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Identity, Mission, and Jesuit Higher Education in the American South
On the Particularity and Generality of Nazi Myth
This is an extremely exciting manuscript—path-breaking, bold, and comprehensive—that could be received in the intellectual world as a major theoretical statement, while also representing an insightful treatment of a specific cultural historical moment (Nazi Germany) but also key intellectual lineages that surround it. There's a lot at stake here, in the big picture (the question of sacrifice and the interpretation of Germany) as well as in the many rich building blocks of the argument (the treatments of Kant, Nietzsche, Adorno, Bataille, Girard, etc.).
When Athenians suffered the shame of having lost a war from their own greed and foolishness, around 404 BCE the public’s blame was directed at Socrates, a man whose unique appearance and behavior, as well as his disapproval of the democracy, made him a ready target. Socrates was subsequently put on trial and sentenced to death. However, as René Girard has pointed out, no individual can be held responsible for a communal crisis. Plato’s Apology depicts Socrates as both the bane and the cure of Greek society, while his Crito shows a sacrificial Socrates, what some might consider a pharmakos figure, the human drug through whom Plato can dispense his philosophical remedies. With tremendous insight and satisfying complexity, this book analyzes classical texts through the lens of Girard’s mimetic mechanism.
Psychoanalysis, Historicism, Chaucer
Balkan Community Building and the Fear of Freedom
Examines the themes of sacrifice and violence for the sake of community, nation, and ideology by taking up the Balkan legend of the immurement of a live female body into an architectural edifice that cannot stand without a human sacrifice. The sacrificed body becomes a metaphor for acts of violence in the course of the region’s many ethno-religious conflicts in the 20th century, as Aleksic demonstrates how this sacrificial economy functions in a range of cultural and literary texts. The theoretical framework encompasses sociological analyses, feminist theory, human rights reports, and other sources documenting the destruction of individual subjectivities by the purported necessity of nationalist projects.
Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar
Youth and identity politics figure prominently in this provocative study of personal and collective memory in Madagascar. A deeply nuanced ethnography of historical consciousness, it challenges many cross-cultural investigations of youth, for its key actors are not adults but schoolchildren. Lesley Sharp refutes dominant assumptions that African children are the helpless victims of postcolonial crises, incapable of organized, sustained collective thought or action.
She insists instead on the political agency of Malagasy youth who, as they decipher their current predicament, offer potent, historicized critiques of colonial violence, nationalist resistance, foreign mass media, and schoolyard survival. Sharp asserts that autobiography and national history are inextricably linked and therefore must be read in tandem, a process that exposes how political consciousness is forged in the classroom, within the home, and on the street in Madagascar.
Keywords: Critical pedagogy
In August 2008, Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community adopted the ground-breaking SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. This followed a concerted campaign by NGOs under the umbrella of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance. By the 2013 Heads of State summit, 13 countries had signed and 12 countries had ratified the SADC Gender Protocol. The Protocol is now in force. With two years to go, time is ticking to 2015, when governments need to have achieved 28 targets for the attainment of gender equality. In keeping with the Alliance slogan: "Yes we must", this 2013 Barometer provides a wealth of updated data against which progress will be measured by all those who cherish democracy in the region. The SADC Gender and Development Index (SGDI), introduced in 2011, complements the Citizen Score Card (CSC) that has been running for five years to benchmark progress.
Politics, Religion, and the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait
From a Western perspective, the Persian Gulf War of 1990–1991 largely fulfilled the first President Bush’s objective: “In, out, do it, do it right, get gone. That’s the message.” But in the Arab world, the causes and consequences of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and his subsequent defeat by a U.S.-led coalition were never so clear-cut. The potent blend of Islam and Arab nationalism that Saddam forged to justify the unjustifiable—his invasion of a Muslim state—gained remarkable support among both Muslims and Arabs and continued to resonate in the Middle East long after the fighting ended. Indeed, as this study argues in passing, it became a significant strand in the tangled web of ideologies and actions that led to the attacks of 9/11. This landmark book offers the first in-depth investigation of how Saddam Hussein used Islam and Arab nationalism to legitimate his invasion of Kuwait in the eyes of fellow Muslims and Arabs, while delegitimating the actions of the U.S.-led coalition and its Arab members. Jerry M. Long addresses three fundamental issues: how extensively and in what specific ways Iraq appealed to Islam during the Kuwait crisis; how elites, Islamists, and the elusive Arab “street,” both in and out of the coalition, responded to that appeal and why they responded as they did; and the longer-term effects that resulted from Saddam’s strategy.