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Collecting Girlhood

Pinterest Cyber Collections Archive Available Female Identities

Jen Almjeld

Collection is an important activity and marker of childhood. In this article I will discuss Pinterest as an online iteration of the collection process. Through Pinterest, users amass bits of information online, known as pins, to display on virtual bulletin boards. My project positions Pinterest as an influential text and literacy practice related to identity production with particular impact on girls. With obvious parallels to the keeping of commonplace books, Pinterest is an act of virtual curation that shapes a pinner's present and future identities. In the Pinterest space, girls see and collect ideals of femininity (displayed in recipes, fantasy weddings, and parenting tips) and in so doing create their own online avatars. This practice requires a critical awareness as users reinscribe, resist, or reinforce cultural norms of femininity. This article offers a conceptual base for future systematic study of Pinterest as a text and practice of girlhood.

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Michael A. Di Giovine

The Early Modern era was an age of exploration and discovery: travelers dis covered foreign lands as well as themselves. In addition to being filled with titillating tales of the baroque and the bizarre, the narratives they produced also serve as keys to understanding the birth of the modern world system by representing and motivating European imperialism and proto-nationalism—often through the ways in which the individual writer fashions himself in relation to the Others he encounters. Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology, edited by Peter C. Mancall, and Nathalie Hester's Literature and Identity in Italian Baroque Travel Writing, provide detailed looks into the age of exploration, modern travel writing, and its effects on the explorer's identity claims.

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Young Masculinity and “The Other”

Representations of Ideal Manliness in Twentieth-Century English Boys’ Annuals

Pauline Farley

Twentieth-century English boys’ annuals often defined masculinity against notions of the “otherness” of gender, race and class. The children’s annual, which developed as a popular literary form during the Victorian period, was designed to instruct and entertain. Dominant ideologies about gender, race and class were reproduced and reinforced for an uncritical readership. High production values meant that annuals became a form of “hard copy,” re-read by several generations. In boys’ annuals, mid-Victorian styles of masculinity were reiterated during the twentieth century. In these narratives, boy heroes demonstrated superiority to various groups of “others,” thereby modelling and inscribing an increasingly old-fashioned masculinity and preserving older ideologies. Exploring a neglected area of ideological history of gender, this article shows how boys’ annuals presented readers with notions of “masculinity” defined by comparison with “the other,” who might be indigenous, feminine or lower-class.

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Textbooks and Beyond

Educational Media in Context(s) Simone Lässig

Simone Lässig

This article provides an introduction to the aims, methods, and interdisciplinary approach of this new journal, elucidating the traditions of international textbook research and the function of educational media as illuminating sources for various academic disciplines. Textbooks and curricula in particular, which are not only state-approved but also of a highly condensed and selective nature, are obliged to reduce the complexities of the past, present, and future onto a limited number of pages. Particularly in the humanities, which often deal with concepts of identity and portrayals that may be more open to interpretation, textbooks can become the subjects of controversial debate, especially in relation to societal shifts such as globalization and immigration. In this regard, this journal intends to illuminate the situations in which educational media evolve, including their social, cultural, political, and educational contexts. The emergence of new, particularly digital, educational media marks new modes of knowledge production. The Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (JEMMS) invites analyses that reach beyond the printed page and even beyond the institution of the school itself.

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Is Jewish Identity a Matter of Choice?

The Case of Young Jews in Contemporary Poland

Marius Gudonis

In the current wave of academic and media interest on the apparent renaissance of a Jewish community in Poland after 1989, it has become customary to define the new generation of Polish Jews by the element of choice in their identity construction. Such a distinction is poignant in the light of Poland’s troubled postwar history. Following the tragedy of the Shoah, in which ninety percent of the 3.3 million prewar Jewish population perished, those who survived and remained in the country were almost entirely polonised. After 1947, manifestations of Jewishness were increasingly curtailed as part of the Stalinist drive to create an ethnically homogenous nation.

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Kira Mahamud Angulo and Yovana Hernández Laina

In this article we analyze knowledge about economics conveyed via primary school textbooks published during the late Franco dictatorship and the years of transition to democracy in Spain. Starting from the premise that the process of political socialization and identity construction is based partly on economic factors, we examine the evolution of the content of economics in textbooks during and after the technocratic phase of planning and development. We elucidate ways in which economic culture is transmitted in schools, identifying certain values, principles and patterns of sociopolitical thought that this culture upholds and projects.

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The Many Layers of Moral Outrage

Kurdish Activists and Diaspora Politics

Nerina Weiss

This article takes the expressions of moral outrage in an illegal demonstration in Norway as a point of entry to explore how the political unfolds in Kurdish diasporic spaces. The premise for this analysis is that moral outrage among pro-Kurdish activists is an enduring, intergenerational process, the expression of which displays a multitemporality and multidirectionality. In order to explore the many layers of moral outrage this article proposes an analysis along the literature of political ritual and performance, which focuses on signification, symbolism, identity constructions, and the importance of audiences. I argue that Kurdish activists consciously perform their moral outrage to position themselves in relation to their host country, other Kurdish activists in Norway, and the larger transnational Kurdish community in Europe. As such, moral outrage turns out to be central in the enactment of Kurdish diaspora politics.

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Anna Horolets

Travel is one of the important modes of identity construction. It is influenced by individual choices as well as by macro-contexts of institutional practices and changes. Based on the study of the accounts of young middle-class Polish travellers to the former Soviet Union countries, this article attempts to demonstrate the ways in which macro-processes of systemic transformation and European integration affect the identity-building processes. After offering a discussion of the cultural meanings of emphasising the uniqueness of their experience and difference from 'mainstream tourists' by the travellers, the article turns to the interpretation of the role of the encounter with local dwellers as an important identity-formation related experience. The analysis of the acceptance or rejection of food from local dwellers demonstrates the ambiguous attitude of travellers to the local dwellers and attempts to place this ambiguity in the macro-context.

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The (In)visibility of the Iberian Lynx

From Vermin to Conservation Emblem

Margarida Lopes-Fernandes and Amélia Frazão-Moreira

Not much is known about how the cultural image of predators has been constructed in Western contexts and changed through time. This article reviews representations of lynx in Western Europe. A ‘cultural map’ of lynx in historical contexts is presented, and the ‘social visibility’ of the Iberian lynx in Portugal explored. Since prehistoric times the lynx has been an inspiration, an amulet, a creature gifted with extraordinary capacities but also a food item, and a ‘vermin’ to eliminate. Recently, the Iberian lynx has become a global conservation emblem; once a noxious predator, it is now a symbol of wilderness. Examples show how the species acquired visibility and has been appropriated in contemporary contexts such as logos, ‘green’ marketing, urban art or political campaigns. There is also evidence of a new identity construction in Portuguese rural areas where lynx is being reintroduced, exemplifying a process of objectification of nature.

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When Jackie Coogan Had His Hair Cut

Masculinity, Maturity, and the Movies in the 1920s

Peter W. Lee

This article uses details of the personal and professional life of American screen actor Jackie Coogan to examine the social transition from boyhood into manhood during the 1920s. As Hollywood’s first child superstar, Coogan was given a haircut to make visual his maturation from his famed persona as an orphaned waif into a leading man. The haircut was also linked to larger concerns about the so-called flaming youth of the Lost Generation; what was known as Americanism; and identity construction for both child and parental roles. Unfortunately for Coogan, fans refused to accept his makeover; his screen persona in public memory contributed to the decline of his career while concurrently protecting the Kid from a vilified mother.