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Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Enemy Encounters in the War Poetry of Wilfred Owen, Keith Douglas, and Randall Jarrell
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030089
Received: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
While some war poets amplify the concept of anonymity for enemy soldiers, projecting an “us vs. them” mentality, other defining voices of war counter this militaristic impulse to dehumanize the enemy. This pivot toward describing the World Wars more like humanitarian crises than
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While some war poets amplify the concept of anonymity for enemy soldiers, projecting an “us vs. them” mentality, other defining voices of war counter this militaristic impulse to dehumanize the enemy. This pivot toward describing the World Wars more like humanitarian crises than an epic of good and evil is most notable in poems that chronicle both real and imagined close-range encounters between combatants. The poem “Strange Meeting” by British First World War soldier Wilfred Owen uses the vision of two enemy soldiers meeting in hell to reinforce his famous notion that war is something to be pitied. As a result of technological advancements in the Second World War and the increasing distance of combat, the poems “Vergissmeinnicht” and “How to Kill” by British Second World War soldier Keith Douglas wrestle with dehumanizing the enemy and acknowledging their humanity. “Protocols” by American Second World War soldier Randall Jarrell is an imagined view of civilian victims, and is a reckoning with the horrors human beings are capable of committing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue War and Literature: Commiserating with the Enemy)
Open AccessArticle Documentary Photography from the German Democratic Republic as a Substitute Public
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030088
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
This paper discusses artistic documentary photography from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from the mid-1970s until the fall of the Berlin Wall, and suggests that it functioned as a substitute public–Ersatzöffentlichkeit–in society. This concept of a substitute public sphere sometimes termed
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This paper discusses artistic documentary photography from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from the mid-1970s until the fall of the Berlin Wall, and suggests that it functioned as a substitute public–Ersatzöffentlichkeit–in society. This concept of a substitute public sphere sometimes termed a counter-public sphere, relates to GDR literature that, in retrospect, has been allocated this role. On the whole, in critical discourse certain texts have been recognised as being distinct from GDR propaganda which sought to deliver alternative readings in their coded texts. I propose that photography, despite having had a different status to literature in the GDR, adopted similar traits and also functioned as part of a substitute public sphere. These photographers aimed to expose the existing gap between the propagandised and actual life under socialism. They embedded a moral and critical position in their photographs to comment on society and to incite debate. However, it was necessary for these debates to occur in the private sphere, so that artists and their audience would avoid state persecution. In this paper, I review Harald Hauswald’s series Everyday Life (1976–1990) to demonstrate how photographs enabled substitute discourses in visual ways. Hauswald is a representative of artistic documentary photography and although he was never published in the official GDR media, he was the first East German photographer to publish in renowned West German and European media outlets, such as GEO magazine and ZEITmagazin, before the reunification. In 1990, he founded the ‘Ostkreuz–Agency of Photographers’ with six other East German documentary photographers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gender, Language and a Lipstick: Creating Cultural Change in a World of Paradoxes
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030087
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper addresses the paradoxes and possibilities for academic feminism in the Third Millennium drawing on feminist linguistics. It targets the role of language in the construction of social gender, focusing on data from Greek, and shows that gendering discourse can effect cultural
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This paper addresses the paradoxes and possibilities for academic feminism in the Third Millennium drawing on feminist linguistics. It targets the role of language in the construction of social gender, focusing on data from Greek, and shows that gendering discourse can effect cultural change. It is suggested that academic feminists can be agents of cultural change when they promote feminist language reform in the service of challenging the dominant gender order. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle It’s in the Water: Byzantine Borderlands and the Village War
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030086
Received: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
This essay examines Byzantine military manuals created between the sixth to the tenth centuries for what they can reveal about Byzantine imperial attitudes toward the landscapes of war and those who inhabit them. Of foremost concern in these sources is the maintenance of
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This essay examines Byzantine military manuals created between the sixth to the tenth centuries for what they can reveal about Byzantine imperial attitudes toward the landscapes of war and those who inhabit them. Of foremost concern in these sources is the maintenance of ‘security’ (Greek: asphaleia) by commanders with the necessary quality of ‘experience’ (Greek: peira). Experience meant knowing how to best exploit the land, including the villages under Byzantine authority, in the prosecution of war. Exploitation in the name of security involved destroying villages, using villages and their inhabitants in ambushes, poisoning and seizing crops, evacuating villages, and using villages for the billeting of, at times undisciplined, soldiers. Villages were thus central to a Byzantine military strategy that is identified here as the ‘village war,’ a strategy that is analogous to security strategies evident in more recent conflicts. Through the juxtaposition of premodern and modern modalities of war, this essay intends to be a pointed reminder that the village war has deep roots in imperialist thought, and that the consequences of the village war profoundly reshape the lives of those caught up in its midst, particularly the peasantry. Full article
