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Victoria Rowe

Through an analysis of articles and novels written by four Armenian women, which appeared in the periodical press from 1880 to 1915, this text evaluates the ways in which the trajectories of the intellectual and cultural movement known as the Zartonk (Awakening) in Armenian history facilitated women writers' emergence into the public sphere and their creation of the language and formulation of a discourse of women's rights in the Armenian socio-political context. The article provides biographical information on four women writers and examines the secular cultural institutions—such as the salon, the periodical press, the school, and the philanthropic organisation—which emerged in Constantinople and were conducive to women's participation in the public sphere. The article then problematises Armenian women writers' formulation of a specific political discourse of women's rights in the socio-political context of the Armenian millet in the Ottoman state and suggests that Armenian women writers produced a type of feminism that may have been typical of nations without independence in the context of state-sanctioned violence.

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Of Tour Buses and Politics

American Tourists in France in the Twentieth Century

Nancy L. Green

Harvey Levenstein, We’ll Always Have Paris: American Tourists in France Since 1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Christopher Endy, Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

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Dead Canoes

The Fate of Agency in Twentieth-Century Murik Art

David Lipset

In Art and Agency, Alfred Gell seeks to reclaim the anthropology of art for the Durkheimian social. However, in the course of arguing that objects should be viewed as the "outcome, and/or the instrument, of ... agency" (Gell 1998: 15), he takes an essentialized view of the relationship of personhood to embodiment that, on the one hand, preconceives this relationship as consubstantial and, on the other, as static. Nevertheless, viewing art in Gell's way mimics itself; it offers agency, a powerful exegetical methodology for the study of art. In this article, I apply and refine Gell's thesis by means of a historical explication of the theme of agency in the art of the Murik Lakes people, a group of Sepik River fisher folk and traders. More broadly, I argue that Gell's analytical framework in Art and Agency needs to admit that the relationship of art to personhood and modernity is cultural, discursive, and unfinalized, as well as instrumental.

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Olga Kharus and Vyacheslav Shevtsov

The article investigates the projects for creating a self-governing system in Siberia between the revolution of 1905–1907 and the Russian Civil War of 1918–1920. Analysis of original newspaper articles and archival material shows that these projects shared an aspiration for the establishment of a democratic system of self-government. The Siberian intelligentsia (the oblastniks) believed that Siberian autonomy would promote the economic and cultural development of the region, while serving All-Russian interests. It was only during the deep social upheavals and crisis of power in 1917 when separatist tendencies became dominant among the Siberian political elite. Anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia considered the Siberian outskirts to be a “territory of salvation” for the future democratic non-Soviet Russian state.

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John P. Ziker

This paper discusses flexibility in subsistence and exchange strategies and family and community structures in an indigenous community on the lower Enisei River in north-central Siberia. An analysis of available data on mobility, resource use, and social and economic exchanges contributes to understanding the factors that affect resilience of indigenous domestic groups and communities in the region. The historic flexibility of economic strategies and related social structure is described on the basis of data from the 1926/27 Polar Census. Data from the author's 1997 visit to the area (the Tukhard community) illustrates very similar strategies and variation in deployment of these strategies. New patterns of organization are discussed in relation to the issues of community resilience and indigenous rights.

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Wulf Kansteiner

Omer Bartov, Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

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Greg Thompson

James J. Flink “has clearly established himself as the leading authority on the history of the automobile and has written a major work that will repay careful study by all scholars interested in the 20th century,” wrote cultural historian Joseph J. Corn in 1989 in a review of The Automobile Age. Corn did not write “transportation scholars” but “all scholars,” and was alluding to Flink’s approach to periodizing history around progressive technological change rather than around political administrations or wars. Corn continued, “[Flink] views the car, or more accurately automobility, as being a major protagonist in the historical dramas of the period,” quoting passages that pinned the Great Depression on the saturation of the automobile market and attributed the allies’ triumph in the Second World War to superior mass-production capability stemming from the American automobile industry. Corn also observed, “Flink significantly demolished the myth, repeated by too many historians, that the American experience with automobiles has been exceptional .... Moreover, he concludes, the ‘appeals of the car were universal, not culturally determined’ (pp. 28–29).” Flink published at least two more important articles and was writing his fourth book on the automobile when he retired from his professorship in Comparative Culture at the University of California at Irvine in 1994. Since then, he eschewed academic and professional activity, despite numerous entreaties. However, when I, a former student of Flink’s and now a transportation planning professor, asked him to reflect on his influential career, Flink welcomed the opportunity. I traveled to Professor Flink’s southern California home in March 2012 for the interview, which took place on March 2.2

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Yvette Bürki

This article deals with one of the most productive manifestations of Sephardi letters of the second third of the 19th century: The Judeo Spanish press. The contribution is divided into two parts. In the first, we will offer a broad view of the Judeo Spanish press, indicating its origins, its development and periodization and its importance for the modernization process of the Sephardi community of the Ottoman Empire. In the second part, the undeniable influence of the Judeo-Spanish press on different manifestations of Sephardi life will be illustrated, starting from the two newspapers La Época and El Avenir, published in Thessaloniki – the centre of the Sephardi print production, especially as far as the press is concerned. At a socio-historical level, the press functions as a medium, which forms public opinion; at the level of letters and linguistics, and as a new textual and discursive reality, the press genres play a fundamental role in the development of the modern Judeo Spanish.

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Massacres and Their Historians

Recent Histories of State Violence in France and Algeria in the Twentieth Century

Joshua Cole

Historians cannot resist violence.* Not simply because of a voyeuristic interest in the dramatically lethal, but also because many of the most vexing questions about the writing of history converge in the crucible of violent events. Historians are attracted to the subject because they hope that it might tell them something about the fundamental problems in their discipline: questions about causality, agency, narrative, and contingency; about the readability of the past and the conclusions that one can draw about complex social phenomena from fragmentary and often one-sided bits of evidence.

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Landscapes and Races in Early Twentieth-Century Peru

The Travels of José Uriel García and Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa

Rupert J.M. Medd

From the 1930s onward, Peru began to acknowledge its own intellectual travel writers who were committed to writing about national geographical and social realities. This can be evidenced by the output during the period of independent travelers and those connected to state-funded institutions such as the Sociedad Geográfica de Lima. The underlying position is that the act of travel and its literature can work against imperialism and, therefore, become expressions of patriotism. Here, the travel narratives of two prominent Peruvian figures are analyzed: José Uriel García from Cusco and Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa from Lima. Together, they provide valuable evidence about two different responses to the modernization of Peru while also representing the nation’s significant sociogeographical divides. The focus is on questions of history, coloniality/modernity, national identity, and natural resources such as water and wood. It is hoped that this will contribute to literary studies on travel and the environment.