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Daniel M. Knight

Associated with notions of family continuity, lineage, national belonging, and cultural roots, in Greece property inheritance was once highly desired. Yet, in recent years, there has been a rising trend of people wanting to be disinherited because of the economic burden of new taxes introduced as part of the international austerity program and the need to focus all resources on the short-term future of the immediate family. The desire for disinheritance amounts to a longing for disconnectedness, for exiting not only political structures but also kinship structures that have been historically closely linked with a Greek sense of self as particular political subjects. A focus on inheritance demonstrates how the political can be located in the mundane and the everyday.

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Contested Wills

Reclaiming the Daughter's Inheritance in Vita Sackville-West's The Edwardians

Sophie Blanch

Vita Sackville-West received her copy of Orlando from Virginia Woolf on the day of its publication in October 1928. The significance of this act came to represent far more than a literary gesture from one writer to another. An exuberant and unorthodox biography of Vita and her ancestral heritage, Orlando finally enabled Woolf to capture an enduring impression of the woman who had been both her muse and her lover. For Vita Sackville-West, however, Woolf ’s literary offering represented more, even, than this most inspired declaration of affection. For a daughter denied all rights to property inheritance under the laws of male primogeniture, Woolf had provided all that the courts had removed; possession of an ancestral past and access to a familial present. The literary sorcery of a novel that could subvert the sexual identity of its protagonist could, in the same moment, undermine all such legal process and restore Vita/Orlando to her beloved ancestral home. Writing in reply to Woolf, Vita’s expression of gratitude for reuniting her with the memory of Knole, the Sackville-Wests’Kentish estate, is complicated by a remaining sense of grief for her lost inheritance

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The De-familiazation of Inter-generational Relations

From the Family to the Groupe Professionnel

Luca Guizzardi

One of Durkheim's great 'unwritten books' was on the family. And one of the consequences has been insufficient attention to the issue's centrality in his work, and to the radical implications in the case of modern society. This essay is based on his lectures and articles on the family, but together with his many reviews on the subject in the Année sociologique. Given his evolutionary approach, a start is made with his interest in the origins and development of the family. But this helps to underline the far-reaching implications of his view that the modern family has narrowed down to the conjugal family. In a way the individual is emancipated from the bonds of kinship. But it is in a transformation of inheritance into an essentially private affair. Solidarity requires a rebuilding of links across the generations, while justice require a re-collectivization of inherited wealth, through new occupational groups.

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Succession Law in Israel

Individualism and the Family

Shelly Kreiczer-Levy

Succession law has faced enormous challenges in recent years, as changes in family structure have begun to emerge. The purpose of this article is to examine how Israeli succession law defines and shapes familial relations and the function of the different actors (legislature and courts) in this process. In addition, the article analyzes the tension between the free will of the property owner and familial obligations related to inheritance law. In doing so, it focuses on two legal rules: intestate succession rules, which reflect the role of the legislature in defining the family, and undue influence, which demonstrates the role of the courts in shaping familial structures.

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Larissa Mellor

This article explores the relationship between my cultural inheritance and its impact on my work as a visual artist. Questions in the work related to language and geography are tied to my lived experience. These themes led me to explore the contemporary context of German clubs in the United States. I found the art process of collage – cutting and pasting to rearrange parts on a surface – to be an apt visual for the position of the German clubs today, arriving at the term ‘collaged culture’. Similarities between visual art and life reveal that both carry histories. By investigating the relationships between these, we can better perceive the current state of the work of art.

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Miriam Shadis

This article examines a series of wills created by members of the royal family of Portugal over three generations, from the mid-twelfth to the mid-thirteenth century. Wills served different functions depending on the political context of their makers: fundamentally pious documents, expressing hopes for salvation, they also worked to shape the political future of the realm. Above all, these wills demonstrate certain features of material life and the deep personal connections enjoyed by members of this large and fractious family.

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Legal dynamics in a border area

Between customary law and state law

Nebi Bardhoshi

This article considers factors that have effected and influenced the continuity of the customary law named the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini in some areas of Albanian and Kosovo. It draws on ethnographic data on the border area villages between Albania and Kosovo to discuss the dynamics and tensions that are created between state and non-state law vis-à-vis justice in highly complex and problematic social, economic, and political contexts. Customary law and state law seem to be two conflicting legal ideologies. However, the article considers everyday settings where people make use of both legal systems in order to regulate matters especially related to property issues. The new legal realities create around property ownership imply new type of relations vis-à-vis family and kinship structures which oscillate between the two systems.

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John V. Nance

Of the fifteen verbal links Wiggins associates with Q1 Hamlet in his catalogue of British Drama, the inclusion of Dido, Queen of Carthage is potentially the most problematic in terms of establishing a 1588–1589 date for the play. This article re-examines the editorial and critical history of the most commonly cited overlap between these two plays – the entirety of ‘Aeneas’s tale to Dido’ – and it provides new evidence that challenges their continued association.

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Yael Braudo

Starting in the early 1950s, Israeli women's organizations persistently promoted legislation that aimed to ensure wives' just share in marital property, until in 1973 the Knesset enacted the Spouses (Property Relations) Law. This remarkable struggle was then forgotten. The long history of this law as told here, along with parallel Israeli legislative and judicial developments related to property relations between spouses, reveals the political activities of women's organizations during the decades in which it is generally believed that they neglected their political-feminist agenda. It also discloses the substantial gap between the organizations' vision of a community property regime throughout marriage and the regime of property separation enacted into law. This case study sheds light on how social organizations attempt to promote legal reforms and on the consequences of their compromises.

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Pat Wheeler, Sharon Monteith and Livi Michael

Livi Michael has written four highly acclaimed novels, Under a Thin Moon (London: Minerva, 1993), Their Angel Reach (London: Martin, Secker and Warburg Ltd, 1994), All the Dark Air (London: Martin, Secker and Warburg Ltd, 1996) and Inheritance (London: Penguin, 2000). This interview was conducted prior to the publication of Inheritance. She has been shortlisted for the John Steinbeck and the John Llewellyn Rhys Awards and is a winner of the Royal Society of Literature Arthur Welton Scholarship. Michael has also been awarded by the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Society of Authors Award.