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Aspects of the Naven Ritual

Conversations with an Iatmul Woman of Papua New Guinea

Florence Weiss and Milan Stanek

Rituals are analyzed in anthropology as non-personal cultural structures, embedded in the overall behavioral patterns and semantic networks that are typical for a particular cultural group. This article focuses on the Iatmul people of Papua New Guinea and their ritual, naven, which features transvestite behavior and ritualized social roles. The authors discuss the ethno-psychoanalytic approach, which focuses on the psychodynamics of the relationship between two persons, the foreign researcher and his or her local counterpart, that develops in the course of a series of conversations. The narrative shifts to a case study involving Weiss and an Iatmul woman, Magendaua, which took place over three months. Their conversations particularly illuminate the meanings of the naven ritual. The use Magendaua made of the naven can be characterized as a transformation of the tensions in the relationship with her Swiss ethnographic-interlocutor and interpreted as a general feature of the rituals of this type.

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Aimé Césaire

Revisiting the Poetry

Ronnie Scharfman

In July 1989, as part of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the French Revolution, the great Martinican poet, playwright, and essayist Aimé Césaire was a special invitee of the Avignon Theatre Festival. I led a round table with him then in the context of the Institut d'Études Françaises of Bryn Mawr College. In his remarks he also read two unpublished poems. One of them, "Parcours," which I translate here as "Journey," is the subject of this article. This piece constitutes a reading of the poem as the poet's looking back, metaphorically, on his poetic journey, fifty years after the publishing of his epic poem, "Cahier d'un retour au pays natal" in 1939. This theme of looking back becomes a way to meditate on my own intellectual trajectory as a scholar of Césaire's poetry. I conclude with a poem of my own, on "Rereading Césaire Thirty Years On."

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Holger Wolf

Has economic unification succeeded? Assessments differ, depending on the criteria selected, and the benchmark used. In many areas, from productivity to infrastructure and housing, dramatic economic improvements are readily apparent. Yet daunting challenges remain: the speed of productivity convergence has slowed, unemployment remains high and net emigration continues. Looking forward, demographic and fiscal trends pose serious challenges. This paper begins with a brief look back at the experience since 1989 before turning to a discussion of current and future challenges.

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Introduction

Looking Back and Looking Forward

The Editors

This issue of ECA takes as its theme the importance of looking back in order the better to look forward. We can apply this in the first instance to our role as editors: this is the final edition of the journal to be published by Liverpool University Press. As from ECA 5.1 in July 2012, ECA will be published by Oxford and New York-based Berghahn, one of the leading independent academic publishers, with specialisations in cultural studies and visual media.

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Preface

JEMMS Relaunch

Editorial Committee

Ten years after launching the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (JEMMS) in 2009, it seems appropriate to look back and assess the journal’s achievements, review its purpose, and address prospects for the coming years. As the only journal of its kind dedicated to the dissemination of international educational media research in the humanities, JEMMS has provided a platform for authors from sixteen countries on seven continents, including Chile, South Africa, Macedonia, and China.

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This issue of Israel Studies Review examines a variety of issues and topics using some new lenses that we hope will provide novel perspectives. We begin with Mitchell Cohen’s essay on Labor Zionism, looking back on its 30-year hegemony another 30 years on. Cohen identifies some of the decisions and trends that were undermining the democratic socialist underpinnings of Labor well before it lost power, and how historians and others have understood them.

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Suzanne Berger

Looking back at extreme-right politics in France in the 1940s and 1950s provides new perspectives on contemporary populism. Stanley Hoffmann’s analyses of support for the Vichy regime and for the Poujade movement emphasized how populist politics flourished in times when major segments of the population felt thwarted in efforts to have their interests and views represented in government. Attempts to explain populism by the economic or cultural characteristics of individuals are insufficient. As Hoffmann suggested, it is the political failure of parties and interest groups to channel the grievances and demands of the “losers” of globalization into policy arenas that fuels the rise of populism today.

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Talking across Cultural Differences

Some Reflections Proceeding from Exile

Eva Hoffman

I am a woman and I am a writer; therefore, I am a woman writer. I do not disavow this, and I am sure that the basic given of femininity affects, in ways that are both accessible to me and unconscious, much of what I write. However, as I look back on my writing about issues of difference and Otherness—and as has sometimes been pointed out to me—I realise that the problematic of gender is, if not entirely absent from it, then rarely explicitly foregrounded or emphasised. I would like to reflect briefly on why this is so.

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Laura Louise Sarauw, Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu and Penny Welch

Macfarlane, B. (2017), Freedom to Learn: The Threat to Student Academic Freedom and Why It Needs to Be Reclaimed London: Routledge, 140 pp., ISBN 978-0-415-72916-1

P. Zgaga, U. Teichler, H. G. Schuetze and A. Wolter (eds) (2015), Higher Education Reform: Looking Back and Looking Forward Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 431 pp., ISBN 978-3-631-66275-5

D. Pecorari and P. Shaw (eds) (2019), Student Plagiarism in Higher Education: Reflections on Teaching Practice London: Routledge, 180 pp., ISBN 978-1-138-05516-2

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Alex Posecznick

Most academics that I know take it for granted that higher education in capitalist countries has become deeply corporatised over the last thirty years. But as an undergraduate student in the 1990s, dreaming of joining the ranks of the professoriate, the institutional and structural changes that were transforming the university were largely hidden from my view. Looking back, I had no idea how such trends might be impacting the men and women who excited my intellect and set me on an academic path. I did not even think to ask.