Search Results

You are looking at 31 - 40 of 94 items for :

  • life stories x
Clear All
Restricted access

Jablonka et la question du sujet en sciences sociales

Le cas de Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes

Nathan Bracher

With its compelling portrait of a young woman who was savagely murdered after having endured various forms of male violence throughout her life, Ivan Jablonka’s Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes also provides a stark depiction of French society and politics in the second decade of the twentyfirst century. In deconstructing the sensationalism of the conventional crime story, the researcher-narrator seeks to draw as near as possible to the vivacious, yet fragile young woman while at the same time viewing her life in relation to various sociological and historical contexts defining its parameters. Jablonka’s own singular investment in the investigation and narration of Laëtitia thus poses the question of subjectivity in the social sciences. Recalling the landmark stances of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Emmanuel Lévinas, this article argues that Jablonka’s insistence on the explicit intervention of the researcher-narrator offers an epistemological gain and more precise knowledge.

Restricted access

"A Quick Sideways Look and Wild Grin"

Joyful Assemblages in Moments of Girlhood

Susanne Gannon, Kristina Gottschall and Catherine Camden Pratt

Through stories of young girls at play produced in a collective biography workshop we trace flows of desire and excesses of joy, and bring recent feminist work on positive affect into our analysis of girlhood becomings. Ringrose (2011, 2013) argues that the concept of the “affective assemblage“ brings together affect, embodiment, and relationality in powerful ways to enable a mapping of how desire moves through the social. She suggests that the affective capacities of assemblages can be “life affirming or life destroying“ (2011: 602). In this article we are interested in mapping flows of desire, moments of joy and possibility in moments of girlhood, and in the limitations and contingencies within these moments that shut down these possibilities. We suggest that the methodology of collective biography (Davies and Gannon 2006, 2009, 2013) offers potential for tracing the microparticulars of girlhood becomings.

Restricted access

Play of Mirrors

An Encounter of Personal Biographies with Europe’s Journey

Marcos Farias Ferreira

This article deals with the author’s personal narratives and expectations vis-à-vis world-changing events between 1989 and 1991. It illustrates the ways in which the Cold War and its end, as well as the Soviet Union and its end, represent powerful psychological factors in personal narratives of growing up and giving meaning to the world. In an autoethnographic manner, it approaches research and writing from the perspective of the researcher’s experience in order to produce new layers of understanding about the world. It builds on the assumption that big events on the world stage are composed of micro-stories that both nourish them and are nourished by them, and in so doing it makes the micro and the macro two inseparable, interwoven approaches to cultural experience and change. A conversation is forged between past and present, expectations and delusions, life of author and life of Europe, personal new beginnings and continental cul-de-sacs.

Restricted access

Marc Saperstein, Frank Dabba Smith, Susan Cohen and Howard Cooper

Robin Judd, Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering, and Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843–1933, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), £24.95, 283 pp., ISBN 978-0-8014-4545-3. Review by Marc Saperstein

Bernard Kops, Bernard Kops’ East End, By the Waters of Whitechapel (Nottingham: Five Leaves Publications, 2006), £9.99, 238 pp., ISBN 978-1-905512-11-9.

Philip Davis, Bernard Malamud, A Writer’s Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), £18.99, 377 pp., ISBN 978-0-19-927009-5. Reviews by Frank Dabba Smith

Edie Friedman and Reva Klein, Reluctant Refuge. The Story of Asylum in Britain, foreword by Maeve Sherlock, British Library, London, 2008, 153 pp., ISBN 978-0-7123-0887-8 Review by Susan Cohen

Karen E. Starr, Repair of the Soul: Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis, New York/London, Routledge, 2008, 134 pp., ISBN 978-0-88163-487-7 Review by Howard Cooper

Free access

Ronald Stade

She had to carry a bag of heads. Blood was dripping from the bag. The armed men made her laugh about this. When they arrived, the bag was emptied and she saw the heads of her children. This happened in Sierra Leone toward the end of the twentieth century. An account of the event was given by the woman who had been forced to carry the bag. Hers is a story of cruelty and suffering, reminiscent of similar stories told and sometimes recorded over the millennia. It is a story about the twin constellation of cruelty and suffering, perpetration and victimhood. Cruelty is the intentional inflicting of suffering. It is suffering plus agency. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it can also be to delight in or be indifferent to the pain or misery of others and to act in a merciless, hard-hearted fashion. There is, of course, also suffering without cruelty and perpetration: there can be no cruelty without suffering, but there can be suffering without cruelty. Human beings can and do suffer without anyone in particular being responsible for the suffering (although magical and conspiratorial thinking, with their belief in excessive agency, will attempt to identify a perpetrator, someone to hold accountable). Contemporary politics of life, with its focus on the maximization of vitality, is likely to define suffering as an absence of intervention, as an act of omission.

