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Reverse, restore, repeat!

Class, ethnicity, and the Russian-speaking miners of Estonia

Eeva Kesküla

In this article, I look at Russian-speaking miners' perception of their position in Estonian society, along with their moral economy. Former heroes, glorified for their class and ethnicity, they feel like a racialized underclass in neoliberal Estonia. Excluded from the nation on the basis of ethnicity, they try to maintain their dignity through the discourse of hard work as a basis for membership in society. Based on the longer-term analysis of Estonian history, I argue that the current outcome for the Russian-speaking working class is related to longer historical processes of class formation whereby each period in the Estonian history of the twentieth century seems to be the reversal of the previous one. I also argue for analysis of social change in Eastern Europe that does not focus solely on ethnicity but is linked to class formation processes.

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Biased Render

Indigenous Algorithmic Embodiment in 3D Worlds

Joshua D. Miner

This article explores the digitality of Indigenous bodies within contemporary 3D video games by mainstream and Indigenous developers. Its analysis relies on a critical examination of digital image synthesis via real-time graphics rendering, which algorithmically generates the visible world onscreen from 3D geometries by mapping textures, generating light and shadow, and simulating perceptual phenomena. At a time when physically based, unbiased rendering methods have made photorealistic styles and open-world structures common across AAA games in general, Indigenous game designers have instead employed simplified “low res” styles. Using bias as an interpretive model, this article unpacks how these designers critique mainstream rendering as a cultural-computational practice whose processes are encoded with cultural biases that frame the relation of player and screen body (avatar). The algorithmic production of digitally modeled bodies, as an essential but masked element of video games, offers a territory where Indigenous developers claim aesthetic presence in the medium.

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Feng Hao

The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.

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'We Are the Losers of Socialism!'

Tuberculosis, the Limits of Bio-citizenship and the Future of Care in Romania

Jonathan Stillo

Mircea stares off The Pines Tuberculosis Sanatorium balcony. He tells me that in the valley below he once had a family and worked as a miner and then at a collective farm. Now he is alone and unwanted. His blue eyes well up with tears and he tells me, ‘we are the losers of socialism, there is no hope for us’. He continues: ‘We are losers in society, and when you see yourself, the way you are now, and you know what you used to be, when you mattered, and worked … it’s hard for you. This is why we say we are embarrassed, because you don’t matter anymore, to anybody.’ 55-year-old Mircea spent the last four years of his life here, abandoned by his family, dying of XDR-TB.1 When I asked his doctor when he would go home, she replied, ‘Home? To what? ... He is a social case,2 I cannot discharge him.’

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'Sweets for My Daughter'

Coetzee, Eliot and the Private Mode

Myrtle Hooper

In a 1969 study of metaphysical poetry, Earl Miner distinguishes between the private mode of John Donne and the public mode of Ben Jonson. Schematic as this distinction might seem, it sheds light on the poetry of Donne because it takes up the proposition put first by J.B. Leishman in 1951, and developed by others after him, that Donne was a ‘coterie-poet’, whose work was significantly shaped by the small and intimate readership for whom he wrote. This means, for example, that he can assume an audience of friends and equals who will ‘understand not only the allusions and witticisms, but (what is harder) just when he is serious and when not, and just what kind of seriousness is being displayed; they will understand also where the poems are “personal” and where not, and again just what kind of “personality” is involved’. Now it might seem strange to begin a consideration of Coetzee with a disquisition upon Donne; the medium, of course, is Eliot, whose early opinion of Donne has been famous and formative for generations of readers in the twentieth century: ‘Tennyson and Browning are poets, and they think; but they do not feel their thought as immediately as the odour of a rose. Athought to Donne was an experience; it modified his sensibility’. As Leishman has shown, Eliot’s opinion of Donne itself underwent some degree of modification: by 1931 Eliot had discovered in Donne a ‘manifest fissure between thought and sensibility’. Irritating as Leishman appears to find Eliot and his public pronouncements, I will argue that the theory of a ‘dissociation of sensibility’ has uses for a study of Coetzee in South Africa at the turn of the century: one, because it directs us to seek explanations of characteristic features of the writer within the mind of the writer, and two, because in doing so it enables the converse line of approach that Leishman followed in relation to Donne – of seeking explanations for such features in the readership to whom the writing is directed (or at least by whom it is influenced).

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Blaming in the Boom and Bust

Greed Accusations in an Australian Coal Mining Town

Kari Dahlgren

contribution to global carbon emissions, and miners are deemed complicit by many left-leaning urbanites. Yet coal miners in Moranbah are facing numerous threats that derive from automation, workforce casualization and the rise of long-distance commuting. Thus

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Nathalia Brichet

of (foreign) capital. Thus, equipped with backpacks and hammers, an increasing number of small-scale miners are taking to the mountains. Stories about the abundance of rubies and other gemstones circulate, and geological maps indicating potential ruby

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From proclamation to denial

Indigenous rights and political participation in Venezuela

Catherine Alès

territories by illegal miners and armed groups from Colombia. This article demonstrates that while indigenous representatives and organisations have taken a long time to mobilize and to protest for the application of their rights, Venezuela has been more

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Lines in the Sacred Landscape

The Entanglement of Roads, Resources, and Informal Practices in Buriatiia

Anna Varfolomeeva

of French origin living in Russia. Many locals worked at the graphite mine, and soon a miners’ settlement appeared near Botogol. The extracted graphite was transferred to Germany, to the Faber Company in Nuremberg. Transportation of graphite from Oka

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Henry Dyson

invitations to dine in other colleges at the university and to speak in their chapels and societies too. He and Jim became well known in pubs and cafes in the city, making friends with many old Durhamers, mainly retired miners, and happily learning about their