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Gold Teeth, Indian Dresses, Chinese Lycra and ‘Russian’ Hair

Embodied Diplomacy and the Assemblages of Dress in Tajikistan

Diana Ibañez-Tirado

This article examines the assemblages of dress in Tajikistan as a showground of everyday diplomacy, and seeks to stimulate recognition of the alternative sites of diplomacy that play an active role in mediating political relations between diverse nation-states, and the brand images of nations. I suggest that the term ‘embodied diplomacy’ is useful to convey the processes through which Tajikistan’s people negotiate the government-led dress codes and navigate social pressures about public gendered images. The incorporation of so-called foreign items into people’s apparel triggers situations in which the assemblages of particular bodies and items of dress most clearly emerge as diplomatic sites. Such everyday situations reveal Tajikistan’s residents as diplomats insofar as they reflect on their roles as the country’s representatives at the same time as they deploy their skills of communication, persuasion and mediation to negotiate between compulsory dress codes, incoming fashion trends, family expectations and personal aesthetics.

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Towards a Comparative History of Concepts

Civilisation and beschaving

Pim den Boer

Building upon an introductory discussion on linguistic exchange - the problem of missing words - and the emergence of transnational concepts, this article consists of a comparative study of the history of the concept of civilisation in some major European languages and the concept of beschaving in Dutch, the closest translation to civilisation in that language. According to the author, the particular and independent conceptual evolution of beschaving should be in part explained by the early development of a modern socio-economic structure in Holland.

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Caroline Humphrey

In the rethinking of cosmopolitanism that has been under way in anthropology the emphasis in the European tradition of thought, pertaining to humanity in general and universal values, has been replaced by focus on specific and new cosmopolitan peoples and sites. Cosmopolitanism ceases to be only a political idea, or an ideal, and is conceptualized also in terms of practice or process. A vocabulary of 'rooted cosmopolitanism', 'vernacular cosmopolitanism' and 'actually existing cosmopolitanisms' has emerged from the characteristically anthropological acknowledgment of diversity and inevitable attachments to place. This article accepts such an approach, but argues that it has neglected the presence and intense salience of the ideas of cosmopolitanism held by nation states. Such ideologies, especially those promulgated by authoritarian states, penetrate deep into the lives and thoughts of citizens. The article draws attention to the binary and contradictory character of nation state discourse on cosmopolitanism, and to the way this creates structures of affect and desire. The Soviet concept of kosmopolitizm is analyzed. It is contextualized historically in relation to the state discourse on mobility and the practice of socialist internationalism. The article argues that although the Stalinist version of kosmopolitizm became a poisonous and anti-Semitic accusation, indeed an instrument of repression, it could not control the desire created by its own negativity. Indeed, it played a creative and integral part in the emergence of a distinctive everyday cosmopolitanism among Soviet people.

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Fascism as a style of life

Community life and violence in a neofascist movement in Italy

Maddalena Gretel Cammelli

In the European context, where the rise of right-wing movements and parties indicates the emergence of an integral Europe, Italy represents a country where the fascist past grants these political formations significant identitarian security. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted with a contemporary neofascist movement called CasaPound active in Italy, this article proposes to take seriously the activists’ definition of themselves as “third-millennium fascists.” This article examines the network that CasaPound has built around its movement to analyze the presence fascist political culture currently maintains. Following militants’ interpretations of fascist ideology and practice, which oscillates between violence and death on one side and emotions and community on the other, third-millennium fascism appears to be a style of life deeply rooted in violent acts and death.

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Finding a place in the world

Political subjectivities and the imagination of Iceland after the economic crash

Kristín Loftsdóttir

The economic crash in Iceland created a sense of social and political collapse that extended far beyond the economic realm. Calls for a “New Iceland” were invoked, where the Icelandic political arena would be “cleaned” and reimagined in drastic ways. In this article, I explore how ideas circulating in the wider European region about how Icelanders dealt exceptionally well with the crisis not only failed to reflect the lived effects of the collapse but also echoed long-standing nationalist ideals of Icelanders’ imagined reality of themselves. I show how nation branding in Iceland after 2010 added to the conception that Iceland dealt with the crisis in an exceptional way, and I critically ask why Iceland received such a positive depiction in the international media.

