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Moral Thresholds of Outrage

The March for Hrant Dink and New Ways of Mobilization in Turkey

Lorenzo D’Orsi

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.

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Psychotic Group Text

A Psychoanalytic Inquiry Into the Production of Moral Conscience

James M. Glass

This essay analyzes the psychological dynamic of disintegration anxiety by examining its presence in the tradition of political theory, its role in the development of group norms, and its impact on ideology. The author contends that whereas psychosis in individuals constrains and isolates them, in group settings psychotic behavior unites and energizes its members, relieving the collective of its anxieties. In looking at Nazi Germany, the author discusses the means by which not just the SS but the entire professional, academic, and scientific communities in the dominant group made mass murder possible. Radical insecurities and paranoiagenic phantasies of the group possess a logic and action component that distinguish them from their effect on the individual. Whereas for the individual, delusion is considered dysfunctional and crippling, on the political level, it becomes dynamic public policy. Psychotic group states, then, possess an instrumentality and consequence far different from psychosis in the individual.

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Eszter B. Gantner

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.

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Walking Memory

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.

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Death of a Statesman - Birth of a Martyr

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.

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State and Warfare in Mexico

The Case of Ayotzinapa

Alessandro Zagato

More than three years after the murder and kidnapping of students of the Normal Rural School Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa on 26 September 2014, a coherent and truthful explanation of what happened still needs to be determined. The logistics and decision-making processes put in place before, during, and after the attack raise questions about the nature of the Mexican state, its institutions, and its order/execution chain, as well as the character of the actors involved. Starting from this paradigmatic case, the aim of this article is to examine the current increase in violence in Mexico. The analysis takes into account the dispersed ‘clusters of power’—actual war machines—that have been developing in a situation of social and political decomposition brought about by a new cycle of capitalist expansion and accumulation.

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Rory Loughnane

W.W. Greg first identified the dumb show in Hamlet as problematic: if Claudius sees the dumb show, which replicates his murder of Old Hamlet in mime, then why does he not react until much later? Many explanations have been offered, and this article responds to (in title and argument) John Dover Wilson’s influential account in What Happens in Hamlet (1935) which inspired much further debate. First discussing the anomalous nature of the dumb show in Hamlet, before turning to the different versions of the dumb show as they appear in the three substantive texts of Hamlet, this article considers the nature and content of the information supplied by dumb shows and the critical arguments that can be developed from these slippery inset performances.

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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.

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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.

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Ronald Aronson

By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.

The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.