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M. William Steele

This article reviews recent scholarship on Asian mobility, focusing on the influence of the prewar Japanese empire on the mobility (and immobility) of people, goods, and ideas in Asia today. Prewar Japanese technicians, engineers, and politicians built highways, aviation systems, electricity grids, and communication networks seeking to create new levels of transnational mobility and human integration. Nonetheless, unlike Europe, this infrastructure failed to stimulate movements toward Asian integration. Mobility scholars, east and west, should be interested in the divergences between Asia and Europe in dealing with the construction and use of emerging transnational infrastructures since World War II.

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Khul‘ Divorce in Egypt

How Family Courts Are Providing a ‘Dialogue’ between Husband and Wife

Nadia Sonneveld

In the year 2000, Egyptian women were given the right to unilateral divorce through a procedure called khul'. Khul' became the source of much controversy in Egyptian society, and most judges interviewed by the author expressed a negative viewpoint when asked about it. Nevertheless, the introduction of the Family Court system in 2004, with the explicit aim of solving marital disputes through mediation and communication, has made possible a 'dialogue' between husband and wife in a khul' procedure. This applies even in situations where mediators and judges profess an unfavourable opinion of women who file for khul' divorce.

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Aliabad of Shiraz

Transformation from Village to Suburban Town

Mary Elaine Hegland

Anthropological participant observation, in-depth, open-ended interviewing and oral history reveal aspects of social change and modernisation that have taken place in Aliabad, Iran, over more than half a century. These developments have transpired in interplay with economic, political and cultural processes. As a result of economic transformation from sharecropping and trading to urban-style jobs, and due to outside influences as a consequence of advances in transportation, communication, education and travel, villagers have been able to make other choices. Through bottom-up social and political change, relationships in all areas of life have become less authoritarian and hierarchical and more egalitarian and subject to negotiation and individuation.

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Between Us Girls

On Girls' Interpretations of Sexuality

Elena Omelchenko

In this article I deal with interpretations of sexuality that are typical of Russian girls who are learning to become blue-collar or pink-collar professionals such as, for example, public health nurses, social workers, tourism and hospitality industry workers, fashion designers, and those training for employment in services like cooking, hairdressing, and tailoring. The empirical base of this article is a set of in-depth semi-structured interviews with young women and men concerning their individual sexual experiences. I examine scenarios of feminine subjectivity within the context of discussing a first sexual experience. I look, too, at how girls exercise girl-power within the framework of communication and intimacy with a partner.

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The Transnational Turn Meets the Educational Turn

Engaging and Educating Adolescents in History Museums in Europe

Wolfram Kaiser

History museums in Europe are transnationalizing their narratives. In contemporary historical sections they also increasingly include references to European integration and the present-day European Union. This "transnational turn" within a predominately European narrative frame meets the "educational turn." Museums attempt to transform themselves into more interactive spaces of communication. The meeting of these "turns" creates particular challenges of engaging and educating adolescents. I argue that in responding to these challenges, history museums in Europe so far use three main strategies: personalizing history, simulating real life decision-making situations, and encouraging participative narrating of the adolescents' own (transnational) experiences.

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Making a Home in Hokkaido

Examining the Ainu Chisei Nomi Ceremony

Nicole Inghilterra

The evolutionary importance of religion is a topic of considerable debate in recent scholarship. This article reassesses Neil Gordon Munro's ethnography of the Ainu people in Hokkaido area focusing attention on the Chisei Nomi ceremony. Munro describes kamui (ancestor spirits), who take part in the Chisei Nomi as active, observant, non-living persons. The ritual acts in the Chisei Nomi ceremony are reinterpreted using recent theoretical perspectives of perspectivism and evolutionary-communication theory. The Chisei Nomi promotes a healthy environment for close kin by establishing respect for long deceased ancestors.

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Responsible Doubt and Embodied Conviction

The Infrastructure of British Equestrian Horse/Human ‘Partnership’

Rosie Jones McVey

Horse care practices and equestrian pedagogy are being reconfigured within a contemporary ‘revolution’ in British horsemanship. This is both instigated by, and instigates, horse owners’ attitudes of responsible doubt and self-critique. At the same time, embodied conviction is honed, because the rider’s mindful body is foregrounded as an integral part of the communication channel between horse and human. In this article, responsible doubt and embodied conviction are shown to emerge from, and contribute to, different ways in which horse riders can cut the network in their endeavours to achieve ‘true partnership’ with their horses.

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Jean (Plantu) Plantureux

The publication of some caricatures of the prophet Mohammed by the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and their distribution around the globe provoked a tremendous outcry and debate, which even led to physical destruction and death. This raises fundamental questions about the nature of blasphemy, (self-)censorship and the freedom of expression, the responsibility of cartoonists, trans-cultural communication, and the power of caricature. The author, who played a direct role in the French part of this affair, reflects on the questions it raises and on his own practice of editorial cartooning.

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Tracy K. Harris

This paper examines the current state of Ladino as a spoken everyday language of communication. Research has shown that there are very few competent speakers of the language under the age of sixty throughout the world. Negative language attitudes as well as assimilation into the dominant cultures and choice of the dominant language(s) are contributing factors to this decline. However, this decline in linguistic skills does not reflect the promotional efforts on behalf of Ladino and Sephardic culture which are discussed at length in the paper. The end result is that language loss does not mean the decline of Sephardic ethnicity and culture, which are presently thriving.

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Eva Lezzi

This article investigates the recurring patterns in narration and visual aesthetics with which the Shoah is commemorated in children's literature. On the one hand, the essay undertakes an intercultural comparison of the differing iconographic, narrative and commemorative structures found in the varying contexts of publication, i.e. in Germany, other European countries and the United States. On the other hand, the author analyses the heterogeneous figurations and experiences of childhood on three levels of textuality: the representation of children living in the Third Reich, the intergenerational communication taking place between the narrator - often of the grandparents' generation - and the reader, and the construction of implied child readers of the picture books today.