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Triangular Erotics

The Politics of Masculinity, Imperialism and Big-Game Hunting in Rider Haggard's She

Madhudaya Sinha

Animal imagery and anthropomorphic parallels abound in Rider Haggard’s fantastic African adventure, She (1887). Africa itself is presented to the reader as a landscape inhabited by ‘beastly’ natives and wild animals galore. Even the novel’s overpowering female presence, that of ‘She-who-must-be-obeyed’ (as Ayesha is known by those natives over whom she rules), is eventually reduced to a simian status. Such a textual focus, fitting comfortably into a more extensive dream of Victorian empire, lent the novel cultural, as well as fictive, power. The animal imagery helped to produce durable models of African identity and otherness which were compatible with current ideas of geography, race and human evolution.

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Thierry Groensteen

This article provides the base for a narratology that is specific to comics. It takes into account the irrefutable presence of an agent responsible for graphic enunciation, the monstrator, and on the basis of a case study (Franquin, Jidéhem and Greg's album, The Shadow of Z) it deducts that the instance of the recitant is responsible for verbal enunciation. The necessity to distinguish these two instances from that of the fundamental narrator is collaborated by the different positions that can be adapted with respect to storytelling.

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Family Squabbles

Beyond the Conflict-Consensus Divide

Henrik P. Bang

This article examines the consensus-conflict divide within contemporary democratic theory as manifested in the works of Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière, and John Rawls. It relates the democratic crisis diagnosis to the presence of this conceptual divide and suggests overcoming it by focusing on the work of Michel Foucault, especially his concept of the “rectangle of the good parrhesia.” Foucault's analysis goes beyond conflict-consensus through its positive and creative reconceptualization of political authority featuring a transformative capacity linked to the idea of telling the truth.

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Gadi Benezer

This article discusses the reactions of Israelis in the public space to 'mixed families' that include members of Ethiopian origin, written from the perspective of members of such families. The findings reveal that Israelis still react to the dark skin color of Ethiopians in mixed families and that, in most cases, 'black colors white', that is, behavior toward the mixed family is determined mainly by the presence of its black member. The three typical responses are as follows: (1) expressions of surprise at the presence of an Ethiopian in the family, evincing a stereotypical view of Ethiopian immigrants and their place in Israeli society; (2) invasions of privacy that are perceived by the family members as greatly exaggerated when compared with Israeli norms; and (3) declarations of appreciation for/admiration of the 'white' partner in the family for 'lifting up' the 'black' person through a (supposedly) altruistic act. The major conclusion is that Israeli society has yet to accept mixed families that include Jews of Ethiopian origin as a normative category.

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Fighting over Shakespeare

Commemorating the 1916 Tercentenary in Wartime

Clara Calvo

During the 1916 Tercentenary of Shakespeare's death, commemoration of the playwright and his plays was crucially shaped by the First World War. This paper departs from previous studies of the 1916 celebrations in its approach to the 1914-1919 war, which is not regarded here as a mere background influencing Shakespearean reception but as a dynamic presence, directly triggering appropriations of the playwright as cultural icon and of the plays as revered texts. In the course of examining sermons, lectures, and addresses delivered during the Tercentenary, this essay argues that the Great War impaired the celebrations to some extent, but it also fostered the commemoration cult of Shakespeare. The evidence examined shows how Shakespeare was worth fighting for in both local and European terms - how Stratford competed with London in their respective claims to Shakespeare and how England feared German appropriation. It also shows how in France, instead, quoting Shakespeare's words in 1916 was not a belligerent act of appropriation but a gesture meant to erase the memory of Anglo-French enmity at Agincourt and construe a bond between current allies fighting against the same foe in the trenches of the Western Front. Unlike other studies on the 1916 Tercentenary, this paper favours a European approach that integrates the reception of Shakespeare in Britain with his presence in other European countries.

