uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them. (Bilbo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit) Our experience of place, and especially of home, is a dialectical one – balancing a need to stay with a desire to escape
Place Appreciation and Purposeful Relocation in Later Life
People write biographies of Shakespeare for many different reasons, often in combination. Rarely, if ever, is it out of a desire to disseminate new information, though a technique that can illuminate is to find new ways of placing long-established facts within a fresh context. Biographical discoveries, and serious scholarly treatment of biographical issues, are more likely to be communicated through articles in learned journals. Full-length biographies may be the consequence of a creative wish to engage with and to entertain imagined readerships, or a desire to educate, or the fulfilment of personal or polemical agenda, possibly at least partly subconscious: feminist, or psychosexual, or political; and also, less worthily but no less understandably, of a desire to make money or a search for professional advancement.
Joyful Assemblages in Moments of Girlhood
Susanne Gannon, Kristina Gottschall and Catherine Camden Pratt
Through stories of young girls at play produced in a collective biography workshop we trace flows of desire and excesses of joy, and bring recent feminist work on positive affect into our analysis of girlhood becomings. Ringrose (2011, 2013) argues that the concept of the “affective assemblage“ brings together affect, embodiment, and relationality in powerful ways to enable a mapping of how desire moves through the social. She suggests that the affective capacities of assemblages can be “life affirming or life destroying“ (2011: 602). In this article we are interested in mapping flows of desire, moments of joy and possibility in moments of girlhood, and in the limitations and contingencies within these moments that shut down these possibilities. We suggest that the methodology of collective biography (Davies and Gannon 2006, 2009, 2013) offers potential for tracing the microparticulars of girlhood becomings.
Sevasti-Melissa Nolas and Christos Varvantakis
In this article we develop the idea of ethnography as a practice of desire lines. Lines of desire are pedestrian footpaths that are at once amateurish and playful, and that deviate from the grids and schemes of urban planners. We argue that ethnography has always been so at the same time as also being highly professionalized. The article explores these tensions between desire lines and professionalization as they became evident to us during a funded, international multi-modal ethnographic study with children—a study, we argue, that rendered us childlike. We conclude that being childlike and ‘out of line’ is an appropriate and necessary response for knowledge creation at a time of heightened professionalization in the academy.
This article examines Margaret Oliphant's Salem Chapel (1863), the author's only foray into the sensation genre. It argues that the novel's focus on the dangers of gossip and public exposure reveals Oliphant's fraught relationship with sensationalism. Two key characters represent sensational readers and authors in the novel: Arthur Vincent and Adelaide Tufton. By emphasising their eager, voyeuristic desires for sensation, Oliphant marks such modes of reading and interpretation - and the genres which encourage such desires - as problematic. The novel also constructs gossip and public media as troubling, and thus questions sensationalism's reliance on voyeuristic thrills.
Paul Moody and Gabriel Aarón Macías Zapata
*Second review is in Spanish
T. Winther. (2008). The impact of electricity: Development, desires and dilemmas. New York: Berghahn Books
E. Velásquez, E. Léonard, O. Hoff mann, & M.F. Prêvot-Schapira (Coords.). (2009). El istmo mexicano: una región inasequible. Estado, poderes locales y dinámicas espaciales (siglos XVI-XIX). México: Publicaciones de la Casa Chata-CIESAS - IRD.
The desire to hear a ‘Jewish voice’ on a wide variety of topics in international forums explains the unexpected invitations that come the way of rabbis to offer insights from Jewish tradition. Conversely, the stimulation of speaking to issues outside the usual range on inner Jewish communal concerns offers a potential enrichment to our understanding of the depth and breadth of Jewish teachings.
Walter S.H. Lim
In this comparative article focusing on the representation of the migration experience of two recent first-generation Asian-American authors, I consider the ways that Mukherjee and Lim's possession of important symbolic capital, their solid tertiary education, and excellent first language proficiency in English condition their portrayal of this transition from the old to the new country. If possessing such symbolic capital lends important support for any immigrant desire for American naturalization and belonging, does Mukherjee's portrayal of Jasmine's insertion into American social and cultural life and Lim's own professional positioning in the American academy register tensions and contradictions in their literary representation of the experience of successful assimilation? Do Mukherjee and Lim's prior identities as postcolonial subjects (India and Malaysia were once British colonies) inflect in distinctive ways their representation of assimilation and marginalization and home and homelessness in the American Promised Land that is the controlling telos of Asian immigrant desire?
David S. Trigger and Lesley Head
How are preferences for “native” and “introduced” species of plants and animals given expression in Australian cities? Given the nation's predominantly European cultural heritage, how do urban Australians articulate multiple desires for living environments encountered in everyday life? In examining the cases of inner city parks, backyards, and more general views about flora and fauna appropriate for the city, the paper considers a range of deeply enculturated attachments to familiar landscapes. While residents have considerable interest in the possibilities of urban ecological restoration, our interviews, ethnographic observation, and textual analysis also reveal cultural preferences for introduced species and emplaced attachments to historically modified landscapes. These preferences and attachments are linked to senses of identity developed during formative life experiences. In the relatively young post-settler society of Australia, such drivers of environmental desires can sit uneasily alongside science-driven propositions about what is good for biodiversity and ecological sustainability.
A Lesson Learned in an Epistemology for Anthropology
Anthropology, with its deep commitment to fieldwork, has produced, through the dialectics of learning and unlearning, a contradictory self-understanding of the nature of the knowledge it has produced: one that is driven by a search for certainty, on the one hand, and by a desire for surprise, on the other. This article narrates a genealogy of anthropological perspectives that derive from the latter desire, the one that aims to undermine constantly that which is taken for granted. It shows how this perspective—often underappreciated these days in places where anthropological knowledge has been required to legitimate itself on an activist ground—has affected the way in which the author, a Japanese anthropologist, understands his fieldwork experience in Guatemala.