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Parallel Myths, Popular Maps

The Europe of Soccer

Paul Dietschy, David Ranc and Albrecht Sonntag

Although history textbooks are highly revealing sources of what is considered worthy of being included in collective memory, they only tell half the story. The study of the non-official “parallel pantheons” of popular culture also contribute significantly to understanding patterns of perception and self-perception as well as mental representations of “Europe.” For more than a century, soccer, Europe's most widely shared social practice, has contributed to shaping perceptions of what can be encompassed under the term “Europe.” This article focuses on the “popular maps” of Europe that soccer has drawn over the last half-century and hints at the myths of cultural commonality that underpin them. It appears that while soccer represents a somewhat ambiguous metaphor for contemporary Europe, it can also supply interesting insights into the emergence of horizontal bonds between Europeans.

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The Construction of the Palestinian Girl

Voices from South Lebanon

Kathleen Fincham

This paper examines how specific femininities have been constructed in Palestinian refugee camps in south Lebanon through the intersecting discourses of gender and nation. Through these discourses, Palestinian girls and women have been positioned largely as biological reproducers, gatekeepers, metaphors, ideological reproducers and cultural transmitters of the nation. This has worked to shape Palestinian girls' upbringing in the home and in the community and presented them with limited gender scripts from which to construct their identities and imagine their futures. However, Palestinian females have also exercised agency to gain the most advantageous position available to them at any given time in Palestinian society. Although structural, legal and cultural barriers have severely limited their participation in political activism, education and paid work, Palestinian females in Lebanon have constructed their identities through Islamic feminism, and to a lesser extent, secularism. Moreover, these identities are continually being transformed through the processes of resistance, negotiation and accommodation.

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A Music Room of One's Own

Discursive Constructions of Girls-only Spaces for Learning Popular Music

Cecilia Björck

This article elaborates on discursive constructions of girls-only settings through the spatial metaphor of a room of one's own, as articulated in round-table discussions among staff and participants from girl-centered music programs in Sweden. The idea of a separate room refers to spaces for collective female empowerment as well as for individual knowledge acquisition and creativity. These spaces are constructed so as to provide the possibility for exploration, subjectivity, and focus, by offering (partial and temporary) escape from competition and control, from a gendered and gendering gaze, and from distraction. Girl-centered programs are also discussed as paradoxical because they function as gender-neutral when seen from the inside, but gender-specific when seen from the outside.

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Hope Chest

Demythologizing Girlhood in Kate Bernheimer’s Trilogy

Catriona McAra

In this article I position the metaphor of the hope chest at the heart of a trilogy of fairy tale novels, The Complete Tales of Ketzia (2001), The Complete Tales of Merry (2006a) and The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold (2011), by Kate Bernheimer that explore traditions of American girlhood. Deploying psychoanalytic interpretative readings, I investigate the characterization of each of the three sisters. My use of the hope chest (as both a toy and a cultural repository) enables me to offer a fuller picture of the social transition depicted in these novels from childhood into womanhood, and is thus conflated with the idea of the child-woman— a hinge-like cultural figure whom Bernheimer represents metaphorically through boxes of accoutrements containing memories and prophecies. With reference to unpublished interviews with Bernheimer, I support my interpretative reading of her trilogy by invoking and explaining the relevance of literary theories related to caskets.

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Nomadic Concepts

Biological Concepts and Their Careers beyond Biology

Jan Surman, Katalin Stráner and Peter Haslinger

This article introduces a collection of studies of biological concepts crossing over to other disciplines and nonscholarly discourses. The introduction discusses the notion of nomadic concepts as introduced by Isabelle Stengers and explores its usability for conceptual history. Compared to traveling (Mieke Bal) and interdisciplinary (Ernst Müller) concepts, the idea of nomadism shifts the attention from concepts themselves toward the mobility of a concept and its effects. The metaphor of nomadism, as outlined in the introduction, helps also to question the relation between concepts' movement and the production of boundaries. In this way conceptual history can profit from interaction with translation studies, where similar processes were recently discussed under the notion of cultural translation.

