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“Those Eyes Kohl Blackened Enflame”

Re-reading the Feminine in Gertrude Bell's Early Travel Writing

Emma Short

In May 1892, Gertrude Bell embarked on her first major non-European voyage to Persia, a journey that not only inspired her first published piece of travel writing, Persian Pictures (1894) and her translation of a selection of poems by the medieval Sufi poet, Hafiz (1897), but which also informed Bell's lesser-known, fictional writing. This article reads Bell's Persian Pictures alongside her unpublished short story, “The Talisman, or, the Wiles of Women” (c. 1892–1893) in order to consider the ways in which the feminine functions in her representations of the areas to which she traveled. Through this comparative reading, this article demonstrates how—through her use of the feminine—Bell subverts the “constitutive tropes of Orientalist discourse” of the East as sexualized, seductive, and dangerous (Yegğenogğlu 1998: 73), and instead positions it as an active and informed agent that knowingly challenges and resists Western colonial attempts at penetration and/or domination.

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Patrizia Pederzoli

At first sight, 2010 could be called the annus horribilis for the Italian

justice system, given all the turbulence surrounding it, whether

it was deliberately caused or not. Let us straightaway recall some of

the main causes of the turbulence. Some of the most important legislative

provisions made by the government in this sector, including

measures on wiretapping, legitimate impediment, and short trials,

have led to bitter reactions on the national stage—even on the part of

many magistrates—that have also been echoed in European circles. On

issues regarding legality and justice, there has also been some internal

debate within the center-right, where the lack of cohesion, including

in other areas of the program, has contributed to its partial breakup.

This has created the widely felt belief today that there will be an

early end to the legislature, notwithstanding the comfortable majority

gained in 2008 by the coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi and the vote

of confidence obtained on 14 December 2010, both in the Senate and

in the Chamber, albeit in the latter with a majority of just three votes.

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Emma Short

The rapid expansion of international travel networks toward the end of the nineteenth century resulted in a dramatic shift in women’s access to travel. As Sidonie Smith highlights in Moving Lives, her comprehensive study of women and the technologies of travel in modernity, “large numbers of women began to leave home for the lure of the road as a result of the emergence of faster, safer, cleaner, and more comfortable machines of motion” (2001: xi). This shift in the availability of travel to a much broader spectrum of the general public—and crucially to women—coincided with the impact of first wave feminism as the women’s suffrage movement gathered momentum, 1 and the figure of the New Woman appeared across literature and culture. 2 The subsequent surge in women’s written representations of travel was highlighted by Sara Mills in her seminal Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing and Colonialism, in which she observed “the sheer volume of writing” by women on travel during this period (1991: 1), and asserted the importance of further research on these accounts. Following Mills’s call, feminist scholarship has since worked to understand the complexities of women’s travel writing. Like Mills, many of these critics—including Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel (1992), and Mary Louise Pratt (1992)—explore the ways in which such travel accounts were involved in colonialism and implicated in the discourses of imperialism. Others, such as Smith (2001), Avril Maddrell (2009), and Alexandra Peat (2010), have focused particularly on women’s written representations of travel published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Central to much of this scholarship are questions concerning the difference between travel writing by men and that produced by women—whether or not such difference exists and, if it does, how this difference manifests in women’s written representations of travel. Susan Bassnett notes that these “basic questions … continue to occupy feminist scholars” (2002: 227), and indeed, they underpin many of the articles included in this special issue. However, the articles collected here in this special issue also move beyond these questions significantly in their consideration of the ways in which women’s written representations of travel can reshape our understandings of the gendered experience of the spaces of modernity, and thus make a vital contribution to both the cultural and literary history of the period.