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John Moores

The German journal London und Paris called James Gillray 'the foremost living artist in his genre, not only amongst Englishmen, but amongst all European nations'. Despite the scholarly attention he has attracted, many of Gillray's individual works have yet to receive rigorous analysis. One such neglected print is National Conveniences (1796), assumed to be a crude, straightforward expression of national supremacy. However, a closer reading shows Gillray employing the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau both to undermine notions of English superiority and to assail a particular personal adversary. With this reading in mind, we can reassess references to Rousseau in Gillray's other prints, and propose a new direction from which to approach his greater oeuvre.

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Israel's wall and the logic of encystation

Sovereign exception or wild sovereignty?

Glenn Bowman

It seems vital, in the face of escalating Israeli expansionism in the Palestinian Territories and obstructionism in the "Peace Process," to theorize the cultural foundations of a process of containment and dispossession of Palestinians that can no longer convincingly be seen as mere strategy. Symptomatic of the Israeli state program is the "wall" (a.k.a., "the Security Fence" or the "Apartheid Wall") and its radical encroachment into territory designated as the grounds of a future Palestinian state. The following essay attempts an anthropological analysis of the concept of "border" in contemporary Israeli thought and practice, and, in so doing, assesses the impact of a limitless sovereignty on both an encompassed minority population and on international relations more generally.

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Selin Çağatay

Meral Harmancı McDermott, Bastırılanın geri dönüşü: Tanzimat’tan Cumhuriyet’e kadın oyun yazarlarında toplumsal cinsiyet (Return of the repressed: Gender in women playwrights from the Tanzimat to the Republic), Istanbul: Habitus Kitap, 2016, 318 pp., TRY 26 (paperback), ISBN: 978-6-05463-046-2.

Yavuz Selim Karakışla, Osmanlı Imparatorluğu’nda savaş yılları ve çalışan kadınlar: Kadınları Çalıştırma Cemiyeti (1916–1923) (Women, war, and work in the Ott oman Empire: Society for the Employment of Ott oman Muslim Women [1916–1923]), Istanbul: Iletişim Yayınları, 2015, 408 pp., TRY 33 (paperback), ISBN: 978-9-75051-857-7.

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Elena Salerno

By the mid-nineteenth century, the territory of present-day Argentina was still a sparsely settled network of towns beyond which lived some native peoples. In 1860 the incomplete Martin de Moussy survey estimated a total population of about 1 million inhabitants; a decade later the first national census recorded about 1.8 million. Halperin Donghi summarizes the situation in “A Nation for the Argentine Desert,” the prologue to his classic work about this period.1 At that time, the country lacked roads, and the traditional transport system, as Enrique M. Barba describes in a pioneering book, consisted of cart tracks that were impassable during the rainy season, and some staging posts that provided rudimentary services for long-distances travelers.2 Indigenous trails trodden by livestock, called rastrilladas, supplemented them.3 Years later, Cristian Werckenthie studied the traditional transport of the pampas. Bullock carts were the principal means of transport; elsewhere, mule trains were the norm.

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Introduction

Traces of Pan Africanism and African Nationalism in Africa Today

Denis Goldberg

Reviewing these debates, I have been puzzled by their use of sweeping undefined terms such as African Values versus Western Values. It has seemed to me that it is assumed that there is agreement on their meaning when it becomes clear that there is no such universal acceptance of the content of such labels. It seems to me that attached to such a distinction there is a sentiment or spiritual mystique reminiscent of Aime Cesaire and Leopold Senghor’s concept of negritude developed by Francophone West African thinkers in the 1930s and 1940s.