Restricted access

From Boy to Man in Antiquity

Jesus in the Apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Reidar Aasgaard

This article presents a survey of research on childhood in antiquity and describes briefly the position of children in late antiquity and early Christianity. Special attention is given to the relationship between childhood and gender, with a focus on boyhood. The article analyses the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which tells the childhood story of Jesus from age five to twelve. This brief story, which consists of miracle stories and discourses, originated in Greek in the 2nd century CE and became widely popular. The article shows that its depiction of Jesus conforms to current ideas of gender, gender relations, and gender socialisation. A central claim in the article is that boys were not expected to show the same degree of self-restraint as were adult males, but that as children they were allowed to behave more emotionally and unpredictably. Rather than being literarily inferior or theologically aberrant, the Infancy of Gospel of Thomas in its depiction of Jesus gives a lively and credible glimpse into the world and development of a late antiquity or early Christianity male child on his way from boyhood to male adult life.

Restricted access

Righteous Gentiles and Courageous Jews

Acknowledging and Honoring Rescuers of Jews

Mordecai Paldiel

Since 1962, Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial, has pursued a program to honor non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. Basically, every non-Jewish person who saved at least one Jewish person, while placing his or her own life and freedom at risk, and exacted no payment as a precondition for such help, and the story's evidence is confirmed by beneficiary party—then such a person may qualify to the traditional Jewish title for non-Jews, of Righteous Among the Nations. To date, some 23,500 persons, from all walks of life have been awarded this prestigious title. However, while many of these honorees worked in tandem with Jewish rescuers, no similar program exists for the latter. Recent Holocaust historiography has uncovered stories of many Jewish rescuers, who either worked individually or in conjunction with Jewish clandestine organizations, to save dozens and hundreds of their coreligionists. In doing this, they multiplied the risks to themselves as Jews on the run, of being uncovered by the Nazis and suffering the fate reserved for all Jews under the Final Solution program. This article underlines the need for the creation of a program to identify and acknowledge the role of Jewish rescuers to Jews.

Restricted access

Painting the Painter

Meta-Representation and Magic Realism in Joann Sfar's Chagall en Russie

Fabrice Leroy

French cartoonist and filmmaker Joann Sfar has often used the comics medium to reflect on visual representation. His latest bande dessinée, Chagall en Russie ['Chagall in Russia'] (2010-2011), continues some of the meta-pictural elements previously found in his Pascin (2000-2002), which already featured Chagall in several episodes, as well as his acclaimed series, The Rabbi's Cat, where Sfar introduced the character of an anonymous Russian painter, whose biography and artistic stance seemingly referred to that of Marc Chagall. Although Chagall en Russie explicitly refers to the real-life Franco-Russian modernist painter, it is certainly not a standard biographical exercise. By offering a synthetic and often symbolic version of personal and historical events experienced by Chagall, Sfar takes certain liberties with the painter's life story as it was outlined by the artist (in My Life, his 1922 autobiography) and by many biographers and art historians. Sfar does not seek an authentic depiction of his subject's verifiable life journey, but rather views it through a metaphorical narrative, which is itself inspired by Chagall's artistic universe and raises questions about the figurative possibilities of comics.

Restricted access

Yves Pourcher

This article details the results of a very long investigation into the life of a character who incarnates the darkest years of French history. Pierre Laval, first a cabinet member and then Council President, was the leader of a collaboration government under German occupation. The research was undertaken in the archives that his son-in-law, Count René de Chambrun, had assembled in his offices and apartment in Paris. It led to the discovery of a new source: the private notebooks that Josée, Pierre Laval's only child, had kept between 1936 and 1992. Once deciphered and analyzed, this source constitutes an extraordinary narrative of the period. It reveals the complicity of a worldly, fashionable milieu that never opened its eyes to the seriousness of what was happening. It reconstitutes the choices and cultural codes of French high society, which submitted meekly to the Nazis. This text emphasizes issues of methodology and the difficulties that writing this story entailed.

Restricted access

Yves Pourcher

This article details the results of a very long investigation into the life of a character who incarnates the darkest years of French history. Pierre Laval, first a cabinet member and then Council President, was the leader of a collaboration government under German occupation. The research was undertaken in the archives that his son-in-law, Count René de Chambrun, had assembled in his offices and apartment in Paris. It led to the discovery of a new source: the private notebooks that Josée, Pierre Laval's only child, had kept between 1936 and 1992. Once deciphered and analyzed, this source constitutes an extraordinary narrative of the period. It reveals the complicity of a worldly, fashionable milieu that never opened its eyes to the seriousness of what was happening. It reconstitutes the choices and cultural codes of French high society, which submitted meekly to the Nazis. This text emphasizes issues of methodology and the difficulties that writing this story entailed.