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Mineral springs, primitive accumulation, and the “new water” in Mexico

Casey Walsh

English abstract: This article explores the process of centralization of water resources by the Mexican nation-state between 1880 and 1940, and, in particular, how the postrevolutionary state facilitated, after 1920, the transference of control over the Topo Chico mineral springs from the local agrarian community to industrial bottling companies. Using archival evidence, it highlights the importance of science and law in this process and argues that centralization must be understood in terms of “primitive accumulation.” The article focuses on hot mineral springs, which provide a privileged window on centralization and primitive accumulation but are largely ignored in the historiography of water.

Spanish abstract: El artículo explora el proceso de centralización de los recursos hídricos por parte del Estado Mexicano entre 1880–1940, y particularmente analiza la manera en que después de 1920 el estado posrevolucionario facilitó la transferencia del control de las comunidades agrarias locales de los manantiales de Topo Chico, a las empresas embotelladoras industriales. Utilizando fuentes de archivo, el autor evidencia la importancia de la ciencia y el derecho en este proceso, y muestra que la centralización debe entenderse con base en la “acumulación primitiva”. Este artículo se centra en el estudio de las fuentes minerales termales, las cuales a pesar de ser una ventana privilegiada para la centralización y la acumulación primitiva, han sido ampliamente ignoradas por la historiografía hídrica.

French abstract: Cet article explore le processus de centralisation des ressources hydriques par l'Etat-nation mexicain entre 1880 et 1940, et en particulier la façon dont l'Etat postrévolutionnaire a facilité, à partir de 1920, le transfert du contrôle des sources hydriques de Topo Chico des communautés agraires locales aux entreprises d'embouteillage industriels. Fondé sur les sources documentaires archivistiques, il souligne l'importance de la science et du droit dans ce processus, et fait valoir que la centralisation doit être comprise en termes «d'accumulation primitive». L'article se concentre sur les sources d'eaux minérales chaudes, qui fournissent une fenêtre privilégiée sur la centralisation et l'accumulation primitive, mais sont largement ignorées dans l'historiographie de l'eau.

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Pleasure and Dementia

On Becoming an Appreciating Subject

Annelieke Driessen

subjectivity. 1 I describe the residents of the Dutch care home I studied who are living with dementia as ‘appreciating subjects’, rather than as people suffering from function loss. I demonstrate that they can take pleasure in dancing, bathing and daily care

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Editorial

Simon Avery and Andrew Maunder

In October 1860, the New York-based magazine, Harper’s New Monthly, offered its readers this scathing commentary on the apparently morbid tendency among their British cousins to delve into the private lives of famous men and women. The magazine’s onslaught was both topical and contentious. The pleasures and punishments of fame experienced by such victimised ‘lions’ as Charles Dickens and Edward Bulwer Lytton, together with the public’s apparent right to ‘know’ everything, struck the writer as not only ‘vulgar’ but as clear evidence (if any were needed) of a degenerate culture. The situation was bad in America but much worse in Britain for there, as Harper’s noted, ‘John Bull is very fond of . . . talking about the private history of public men – prying into their bathing-tubs and counting the moles upon their necks.’ In the name of both art and decency, Harper’s made the following plea: ‘For the honour of the guild – for the fair name of literature – let us have done with peeping through keyholes and listening at cracks.’

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Sex, Sleaze, Slaughter, and Salvation

Phoren Tourists and Slum Tours in Calcutta (India)

Atreyee Sen

This article explores the violence and voyeurism in viewing poverty in urban slums. By uncovering the social, economic, gendered, and racialized politics within a small-scale travel industry, I show how the latter cater to certain personal, sexual, and religious curiosities among a breed of travelers visiting developing countries. I did my ethnography in the slums of Calcutta, where travel entrepreneurs organized a range of discreet tours of ghettoes for white foreigners (primarily from Australia or the United States). These popular expeditions offered “sightings,” such as half-naked women bathing at water tanks, ritualistic animal sacrifice, and neighborhoods for prostitutes. While reinforcing stereotypes of the primitive other (as opposed to the exotic other), these secret tours allowed travelers to indulge in a range of emotions, from real life voyeurism to “showing gratitude to God for being civilized.” By emphasizing the ambivalences and contradictions in viewing and representing the other, this article argues further that the immoral and critical gaze of a small group of foreign tourists can affect the nature of morality and commercialism among large sections of the urban poor in India.

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Dancing with the Junta Again

Mistreatment of Women Activists by the Tatmadaw Following the Military Coup in Myanmar

and Liv S. Gaborit

the protesters were detained. In addition, the women detainees were limited to only having 15 minutes for bathing and doing laundry twice a day. In this short time, they had problems with more senior prisoners, including the person in charge of the

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Bath Houses

The Shared Space between Athens and Jerusalem

Lev Taylor

shared space challenge us to reconsider the boundaries of body and spirit in both cultures. The Texts Rabban Gamliel in Akko MISHNAH: Proclus ben Philosophus asked a question of Rabban Gamliel in Akko when he was bathing in the bathhouse of

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Dressing the Modern Jewish Communist Girl in Interwar Paris

Nick Underwood

photograph; a man wearing a bathing suit is featured in the middle. The photograph captures him mid-jump with his hands reaching towards the sky. His gaze follows his hands. His torso faces the camera. Women are pictured to the man’s left and right, and they

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For the Father of a Newborn

Soviet Obstetrics and the Mobilization of Men as Medical Allies

Amy E. Randall

needs Your help.” 63 This included tending to newborns in the middle of the night, so their wives could get adequate rest to keep up their milk supply. It also entailed helping their wives with bathing and changing the diapers of newborns. 64 Perhaps

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Portrait

Diana L. Eck

Diana L. Eck, John Stratton Hawley, Rahul Mehrotra, and Sondra L. Hausner

‘mindfulness’. In Banaras, I also encountered a tradition with a rich daily ritual life—bathing in the Ganga, offering morning prayers, and visiting shrines to a multitude of gods, imaged in forms I had never encountered. Shiva, Vishnu, Devi: Why so many gods

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Cognitive Disability

Towards an Ethics of Possibility

Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp

pleasure are a relational achievement when offered as invitations to ‘appreciating subjects’. Her compelling descriptions of quotidian joys found in music, bathing and food illustrate how these small pleasures produce a momentary transformation of elderly