Bringing together a retheorization of the “contact zone” (Pratt 1992; Clifford 1997) and the idea of hybridity, this article uses these concepts as analytic tools to raise questions about the meaning and materiality of objects in the collections at the Manchester Museum. Through a series of case studies I illustrate how connections spanning centuries between West Africa and the northwest of England are embodied in museum collections. By focusing on the materiality of museum objects it is possible to unravel these connections, as well as the fractions and fissures they point to.
A Critical Analysis of Objects in the West African Collections at the Manchester Museum
Emma K. Poulter
Transformation versus Hybridisation in Early Modern World
During the last three decades, early modern scholarship has drawn heavily on twentieth-century theorisation to analyse the socio-cultural conditions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. An example of such scholarly endeavours is the attempt to appropriate the concept of hybridity to explain the constitution of cultural identity. This article re-evaluates this critical trend by reviewing the model of hybridity in relation to early modern cultures; it simultaneously proposes the existence of another cultural pattern that is here labelled ‘cultural transformation’. The article also contends that hybridisation is more manifest in the domain of material culture: the ethno-cultural characteristics of early modern communities made them more receptive towards accepting and integrating material objects but less welcoming towards assimilating beliefs, values or cultural practices from other nations.
Girls, ethnicity and mediated doll products
Angharad N. Valdivia
Drawing on a theoretical framework that combines Media Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Girls Studies with the concept of hybridity, I explore American Girl, Dora the Explorer, and Bratz—three mediated doll lines—as manifestations of an ethnic identity crisis that in turns generates a moral panic that seeks to return whiteness and conventional femininity to its normalized mainstream standing. Issues of production, representation, and reception of mediated doll lines illuminate both a synergistic marketing strategy and a contested reception of hybrid mediated dolls. As such, mediated doll lines can be productively examined as they are an excellent vehicle for understanding contemporary agendas over gender, age, class, and ethnicity.
What Can We Learn from Hybridity?
The term hybridity as it is currently used with reference to peacebuilding interventions refers to the process by which external peacebuilding interventions are transformed through contact with local contexts and agents. With regard to
its walls, holding former prisoners tightly as they seek to rebuild their lives on the outside. Importantly, this points both to the expansion of Nicaragua's carceral state and to its hybrid enactment. After exploring current debates on carceral
In this article I explore how socially engaged artistic practice draws upon hybridity as a methodological approach advancing social justice. Through the case study of Theaster Gates’s To Speculate Darkly (2010), a project commissioned by the Chipstone Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I consider how socially engaged practice mobilizes continually shifting notions of postcolonial hybridity to help museums make meaningful symbolic reparations toward equality and inclusivity. The research is based on interviews I conducted with Gates and with the director and the curator of the Chipstone Foundation. The article will demonstrate that, with hybridity, artists have the potential to subvert hegemonic power structures and to inspire reconciliations between museums and communities. While such reconciliations generally involve complex processes with no clear end point, the evolving concept of hybridity is an effective vehicle to foster pluralistic institutions, cultural organizations characterized by practices built upon shared authority, reciprocity, and mutual trust. Theaster Gates refers to the methodology of hybridity as ‘temple swapping’, an exchange of values between seemingly unlike groups, in his case the black church and the museum, to explore their interconnections and relational sensibilities. Temple swapping, I aim to show, is a valuable metaphor through which to examine socially engaged artistic practice and its implications for museum ethics.
Road Infrastructure as an Instrument of Economic Urbanization in Belgium
This paper investigates the conception and construction of the Belgian highway network since 1945. It focuses on the formative decades of the 1950s and 1960s, when the network was designed and an important financing mechanism established (the 1955 Road Fund). A distinguishing characteristic in the construction of the network is the use of highways as a vector of urbanization for economic development purposes. Combining long-distance traffic with local access to adjoining services, these highways fulfill a twofold role defined at the conception of the network in 1951. Incorporating ring roads, expressways, regional highways, and a high density of exits into a transnational system, the Belgian network is a "hybrid" highway system.
Race, Sacrifice, and Geopolitics in the Far East in Vsevolod Ivanov’s Bronepoezd No. 14-69
Vsevolod Ivanov's 1922 Bronepoezd No. 14-69 spawned subsequent renditions in Russian and Chinese. The novella narrates the successful effort of a group of Red partisans in seizing an armored train delivering reinforcements in order to quell a rebellion in a Far Eastern town. This article examines the story's Chinaman (kitaets) Sin-Bin-U, a Red volunteer motivated by a desire to avenge himself against the Japanese. The most prominent marker of Sin-Bin-U's Chineseness is his tortured Russian, rendered nearly incomprehensible by his accent. Focusing on Sin-Bin-U's figuration, this article argues that Ivanov's tale and its subsequent incarnations in Russian and Chinese create a literary evocation of the complexities of linguistic hybridity, cultural contestation, and sovereign crisis in the Far East. Sin-Bin-U is thus interpreted as a paradoxical persona who oscillates between being an allegorical figuration of an internationalized Soviet subjectivity and a token of imperialist strife and victimization.
Karin M. Gustafsson and Rolf Lidskog
For many countries, the IUCN Red List of threatened species is a central instrument in their work to counteract loss of biodiversity. This article analyzes the development of the Red List categories and criteria, how these categories and criteria are used in the construction of global, national, and regional red lists, and how the red lists are employed in policy work. A central finding of the article is that this mix of actors implies many different forms of boundary work. This article also finds that the Red List functions as a portable representation, that is, a context-independent instrument to represent nature. A third finding is that the Red List functions as a link between experts and policy makers. Thus, the Red List is best understood as a boundary object and hybrid practice where the credibility of scientific assessment and a specific policy is mutually strengthened.
Player Tested, Shakespeare Approved
The first or ‘bad’ quarto of Hamlet is the subject of much debate. Is it an early version of the play as some scholars suggest? Or is it corrupted memorial reconstruction, a product of ‘fast writing’ transcription, or just a pirated version of the play rushed into print? In this article I posit that the first quarto is indeed a valid text that deserves to be recognised for its unique, unfussy, playable brilliance. That the text provides clues (if one knows how to look), that elucidate answers to many of the questions that productions must contend with. I believe it to be a time-capsule version of sorts that is a product of what the actors truly performed, rather than a celebration of the poet’s aspirationally complex verse.