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Helge Årsheim, Nicole Hochner, Helena Rosenblatt, Vilius Mačkinis, Søren Friis, Bogdan C. Iacob and Gennaro Imbriano

Brent Nongbri, Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 288 pp.

Christopher H. Johnson, Bernhard Jussen, David Warren Sabean, and Simon Teuscher, eds., Blood and Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to Present (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013), 362 pp.

Quentin Skinner and Martin van Gelderen, eds., Freedom and the Construction of Europe, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 878 pp.

Anna Grzes´kowiak-Krwawicz, Queen Liberty: The Concept of Freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012), 135 pp.

Conor Gearty, Liberty and Security (Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013), 146 pp.

Balázs Trencsényi, The Politics of “National Character”: A Study in Interwar East European Thought (London: Routledge, 2012), 227 pp.

Janet Roitman, Anti-Crisis (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2014), 157 pp.

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Blake Ewing

Political theorists, especially in the subfield of ideology studies, continue to draw insights from Begriffsgeschichte (conceptual history) to help them better analyze the morphology of political concepts over time. However, other aspects of Reinhart Koselleck’s work remain underutilized. This is especially true of the connections between Begriffsgeschichte and his development of a theory of history (Historik), dealing with the broader intersection of language, structure, and the experience of time. This article focuses on just one aspect of this intersection: on the potential relevance of Koselleck’s use of the concept of horizon to theorize a particular “horizonal mode” of the politics of time. After discussing some relevant features of the horizon metaphor, the article moves to reappraise Koselleck’s use of the concept before elaborating and expanding on it to claim that Koselleck helps to showcase the contestation of different temporal horizons as a core feature of political thinking.

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Totalitarian Language

Creating Symbols to Destroy Words

Juan Francisco Fuentes

This article deals with totalitarianism and its language, conceived as both the denial and to some extent the reversal of liberalism and its conceptual framework. Overcoming liberal language meant not only setting up new political terminology, but also replacing words with symbols, ideas with sensations. This is why the standard political lexicon of totalitarianism became hardly more than a slang vocabulary for domestic consumption and, by contrast, under those regimes—mainly Italian fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism—a amboyant universe of images, sounds, and metaphors arose. Many of these images revolved around the human body as a powerful means to represent a charismatic leadership and, at the same time, an organic conception of their national communities. Totalitarian language seems to be a propitious way to explore the “dark side” of conceptual history, constituted by symbols rather than words.

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Agatha Mohring

María y yo by Miguel and María Gallardo, Arrugas by Paco Roca and Una posibilidad entre mil by Cristina Durán and Miguel Ángel Giner Bou are contemporary Spanish graphic novels that can be considered pathographies. This article shows how they use the metaphor of the journey to deconstruct social representations and challenge preconceived ideas about autism, Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral palsy. By making readers travel to the unknown territory of differences and diseases, these works help them to discover and understand alterity. I also study how the authors use techniques specific to travel guides to explain these disorders, and interrogate the extent to which creating and reading those pathographies can have a curative dimension. This will lead to questioning the concept of the therapeutic journey.

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Avivit Agam Dali

This article presents a socio-cultural analysis of advertisements in the Israeli press that feature visual images of major world sites and urban landscapes, dating from 1967 through 2008. These locations are represented in the advertisements as places of entertainment and leisure. Images of foreign cities and exotic lands are contrasted to the density and crowded reality of everyday Israeli life. Advertising thus serves as a means through which the illusion of being abroad appears to be accessible to every consumer. It becomes the refuge of consumers, who can escape to a land of dreams evoked in an advertisement. In this way, the use of distancing in advertising functions as a metaphor for Israel's place in the hearts and minds of those who are being targeted by Israeli advertisements.