Open AccessArticle Crank up the Feminism: Poetic Inquiry as Feminist Methodology
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030085
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
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Abstract
In this autoethnographic essay, the author argues for the use of poetic inquiry as a feminist methodology by showing her use of poetry as research method during the past 13 years. Through examples of her poetic inquiry work, the author details how poetry
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In this autoethnographic essay, the author argues for the use of poetic inquiry as a feminist methodology by showing her use of poetry as research method during the past 13 years. Through examples of her poetic inquiry work, the author details how poetry as research offers Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies scholars a means of doing, showing, and teaching embodiment and reflexivity, a way to refuse the mind-body dialectic, a form of feminist ethnography, and a catalyst for social agitation and change. The author uses examples of her ethnographic poetry that critique middle-class White motherhood, address the problems of White feminism, and reflects the nuances of identity negotiation in research and personal life to show the breadth of topics and approaches of poetic inquiry as feminist research practice and feminist pedagogy. Full article
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Open AccessEssay The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program: Intersections between Feminism and Communication
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030084
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper explores the intersections between feminism and communication in an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course that is cross-listed with Social Justice and Women’s and Gender Studies. The paper focuses on the alignment of the Inside-Out curriculum with feminist pedagogical principles and explores,
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This paper explores the intersections between feminism and communication in an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course that is cross-listed with Social Justice and Women’s and Gender Studies. The paper focuses on the alignment of the Inside-Out curriculum with feminist pedagogical principles and explores, through the structure and content of the course, the ways in which these feminist principles interconnect with communication concepts. Full article
Open AccessArticle Silk Road Influences on the Art of Seals: A Study of the Song Yuan Huaya
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030083
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Song Yuan Huaya (the Huaya of the Song and Yuan Dynasties) is a type of seal featuring figurative patterns and sometimes decorated with ciphered or ethnic characters. Their origins are the Song and Yuan Dynasties, although their influence extends to the Ming (1368–1644
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Song Yuan Huaya (the Huaya of the Song and Yuan Dynasties) is a type of seal featuring figurative patterns and sometimes decorated with ciphered or ethnic characters. Their origins are the Song and Yuan Dynasties, although their influence extends to the Ming (1368–1644 CE) and Qing (1644–1912 CE) Dynasties. Although it is based on the Chinese Han seal tradition, Song Yuan Huaya exhibits various elements from the influence of the Silk Road. This is thought to be the first time in Han seal history that the Steppe culture can be seen so abundantly on private seals. This paper takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyse, probably for the first time in the field, some cases of Song Yuan Huaya, in which a dialogue between the Han seal tradition and Silk Road culture occurs. The findings will hopefully advance the understanding of the complicated nature of the art history, society, peoples, and ethnic relationships in question, and will serve as the starting point for further studies of intercultural communication during specific historical periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Victorian Murder and the Digital Humanities
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030082
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
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Abstract
The rapid extension of what has become known as the Digital Humanities has resulted in an array of online resources for researchers within the subdiscipline of Victorian Studies. But the increasingly acquisitive nature of these digital projects poses the question as to what
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The rapid extension of what has become known as the Digital Humanities has resulted in an array of online resources for researchers within the subdiscipline of Victorian Studies. But the increasingly acquisitive nature of these digital projects poses the question as to what happens once all the information and material we have related to the Victorians has been archived? This paper is an attempt to anticipate this question with specific reference to future digital resources for the study of ‘Victorian murder culture’, and in particular, the essentially textual nature of the nineteenth-century experience of crime. It will argue that there is potential for new forms of digital-humanities archive that offer a more participatory user experience, one that nurtures a cognitively empathic understanding of the complex intertextuality of Victorian crime culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
Open AccessEssay The Misogynous Politics of Shame
