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What is the “reflexive historicizing of communication”? A philosophical approach

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to interpret the term the “reflexive historicizing of communication” used by the editors of the Handbook of Communication History published in 2013. In the preface and in the first chapter, the editors introduce the above-mentioned concept, postulating that it is associated with the most important among several possible trends in communication history. Reflexive historicizing, as an important and innovative methodological directive, however, is described therein rather laconically. This article contains comments on both historicism and reflexivity. Their genesis is presented as well as their most important interpretations and possible applications in the social sciences. Particular attention is paid to the concept of historicism, since it is charged with numerous controversies and polemics (Karl Popper’s famous criticism). The main purpose of this article is to explain the meaning of historicism (and reflexivity) so as to avoid confusion and over-interpretation in the application of these concepts within communication history.

Open access
On the Two Lists of ‘Four [Types Of] Words’ (Nāṟ-col) in the Śāstric Descriptions of Tamil

Abstract

This article examines, from the perspective of the History of Linguistics, the specifications and the genesis of two distinct lists of four sets of words which are often found in the ancient shastric corpus of the Tamil-speaking South. One of those lists, which is found inside the “pure grammar” component of that technical literature, enumerates ‘nouns’ (peyarc col), ‘verbs’ (viṉaic col), ‘particles’ (iṭaic col), and uric col (lit. ‘appropriate words’), whereas the other list, which reflects the fact that one of the main aims of “grammar” was to describe literature, enumerates ‘simple words’ (iyaṟcol), tiricol (lit. ‘mutant words’ or ‘twisted words’), ‘regional words’ (ticaic col), and ‘Northern words’ (vaṭacol). In both lists, there is an item for which it is difficult to find a simple translation, namely uriccol for the first list and tiricol for the second list. T he difficulty in identifying and explaining the intention of those who coined those terms seems to be in part due to the fact that the texts which the Tamil tradition has transmitted to us are an assemblage of various parts that were once fragments of a “work in progress”, now fossilized, which was partly abandoned, either because another śāstra (that of lexicography) took over part of the descriptive effort, and/or because the ambition to compile a dhātu-pāṭha (the Sanskrit term for a list of verbal roots) for the Tamil language was abandoned, if such a project ever existed. The fact that discontinuities in the transmission of Tamil śāstric literature do exist is attested to, for instance, by the hesitation of traditional commentators, while explaining sūtra TP 385i (alias TP 392p), which is a characterization of marapu (approx. ‘usage’), said to be dependent on the power of ‘the four words’. The commentators are cautious in deciding which of the two lists of ‘four words’ is meant, possibly hoping to suggest that the sūtra might refer to both, because they believe in the “beauty of compromise”.

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History, Art and Consumerism— Richard Powers’ Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance

Abstract

This article analyzes three narrative lines as depicted in Richard Powers’ Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance (1985) and the way his depiction of real, photographed, present and past characters along with a narrative reference to a photograph create a metafictional and intertextual frameworks through the use of which Powers symbolically points out a sensibility of the late 20th century and its difference from early 20th century related to the vision of the world, understanding of reality, art, and history. In addition, the article emphasizes Powers’ use of postmodern allegory and the way it creates another meaning which points out a commercial and consumerist character of the 20th century and which also symbolically represents a history of technical and artistic depiction of the world.

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in CLEaR
The Use of Immunity Doctrine in Commercial Activities in Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece

Abstract

This study traces the history of the formation of immunities concept and its application in commercial activities in ancient Mesopotamia and Greece. The doctrine of immunity is discussed based on the historical process starting from the myth, concept, and its implementation in the commercial/trade activities. By using historical approach, this study shows that in Mesopotamia and Greece, traders or merchants enjoyed absolute immunity due to their position as the representative of their King or polis in which their commercial acts and diplomatic mission were combined. In Mesopotamia, merchants enjoyed the full confidence of the King, and one would not be wrong to suppose that in such enterprises commercial activity and diplomatic mission were combined. Compared to the Mesopotamian practices that granted all traders with the status of immunity from public obligations, in ancient Greece only traders with honorific conditions could enjoy the status of proxenos.

Open access
Restoration Volunteering as a Social Phenomenon of Modern History

Abstract

Relevance of the problem under study is explained by the beginning of a new stage in the development of Russian volunteer movement in the field of preservation of cultural monuments, which coincided with the rise of research interest in volunteering in general. The objective of this paper consists in comprehensive analysis of the modern history of restoration voluntary movement in Russia, examination of evolvement of public voluntary practices in the field of protection of the architectural heritage of the country in the context of general cultural, socio-economic, political processes that have taken place in Russia over the past decades, which have determined the specific organizational forms, content and activities of voluntary activists. The leading approach to the study of this problem is the historical method, as well as methodological principles of historicism, scientificity, objectivity, as well as sociality, integrity and fundamentality, involving the study of the historical process of volunteering in the totality of facts and sources in their logical and chronological sequence. The paper describes the main forms of volunteer practices for monument preservation, gives an overview of volunteer initiatives, as well as the efforts of charitable foundations and public organizations aimed at rescuing the cultural heritage of the country, identifies the development trajectories of restoration volunteering, and also specifies the key trends, based on which the tendency to professionalization and gradual expansion of the scope of voluntary work has been revealed. Materials of the paper can be useful not only for scientists, engaged in research of problems of social history of our country, but also for specialists from social sphere, organizers of work with youth, and also students of socio-humanitarian and pedagogical profiles.

Open access
Chinese Migration and Settlement in Austria

Abstract

Chinese migration to Austria displays some characteristics of the new Chinese migration order facilitated by, among other factors, globalisation and the open-door policies of the People’s Republic of China. This paper offers a historical account of Chinese migration to Austria against a broader background of Chinese migration to Europe, illustrating both the active and the passive roles of Austria in various historical periods. Moreover, through delineating and analysing the distribution by subgroups and the characteristics of the Chinese community in Austria since the 1980s, it elaborates how Austria has shifted from being a temporary transit point to becoming home for the new non-qiáoxiāng Chinese migrants.

Open access
The Dates of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi

Abstract

In a previous issue of this journal, Natasha Sumner of Harvard claimed of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi that the “exact date of composition for the text is not known”; she yet quoted Professor Catherine McKenna, also of Harvard, for the tales as certainly predating the Fall of Gwynedd in 1282. A response to Professor Sumner’s comment thus has three functions. It cites publications on the question from 1897 to 2018; reveals the scholarly disagreement therein; but concludes with evidence to put the tales in the 1120s or early 1130s.

Open access
Printmaking in Nigeria: Its Evolution and Developmental History

Abstract

Despite the prolific and ingenious productivity of the printmakers in Nigeria, the significance of their creative endeavours has not been given adequate attention by scholars of contemporary Nigerian arts. Scholarship on the printmakers has been limited to catalogues of art exhibitions, skimpy art reviews in magazines, and a few sketches on their biographies. This study therefore probes into the evolution of printmaking in Nigeria. This is with a view to obtaining its developmental history and enabling a more nuanced and useful understanding of the ways in which printmaking contributes to contemporary art praxis in Nigeria. Relying on field investigation, data were collected through in-depth interviews of printmakers, art critics, art historians and gallery owners, using oral or interactive formats; and collection of visual media sources. This study justifies the need for a developmental history; it identifies and examines the key actors who pioneered printmaking in Nigeria. It further appraises printmaking in Nigeria through the lens of relevant literature; and examines workshops, training, and techniques of printmaking in Nigeria.

Open access