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Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 32 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Re-Affecting the Stage: Affective Resonance as the Function of the Audience
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030079 - 20 Sep 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1427 | Correction
Abstract
This article uses an affect theory framework to show how the audience has the power to intensify the circulation of affect in the theatrical encounter, and to impact on the unique felt quality of the performance. Assessment is made of the vital function [...] Read more.
This article uses an affect theory framework to show how the audience has the power to intensify the circulation of affect in the theatrical encounter, and to impact on the unique felt quality of the performance. Assessment is made of the vital function of affect to performance through the images, sensations and expressions that performers use to describe audience engagement. Intermittently, from 2010 to 2012, the author embarked on practice-led research to find out how performers describe the experience of being on stage with regard to their engagement with an audience. Conversations were recorded with more than 50 performers (mainly actors and dancers) from the USA and Brazil, as well as Portugal and other European countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
“Turtles All the Way Down”: Mind, Emotion and Nothing
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030078 - 18 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1665
Abstract
This is an article in three movements. Each takes as its object a public phenomenon of emotion: first, the representation of human emotions as homunculi in a recent children’s movie; second, the performance of the Australian cricket captain at a press conference concerning [...] Read more.
This is an article in three movements. Each takes as its object a public phenomenon of emotion: first, the representation of human emotions as homunculi in a recent children’s movie; second, the performance of the Australian cricket captain at a press conference concerning the death, on the field, of a team-mate; and, finally, the mass contagion of public grief in response to that death. Using these three episodes, the article develops an understanding of Martin Heidegger’s thought in relation to, first, the “enframing” of human being within technology, in which the nothing from which being is brought into presence is concealed; second, the mood of anxiety in and through which Dasein—Heidegger’s term for the kind of being we “are”—asserts itself into that nothing; and, finally, the potential for post-aesthetic art to move beyond the logics of representation and subjectification, and in so doing, to reveal what Heidegger understands as the struggle between earth and world. The former refers to the “background” against and through which any particular “world” exists with the latter referring to a particular web of significances in which Dasein lives, and allowing truth to spring forth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Porous Skins and Tactile Bodies: Juxtaposition of the Affective and Sentimental Ideas of the Subject
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030077 - 08 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
This article brings together two ideas that authors in theoretical humanities tend to consider in isolation—of affect and of sentiment—and investigates what conceptions or imaginaries of the subject these ideas have historically relied on and reproduced. When viewed from the lens of the [...] Read more.
This article brings together two ideas that authors in theoretical humanities tend to consider in isolation—of affect and of sentiment—and investigates what conceptions or imaginaries of the subject these ideas have historically relied on and reproduced. When viewed from the lens of the theory of subjectivation, the contemporary notions of affect and the modern sentiment tradition not only reveal significant conceptual, epistemic and ideational overlaps, but they are both kinds of critique of the liberal individualistic subject. Engaging the methodology of juxtaposition, I bring together the affective porous subject (drawing on the work of Teresa Brennan) with the modern sentiment idea of the sensible body, focusing in particular on the 17th- and 18th-century neurological discourses of sensibility in the work of Albrecht von Haller, Georg Ernst Stahl and others. I argue that the modern sentiment tradition forms part of the genealogy of affect in that its ideas of sensibility and sympathy foreground one of the tenets of affective subjectivity: namely, that the subject emerges through (rather than predates) ecological exposure, membranous permeability and nervous responsiveness. In this sense, both the sentimental and affective notions of the subject operate as forms of critique of the idea of Cartesian self and of the disavowal of relational and/or dialogical subject in Western philosophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Australian Modernists in London: William Dobell’s The Dead Landlord and Patrick White’s The Ham Funeral
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030076 - 07 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1688
Abstract
When Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973, it was primarily for his novels. Less well recognised is the significance of White’s dramatic literature and his involvement in the theatre. This article offers a new analysis of White’s first [...] Read more.
When Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973, it was primarily for his novels. Less well recognised is the significance of White’s dramatic literature and his involvement in the theatre. This article offers a new analysis of White’s first notable breakthrough into theatre and drama, The Ham Funeral, which he wrote in postwar London and which was produced in Adelaide in 1961. This article argues that a modernist idiom of 20th-century Australian drama can be found in this play that laid the groundwork for a poetics of language, image and theatricality. The play’s aesthetic modernism is found primarily in the blend of expressionist and surrealist elements, the poetic language, the alienated creative subject and the representation of sexuality and the unconscious. White’s thematics also become political, concerned with power, masculinity and gendered assumptions about rationality and emotion, poetry and the body. Having lived in London during the interwar years, White was also part of the networks that included Australian-born artists, and he was exposed to influences from visual arts as well as theatre. Of these, the artist William Dobell was central to the genesis of The Ham Funeral, as was the Polish-born modernist artist S. Ostoja-Kotkowski, who was critical to the design of the brooding expressionist set that set the standard for subsequent stage realisations of the play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Scripting Memory and Emotions: Female Characters in Iraqi Theatre about War
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030075 - 07 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1403
Abstract
This article focuses on the emotional lives of, and interactions between, female characters in two plays about Iraqi wars: The Hymn of the Rocking Chair (1987) by Farouk Mohammed and A Feminine Solo (2013) by Mithal Ghazi. These plays show life in Iraq [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the emotional lives of, and interactions between, female characters in two plays about Iraqi wars: The Hymn of the Rocking Chair (1987) by Farouk Mohammed and A Feminine Solo (2013) by Mithal Ghazi. These plays show life in Iraq in times of war. The article argues that it is significant that Iraqi women are depicted in drama and theatre, during those times of war when extreme emotional suffering and trauma prevail, in the role of storytellers. In addition, societies at war present a methodological problem for research in that playscripts might not survive intact. This reveals another type of emotional loss through war—one that involves culture itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
The Unmade City: Subjectivity, Buffalo and the Sad Fate of Studio Arena Theatre
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030074 - 01 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1734
Abstract
This article is a reflection on the disjointed and submerged cultural consciousness of the city of Buffalo, New York. It outlines the concept of subjectivity as put forward by the philosopher Alain Badiou, and maps it onto the history of Studio Arena, Buffalo’s [...] Read more.
This article is a reflection on the disjointed and submerged cultural consciousness of the city of Buffalo, New York. It outlines the concept of subjectivity as put forward by the philosopher Alain Badiou, and maps it onto the history of Studio Arena, Buffalo’s main theatre company. Studio Arena Theatre (1927–2008) was one of the oldest and best known regional theatres in the USA. Its closure is a story fraught with conflict, misunderstanding and loss. That there has been no replacement theatre of comparable size and mandate says something about Buffalo’s diminished civic imaginary. While the link between the Theatre and the City is hard to formularise, it is a historically important relationship, going back to the time of Aristotle when theatre functioned as an informing resource for the lives of citizens. Those interested in urban renewal in Buffalo and other rust-belt US cities can profit not only from an understanding of Studio Arena Theatre’s history, but from a consideration of the kind of emotional engagement that this regional theatre represented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Surveillance and Social Memory: Remembering Princess Diana with CCTV
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030073 - 01 Sep 2016
Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Since the 1990s, surveillance camera images have experienced a function creep from their juridical uses into journalism and entertainment. In these contexts, the images have also become memory media. This article, for the first time, analyses CCTV images, meaning closed circuit surveillance camera [...] Read more.
Since the 1990s, surveillance camera images have experienced a function creep from their juridical uses into journalism and entertainment. In these contexts, the images have also become memory media. This article, for the first time, analyses CCTV images, meaning closed circuit surveillance camera images, as memory media and discusses the implications of our use of artefacts of control within a frame of mediated constructions of social memory. The article undertakes this work by analyzing remediations of the CCTV images of Diana Spencer and Dodi Al-Fayed in the Ritz Hotel in Paris on 30 August 1997 in television news and a documentary from 2007 and 2011, respectively. It is shown how social memory of Diana’s death is a contested site, in which the images play a specific role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Learning to Act: Tony Sheldon’s Emotional Training in Australian Theatre
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030072 - 26 Aug 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
This case study of Tony Sheldon considers how an actor develops versatility in emotional delivery and the capacity to work in all theatre genres. Sheldon is one of Australia’s best known and most successful stage actors. He has appeared in Shakespearean drama, cabaret, [...] Read more.
This case study of Tony Sheldon considers how an actor develops versatility in emotional delivery and the capacity to work in all theatre genres. Sheldon is one of Australia’s best known and most successful stage actors. He has appeared in Shakespearean drama, cabaret, musical theatre and contemporary plays written by Australian, British and American playwrights. He is one of a sizeable group of Australian actors of his generation to have learned to act ‘on the job’ with directors and other actors rather than undertaking formal qualifications in an institution or studio. This article examines Sheldon’s experience of learning to act, drawing on a life interview with the actor. It considers the opportunities and the difficulties Sheldon experienced in his early career in relation to boundary blurring and self-belief, trauma, directorial rehearsal styles, typecasting, comic acting in partnership and managing one’s character in long seasons. The article explores some of the problems that the actor has overcome, the importance of specific directors in his development, and the dynamics of informal training in the context of an overall ecology of theatre over half a century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Vulnerable Life: Zombies, Global Biopolitics, and the Reproduction of Structural Violence
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030071 - 25 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2501
Abstract
This essay offers an intervention in biopolitical theory—using the term “vulnerable life” to recalibrate discussions of how life is valued and violence is justified in the contemporary bioinsecurity regime. It reads the discursive structures that dehumanize and pathologize figures in U.S. zombie narratives [...] Read more.
This essay offers an intervention in biopolitical theory—using the term “vulnerable life” to recalibrate discussions of how life is valued and violence is justified in the contemporary bioinsecurity regime. It reads the discursive structures that dehumanize and pathologize figures in U.S. zombie narratives against the discursive structures present in contemporary legal narratives and media reports on the killing of black Americans. Through this unsettling paralleling of structures, the essay suggests how the current ubiquity of zombies and the profusion of racial tension in the U.S. are related. In the process, the essay emphasizes the highly racialized nature of the zombie itself—which has never been the empty signifier it is often read as—and drives home just how dangerous the proliferation of postracial and posthuman discourses can be if they serve to elide historical limitations about the highly political determinations of just who is quite human. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction: Analysing Emotion and Theorising Affect
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030070 - 24 Aug 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1775
Abstract
This discussion introduces ideas of emotion and affect for a volume of articles demonstrating the scope of approaches used in their study within the humanities and creative arts. The volume offers multiple perspectives on emotion and affect within 20th-century and 21st-century texts, arts [...] Read more.
This discussion introduces ideas of emotion and affect for a volume of articles demonstrating the scope of approaches used in their study within the humanities and creative arts. The volume offers multiple perspectives on emotion and affect within 20th-century and 21st-century texts, arts and organisations and their histories. The discussion explains how emotion encompasses the emotions, emotional feeling, sensation and mood and how these can be analysed particularly in relation to literature, art and performance. It briefly summarises concepts of affect theory within recent approaches before introducing the articles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions and Affect in the Humanities, Creative Arts, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Posthuman Ethics, Violence, Creaturely Suffering and the (Other) Animal: Schnurre’s Postwar Animal Stories
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030069 - 19 Aug 2016
Viewed by 1720
Abstract
The othering of whole groups of people in a biopolitical discourse during the Third Reich has caused many to re-assess ethics that is based on specific categories. Adorno and Horkheimer reckoned with both Enlightenment as well as classical “humanist” discourses to question whether [...] Read more.
The othering of whole groups of people in a biopolitical discourse during the Third Reich has caused many to re-assess ethics that is based on specific categories. Adorno and Horkheimer reckoned with both Enlightenment as well as classical “humanist” discourses to question whether they imply structures that lead to fascism. In the wake of these arguments, classical humanist (or sometimes also called anthropocentric) ethics have also been criticized by philosophers such as Agamben, Derrida, and Wolfe. It is thus time to work on posthuman(ist) ethics that avoids the traps of a narrow human ethics and that is inclusive rather than exclusive. The short stories by postwar German author Wolfdietrich Schnurre, written in the wake of the Holocaust, reckon with a purely human-centered worldview and draw a bleak picture of an anthropocentrically structured and valued world. Under the surface that portrays a speciesist world, Schnurre employs a network of sub-discourses to “cave out” carno-phallogocentric discourses and point towards a different, post-human ethics. This paper examines how anthropocentric discourses of power lead to inhumane violence and how a different approach to the Other, based on empathy and shared vulnerability, might just move us beyond it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
Open AccessArticle
Canines in the Classroom: Boccaccio, Dante, and the Visual Arts
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030068 - 18 Aug 2016
Viewed by 1515
Abstract
The article has two primary objectives: it presents an analysis of the representation of animals in selected Italian literary works; and it utilizes that analysis as an example of how to incorporate the visual arts in teaching literature in the undergraduate classroom. The [...] Read more.
