The persecution, flight and murder of European Jews in the first half of the twentieth century and the profound social and political transformations that decisively affected European cities in the final decade of the 20th century have radically altered urban 'Jewish landscapes'. New stakeholders and institutions emerged with their own networks, goals and interests, and have constructed, staged and marketed 'Jewish culture' anew. The resultant Jewish spaces are being constituted in an urban space located at the intersection of ethnic representation, collective memory, and drawing on an imagined material culture, which includes architectural, physical and digital spaces (e.g. synagogues, Jewish quarters). This Europe-wide process is closely related to the delicate politics of memory and to discourses on the authenticity of cities. This article analyses how the image of 'Jewishness' plays an increasingly important role in the marketing of historical authenticity that cities and their tourism affiliates are undertaking.
Eszter B. Gantner
Le cas de Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes
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.
Berlin's “Holocaust Trail“
Maria Pia Di Bella
Since the early 1990s, Berlin has developed what I call a “Holocaust trail“-circa twenty-five officially dedicated memorial sites recalling significant historical events leading to the Final Solution-without acknowledging it yet as a “trail.“ Berlin is already well known for its two famous museums-memorials: the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (2005) and the Jewish Museum (2001), two strong statements meant to show how the town deals with the heritage of the Holocaust, how it tries to underline the absolute impossibility of its erasure from social memory and to fight revisionism. The different memorial sites of the Holocaust trail came into existence thanks to multiple initiatives that allowed the town to become a true laboratory for the politics of memory concerning the crimes of the Nazi state and the sufferings of the Jewish citizens that fell victim to the state's genocide.
Evolving Relations with Egypt and Libya
Elisabetta Brighi and Marta Musso
The Mediterranean and the Middle East have long constituted an important “circle” in Italy’s foreign policy, with Egypt and Libya playing a particularly important role. During 2016, two sources of tension emerged in Italy’s relations with these countries. The first reflects a wider European situation. Like the rest of the EU, Italy has followed strategic interests—on migration, energy, and security—that sometimes conflict with the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which the EU claims to promote in its external relations. The Regeni affair, involving a murdered Italian graduate student, exemplified this tension. The second source results from the role of corporate interests in Italy, especially those of oil and energy companies, in relation to the country’s “national interests.” Italian foreign policy toward both Libya and Egypt seems to have been driven by a combination of somewhat overlapping but also divergent national and corporate interests.
This essay is an intimate account of my encounter with Aimé Césaire. I first met him in high school. I was seventeen years old, and I had never read any work comparable to his Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. That book left me confused. The more I read the less I understood. A student in lettres modernes at Université Charles De Gaulle, I became tormented by identity issues. My years in France introduced me to racism, to an other who observed me without seeing me—between us centuries of violence, stereotypes, misunderstanding, unrequited love, unresolved conflict, unshared suffering. How do you get rid of the cutting glance that murders the Promise of Tomorrow? Césaire gave me an answer to that question.
Martyrdom and Memorials in Post-Civil War Lebanon
Are John Knudsen
This article furthers the study of post–civil war memorialisation in Lebanon by analysing the trajectory of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri from statesman to martyr. This transformative process offers a window into the symbolism of Lebanese statehood, and demonstrates how the politicisation of confessional martyrs is used to decry injustice and stake out claims to the state. There is no tradition for prosecuting and punishing political murders in Lebanon, causing victims to be pronounced martyrs. Impunity is therefore the major reason why martyrs and memorialising are so widespread. To this end, the article offers a semiotic reading of Hariri’s posthumous transformation from political patron to patron saint, and is a contribution towards the importance of martyr symbolism for understanding the purported weakness of Lebanese statehood.
In this paper, I argue that temporality, as described in Being and Nothingness, is a central theme in Nausea. In the first section I make the point that one of Sartre's guiding concerns at the time of publishing Nausea is temporality and the temporal nature of freedom. In the second section, the theme of melancholy and its relationship to temporality is explored. The third section explores Sartre's use of this image of being taken 'from behind'. I use this temporal imagery as a guide for interpreting Roquentin's reaction to the rape and murder of Lucienne. By interpreting this scene by way of the temporality of Being and Nothingness, we can duly recognize the early Sartre's concern with temporality, understand the melancholia that arises because of the 'internal' negation of the past, and give a more satisfying account of a scene which is often ignored in the secondary literature.
Alice H. Cooper and Paulette Kurzer
The puzzle explored in this article is why Germany, in spite of its
superb record in environmental policy and health care, has systematically
thwarted measures to reduce smoking rates. At this point,
thousands of large-scale epidemiological findings demonstrate a relationship
between smoking and disease. Moreover, unlike alcohol,
there is no safe amount of smoking. Cigarettes kill, and smoking is
the single largest source of preventable death in advanced industrialized
states. By various estimates, tobacco kills 500,000 Europeans
per year, including 120,000 Germans. Globally, in the years 2025 to
2030, smoking will kill 7 million people in the developing world and
3 million in the industrialized world. No other consumer product is
as dangerous as tobacco, which kills more people than AIDS, legal
and illegal drugs, road accidents, murder, and suicide combined.
Joanna K. Stimmel
With the increasing medialization of cultural memory regarding
World War II and the Holocaust, cinematic texts become significant
components of our remembrance. Not only videotaped witness testimonies
but also documentaries and fictional films make up the growing
body of visual material that tells of the wartime past and the way
we remember it. Today, the great majority of the filmmakers depicting
the Holocaust on screen—as well as their audiences—belong to
the so-called second and third generations. Born too late to have witnessed
the murder of Europe’s Jews, these film directors nonetheless
declare a very strong personal connection to the past they never
knew. Their renditions of this past is, as Marianne Hirsch argues,
driven by the “postmemory,” a type of memory in which the connection
to its object or source is mediated not through recollection
but rather through imagination and creation.
The March for Hrant Dink and New Ways of Mobilization in Turkey
This article analyses the social construction of moral outrage, interpreting it as both an extemporaneous feeling and an enduring process, objectified in narratives and rituals and permeating public spaces as well as the intimate sphere of social actors’ lives. Based on ethnography carried out in Istanbul, this contribution focuses on the assassination of the Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. This provoked a moral shock and led to an annual commemoration in which thousands of people—distant in political, religious, ethnic positions—gather around a shared feeling of outrage. The article retraces the narratives of innocence and the moral frames that make Dink’s public figure different from other victims of state violence, thus enabling a moral and emotional identification of a large audience. Outrage over Dink’s murder has become a creative, mobilizing force that fosters new relationships between national history and subjectivity, and de-reifies essentialized social boundaries and identity claims.