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Francisco A. Ortega

Spanish American countries exhibited during the nineteenth century many of the features Koselleck associated with the Sattelzeit, the transitioning period into our contemporaneity. However, the region’s history was marked by social instability and political upheaval, and contemporaries referred to such experiences of time as precarious. In this article I explore the connection between this precarious time and the emergence of the sociopolitical concept of morality in New Granada (present-day Colombia) during the first thirty- five years of the republic (1818–1853). I focus on two conceptual moments as exemplified ed by the reflections put forth by Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), military and political leader of the independence period, and José Eusebio Caro (1817–1853), publicist, poet, and political ideologue of the Conservative Party.

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The Case for Religious Transmission

Time and Transmission in the Anthropology of Christianity

Vlad Naumescu

Acknowledging the growing interest in issues of religious transmission, this article reviews two promising yet contradictory approaches to religion that could be described as historicist and universalist. It offers an alternative view premised on their convergence in a pragmatic approach that can link the material, contextual, and institutional dimensions of transmission with corresponding cognitive, perceptive, and emotional processes. This perspective recognizes the historicity of religious transmission and its cognitive underpinnings while attending to the materiality of its semiotic forms. The article focuses on the relationship between time and transmission in recent ethnographies of Christianity that show how Christian temporalities influence perceptions of social continuity or rupture and individuals' becoming in history. Within this frame, it examines the case of Old Believers, an apocalyptic movement that emerged out of a schism in seventeenth-century Russian Orthodoxy, to indicate how a pragmatic approach works in practice.

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Between the Party and the European Union?

The Regulation of Working Time in France

Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

Do parties matter when EU policy is implemented in France? This article examines this question first in the context of cleavage theory and the literature on party positioning on European integration that draws attention to the origin and the nature of party preferences, and second in light of empirical evidence from the implementation of the Working Time Directive in France. It shows that, when faced with the same issue, governments of different ideological orientation responded in a way that reflected their historically defined référentiel rather than an EU Diktat. The argument here, then, is that far from ending domestic political contestation on the Left-Right axis, European integration and its concrete domestic manifestations in France are in fact subject to it.

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Dances with Heads

Parasitic Mimesis and the Government of Savagery in Colonial East Timor

Ricardo Roque

This article explores the conjunction between mimesis and parasitism as a colonial mode of relating with forms of ‘savagery’ in state administration in relation to both the colonial Self and indigenous Others. The article examines the participation in 1861 of Portuguese Governor Afonso de Castro in a headhunting ceremony, the ‘feast of the heads’, which was held in colonial East Timor. By following a dispute concerning the problems and merits of the governor’s compliance with this ritual, it conceptualizes the trade with savagery within colonial government praxis as a parasitic form of mimesis. In this context, the dangers of bracketing the self and surrendering to the forces of otherness allowed for headhunting ritual energies to be extracted and exploited to the colonial state’s advantage.

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Active Waiting and Changing Hopes

Toward a Time Perspective on Protracted Displacement

Cathrine Brun

This article introduces a time perspective on 'protracted displacement' and seeks to theorize 'agency-in-waiting' through a focus on the ways in which people simultaneously carry on during displacement, feel trapped in the present, and actively relate to alternative notions of the future. The article analyzes the protracted case of internally displaced Georgians from Abkhazia and the dominant discourse of return that characterizes their lives in displacement. Changing notions of hope are analyzed in order to understand the role that an uncertain future plays and the potential for agency that people develop during displacement. Agency-in-waiting and future perspectives, it is suggested, contribute valuable conceptual and political dimensions to the ways in which protracted displacement can be understood and addressed.

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Emre Çaglayan

This article examines the relationship between boredom and cinema, particularly by attending to the ways in which it has been used as an aesthetic strategy in contemporary slow films. These films use long takes and dedramatization to create dead time, where narrative causality and progress are abandoned to facilitate contemplative viewing. The article argues that this mode of spectatorship exhibits close affinities to underlying features of boredom, and that filmmakers mute dramatic intensity and foreground idleness and ambiguity for a more aesthetically rewarding cinematic experience. The article explores this question through examining different types of boredom and dedramatization, before concluding with an extended analysis of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011).

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Semantics of Time and Historical Experience

Remarks on Koselleck's Historik

Luca Scuccimarra

Moving from Koselleck's most recent essays on Historik, the author explores the role played by historiography in the constitution of historicity as a peculiar experiential dimension of human existence. The essay focuses on the complex link between difference and repetition which, according to Koselleck's theory of experience, constitutes a “specific historical temporality” and its inner articulation. Actually, it is by exploring the “formal temporal structures” which constitute the horizon of historical intelligibility that Koselleck brings to light the decisive role that the point of view of historiography has for the constitution of man as the subject of historical knowledge and action. It is difficult to ignore the importance of this theory of historical temporalization in an age in which the End of History rhetoric tends to transform itself in a sort of media gospel.

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“Amazing Rapidity”

Time, Public Credit, and David Hume’s Political Discourses

EDWARD JONES CORREDERA

This article explores David Hume’s views on public credit, the state, and geopolitics as outlined in his Political Discourses. By drawing attention to Hume’s analysis of the speed of political economic dynamics, the article suggests the philosopher feared that public credit, a crucial source of eighteenth-century European economic growth, fundamentally revolutionized the pace of social relations, the mechanics of the state, and European geopolitics at large. Hume’s study of public credit highlighted its role in reshaping eighteenth-century visions of time, and the philosopher’s disappointment with his own solution, in turn, reinforces the need to consider the multifaceted effects of public credit in the modern world.

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Fates Worse Than Death

Destruction and Social Attachment in Timor-Leste

Gabriel Tusinski

This article argues against reductive approaches to violence in Timor-Leste that treat house destruction as a ‘symbolic’ epiphenomenon of more consequential bodily injury and death. Timorese ideologies of kinship, understood through ancestral-origin houses, regard material destruction as a fate worse than death. Death does not end the sociality of the deceased but rather foregrounds their continued importance for the living. Building on scholars’ treatments of ‘house societies’ and post-Schneiderian studies that locate kin relatedness beyond biogenetic substance, I demonstrate how Timorese people construct iconic and indexical connections between quotidian and ancestral houses through transformative actions that involve material things, such as chewing betel nut and the preparation and co-consumption of food. The configuration of those connections through material media renders them subject to social and historical erasure.

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Steffen Dalsgaard

In sociological literature, the most commonly accepted meaning of 'the state' is based on a spatial definition that describes it as an entity exercising sovereignty within a bounded territory. However, the state is also made present in time, and state forms have a profound impact on the temporalities of social events and interaction, for instance, through rhythms and schedules. Consequently, this article discusses how the state in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, can be understood with reference to temporality as much as to spatiality and materiality. Here, the state is seen as being personified in its politicians, who are in control of its resources. In this understanding, the state is both facilitated and limited by the presence, attention, and duration of the politicians, who are obliged to recognize personal relationships through which kin or acquaintances can challenge bureaucratic control of space and of time.