The article has two primary objectives: it presents an analysis of the representation of animals in selected Italian literary works; and it utilizes that analysis as an example of how to incorporate the visual arts in teaching literature in the undergraduate classroom. The literary works discussed include Dante’s Inferno and the myth of Romulus and Remus as preparation for Boccaccio’s Decameron, specifically novelle IX.7 and V.8, with a thematic focus on portrayals of canines. The article argues that the use of artwork from the medieval and Renaissance periods, such as statuary, illustrated manuscripts, images in bestiaries, and works by Botticelli and other well-known artists, can be used to complement and reinforce interpretations of the texts, and are a powerful and effective tool in the learning process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Walking off the Edge of the World: Sacrifice, Chance, and Dazzling Dissolution in the Book of Job and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030067 - 09 Aug 2016
Viewed by 2964
Abstract
This article compares Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1974) to the book of Job. Both stories feature characters who can be read as innocent victims, but whereas the suffering in Le Guin’s tale benefits many, [...] Read more.
This article compares Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1974) to the book of Job. Both stories feature characters who can be read as innocent victims, but whereas the suffering in Le Guin’s tale benefits many, Job is the victim of useless suffering. Exploring this difference, I draw on George Bataille’s theory of sacrifice as useless expenditure, and developed his concept of the “will to chance” in my reading of how each set of characters responds to the complex moral impasses faced. In the end, I read both stories as being about the struggle to create a viable, meaningful life in a world that is unpredictable and structurally unjust. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Of Pomo Academicus, Reconsidered
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030066 - 02 Aug 2016
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
This article considers the relationship between what would generally be viewed as a postmodern perspective and the rise and multiple use of the prefix “post” by those arguing that we are finally beyond certain oppressive political, cultural and social issues, and dynamics, such [...] Read more.
This article considers the relationship between what would generally be viewed as a postmodern perspective and the rise and multiple use of the prefix “post” by those arguing that we are finally beyond certain oppressive political, cultural and social issues, and dynamics, such as the racist and sexist ideologies that have historically permeated and plagued our nation’s institutions, including higher education. Many of those who champion the prefix “post” assert that they offer us a narrative, description and framework of a post-racial and post-feminist era that they want us to acknowledge and embrace. I, however, claim that such a utilization and imposition (as opposed to the more generous sounding “offer”) of the various “posts” that we have been presented with are, more often than not, precisely little more than reactionary moves to reestablish and reaffirm the very type of thinking and structure that we have allegedly moved beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
Open AccessArticle
Transcultural Literary Interpretation: Theoretical Reflections with Examples from the Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030065 - 30 Jul 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
The present contribution explores the topic of literary interpretation from a transcultural perspective. We employ two dramas by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Die Juden and Nathan der Weise) and one by Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Iphigenie auf Tauris) as models for [...] Read more.
The present contribution explores the topic of literary interpretation from a transcultural perspective. We employ two dramas by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Die Juden and Nathan der Weise) and one by Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Iphigenie auf Tauris) as models for the investigation of intercultural and transcultural readings of literary texts. We first consider the epistemologies of Johann Martin Chladenius and Johann Gottfried Herder in order to distinguish between intercultural and transcultural studies. As a field of inquiry, transcultural literary studies does not employ one particular approach or advocate one specific method since it seeks to create new knowledge by opening up literary texts. For the first time, the article differentiates clearly between intercultural and transcultural studies and offers a clearer definition of transcultural spheres or spaces than has been advanced before. The critique of Karl-Josef Kuschel’s reading of Lessing’s Nathan der Weise opens up the literary-dramatic text to new possibilities. The field does not focus on what cultures do with human beings but with what different human beings do with culture. In sum, the transcultural dimensions of literary texts foster transcultural mentalities. They also have the potential to identify shared experiences and to develop common understandings while respecting the authenticity of difference. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ethical Universals in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies: A Posthumanist Critique of Universal Human Rights
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030064 - 29 Jul 2016
Viewed by 1970
Abstract
The debate on universality in current human rights scholarship has been overly limited. Commonly, the idea is either dismissed as Eurocentric or it is compared to a global political consensus. I evoke certain alternate and underexplored views on the topic from literary and [...] Read more.
The debate on universality in current human rights scholarship has been overly limited. Commonly, the idea is either dismissed as Eurocentric or it is compared to a global political consensus. I evoke certain alternate and underexplored views on the topic from literary and culture studies. Scholars like Kwame Appiah, Patrick Hogan and Seyla Benhabib have articulated principles that include patterns of non-coercive ethical thinking emergent across diverse cultures, particularly the way minority cultures ethically respond to oppression. I argue that human rights practices may be fruitfully guided by the way minority cultures around the world evoke ethical universals to challenge violations. To develop this, I consider Amitav Ghosh’s novel Sea of Poppies that treats the issue of colonialism in South Asia during the 19th century. Ghosh foreshadows the arrival of human rights in two ways. He shows that a conception human rights has origins in Western colonialism, precisely in the colonial idea of civilizing mission. But more importantly, he demonstrates that ethical universals allow colonized characters in the novel to form cross-cultural solidarities that subvert colonialism through conceptions of universal human rights. This understanding of universality is largely missing in current human rights scholarship, with consequences that extend well beyond Ghosh’s novel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
Open AccessArticle
“After Ever After”: Social Commentary through a Satiric Disney Parody for the Digital Age
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030063 - 27 Jul 2016
Viewed by 4180
Abstract
“If you’ve ever wondered why Disney tales all end in lies,” then ask YouTube artist Paint—aka Jon Cozart. He has created a video for YouTube.com that re-imagines what happened after four of Disney’s leading ladies’ “dreams came true.” Continuing a tradition that is [...] Read more.
“If you’ve ever wondered why Disney tales all end in lies,” then ask YouTube artist Paint—aka Jon Cozart. He has created a video for YouTube.com that re-imagines what happened after four of Disney’s leading ladies’ “dreams came true.” Continuing a tradition that is as old as the tales he sings about, the artist combines characters and melodies that have become culturally ubiquitous since the media domination of the Disney Corporation with an interpretation of the material that tries to make sense of the world in which it exists. Continuing the criticisms of post-modernism and feminist theory, Cozart challenges the “happily ever afters” that have become the stock endings for the genre. Through comedic satire he creates parodied storylines that bring four animated princesses out of their Disney realms and into the real world where they must deal with environmental destruction, racism, and colonialism, among other issues. The use of a video-sharing site such as Youtube.com not only allows for the expanded distribution of fan-created material, but it also directly addresses a wider audience than traditional oral story tellers could possibly reach: the Internet. This case study looks at the ways in which the global recognition of Disney culture allows for the creation of social commentary through familiar and beloved characters, while an increasingly digitally-connected world impacts the capabilities and understanding of both the creator and the viewers of the material. While far from being a new phenomenon, the reinterpretation of fairy tales takes on content and a form that reflects the increasingly globalized and digitized world in Cozart’s Disney parody. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cartographies of the Voice: Storying the Land as Survivance in Native American Oral Traditions
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030062 - 15 Jul 2016
Viewed by 2553
Abstract
This article examines how Native places are made, named, and reconstructed after colonization through storytelling. Storying the land is a process whereby the land is invested with the moral and spiritual perspectives specific to Native American communities. As seen in the oral traditions [...] Read more.
This article examines how Native places are made, named, and reconstructed after colonization through storytelling. Storying the land is a process whereby the land is invested with the moral and spiritual perspectives specific to Native American communities. As seen in the oral traditions and written literature of Native American storytellers and authors, the voices of indigenous people retrace and remap cartographies for the land after colonization through storytelling. This article shows that the Americas were storied by Native American communities long before colonial contact beginning in the fifteenth century and demonstrates how the land continues to be storied in the present as a method of decolonization and cultural survivance. The article examines manifestations of the oral tradition in multiple forms, including poetry, interviews, fiction, photography, and film, to demonstrate that the land itself, through storytelling, becomes a repository of the oral tradition. The article investigates oral narratives from precontact and postcolonial time periods and across numerous nations and geographical regions in the Americas, including stories from the Mayan Popol Vuh; Algonkian; Western Apache; Hopi; Haudenosaunee/Iroquois; and Laguna Pueblo stories; and the contemporary poetry and fiction of Joy Harjo (Mvskoke/Creek Nation) and Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Morrku Mangawu—Knowledge on the Land: Mobilising Yolŋu Mathematics from Bawaka, North East Arnhem Land, to Reveal the Situatedness of All Knowledges
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030061 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
Yolŋu mathematics refers to the complex matrix of patterns, relationships, shapes, motions and rhythms of time and space that underpin the ways that Yolŋu people, Indigenous people of North East Arnhem Land in northern Australia, nourish and are nourished by their environments. Through [...] Read more.