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030081
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Joanna Bourke’s account of the ways that changing ideas of rape reflect the gendered norms of the times, and Eric Reitan’s proposal that rape ought to remain a contested concept amenable to evolving principles of ethical sexual relationships, speak to the ways that
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Joanna Bourke’s account of the ways that changing ideas of rape reflect the gendered norms of the times, and Eric Reitan’s proposal that rape ought to remain a contested concept amenable to evolving principles of ethical sexual relationships, speak to the ways that social, cultural, and political contexts influence our understanding of sexual violence. Though the criteria that are used to define rape change, one thing remains constant: the raped person is shamed. As she is shamed, she is degraded. This paper argues that until we understand the role that shame plays in enabling sexual violence by humiliating, silencing, and stigmatizing its victims, changes in our depictions of rape will neither disable the personal devastation of being raped nor dismantle the social practices and political institutions that rely on rape to maintain misogynous inequalities. Following the Introduction (Section 1) it is divided into three parts. Section 2, The Shame of Being Human, discusses the psychological and phenomenological accounts of shame. It alerts us to the ways that shame defines us insofar as it reveals the truth of human intersubjectivity and mutual interdependency. Section 3, Debilitating Shame, describes the ways that shame has been exploited to enable and enforce sexed and gendered inequalities. Section 4, Shame: Demanding Justice, examines the ways that shame, in its role as the protector of the self, undermines the effects of debilitating shame and fosters a politics of sexual integrity by affirming the dignity of the interdependencies that tie us to each other. Full article
Open AccessArticle Haunt or Home? Ethos and African American Literature
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030080
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
The African American rhetorical tradition could be described as a shelter in an alien environment or as a way station on a long journey. A focus on ethos suggests that such a narrow approach to African American literature cannot do justice to these
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The African American rhetorical tradition could be described as a shelter in an alien environment or as a way station on a long journey. A focus on ethos suggests that such a narrow approach to African American literature cannot do justice to these literary texts: how these writers employ images and symbols, craft and deploy examine identities, blend, criticize, and create traditions, explore contemporary issues, and create community. Because of cultural and racist narratives, African Americans could not simply use either the pre-Socratic or Aristotelian approaches to ethos in their fight for social justice. This essay demonstrates how a postclassical approach to ethos that draws on Bourdieu’s concept of habitus and is focused on community-building and self-healing is central to the African American literature and rhetoric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric)
Open AccessArticle Dehumanized Victims: Analogies and Animal Avatars for Palestinian Suffering in Waltz with Bashir and “War Rabbit”
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030079
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
A common convention in comics and animation is the use of animal stand-ins to provide an access point for human experiences. Whether representing anthropomorphized characters navigating very human experiences or depicting four-legged creatures impacted by human action, this strategy has the manifest intent
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A common convention in comics and animation is the use of animal stand-ins to provide an access point for human experiences. Whether representing anthropomorphized characters navigating very human experiences or depicting four-legged creatures impacted by human action, this strategy has the manifest intent of fostering viewer identification and empathy. In particular, artists sometimes deploy animal avatars in representations of persecution and historical trauma to avoid depicting identity categories such as race, nationality and sexuality, which constitute the ostensible basis for persecution. In this way, the use of animals to represent human suffering universalizes experiences for which difference matters. In this essay, I explore how these animal stand-ins enable or foreclose empathy with Palestinian victims in the close reading of two primary texts, “War Rabbit” and Waltz with Bashir, which employ animal avatars in place of a direct depiction of Palestinian suffering. These illustrated narratives, one a comic and one an animated film, visually rhyme animal and human suffering and verbally lament the deaths of animals. I argue that both texts fail to unpack the analogies they construct, such that these constructions ultimately represent the actual Palestinians victims as being mute and irrational. Thus this use of animal avatars, which is meant to be foster empathy, is instead oblique, and risks further dehumanizing victims and negating their experiences. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Positioning Ethos in/for the Twenty-First Century: An Introduction to Histories of Ethos
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030078
Received: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this essay is to introduce, contextualize, and provide rationale for texts published in the Humanities special issue, Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric. It surveys theories of ethos and selfhood that have evolved since the mid-twentieth century, in
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The aim of this essay is to introduce, contextualize, and provide rationale for texts published in the Humanities special issue, Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric. It surveys theories of ethos and selfhood that have evolved since the mid-twentieth century, in order to identify trends in discourse of the new millennium. It outlines the dominant theories—existentialist, neo-Aristotelian, social-constructionist, and poststructuralist—while summarizing major theorists of language and culture (Archer, Bourdieu, Foucault, Geertz, Giddens, Gusdorf, Heidegger). It argues for a perspectivist/dialectical approach, given that no one theory comprehends the rich diversity of living discourse. While outlining the “current state of theory,” this essay also seeks to predict, and promote, discursive practices that will carry ethos into a hopeful future. (We seek, not simply to study ethos, but to do ethos.) With respect to twenty-first century praxis, this introduction aims at the following: to acknowledge the expressive core of discourse spoken or written, in ways that reaffirm and restore an epideictic function to ethos/rhetoric; to demonstrate the positionality of discourse, whereby speakers and writers “out themselves” ethotically (that is, responsively and responsibly); to explore ethos as a mode of cultural and embodied personal narrative; to encourage an ethotic “scholarship of the personal,” expressive of one’s identification/participation with/in the subject of research; to argue on behalf of an iatrological ethos/rhetoric based in empathy, care, healing (of the past) and liberation/empowerment (toward the future); to foster interdisciplinarity in the study/exploration/performance of ethos, establishing a conversation among scholars across the humanities; and to promote new versions and hybridizations of ethos/rhetoric. Each of the essays gathered in the abovementioned special issue achieves one or more of these aims. Most are “cultural histories” told within the culture being surveyed: while they invite criticism as scholarship, they ask readers to serve as witnesses to their stories. Most of the authors are themselves “positioned” in ways that turn their texts into “outings” or performances of gender, ethnicity, “race,” or ability. And most affirm the expressive, epideictic function of ethos/rhetoric: that is, they aim to display, affirm, and celebrate those “markers of identity/difference” that distinguish, even as they humanize, each individual and cultural storytelling. These assertions and assumptions lead us to declare that Histories of Ethos, as a collection, presents a whole greater than its essay-parts. We conceive it, finally, as a conversation among theories, histories, analyses, praxes, and performances. Some of this, we know, goes against the grain of modern (Western) scholarship, which privileges analysis over narrative and judges texts against its own logocentric commitments. By means of this introduction and collection, we invite our colleagues in, across, and beyond the academy “to see differently.” Should we fall short, we will at least have affirmed that some of us “see the world and self”—and talk about the world and self—through different lenses and within different cultural vocabularies and positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric)
Open AccessArticle Allaying Terror: Domesticating Vietnamese Refugee Artisans as Subjects of American Diplomacy
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030077
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
A photograph of a basketmaker and photographs of other refugee artisans published in the August 1956 issue of Interiors magazine iterated some common themes of refugee narratives during a decade of significant migration that saw the United Nations sponsor World Refugee Year in
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A photograph of a basketmaker and photographs of other refugee artisans published in the August 1956 issue of Interiors magazine iterated some common themes of refugee narratives during a decade of significant migration that saw the United Nations sponsor World Refugee Year in 1959. Of particular interest are the ways the publication of the basketmaker photograph helped to demonstrate how Vietnamese refugee artisans suited the needs of an American State Department-led aid project directed by the industrial designer Russel Wright in South Vietnam from 1955–61. The project aimed to export Vietnamese craft to the American middle class as a way to bring South Vietnam into the Free World during the Cold War. This essay explores how the photograph served the American State Department agenda by characterizing its subject in terms of pathos and need. To this point, it helped to allay American anxieties about supporting refugee artisans by depoliticizing the “refugee problem” and resolving it. In this case, refugee photography expressed how the interests of American diplomacy were linking to the American middle class as a demographic becoming synonymous with consumption and whiteness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Traces of Traces: Time, Space, Objects, and the Forensic Turn in Photography
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030076
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Images of atrocity are deeply problematic, in that they potentially create a tension between form and content and are often accused of re-victimization, aesthetization of suffering, compassion fatigue and exploitation. As an alternative, therefore, there is considerable potential in examining images associated with
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Images of atrocity are deeply problematic, in that they potentially create a tension between form and content and are often accused of re-victimization, aesthetization of suffering, compassion fatigue and exploitation. As an alternative, therefore, there is considerable potential in examining images associated with atrocity that do not depict the actual act of violence or the victim itself, but rather depict the material presence of the spaces and objects involved in such acts. The temporality of the photograph is also fluid in this type of approach. This paper considers the work of four photographers (Edmund Clark, Ashley Gilbertson, Shannon Jensen, and Fred Ramos) who have used a “forensic aesthetic” in their practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessArticle Powerful Adversaries
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030075
