This article focuses on Bulgarian women writers’ activities, their reception, and their problematic existence in the context of the modernizing and emancipatory trends in Bulgarian society after the Liberation (1878–1944). The analysis is based on the concept of the (intellectual) hierarchy of genders and mechanisms of gender tutelage, traced in the specifics of women’s literary texts, their critical and public resonance, and the authors’ complicated relation with the Bulgarian literary canon. The question is topical, given the noticeable absence of women writers in the corpus of Bulgarian authors/ literary texts, thought and among those considered representative in terms of national identity and culture. The study is based on primary source materials such as works by Bulgarian women writers, the periodical press from the period, various archival materials, and scholarly publications relevant to the topic.
Western representations of the Other are criticized by anthropologists, but similar hegemonic classifications are present in the relationships between anthropologists who are living in the West and working on the (post-socialist) East, and those working and living in the (post-communist) East. In a hierarchical order of scholars and knowledge, post-socialist anthropologists are often perceived as relics of the communist past: folklorists, theoretically backward empiricists, and nationalists. These images replicate Cold War stereotypes, ignore long-lasting paradigm shifts as well as actual practices triggered by the transnationalization of scholarship. Post-socialist academics either approve of such hegemony or contest this pecking order of wisdom, and their reactions range from isolationism to uncritical attempts at “nesting intellectual backwardness“ in the local context (an effect that trickles down and reinforces hierarchies). Deterred communication harms anthropological studies on post-socialism, the prominence of which can hardly be compared to that of post-colonial studies.
The First World War has been described as an exceptional moment of comradeship, so great that it was able to break even the strongest class barriers. Were social distances and class hierarchies temporarily forgotten or abolished for the millions of Frenchmen of diverse origins who were called to arms in defense of their country? The article is about this novel experiment, provoking encounters and contacts on a huge scale and often for the first time, between an overwhelming majority of manual workers and petty employees of humble extraction, and a small number of bourgeois and intellectuals. It tells the story of the discovery, by the French bourgeoisie of the Belle Epoque, of the ordinary people who fought in the trenches.
William Harrison Riley, Transatlantic Celebrity, and the Perils of Working-Class Fandom
This article focuses on attempts by working-class intellectual, William Harrison Riley, to act as a transatlantic bridge connecting John Ruskin and Walt Whitman, and on what this reveals about nineteenth-century celebrity culture. Despite contrasting attitudes to fame, Ruskin and Whitman both constructed public profiles as generational prophets with broad appeal to the working classes, at the same time pursuing rhetorical strategies stressing their own exceptionalism. Because their lofty elevation depended upon the existence of disciples, their public outreach only seemed to offer disciples opportunities to transcend the hierarchical structures underpinning celebrity culture. Riley is of particular interest as a marginalized working-class writer who sought equality with Ruskin and Whitman by joining Ruskin's Utopian Guild of St George, and by attempting to negotiate Ruskin's support in raising Whitman's profile. The costly failure of these enterprises suggests that celebrity culture often reflects, reinforces, and polices prevailing social divisions of late nineteenth-century capitalism.
A case-study of Russian scholars
This article investigates Russia's relationship with the West in the 1990s and 2000s by analyzing changes in a specific segment of the contemporary global economy—the academic sphere. It traces how the social sciences and the humanities in Russia have evolved from relative insularity and hierarchy during the Soviet era to a more complex web of multiple local institutions, setting their own rules, alongside powerful international agents. Assuming that individual trajectories can make objective spatial structures visible, the article analyzes the biographies of three young Russian scholars, collected in 2004 and 2005 during a research project in the anthropology of science. Patterns of academic migration and intellectual exchange with the West are presented here as providing clues to the spatial structure of the Russian scientific field and its place in the global academic economy. The article concludes with a discussion whether these findings may be generalized to other spheres, and applied not only to Russia but to other post-Soviet states caught in-between the First and the Third Worlds.
This article engages with the commonly encountered claim that Bulgarian physical anthropology "features a long, fruitful, and honorable existence," by discussing Bulgarian anthropology's contribution to the controversial issue of ethnogenesis. With the Russian influence waning from the mid-1880s on, the pioneers of Bulgarian anthropology were largely influenced by the German example. But the first generation of Bulgarian anthropologists' tradition of "racial liberalism" (Benoit Massin) was lost after World War I. On the eve of World War II a debate on racism raged among Bulgarian intellectuals. By the time blood group analysis had joined anthropometrics, adherents of a closer collaboration with the Third Reich used it to argue for the Bulgarian nation's non-Slavic origins. In 1938 they even disrupted a lecture given by the biologist Metodiy Popov when he wanted to stress the Bulgarians' ethnic relationship with the other Slavic nations, and to repudiate the idea of a hierarchy of races. During the Socialist period a new generation of anthropologists went on to investigate the Bulgarian ethnogenesis using the term "race", although this clearly contravened the 1950 UNESCO statement on the race question.
Michael G. Peletz
Jeremy Kingsley and Kari Telle’s provocation article raises several important issues. The thrust of their argument as I understand it is that anthropology does not matter much to the field of law in many parts of the world. They are quick to point out, however, that this is a relative point and that their comparative frame takes as its point of departure the much greater degree of intellectual engagement that obtains between schools of medicine and public health on the one hand and the field of anthropology on the other. I concur with their overall argument but will phrase it in slightly different terms: despite the robust collaborations that sometimes involve legal scholars and anthropologists (e.g. in legal clinics at New York University and elsewhere; see Merry, this issue), faculty in law schools are much less likely to embrace the work of anthropologists than are their colleagues who specialise in medicine and public health. In this brief comment, I offer tentative hypotheses as to why this situation exists in the North American context. I approach the relevant issues from a historical perspective, focusing on hierarchies of legitimacy and prestige, shifts in both academia and the job market for anthropologists, and the rise of neoliberal doctrines in academia and beyond.
The welcome attention paid to Quebec in this issue of European Comic Art immediately points to a cluster of intellectual questions concerning identity, territory and academic discipline(s). What need was there for grouping a corpus, and analysis of it, according to this category, and what meanings are implied in that selection? And what problems are evoked by the adjective ‘European’? These are familiar questions to all those Quebec specialists working in French (‘and Francophone’) Studies, as well as, in my case, Film Studies. On the one hand, Quebec culture in all its forms of expression possesses a relevance and richness, due to historical and spatial factors I shall outline below, but is largely off the radar of the disciplines and sub-disciplines it could enrich. This is no more true than in French Studies, where it is difficult, but also necessary, topical (witness the continuing debate, five years after the manifesto, around littérature-monde) and urgent, to challenge the hierarchy implied in the centre and periphery generated by ‘(and) Francophone’. The challenge is to place Quebec in an endlessly comparative relationship with other French-speaking cultures, with other Atlantic spaces, in order to break down the barriers implied in an often ghettoised ‘specialisation’. Here bande dessinée scholarship has an interesting advantage, in that, despite the phenomenal cultural weight of the art form within metropolitan French life, a decidedly non-metropolitan space, namely Belgium, offers a central position. The opportunity is there to emphasise lateral connections that bypass as well as include metropolitan France, hence the work here on Tintin in Quebec. To an extent, bande-dessinée-monde, to coin a phrase, is already a reality.