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Claiming Space

Documenting Second-generation Iranian Americans in Los Angeles

Amy Malek

In 2009–2010 I collaborated with four Iranian documentary photographers to document everyday lives of the second-generation Iranian-American community in Los Angeles (LA). This article offers an overview of that project and exhibition, along with a selection of images, and presents interview data that suggests several impacts of place and of representations of Iranians on second generation Iranian-American identity. Youth experiences of geopolitical, community and familial struggles have motivated many in this generation to re-mould the image of ‘LA Persians’ by claiming space in diaspora for themselves and their children, the growing third generation.

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Migration to the “First Large Suburban Ghetto” in America

Korean Immigrant Merchants in South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s

Chanhaeng Lee

In this article, I argue that Korean immigrant merchants were active agents who opened small businesses in South Central Los Angeles in order to overcome a range of disadvantages faced in American society. From a structural point of view, Korean immigrant merchants constituted a middleman minority group that played the dual role of “oppressed and oppressor” in the suburban ghetto. Although these merchants made efforts to maintain civil relations with their African American customers, they were often treated with hostile attitudes largely because of the exploitative relationship that existed between the two groups. However, I maintain that Korean American journalists and scholars have not only misunderstood the identity of the middleman minority as an innocent buffer but have also erroneously estimated that race relations with African Americans in Los Angeles were better than those in other areas of the United States.

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The Merchant ON Venice [Boulevard, Los Angeles], Chicago, 2007

Universalizing Shakespeare’s Play after the Holocaust

Michael Shapiro

Productions, adaptations and spinoffs of The Merchant of Venice since 1945 generally employ one of four strategies: continuing, historicizing, decentring and universalizing. Continuing means following nineteenth-century English productions in making Shylock a sympathetic outsider. Immigrant Shylocks still appear on English-speaking stages, but often seem sentimentalized and anachronistic. Historicizing means making the play reflect historical circumstances, such as the Holocaust, so that Shylock, however sharp-edged, automatically attracts sympathy. Decentring means making Jessica’s story at least as important as Shylock’s. Many recent productions and prose adaptations explore Jessica’s plight as immigrant’s daughter, belle juive, forlorn wife or remorseful child. Universalizing means mapping the play’s Jewish-Christian conflict onto other racial, religious or ethnic antagonisms, as in The Merchant ON Venice, about a Muslim ‘Shylock’ and his Hindu neighbours in Los Angeles.

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Fabiola Lizama-Pérez, María de los Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez, Alejandro Ortega-Argueta, María Azahara Mesa-Jurado, María del Carmen Sandoval-Caraveo and Ady Patricia Carrera-Hernández

English Abstract:

This article assesses the implementation and performance of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) in Mexico over a decade (2004–2013). Official records of municipal evaluations from all 31 Mexican states were analyzed, comprising 39 indicators of four dimensions of sustainable development: institutional, economic, social and environmental. A positive evolution of the implementation of LA21 was observed, with the economic and social dimensions presenting the best and worst performances, respectively. In general, the local governments of northern Mexico performed better than their southern counterparts. The voluntary nature of LA21 implementation is highlighted, yet necessitating a strengthening of municipal capacities in long-term planning, inter-administration continuity, efficacy evaluation, and integration of all sectors into a more coherent municipal agenda.

Spanish Abstract:

Este estudio analiza la implementación y desempeño de la Agenda Local 21 (AL21) en México en un periodo de una década (2004– 2013). Se analizaron registros oficiales de evaluaciones municipales de los 31 estados de la república, que comprenden 39 indicadores de cuatro dimensiones del desarrollo sustentable: institucional, económico, social y ambiental. Se observó una evolución positiva en la implementación de la AL21, con las dimensiones económica y social mostrando el mejor y peor desempeños, respectivamente. En general, los gobiernos locales del norte de México tuvieron mejores desempeños que sus contrapartes del sur. Se destaca la naturaleza voluntaria de la implementación de la AL21, que todavía necesita un fortalecimiento de las capacidades municipales en la planificación de largo plazo, en la continuidad inter-administrativa, la evaluación de eficacia y la integración de todos los sectores en una agenda municipal más coherente.

