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Daniel Newman, Peter Wells, Paul Nieuwenhuis, Ceri Donovan and Huw Davies

This article considers electric cars as socio-technical experiments in meeting mobility requirements. There have been numerous trials and government incentives to promote such vehicles, but with a notable lack of success. The article thus seeks to address an urgent need to understand such “transition failure,” which may ultimately impact upon how progress is measured in sociotechnical transitions. Presenting results from a recent research project, it is suggested that shared usage models hold greater potential for achieving sustainable personal mobility. It is concluded, however, that multiple niche experiments present a highly complex situation in which cumulative learning is problematic.

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Maarten Coëgnarts and Peter Kravanja

This article examines embodied visual meaning in film, the ways that film makes use of recurring dynamic patterns of our shared bodily interactions with the world (image schemas) to communicate abstract meaning to the viewer. Following the lead of recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience, the article argues that this metaphorical transference of abstract thought by means of image schemas is possible via the activation of embodied mirroring mechanisms in the observer. This empathetic and physical encounter of the viewer with the representational content and form of the work is crucial to the understanding of abstract conceptual thought in film.

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Negotiating between Shi’a and Catholic Rituals in Iran

A Case Study of Filipina Converts and Their Adult Children

Ashraf Zahedi

Religious rituals, while comforting for believers, may be uncomfortable for those who do not share their manifold meanings. Catholic Filipinas who marry Muslim Iranian men face mandatory conversion to Islam, necessitating ongoing negotiations between Christianity and Islam. My research suggests that these Filipinas held their first religion dear while participating in – for them – unpleasant Shi’a Muslims rituals. Their Filipino/Iranian children, familiar from birth with Shi’a Islam, felt at home with both religions, no matter which one they chose for themselves. The discussion of converts’ perceptions of Shi’a rituals contributes to the literature on transnational marriages and marriage migration.

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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

In this, our second issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (GHS), we continue our work out of respect for, and in memory of, our founding co-editor, Jackie Kirk, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier in 2008 while she was carrying out her work in girls’ education in conflict zones. We carry on with the belief that we all shared from the beginning about the need to respect girls, to study girl culture on its own terms and to keep in mind the importance of further developing the interdisciplinary field of girlhood studies.

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Colloquium for the Millennium

Forum 2000 in Prague – 1997 and 1998

Albert H. Friedlander

In September 1997 Vaclav Havel and Elie Wiesel called together the great thinkers and leaders of the world to look at the year 2000 and to share their thoughts for the future of the world. Nine Nobel Prize winners, at least ten former presidents or current leaders of countries, and spiritual thinkers representing the religions of the world assembled in Prague, met for five days in a splendid castle, and tried to make some informed statements about the future of the world after the millennium. In October 1998, most of the speakers met again in Prague.

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The Obligations of the Chosen

Jewish Museums in a Politically Correct World

Tom L. Freudenheim

So there I was – sitting at dinner in New College, Cambridge, next to a rather sophisticated museum-going lady from Chicago. She was sharing with me her fury at the indignities suffered by women visiting art museums. As a prime example, my dinner companion cited a sculpture of a nude, by Aristide Maillol, standing at the head of the stairs at the Art Institute of Chicago. What is a young girl to think about a nude torso, headless and armless, intended to greet visitors to this great art museum? With its focus on the crotch, this image of a maimed and helpless woman sends all the wrong messages.

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Jonathan Magonet

This is a shared editorial, but one written by both of us with a heavy heart. When the editorial board set about finding materials to mark the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of Moses Maimonides, we invited Esther Seidel to oversee this project, and she contributes the second half of this editorial. But neither Esther nor I could have foreseen that we would also be commemorating the untimely death of my co-editor Rabbi Dr Albert Friedlander who, together with his wife, Evelyn, has been directly associated with European Judaism since the birth of the magazine.

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Jonathan Magonet

As congregational rabbis, or in any other role, those gathered here have taught, guided, supported and accompanied people through all the stages of their lives; shared their times of joy, and been quietly or actively present, often for long periods, in times of sadness or tragedy. This is self-evident, and each individual rabbi, has an endless series of stories to tell. But the collective effect is quite overwhelming. So what is needed to enable us to continue this task, this vocation, to empower those who come after us?

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Repairing a 'Ripped Torah'

Repairing Jewish Life in the Former Soviet Union

David Wilfond

I have shared with you stories about the Torah: the Torah that was forbidden to have at home, held captive behind the glass in the Museum of Atheism, whose blessing was unknown to even the learned leaders, that was almost ripped and whose letters once faded are now being filled in by the loving and determined hands of a new generation – letters from our holy language being written for the first time by Jewish children. Together, we have a holy opportunity to partner with the Jews of the FSU to write the next chapter in the Torah of Life of our people.

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Policing, Policy and Practice

Responding to Disorder in North Belfast

Neil Jarman

Rioting and street disorder have been a recurrent problem in Northern Ireland over the course of the peace process. This article reviews a range of the responses that have been developed to try to address the disorder and to better understand the process of the creation and development of policy. The article starts from interpretation of policy as a process of social relations involving the interaction of different sectors of society and it discusses how government and community actors have responded in different ways to the violence, but over the course of time have come to a broadly shared understanding of the most appropriate means of managing the conflict.