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Understanding Germany’s Short-lived “Culture of Welcome”

Images of Refugees in Three Leading German Quality Newspapers

Maximilian Conrad and Hugrún Aðalsteinsdóttir

theories of constitutional patriotism. 3 The goal of this article is therefore to analyze the relevance of ideational factors connected to the concept of Vergangenheitsbewältigung for an understanding of Germany’s short-lived “culture of welcome” in the

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Monika Suckfüll

This article investigates the effects of films on an audience, using an interdisciplinary empirical approach connecting film analysis and psychophysiological measurement. It discusses the animated short film Father and Daughter (2000) directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. The features of the film that are relevant to the reception process, the so-called moments of narrative impact, are determined on the basis of Wuss's analytical film model. The model postulates that films can be described as a combination of different kinds of narrative structures that predetermine the reception, which is conceptualized as a process of problem solving. This article defines five moments of narrative impact. Three of these moments establish the main conflict and its possible solution while the other two combine reoccurring motives, the so-called topic lines. Heart rate and skin conductance reactions were examined for thirty participants. The results of heart rate measurements demonstrate a clear significance for a combination of topic lines. The establishment of the central conflict also evokes significant reactions.

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Manuela Moschella

This chapter investigates the reforms of some important and distinctive sectors of the Italian financial system: the banche popolari and the fondazioni bancarie. These reforms are particularly relevant in the list of events that have marked the year 2015 because they are inextricably intertwined with revisions in the EU supervisory and regulatory architecture and because they are an integral part of the broader government plan to revive economic growth after the fiscal crisis. In particular, the chapter analyzes the long- and short-term factors that set the stage for the reforms to take place. These include transformations in the large cooperative banks and the inaction of key parts of the domestic financial sector with regard to legislative and structural changes; competitive pressures deriving from the buildup of European financial integration; and the backing of domestic and international regulators such as the Bank of Italy, the IMF, and the EU Commission, among others.

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Women and Gender in Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

An Anthropological Introspection on Kinship and Family

Nandini Sen

This article examines female protagonists in Rabindranath Tagore’s stories and novellas – specifically Charu (A Broken Nest, 1901), Mrinal (The Wife’s Letter, 1914), Kamala (Musalmani, 1941), Anila (House Number 1, 1917), Chandara (Punishment, 1893) and Boshtomi (Devotee, 1916) – from a social anthropological viewpoint, focusing on gender and time-based kinship relations. Here, kinship is defined as an extension of familial relationships to the community (common ethnic-social life, locality and religion) in such a way as to achieve progressively higher levels of social integration and extensive social networks through marriage alliances and lines of descent. Studying how the characters placed the universality of family and kinship structures into question, I argue that parameters of kinship organisation need to be redefined, with plurality and difference as the basis of inquiry rather than universality.

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Hermann Schmitt and Andreas M. Wüst

When Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der went public and announced his plan for early elections on the evening of 22 May 2005, the SPD and the Green Party had just lost the state election in North-Rhine West-phalia. It was the last German state ruled by a Red-Green government, which left the federal government without any stable support in the Bundesrat. The chancellor's radical move resulted in early elections that neither the left (SPD and Greens) nor the conservative political camp (CDU/CSU and FDP) was able to win. While the citizens considered the CDU/CSU to be more competent to solve the country's most important problems, unemployment and the economy, the SPD once again presented the preferred chancellor. The new govrnment, build on a grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD, might be able to solve some of the structural problems of the country. While this will be beneficial for Germany as a whole, it will at the same time weaken the major German parties, which are running the risk of becoming politically indistinguishable.

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David Lethbridge

Sartre's interventions at the Vienna, Berlin, and Helsinki Congresses of the World Peace Council are examined in depth. Neglected and overlooked for over a half-century, it is argued that the themes Sartre elaborated in these speeches were consonant with the political and intellectual projects he had been developing since the mid-1930s. Although Sartre spoke as a Marxist who had allied himself with the Communist Party, his deepest concern was to build international unity in opposition to the escalating threat of nuclear war, and to restore political and economic sovereignty to a Western Europe crushed by dependency on America. Freedom for all the world's peoples, Sartre argued, depended on mutual interdependence between nations, built from the ground up by the popular masses.

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Michael Werz

Recent debates about the future of the European Union have focused

in large part on institutional reforms, the deficit of democratic legitimacy,

and the problem of economic and agrarian policies. As important

as these issues may be, the most crucial question at the moment

is not whether Europe will prevail as a union of nations or as a thoroughly

integrated federal structure. What is of much greater concern

is the fact that political structures and their corresponding political

discourses have lagged far behind the social changes occurring in

European societies. The pivotal transformation of 1989 has not been

grasped intellectually or politically, even though its results are

increasingly visible in both the east and west.