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Beyond Oracular Ambiguity

Divination, Lies, and Ontology in Early Greek Literature

Olaf Almqvist

statements, “the Greeks could not consider their gods liars” ( Bonnechere 2010: 147 ). Sidestepping the problematic character of the gods, divination studies often quickly proceed to list success stories that emphasize ambiguous but accurate results. This

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Management of ambiguity

Favours and flexibility in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Čarna Brković

This article ethnographically outlines how one woman politician in a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina used favours to help ‘get things done’, becoming perceived as a ‘goddess’ who ‘spent herself’ for the sake of others. The article suggests that such people managed to gather power through the paradox of keeping‐while‐giving (Weiner, . . . Berkeley: California UP). People able to grant numerous favours in multiple public and private arenas kept aside the position of the person able to manage ambiguity, which was part of the new ad hoc, flexible forms of governance, exercised by both the international and the local actors in the country.

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Humour and the Plurality of Everyday Life

Comical Accounts from an Interface Area in Belfast

Tomoko Sakai

anthropologists have viewed this resistance approach sceptically, pointing out the Janus-faced nature of laughter that can be also conformist and immoral ( Goldstein 2003 ; van Roekel 2016 ), or the ambiguity that humour carries ( Boyer and Yurchak 2010

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The Ambiguity of Subversion

Resistance through Radio Broadcasting

Gisli Vogler

systemic violence, without reproducing the politically troubling myths of heroic agency. This article seeks to contribute to thinking the grey zones of resistance by examining the ambiguity of subversion as a practice of resistance. Subversion, commonly

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Disney's Specific and Ambiguous Princess

A Discursive Analysis of Elena of Avalor

Diana Leon-Boys

was positioned within the realm of what Angharad Valdivia (2011 , 2020 ) explains as Disney's hybrid and ambiguously ethnic representations in which the company deploys non-white characters with no specific link to a place of origin or culture, in

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“You're a Trickster”

Mockery, Egalitarianism, and Uncertainty in Northeastern Namibia

Megan Laws

-known figure of the ‘trickster’—a deeply ambiguous figure that is at once revered for its ingenuity and heroism and chastised for its gluttony and egotism. Within treatises on the trickster in its mythic guise, this ambiguity expresses a tension between the

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Flights of Fancy and the Dissolution of Shakespearean Space-Time in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus

Kate Myers

ambiguous and the plausibly deniable to more subtly reconsider the ontological issues of legitimacy by returning to Shakespeare's perennial interest in both time and space, ways of thinking that, I argue, serve to reinforce a legitimisation of masculinity

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Ambiguous entanglements

Infrastructure, memory and identity in indigenous Evenki communities along the Baikal–Amur Mainline

Olga Povoroznyuk

The Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM) project has been the embodiment of (post‐)Soviet modernisation with its promises of economic prosperity, mobility and connectivity. It boosted regional development and introduced new forms of mobility, but also accelerated sedentarisation, assimilation and social polarisation among Evenki, an indigenous people who had been living in the region long before the arrival of the megaproject. Complex and often ambiguous entanglements of Evenki with the BAM infrastructure – from participation in construction to the exchange of goods to loss of reindeer and land, shaped indigenous ways of life, memories and identities. The master‐narrative of the BAM seems to have been internalised by many Evenki and to have drowned out critical voices and indigenous identities. In this article, I direct attention to ‘hidden transcripts’, thereby giving voice to underrepresented memories and perspectives on the BAM within Evenki communities. Drawing on ethnographic materials and interviews with indigenous leaders, reindeer herders and village residents, who experienced the arrival of the BAM and have been entangled with the railroad in various ways, I seek to contribute to a critical and comprehensive history of the BAM and to explore the construction and articulation of indigenous identities large‐scale infrastructure and development projects.

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Sartre and Theatrical Ambiguity

John Gillespie

This overview of Sartre's theater within the context of the symposium focuses on the inherent ambiguities of his theory and practice. His plays, as committed literature, are not always successful in their pedagogical intention of changing the minds of his audiences. On the one hand, he seeks to provide universal situations with which everyone can collectively identify, and on the other he wishes to convince them of the value of freedom and confront them with problems and conflicts they must resolve for themselves. These spectators then exercise that freedom by taking ideological viewpoints that are in conflict with those of the plays. Moreover, the plays are often complex and ambiguous, and set far from a contemporary French context, thus demanding a certain sophistication of interpretation. Sartre's skill as a dramatist is to write plays that engage the public in debates about the key questions of the day, even though, because of his open approach, he does not always succeed in changing their minds.

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Papering Over the Gaps

Documents, Infrastructure and Political Experimentation in Highland Peru

Annabel Pinker

This article tracks the political effects of documents produced in relation to a public infrastructure project in the Peruvian Andes. By contrast with the recent focus on bureaucratic documents as aesthetic artefacts and instances of institutional form, I attend to the political processes enacted through project papers, exploring how their relational, material, affective and referential dimensions opened up spaces of political experimentation. In particular, I suggest that the power of documents to mediate the regulatory ambiguities incurred by Peru's ongoing decentralization lies partly in their capacity to espouse normative formality whilst always hinting at the possibility of its undoing.