Yolŋu mathematics refers to the complex matrix of patterns, relationships, shapes, motions and rhythms of time and space that underpin the ways that Yolŋu people, Indigenous people of North East Arnhem Land in northern Australia, nourish and are nourished by their environments. Through its fundamental reliance on human and more-than-human connectivity and situatedness, Yolŋu people mobilise the concept of Yolŋu mathematics to challenge Western knowledges, including Western ideas of mathematics and environment. This paper discusses Yolŋu mathematics and the relationships between humans and more-than-humans, which co-produce a world that is living and interconnected, and which reveals all knowledge as situated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Saving the Other Amazon: Changing Understandings of Nature and Wilderness among Indigenous Leaders in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030060 - 15 Jul 2016
Viewed by 1597
Abstract
This article examines a new set of policies embraced by indigenous leaders in the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, driven, in part, by a growing appreciation for “wilderness” —large areas where humans exercise a very light touch. In the past few [...] Read more.
This article examines a new set of policies embraced by indigenous leaders in the Upper Napo region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, driven, in part, by a growing appreciation for “wilderness” —large areas where humans exercise a very light touch. In the past few years, leaders have pursued wilderness conservation initiatives while simultaneously promoting petroleum extraction in their own backyards. Both political positions run counter to those pursued in previous decades, when opposition to both oil development and strict forms of conservation within their territory was strong. To address this reversal, I trace some of the development interventions and North-South collaborations that have contributed to the emergence of “nature” as a meaningful imaginary for Amazonian indigenous leaders and for a new generation of young people, drawing connections to William Cronon’s critical analysis of how wilderness conservation became a priority in the United States. I conclude that more than two decades of conservationist interventions in the Upper Napo region have led to some largely unintended consequences, as Amazonian leaders increasingly subscribe to Northern environmentalists’ romanticization of “the Amazon” as a wild place, one that therefore must be distant from the places where they work and live. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Signifying Ainu Space: Reimagining Shiretoko’s Landscapes through Indigenous Ecotourism1
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030059 - 15 Jul 2016
Viewed by 1484
Abstract
Recognized as Japan’s indigenous peoples in 2008, the Ainu people of Hokkaido have sought to recuperate land and self-determination by physically reenacting Ainu traditional knowledge through ecotourism in Hokkaido. Colonization and assimilation have severed most contemporary Ainu from relations with nonhuman sentient beings [...] Read more.
Recognized as Japan’s indigenous peoples in 2008, the Ainu people of Hokkaido have sought to recuperate land and self-determination by physically reenacting Ainu traditional knowledge through ecotourism in Hokkaido. Colonization and assimilation have severed most contemporary Ainu from relations with nonhuman sentient beings (A. kamuy) rooted in land and waterways. Ecotourism provides a context for reenacting an ancestral ontology through engaging in wild food gathering, relearning subsistence practices for cultural transmission, and reinscribing Ainu cultural logics onto the land through stewardship and language. At the same time, the Japanese government’s campaign to have Siretok nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site can be interpreted as an attempt to legitimate Japanese claims to Shiretoko and reinscribe the authority of Japan, as both the proper steward to ensure responsible conservation of Shiretoko but also the rightful owner and proper occupant of the promontory and its surrounding waterways. The article reveals how Ainu attempts to establish relationships and assert ancestral claims with the kamuy in the landscape are stymied by the ongoing reality of settler colonialism and erasure of Ainu presence in the landscape. Further, it explores how a capitalist-driven economy of ecotourism unleashes new dynamics in relations between local Ainu fishers and farmers in Shiretoko and outsider Ainu who seek to develop ecotourist initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
The White Mountain Recreational Enterprise: Bio-Political Foundations for White Mountain Apache Natural Resource Control, 1945–1960
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030058 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Among American Indian nations, the White Mountain Apache Tribe has been at the forefront of a struggle to control natural resource management within reservation boundaries. In 1952, they developed the first comprehensive tribal natural resource management program, the White Mountain Recreational Enterprise (WMRE), [...] Read more.
Among American Indian nations, the White Mountain Apache Tribe has been at the forefront of a struggle to control natural resource management within reservation boundaries. In 1952, they developed the first comprehensive tribal natural resource management program, the White Mountain Recreational Enterprise (WMRE), which became a cornerstone for fighting legal battles over the tribe’s right to manage cultural and natural resources on the reservation for the benefit of the tribal community rather than outside interests. This article examines how White Mountain Apaches used the WMRE, while embracing both Euro-American and Apache traditions, as an institutional foundation for resistance and exchange with Euro-American society so as to reassert control over tribal eco-cultural resources in east-central Arizona. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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“Indigenizing” Food Sovereignty. Revitalizing Indigenous Food Practices and Ecological Knowledges in Canada and the United States
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030057 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 8196
Abstract
The food sovereignty movement initiated in 1996 by a transnational organization of peasants, La Via Campesina, representing 148 organizations from 69 countries, became central to self-determination and decolonial mobilization embodied by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Utilizing the framework of decolonization and sustainable [...] Read more.
