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Katherine Swancutt

Landmark anthropological works on fame have shown that gift-giving is often the vehicle for producing relations of 'positive value' and recognition. When viewing fame against the related notion of fortune, however, the focal point of study shifts to how people produce reputations that are 'beyond value' or 'priceless'. This article proposes that the Nuosu of Southwest China enter into an ongoing 'economy of ordeals' in order to accumulate priceless 'tokens of value' that increase their 'fate-fortune' and fame. It shows that ambitious Nuosu accept new ordeals to achieve fame, while comfortably viewing their accomplishments as akin to those of a predatory spider. Tellingly, though, these efforts are vulnerable to the counter-extractive maneuvers of other people and ghosts, which present the Nuosu with new ordeals that could deplete their resources.

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Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo and Esther Bendahan

This interview with the Sephardic novelist and translator Esther Bendahan provides unique insights into the historical events that surrounded the collapse of Jewish communities in Morocco during the second half of the twentieth century. Bendahan's knowledge of the social and political realities that informed Sephardic cultural production in Morocco, her ability as a scholar to interpret their significance in the wider context of Sephardism in the Maghreb, and her priceless insights as a first-hand witness of the diasporas triggered by the independence of European colonies throughout North Africa make her account and interpretation of these events extremely valuable. This interview pays special attention to the many ways in which Sephardic cultural production was, and remains, different from European traditions while simultaneously presenting itself as an intermediary between the East and the West.

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The Hebrew Collections in Oxford

A Treasure Grove for Jewish Studies

Piet van Boxel

The Bodleian Library of Oxford University – one of the oldest and largest in Europe – is among the most celebrated libraries in the world. Its unrivalled collections of manuscripts and books have served generations of students, thus making Oxford a meeting place of international learning and the capital of the Republic of scholars. With its beginnings in the fourteenth century the library owes the first phase of its reputation to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of King Henry IV, who donated his priceless collection of more than 280 manuscripts, including several important classical texts, to Oxford University. In order to accommodate this major donation the library was moved from its original location – a room above the Old Congregation House, erected next to St Mary’s church – to the Divinity School, which was enlarged with a second storey that was completed in 1470.

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Gary Anderson

On a frozen field 35 kilometers east of Dortmund, members of Germany’s

elite—government officials, business leaders, and royalty—

assemble in the medieval city of Arnsberg for a 1,000 year ritual: the

Arnsberg Treibjagd (driven hunt). Like live-sized Hummelfiguren,

adorned in Bavarian-style Loden coats, expensive Zeiss binoculars,

priceless weapons, and accompanied by the German hunter’s best

friend, the Dackel, they ready themselves for the ancient and hairraising

wail of the hunting horns—the hunt is on! The playing out of

this medieval scene is soon interrupted, however, by an unlikely

group of fast-moving, jean-clad “hunting saboteurs” who, wielding

signs that read “Hunting is Murder,” proceed to barricade hunting

areas and to risk life and limb before high-powered rifles. The scene

plays itself out in the usual way: heated words are exchanged, the

police arrive, and the hunt is cancelled. Over the past few years, this

scenario has become more common in German forests. For the first

time in its deeply rooted existence, German hunting is under siege

by the anti-hunting movement, begging the question of whether this

age-old hunting culture will survive in the new century.

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Astrid M. Fellner, Tatyana Kmetova, Basia A. Nowak, Jill Massino, Melissa Feinberg, Magdalena Koch, Mária Pakucs Willcocks, Mihaela Petrescu, Libora Oates-Indruchová, Biljana Dojčinović-Nešić, Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, Albena Hranova, Maria Bucur, Oana Băluţă, Elena Shulman, Olga Todorova, Irina Novikova and Marianna G. Muravyeva

Marlen Bidwell-Steiner and Karin S. Wozonig, eds., A Canon of Our Own? Kanonkritik und Kanonbildung in den Gender Studies (A canon of our own? Canon criticism and canon building in gender studies)

Marina Blagojevic, ed., Mapiranje mizoginije u Srbiji: Diskurs I prakse (Mapping the misogyny in Serbia: Discourses and practises), vols. 1 and 2

Graz ̇yna Borkowska, Alienated Women: A Study on Polish Women’s Fiction, 1845–1918

Choi Chatterjee, Celebrating Women: Gender, Festival Culture, and Bolshevik Ideology, 1910–1939

Francisca de Haan, Krassimira Daskalova and Anna Loutfi, eds., A Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms. Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries

Biljana Dojčinović-Nešić GendeRings: Gendered Readings in Serbian Women’s Writing

Constant a Ghit ulescu, În s ̧alvari s ̧i cu is ̧lic. Biserica ̆, sexualitate, ca ̆sa ̆torie s ̧i divort în T ara Româneasca ̆ a secolului al XVIII-lea (Wearing shalvars and ishlik. Church, sexuality, marriage and divorce in eighteenth-century Wallachia) Reviewed

Valentina Gla ̆jar and Domnica Ra ̆dulescu, eds., Vampirettes,Wretches and Amazons. Western Representations of East European Women

Hana Hašková, Alena Krˇížková, and Marcela Linková, eds., Mnohohlasem: vyjednávání ženských prostoru ̊ po roce 1989 (Polyphony: Negotiating women’s spaces after 1989)

Celia Hawkesworth, Voices in the Shadows: Women and Verbal Art in Serbia and Bosnia

Katherine R. Jolluck, Exile and Identity. Polish Women in the Soviet Union during World War II

Milena Kirova, Bibleyskata zhena. Mehanizmi na konstruirane, politiki na izobrazjavane v Staria zavet (Biblical femininity. Mechanisms of construction, policies of representation in the Old Testament)

Stefania Mihailescu, Emanciparea femeii romane. Studiu si antologie de Texte. Vol. II (1919–1948) (The emancipation of the Romanian woman. Study and anthology of texts.Vol. 2 [1919–1948])

Mihaela Miroiu, Nepret uitele femei (Priceless women)

Cynthia Simmons and Nina Perlina, Writing the Siege of Leningrad. Women’s Diaries, Memoirs and Documentary Prose

Maria Todorova, Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern. Demographic Developments in Ottoman Bulgaria 258

Nancy Wingfield and Maria Bucur, eds., Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe

Elizabeth A.Wood, Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia