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Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) 1982 marks the withdrawal of the Eldorado Corporation from Uranium City, Canada, and the closing of [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Humanities for the Environment 2018 Report—Ways to Here, Ways Forward
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/h7010003
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 5 January 2018
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Abstract
We introduce the Humanities for the Environment (HfE) 2018 Report. The HfE 2018 Report consists of two publications; of which this Special Issue is one. The other is a special section of the journal Global and Planetary Change 156 (2017); 112–175. While
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We introduce the Humanities for the Environment (HfE) 2018 Report. The HfE 2018 Report consists of two publications; of which this Special Issue is one. The other is a special section of the journal Global and Planetary Change 156 (2017); 112–175. While the Humanities special issue may primarily reach our colleagues in the humanities disciplines; the Global and Planetary Change section reaches out to that journal’s primary readership of earth scientists. The HfE 2018 Report provides examples of how humanities research reveals and influences human capacity to perceive and cope with environmental change. We hope that the HFE 2018 Report will help change perceptions of what it is we do as humanities scholars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanities for the Environment)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Humanities in 2017
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/h7010010
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Humanities maintains high quality standards for its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Further Reading
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 23; doi:10.3390/h7010023
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
It is clear that the contributions in this volume are not only insightful, but also wide-ranging, reaching into popular culture and across different media forms and practices.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Poetics of Computation)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Toward a Generative Model of Legend: Pizzas, Bridges, Vaccines, and Witches
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/h7010001
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
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Abstract
We propose a generative model of the legend. The model is elaborated based on two case studies, the first of contemporary storytelling related to vaccination on parenting blogs, and the second of historical storytelling related to witchcraft and folk healing in nineteenth century
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We propose a generative model of the legend. The model is elaborated based on two case studies, the first of contemporary storytelling related to vaccination on parenting blogs, and the second of historical storytelling related to witchcraft and folk healing in nineteenth century Denmark. The model reveals the interdependent levels of the multiscale model, solving a problem of poor fit related to many two level models of folklore genre structure. The model supports the study of rumor, and the dynamics of storytelling, including the hyperactive transmission state of “viral” stories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folk Drama
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/h7010002
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
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Abstract
This article provides an overview of how scholars in the discipline of folklore have approached the topic of folk drama over the past one hundred fifty years, arguing that, despite relative neglect in the field, folk drama is a valuable window into culture
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This article provides an overview of how scholars in the discipline of folklore have approached the topic of folk drama over the past one hundred fifty years, arguing that, despite relative neglect in the field, folk drama is a valuable window into culture and should be taken more seriously. I begin with nineteenth century ideas about ritual drama that stem from Sir James Frazer. I then discuss the growing emphasis on context that emerged in the twentieth century, including overlaps between ideas about folk drama, performance, and theories of play more generally. I conclude by providing a brief overview of the relationship between play, drama, and politics, and suggest that contemporary digital realms, such as YouTube, offer a new ecology of folk drama that brings traditional questions about actors, context, play-frames, audience and transformation to the fore in new and interesting ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle “Time is Production”: Process-Art, and Aesthetic Time in Paul Valéry’s Cahiers
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/h7010004
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 5 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper offers a contextually inflected discussion of the extensive investment Paul Valéry makes in going beyond formal understandings of time. To this end it takes the processual work Cahiers as both a repository of insights, and a practical motor of conceptual creation
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This paper offers a contextually inflected discussion of the extensive investment Paul Valéry makes in going beyond formal understandings of time. To this end it takes the processual work Cahiers as both a repository of insights, and a practical motor of conceptual creation for new time concepts through its very writing and production. In a speculative engagement with Valérian concepts such as phase, prolongation as well as reconfigured relations between central categorical pairings such as quality-quantity and succession-simultaneity, the paper situates Valéry’s writings on time with regard to their ambiguously critical attitude to a given image of philosophy as a form of verbal exercise ungrounded in empirical observation of local systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nuclear Avenue: “Cyclonic Development”, Abandonment, and Relations in Uranium City, Canada
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/h7010005
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
The rise and abandonment of Uranium City constitutes an environmental history yet to be fully evaluated by humanities scholars. 1982 marks the withdrawal of the Eldorado Corporation from the town and the shuttering of its uranium mines. The population declined to approximately 50
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The rise and abandonment of Uranium City constitutes an environmental history yet to be fully evaluated by humanities scholars. 1982 marks the withdrawal of the Eldorado Corporation from the town and the shuttering of its uranium mines. The population declined to approximately 50 from its pre-1982 population of about 4000. This article is inspired by findings from the authors’ initial field visit. As Uranium City is accessible only by air or by winter roads across Lake Athabasca, the goal of the visit in May 2017 was to gather information and questions through photographic assessment and through communication and interviews with residents. This paper in part argues that the cyclonic development metaphor used to describe single-commodity communities naturalizes environmental damage and obscures a more complicated history involving human agency. Apart from the former mines that garner remedial funding and action, the town site of Uranium City is also of environmental concern. Its derelict suburbs and landfill, we also argue, could benefit from assessment, funding, and remediation. Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report provides a way forward in healing this region, in part by listening to the voices of those most affected by environmental impacts caused not by a metaphorical cyclone but by other humans’ decisions. As descendants of European immigrants to Turtle Island (the Indigenous term referring to North America), the authors are also subjects of the very terms—cyclonic development, abandonment, remediation—used to describe the history of the land itself: in this case, a mining town in the far northern boreal forests and Precambrian Shield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanities for the Environment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore and the Hebrew Bible: Interdisciplinary Engagement and New Directions
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/h7010006
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
This essay explores the rich interactions between the fields of folklore and biblical studies over the course of the 20th century until the present. The essay argues for the continued relevance of folklore and related fields to an appreciation of ancient Israelite cultures
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This essay explores the rich interactions between the fields of folklore and biblical studies over the course of the 20th century until the present. The essay argues for the continued relevance of folklore and related fields to an appreciation of ancient Israelite cultures and their artistic inventions. It concludes with several case studies that underscore the fruitful realizations that emerge from this sort of interdisciplinary humanistic work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle The Irony of ‘African Solidarity’ in Ousmane Sembene’s Mandabi
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/h7010007
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper deals with the misuse of the African traditional communal mode of living in modernizing post-colonial African societies that have been transformed by Western capitalism and individualism. In the impoverished community portrayed in Ousmane Sembene’s film Mandabi, this traditional communal mode
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This paper deals with the misuse of the African traditional communal mode of living in modernizing post-colonial African societies that have been transformed by Western capitalism and individualism. In the impoverished community portrayed in Ousmane Sembene’s film Mandabi, this traditional communal mode of living, to which people refer in colloquial term as “African solidarity”, is ironically used as a means to meet one’s individualistic and selfish needs at the expense of others; thus, turning it into a factor of social and economic regression. Mandabi also unveils and suggests a new form of hybrid and productive solidarity that fits better African post-colonial nations that have been affected by Western capitalism and individualism. Full article
Open AccessArticle Post-Dictatorship Documentary in Chile: Conversations with Three Second-Generation Film Directors
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 8; doi:10.3390/h7010008
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 14 January 2018
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Abstract
No other medium has rejected the restorative narrative of Chile’s democratic state’s memory discourse as vigorously as documentary cinema. After the several democratic governments that succeeded the civic-military dictatorial alliance that ruled this nation uninterruptedly between 1973 and 1990, documentary films have resisted
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No other medium has rejected the restorative narrative of Chile’s democratic state’s memory discourse as vigorously as documentary cinema. After the several democratic governments that succeeded the civic-military dictatorial alliance that ruled this nation uninterruptedly between 1973 and 1990, documentary films have resisted monumental versions of historical memory by confronting the ambivalent nuances of the traumatic legacy of the dictatorship. Chilean documentarians have investigated, uncovered, and depicted the dictatorial state’s crimes, while offering testimonial space to survivors, and have also interrogated the perspectives of the dictatorship’s supporters, collaborators, and perpetrators while wrestling with an open dialectic of confrontational and reconciliatory gestures. More recently, this interest has intensified and combined with what is often described as a “boom” in second-generation personal-narration memory films. The present article includes the author’s conversations with the directors of three recent Chilean second-generation documentaries that explore the perspectives of former secret service collaborators: Adrian Goycoolea’s ¡Viva Chile Mierda! [Long Live Chile, Damn It!] (2014), Andrés Lübbert’s El color del camaleón [The Color of the Chameleon] (2017), and Lissette Orozco’s El pacto de Adriana [Adriana’s Pact] (2017). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wounded: Studies in Literary and Cinematic Trauma)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore and Sociolinguistics
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/h7010009
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Folklore and sociolinguistics exist in a symbiotic relationship; more than that, at points—in the ethnography of communication and in ethnopoetics, for example—they overlap and become indistinguishable. As part of a reaction to the formal rigor and social detachment of Chomsky’s theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics
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Folklore and sociolinguistics exist in a symbiotic relationship; more than that, at points—in the ethnography of communication and in ethnopoetics, for example—they overlap and become indistinguishable. As part of a reaction to the formal rigor and social detachment of Chomsky’s theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics emerges in the mid-twentieth century to assess the role of language in social life. Folklorists join the cause and bring to it a commitment to in-depth ethnography and a longstanding engagement with artistic communication. In this essay, I trace key phases in the development of this interdisciplinary movement, revolutionary in its reorientation of language study to the messy but fascinating realm of speech usage. I offer the concept of performative efficacy, the notion that expressive culture performances have the capacity to shape attitude and action and thereby transform perceived realities, as a means of capturing the continuing promise of a sociolinguistically informed folkloristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle Seeing What’s Right in Front of Us: The Bone Clocks, Climate Change, and Human Attention
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 11; doi:10.3390/h7010011
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
The scales on which climate change acts make it notoriously difficult to represent in artistic and cultural works. By modeling the encounter with climate as one characterized by distraction, David Mitchell’s novel The Bone Clocks proposes that the difficulty in portraying climate change
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The scales on which climate change acts make it notoriously difficult to represent in artistic and cultural works. By modeling the encounter with climate as one characterized by distraction, David Mitchell’s novel The Bone Clocks proposes that the difficulty in portraying climate change arises not from displaced effects and protracted timescales but a failure of attention. The book both describes and enacts the way more traditionally dramatic stories distract from climate connections right in front of our eyes, revealing, in the end, that the real story was climate all along. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Iconography for the Age of Social Media
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 12; doi:10.3390/h7010012
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
An iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans’ arrest at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral on Twitter. Twitter users’ textual and visual responses to it appear to show recurring patterns in the ways users interpret photographs. Aby Warburg recognized a similar process in
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An iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans’ arrest at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral on Twitter. Twitter users’ textual and visual responses to it appear to show recurring patterns in the ways users interpret photographs. Aby Warburg recognized a similar process in the history of art, referring to the afterlife of images. Evaluating these responses with an updated form of iconography sheds light upon this tangled afterlife across multiple media. Users’ response patterns suggest new ways to develop iconological interpretations, offering clues to a systematic use of iconography as a methodology for social media research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessArticle The Encounter with the Identical Other: The Literary Double as a Manifestation of Failure in Self-Constitution
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 13; doi:10.3390/h7010013
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Literary pieces featuring the double depict an encounter between the protagonist and another person, who is her identical other. Therefore they face various difficulties related to a threat cast on their unique identity, and this encounter challenges their process of self-definition. Martin Buber
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Literary pieces featuring the double depict an encounter between the protagonist and another person, who is her identical other. Therefore they face various difficulties related to a threat cast on their unique identity, and this encounter challenges their process of self-definition. Martin Buber sees the existence of the other as essential for the occurrence of self-constitution within an individual. He maintains that any person needs another person to obtain confirmation of what she is and is born equipped with the ability to confirm her fellow-person in the same way (1959). However, as the other encountered by a doppelgänger protagonist is not truly “other”, the latter might confront a difficulty in the different stages of Buber’s self-constitution process. This paper seeks to shed light on the inter- and intra-personal relationships depicted in literary pieces focusing on the theme of the double, such as The Double (Dostoyevsky [1846] 1997; Saramago 2002), Despair (1965), and Too Much Nina (Orbach 2011), emphasizing the limitations cast by the encounter with the identical other on the protagonist’s self-constitution, as put forward by Buber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
Open AccessArticle Myth
by
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/h7010014
