Court trials and subsequent executions in 1692 of nineteen accused witches in Salem are important events in America’s history that are often studied. Today, ‘Witch City’ draws over sixty thousand visitors at Hallowe’en. While members of the Pagan/Wiccan community honour the accused, well known writers – Arthur Miller and Elie Weisel – publicly acknowledge the Salem witch trials as a lesson. ‘Agents of memory’ imagine they have individual and collective affinities with Salem, the place, its people, and the historical event. These agents develop different explanations for why these events occurred and see in them disparate meanings, thereby directing, shaping and influencing the ways in which the Salem witch trials are remembered.
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.
Mehrunnisa Ahmad Ali, Nashwa Salem, Béchir Oueslati, Marie Andrew and Lisa Quirke
Representations of Islam in Ontario's social studies textbooks portray a dehistoricized view of a religion that is disconnected from other monotheistic religions. The varied and complex socio-political and ideological locations of Muslims in historical and current contexts are reduced to simplistic, often negative depictions, either as irrational aggressors or victims of poverty and underdevelopment. More nuanced, historically grounded, and multifaceted representations are called for, in order to promote a more inclusive society in Ontario.
Sami Adwan and Dan Bar-On, eds., Learning the Other’s Historical Narrative: Israelis and Palestinians, Parts One and Two (Beit Jalla: Peace Research Institute in the Middle East, 2003, 2006).
Robert I. Rotberg, ed., Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict: History’s Double Helix (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006).
Paul Scham, Walid Salem, and Benjamin Pogrund, eds., Shared Histories: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue (Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2005).
Cotton Mather, Mercy Short, and the Origin of America's Mean Girls
In 1692, the Salem witch trials introduced perhaps the most famous early American girls-girls notoriously lambasted for instigating the death of twenty people. During that same year, Cotton Mather published Ornaments for the Daughters of Zion (hereafter referred to as Ornaments) and A Brand Pluck'd Out of the Burning (hereafter referred to as Brand). Ornaments served as a moral guidebook for Puritan girls to follow, while Brand details the possession of Mercy Short, an adolescent not directly involved with the witch trials but whose story represents the most thorough recorded account of possession that we have. These two works document the pressure exerted on colonial girls to remain silent, and help to reveal how possession gave them an outlet for the expression of their feelings. In examining them, it becomes possible to ascertain how the Puritan roots of girls' coerced silence and repressed aggression have endured into contemporary America.
Books, Films and Conferences
Fabrizio Speziale, Mohammad Shahbazi, Soheila Shahshahani, Maryam Roshanfekr, Shahnaz Nadjmabadi and Maria Esther Esteban Torné
Rūstā’ī, Moh.sen (1382/2003–2004), Tārīkh-e t.ebb va t.ebābat dar Irān (az ‘ahd-e qājār tā pāyān-e ‘as.r-e Rez.ā Shāh) be ravāyat-e asnād [History of Medicine and Medical Practice in Iran (from the Qajar Epoch until the End of Rez. ā Shāh’s Age) According to the Narrative of Official Documents] (Tehran: Sāzmān-e asnād va ketābkhāne-ye Mellī-ye Jomhūrī-ye Islāmī-ye Irān). Vol. 1, pages ccclxi + 660. Vol. 2, pages xv + 911.
Naficy, Abutorab (2000), The Pulse of Life at the Crossroad of the Traditional and Modern Medicine of Iran [Nabz-e hayat dar gozar-e tibb-e sonnati va tibb-e nuvin Iran]: Biographical and Medical Writings of Dr Abutorab Naficy (Isfahan, Iran: Naqsh-e Khurshid Publication). 459 pages + 6 pages of pictures at the end.
Al-Sabah, Altaf Salem Al-Ali (2006), Ibjad – Ornate Tent Dividers and Weavings of the Kuwait Desert (Kuwait: Al Sadu House). 85 pages, glossary of Arabic terms, black-and-white and colour photographs, index.
The first conference of the Union for Short Filmmakers of Islamic Countries (USFIC), 20–25 August 2007, Tehran, Iran
Congress for the Seventieth Year of Anthropology in Iran, 18–21 February 2007, Anthropological Research Centre for ICHO, Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
Second International Congress of Biological and Cultural Anthropology, 26–28 October 2007, Monastir, Tunisia
Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses: Memories and Regrets from a Political Life Review by Ruth Amir
Gadi Ben Ezer, The Migration Journey: The Ethiopian Jewish Exodus Review by Marian Reiff
Uri Bialer, Cross on the Star of David: The Christian Word in Israel’s Foreign Policy—1967 Review by Neville Lamdan
Jakob Feldt, The Israeli Memory Struggle: History and Identity in the Age of Globalization Review by Uri Ram
Esther Fuchs, ed., Israeli Women’s Studies: A Reader Review by Harriet Hartman
David Hulme, Identity, Ideology and the Future of Jerusalem Review by Ned Lazarus
Edy Kaufman, Walid Salem, and Juliette Verhoeven, eds., Bridging the Divide: Peacebuilding in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Review by Sarah E. Yerkes
Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy Review by Brent E. Sasley
Michael B. Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy—America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present Review by Zvi Ra’anan
Yoram Peri, Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy Review by David Tal