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 22 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains yet another assault on higher education in its unprecedented tax on private university endowment income. This paper argues, first, that this and other attacks should not be seen as anti-intellectual efforts to dismantle higher
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains yet another assault on higher education in its unprecedented tax on private university endowment income. This paper argues, first, that this and other attacks should not be seen as anti-intellectual efforts to dismantle higher education but rather as intellectually elitist efforts to rid universities of certain programs and personnel and, second, that viewing these efforts as motivated primarily by racism and (hetero)sexism is an analytical and political mistake. Women’s, gender, and sexualities studies programs undermine basic assumptions that ground contemporary right-wing political and economic policy—namely, individualism and economism—by presenting empirical evidence and developing theoretical frameworks focused on historical formations of power networks that produce subjects, preferences, and systems of oppression. The main goal of the radical right is not to purge women and people of color from academia, but to prevent analysis and discussion that reveals the inadequacy of right-wing ontological commitments and neoliberal social theory. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heterolingualism and the Holocaust: Translating the Ineffable in Hélène Berr’s Journal
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030074
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
By drawing attention to Hélène Berr’s use of foreign languages and literature as acts of translation, arguably one of the most prominent features of her Journal, this paper hopes to lay the foundation for a more sustained discussion of what translation means
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By drawing attention to Hélène Berr’s use of foreign languages and literature as acts of translation, arguably one of the most prominent features of her Journal, this paper hopes to lay the foundation for a more sustained discussion of what translation means for victims of Nazi persecution, as well as of what translation does to their voices and for the continued transmission of their memories. The first section of this paper considers how Hélène Berr uses translation as a communicative aid to expression and argues that foreign languages, literary forms of expression, and also literature itself form part of a broader network of substitute vocabularies that function to help Berr to narrate, or even to translate, the ineffable. After considering the important role that heterolingualism and these substitute vocabularies play in Berr’s narrative, the paper raises some of the distinct challenges that linguistic plurality poses to translators of narratives of Nazi persecution. By drawing on, and comparing, examples from a textual analysis of the (2008) English version of Berr’s Journal, translated by David Bellos, and from the (2009) German edition, translated by Elisabeth Edl, and crucially through assessments of citations from the translators themselves, this paper highlights the significant role that translators, and the practice of translation, play in shaping memories of Nazi persecution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Holocaust in Literature and Film)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Soviet Central Asia and the Preservation of History
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030073
Received: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
Central Asia has one of the deepest and richest histories of any region on the planet. First settled some 6500 years ago by oasis-based farming communities, the deserts, steppe and mountains of Central Asia were subsequently home to many pastoral nomadic confederations, and
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Central Asia has one of the deepest and richest histories of any region on the planet. First settled some 6500 years ago by oasis-based farming communities, the deserts, steppe and mountains of Central Asia were subsequently home to many pastoral nomadic confederations, and also to large scale complex societies such as the Oxus Civilization and the Parthian and Kushan Empires. Central Asia also functioned as the major hub for trans-Eurasian trade and exchange networks during three distinct Silk Roads eras. Throughout much of the second millennium of the Common Era, then under the control of a succession of Turkic and Persian Islamic dynasties, already impressive trading cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand were further adorned with superb madrassas and mosques. Many of these suffered destruction at the hands of the Mongols in the 13th century, but Timur and his Timurid successors rebuilt the cities and added numerous impressive buildings during the late-14th and early-15th centuries. Further superb buildings were added to these cities by the Shaybanids during the 16th century, yet thereafter neglect by subsequent rulers, and the drying up of Silk Roads trade, meant that, by the mid-18th century when expansive Tsarist Russia began to incorporate these regions into its empire, many of the great pre- and post-Islamic buildings of Central Asia had fallen into ruin. This colonization of the region by the Russians, and its later incorporation into the Union of Society Socialist Republics in 1919, brought Central Asia to the attention of Russian and Soviet archaeologists and urban planners. It was these town planners and engineers who were eventually responsible for preserving many of the decaying monuments and historic urban cores of Central Asia, despite the often-challenging ideological constraints they were forced to work under. The paper focuses particularly on the effect of these preservation policy decisions in Uzbekistan, where the process has been best documented. It argues that Soviet authorities struggled constantly with ways of recognizing the need for historical preservation while at the same time creating a new society that had cast off the shackles of its ‘feudal past’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030072
Received: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