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Myth has become a fundamental frame of reference for Western thinking. This paper explores the term and category “myth” from the perspective of folklore studies, with concern for the use of myth as a tool in research. The ways in which myth has
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Myth has become a fundamental frame of reference for Western thinking. This paper explores the term and category “myth” from the perspective of folklore studies, with concern for the use of myth as a tool in research. The ways in which myth has been used in both academic and popular discourses are discussed. These are viewed in a historical perspective against the backdrop of the origins of the modern term. Attention is given to how historical patterns of use have encoded “myth” with evaluative stance-taking, building an opposition of “us” versus “them” into myth as something “other people” have, in contrast to us, who know better. Discussion then turns to approaching myth as a type of story. The consequences of such a definition are explored in terms of what it does or does not include; the question of whether, as has often been supposed, myth is a text-type genre, is also considered. Discussion advances to aesthetic evaluation at the root of modern discussions of myth and how this background informs the inclination to identify myth as a type of story on the one hand while inhibiting the extension of the concept to, for example, historical events or theories about the world or its origins, on the other. Approaching myth as a type of modeling system is briefly reviewed—an approach that can be coupled to viewing myth as a type of story. Finally, discussion turns to the more recent trend of approaching mythology through mythic discourse, and the consequences as well as the benefits of such an approach for understanding myth in society or religion. There are many different ways to define myth. The present article explores how different approaches are linked to one another and have been shaped over time, how our definition of myth and the way we frame the concept shape our thinking, and can, in remarkably subtle ways, inhibit the reflexive application of the concept as a tool to better understand ourselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle The Challenge of Folklore to Medieval Studies
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 15; doi:10.3390/h7010015
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
When folklore began to emerge as a valid expression of a people during the early stages of national romanticism, it did so alongside texts and artifacts from the Middle Ages. The fields of folklore and medieval studies were hardly to be distinguished at
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When folklore began to emerge as a valid expression of a people during the early stages of national romanticism, it did so alongside texts and artifacts from the Middle Ages. The fields of folklore and medieval studies were hardly to be distinguished at that time, and it was only as folklore began to develop its own methodology (actually analogous to medieval textual studies) during the nineteenth century that the fields were distinguished. During the 1970s, however, folklore adopted a wholly new paradigm (the “performance turn”), regarding folklore as process rather than static artifact. It is here that folklore offers a challenge for medieval studies, namely to understand better the oral background to all medieval materials and the cultural competence that underlay their uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Out of Time, Out of Space, Out of Species: Deictic Displacement of the Exiled Self in Hans Sahl’s “Der Maulwurf” (The Mole)
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 16; doi:10.3390/h7010016
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
In Hans Sahl’s poem “Der Maulwurf” (The Mole), only the title gives an indication about the speaker’s species affiliation. The speaker of the poem suggests that he was transformed from a human into an animal. This metamorphosis is not only physical, but also
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In Hans Sahl’s poem “Der Maulwurf” (The Mole), only the title gives an indication about the speaker’s species affiliation. The speaker of the poem suggests that he was transformed from a human into an animal. This metamorphosis is not only physical, but also seems to have had an impact on the position of the speaker regarding his position in time and space. In this article, I analyze temporal, spatial, and physiological changes in the poem, and I argue that they are indicative of a theme of displacement that is embodied in animal existence in the text. Specifically, these shifts construct an exiled lyric identity whose transformation from human to animal creates an experience of displacement on every pane of existence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Challenge of American Folklore to the Humanities
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 17; doi:10.3390/h7010017
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 17 February 2018
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Abstract
American Folklore consists of traditional knowledge and cultural practices engaged by inhabitants of the United States below Canada and above Mexico. American folklorists were influenced by nineteenth-century European humanistic scholarship that identified in traditional stories, songs, and speech among lower class peasants an
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American Folklore consists of traditional knowledge and cultural practices engaged by inhabitants of the United States below Canada and above Mexico. American folklorists were influenced by nineteenth-century European humanistic scholarship that identified in traditional stories, songs, and speech among lower class peasants an artistic quality and claim to cultural nationalism. The United States, however, appeared to lack a peasant class and shared racial and ethnic stock associated in European perceptions with the production of folklore. The United States was a relatively young nation, compared to the ancient legacies of European kingdoms, and geographically the country’s boundaries had moved since its inception to include an assortment of landscapes and peoples. Popularly, folklore in the United States is rhetorically used to refer to the veracity, and significance, of cultural knowledge in an uncertain, rapidly changing, individualistic society. It frequently refers to the expressions of this knowledge in story, song, speech, custom, and craft as meaningful for what it conveys and enacts about tradition in a future-oriented country. The essay provides the argument that folklore studies in the United States challenge Euro-centered humanistic legacies by emphasizing patterns associated with the American experience that are (1) democratic, (2) vernacular, and (3) incipient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Year in the Life of a Public Park: Route-Making, Vigilance and Sampling Time Whilst Walking
