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Perverse Economies of Intimate and Personal Labour

Resuming Domestic Work in Households after the Lockdown

Pooja Satyogi

) salary. Rachna, he said, was being difficult and taking advantage of his ‘good nature’. She was told that it was her job to clean and sanitise the house, even from her own self. Feeling humiliated and angry, Rachna told Deepak that she was unwilling to

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Faisal Devji

A global society has come into being, but as yet it possesses no political institutions proper to its name. I will make the case that new forms of militancy, like that of al-Qaeda, achieve meaning in this institutional vacuum while representing, in their own way, the search for a global politics. From environmentalism to pacifism, such a worldwide politics can only be one that takes humanity itself as its object. This article aims to show that militant practices are informed by the same search that animates humanitarianism, which has become the global aim and signature of all politics today.

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Ordure and Disorder

The Case of Basra and the Anthropology of Excrement

Hayder Al-Mohammad

In this article I demonstrate that issues surrounding excrement in Iraq intersect sites where power and order, the state and its absence, and everyday moral order and its erasure become painfully evident. In the first piece of ethnography, I recount daily walks taken with an informant through the war-torn streets of Basra (Iraq), where in some places human excrement fills the streets. The second part of the article pursues the same theme in the context of a prison, where the lack of toilet facilities becomes a physical and symbolic means of torture.

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Emma Celeste Bedor

: “Hey, you can post my nude picture.” But that wasn’t interesting. The thing is humiliating people. The kind of people who would never post their photo on a site like that, and who have a lot to lose. Who have high-profile jobs, or could have their

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Miraculous Healing for the Warrior Soul

Transforming Fear, Violence, and Shame in Fourteenth-Century Provence

Nicole Archambeau

This article considers the crises of plague, civil war, and mercenary invasion that Provençal communities faced in the years between 1343 and 1363. Canonization inquest testimony reveals that both combatants and noncombatants prayed to the holy woman, Countess Delphine de Puimichel, to heal the spiritual sickness of violence. In their testimonies, witnesses relived moments of crisis when they had used Delphine's special relationship to God to escape death, fear, and humiliation.

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Stephen Gundle

In a communiqué to the press dated 3 May 2009, Silvio Berlusconi’s

wife, Veronica Lario, announced that she was divorcing her husband.

The declaration came less than a week after the publication of a message

that she had sent to a press agency denouncing the apparent

intention of her husband’s political party to field a range of showgirls,

singers, and television actresses as candidates in the forthcoming

European elections. Finding this plan disgraceful and humiliating to

women, she dismissed it as “shameless rubbish.” “We have had Mrs.

Thatcher, and today there is Mrs. Merkel. They show that it is possible

for women to have a political career,” she continued.

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Mark L. Solomon

Of the many strange, symbolic acts performed or described by the prophets of Israel, surely the most scandalous was the marriage of Hosea. For us, the scandal probably lies mainly in the way Hosea seems to have treated his wife and children – using those under his care and control as a theological object-lesson, giving his children horrible names, and possibly, depending how we read the prophecies in chapter 2, subjecting his wife to violent humiliation. For ancient and medieval authors, however, the scandal lay elsewhere – in the idea of a prophet marrying a woman of low character and, even worse, of God ordering him to do so. Classical rabbinic literature, broadly speaking, contains three responses to this scandal.

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Lissa Weinstein and Banu Seckin

When Craig, an oft-humiliated and unsuccessful street puppeteer, discovers a portal into the body of John Malkovich, he finds that fusion with a live “celebrity puppet” offers a solution to the dilemmas of being human— imperfection, vulnerability, and death. In this fantastical context, the filmmakers raise questions about intention, identity, authorship, and the wisdom of elevating narcissism over Eros. Although a desire to transcend the limitations of the mortal body may be ubiquitous, the unique solution offered in Being John Malkovich is the apparent triumph of this narcissistic fantasy, rather than an acceptance of reality. This article first explores the film's use of the universal imagery of narcissism and then examines how technology, which allows widespread access to a visually oriented media culture, and changes in the meaning of fame have altered the expression of narcissistic fantasies, as well as the anxieties that accompany their fulfillment.

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Joshua Cole

Kader was there on 17 October 1961—at the Madeleine metro station at about 6:30 in the evening. He was also there at the Palais des Sports three days after the demonstration, and for 33 days at the police department’s Identification Center at Vincennes. In 1981, when Kader gave this testimony to Libération, he was still “there”—in France—living in the same worker’s dormitory that had been his home in 1961. After being held in a camp in Algeria, he had returned to the country where he felt humiliated and where he had been tortured, because his family had been killed and his political allies exiled. He was not bitter. “We were at war.” Who is this “we”?

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Sophie Meunier

The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power—or lack thereof. Of course, this characterization is meant as much as an insult as an objective statement of fact. What few of these American commentators comprehend, however, is how much this image of a nation blinded by self-confidence is erroneous. On the contrary, the French have excelled at self-flagellation for a long time, rightly or wrongly. Whether one calls it “malaise” or decline, French commentators are the first to confess that France is free-falling—whether vis-à-vis the US, its European partners, or its own aspirations.