Some dominant traditions in Refugee Studies have stressed the barrier which state citizenship presents to the displaced. Some have condemned citizenship altogether as a mechanism and ideology for excluding the weak (G. Agamben). Others have seen citizenship as an acute problem for displaced
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Some dominant traditions in Refugee Studies have stressed the barrier which state citizenship presents to the displaced. Some have condemned citizenship altogether as a mechanism and ideology for excluding the weak (G. Agamben). Others have seen citizenship as an acute problem for displaced people in conditions, like those of the modern world, where the habitable world is comprehensively settled by states capable of defending their territory and organised in accordance with interstate norms, which leaves very limited space for the foundation of new communities with their own meaningful citizenship (H. Arendt). This paper engages with these prominent approaches, but also with more recent arguments that, when handled and adapted in the right way, the practices and ideology of citizenship also present opportunities for the displaced to form their own meaningful communities, exercise collective agency, and secure rights. It is argued that the evidence from ancient Greece shows that ancient Greek citizenship, an early forerunner of modern models of citizenship, could be imaginatively harnessed and adapted by displaced people and groups, in order to form effective and sometimes innovative political communities in exile, even after opportunities to found new city-states from scratch became quite rare (after c. 500 BC). Some relevant displaced groups experimented with more open and cosmopolitan styles of civic interaction and ideology in their improvised quasi-civic communities. The different kinds of ancient Greek informal ‘polis-in-exile’ can bring a new perspective on the wider debates and initiatives concerning refugee political agency and organisation in the ‘provocations’ in this special issue. Full article
Open AccessArticle “Hopefully I Won’t Be Misunderstood.” Disability Rhetoric in Jürg Acklin’s Vertrauen ist gut
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030071
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
This essay brings together the fields of German literature, disability studies, and rhetoric in an analysis of the rhetorical strategies and representational implications of disability in Jürg Acklin’s 2009 novel Vertrauen ist gut. Resting on the theory of complex embodiment, the analysis
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This essay brings together the fields of German literature, disability studies, and rhetoric in an analysis of the rhetorical strategies and representational implications of disability in Jürg Acklin’s 2009 novel Vertrauen ist gut. Resting on the theory of complex embodiment, the analysis considers the rhetoric of anmut as a literary strategy that invites readers to share imperfect, yet profound, embodied rhetorical connections with the protagonist without rendering invisible the differences that shape embodied experience. Although the characters in Vertrauen ist gut are fictional, this novel provides important insights regarding experiences of precarious embodiment and affirms the value of interdependence while challenging ideals of autonomy and independence. Furthermore, the novel’s narrative within a narrative—and the consequences of the narrator’s interpretation of their significance—challenges readers to use caution when interpreting literary narratives, as their relationship to personal narratives may not always be straightforward. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Humanities as Contradiction: Against the New Enclosures
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030070
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
This essay begins by surveying our current moment in the humanities, diagnosing the language of crisis that frames much of the discourse about them. It argues that the crisis is a manufactured economic one not a symbolic one. The problems with many recent
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This essay begins by surveying our current moment in the humanities, diagnosing the language of crisis that frames much of the discourse about them. It argues that the crisis is a manufactured economic one not a symbolic one. The problems with many recent proposals—such as the new aestheticism, surface reading, and postcritique—is that they attempt to solve an economic crisis on the level of symbolic capital. They try to save the humanities by redisciplining them and making them mirror various forms amateur inquiry. I describe these approaches as the new enclosures, attempts at returning the humanities to disciplinarity with the hopes that administrative and neoliberal forces will find what we do more palatable. Instead of attempting to appease such forces by being pliant and apolitical, we need a new workerist militancy (daring to be “bad workers” from the point of view of neoliberal managerial rhetorics) to combat the economic crisis produced by neoliberalism. Meanwhile, on the level of knowledge production, the humanities need to resist the demand to shrink the scope of their inquiry to the disciplinary. The humanities, at their best, have been interdisciplinary. They have foregrounded both the subject of the human and all the complex forces that shape, limit, and exist in relationship and contradiction with the human. The essay concludes by arguing that the humanities, to resist neoliberal symbolic logics, need to embrace both a critical humanism, and the crucial challenges to this humanism that go by the name of antihumanism and posthumanism. It is only by putting these three discourses in negative dialectical tension with each other that we can begin to imagine a reinvigorated humanities that can address the challenges of the twenty-first century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saving the Humanities from the Neoliberal University)
Open AccessArticle Sisters on the Soapbox: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Her Female Free Speech Allies’ Lessons for Contemporary Women Labor Activists
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030069