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"All Transportation Is Local"

Mobile-Digital-Networked-Technologies and Networked Orientations

Joseph F. Turcotte and M. Len Ball

In an increasingly mediated situation, mobile, digital, and networked technologies (MDNTs) prompt individuals to orient themselves in new ways to the spaces they traverse. How users and communities experience these technologies in relation to the environments around them subsequently affects mentalities, including perceptions of space and mobility. The mediating presence of digital technology interconnects internal and external factors through diverse social and technological networks. This paper uses interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives to argue that ubiquitous MDNTs alter the ways that individuals orient themselves in relation to the spaces, both on- and offline, that they traverse. By mediating various visual, audible, and informational aspects of daily life while remaining implicated within external networks of related experiences, individuals move through on- and offline spaces in ways that allow the subject to negotiate her local environment(s). Experiences of mobility and space become more fluid as spatial subjectivities and mobility become integrated.

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Norman Solomon

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972) hailed from a Hasidic family which numbered among its members the Rebbe of Apt, after whom he was named, and the Maggid (Preacher) of Mezhirichi (Mezhirech, in Volhynia, Ukraine), a prominent Hasidic leader in the generation following the Baal Shem Tov.1 The Judaism he first knew and mastered in his native Poland was that of Talmud, Kabbala and Bible as read and as lived in the Hasidic tradition. Throughout his life he retained the sense of the constant presence of God and of the holiness of creation which he had imbibed in the intense, inwardlooking world of his youth, and he sought to capture its spirit for posterity in works such as The Earth is the Lord’s and A Passion for Truth (his comparative spiritual biography of the Kotzker Rebbe and the Protestant theologian Søren Kierkegaard).

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The Visible Woman

Interwar Romanian Women's Writing, Modernity and the Gendered Public/Private Divide

Voichiţa Năchescu

In this article I analyse four novels by four Romanian women writers in order to bring into focus their perspectives on interwar gender roles, urbanisation and modernisation. First, I discuss the concept of 'feminine literature', largely used by (predominantly male) Romanian literary critics to describe literary works by women, as a description of normative femininity rather than an aesthetic category. Second, I argue that through their literary works, Romanian women writers effectively criticised interwar gender roles, more precisely the divide between public masculinity and private femininity, the constraints of women's sexual agency, and the heterosexual romance. Last, I analyse four novels published (mainly) during the interwar period by the Romanian women writers Hortensia Papadat Bengescu (1876-1955), Henriette Yvonne Stahl (1900-1984), Ioana Postelnicu (1910-2004) and Anişoara Odeanu (1912-1972), focussing on the female characters' presence and visibility in the urban public space and on the dynamics of the gaze that polices their behaviour.

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Caroline Bressey

Though a substantial and groundbreaking book, the comprehensiveness of E. P. Thompson's narrative in The Making of the Working Class highlighted its many absences. This article considers the potential for examining the black presence within a Thompsonian framework of class in eighteenth-century England. It focuses on the politics of multiethnic solidarity, considering why black history remains so marginalized when key organizations and political moments, such as the Cato Street Conspiracy and the London Corresponding Society, both present in The Making, were multiethnic in their political ambition and their membership. Through the discussion of a Victorian multiethnic community of antiracist activists, this article also examines how research focusing on the intersecting geographies of race and class can contribute to the foundations of scholarship of English history provided by The Making.

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The Emotional Disturbances of Old Age

On the Articulation of Old-Age Mental Incapacity in Eighteenth-Century Tuscany

Mariana Labarca

This article explores the role attributed to disturbed emotions in the understanding of old-age mental incapacity in eighteenth-century Tuscany. It claims that interdiction procedures provided a fertile forum for the negotiation of what constituted mental incapacity in old age, which progressively involved a discussion on accepted or proper emotional reactions. Delving into the language employed in interdiction narratives, it argues that references to disturbed emotional states were increasingly employed as a means of providing evidence of disordered states of mind. It also suggests that the constituent elements of mental incapacity and the emotional reactions deemed indicative of its presence were dependent on the familial and sociocultural context in which the behavior was identified. Interdictions thus reveal the articulation of a collective, culturally embedded language of mental incapacity that was profoundly entrenched in the formulation of behavioral norms and the shaping of standards of emotional reaction.