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 18; doi:10.3390/h7010018
Received: 22 October 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper offers a systematic, experimental, walking methodology to facilitate an ethnography of a major urban public park undertaken in the north-east of England in 2009–10. Ethnography puts the body in-place, placing the senses within the streams of life to be observed through
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This paper offers a systematic, experimental, walking methodology to facilitate an ethnography of a major urban public park undertaken in the north-east of England in 2009–10. Ethnography puts the body in-place, placing the senses within the streams of life to be observed through experience; walking is one means of so doing. Walking traditions have frequently been used to observe, record and analyse the minutiae of urban life, with recent qualitative methodologies seeking to use walking to underpin ethnographies. Walking must negotiate the specificity of place and time, with all walks taking place in a real-world of materially, spatially, complex, vital and rhythmic landscapes. My aim was to systematically capture some of these patterns. Ethnographies typically use sustained field-based immersion; yet, some research utilises sampling strategies to guide observational procedures. Combining these methodologies allowed me to develop a methodology with three objectives: to create a series of routes to be followed; routes which allowed me to both scan and closely observe distant, and proximate, surroundings; and to construct a diurnal, weekly “sampling” frame, which allowed me to “immerse” myself within the park’s life through repeatedly walking these routes, building up a picture of everyday life, whilst (hopefully) capturing unscheduled events. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Children and Trauma: Unexpected Resistance and Justice in Film and Drawings
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 19; doi:10.3390/h7010019
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
This transnational study examines representations of and by children—whether literal wounds, psychological ones, or wounds transmitted through drawings—that manifest their capacity for unexpected resistance and justice. It considers the Mexican-American director Guillermo del Toro’s use of hauntings and wounds to explore violence during
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This transnational study examines representations of and by children—whether literal wounds, psychological ones, or wounds transmitted through drawings—that manifest their capacity for unexpected resistance and justice. It considers the Mexican-American director Guillermo del Toro’s use of hauntings and wounds to explore violence during the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War in the film El espinazo del diablo [The Devil’s Backbone] (2001) and its intersections on strategic and theoretical levels with the traumatic in archival children’s drawings produced during the 1976–1983 Argentine military dictatorship. The drawings illustrate the violence perpetrated against the child artists’ families and were produced in exile for the human rights organization COSOFAM. Utilizing diverse theories from film and trauma studies, among others, this article analyzes key scenes in El espinazo exhibiting commonalities with representations of traumatic violence in the children’s drawings, revealing that, in fiction and in fact, a strategic “showing” of the traumatic wound is designed to remind others of the imperative to intervene in situations of extreme violence, to appeal to/for justice, and to effectively testify from the inside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wounded: Studies in Literary and Cinematic Trauma)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle ‘You think your writing belongs to you?’: Intertextuality in Contemporary Jewish Post-Holocaust Literature
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 20; doi:10.3390/h7010020
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This article examines a sub-category of recent Jewish post-Holocaust fiction that engages with the absent memory of the persecution its authors did not personally witness through the medium of intertextuality, but with intertextual recourse not to testimonial writing but to literature only unwittingly
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This article examines a sub-category of recent Jewish post-Holocaust fiction that engages with the absent memory of the persecution its authors did not personally witness through the medium of intertextuality, but with intertextual recourse not to testimonial writing but to literature only unwittingly or retrospectively shadowed by the Holocaust. It will be proposed that this practice of intertextuality constitutes a response to the post-Holocaust Jewish author’s ‘anxiety of influence’ that, in the wake of the first generation’s experience of atrocity, their own life story and literature will always appear derivative. With reference to works by four such post-Holocaust authors, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (2010), Maxim Biller’s Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz (2013), Helen Maryles Shankman’s In the Land of Armadillos (2016), and Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love (2005) and Forest Dark (2017), all of which engage intertextually with Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz, it will be suggested that these authors are looking to return to a Kristevan practice of intertextuality after the predominantly citational recourse to antecedent material that has often characterized post-Holocaust literature. In the process, they also succeed in troubling recently popular conceptualizations of ‘postmemory’ literature as the ‘belated’ and ‘evacuated’ recipient of encrypted traumatic content inherited from the first generation that it must now seek either to preserve or to work through vicariously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Holocaust in Literature and Film)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reading Derrida in Tehran: Between an Open Door and an Empty Sofreh