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
At a moment when U.S. labor seems its most weak and vulnerable, a wave of teacher strikes and demonstrations led and carried out primarily by women shows promise of revitalizing the movement. Critics allege the strikes and demonstrations are “unseemly,” but popular support
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At a moment when U.S. labor seems its most weak and vulnerable, a wave of teacher strikes and demonstrations led and carried out primarily by women shows promise of revitalizing the movement. Critics allege the strikes and demonstrations are “unseemly,” but popular support for them appears to be growing. Historically, militant strikes and demonstrations have met with significant and sometimes violent resistance from corporate and political entities hostile to labor, and contemporary women in the movement should prepare for pushback. In the past, anti-labor forces have used the law and physical aggression to squeeze labor activists out of public space. Labor has a history of fighting back, beginning with the free speech fights of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in the early twentieth century. These campaigns were the first in U.S. history to claim a First Amendment right to use public space. IWW organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn led several of these free speech fights. She and other women free speech fighters played an essential if often overlooked role in popularizing the idea that ordinary people have right to public space. Their tactics and experiences can inform and inspire women at the forefront of a contemporary labor militancy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Aurel Stein and the Kiplings: Silk Road Pathways of Converging and Reciprocal Inspiration
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030068
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Biographies of the renowned linguistic scholar and archaeological explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862–1943) inevitably yet briefly refer to the role played by John Lockwood Kipling (1837–1911), as curator of the Lahore Museum—with its extensive collection of ancient Gandharan Greco-Buddhist sculpture—in exciting Stein’s
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Biographies of the renowned linguistic scholar and archaeological explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862–1943) inevitably yet briefly refer to the role played by John Lockwood Kipling (1837–1911), as curator of the Lahore Museum—with its extensive collection of ancient Gandharan Greco-Buddhist sculpture—in exciting Stein’s interests in and theories of what likely lay buried under the sands of the Taklamakan Desert. A more insistent focus on the coalescing influences in the Stein-Kipling relationship, including a subsequent line of evident inspiration from Stein to the internationally famed author and Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling (Lockwood’s son; 1865–1936), helps to synthesize some of the highlights of Stein’s first expedition into the remote Tarim Basin of Chinese Turkestan, including and involving the forgeries manufactured by the Uyghur treasure-seeker Islam Akhun. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore of the Arab World1
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030067
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
Four major stages in the development of interest in folklore in the Arab World may be designated. A neglected (or suppressed) facet of Arab life is the centrality of the khâl. An examination of the impact this familial character has on the
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Four major stages in the development of interest in folklore in the Arab World may be designated. A neglected (or suppressed) facet of Arab life is the centrality of the khâl. An examination of the impact this familial character has on the social structure of the group regardless of ethnicity and religion is absent. (1) Is the early Islamic period and how religious dogma regarded negatively cultural expressions of polytheism? (2) The age of the spread of Islam and the Arabic language. Religious narratives (mostly “exempla”) dominated the Arab Islamic scene. (3) Is the short-llived era of the emergence of an ephemeral trend towards objectivity and of growth of interest in indigenous culture? In this regard the Basrite Al-Jâẖiẕ (9th C. A.D.) is to be acknowledged as the first folklorist; he treated genuine folklore occurrences and sought to verify their veracity through fieldwork. (4) This stage came in the 1950s when literary scholars became aware of "folklore" as an academic discipline in the West; the attention westerners paid the Arabian Nights triggered interest in that work among some Arab scholars. Along with that European interest, ethnocentric hypotheses about lack of creativity among Semitic groups flourished. Regrettably, these wayward views still find supporters today. With political changes and the emergence of populism, folk groups and their culture varieties acquired special importance. Conflict between religious circles and nonreligious intellectuals over the use of terms turâth/ma’thûr (legacy/Tradition), labels previously reserved for religious heritage. This conflict seems to have abated. Currently, especially in the newly independent Arab Gulf states, “folklore” is proudly held to be a depository of a nation’s memory, history, ‘soul’, and character. However, it should be born in mind that while folklore cultivates positive principles, it also harbors destructive values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle ‘Deeds of Darkness’: Thomas Hardy and Murder
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030066
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
Critics have often sought to place Thomas Hardy’s fiction within a realist generic framework, with a significant emphasis on Hardy’s Wessex settings, visual imagination and equation of sight with knowledge. Yet Hardy’s writings frequently disturb realist generic conventions by introducing elements from popular
