domination leads only to exploitation, not interpersonal domination. In doing this, I consider two objections that might be raised against my argument. The first one is based on incomplete contracts and on a possible ideal benchmark for job offers. The second one challenges the supposed arbitrariness of unequal property relations within the capitalist social system.

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Women and Gender in Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

An Anthropological Introspection on Kinship and Family

Nandini Sen

This article examines female protagonists in Rabindranath Tagore’s stories and novellas – specifically Charu (A Broken Nest, 1901), Mrinal (The Wife’s Letter, 1914), Kamala (Musalmani, 1941), Anila (House Number 1, 1917), Chandara (Punishment, 1893) and Boshtomi (Devotee, 1916) – from a social anthropological viewpoint, focusing on gender and time-based kinship relations. Here, kinship is defined as an extension of familial relationships to the community (common ethnic-social life, locality and religion) in such a way as to achieve progressively higher levels of social integration and extensive social networks through marriage alliances and lines of descent. Studying how the characters placed the universality of family and kinship structures into question, I argue that parameters of kinship organisation need to be redefined, with plurality and difference as the basis of inquiry rather than universality.

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Léopold Sédar Senghor prisonnier de guerre allemand

Une nouvelle approche fondée sur un texte inédit

Raffael Scheck

Senghor was a German prisoner of war for twenty months. The article examines his claims about his captivity in light of archival evidence, in particular an unknown report about his experiences in two POW camps that he deposited at the French diplomatic mission for POWs a few months after his dismissal. The article confirms that Senghor identified himself foremost as a French patriot but argues that his claims about having been a Gaullist and resister of the first hour rest on insecure ground. In particular, Senghor after the war dramatized the story of his combat experience and made dubious claims about having been sent to a reprisal camp as a punishment for helping some prisoners escape. His captivity report, however, provides much evidence on the effects of German pro-Islamic propaganda and on corrupt prisoner networks. The report also describes many experiences reflected in his poetry cycle Hosties noires.

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Melissa Dearey, Bethanie Petty, Brett Thompson, Clinton R. Lear, Stephanie Gadsby and Donna Gibbs

The main aim of this essay is to explore prisoner life writing within the specific, richly and multiply dependent context of teaching and learning undergraduate criminology at an English university, from the authorial viewpoint of a teacher and her students as budding criminologists and coauthors. This article seeks to redress a continuing resistance to life history approaches in criminology, despite the discipline being formally devoted to the understanding of the meaning and experience of imprisonment in all its forms and consequences. What follows is a reflection on what students had to say on the fascinating subject of prisoner auto/biography and its place in popular and expert discourses on crime, criminality, and punishment, contextualised within the academic discipline of criminology.

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From Villainous Letch and Sinful Outcast, to “Especially Beloved of God”

Complicating the Medieval Leper through Gender and Social Status

Christina Welch and Rohan Brown

This article explores the socio-religious construction of the medieval “ideal” leper; a male pedagogical symbol of social and moral status and a figure in a physical and spiritual state of liminality, where their physical decay was a sign of their moral corruption. It argues that within vernacular literature, and theology, the medieval male leper was typically perceived as an outcast experiencing social death before succumbing to the slow degeneration of the disease. Typically conceived, and represented as lusty and carnal, the “ideal” male leper wore his own sin as physical deformity as a result of the close theological interpretation of the body and the soul. However, once his spiritual and physical contagion was contained within a leprosaria (a leper hospital), he could be perceived as a semi-holy figure, living out his purgatorial punishment on earth. Living out his purgation and segregated from his former communities, the article contests that the once frightening and sinful medieval male leper could transform his social status, becoming “especially beloved by God.”

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Simon Avery and Andrew Maunder

In October 1860, the New York-based magazine, Harper’s New Monthly, offered its readers this scathing commentary on the apparently morbid tendency among their British cousins to delve into the private lives of famous men and women. The magazine’s onslaught was both topical and contentious. The pleasures and punishments of fame experienced by such victimised ‘lions’ as Charles Dickens and Edward Bulwer Lytton, together with the public’s apparent right to ‘know’ everything, struck the writer as not only ‘vulgar’ but as clear evidence (if any were needed) of a degenerate culture. The situation was bad in America but much worse in Britain for there, as Harper’s noted, ‘John Bull is very fond of . . . talking about the private history of public men – prying into their bathing-tubs and counting the moles upon their necks.’ In the name of both art and decency, Harper’s made the following plea: ‘For the honour of the guild – for the fair name of literature – let us have done with peeping through keyholes and listening at cracks.’

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Running Wilde

Landscape, the Body, and the History of the Treadmill

Vybarr Cregan Reid

How have exercise, the body, and modes of imprisonment become so imbricated in modern societies? The treadmill started its life as the harshest form of punishment that could be meted out, short of the death penalty. It remained so for two centuries. Today, we pay membership fees equivalent to a household energy bill for the dubious privilege of being permitted to run on them. The treadmill is a high-functioning symbol of our anthropocene life that chooses to engage with self-created realities that knowingly deny our creaturely existence.

This essay aims to bring a number of genres and disciplines into conversation with one another to effect a mode of reflective but insightful cultural analysis. Through this ecological interdependence of genre, (including history, philosophy, literary analysis, sociology, psychogeography, autobiography, and biography) the essay aims to look at the ways in which our condition in modernity conspires against our psychological, physiological, geographical, and personal freedoms. Using Oscar Wilde's experiences of life on the treadmill, some of Hardy's poetry, Simone Weil, Pater, Foucault, Lacan, Sartre, Althusser, and Lukács, the essay draws attention to the ways that inauthenticity and dehumanisation have become the mainstay of life in the modern gym.