Readers of the autumn 2010 issue of European Judaism, devoted mainly to literature written in Ladino, the most usual term today to denote the vernacular language of Sephardi Jews (Judezmo, Hakitía or the neutral academic term Judeo-Spanish are also used), will be well aware of the perilous position of this once flourishing language, for it is on the verge of extinction. Sadly, many of the articles in this issue reinforce that depiction of Ladino’s precariousness today, for despite the growing interest in Ladino language and literature it is no longer a language of daily communication.
Well-being and coping strategies of women in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan
After the 2010 intercommunal violence in Kyrgyzstan, women in the city of Osh were exposed to many difficulties. Conflict eroded people's contentment, and satisfactory living conditions were supplanted by increased challenges—such as deteriorating health and education systems, declining communication and economic opportunities, and the loss of property. Men's deaths during the conflict and the increased labor migration of men after the conflict also resulted in increased numbers of single mothers. This article presents trends among women, examines their coping mechanisms, and explores the well-being of single mothers by considering what makes women's lives meaningful in a postconflict situation.
Jean-Pierre Vernant and intellectual innovation in ancient Greece
S. C. Humphreys
This article illustrates the need for a historical anthropology of the longue durée, dealing with pre-modern societies, by analyzing the work of Jean-Pierre Vernant on the development of thought in ancient Greece. Vernant's anthropologies began with Marx and the historical psychologist Ignace Meyerson; he was influenced by the Durkheimian Louis Gernet and later by Lévi-Strauss. His early interest in relating Greek rationality to social organization led him increasingly into work on Greek religion and tragedy. This article builds on his work by studying the social contexts of communication that facilitated the proposal and elaboration of unconventional ideas.
Megafone.net is a mobile web-based collective platform for group coordination and communication regarding issues of mobility in urban spaces. Among its features is geo-localization, which allows the carrying out of digital public cartography projects. Directed by Antoni Abad and programmed by Matteo Sisti Sette, since 2004 Megafone.net has been inviting groups of people marginalized within society to express their experiences and opinions. Using mobile phones to create audio recordings, videos, and images that are immediately published on the Web, participants transform these devices into digital megaphones, amplifying the voices of individuals and groups who are often overlooked or misrepresented in the mainstream media.
Dhiraj Murthy, Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age Casey Brienza
Ole B. Jensen, Staging Mobilities Fiona Ferbrache
Aharon Kellerman, Daily Spatial Mobility: Physical and Virtual Simona Isabella
Peter Merriman, Mobility, Space and Culture Thomas Birtchnell
Guillermo Giucci, The Cultural Life of the Automobile: Roads to Modernity Georgine Clarsen
Frank Steinbeck, Das Motorrad. Ein deutscher Sonderweg in die automobile Gesellschaft Christopher Neumaier
Maarten Smaal, Politieke strijd om de prijs van de automobiliteit. De geschiedenis van een langdurend discours: 1895–2010 Hans Jeekel
Annette Vowinckel, Flugzeugentführungen. Eine Kulturgeschichte Christian Kehrt
Philip D. Morgan, Maritime Slavery Paul Barrett
Neil Archer, The French Road Movie: Space, Mobility, Identity Michael Gott
A World Family Portrait is a joint project of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) and Regions and Cohesion. It aims to promote interdisciplinary and cross-cultural communication through images and essays on the different faces of humanity, including, but not limited to, our similarities and our differences, our strengths and our weaknesses, our hopes and our concerns, our legacies and our aspirations, as well as our interactions with each other and our world. This project seeks to establish a dialogue between human experiences, academic reflections and shared ethics, such as mutual respect, the protection of human dignity and solidarity.
Sartre's phenomenological ontology discloses that understanding consciousness and its mode of being requires an analysis of its relation with other consciousnesses. The primordial manner in which the Other relates to consciousness is through the look. Sartre claims that consciousness tends to adopt a pre-reflective fundamental project that leads it to view the Other as a threat to its pure subjective freedom. This creates a conflictual social relation in which each consciousness tries to objectify the Other to maintain its subjective freedom. But Sartre also notes that consciousnesses can establish a social relation called the “we” in which each consciousness is a free subject. While certain commentators have noted that communication allows each consciousness to learn that the Other is not simply a threatening object but another subject, communication can only play this positive role if both consciousnesses have undergone a specific process called conversion. Only conversion brings consciousness to recognise, respect, and affirm the Other's practical freedom in the way necessary to create a we-relation. To support my argument, I spend significant time outlining what conversion and the social relations created post-conversion entail.
Amateur Radio and the Politics of Aural Surveillance in France, 1921-1940
Derek W. Vaillant
As France wrestles over the uses and societal impact of digital media and the Internet, it is instructive to recall another era of communications innovation, namely the introduction of interwar radio to the French public, and the government's reaction to controversial applications by the citizenry. Recent scholarship has underscored the importance of interwar radio broadcasting to France and its territories. Less explored, however, is the work of amateur user/developers who shaped the radio medium as an instrument of speaking, as well as listening. Determined to manage applications of radio, the French Interior Ministry formed a Police de l'Air to monitor France's airwaves, including the activities of amateur radio users (i.e., hams), whose lawful (and sometimes unlawful) use of point-to-point and broadcast communication had begun to significantly disrupt the government's effort to dictate the future forms and uses of radio. Against a backdrop of political crisis and attempts to manage print and electronic communication and dissent, the skirmishes between the Police de l'Air and amateur radio users reveal historical aspects of contemporary debates over use, access, and qualifications to speak and be heard in mediated cultural and political settings.
Testing the Limits of Deliberative Democracy
This article explores the boundaries of the commitment of deliberative democrats to communication and persuasion over threats and intimidation through examining the hard cases of civil disobedience and terrorism. The case of civil disobedience is challenging as deliberative democrats typically support this tactic under certain conditions, yet such a move threatens to blur the Habermasian distinction between instrumental and communicative action that informs many accounts of deliberative democracy. However, noting that civil disobedience is deemed acceptable to many deliberative democrats so long as it remains 'relevantly tied to the objective of communicative action', Allen holds that certain kinds of terrorism cannot be ruled out either. Whilst acknowledging that the deliberative democrat cannot really justify taking life as a tactic to induce deliberation, as 'dead people cannot deliberate', Allen notes that this does not rule out terrorism per se, the object of which is not death so much as generating overwhelming fear. Further, while a permanent condition of fear would set limits on deliberation, limited and temporary physical harm to persons need not. This implies that deliberative democrats must explain why intentionally causing some physical harm to property or persons is always an illegitimate form of communication.
Media Histories of Mobile Communication
The essay delineates a multi-layered approach to a media history of mobile telecommunication. Whilst contemporary media such as the digital mobile phone are often seen as a recent “mobilization“ of media, the dual aim of the essay is to both historicize and theorize mobile communication media, focusing on their past and present configurations at the junction of media and mobility. Historically these configurations are discussed in regard to the early history of wireless, to the cell phone, and to Citizens' Band (CB) radio as well as to relations between mobilities of transportation and media within the history of telecommunication. Today's mobile media are thus traced back to a heterogenous historical landscape of mobile “media in transition“ (W. Uricchio). Theoretically mobile communication is discussed in its multiple and basically ambiguous mobility that shifts and broadens the notion of the “mobile.“ The term “ambulant,“ referring to something “not fixed,“ is used to mark this shift and is brought into play as a heuristical concept that allows us critically to rethink notions of mobility from a historical and media-related point of view.