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The Cultural Crisis of Contemporary Israel

A Jewish Theological Perspective on Its Causes

Admiel Kosman

The cultural crisis that Israel is experiencing today derives largely from the concept of isolation, which is based in Jewish theology (Halevi). The concept itself stems from the 'illegitimacy claim', already present in rabbinic literature, which developed into the firm halakhic practice of separating Jews from non-Jews. Although rabbinic Judaism contains an alternative, universalistic current (Maimonides) that was influential in the Middle Ages, Israel's Religious Zionist educational system is based on the 'isolationist' system expounded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. Proponents of the latter include both religious Jews and secular Israelis, who defend it as part of Israel's Jewish heritage. These tendencies not only prevent dialogue with Israel's neighbors but also fragment Israel's Jewish public. This rejection of the 'Other' as belonging to the 'sons of darkness' is largely responsible for the cultural crisis pervading the country. Israel should reorient itself toward the universalistic stream represented by philosophers such as Buber, Rosenzweig, and Levinas.

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The Decline of the Humanities and the Decline of Society

Ibanga B. Ikpe

The debate as to whether the humanities is in decline is almost over. Statistics on declining enrolments, shrinking job prospects, dwindling funding and growing condescension from society add up to show that all is not well. Humanities scholars have, in the recent past, tried to discover what is wrong as well as do something to demonstrate that the humanities is still relevant to society. In this regard, many have suggested that the humanities should change to accommodate the needs of the marketplace, while others have argued that to do so will change the humanities so drastically as to render it unrecognizable. This article is about the current state of affairs in the humanities and the different views that have been expressed on it. It argues that rather than the humanities, it is actually society that is in decline, and as such changing the humanities to suit the needs of the marketplace would be a disservice to our long humanistic tradition. It acknowledges that humanities scholars need to engage more with society even as they continue in activities that have defined the humanities through the years and argues for humanities therapy as a way for the humanities to engage with a world that is increasingly enamoured with technê.

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Bad parrhesia

The limits of cynicism in the public sphere

Natalie Morningstar

This paper examines the limits of Cynical parrhesia. Based on fieldwork with artist‐activists in post‐recession Dublin, I recount their fraught efforts to use adventurous artistic expression to provoke a critical awakening in an audience of strangers, who instead respond with derision. My focus is thus on a narrow but prevalent feature of artists’ work and lives, and the public’s experience of challenging genres of provocative public criticism: the encounter with unintelligibility and alienation in the public sphere. I thus deploy ‘bad parrhesia’ as a tool through which to consider the factors that mitigate against artists establishing the desired critical relationship with audiences. Nevertheless, though these parrhesiastic encounters do not succeed, I argue that they do not yield an absence of social relations but relations of an anti‐social kind. Departing from readings of parrhesia as a form of individualism, corrosive to relationality, or a playful reaction against the failures of liberal democratic politics, I make a case for framing parrhesia as a relationship of contestation over which kinds of public criticism are judged to be intelligible and valuable responses to moments of cultural crisis in northern liberal democracies.

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When Was Brexit? Reading Backward to the Present

Antoinette Burton

urgent as a disciplinary and a methodological question as it is as a world-historical one. Whether it is conceived of as high politics, social revolution, economic revanchism, imperial revivalism, or cultural crisis, Brexit can only be understood as an

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Counter-Violence and Islamic Terrorism

Is Liberation without Freedom Possible?

Maria Russo

secular movement from implementing social reforms. It is not enough to point out the economic opportunism of the West in order to justify the deep economic, social and cultural crisis of these countries. Aside from any consideration of paternalism and of

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Pranks in Contentious Politics

An Interview with Pauline Pantsdown (AKA Simon Hunt)

Ben Hightower, Scott East, and Simon Hunt

? ” Contention 7 ( 2 ): 65 – 74 . doi: 10.3167/cont.2018.060205 . 10.3167/cont.2018.060205 Probyn , Fiona . 1999 . “ ‘That Woman’: Pauline Hanson and Cultural Crisis .” Australian Feminist Studies 14 ( 29 ): 161 – 171 . doi: 10

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‘Our Troy, our Rome’

Classical Intertextuality in Titus Andronicus

Graham Holderness

, Shakespeare seems to create a parody which ultimately neutralizes the authority of Rome or at least enacts a cultural crisis. An attitude which is almost postcolonial, colonized by a culture which is not his own, he uses his knowledge patronizingly to

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Book Reviews

Federica Cavaletti, Tarja Laine, Rikke Schubart, and Holly Willis

. These questions are not addressed in Melancholy Emotion , which explicitly distances itself from trauma studies due to its apparent “focus on the symbolic-cultural crisis affecting the representation in specific films and the viewer's absorption of it

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A Genealogy of Sexual Harassment of Female Passengers in Buenos Aires Public Transport

Dhan Zunino Singh

public transport was a space-time of transgression in which social norms and the (male) idea of civility seem to fail signifying a “moral” or cultural crisis, where flirting, love, and contacts could take place. Further research on discourses about the

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Decorating Mothers, Defining Maternity

The Invention of the French Family Medal and the Rise of Profamily Ideology in 1920s France

Hannah M. Stamler

promising that “protecting and honoring large families” would be his first priority. 34 As Breton's nod to protection and honor demonstrates, French depopulation for the CSN comprised both a material and cultural crisis. It was not enough to improve the