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Building Activist Communities

The Rebel Girls Guide to Creating Social Change

Emily Bent

Jessica K. Taft. 2011. Rebel Girls: Youth Activism & Social Change Across the Americas. New York: NYU Press.

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On separating memory from historical science

A critique and three Austrian cases

Hermann Rebel

To illustrate its critique of a professional-academic practice of separating 'scientific history' from 'popular memory' perceptions, this article examines three examples from current Austrian historiography and memorial constructions. The cases under consideration, all relevant to Austrian historians' representation of the national Holocaust experience, focus firstly, on relationships between present historical perceptions of the Austrian 'foreign police', particularly of the latter's so-called Schubsystem, and their fatal popular memory enactments, both 'then' and 'now'; secondly, on historical-scientific representations of Eastern European family formations as a, possibly ingenuous, popular memory repetition of similar historical-analytical perceptions by Nazi social science; and thirdly, on the selective appearance of the forced labor and death camp Mauthausen in official histories of the Austrian Nazi experience as possible collaborations with the camp's ceremonial restructuring into a ritual object for popular memory engineering that in effect destroys the material evidence of the crime being commemorated.

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“There Was No Genocide in Rwanda”

History, Politics, and Exile Identity among Rwandan Rebels in the Eastern Congo Conflict

Anna Hedlund

This article analyzes how the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is recalled and described by members of a Hutu rebel group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) whose leadership can be linked to the 1994 atrocities in Rwanda. The article explores how individuals belonging to this rebel group, currently operating in the eastern territories of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), articulate, contest, and oppose the dominant narrative of the Rwandan genocide. Based on ethnographic fieldwork with members of the FDLR in a rebel camp, this article shows how a community of exiled fighters and second-generation Hutu refugees contest the official version of genocide by constructing a counterhistory of it. Through organized practices such as political demonstrations and military performances, it further shows how political ideologies and violence are being manufactured and reproduced within a setting of military control.

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John of Lancaster’s Negotiation with the Rebels in 2 Henry IV

Fifteenth-Century Northern England as Sixteenth-Century Ireland

Jane Yeang Chui Wong

The disastrous peace negotiations between John of Lancaster and the Northern rebels in 2 Henry IV show how the political and moral stakes of truth and trust play out, not only between Prince Hal, the king-to-be, and his unruly companions but also among other subjects both loyal and rebellious. Off-stage, similar tensions can be discerned between English officials and Irish rebels during the Nine Years War (1594–1603). In fact, a remarkably well-documented instance of such a case can be traced to the same year that 2 Henry IV seems to have been first staged. The 1597 truce negotiation between Hugh O’Neill, leader of the Irish confederates, and English crown representatives can shed light on Lancaster’s shocking betrayal of the Northern rebels in Shakespeare’s play. The exchange between crown representatives and rebel leaders, both in early modern Ireland and in 2 Henry IV, exposes the limitations of delegated authority and undercuts assumptions of trust and honour between king and subjects in truce negotiations.

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William F.S. Miles

On 17 April 2008, at the age of ninety-four, the foremost Black French intellectual-cum-politician of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries passed away. Born in the northwestern fishing village of Basse Pointe on the southeastern Caribbean island of Martinique on 26 June 1913, Aimé Césaire rose from humble beginnings to become a giant in the annals of colonial and postcolonial francophone literature. As the holder of several elected offices, from city mayor of the capital of Martinique to representative in the National Assembly of France, he was also a significant political actor. He was largely responsible for the legislation that, following World War II, elevated four of France’s “Old Colonies” in the West Indies and Indian Ocean into full French states (départements). A dozen years later he founded a political party that would struggle to roll back the very assimilating, deculturalizing processes that statehood (départementalisation) unleashed.

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Girl, Interrupted and Continued

Rethinking the Influence of Elena Fortún's Celia

Ana Puchau de Lecea

In this article I consider the characterization of Celia, the protagonist in Elena Fortún’s “Celia and Her World” series (1929–1952), and the role of Fortún as a forerunner of women writers in the 1950s. I explore the ways in which Fortún presented herself as a female author offering alternative models of femininity to her readers through the character Celia and the social context of the series. In addition, I examine Fortún’s shifting representation of Celia as a subversive character, and Fortún’s ideological influence on female writers who used similar literary strategies. Using the point of view of the girl in her texts as an insurgent protagonist to reflect different sociohistorical moments in Spain suggests a continuity in Spanish narrative instead of an abrupt change after the Civil War.

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Richard Langston

Starting with the surprising role the soul assumed in the West German music essay from the early 1980s, this article interrogates a peculiar, misunderstood middle passage in dominant historiographies of German pop literature—the new wave music essay—that transformed itself at the dawn of the 1990s—shortly before the literary phenomenon labeled Popliteratur emerged— by embracing then emergent Anglo-American Cultural Studies. The importance of new wave music for the essay’s regard for soul were lost on both pop literature and its attendant literary histories. The “studies model” has, at least in this one instance, smoothed over historical ruptures with unfortunate repercussions for our understanding of the precarious writerly mediation of life and music shortly before the value of poetics for life vanished altogether.