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 21; doi:10.3390/h7010021
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
We can only begin to grasp hospitality as we enact it and yet, in the moment of enactment, hospitality eludes us. In this paper I look at the enactment of hospitality in the relationship between Iranian citizen-hosts and Afghan refugee-guests in the Islamic
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We can only begin to grasp hospitality as we enact it and yet, in the moment of enactment, hospitality eludes us. In this paper I look at the enactment of hospitality in the relationship between Iranian citizen-hosts and Afghan refugee-guests in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to reflect more broadly on questions of Derridean hospitality. Moving between the theoretical and the ethnographic, I forcefully bring to bear on a situation of protracted refugee displacement, a notion of hospitality that has, to a large extent, remained abstract and unanchored. The scalar shifts between the domestic and the national (so integral to Derrida’s theorising of the hospitable), are here reproduced in an examination of Iranian hospitality that simultaneously considers the juridical framework of asylum in the Islamic Republic and the domestic or homely expression of welcome, that occurs in the ushering of the guest over the threshold and the sharing of food around the sofreh. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle What Lies in the Gutter of a Traumatic Past: Infancia clandestina [Clandestine Childhood], Animated Comics, and the Representation of Violence
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 22; doi:10.3390/h7010022
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
This essay focuses on the animated comics in the representation of violence in Benjamín Ávila’s Infancia clandestina [Clandestine Childhood] (2011), a cinematic narrative of the seventies in Argentina. Drawing from animation and comic studies and adopting a formalist approach, the following
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This essay focuses on the animated comics in the representation of violence in Benjamín Ávila’s Infancia clandestina [Clandestine Childhood] (2011), a cinematic narrative of the seventies in Argentina. Drawing from animation and comic studies and adopting a formalist approach, the following analysis proposes ways in which the remediation of comics in the film underscores traumatic aspects of state terror and revolutionary violence and the problematic intergenerational transmission of memory of the 1970s–1980s militancy. Specifically, I comment on how the switch from photographic film to the animated frames draws attention to the blank space between the frames and thereby hints at the traumatic in what is left out, repressed, or silenced. While the gaps resist the forward motion of closure, paradoxically they allow for the suture of the frames/fragments in a postmemorial narrative, although not without a trace of the traumatic. Finally, extending the concept of the gutter as a liminal space, I analyze the connection between the animated scenes representing violence and the testimonial and documentary elements placed in the closing titles, a connection that asserts the autobiographical component of the film and enacts the conflictive character of intergenerational memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wounded: Studies in Literary and Cinematic Trauma)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Can the Fetus Speak?: Revolutionary Wombs, Body Politics, and Feminist Philosophy
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 24; doi:10.3390/h7010024
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Ariel Dorfman’s La última canción de Manuel Sendero (The Last Song of Manuel Sendero) and Carlos Fuentes’s Cristóbal Nonato (Christopher Unborn) explore conception, gestation, and birth as points of origin for humanity and citizenship alike by giving voice to
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Ariel Dorfman’s La última canción de Manuel Sendero (The Last Song of Manuel Sendero) and Carlos Fuentes’s Cristóbal Nonato (Christopher Unborn) explore conception, gestation, and birth as points of origin for humanity and citizenship alike by giving voice to life/lives that cannot speak for itself/themselves. Dorfman and Fuentes employ metafictional techniques and postmodern aesthetics, interrogate history in order to express their political commitments to rights, resistance, and revolution, and link textual production and human reproduction in order to posit national futures. Reading these works through a feminist lens, I weigh the poetic and philosophical implications of telling a story from the point of view of gametic, embryonic, or fetal, but decidedly male, narrators against the symbolic exclusion and silencing of mothers that bear them. When rendered a biopolitical frontier in symbolic or actual terms, the pregnant body poses particular philosophical quandaries that require further investigation. As such, this essay weaves together discourses on poetics, philosophy, and politics in order to uncover the perplexity that the pregnant mother, as figure for the nation, induces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Self without Character: Melville’s The Confidence-Man and Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 25; doi:10.3390/h7010025
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
This essay explores the gap between character, that is, the habitual persona or mask that can be consistently recognized and represented, and the underlying self. If the self is conflated with the persona, the latter rings hollow. If the self emerges in the
