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Postmodern Romance and the Illusion-Making Tendencies of Historiography

Abstract

The paper proposes a reading of romance in terms of postmodernism by establishing a connection between feminism and postmodernism’s questioning of historical and cultural representation. The aim is to reveal how history, no longer governed by the urge to find the “truth”, gives prominence to the uncertain, the extraordinary, the fantastic, which are the main ingredients of romance.

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Azerbaijan in the account of the trip to the East by Felice De Vecchi (1841-1842)

Abstract

The article aims to illustrate how Azerbaijan appeared in the eyes of an Italian who, in the first half of the nineteenth century, had the opportunity to visit it during a trip to Constantinople. Between 1841 and 1842, Felice De Vecchi, a wealthy Milanese passionate about painting and travel, embarked on a journey, together with his naturalist friend Gaetano Osculati, to Constantinople and then, through Persia, visited India. He kept a diary of that journey, only recently found in its almost totality, dedicating an entire chapter to Azerbaijan, the “land of fires”. From his account, rich in anthropological and pictorial notations, emerges a very well-defined sketch that does not hide the wonder of those who meet housing situations and customs far from their country of origin. In order not to lose the most emotional component contained in De Vecchi’s writing, the frequent quotations of passages from the diary are presented in the English translation, followed by the original text in nineteenth-century Italian.

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THE SEA AND WOMEN IN SHAKESPEARE’S FIRST TETRALOGY

Abstract

The garden is a powerful imagery in Shakespeare history plays, yet the sea also plays an important role. By discussing episodes and metaphors related to the sea in Shakespeare’s first tetralogy, this paper aims to demonstrate Shakespeare’s macro-spatial perspective of England as an island, whose history is influenced by elements on and across the sea. The paper also examines Shakespeare’s dramatization of women’s interconnections with the sea. It attempts to contextualize Shakespeare’s dramatic representation of the sea and of women within English Renaissance maritime culture.

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Muslim Women and Interracial Intimacies

Abstract

This article focuses on media debates about interracial and interethnic marriage practices. In 2012, Danish immigrants and descendants, especially Muslim women, were accused of harming the integration processes as they were not marrying ethnically Danish men. Through analysis of newspaper articles and Internet debates the article shows how Muslim women became excluded from the national community in these debates. Drawing upon previous debates about interracial/ethnic relationships, the article illustrates how the contemporary criticism mirrors historical criticism of sexuality. Moreover, the 2012 debate provides new insights and reveals how we need to nuance previous understandings of interracial relations.

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Towards a Reflexive Ethnography: (Re-)inserting the Producer and Process Into the Research Equation

Abstract:

The individualistic orientation of life histories has long been hailed as an antidote to the generalizing tendencies of ethnographic research. However, the life history method is not without problems of its own, as I explain by referencing some of the most well celebrated life histories and so-called ‘autobiographies’ in the anthropological corpus. The traditional method of composing the life history as a flowing narrative is not only morally dishonest but also intellectually inadequate because it conveys the false impression of a chronologically timeless and uninterrupted soliloquy. By focusing only on the final product, life histories ignore the other two components in the communicative process. In this article, I emphasize the need to (re-)insert the producer and process into the research equation.

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Prison drug treatment in Denmark: A historical outline and an analysis of the political debate

ABSTRACT

AIMS - The article outlines the historical development of prison drug treatment (PDT) in Denmark in order to understand the present situation where PDT is viewed as a natural benign practice. We also identify the different rationales within the political debate on PDT since its rapid expansion in 2000. DATA - Historical and policy documents, grey literature, interviews with key informants in the field. RESULTS - Four historical periods are identified, from a period when drug treatment was unwelcome in prisons to a re-emergence of the rehabilitation ideal over the last 15 years, when PDT appears unquestioned and its popularity has exploded. Five dissimilar and at times conflicting rationales have been present in the political debate legitimising this policy shift.

CONCLUSION - Part of the popularity of PDT stems from the fact that it has been used in political debates in order to justify a range of different and even conflicting objectives. With changing penal discourse, PDT may again become unwanted in prison settings.

