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Imagining the Textbook

Textbooks as Discourse and Genre

Eleftherios Klerides

This article examines textbooks, especially history textbooks, seeking to contribute to an emerging body of scholarship that endeavors to understand the nature, specific properties, and characteristics of this medium. Using systemic functional linguistics and a context-based perspective of language as its theoretical point of departure, it argues for a dual imagining of the textbook as discourse and genre. In imagining the textbook, the article calls for a rethinking of comparative textbook research in the future, based on a novel cluster of conceptual priorities deriving from postmodern thought.

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Sarah Pink and John Postill

When people move country, they experience new social, infrastructural, and ambient contingencies, which enables them to imagine otherwise unknowable possible futures ‘at home’. In this article, we mobilise a design anthropological approach to show how collaboration with temporary migrants can generate understandings that generate insights regarding future sustainable products in emerging economies. We draw on research with temporary Indonesian student migrants in Australia, which explored how they envisioned their possible domestic futures through their changing laundry practices.

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Katrin Sieg

the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. Nevertheless, as I propose to show in my discussion of “global fantasies” in the first part of this article, this trove of images and narratives is more obstacle than help to the purpose of imagining a deeply felt

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Frances Pine

The socialist states of the Soviet Bloc fell, some gently and some far more abruptly and even violently, between 1989 and 1991. In the two decades that have followed, there have been continual attempts by politicians, social scientists, and other academics, as well as by the citizens of these “former socialist countries” themselves, to come to terms with competing memories of what socialism meant, was, and might have been. Simultaneously, efforts to weigh up and assess a range of very different pasts are matched by forecasts of imagined futures that somehow continue to be driven by and predicated on this complex and kaleidoscopic remembered history. The present, the here and now, can, however, be even more complicated; in some ways it neither escapes entirely from the past nor really sets the stage for the future, but rather is a continual state of “becoming”. Just as “memory” is never a “true” reflection of a time or an event, but rather a multiple layering of recollections that change each time they are evoked, none of these complex and rather messy temporalities actually matches the “real” past, present, or future—all carry complex moral judgments, reflect moral questions, and embody the tension between what might have been, what is, and what should be.

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Imagining Durkheim

The Cambridge Companion and Two Recent Review Essays

Philip Smith and Jeffrey C. Alexander

Raymond Boudon, ‘Nouveau Durkheim? Vrai Durkheim?’, Durkheimian Studies / Etudes durkheimiennes (n.s.) 12, 2006: 137–148.

Frank Pearce, ‘A Modest Companion to Durkheim’, Durkheimian Studies / Etudes durkheimiennes (n.s.) 12, 2006: 149–160.

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Imagining nation

Women's rights and the transnational movement of Shan women in Thailand and Burma

Pinkaew Laungaramsri

This article explores the relationship between women, nation, nationalism, and transnational women’s practice through the Shan women’s movement in Thailand, particularly the international campaign to stop the systematic rape of Shan women by Burmese soldiers. Employing a feminist critique of nationalism, the article argues that transnational networks allow for the negotiation between national, local, and women’s identities. Whereas the authoritative power of nationalism continues to suppress and silence the transnational subjectivity of women, the Shan women’s movement represents a transnational attempt to contest the confinement of women’s subjectivities within the territorialized nation-state.

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Imagining Empire

Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations (1598-1600) and the Idea of a British Empire

Matthew Day

As James VI of Scotland and I of England (1566–1625) found on his accession to the English throne in 1603, turning nations into empires was far from straight-forward. His desire to turn England and Scotland into the legal entity of the ‘Empire of Great Britain’ foundered on English parliamentary resistance, which forced him to implement the concept by royal proclamation (Bindoff 1945), and promote it through propagandists.2 However, James was not the first occupant of the English throne to lay claim to an empire. Henry VIII (1491–1547) had done so in an assertion of independence from the Papacy, and Elizabeth I (1533–1603) was frequently addressed as ‘Empress’ by her admirers. So, in the late Tudor and early Stuart period the idea of empire was ambiguous. Not only was the term polyvalent, but there was often a decidedly unrealistic element to the territorial claims that were made when it was used. In this article I want to examine Richard Hakluyt’s notion of empire as it emerges from his largest work, The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1598–1600). I will argue that its relationship with his concept of nationhood has not received the attention it deserves, and that the submergence of the English nation into the ‘Empire of Great Britain’ proposed by James I, was the antithesis of Hakluyt’s conception of that relationship. In short, I will argue that the usual relationship between empire and nation needs to be stood on its head if we are to understand Hakluyt’s concept of empire.

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Imagine Reality

Negotiating Comics with David B.'s Epileptic

Jörn Ahrens

With Epileptic, French comics artist David B. presents a graphic novel as innovative in style as it is experimental in content. In the foreground, Epileptic is an autobiographical tale about his youth overshadowed by his brother's suffering from epilepsy, but it is also the illustration of a dream-world. David B. consequently entangles the levels of reality, autobiography and dreamlike fantasy. Emphasised by the interaction of clear graphics with hard black-and-white contrasts and the use of surrealistic and medieval quotations, David B. presents a unique combination of art, narrative and abstraction.

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Strange Tales from the Road

A Lesson Learned in an Epistemology for Anthropology

Yoshinobu Ota

Anthropology, with its deep commitment to fieldwork, has produced, through the dialectics of learning and unlearning, a contradictory self-understanding of the nature of the knowledge it has produced: one that is driven by a search for certainty, on the one hand, and by a desire for surprise, on the other. This article narrates a genealogy of anthropological perspectives that derive from the latter desire, the one that aims to undermine constantly that which is taken for granted. It shows how this perspective—often underappreciated these days in places where anthropological knowledge has been required to legitimate itself on an activist ground—has affected the way in which the author, a Japanese anthropologist, understands his fieldwork experience in Guatemala.

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Günther Jarfe

This article tries to elucidate Gabriel’s story ‘Steps’ to some extent. Here, as elsewhere, the narrator’s deliberate failure to clearly separate actual from imaginary facts and incidents causes problems of understanding. Initially, we are told that the protagonist has long been living in Paris. A little later, however, we hear that he has moved to Wales with his second wife. So where does the man live? While other stories remain ambiguous throughout, ‘Steps’ seems less impenetrable. The protagonist, we learn, often indulged fantasies when he went for his strolls in Paris and is quoted as saying ‘Going up and down steps lets the mind float free’. When at the end of the story the narrative suddenly shifts to the present tense – ‘…he climbs the steps of the rue St. Julien’ – this seems to suggest that most of the story represents aspects of the protagonist’s ‘alternative lives’, as envisaged during his walks.