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Catherine Alexander, Veronica E. Aplenc, August Carbonella, Zaindi Choltaev, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Paola Filippucci, Christian Giordano, Caroline Humphrey, Deema Kaneff, Alexander D. King, Silke von Lewinski, Michaela Pohl, Hermann Rebel and Zala Volčič

Biographical notes on contributors

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Camila Pastor de María y Campos

Framing current mobilization in the Middle East through the social metamorphosis of the last two hundred years underscores transformations afforded by the region's participation in the making of a global, institutional, productive, and ideological modernity. This paper explores the emergence of new social agents and the social movements they have sought and precipitated. Ottoman modernity was characterized by fierce debates and the emergence of new activities and public spaces, which afforded the mobilization of established and novel social agents. These debates were forcefully suspended by mandate administrations and their local collaborators. The process of decolonization in mid-century and the wave of revolutions that unfolded in its wake brought historically marginal sectors to power in much of the region, who institutionalized their own visions of the common good. This paper presents a critical overview of the forms mobilization has taken in the region over the past decades-the social landscape and the dynamics of mobilization that have afforded the revolts and revolutions unfolding today. Finally, I discuss coverage of the uprisings in the Arab and international online press, pointing to synergies and gaps evidenced in interpretations of women's participation in the riots and the Islamist presence in postrevolutionary consolidation processes.

Spanish Al enmarcar la movilización actual en el Medio Oriente a través de la transformación social de los últimos dos siglos destacan los cambios que hicieron posible la participación de la región en la creación de una modernidad global institucional, ideológica y productiva. El texto explora el surgimiento de nuevos actores sociales y los movimientos sociales que han buscado y precipitado los cambios. La modernidad otomana se caracterizó por sus debates acalorados y el surgimiento de nuevos espacios y actividades públicas que facilitaron la movilización de actores sociales nuevos y viejos. Estos debates fueron suspendidos por las administraciones mandatarias y sus colaboradores locales. El proceso de descolonización de mediados del siglo XX y la ola de revoluciones que se produjeron en su estela llevaron a sectores históricamente marginados al poder en gran parte de la región, quienes institucionalizaron sus propias visiones del bien común. El texto presenta una mirada crítica de las formas adoptadas por la movilización en las últimas décadas, el paisaje y la dinámica de movilización social que hacen posibles las revueltas y revoluciones que tienen lugar hoy día. Para concluir, se discute la cobertura de las revueltas en la prensa virtual árabe e internacional, señalando como puntos de encuentro y desencuentro las interpretaciones de la participación de las mujeres en las revueltas y de la presencia islamista en los procesos de consolidación posrevolucionaria.

French L'analyse des mobilisations populaires actuellement en cours au Moyen-Orient à travers les métamorphoses sociales survenues dans les deux siècles derniers, met en évidence les transformations offertes par la participation de la région dans la réalisation d'une modernité globale institutionnelle, productive et idéologique. Le document explore l'émergence de nouveaux acteurs sociaux et les mouvements sociaux qu'ils ont poursuivi et précipité. La modernité ottomane a été caractérisée par des débats houleux et l'émergence de nouvelles activités et espaces publics qui facilitaient la mobilisation des acteurs sociaux établis et nouveaux. Ces débats ont été suspendus par les administrations mandataires et leur collaborateurs locales. Le processus de décolonisation au milieu du vingtième siècle et la vague de révolutions qui se sont déroulés dans son sillage ont mené secteurs historiquement marginaux au pouvoir dans une grande partie de la région, mêmes qui ont institutionnalisé leurs propres visions du bien commun. Le document présente un aperçu critique des formes pris par la mobilisation dans la région au cours des dernières décennies, le paysage social et la dynamique de mobilisation qui ont possibilité les révoltes et les révolutions qui se déroulent aujourd'hui. Pour conclure, je discute la couverture des soulèvements dans la presse virtuelle arabe et internationale, en soulignant comme points de divergence et synergie les interprétations autour de la participation des femmes dans les insurrections et la présence islamiste dans les processus de consolidation post-révolutionnaire.

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Mavericks

Harvey, Graeber, and the reunification of anarchism and Marxism in world anthropology

Don Kalb

New books discussed in this article:

Graeber, David. 2011. Debt: The first 5,000 years. New York: Melville House.

Graeber, David. 2013. The democracy project: A history, a crisis, a movement. London: Allan Lane.

Harvey, David. 2011. The enigma of capital and the crises of capitalism. London: Profile Books.

Harvey, David. 2012. Rebel cities: From the right to the city to the urban revolution. London: Verso.

Harvey, David. 2013. A companion to Marx’s Capital, volume 2. London: Verso.

Lazar, Sian. 2008. El Alto, rebel city: Self and citizenship in Andean Bolivia. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press.