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Memory and Postcolonial Studies

Synergies and New Directions

Edited by Dirk Göttsche

In the postcolonial reassessment of history, the themes of colonialism, decolonisation and individual and collective memory have always been intertwined, but it is only recently that the transcultural turn in memory studies has enabled proper dialogue between memory studies and postcolonial studies. This volume explores the synergies and tensions between memory studies and postcolonial studies across literatures and media from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and intersections with Asia. It makes a unique contribution to this growing international and interdisciplinary field by considering an unprecedented range of languages and sources that promotes dialogue across comparative literature, English and American studies, media studies, history and art history, and modern languages (French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian-Croatian, Spanish).

Combining theoretical discussion with innovative case studies, the chapters consider various postcolonial politics of memory (with a focus on Africa); diasporic, traumatic and «multidirectional memory» (M. Rothberg) in postcolonial perspective; performative and linguistic aspects of postcolonial memory; and transcultural memoryscapes ranging from the Black Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from overseas colonialism to the intra-European legacies of Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian/Soviet imperialism. This far-reaching enquiry promotes comparative postcolonial studies as a means of creating more integrated frames of reference for research and teaching on the interface between memory and postcolonialism.

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Pirandello Proto-Modernist

A new reading of «L’esclusa»

Bradford A. Masoni

Luigi Pirandello’s first novel L’esclusa, completed in its earliest form in 1893, straddles two literary worlds. On the one hand, it is clearly rooted in the late nineteenth-century realist mode, especially that of Italian verismo. On the other, Pirandello employs a style and an approach to narrative that anticipate both the theory of writing he would later lay out in his long essay L’umorismo [On Humour] (1908), and the kinds of experimental writing that one associates with the author’s later work and with early twentieth-century modernism in general. Examining the novel in light of its relationship to these two worlds not only gives readers insight into the trajectory of Pirandello’s work as he developed as a writer, but also marks it as an example of the broader shift towards modernism that was already beginning to be made manifest in the works of novelists across Europe.

This book provides a new critical evaluation of L’esclusa, linking it explicitly to the theoretical principles aligned with Pirandello’s later output and with early twentieth-century literary modernism in general. L’esclusa and Pirandello’s other early works of fiction have too long been overlooked, particularly by scholars working in English. The aim of this book is not only to connect L’esclusa to Pirandello’s later, better-known writing, and to literary modernism, but also to bring this forward-looking novel to the attention of readers in the English-speaking world.

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Power-Knowledge in Tabari’s «Histoire» of Islam

Politicizing the past in Medieval Islamic Historiography

Amir Moghadam and Terence Lovat

Muhammad al-Tabari’s History, written about 300 years after the establishment of Islam, is one of the religion’s most important commentaries. It offers important insights into the early development of Islam, not so much for its history as for the ways it was interpreted and understood. Through application of modern historiographical analysis and scriptural exegesis, the book explores the space between factual history and interpretive history, or histoire. The focus is especially on the ways in which al-Tabari himself understood and interpreted Qur’anic evidence, employing it not so much for literal as for political purposes. In this sense, his work is best understood not as a reliable history in the modern sense but as a politically-inspired commentary. Granted that his work has often been relied on for Islam’s historical claims, this book offers important new insights into the ways in which power and politics were shaping interpretations in its first three hundred years.

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Systems-thinking for Safety

A short introduction to the theory and practice of systems-thinking.

Simon A Bennett

A manifesto for the systems-thinking-informed approach to incident and accident investigation, this accessible text is aimed at experts and generalists. A Glossary of Terms explains key concepts.

 

The premise is both unoriginal and original. Unoriginal, because it stands on the shoulders of systems-thinking pioneers – Barry Turner, Bruno Latour, Charles Perrow, Erik Hollnagel, Diane Vaughan and other luminaries. Original, because it is populist: The Systems-thinking for Safety series shows how theoretical insights can help make the world a safer place. Potentially, the series as a whole, and this manifesto text, have agency.

 

True to its mission to affect change, the book uses case studies to demonstrate how systems-thinking can help stakeholders learn from incidents, accidents and near-misses. The case studies of, for example, the Piper Alpha and Deepwater Horizon offshore disasters, the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the United States Navy collisions and the Grenfell Tower fire, demonstrate the universal applicability of systems-thinking. The manifesto argues that the systems-thinking informed approach to incident, accident and near-miss investigation, while resourceintensive and effortful, produces tangible safety benefits and, by ensuring that «right is done», delivers justice and closure.

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Towards a Posthuman Imagination in Literature and Media

Monsters, Mutants, Aliens, Artificial Beings

Simona Micali

What if the human species were to get in touch with another intelligent species, thus far unknown?

