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Jonathan Elukin

The article explores Shakespeare’s secularized retelling of the Christian theological narrative of deceiving the Devil, with Antonio playing the role of Christ and Shylock as the Devil. The article argues that recasting the contest between Christ and the Devil in the world of Venice sets the stage for Shakespeare’s larger exploration of the pervasive nature of deceit in human affairs. Although it seems that Shakespeare’s characters are resigned to live in a fallen world where truth is obscured, Portia’s invocation of mercy may be Shakespeare’s attempt to offer some hope of an earthly salvation. The article argues that this portrait of a world filled with deception resonated with Shakespeare’s audience. Men and women in early modern England lived in a world where they often had to hide their religious identities and loyalties. This interpretation challenges more recent attempts to see the play as primarily concerned with race and tolerance.

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Donald Reid

Le Nouvel Esprit du capitalisme is a socio-cultural response to the neoliberal explanation of the successes and failures of capitalism in France during the last three decades in terms of individual rational actors and markets. Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello draw their inspiration from critical readings of sociologists who interpreted earlier incarnations of capitalism, including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim.

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Bryan Loughrey and Graham Holderness

In its current incarnation, Critical Survey is now thirty years old. We have been its Editors throughout, with the support of our publisher Berghahn Books, a judicious Editorial Board, and the loyalty of readers and subscribers. A celebration of some sort seems in order. We thought it best to remind ourselves of the journal’s founding principles: clarity of exposition; relevance to the curriculum; recognition given to emerging fields of study; and the potential to blend critical with creative voices.

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Joseph S. Catalano

My goal in writing this article is to give a brief overview of the two volumes of Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason. After a brief introduction, I proceed in three stages that move from the abstract to the concrete. I thus trace the development of such notions as comprehension into the dialectic, praxis into singularity and incarnation, the practico-inert into the totalization-of-envelopment, and the enhancement of the notion of scarcity as a general historical condition into a collective free choice. I also suggest new divisions for Critique II.

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David Art

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) made history by winning 12.6 percent of the vote and capturing ninety-four seats in the Bundestag in the federal elections of 2017. This article asks whether the AfD’s rise threatens to undermine the strategy of containment that contributed to the demise of previous incarnations of the radical right. It argues that the current strength of the AfD is a direct result of Angela Merkel’s decisions to rescue the Eurozone and to welcome over one million refugees since the fall of 2015. While the AfD is still likely to suffer a collapse similar to other radical right parties, its consolidation or strengthening would have major consequences for Germany and for Europe.

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Emmanuelle Sibeud

Les enquêtes ethnographiques en situation coloniale sont explicitement une incarnation de la mission civilisatrice qui « découvre » scientifiquement les populations en les assujettissant. Elles produisent en conséquence des représentations qui confirment les différences justifiant la domination. Mais elles sont aussi des incursions d’une société dans l’autre et elles reposent sur des formes d’empathie mises en exergue dès le début du XXe siècle par des enquêteurs soucieux de faire reconnaître la spécificité du savoir qu’ils accumulent sur les populations qu’ils sont chargés de dominer. Elles relèvent donc de ce que Georges Balandier définit comme « l’inauthenticité » fondamentale de la société coloniale1, tout en introduisant une logique exogène en contradiction latente avec l’ordre colonial, et. Ainsi parce qu’elles oscillent entre conformisme et transgression, elles investissent une marge d’autonomie inattendue au coeur même de la situation coloniale.

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Broken Tongues

Race, Sacrifice, and Geopolitics in the Far East in Vsevolod Ivanov’s Bronepoezd No. 14-69

Roy Chan

Vsevolod Ivanov's 1922 Bronepoezd No. 14-69 spawned subsequent renditions in Russian and Chinese. The novella narrates the successful effort of a group of Red partisans in seizing an armored train delivering reinforcements in order to quell a rebellion in a Far Eastern town. This article examines the story's Chinaman (kitaets) Sin-Bin-U, a Red volunteer motivated by a desire to avenge himself against the Japanese. The most prominent marker of Sin-Bin-U's Chineseness is his tortured Russian, rendered nearly incomprehensible by his accent. Focusing on Sin-Bin-U's figuration, this article argues that Ivanov's tale and its subsequent incarnations in Russian and Chinese create a literary evocation of the complexities of linguistic hybridity, cultural contestation, and sovereign crisis in the Far East. Sin-Bin-U is thus interpreted as a paradoxical persona who oscillates between being an allegorical figuration of an internationalized Soviet subjectivity and a token of imperialist strife and victimization.

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Introduction

The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State

Nicolas Argenti

With contributions from several of the Balkan countries that once were united under the aegis of the Ottoman Empire, this special issue proposes new theoretical approaches to the experience and transmission of the past through time. All of the articles in this issue explore themes to do with the transmission of collective memories of post-Ottoman state formation and the malaise associated with a contemporary epoch that, echoing late modernity, we might term ‘late nationalism’. This introductory article examines the several manifestations of this general phenomenon under the rubric of post-Ottoman topologies, suggesting that where history creates a fixed, empiricist record of the past, topologies denote the flux of collective memory in its multiple and mutable incarnations across time.

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The Sibirica Editorial Team

This second issue of volume 7 marks the completion of three volumes of Sibirica under the current editorship and with our publisher, Berghahn Books. We have been working to improve the content and delivery of the journal, organizing several issues around special themes, often as the result of interdisciplinary conferences related to the region. Our partnership with Berghahn has been great from the start and is only gaining strength. They have been expanding the electronic infrastructure for web access to subscribers, and Sibirica is accessible through Ingenta via links on Berghahn’s own website. We are in the process of digitizing all the back issues of Sibirica, all the way to its first incarnation as photocopied typescripts in the 1980s. This will give subscribers and others easy access to important scholarly material on Siberian studies.

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Roger Sabin

The article argues that the significance of the nineteenth-century comics character Ally Sloper cannot be understood without reference to the parallel career that this fictional celebrity developed across other media, most notably music hall. The history and evolution of the textual character, and of his various incarnations on stage and screen, are chronicled, with the aim both of documenting the expansion of working-class leisure culture and of demonstrating the centrality of Sloper to the development of a specifically British theatrical tradition that moved away from earlier continental models. Contemporary responses to Sloper, including moral outrage, are discussed, and the article concludes by analysing the skilled commercial exploitation of the character which would influence later practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.