Peter Bitušík, Marcela Kocianová-Adamcová, Juraj Brabec, Radovan Malina, Jerguš Tesák and Peter Urban
The magnitude, composition, temporal and spatial patterns of mammal road mortality were assessed along some sections of two different road types (I/51 and R1) connecting the towns of Banská Bystrica, Zvolen and Banská Štiavnica (Central Slovakia). Road kills were surveyed using a car, three or four times per week from March 2008 to December 2012. We conducted 440 surveys, traveling a total of 39,700 km, and recorded 5,416 road mortality events (120 kills per km on average). Mammals were represented by 693 individuals (12.8% of the total number of carcasses) identified into 20 species and categories, respectively. The most frequently identified species were fox, hedgehog and domestic cat, a substantial part fell into the category of small mammals, as they could not be mostly identified to a genus. We found significant temporal and spatial differences in the magnitude of road-kills and identified several road segments as mortality hotspots both for all observations and for each season. Using logistic models we found significant relationships between the number and composition of the mammal casualties and higher proportion of arable land, built-up areas and roads in the landscape bordering the roads. Road topography was found to be among the important variables in explaining road-kills as carnivores were most susceptible to be killed on the raised segments and insectivores and herbivore mammals on the raised or buried segments of the roads. Construction of the fence along the R1 expressway in 2010 was related to significant decrease in road-kills, however, significantly higher mortality level was recorded at the segments with the underpass where streams with line riparian vegetation are crossed by the road. This effect was not identified at segments with expressway feeders. This finding suggests that the line vegetation continues to serve as migration corridor and leads animals to the R1 road where they find defects in fencing and try to cross through them and enter the road.
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This article deals with the Matrix theory of subjectivity, gaze, and desire by feminist scholar Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger. Matrixial framework is explored in comparison to Lacanian psychoanalysis. The essay denotes the differences between split Lacanian model of the subject and Matrixial subjectivity based on plurality and continuity. I argue that Lacanian model which grounds the subject in fundamental lack and loss of corporal reality is insufficient for explaining specifically feminine experience in terms of temporality and collective memory, whereas the Matrix theory provides a conceptual apparatus for positive female identification and alliances between the past and the present. Ettinger’s Matrixial model is applied in the analysis of the 2012 video The Meeting by contemporary Lithuanian artist Kristina Inčiūraitė. I claim that the mode of desire in The Meeting is based on Matrixial gaze, which allows to formulate memory as co-created by two partners who share archaic knowledge of the Real, grounded in common relation to female sexual difference and intrauterine condition. Therefore, the article interprets the imagery of the town of Svetlogorsk in the video as coemerged mental images that affect each of the partners. I conclude that the Matrix theory overcomes the phallocentrism of classical psychoanalysis, allowing to reformulate the subject in terms of connectivity, compassion, and abilities to process Other’s trauma through positive cultural change.
The process of questioning the authority of academic history—in the form in which it emerged at the turn of the 19th century—began in the 1970s, when Hayden White pointed out the rhetorical dimension of historical discourse. His British colleague Alun Munslow went a step further and argued that the ontological statuses of the past and history are so different that historical discourse cannot by any means be treated as representation of the past. As we have no access to that which happened, both historians and artists can only present the past in accordance with their views and opinions, the available rhetorical conventions, and means of expression.
The article revisits two examples of experimental history which Munslow mentioned in his The Future of History (2010): Robert A. Rosenstone’s Mirror in the Shrine (1988) and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s In 1926 (1997). It allows reassessing their literary strategies in the context of a new wave of works written by historians and novelists who go beyond the fictional/factual dichotomy. The article focuses on Polish counterfactual writers of the last two decades, such as Wojciech Orliński, Jacek Dukaj, and Aleksander Głowacki. Their novels corroborate the main argument of the article about a turn which has been taking place in recent experimental historying: the loss of previous interest in formal innovations influenced by modernist avant-garde fiction. Instead, it concentrates on demonstrating the contingency of history to strategically extend the unknowability of the future or the past(s) and, as a result, change historying into speculative thinking.
The present study is an archaeological and anthropological analysis of a grave pertaining to the Únětice culture and discovered in Holubice, in the Praha-západ district. In the tomb pit the remains of an adult male laid on his right side with his lower limbs sharply bent, had been buried. The skeleton was found to be only partially preserved. Only the frontal bone (os frontale), the major part of the left parietal bone (parietale sin) and a part of the left temporal bone (temporale sin) were preserved. The preserved part of the skull presents signs of a slash trauma including a skull penetration. Even though the bones went through an advanced healing process, the wound had remained open. The nature of the injury indicates that the wound was surgically treated and loose bone fragments were removed. The injury had not been fatal and the individual lived for some time after. The discovered grave is unique not only for its unusual and highly accurately datable grave goods, but above all for standing as proof of the considerable medical knowledge of the people from the Únětice culture.
In recent science-fiction literature, we can witness a proliferation of new counterfactual narratives which take the 17th century as their point of departure. Unlike steampunk narratives, however, their aim is not to criticise the socio-political effects caused by contemporary technological development. Such authors as Neal Stephenson or Ian Tregillis, among others, are interested in revisiting the model of development in Western societies, routing around the logic of progress. Moreover, they demonstrate that modernity is but an effect of manifold contingent and indeterminate encounters of humans and nonhumans and their distinct temporalities. Even the slightest modification of their ways of being could have changed Western societies and cultures. Thus, they necessitate a rather non-anthropocentric model of counterfactuality which is not tantamount to the traditional alternative histories which depart from official narratives of the past.
By drawing on contemporary multispecies ethnography, I put forward a new understanding of counter-factuality which aims to reveal multiple entangled human and nonhuman stories already embedded in the seemingly unified history of the West. In this context, the concept of “polyphonic assemblage” (Lowenhaupt-Tsing) is employed to conceptualize the contingent and open-ended encounters of human and nonhuman historical actors which cut across different discourses and practices. I analyse Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle to show the entangled stories of humans and nonhumans in 17th century sciences, hardly present in traditional historiographies. In particular, Stephenson’s depiction of quicksilver and coffeehouse as nonhuman historical actors is scrutinized to show their vital role in the production of knowledge at the dawn of modernity.
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