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This essay explores the gap between character, that is, the habitual persona or mask that can be consistently recognized and represented, and the underlying self. If the self is conflated with the persona, the latter rings hollow. If the self emerges in the gap between itself and its persona, it is no longer hollow but rather empty in the positive Mahāyāna Buddha Dharma sense of śūnyatā (lack of a self-same self or identity). This essay disambiguates the hollowness of character from the emptiness of the self through a study of Melville’s The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857) and Murakami’s contemporary classic, Kafka on the Shore (2002). Bringing Murakami into proximity with Melville not only highlights the originality of both but also affords a co-illuminating confrontation that brings Buddhist and Shinto insights to bear upon the problem of the self. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
Open AccessArticle Transferential Memory Spaces in Gisela Heidenreich’s Das endlose Jahr
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 26; doi:10.3390/h7010026
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
What does it mean to be German after Hitler and National Socialism? Gisela Heidenreich’s memoir Das endlose Jahr: Die langsame Entdeckung der eigenen Biographie—ein Lebensborn Schicksal (The Endless Year: The Slow Discovery of My Own Biography—A Lebensborn Destiny, 2002), highlights the dependence on
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What does it mean to be German after Hitler and National Socialism? Gisela Heidenreich’s memoir Das endlose Jahr: Die langsame Entdeckung der eigenen Biographie—ein Lebensborn Schicksal (The Endless Year: The Slow Discovery of My Own Biography—A Lebensborn Destiny, 2002), highlights the dependence on physical markers and monuments in understanding one’s place in history. Heidenreich discovers her origin as a Lebensborn child through family secrets, but it is not until she traverses the landscape of her past that she truly begins to understand her place within history. I argue that, along with family photographs and narratives, places play an integral role in the identity process through the metaphor of the palimpsest. In Heidenreich’s memoir, the German notion of Heimat reveals itself as a process, rather than a static and immovable space. Das endlose Jahr addresses the interplay between memory, places, and space through Heidenreich’s complex relationship with her mother, and her ambivalent sense of belonging through the palimpsest markers that remain. At its core, Das endlose Jahr is a memoir about the search for Heimat in all the wrong places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wounded: Studies in Literary and Cinematic Trauma)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reconsidering the Image of the Blue Bra: Photography, Conflict, and Cultural Memory in the 2011–2013 Egyptian Uprising
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 27; doi:10.3390/h7010027
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
The role of photography and social media have been seen as pivotal to the Egyptian political uprisings of 2011 where icons of the revolution circulated widely, helped galvanize protesters, and documented key events against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting discourse of photojournalism.
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The role of photography and social media have been seen as pivotal to the Egyptian political uprisings of 2011 where icons of the revolution circulated widely, helped galvanize protesters, and documented key events against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting discourse of photojournalism. By examining the citizen-produced image of the ‘girl with the blue’ in its capacity to reflect the spatial-temporal dynamics of the revolution, to mediate complex social issues of gender and political visibility, and to contribute to the development of cultural memory role through contemporary street art, this essay uncovers the significance of an icon in the digital age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Humanistic Value of Proverbs in Sociopolitical Discourse
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 28; doi:10.3390/h7010028
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Proverbs as strategic signs for recurrent situations have long played a significant communicative role in political rhetoric. Folk proverbs as well as Bible proverbs appear as expressions of wisdom and common sense, adding authority and didacticism to the multifaceted aspects of sociopolitical discourse.
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Proverbs as strategic signs for recurrent situations have long played a significant communicative role in political rhetoric. Folk proverbs as well as Bible proverbs appear as expressions of wisdom and common sense, adding authority and didacticism to the multifaceted aspects of sociopolitical discourse. Some proverbs like the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) or “It takes a village to raise a child” can function as traditional leitmotifs while other well-known proverbs might be changed into anti-proverbs to express innovative insights. The moralistic, evaluative, and argumentative employment of proverbs can be seen in the letters, speeches and writings by Lord Chesterfield, Abigail Adams, and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century. Fredrick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Elisabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony stand out in their use of proverbs for civil and women’s rights during the nineteenth century. This effective preoccupation with proverbs for sociopolitical improvements can also be observed in the impressive oratory of Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in the modern age. The ubiquitous proverbs underscore various political messages and add metaphorical as well as folkloric expressiveness to the worldview that social reformers and politicians wish to communicate. As commonly held beliefs the proverbs clearly bring humanistic values to political communications as they argue for an improved world order. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
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