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Ghosts in the Head and Ghost Towns in the Field

Ethnography and the Experience of Presence and Absence

Jonathan Skinner

This article is about an anthropologist coming to terms with the field and fieldwork. In 1995, I left - was evacuated from - my fieldsite as a volcanic eruption started just as my period of fieldwork drew to a close. These eruptions dramatically and instantaneously altered life on the island of Montserrat, a British colony in the Caribbean. While Montserrat the land, and Montserratians the people, migrated and moved on with their lives, Montserrat and Montserratians were preserved in my mind and in my anthropological writings as from “back home.” Revisiting Montserrat several years into the volcano crisis, I drove through the villages and roads leading to the former capital of the island, where I had worked from. My route to this modern-day Pompeii threw up a stark contrast between absence and presence, the imagined past and the experienced present. This is understood, in part, by examining the literary work of two other travelers through Montserrat, Henry Coleridge and Pete McCarthy, both of whom have a very different experience of the place and the people.

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The Weight of Absence

Rick Turner and the End of the Durban Moment

Billy Keniston

political climate of the Durban moment. It was precisely the absence of any institutionalised, hierarchical Left that allowed Turner’s dialogic and Utopian discourse to gain prominence. People were ready to listen to someone that was encouraging them

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Emmanuelle Saada

At the time of his death, the sociologist of immigration Abdelmalek Sayad (1933-1998) was putting the final touches on a collection of his principal articles—since published under the title La Double Absence.1 The publication of this collection provides, I think, a good occasion for introducing Sayad to the anglophone public, which to date has had almost no exposure to his work. In France, Sayad’s sociology has been essential not only to the study of Algerian immigration, but to the understanding of migration as a “fait social total,” a total social fact, which reveals the anthropological and political foundations of contemporary societies. The introduction of this exceptional work to American specialists of French studies is timely, moreover, because immigration and more recently, colonization have been among the most dynamic areas of research in the field in the past few years.

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Memory as Absence and Presence

Pilgrimage, “Archeo-Theology,“ and the Creativity of Destruction

Simon Coleman

This article explores forms of history and memory constructed around the Christian pilgrimage site of Walsingham, England. While exploring different ways of appropriating the past exhibited by pilgrims, ranging from “reliving,“ “remixing,“ and “reframing,“ the article argues that Walsingham's powerful symbolic resonances emerge in part from its role as a context for “archeotheology,“ whereby a sacramental religious ideology is reinforced by the forms of ruination evident at key points of the site.

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John H. Gillespie

This two-part article examines whether Sartre's final interviews, recorded in L'Espoir maintenant [Hope Now], indicate a final turn to belief through an overview of his engagement with the idea of God throughout his career. In Part 1 we examine Sartre's early atheism, but note the pervasive nature of secularised Christian metaphors and concepts in his religion of letters and the centrality of man's desire to be God in Being and Nothingness. His theoretical writings seek to refute the idea of God, but in doing so God is paradoxically both absent and present. In Part 2 we assess his anti-theism and consider his final encounter with theism in L'Espoir maintenant, arguing that it is part of Sartre's long-term engagement with the idea of God.

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John H. Gillespie

These two articles examine whether Sartre's final interviews, recorded in L'Espoir maintenant (Hope Now) indicate a final turn to God and religious belief through an overview of his engagement with the idea of God throughout his career. Part 1, published in Sartre Studies International 19, no. 1, examined Sartre's early atheism, but noted the pervasive nature of secularised Christian metaphors and concepts in his religion of letters and also the centrality of mankind's desire to be God in L'Etre et le néant (Being and Nothingness). Sartre's theoretical writings sought to refute the idea of God, but in doing so, made God paradoxically both absent and present. Part 2 considers Sartre's anti-theism and its implications for his involvement with the idea of God before examining in detail his final encounter with theism as outlined in L'Espoir maintenant, arguing that it is part of Sartre's long-term engagement with the divine, but refuting the idea that he became a theist at the end of his life.

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Clare Mac Cumhaill

be undergoing experience at a time, whatever that way of being ‘like’ is. The thought is that one should intuitively know. Suppose then that one does know – that the idiom succeeds in capturing something. And suppose too, as many do, that absences

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Spatio-Temporal Translations

Practices of Intimacy under Absence

Erica Baffelli and Frederik Schröer

is no time machine that can lead us back to pre–COVID-19 times. Therefore, in our present moment, though the experiences manifest in myriad ways depending on geographical and social contexts, we find ourselves in situations of double absence. We

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Too Much of Nothing

Analytic and Sartrean Phenomenological Perspectives

John Graham Wilson

lives? We might accept that Pierre’s café absence is an actual presence to consciousness and that, phenomenologically, his absence also is associated with dismay, or consternation, plus a host of other attitudes. To this extent, human encounters with

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From Perception to Action

Sartre's Practical Phenomenology

Blake D. Scott

discussion around the well-known problem of how it is possible to have an “intuition of absences” in Sartre's famous example of failing to find Pierre in the café. As Sartre himself points out, this example faces a problem: for Husserl an intuition fulfilled