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Africa and Its People in the Polish Media

Abstract

The African continent is treated by the Polish media marginally and usually seen through the lens of four domains of stereotypical perceptions that are associated with difficult life conditions, threats and dangers, beautiful and wild nature, as well as original and diverse cultures. Monitoring of the Polish media has become very important in this situation. That is why the results of first media monitoring report were published in 2011 by ‘Africa Another Way’ Foundation. Five years later the monitoring was repeated. It is hard to resist the impression that Africa is still viewed as this poor, underdeveloped and dangerous continent. And the way it is presented translates into the way individuals of African descent are perceived.

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The Annexation of the Transvaal in 1877: The First Boer Reactions

Abstract

In April 1877 The South African Republic was annexed by the British Empire. This was a part of a wider scheme to unify the sub-continent under the British rule. The story is well known. Many works deals with the motives of Lord Carnarvon and other British decision-makers. Much less deals with the question of immediate Boer reaction, or to be exact, the reasons behind their inaction. This article deals with this problem. Tries to evaluate the attitudes of both, the British and the Boers, and to show why the Transvaal Boers mostly ignored the annexation declaration? This text is just an excursion into field which demands much wider and more detailed studies.

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The Australopithecines – An Extinct Group of Human Ancestors: My Scientific Interest in South Africa

Abstract

I introduce the subject of my research interest in South Africa - the australopithecines - a group of bipedal, small-brained and large-toothed creatures from the Plio-Pleistocene, from which the human genus arose. I then briefly discuss various topics of my research, concerning: (1) Taxonomic status and morphological description of the extinct human relative from the Kromdraai site (Australopithecus robustus); (2) Graphic reconstruction of the partial skull from Kromdraai - specimen numbered TM 1517; (3) Assessment of size sexual dimorphism of the South African australopithecines (Australopithecus robustus and Australopithecus africanus), which, in terms of facial features, was pronounced - being almost gorilla-sized; (4) Social behavior of a fossil hominid species from around 2 million years ago, which, in terms of the social structure, was most likely a multimale-multifemale one; and (5) An event from the history of paleoanthropology, concerning the content of the 1924/25 photographs of the Taung Child (Australopithecus africanus) - the first australopithecine skull discovered.

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From Central Asia to South Africa: In Search of Inspiration in Rock Art Studies

Abstract

The paper describes the story of discovering South African rock art as an inspiration for research in completely different part of the globe, namely in Central Asia and Siberia. It refers to those aspect of African research which proved to importantly develop the understanding of rock art in Asia. Several aspects are addressed. First, it points to importance of rethinking of relationship between art, myth and ethnography, which in South Africa additionally resulted in reconsidering the ontology of rock images and the very idea of reading of rock art. From the latter viewpoint particularly inspiring appeared the idea of three-dimensionality of rock art ‘text’. The second issue of South African ‘origin,’ which notably inspired research all over the world, concerns a new theorizing of shamanism. The paper then discusses how and to what extent this new theory add to the research on the rock art in Siberia and Central Asia.

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Gender and Eroticism in Contemporary Art from South Africa

Abstract

The aim of this article is to present the interaction between the history of lesbian and gay culture and its identity on the one hand, and the connection between the visual art or visual culture on the other hand. This essay endeavors to interpret the different meanings attached to sexual identities by examining the diverse artistic activities of a variety of artists: both men and women (e.g. Steven Cohen, Clive van den Berg, Andrew Verster, Nicolas Hlobo, Jean Brundrit, Zanele Muholi). Employing an intersectional analytical approach, the article shows that the identity of art is constructed alongside a person’s multiple identities, such as race, gender, family ties, religion and class. The main research question is whether in today’s visual art originating from South Africa, which is characterized by a hegemony of heterosexual stereotypes, there is a significant place for gender oriented art?

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The Historical Taboo: Colonial Discourses and Postcolonial Identities in Belgium

Abstract

This article examines so-called colonial discourses in Belgium related to the former Sub-Saharan colony owned by Leopold II of Belgium which today is known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) or the Congo-Kinshasa. Having introduced the colonial history of the DR Congo from the 15th century until 1910, the study starts with a discussion of Van den Braembussche’s concept of a ‘historical taboo’ and four ways of engaging with such implicit interdictions. Finally, an empirical analysis of colonial discourses in Belgium from the 1890s until today will be presented in conjunction with Belgium’s linguistic-cultural division, taking into account age-related divergence.

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Hvordan Skildres Generisitet I Norsk Faglitteratur?

Abstract

This paper aims to examine how genericity is described in the Norwegian specialised literature concerning Norwegian Bokmål. Genericity is a grammatical (and to some extent semantic) phenomenon that can be expressed in different ways. In Germanic languages, including Norwegian, genericity is expressed by the use of both definite and indefinite articles, as well as bare nouns. In Norwegian, all five noun forms (namely bare noun, indefinite and definite singular forms and indefinite and definite plural forms) can be used to express a generic reference. The choice of a given noun form depends mainly on the context and the verb phrase used in a sentence. The examined materials discuss the phenomenon in a rather cursory way. Examples presented in the analysed books are mainly artificial and/or translated from the world literature on the subject. Such approach to the problem shows the lack of corpus-based research on genericity in Norwegian, which can be an interesting area to work on.

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Joachim Lelewel’s Edda of 1807

Abstract

This article focuses on Joachim Lelewel’s interest in Old Norse literature as reflected in his paper on Old Norse literature delivered in 1806 and his book Edda that was published a year later. Lelewel’s Edda comprises the first Polish translation (partly as a concise retelling) of selected parts of the French translation of the Poetic Edda and the Snorra Edda as included in Paul Henri Mallet’s Monumens de la mythologie [...] published in 1756. Lelewel’s work is placed in the context of the rising interest in this literature before 1800, whereby special attention is put on the sources Lelewel resorted to, in particular Mallet’s publications and articles in the French literary magazine Magasin Encyclopedique. Comparing the Eddas in Lelewel’s and Mallet’s publications, one can, among other things, note that Lelewel (1) ignores the literary value of the dialogue form in Gylfaginning due to a narrow focus on the mythological content (2) relates the migration of the Scythians to northern Europe in his introduction which thus serves as a substitute for the missing Prologue to the Snorra Edda and (3) partly deviates from Mallet in his footnotes. Aspects (2) and (3) can also be linked back to Lelewel’s use of Magasin Encyclopedique.

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Land Reform in the Republic of South Africa: Social Justice or Populism?

Abstract

In the paper land reform in South African political discourse will be investigated, especially the process of its politicization. How the topic of land reform is used by political forces, especially the ruling party; the African National Congress and current President Jacob Zuma. Does the Republic of South Africa take a populist turn on land reform or is it some kind of social justice after the suppression of the apartheid era and decades before? The political disputes and decisions will be analysed in confrontations with the fundamentals and values of a democratic state as a guarantee of property rights, private ownership and free market principles (dilemma of the problem of willing buyer - willing seller). It will be necessary to present the historical background of land problem in the RSA. The problem will be investigated in connection with the socio-economic situation of the RSA. The study will also tackle the problem of social and economic inequality from the perspective of politics. In the paper, a mix of primary and secondary research methods of data collection and analysing will be used. Theoretical framework will be based on assumptions of political discourse and the paradigm of “classic” land reform.

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Long Distance Solidarity: Polish Public Opinion and the Boer War 1899–1902

Abstract

The bloody conflict which was taking place in South Africa in the years 1899-1902 was followed with a great interest by Polish public opinion. Its greatest part strongly sympathized with the Boer republics. Their burgers were idealized and presented by the Polish press as brave fighters for independence, who dared to stand up against the world empire to defend their rights while Great Britain was attributed full responsibility for the outbreak of the war. For many Poles the Boers personified the general idea of freedom fighters and symbolized all suppressed nations. Their sad fate seemed to be quite similar to the Polish one and this similarity was the main source of sympathy toward defenders of the Transvaal and Free Orange State. Voices of few Polish intellectuals, who called for a more objective and not so emotional view on the war, could not change the pro-Boers stance of the greatest part of Polish public opinion.

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