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Critics have often sought to place Thomas Hardy’s fiction within a realist generic framework, with a significant emphasis on Hardy’s Wessex settings, visual imagination and equation of sight with knowledge. Yet Hardy’s writings frequently disturb realist generic conventions by introducing elements from popular nineteenth-century genres, particularly sensation fiction and the Gothic. This essay considers how murder as a plot device troubles generic boundaries in the novels Desperate Remedies (1871), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891). Set against backgrounds with significant non-realist elements, these texts view murder and its punishment from limited, distorted or averted perspectives that articulate a significant social and cultural critique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
Open AccessArticle Animal Voices: Catherine Louisa Pirkis’ The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective and the Crimes of Animality
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030065
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
While previous readings of Catherine Louisa Pirkis’ series The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective (1894) have focused on Brooke’s status as New Woman detective, this article considers the series in the context of Pirkis’ own engagement with animal rights and anti-vivisection campaigns
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While previous readings of Catherine Louisa Pirkis’ series The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective (1894) have focused on Brooke’s status as New Woman detective, this article considers the series in the context of Pirkis’ own engagement with animal rights and anti-vivisection campaigns in the late nineteenth century. The discussion focuses on one Loveday Brooke story in particular, “The Murder at Troyte’s Hill,” arguing that Pirkis dramatises contemporary anti-vivisectionist rhetoric (that animal experimentation was not only scientifically flawed, but morally damaging, leading to human experimentation). Pirkis’ fiction instead presents a number of contact zones in which human and animal identities are renegotiated, most significantly in the figure of Loveday Brooke herself. The article considers the representation of comparative philology in the story, as an emerging linguistic science which raised anxieties of cultural dissolution and which was often associated with the image of the vivisector. It concludes that the Pirkis stories demonstrate, anticipating Derrida, that to write of the animal in the nineteenth century is inevitably to write about crime, and vice versa; the animal is a perpetual presence in Victorian detective fiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
Open AccessArticle Post-War Ecosophic Intuition: About the (Im)Possibility of Ecological Coexistence in Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030064
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
Taking in consideration, alongside Cheryll Glotfelty, that “ecocriticism seeks to evaluate text ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness in the responses to environmental crisis” (Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, p. 5), and that crisis refers not only to the ecology of the
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Taking in consideration, alongside Cheryll Glotfelty, that “ecocriticism seeks to evaluate text ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness in the responses to environmental crisis” (Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, p. 5), and that crisis refers not only to the ecology of the environment but also to that of social relations and the psyche, as proposed by Félix Guattari (1990), understanding that there is a lack of equilibrium among the three registries that provoke the crisis lived by the contemporary individual, in a broad spectrum, this work intends to understand how the character Marcovaldo, from Italo Calvino’s Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City (1963), articulates modes of being, dwelling and surviving in a great metropolis, through the adoption of postures coherent with what we would call, later, ecosophy. In addition to the two aforementioned theorists, the ideas of Garrard (2006) and Serres (1991) will be used. Also, we intend to show how much the stories in the collection hold great potential for ecocritical reading and, therefore, for a response to the level of awareness about the ecological crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessArticle Rethinking China’s Frontier: Archaeological Finds Show the Hexi Corridor’s Rapid Emergence as a Regional Power
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030063
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The Chinese government’s expansion of infrastructure in Gansu province has led to the discovery of a number of important ancient tombs in the Hexi Corridor, a thousand kilometer stretch of the Silk Roads linking China to Central Asia. This study investigates recent finds
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The Chinese government’s expansion of infrastructure in Gansu province has led to the discovery of a number of important ancient tombs in the Hexi Corridor, a thousand kilometer stretch of the Silk Roads linking China to Central Asia. This study investigates recent finds in the context of older excavations to draw a more cohesive picture of the dramatic cultural and political changes on China’s western frontier in the Wei-Jin period (220–317 CE). A survey of archaeological reports and an analysis of tomb distribution along with structural and decorative complexity indicate that after the fall of the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), the nexus of regional power shifted from the eastern Hexi Corridor to Jiuquan and Dunhuang in the west. This phenomenon was related in the rise of magnate families, who emerged from Han dynasty soldier-farmer colonies and helped catalyze the region’s transformation from a military outpost to a semi-autonomous, prosperous haven that absorbed cultural influences from multiple directions. This dynamism, in turn, set the stage for the Hexi Corridor’s ascent as a center of Buddhist art in the fifth and sixth centuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
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