French Abstract:

Cette étude analyse la mise en oeuvre et les performances de l’Agenda 21 local (AL21) au Mexique sur une période de dix ans (2004- 2013). Les archives officielles des évaluations municipales des trente-et-un états de la République ont été analysées. Elles comprennent trente-neuf indicateurs de quatre dimensions du développement durable: institutionnel, économique, social et environnemental. Une évolution positive a été observée dans la mise en oeuvre du LA21, les dimensions économique et sociale affichant respectivement les meilleures et les plus basses performances. En général, les administrations locales du nord du Mexique ont obtenu de meilleurs résultats que leurs homologues du sud. On souligne la nature volontaire de la mise en oeuvre de la LA21, qui nécessite toutefois encore un renforcement des capacités municipales dans la planification à long terme, dans la continuité inter-administrative, l’évaluation de l’efficacité et l’intégration de tous les secteurs dans un agenda municipal plus cohérent.

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Ceasing Fire and Seizing Time

LA Gang Tours and the White Control of Mobility

Sarah Sharma and Armonds R. Towns

LA Gang Tours went on its inaugural ride through Los Angeles in 2010. Black and Latino former gang members from South Los Angeles lead the bus tours, sharing personal stories of gang life with mostly white tourists. A popular critique of the tour is that it facilitates a tourist gaze. However, we argue that to focus on the tourist gaze misses a more pressing opportunity to examine the production of whiteness. We shift the focus to consider the bus’s movement and the power it exerts in transforming the spatial and temporal dynamics of South Los Angeles. Based on participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and discourse analysis of materials surrounding the tours, we found that the tour lays the figurative foundations for gentrifi cation and reconfi rms a white control of mobility in the neighborhood. Th is white control of mobility extends beyond Los Angeles to impact the lives of people of color throughout the United States.

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Krin Gabbard, Robert Sinnerbrink and Catherine Zimmer

Sophie Fiennes, dir.; Slavoj Zˇizˇek, writer and performer. The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. DVD, London: P Guide Ltd. 2006, 150 min. £21.99.

Daniel Frampton, FILMOSOPHY. London: Wallflower Press, 2006, vii + 254 pp., $19.50 (paperback).

Vivian Sobchack. CARNAL THOUGHTS: EMBODIMENT AND MOVING IMAGE CULTURE. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004, xii + 328 pp., $25.95 (paperback).

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Salla Sariola, Simon Roberts and Rachel Douglas-Jones

Wayward Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society. By Holly Wardlow. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2006. ISBN 0-520-24559-8

Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research. By Patricia Sunderland and Rita Denny (eds.). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-59874-091-2

Anthropology and Science: Epistemologies in Practice. By Jeanette Edwards, Penny Harvey and Peter Wade (eds.). Oxford, New York: Berg (ASA Monographs 43), 2007. ISBN 978 184520 500 3

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“I Want to Ride My Bicycle”

The 11th Annual Bicycle Film Festival

Sønke Myrda

The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) has grown from a minor grassroots event to a global “Fest” staging urban cycling events in over two dozen cities worldwide. In its 11th year in New York City, the “BFF” New York (June 22–26, 2011) intends to provide its participants with a “weekend full of bike movies, music, art, street party and after parties,”1 before going on tour around the globe. Festival cities include Amsterdam, Athens, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, Sao Paolo, Sydney, Taiwan, Tokyo, Vienna.

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Clarence Lusane, Hitler’s Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of Afro-Germans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi Era (New York and London: Routledge 2002)

Review by Kader Konuk

Helmut Lethen, Cool Conduct: The Culture of Distance in Weimar Germany, trans. Don Reneau (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2002)

Review by Daniel Morat

Julia Sneeringer, Winning Women’s Votes: Propaganda and Politics in Weimar Germany (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)

Review by Diane J. Guido

S. Jonathan Wiesen, West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past, 1945-1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001)

Review by Simon Reich

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Robert Parkin, W. S. F. Pickering and Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi

Robert Hertz. OEuvres publiées: édition critique, ed. Cyril Isnart, Paris: Classiques Garniers, 2014, 466 pp. Review by Robert Parkin

Matthieu Béra. Emile Durkheim à Bordeaux (1887–1902), Bordeaux: Éditions Confluences, 2014, 135 pp. Review by W. S. F. Pickering

Alexander Riley, The Social Thought of Émile Durkheim, Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2015, xi + 263 pp. Review by W. S. F. Pickering

Sondra Hausner (ed.), Durkheim in Dialogue: A Centenary Celebration of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2013, 267 pp. Review by Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi