In recent years it has been asked whether it is time to move ‘beyond the national museum’. This article takes issue with this assertion on the grounds that it misunderstands not only museums as cultural phenomenon but also the ways in which globalization, nationalism, and localism are always enmeshed and co-constitutive. The article begins by considering theories of globalization, postnationalism, and cosmopolitanism and their relevance for national museums in the European context. Specific theories of cosmopolitanism are subsequently further explored in relation to two museum examples drawn from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin. In different ways both examples demonstrate the potential for museums to engage visitors with ideas of cosmopolitanism, globalization, and postnationalism by revisiting, reframing, and reinterpreting existing national collections and displays. In the process the article makes the case for the merits of a nationally situated approach to cosmopolitanism in European museums. At the same time it acknowledges some of the potential limits to such endeavors. The article concludes by imagining what a ‘cosmopolitan museology’ would offer in terms of practice, politics, and ethics.
Imagining a Cosmopolitan Museology
Martin H. Geyer
Sports have always been used to promote the nation state and the invention of national traditions with national symbols such as flags and national hymns playing an important role. This article looks at the peculiar situation of the post-war period when two Germanys established themselves also in the field of sports, yet cooperated in some athletic disciplines, and, most important of all, at the Olympic Games until 1968. This raised a great number of delicate political questions, particularly the politics of the nonrecognition of the GDR which strove hard to establish itself internationally by way of the international sports movement. Konrad Adenauer and the German Sports Organization clashed on this issue which brought to the fore the question of a German and an emerging West-German identity. In order to describe this negotiation of the nation state in the realm of sports, this article tries to make fruitful use of the term postnationalism in order to understand the ambiguities of identity of Germans towards their nation state. It also takes a brief look at the Olympic Games of 1972, which epitomizes more than anything else the peculiar postnationalism of the Federal Republic.
Critical Theory and Social Change in South Africa
Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency, by Elliot L. Jurist. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2000.
The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, by Jürgen Habermas. Translated, edited and with an introduction by Max Pensky. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001.
Pluralism and the Pragmatic Turn: The Transformation of Critical Theory. Essays in Honor of Thomas McCarthy, edited by William Rehg and James Bohman. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2001.
Based on a five-year ethnography, this article looks at Germany's citizenship reform of 1999 from the perspective of a population that is often at the center of attention: second generation immigrant drug dealers. While the reform had the potential to make a significant difference for this group, with respect to both their legal status in the country and perception of Germany, the findings of this article show that the reform did not have such an impact. On the contrary, the reform seems to have had the opposite effect, alienating the young men even more from Germany by keeping citizenship out of reach for them. While some have argued that in the light of supranational citizenship norms and the discourse of citizenship rights as human rights, national citizenship becomes increasingly unimportant as new forms of post-national citizenship gradually emerge, this does not seem to hold true for the young men of this study.
Stephen Welch and Ruth Wittlinger
The aim of this paper is to offer a critique of the proposal of “methodological cosmopolitanism“ in theoretical terms and to substantiate this critique by providing an account of the dynamics of collective memory and identity in postunification Germany. In the first part, we look at the arguments about methodological cosmopolitanism and their derivative, the idea of cosmopolitan memory, illustrated by the case of Holocaust memory. In the second part we look at the case of Germany: firstly at its postwar experience of the attempted construction of “postnational“ identity, and then at more recent trends, contemporaneous with the Berlin Republic, towards a “normalization“ of national identity in Germany. The Holocaust plays a crucial, but different, role in each phase, we suggest. In the conclusion we return to more general themes, asking what the German case tells us about the cosmopolitanization thesis more generally.
Material Culture of the Middle East, Its Intangible Dimensions and New Museums
Janet Blake and Danila Mayer
In this issue of Anthropology of the Middle East, we present contributions that deal with museums, museology and their approaches to the new social situations through which they must navigate. Cutting a swathe very generously around the Mediterranean and the Middle East – from Tunis to Qatar, Turkey and, as an extension, to Austria – we bring together articles that look closely into some acute issues of today: the transformation from colonial to post-colonial and its reverberant impacts, from national to post-national and transnational societies both in Europe and the Middle East, and to the stringencies of material culture, cultural heritage and ‘meaningful objects’, and how to preserve, to analyse and to exhibit them. All contributors dedicate their works published here to the social, cultural and economic changes affecting societies and communities, and to the demands that increasing diversity presents as challenges to cultural institutions and their personnel.
This article investigates the debates on expatriation policies after the establishment of Israel as an independent state in 1948. It shows that citizenship is a contingent political construction rather than an intrinsic national tradition. During the first years of its existence, the exact formulation of the type of citizenship in Israel was not fully established. Although scholars of the Israeli state claim that ethnicity dictated the formulation of Israeli rule, it was the desire to build a modern and democratic state that was the basis for naturalization and expatriation in Israel. The article argues that the resolution to allow multiple citizenships was pragmatic rather than ideological. It shows that in Israel, this policy was not derived from a post-national ideology but from the need to recruit more Jewish immigrants from affluent countries.
The Art Fair, the Culture Industry, and the ‘Creative Class’
The complicity of the arts and the state in the mutual legitimation of corporate market practice is addressed in this critique of the so-called culture industries and 'Creative Class' of late capitalist imagination. The certification of the state-market couple as the dominant ideology of national, transnational, and post-national politics and economics is examined through an analysis of the Frieze Art Fair between 2006 and 2009. I contend that the decline of a culture-debating society and the rise of a culture-consuming society herald the waning of a habit of independent rationality and informed argument that characterized Horkheimer and Adorno's 'Enlightenment project'. The managerialist moment in the arts (as in education) signifies the diminishing status of culture as the cornerstone of an enlightened social formation.
Otaku Movement and the Joan of Arc Effect in Type-Moon's Transhistorical Anime Ecology
David John Boyd
This article examines the temporal and phenomenological philosophies of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Paolo Virno, specifically in relation to the transmedia franchises of the Japanese game studio, Type-Moon. Against linear, national, and majoritarian grand narratives of the historical, the otaku artists, writers, and developers responsible for the Fate series postulate whether it is possible to harness the intense and affective forces described by Jay Lampert as “the Joan of Arc effect” in the blink of an eye or in the palm of your hand. Through a philosophical and formal analysis of three spinoff series from the Fate franchise, this article investigates how Type-Moon's deployment of the “anime machine” encourages its viewers and users to see and feel the abundance of flowing “nomadic memories” or counter-historical visions from the perspective of minor populations. Through this highly embodied and tactile experience of transhistorical (un)becomings, Type-Moon's series offer a deterritorialized, post-national world-image of the otaku database which mediates between the overloading affects of becoming-woman and the digitally encoded logic of transversal through the frames, windows, interfaces, devices, platforms, and bodies that constitute Type-Moon's vibrant anime ecology.
A Reading of Life of Pi
belonging, most of this novel is set in the Pacific Ocean, a fact that reinforces the fluidity of borders and the indistinct nature of divisions that provides greater mobility, both physical and emotional, to the people of this postnational world. In short