Open access
Implementation of substitution treatment in Finland: Beyond rationalisation and medicalisation

Implementation of substitution treatment in Finland: Beyond rationalisation and medicalisation

AIMS - Finnish treatment of drug abuse has during the last two decades shifted from a predominantly psychosocial approach to a more medical mode. This is especially evident in the rapid implementation of substitution treatments (STs). My aim is to show that labelling this development as ‘medicalisation’ or ‘rationalisation’ as a form of medical progress will not increase our understanding of the change. MATERIAL AND DESIGN - I analysed texts from several periodicals with psychosocial, social policy and medical perspectives between 1997 and 2005. Four basic conceptual and argumentative underpinnings emerged which gave credence to the medical and rational approach, and the validity of these four elements was then investigated. I also collected all the texts on drug addiction and its treatment from two medical journals in 1965-1976 to examine the way in which drug addiction was conceptualised during this earlier phase. RESULTS - The material shows that there are at least four reasons why medicalisation and rationalisation cannot explain the implementation of substitution treatments in Finland. First, progress in medical research on addiction did not make STs necessary. Second, the effectiveness of substitution treatments hinges on a particular kind of scientific rationality that cannot be equated with rationality per se. Third, it was not the 1990s and 2000s that drug addiction was coded as a medical problem for the first time. Fourth, it is difficult to include into the medicalisation theory how people actively want to be ‘medicalised’. Medical knowledge and technology open up new domains of knowledge with possible relations to practices of power and offer people new ways of self-understanding. How these different practices work is a question of empirical research. Both ‘rationalisation’ and ‘medicalisation’ are concepts often used in an inflationary way, and this may make them insensitive as analytical instruments.

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Macedonia Faculties’ Students - “Chrisi Avgi” (Right Party) Followers’ Critique on the Greek Educational Policy

Abstract

The present paper is involved with the Pedagogical faculties’ students’ critique on the current educational system as it has been altered after 1981. The research was carried out utilizing both quantitative and qualitative tools. Students-voters participated in the interviews whereas active voters were difficult to be located to meet the research requirements. The dynamics of the specific political party is based on a popular profile in terms of standpoints related to economic, social and political issues. The research findings depict the students’ strong wish for a change of the curricula and a turn towards History and Religion as well as an elevation of the Greek historic events, as the History books that have been written and taught at schools over the past years contributed to the downgrading of the Greek national and cultural identity. There is also a students’ strong belief that globalization and the immigrants’ presence in Greece have functioned in a negative way against the Greek ideal. Therefore, an overall change of the educational content could open the path towards the reconstruction of the moral values and the Greek national identity.

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“We Have Poetry / So We Do Nor Die of History” On the Interplay Between Poetry, Science, and Ideology

Abstract

Important as they are in people’s mental and intellectual development and in their appreciation of the things around them, the Humanities remain a field that is, more often than not, frowned upon among people who firmly believe that the STEM fields are much more important, practical, and lucrative in a rapidly growing and competitive workplace. Besides, when scientific and technological breakthroughs have invaded every nook and cranny of our lives, the incessant comparison between science and the arts does not, and actually should not strike us as new or even shocking. The present paper seeks to revisit the status of the Humanities nowadays, by shedding light on the crisis befalling this field (inter)nationally. The paper also aims at providing a reappraisal of the moment of poetry—one that substantiates Poet Meena Alexander’s famous line, “We have poetry / So we do not die of history.” This is achieved through readings of Sylvia Plath’s so-called hospital poems that highlight the deft interplay between poetry, science and ideology.

Open access
Between logos and doxa: The Intelligence of a Machine

Abstract

This paper deals with Parmenides of Elea’s way of inquiry about reality and the opposition emerging from it. In more detail, it analyses how Parmenides’ concepts of logos and doxa present some analogies with Bergson’s thoughts about duration and Time and how these theories influenced the understanding of visual media, especially the cinematographic camera. This survey will allow us to demonstrate that some scientific theories about space that accompanied the development of the cinematographic camera progressively allowed for the birth of a new understanding of this device. In the last section of this study, we will then focus on the way through which the film camera - understood as an intelligent device - passes from the sphere of doxa to the sphere of logos.

Open access