This question is the impetus for a vast, exciting catalogue of science fiction and fantasy stories. They serve as hypothetical answers in narrative form but can also be regarded as cognitive exercises by which we investigate the nature and destiny of humanity. In other words, any creature and any story produced in response to this question requires an assessment of our notion of the human and a redefinition of our position and role in the world.

This volume aims at mapping and analysing the very rich catalogue of non-human figures which inhabit our contemporary imagery, with particular regard to science fiction literature and film. It is suggested that monsters, clones, zombies, aliens, artificial beings, cyborgs and mutants can function as ideological tools intended to confirm the role of humankind (and Western civilization) as the only possible standard of intelligent and ethical life. But they can also become cognitive instruments devised to question or criticize our vision of and behaviour toward the world, other species and ourselves. This privileged critical perspective – and the point of arrival of the book – is the category of the posthuman, which is regarded as the symbol of a possibly revolutionary vision of humanity, a wish and an invitation to embrace a new, more humble way of being and living.

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Dorothea Kraus

Die Autorin geht der Frage nach, warum die allegorischen Fronleichnamsspiele des Siglo de Oro dezidiert auf ihre theatrale Umsetzung angewiesen sind. Durch die Adaption moderner Kategorien von Theatralität auf die «autos sacramentales» lässt sich der didaktische Hintergrund der Gegenreformation mit den performativen Elementen eines Theaterspiels in Verbindung bringen. Dabei eröffnet die Thematisierung der körperlichen Präsenz einen wirkungsästhetischen Zugang zu diesen inhaltlich wie formal komplexen Stücken.

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Bérénice 1934-44

An Actress in Occupied Paris

Isabelle Stibbe

The winner of nine literary awards in France, including the Prix Simone Veil, honoring a work that celebrates a woman of action, Bérénice 1934–44: An Actress in Occupied Paris is the primary English translation of Isabelle Stibbe’s poignant first novel. Newly translated in English by Zack Rogow and Renée Morel, Bérénice 1934–44 reveals a young woman’s struggle to fulfill her career aspirations while concealing herself in war-torn France.

Bérénice yearns to become an actress, but her parents insist that career is not proper for a girl. She defies her Jewish family to become the leading younger actress in the Comédie-Française, France’s most renowned theater, right when the Nazis occupy France. Bérénice hides her true identity and last name to avoid detection. Living in a world without tolerance and torn between two lovers, Bérénice must choose between her passion for the stage, and her allegiance to freedom and to her Jewish heritage.

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Edited by Eva Wilden and Henning Rossa

Dieses Buch widmet sich der Interdisziplinarität, die für die Zugänge, Formate und Methoden fremdsprachendidaktischer Forschung charakteristisch ist. Qualitative und quantitative Forschungsansätze bzw. Mixed-Methods-Designs werden anhand aktueller Studien dargestellt. Ein besonderer Fokus gilt den interdisziplinären Bezügen der jeweiligen Studien. Die forschungspraktischen Beispiele stellen laufende bzw. kurz vor Abschluss stehendende Studien der empirischen Fremdsprachenforschung vor. So bieten die Beiträge einen aktuellen Überblick über fremdsprachendidaktische Forschungspraxis und enthalten vielfältige Anregungen für die forschungsmethodischen Optionen und ethischen Fragen, die es bei neu zu konzipierenden Studien im interdisziplinären Feld der Fremdsprachenforschung abzuwägen gilt.

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Edited by Łukasz Skoczylas and Elżbieta Smolarkiewicz

The aim of this book is to highlight the issue of internal migrations and emphasise the need to conduct research on their course and consequences, including those stemming from historical processes. The complexity of this topic is illustrated by the fact that the chapters contained in the book have been written by representatives of different disciplines: sociology, psychology, geography and economics, which may suggest the need for interdisciplinary research to be conducted in the future.

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Souad Belhorma

It is established that the informal sector plays an important role in the creation of job opportunities for many rural and urban people. However, there is a scarcity of academic research on the relationship between gender, informality of employment and poverty reduction in Morocco with particular reference to the city of Fez. This book focuses on investigating the contribution of women’s self-employed work in the informal sector in reducing household poverty in the city of Fez. This is done through the medium of specific framework objectives. First, the book sets out the types of women engaged in informal sector activities in the city of Fez. Secondly, it makes a situational analysis of the contribution of women’s work in the informal sector to reduce poverty in their households in this region of Morocco. Thirdly, it identifies the linkages between working as self-employed persons and emancipation of women through their participation in political and social activism in Fez and lastly, it uncovers the main difficulties impeding the development of women in self-employed activities in the informal sector and identifies the various challenges for the development of their businesses in Fez.