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Reports

Publications, Films and Conferences

Mark Slobin, Joobin Bekhrad, Florian Volm, Farideh Pourgiv, Paul Fox, Weronika Kuta and Birgit Reinel

Publications

Baily, John (2015), War, Exile and the Music of Afghanistan: The Ethnographer’s Tale and Sakata, Hiromi Lorraine (2013), Afghanistan Encounters with Music and Friends

Films

Tasfiya, Tajikistan, by Sharofat Arabova, 2014

Die Neue (The New Girl), Germany, by Buket Alakus, 2015

Conferences

International Conference on Central and West Asia and Diasporas: The Transnational and Transgenerational, 14–16 March 2015, Inaugural Central and West Asia and Diasporas Research Network (CWADRN) Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Conference of Commission on Anthropology of the Middle East of the IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences), 9–11 September 2015, Cracow, Poland

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Klaus Oschema, Mette Thunø, Evan Kuehn and Blake Ewing

Overcoming the Trauma of Modernity? K. Patrick Fazioli, The Mirror of the Medieval: An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017), ix + 195 pp. KLAUS OSCHEMA

Transformations in Time and Space: Diaspora Stéphane Dufoix, The Dispersion: A History of the Word Diaspora (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 589 pp. METTE THUNØ

Closing the Empathy Deficit in Philosophy and History Derek Matravers, Empathy (Malden, MA: Polity, 2017), 166 pp. EVAN KUEHN

Links and Limits between Political Theory and Conceptual History Iain Hampsher-Monk, Concepts and Reason in Political Theory (Colchester, UK: ECPR Press, 2015), 254 pp. BLAKE EWING

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Yogesh Sharma, ed., Coastal Histories: Society and Ecology in Pre-Modern India Debojyoti Das

Jason Lim, A Slow Ride into the Past: The Chinese Trishaw Industry in Singapore 1942–1983 Margaret Mason

Xiang Biao, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, and Mika Toyota, eds., Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia Gopalan Balachandran

Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Johannes G. de Kruijf, eds., Indian Transnationalism Online: New Perspectives on Diaspora Anouck Carsignol

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora Yuk Wah Chan

Christine B.N. Chin, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City Lilly Yu and Kimberly Kay Hoang

David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska, eds., Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century Daniel Oakman

Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914 Vincent Lagendijk

Bieke Cattoor and Bruno De Meulder, Figures Infrastructures: An Atlas of Roads and Railways Maik Hoemke

Klaus Benesch, ed., Culture and Mobility Rudi Volti

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Post-socialism Meets Postcolonialism

African Migrants in the Russian Capital

Dmitri M. Bondarenko, Elena A. Googueva, Sergey N. Serov and Ekaterina V. Shakhbazyan

While Western Europe has a long history of facing and studying the issues of immigration, this phenomenon is still recent for the ex-socialist states and has not been studied sufficiently yet. At the same time, the 'closed' nature of the socialist societies and the difficulties of the 'transitional period' of the 1990s predetermine the problems in communication between the migrants and the population majority, the specific features of the forming diasporas and of their probable position in the receiving societies. The study of African migrants in Russia (particularly in Moscow) recently launched by the present authors consists of two interrelated parts: the sociocultural adaptation of migrants from Africa in Russia on the one hand, and the way they are perceived in Russia on the other. One of the key points of the study is the formation or non-formation of diasporas as network communities, as a means of both more successful adaptation and identity support.

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Home Construction

Chinese Poetry and American Landscape in Chiang Yee's Travel Writings

Da Zheng

Chiang Yee, a highly accomplished diaspora writer, poet, artist, and calligrapher, published a dozen travel books, three of which were about his travel experience in the US: The Silent Traveller in New York (1950), The Silent Traveller in Boston (1959), and The Silent Traveller in San Francisco (1964). In his preface to The Silent Traveller in New York, Van Wyck Brooks explains the meaning of ‘The Silent Traveler’: it ‘was a translation of his Chinese pen-name, which might have been literally rendered as “Dumb Walking Man”’... [H]e had chosen a name that was not unlike the common phrase for a roaming Buddhist monk’ (Chiang 1950: vii).

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Soheila Shahshahani

This article aims to contextualise music as it was experienced in Tehran in 2004 (when the research for this work was conducted) - music that comes from various ethnic groups within Iran, and music coming from the diaspora. The relationships between various genres of music and people, as well as between music and the government, are examined. The malleability of musicians and their capacity to coordinate their expertise with popular and governmental expectations and limitations are then analysed. In this way, a fascinating yet little studied area in the anthropology of Iran at the time of research is addressed.

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Susana Weich-Shahak

This article deals with the Judeo-Spanish musico-poetic repertoire narrating the emigration of Sephardi Jews to Israel. These events find their expression either in original musico-poetic compositions or in melodies borrowed from well known popular songs but with the addition of new words in Judeo-Spanish. The repertoire encompasses various phases of the migration phenomenon including the problem of obtaining official entry to Palestine during the British Mandate, the despair of those left behind in the Sephardi diaspora and the difficulties associated with new trades, both rural and urban. This repertoire of migration songs shows, once again, the creative vitality of the Sephardi Jews.

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Chaim I. Waxman

This article examines the unique character of conversion to Judaism in general and in Israel in particular. It is an act enmeshed with the very definition of Judaism and has implications for the future of Israel as a Jewish state as well as for Israel-Diaspora relations. The role of the Israeli government in conversion, from the very outset of the establishment of the State of Israel, is delineated and its history as a religio-political issue analyzed. Finally, the article discusses alternative approaches for dealing with what some perceive as a very serious Israeli religio-political issue.

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Kobi Peled, Thomas Mitchell, Kenneth Waltzer, Brent Sasley, Hillel Cohen and Laura Zittrain Eisenberg

Gideon M. Kressel, Sasson Bar-Zvi, and Aref Abu-Rabi’a, The Charm of Graves: Perceptions of Death and After-Death among the Negev Bedouin - Review by Kobi Peled

Colin Shindler, The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron - Review by Thomas Mitchell

Tuvia Friling, A Jewish Kapo in Auschwitz: History, Memory, and the Politics of Survival - Review by Kenneth Waltzer

Ilan Zvi Baron, Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel and Critique - Review by Brent Sasley

Menachem Klein, Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron - Review by Hillel Cohen

Hillel Cohen, Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1929 - Review by Laura Zittrain Eisenberg

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Placing Time

The Diasporic Journey to Beulah

Brian Klug

This article sets out to retrieve a concept of diaspora – deeply rooted in Jewish tradition but somewhat eclipsed in the Jewish imagination today – in which dispersion is understood as exile and return is deferred to ‘the end of days’. The argument is developed via a conversation between David Grossman and Amos Oz in 2003, in which Grossman reflects on the question ‘Are we a people of place or of time?’ Pursuing this question leads to a passage in Isaiah in which the prophetic author refers to Zion as Beulah. Beulah is Zion under the aspect of hope, Zion as the prospect of redemption, the end of exile in the here and now.