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Guest Editors' Introduction

Football and Society in Israel—a Story of Interdependence

Tamar Rapoport and Amir Ben Porat

Israel, where it has been played every weekend all over the country since before the establishment of the state. Football is not just a game that children and adults love to play and watch; it also involves individual, group, and collective identities, and local and national identification. Football reflects, and often accentuates, political and social conflicts that highlight ethno-national, class, political, and gender hierarchies and tensions in society. The game is largely dependent on the surrounding context(s) that determines its “relative autonomy,” which shapes its distinguished fandom culture(s) and practices (Rapoport 2016).

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Joseph Errington

Indonesian is the national language of the world’s fourth most populous country. Although it has 200 million speakers, it is little known beyond its borders and a narrow circle of area specialists. To reduce its obscurity in the global scheme of things, I will show here how it has developed into an unusually national but ‘un-native’ language. A brief sketch of the language’s history highlights commonsense ideas about language, identity, and nationalism that the Indonesian case does not fit, further reinforcing its uncommon aspects.

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Writing Syrian History While Propagating Arab Nationalism

Textbooks about Modern Arab History under Hafiz and Bashar al-Asad

Monika Bolliger

This article argues that Syrian history textbooks promote the formation of Syrian national identity, although their explicit objective is to propagate Arab nationalism. Their authors' attempt to construct the history of an imagined Arab nation encompassing the whole of the Arab world in fact tells the story of different nation-states. Syrian students are therefore confronted with rival geographical spheres of national imagination. Changes in the new textbooks under Bashar al-Asad reveal increased Syrian patriotism, a will to comply with globalization, and attempts to maintain Arab nationalism.

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Shakespeare and ‘Native Americans’

Forging Identities through the 1916 Shakespeare Tercentenary

Monika Smialkowska

This article examines the celebrations organised for the 1916 Shakespeare Tercentenary in three American locations: Wellesley, MA; Atlanta, GA; and Grand Forks, ND. By focusing on these hitherto neglected events, the article extends the investigations, initiated by Thomas Cartelli and Coppélia Kahn, into the ways in which the Tercentenary activities in the U.S. participated in the contemporaneous debates concerning American national identity. These investigations have until recently concentrated almost exclusively on the Tercentenary festivities organised in the metropolitan centre of New York City. An examination of the provincial celebrations in regions as diverse as New England, the South, and the Midwest, indicates that the Shakespeare Tercentenary provided a platform for the negotiation of a complex network of interrelated, and sometimes conflicting, national and local identities.

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Mark Tully on India and Hinduism

From the Political to the Personal

Nivedita Misra

The article looks at the unique position of Mark Tully in talking about India and the role of travel in developing his oeuvre of writing. The article contextualizes Tully's “English” identity and problematizes the colonial spaces that dislodge the concept of a national identity based on boundaries. It also relates the traveler's sense of engagement at a deeper level due to his participation in India's national life at various levels, analyzing his two residences and his awareness of two different audiences. It posits that a look at the culture of the Other makes the writer self-aware of his own upbringing, religious beliefs, and social understanding. It also positions the traveler as an interpreter of cultures—the others and his own—tracing the development of his perspective from his No Full Stops in India (1991) to India: The Road Ahead (2011).

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Jeffrey Jackson The Place de la Bastille: The Story of a Quartier by Keith Reader

Carol E. Harrison Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-siècle France: Gender, Politics, and National Identity by Venita Datta

Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel Women and Mass Consumer Society in Postwar France by Rebecca Pulju

Mark Ingram Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft by Graham Jones

Pepper D. Culpepper Contingent Capital: Short-Term Investors and the Evolution of Corporate Governance in France and Germany by Michel Goyer

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John S. Brady and Sarah Elise Wiliarty

In December 1995, the Center for German and European Studies at

the University of California at Berkeley hosted the conference, “The

Postwar Transformation of Germany: Prosperity, Democracy, and

Nationhood.” During the proceedings and in the edited volume that

resulted, conference contributors explored the reasons for Germany’s

success in making the transition to a liberal democratic polity

supported by a rationalized national identity and a modern, dynamic

capitalist economy. In charting postwar Germany’s success, the contributors

weighed the relative contribution institutional, cultural, and

international variables made to the country’s transformation.

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Shari’a and ‘traditional Tatar Islam’

From Flexibility to Protection

Rozaliya Garipova

Like all the elites of post-Soviet Muslim countries, the political elite and religious officials in Russia have been in the search of a moderate and strictly national Islamic identity, to keep the Muslim population of Russia separate from Arab or Turkish versions of Islam that could be politicised and thus had the potential to undermine the state structure. ‘Tatar traditional Islam’ emerged through this framework.

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The Great War as Reflected in Italian Rabbinical Sermons

Rav S. Zvi Hirsch Margulies, Rav Ya'akov Bolaffio and Rav Giuseppe Levi

Joseph Levi

The article analyses the conflicting attitudes towards the First World War as reflected in the sermons of three Italian rabbis of the period, representing different rabbinical schools. Regardless of their rabbinical formation all three rabbis share a profound preoccupation with the devastating assimilation to Italian non-Jewish culture of Italian Jews after, and as a result of, the emancipation. Yet, while condemning the assimilation tendencies of the Jewish Italian population, they all remain faithful to the ideals of Italian Risorgimento emancipation values. As Italian emancipated Jews, the Rabbis identify themselves with the Italian political shift from liberal and socialist ideals towards national, patriotic war. Not without difficulty they give up prewar previous pacifist attitudes in favour of a patriotic loyalty to the new Italian state and its royal family, inviting their audience to be loyal to what seem to be the needs of their fatherland. Towards the end of the war, however, a significant part of the rabbinical leadership shifted towards a Zionist patriotism, investing their energies in constructing a new religious identity through Zionist, all-compassing, national Jewish identity. These tensions between Italian Risorgimento ideals and Jewish religious and cultural continuity on the one hand, and an Italian versus Zionist national solution to post-war crisis on the other, are analysed and exemplified by the sermons of the three rabbis in this micro-study of Italian Jewish identity before and after the First World War.

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Stephen Welch and Ruth Wittlinger

The aim of this paper is to offer a critique of the proposal of “methodological cosmopolitanism“ in theoretical terms and to substantiate this critique by providing an account of the dynamics of collective memory and identity in postunification Germany. In the first part, we look at the arguments about methodological cosmopolitanism and their derivative, the idea of cosmopolitan memory, illustrated by the case of Holocaust memory. In the second part we look at the case of Germany: firstly at its postwar experience of the attempted construction of “postnational“ identity, and then at more recent trends, contemporaneous with the Berlin Republic, towards a “normalization“ of national identity in Germany. The Holocaust plays a crucial, but different, role in each phase, we suggest. In the conclusion we return to more general themes, asking what the German case tells us about the cosmopolitanization thesis more generally.