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Modernising Pastorals?

The Olive Field and Thirties Leftist Pastoral

Chris Hopkins

William Empson famously suggested in his book Some Versions of Pastoral (1935) that ‘good proletarian art is usually Covert Pastoral’.1 This comment, and the discussion which follows it, has a good deal of characteristic Empsonian provocation and idiosyncrasy, and has rarely been pursued with seriousness by 1930s critics. Thus Valentine Cunningham says that this ‘cheeky dodge’ of Empson’s is at least half-serious, but is more inclined to emphasise the playful half of the intention

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Lena Steveker

, most notably an interest in pastoral. 17 The extensive use which The Queen and Concubine makes of pastoral elements aligns it with the pastoral plays performed at court under the patronage of the Queen Consort Henrietta Maria. 18 The exiled Eulalia

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Aref Abu-Rabia

The main purpose of this article is to describe traditional breastfeeding practices among the pastoral tribes in the Middle East. It also examines beliefs and attitudes towards breastfeeding and related issues, including pregnancy, infections of the breast nipple, sources of milk, 'bad milk' syndrome and breastfeeding as a contraceptive method. The most significant findings are that mothers relate breastfeeding to their physical and psychological state. There are also symbolic and emotional relationships between human babies and the colostrum of animals. A survey of medicinal cures for problems related to breastfeeding reveals that these cures are based on substances found in the desert pastoral environment.

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Gramsci in and beyond resistances

The search for an autonomous political initiative among a subaltern group in the Beninese savanna

Riccardo Ciavolella

group of pastoral and nomadic origins, known as the Fulani, in Donga, a northwestern region of Benin. Here, high levels of marginalization including poverty, illiteracy, and social exclusion severely limit political mobilization. Nevertheless, some

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Replenishing Milk Sons

Changing Kinship Practices among the Sahrāwī, North Africa

Konstantina Isidoros

negotiating the precarity of multi-subsistence livelihoods of trans-Saharan long-distance trade, camel pastoralism and historic customary raiding ( ġazw ) and horticulture. Present-day public, political and economic spaces appear to be male-dominated in

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Scale and Number

Framing an Ideology of Pastoral Plenty in Rural Mongolia

Joseph Bristley

place over three days, framed a ‘chronotope’ ( Bakhtin 1981 ) of pastoral plenty. Simultaneously an important civic occurrence and a ludic event marked by drunken exuberance, the 2015 aduuny bayar drew in hundreds of visitors to Erdene's sleepy

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Alterpolitics or alterotopies

A critique of nomadology with reference to West African Fulbe

Riccardo Ciavolella

This article offers a critique of how the anthropology of pastoral nomadic societies participates in the debate about alternative forms of political organization and emancipation. In the first part, I retrace the roots of the reciprocal and circular influence between anthropology and critical theory, focusing on Deleuze and Guattari's “nomadology” and their reliance on ethnographies of “primitive” and especially nomadic people. Attracted by the spatial autonomy and immanent forms of resistance of nomads, their work nourished the poststructuralist interpretation of power, which in turn influenced contemporary radical political anthropologists. In the second part, I reintroduce ethnographic evidence on pastoral nomads into the discussion. Relying on recent ethnographic evidence of the crisis of nomadism, especially in West Africa, I argue that we should be more prudent in considering interstitial spaces of freedom and resistances as strategies for structurally changing power and for emancipation.

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'K Marts and Lost Parents'

'Dirty Realism' in Contemporary American and Irish Fiction

Linden Peach

Although not strictly speaking a ‘dirty realist’ novel, American Pastoral is clearly indebted to the genre. Concerned with a generation which, despite its money, is only one removed from the city’s Old Prince Street ghetto – Seymour Levov’s father left school at fourteen to work in a tannery to support a family of nine – the 1960s proves ‘dirtier’ than the past. Prosperous Newark becomes ‘the car-theft capital of the world’ and the Levov’s neighbourhood, reminiscent of ‘dirty realist’ writing, becomes a seedy district where, apart from a liquor store, a pizza stand and a church, everything is ruined and boarded up. Initially, as in ‘dirty realist’ writing, fantasies about family and community hide ‘the way things actually work’.1 But a significant element of American Pastoral is its implicit argument in favour of ‘dirty realism’. If we accept the novel’s gist, the need for Seymour to be released from myth into the complexity and messiness of history, then ‘dirty realism’, as beyond pastoral and outside a linear, progressive model of history, is relocated as a mode of writing which buys into postmodern critiques of monolithic narratives and fixed subject-positions.

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The Religious Challenge

To Live in the Context of Diverse Cultures

Rainer B. Irmgedruth

For the past five years I have been the pastor in charge of two communities in Mettingen in the northern part of the Muensterland (North Rhine–Westphalia). My predecessor spent thirty-two years there and in the area in which I carry out my pastoral duties there are 10,000 Catholic Christians as compared to 2,500 Protestants. We have barely one hundred Muslims, and Jews never settled in this area. 350 years ago the violent clashes between Catholic and Protestant Christians finally came to an end (the Peace of Westphalia) and 110 years ago legal discrimination against Catholics by a liberal Protestant state (the Kulturkampf, the phase of the struggle between church and state under Bismarck) was abolished.

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From Purgatory to Sentinel

'Forms/Events' in the Field of Zoonoses

Frédéric Keck

This article discusses Paul Rabinow's notion of 'form/event' in the light of the current management of Avian Influenza in Hong Kong. While this notion allows the study of how life sciences produce events by turning scarcity of material into abundance of information, Paul Rabinow applied it to the scene of biotechnologies where values about life are suspended in what he calls purgatory. I suggest that, for the anticipation of epidemics from the animal reservoir, the form/event is not a suspension of values but a communication by signs in what I call, following Hong Kong microbiologists, a sentinel. Moving from purgatory to sentinel in the field of biosecurity opens a plurality of scales at which events happen, and transforms the model of subjectivity, from pastoral care to hunting relationships. This theoretical shift sheds light on the ethnography of Avian Flu in Hong Kong, where birdwatchers have allied with microbiologists to practise animal surveillance.