The food sovereignty movement initiated in 1996 by a transnational organization of peasants, La Via Campesina, representing 148 organizations from 69 countries, became central to self-determination and decolonial mobilization embodied by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Utilizing the framework of decolonization and sustainable self-determination, this article analyzes the concept of food sovereignty to articulate an understanding of its potential for action in revitalizing Indigenous food practices and ecological knowledge in the United States and Canada. The food sovereignty movement challenged the hegemony of the globalized, neoliberal, industrial, capital-intensive, corporate-led model of agriculture that created destructive economic policies that marginalized small-scale farmers, removed them from their land, and forced them into the global market economy as wage laborers. Framed within a larger rights discourse, the food sovereignty movement called for the right of all peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food and the right to define their own food and agricultural systems. “Indigenizing” food sovereignty moves beyond a rights based discourse by emphasizing the cultural responsibilities and relationships Indigenous peoples have with their environment and the efforts being made by Indigenous communities to restore these relationships through the revitalization of Indigenous foods and ecological knowledge systems as they assert control over their own foods and practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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The Movement, the Mine and the Lake: New Forms of Maya Activism in Neoliberal Guatemala
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030056 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
This article explores the social, economic, cultural and political issues bound up in two matters relating to the environment in the Sololá and Lake Atitlán region of the Guatemalan Mayan highlands in 2004–2005: the violent breakup of an anti-mine protest and the various [...] Read more.
This article explores the social, economic, cultural and political issues bound up in two matters relating to the environment in the Sololá and Lake Atitlán region of the Guatemalan Mayan highlands in 2004–2005: the violent breakup of an anti-mine protest and the various reactions to a tropical storm that threatened the lake ecosystem. It views these events as part of a historical conjuncture and centers them in a larger discussion of Maya political activism, environmentalism and neoliberal development in Guatemala from the 1990s–mid-2010s. It begins with the transition from war to peace in the 1990s, charting how Maya participation in municipal politics soared even as the official Mayan movement waned as the state turned to neoliberalism. Zooming in on municipal development and politics in Sololá in the early 2000s, it then traces at the ground level how a decentralizing, “multicultural” state promoted political participation while at the same time undermining the possibility for that participation to bring about substantive change. The center of the article delves deeper into the conjuncture of the first decade of the new millennium. By mapping events in Sololá against development, agrarian transformation and rural urbanization, it argues that resilient Maya community structures, although unable to stop the exploitative tide, continued to provide local cohesion and advocacy. Activists and everyday citizens became more globally attuned in the 2000s. The article’s final section analyzes municipal plans made between 2007 and 2012, arguing that creating and controlling community structures became increasingly important to the state in a time when Guatemala’s “outward” global turn was accompanied by an “inward” turn as people confronted spiraling violence in their communities. Critics called young people apolitical, but in 2015, massive demonstrations led to the imprisonment of the nation’s president and vice-president, showing that there is a chapter of Guatemala’s history of activism yet to be written. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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Indigenous ExtrACTIVISM in Boreal Canada: Colonial Legacies, Contemporary Struggles and Sovereign Futures
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030055 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3017
Abstract
This article approaches contemporary extractivism as an environmentally and socially destructive extension of an enduring colonial societal structure. Manifested in massive hydroelectric developments, clearcut logging, mining, and unconventional oil and gas production, extractivism removes natural resources from their points of origin and dislocates [...] Read more.
