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Actually existing tomatoes

Politics of memory, variety, and empire in Latvian struggles over seeds

Guntra A. Aistara

In March 2012, a small farm in Latvia with a collection of over 200 tomato varieties was charged with the illegal sale of seeds not included in the European Union's Common Catalogue. The farm's collection includes traditional Latvian varieties that have never been officially registered, Western varieties imported illegally during the Soviet years, and Russian varieties that came into use during the Soviet years and are now defended by Latvian gardeners as "traditionally grown" and representing the taste of their childhoods. The debate highlighted the continuing struggle over Latvia's geopolitical positioning between Russia and the European Union and control over seeds as a tactic of empire. I explore the cultural memories embedded in the contested tomato seeds and how they contribute to an intertwined imaginary of the Latvian landscape idyll with a Soviet sociality. I argue that the innovative resolution to this conflict represents a process of transculturation in a contact zone between empires (Pratt 1992).

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Koinova, Maria. 2013. Ethnonationalist conflict in postcommunist states. Varieties of governance in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 328 pp. Hb.: US$69.95. ISBN: 978‐0812245226.

Denis S. Ermolin

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Giovanni A. Travaglino and Benjamin Abrams

Since its inception, Contention has aimed to illuminate our understanding of activism and political behavior across a full variety of contexts and settings. By examining political behavior across multiple geographical and social sites, we can

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About the Cover Image

Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

time as a journal we will utilize a variety of archives and collections for our images. On the cover of this issue is an image taken from the Wellcome Collection. Titled “Dance of death: death and the pedlar”, the image shows a skeletal

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Theorizing Reactive Democracy

The Social Media Public Sphere, Online Crowds and the Plebiscitary Logic of Online Reactions

Paolo Gerbaudo

Recent years have seen the eruption of a variety of new political phenomena, from protest and populist insurgencies to new political parties and electoral campaigns, that have found a propitious avenue of mobilization on social media. These

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Pursuing sustainable development from below

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

global affairs. However, localized visions of sustainable development continue to thrive. These development models are based on local movements that include a variety of actors with concrete grievances and focused visions for the futures of their

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Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

The Social Worlds of Wheat

Jessica Barnes

multinational company that trades grain around the world may also develop new varieties of wheat. My goal in bringing together this scholarship is to highlight what I call the social worlds of wheat. By this I mean the multiple ways in which the plant becomes

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Letter from the Editors

“The importance of scholarship”

Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

There is often a suggestion—or direct accusation—that academic work is somewhat removed from the goings-on of what is labeled “the real world.” These charges can come from a variety of places, and there is plenty of fertile ground for such

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

featuring excellent scholars from around the world. We hope that the variety of international cases in our pages will one day be mirrored by a similarly international community of authors, reviewers, and editors. The first article in this issue, “The

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Spatializing Black Girlhood

Rap Music and Strategies of Refusal

Asilia Franklin-Phipps

contribute to Black culture. Enclosure and Refusal: On Not Knowing Your Place Black suffering in schools, where children and adolescents suffer for a variety of reasons in a variety of ways, has been widely documented ( Dumas 2014 ). Damien Sojoyner