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Occupation, Race, and Empire

Maxence Van der Meersch's Invasion 14

W. Brian Newsome

In his 1935 novel Invasion 14, Maxence Van der Meersch painted a nuanced picture of the German invasion and occupation of northern France during World War I. Despite local controversy, Invasion 14 won national and international praise, losing the Prix Goncourt by a single vote. Though neglected in the wake of World War II, when the author's treatment of Franco-German relations between 1914 and 1918 ran headlong into evolving myths of widespread resistance between 1940 and 1944, Invasion 14 has garnered renewed attention as a window onto the occupation of World War I. Heretofore unappreciated, however, is Van der Meersch's use of colonial themes of race and empire. Based on research in the Archives Maxence Van der Meersch, this study explores the author's treatment of colonial motifs, demonstrating their centrality to the novel and the debate it generated.

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Jean-Paul Sartre

Upon arriving in Paris, many Englishmen and Americans were surprised that we were not as thin as they had expected. They saw women wearing elegant dresses that appeared new and men in jackets that, from afar, still looked good; they rarely encountered that facial pallor, that physiological misery that is usually proof of starvation. Concern that is disappointed turns into rancor. I am afraid that they were a little annoyed with us because we didn’t conform completely to the pathetic image that they had previously formed of us. Perhaps some of them wondered in the depth of their heart if the occupation had been quite so terrible after all and if France shouldn’t consider the defeat as a lucky break that would allow her to regain its place as a great power without having deserved it through great sacrifices; perhaps they thought as did the Daily Express that, in comparison to the English, the French didn’t fare so badly during these four years.

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Ian S. Lustick

Ariel Handel, Marco Allegra, and Erez Maggor, eds., Normalizing Occupation: The Politics of Everyday Life in the West Bank Settlements (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017), 244 pp. Hardback, $90.00. Paperback, $35.00.

Sara Yael Hirschhorn, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017), 368 pp. Hardback, $39.95.

Gershon Shafir, A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), 296 pp. Hardback, $26.95.

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3. 'At the Mercy of the German Eagle'

Images of London in Dissolution in the Novels of William Le Queux

Antony Taylor

In the years before 1914 the novels of William Le Queux provided a catalyst for British debates about the economic, military and political failures of the empire and featured plots that embodied fears about new national and imperial rivals. For Le Queux, the capture of London was integral to German military occupation. Representative of the nation’s will to resist, or its inability to withstand attack, the vitality of London was always at issue in his novels. Drawing on contemporary fears about the capital and its decay, this article considers the moral panics about London and Londoners and their relationship to Britain’s martial decline reflected in his stories. Engaging with images of anarchist and foreign terrorism, and drawing on fears of covert espionage rings operating in government circles, this article probes the ways in which Le Queux’s fiction expressed concerns about London as a degenerate metropolis in the process of social and moral collapse.

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Military Occupation as Carceral Society

Prisons, Checkpoints, and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle

Avram Bornstein

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been subject to increasing confinement, starting with prisons in the 1970s and 1980s and growing into a regime of checkpoints and walls that encircle entire towns and villages. After a historical review of the incremental stages of this incarceration, the article examines the overall impact of prisons, checkpoints, and walls, based on observations garnered from more than a dozen research trips over two decades and a review of research by others. Although these architectures are built and used in the name of security, findings show that mass imprisonment debilitates the Palestinian economy, forcing Palestinians to flee or resist. The final section compares the Israeli carceralization of the Occupied Territories to the US occupation of Iraq, suggesting that similar, albeit more violent, processes are underway.

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Remembering the "Forgotten Zone"

Recasting the Image of the Post-1945 French Occupation of Germany

Corey Campion

In much of the English-language scholarship on the post-1945 Allied occupation of Germany, French officials appear as little more than late arrivals to the victors’ table, in need of and destined to follow Anglo-American leadership in the emerging Cold War. However, French occupation policies were unique within the western camp and helped lay the foundations of postwar Franco-German reconciliation that are often credited to the 1963 Elysée Treaty. Exploring how the French occupation has been neglected, this article traces the memory of the zone across the often-disconnected work of French-, German-, and English-speaking scholars since the 1950s. Moreover, it outlines new avenues of research that could help historians resurrect the unique experience of the French zone and enrich our appreciation of the Franco-German “motor” on which Europe still relies.

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The Accidental Pilgrims

Olive Pickers in Palestine

Anne Meneley

This article focuses on the way in which olive-picking volunteers in Palestine become transformed into 'accidental pilgrims', and unconventional ones at that, by virtue of their participation in the olive harvest. Undergoing the difficulties of mobility that constrain the Palestinians and witnessing holy sites through the eyes and narratives of Palestinian guides, they are exposed to an alternative knowledge and affect regarding the Holy Land, unlike the experience offered by more conventional religious pilgrimage. Several vignettes reflect the diverse backgrounds of olive-picking pilgrims, who come from many different religions, class positions, and nationalities. Drawn together in a communitas of sorts through their shared commitment to learning about Palestine, they try to do what they can to further the Palestinian cause on their return home. Instead of a 'moral geography', they perceive a profoundly 'immoral geography' of occupation and oppression, which has a powerful transformative effect.

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Karolina S. Follis and Christian R. Rogler

In 2004, Susan Brin Hyatt reported from a roundtable session organised by the American Anthropological Association ‘a dispiriting picture of academic life in the early years of the 21st century’, due to, amongst other things, ‘the casualization of the academic workforce’ (Hyatt 2004: 25–26). Less than a decade later, Joëlle Fanghanel notes that the ‘increased casualization of academic staff [has] significantly affected the evolution of academic work and working patterns’ (2012: 5). Casualisation takes different forms in different academic contexts, from the ‘adjunctification’ of teaching in the U.S.A. to precarious grant-funded postdoc positions common in Europe and the U.K. and the efforts to introduce other forms of temporary academic employment in New Zealand (Shore and Davidson 2014) and Australia (Barcan 2014). Seeking to contribute to these and other current discussions on the future of research and higher education in the era of privatisation and funding cuts, Hana Cervinkova and Karolina Follis convened the panel Anthropology as a Vocation and Occupation, held on 3 August 2014 at the 13th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in Tallinn, Estonia.

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The Battle of the Mountains

Repatriating Folly in France in the Aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars

Christine Haynes

At the beginning of the Second Restoration, Paris was swept by a mania for roller coasters, which were dubbed montagnes russes after a Russian tradition of sledding on ice hills. Situating this phenomenon in the context of the military occupation of France following the defeat of Napoleon, this article analyzes one of the many plays featuring these “mountains,” Le Combat des montagnes (“The Battle of the Mountains”), and especially two of its main characters, La Folie (Folly) and Calicot (Calico Salesman). The “battle” over the roller coasters, it argues, was really a contest over how to redefine national identity around consumer culture rather than military glory. Through the lens of the montagnes russes, the article offers a new perspective on the early Restoration as an aftermath of war.

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Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman

Last spring in France a controversy arose over an exhibit of André Zucca's photographs of Paris under German occupation. The well-known photo journalist worked for the Nazi magazine Signal during World War II. For that reason, some people disapproved of an exhibit on the work of a former "collaborateur," a man who, in a way, helped Hitler's Germany. Those who prepared the exhibit justified the project on the basis of the beauty of Zucca's colored photos and the rarity of wartime color photos. They insisted on the importance of his use of agfacolor film, which was generally available only to Germans. Critics of the exhibition found Zucca's privileged access all the more disturbing. An analysis of the archives from the period exposes the complexity of the affair and the need for further research. Evidence from documents on Zucca's activity and opinions during the war reveal a man little interested in the world except to photograph it.