In this article the authors take up the invitation to respond to the previous articles in the special issue. They discuss why it is so difficult to speak and write about gender and sexuality, and difference more generally, in the neoliberalised university. They make the case that the neoliberal university engages and uses categorical difference, and the individuals inhabiting these, mainly for auditing purposes. The authors develop the argument that despite the enterprise university's official commitments to diversity and inclusion, it remains indifferent to difference, understood as openness to becoming different, to differenciation in a Deleuzian sense. Difference is privatised and depoliticised and is only acceptable if it is useful and exploitable in pre-specified ways and if it conforms to and facilitates neoliberal agendas.
Eva Bendix Petersen and Bronwyn Davies
“Epitaphic” features two poems that were written to speak to the poet’s interest in commemorating or capturing past moments, events, or persons. “Topographies” is concerned with the interplay between transience and permanence—the passing of time, changing relationships, but also the altering of emotional and physical landscapes. The poem largely speaks to a process of loss and memory, both on a macrocosmic or geographical level, and on a smaller, intimate level. Similarly, “Thanatos” connects with the broad theme of loss, particularly humanity’s inability to recognize, appease, or ameliorate the suffering of the animal Other
New and Renewed Perspectives
precise and detailed. The archbishop of Paris appears to have been not only politically naive but also overly malleable. Public Opinion, Indifference, and Contempt Semelin’s Persécutions et entraides dans la France occupée , with its provocative subtitle
At the dawn of the 21st century, something new may be happening in the heartland of America: the spread of a negative image of France.1 Traditionally, a mostly positive image of France linked to its reputation for good food, high fashion, and sophisticated tourism, coexisted with a somewhat negative image in some elite circles. But the most important factor was definitely a lack of knowledge and the fact that above all, indifference reigned supreme. (See Body-Gendrot in this issue.)
Simone de Beauvoir, Djamila Boupacha, and the Algerian War
This article situates Simone de Beauvoir's involvement in the case of Djamila Boupacha, an FLN militant who was tortured by the French Army in 1960, in the context of the repeated revelations of torture in course of the Algerian War. Drawing on Beauvoir's writings on ethics and other contemporary denunciations of torture, the essay illuminates how Beauvoir worked to overcome wide-spread public “indifference.” By focusing public attention on the Army's sexually degrading treatment of Boupacha, Beauvoir figured torture as a source of feminine and feminizing national shame.
William R. Jordan
Environmentalism has made much of the idea of community since Aldo Leopold proposed it as the crucial metaphor defining a healthy relationship between humans and the rest of nature. Community, however, far from being the solution to our environmental problems, is actually just a useful way of framing the problem. How, for example, do you form a working relationship with an ecologically obsolete system that owes nothing to you? The answer: You commit yourself to its restoration, cultivating a studied indifference to your own interests—a practice the author terms "holistic restoration."
Hillel Avidan and Melanie Shepherd
I first met Nick Carter in July 1974 when I assumed the position of rabbi in the Wimbledon and District Synagogue of which he was a devoted member. Already a veteran speaker and writer in the fields of animal welfare and environmental care, I was used to meeting polite indifference in my fellow Jews whenever I claimed that Judaism demanded positive action in response to any abuse of animals or of the environment. Not only was Nick far from indifferent but he had worked professionally in these fields for many years.
Albert H. Friedlander, Uri Ben Alexander and Alan Sillitoe
Holocaust Theology: A Reader, compiled and edited by Dan Cohn-Sherbok, University of Exeter Press, 2002, 432 pp., paperback £17.99 hardback £47.50. ISBN 0 85989 624 2
The Rebbe the Messiah and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference, David Berger, London, The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2001, 195 pp, ISBN 1-874774-88-9
Haskalah and History: The Emergence of a Modern Jewish Historical Consciousness, Shmuel Feiner, translated by Chaya Naor and Sondra Silverston, Oxford, The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2002, 404 pp, ISBN 1-874774-43-9
The Oxford Book of Hebrew Stories, edited by Glenda Abramson, Oxford University Press, 1996, £17.99. ISBN 0-19-214206-2
Claude Langlois's work on the French Revolution captures the experience of ordinary people in the country as a whole. Against an interpretation that sees the Revolution as resulting in a secular, modernized France, he emphasizes the ambiguity and uncertainties of the outcome. He is above all interested in assessing the impact of the Revolution on the Church. Although the Revolution had a profound impact on the personnel, landscape, finances, and politics of the Church, the Concordat created the conditions for recovery. There were restorations in pastoral care and practices but in addition, there were also ruptures, especially in the long term. Alongside a nineteenth century of unexpected piety, there were also regions and groups of low practice and indifference. The article also discusses Langlois's contributions to the political history of the coup of 1799, and to population studies.
The Case of the USA
Adam B. Seligman
The separation of church and state in the USA and the critical role of disestablishment in the political doctrines of that country is no indication of a secular polity. In fact, the separation of church and state as developed in 18th century American political thought was itself a religious doctrine and rested on the unique religious beliefs of certain Protestant Churches there. One consequence of this particular mode of accommodating religion has meant that the challenge of pluralism and difference in the United States of America is met, most often, by liberal indifference. Differences are trivialized, aethetisized and, more critically, privatized. They are shielded from public scrutiny and conceptualized as irrelevant to public concern. This is an increasingly inadequate response to the challenge of difference and the plurality of the human experience. Challenges to contemporary modes of accommodating religious and ethnic pluralism are necessitating the formulation of new sets of answers which are not based on such Protestant or post-Protestant assumptions.