This article approaches contemporary extractivism as an environmentally and socially destructive extension of an enduring colonial societal structure. Manifested in massive hydroelectric developments, clearcut logging, mining, and unconventional oil and gas production, extractivism removes natural resources from their points of origin and dislocates the emplaced benefits they provide. Because externally imposed resource extraction threatens Indigenous peoples’ land-based self-determination, industrial sites often become contested, politicized landscapes. Consequently, I also illuminate the struggles of those who strive to turn dreams for sovereign futures into reality through extrACTIVIST resistance to extractivist schemes. Presenting four case synopses—from across Canada’s boreal forest and spanning a broad range of extractive undertakings—that highlight both sides of the extractivism/ACTIVISM formulation, this article exposes the political roots of resource-related conflicts and contributes to an emerging comparative political ecology of settler colonialism. While extractivism’s environmental effects are immediate and arresting, these physical transformations have significant cultural consequences that are underlain by profound political inequities. I ultimately suggest that because extractivism is colonial in its causal logic, effective opposition cannot emerge from environmentalism alone, but will instead arise from movements that pose systemic challenges to conjoined processes of social, economic, and environmental injustice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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China’s Indigenous Peoples? How Global Environmentalism Unintentionally Smuggled the Notion of Indigeneity into China
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030054 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
This article explores how global environmental organizations unintentionally fostered the notion of indigenous people and rights in a country that officially opposed these concepts. In the 1990s, Beijing declared itself a supporter of indigenous rights elsewhere, but asserted that, unlike the Americas and [...] Read more.
This article explores how global environmental organizations unintentionally fostered the notion of indigenous people and rights in a country that officially opposed these concepts. In the 1990s, Beijing declared itself a supporter of indigenous rights elsewhere, but asserted that, unlike the Americas and Australia, China had no indigenous people. Instead, China described itself as a land of “ethnic minority” groups, not indigenous groups. In some sense, the state’s declaration appeared effective, as none of these ethnic minority groups launched significant grassroots efforts to align themselves with the international indigenous rights movement. At the same time, as international environmental groups increased in number and strength in 1990s China, their policies were undergoing significant transformations to more explicitly support indigenous people. This article examines how this challenging situation arose, and discusses the unintended consequences after a major environmental organization, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), carried out a project using the language of indigeneity in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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The Double Binds of Indigeneity and Indigenous Resistance
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030053 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2829
Abstract
During the twentieth century, indigenous peoples have often embraced the category of indigenous while also having to face the ambiguities and limitations of this concept. Indigeneity, whether represented by indigenous people themselves or others, tends to face a “double bind”, as defined by [...] Read more.
During the twentieth century, indigenous peoples have often embraced the category of indigenous while also having to face the ambiguities and limitations of this concept. Indigeneity, whether represented by indigenous people themselves or others, tends to face a “double bind”, as defined by Gregory Bateson, in which “no matter what a person does, he can’t win.” One exit strategy suggested by Bateson is meta-communication—communication about communication—in which new solutions emerge from a questioning of system-internal assumptions. We offer case studies from Ecuador, Peru and Alaska that chart some recent indigenous experiences and strategies for such scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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Humanistic Environmental Studies and Global Indigeneities
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030052 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
The Environmental Humanities constitute an emerging transdisciplinary enterprise that is becoming a key part of the liberal arts and an indispensable component of the twenty-first-century university.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Indigeneities and the Environment) Printed Edition available
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“All That Was Lost Is Revealed”: Motifs and Moral Ambiguity in Over the Garden Wall
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030051 - 05 Jul 2016
Viewed by 4452
Abstract
Pointedly nostalgic in both its source material and storytelling approach, Over the Garden Wall’s vintage aesthetic is not merely decorative, but ideological. The miniseries responds to recent postmodern fairy tale adaptations by stripping away a century of popular culture references and using [...] Read more.
Pointedly nostalgic in both its source material and storytelling approach, Over the Garden Wall’s vintage aesthetic is not merely decorative, but ideological. The miniseries responds to recent postmodern fairy tale adaptations by stripping away a century of popular culture references and using motifs, not to invoke and upset increasingly familiar fairy tales, but as an artist’s palette of evocative, available images. In privileging imagery and mood over lessons, Over the Garden Wall captures something that has become vanishingly rare in children’s media: the moral ambiguity of fairy tale worlds.1 Full article
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Himalayan Folklore and the Fairy Tale Genre
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030050 - 05 Jul 2016
Viewed by 2114
Abstract
Based on fieldwork by the author conducted in Tibetan cultural areas of the Indian Himalayas, this paper explores Himalayan understandings of what defines a fairy tale, in contrast to the Western understanding. In parts of the Himalayas, a distinction is made between “ [...] Read more.
Based on fieldwork by the author conducted in Tibetan cultural areas of the Indian Himalayas, this paper explores Himalayan understandings of what defines a fairy tale, in contrast to the Western understanding. In parts of the Himalayas, a distinction is made between “lakshung” (fairy tales) and “kyakshung”, which are shorter stories, the kind one might tell over tea. In light of the proposals to record and disseminate many of these stories using new media, this paper seeks to examine these genre definitions and investigates the various contexts in which these stories are told. Full article
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