Negotiating vanity

This chapter explores the problems that mirrors presented for women, at whom they were often directed, and discusses the potential for women to circumvent some of the mirror's negative associations. It presents various self-portraits by Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi which reveal the different approaches of these women to the problem of representing themselves. Female artists who represent themselves are hampered by the mirror's classic, symbolic associations with women which regularly portrays them in an unfavourable light. The images of Anguissola and Gentileschi, combined with the discussion of James Shirley's 'To A Lady Upon a Looking-Glass Sent', illustrate that the mirror is used in its traditional context of sin, pride and vanity. The mirror appears as a tool of self-improvement, as a means of gazing into the truth of the soul, or what the soul ought to be, and as a motif for true self worth.

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660

Berlin underwent a period of prodigious growth in the mid-nineteenth century. If there had ever been a moment in the history of the international statistical congress when it could be elevated to a higher plane, then it was 1863, in Berlin. Ernst Engel, the director of the Prussian statistical bureau, was intent on making the Berlin congress a resounding success. Baden was one of the states that took some interest in the resolutions adopted by the international statistical congress. The Baden government was closely involved in the initiatives introduced at the congresses in Vienna in 1857 and Berlin in 1863 with respect to a common system of statistics in Germany. Of all the major themes that would be addressed at the congress, the most innovative theme was the role of statistics in mutual assistance and insurance. Mutual assistance was, in Engel's view, a step towards economic autonomy and independence.

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century
Open Access (free)
Theoretical approaches

This chapter sets out the theoretical terrain that the authors of the volume navigate in their analyses, a terrain where dead bodies and sovereign practice intersect. It looks at four different approaches, including psychoanalysis ('fear of death'), critical theory ('between bio- and necropolitics'), the anthropology of rituals ('sacralisation of authority') and lastly more ideas of materiality and alterity ('dead agency'). Given the theoretical links between sovereignty and dead bodies, it would be no surprise if shifts in the ways authorities claim to govern dead bodies coincides with shifts in the ways in which sovereignty is claimed. The chapter looks at ways in which anthropologists and others have interpreted the ritualisation of death as linked to power and sovereignty. The power of death is associated with classical accounts of sovereignty. Dead bodies have an important role to play in the enchantment of politics and the sacralisation of authority.

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies
Editor: Finn Stepputat

This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.

The violent pursuit of cultural sovereignty during authoritarian rule in Argentina

This chapter examines the governing of the disappeared-living and the disappeared-dead in Argentina by an authoritarian regime which was convinced that the nation's cultural tradition was besieged by a guerrilla insurgency and a revolutionary ideology. This thus challenged Argentina's political and cultural sovereignty with arms and ideas. The Argentine military embarked between 1976 and 1983 on a cultural war against their own people, determined to secure the country's cultural sovereignty. Biopower was defined in cultural terms, and required necropower to constitute an authoritarian governmentality. Cultural sovereignty became extended into the bodies and minds of the enemies of the state through disappearance, torture and either rehabilitation or assassination. The violent confrontation between the Argentine military and a revolutionary segment of Argentine society was a dispute about cultural sovereignty between enemies that adhered to fundamentally different cultural projects.

in Governing the dead
Corpse, bodypolitics and contestation in contemporary Guatemala

This chapter examines the brutal killing of women in post-war Guatemala, the interpretations that these murders engender and the place of the dead bodies in the country's contestations over sovereignty. It provides a powerful means of exploring corpses, bodypolitics and contestation in contemporary Guatemala. The chapter suggests that in Guatemala, as in Ciudad Juarez, the mutilated female body has become central to the making and territorialisation of overlapping, partially sovereign bodies at the local, regional or national level. It introduces the terms and definitions utilised in debates over violence and mass killings of women. The chapter then turns to descriptions of the brutality with which the murders are committed and the body displayed. The killing of Guatemalan women is placed in historical context, including the legacy of the armed conflict. 'Femicide' and 'feminicide' have entered the vocabulary of Guatemalan women's and human rights organisations and progressive feminist parliamentarians.

in Governing the dead
Obama, Trump and the Asia Pacific political economy

This chapter focuses on the transition from Presidents Obama to Trump, with emphasis on the political economy of the Asia Pacific. Throughout the post-war era, US foreign economic policies have been shaped significantly by broader geopolitical and security strategies. This is true for both Obama and Trump. For Obama, the pursuit of hegemony using more limited means dictated a regional shift to the Asia Pacific. His administration devised an economic strategy that complemented this geopolitical approach and simultaneously reaffirmed America’s traditional role as leader of a liberalising world economy. For Trump, the overall rejection of America’s hegemonic project has been accompanied by a departure from America’s traditional leadership role in the world economy in favour of a more nationalist and transactional approach to foreign economic relations. China, as both a geopolitical challenger and economic competitor, will likely emerge as the most prominent target in the Trump administration’s transformed strategy throughout the remainder of its time in office.

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific

Because much has been written about the consequences of slavery and continuing discrimination for the health of African Americans, this chapter deals with a smaller minority group in the United States, namely American Indians and Alaska Natives. As with the provision of healthcare more generally, which version of self-determination is ascendant will have profound consequences for the future of Indian sovereignty and the accessibility and quality of health services for American Indians. Policy with respect to health services for American Indians has been embedded within Indian policy more broadly. And Indian policy has in its turn been responsive to political, economic and cultural forces that have their sources well beyond Indian country. The policy supported by President Roosevelt's New Deal Administration in the 1930s emphasized the importance for native peoples of having viable tribal communities. It was, according to one historian of the period, an 'assault on assimilation'.

in History, historians and development policy

This chapter shows that a history of underinvestment and poor health infrastructure in the colonial period continued to shape the conditions of possibility for health policy in India after independence. A historical perspective on India's political transition to independence, in particular the period between 1945 and the early 1950s, suggests that the languages of politics forged at these moments of transformation can have lasting effects. The chapter argues that attention to the ethical and intellectual origins of the Indian state's founding commitment to improve public health are worthy of attention, and indeed that these moral and political arguments continue to shape a sense of the possible in public health. If the institutional legacy of colonialism was to constrain the public health apparatus of India, the ideological legacy was the rise, perhaps unintended, of the notion that the state would and could intervene to prevent certain kinds of suffering.

in History, historians and development policy
Chinese puzzles and global challenges

This chapter considers the issues of social welfare and political accountability. It argues, contrary to the general implications of research and scholarly observations, levels of social welfare need not always vary positively with levels of democratic practice. The chapter suggests that technologies of rule that enable concerns for social welfare can exist quite independently of European-derived ideas and institutions of political representation and government administration. It explores whether these non-European practices suggest ways to approach social welfare challenges beyond the specific case of China. China's reproduction of agrarian empire has to be considered a major subject in world history. The chapter considers a part of this subject that connects quite directly to the capacities and commitments of the contemporary Chinese state toward its subjects. In nineteenth-century China, taxation begins to increase dramatically at mid-century and bureaucratic effort is shifted from social spending to military and defense matters.

in History, historians and development policy