The chapter juxtaposes quantum cosmology and Lacanian psychoanalysis in a
reading of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen, and discusses its staging and
the controversies it provoked. The play explores the visit of Werner
Heisenberg to Neils Bohr in Copenhagen during the Second World War and their
discussions about the feasibility of developing nuclear weapons. Did either
of them attempt, as experts, to stall the development of nuclear weapons? It
enacts three divergent scenarios of the meeting and shows how it is not
possible to determine which is the more accurate. Memory is unreliable, and,
more importantly, we cannot even know our own thoughts and motivations, let
alone those of others. The chapter points to the impossibility of either
physical security or intellectual certainty in a world of entanglements.
The chapter provides a semi-autobiographical narrative that considers
classism and racism against the background of movement from one class to
another and the dislocation that produces. It explores James Martell’s
notions of misinterpellation – when someone responds to a call that they
know is not for them – and how a refusal of interpellation can function
politically as a decolonising move. If, instead of taking on the habits and
values to which we are called, we retain our loyalty to the place we are
from, whatever that might be, then we have the potential to resist
interpellation’s colonising move.
In this chapter, the slow violence of austerity, classism and racism is
contrasted with the swift justice that is meted out to Omega Mwaikambo, a
Grenfell resident who took photographs of one of the people who jumped from
the tower on the night of the fire. It examines the ‘blackening’ of the
community both before and after the fire and their ongoing search for
justice and recognition. The chapter assembles traces from the public domain
of what happened to Mwaikambo into a narrative account that points to the
complexities of the interactions between individuals, the police, and the
courts after the fire, and highlights the inadequacy of procedures for the
forensic identification of those who died.
The chapter examines the desire to help those we see as victims of crisis or
disaster, in particular through what we call humanitarian intervention. It
looks at how such actions can perpetuate the very divisions that produce the
problem in the first place. Through their reliance on a distinction between
the human and the non-human, those politically qualified and those not,
humanitarianism shares a secret solidarity with the exclusionary practices
of the state and the coloniser. The chapter examines David Reiff’s book A
Bed for the Night and considers the dangers of ethics and criteria for a
‘good’ or humanitarian war. There is a tension, the chapter argues, between
small actions, face to face, and the desire to do more: to change the
The chapter explores practices of problematisation and expertise. It argues
that looking for solutions to problems can reproduce the regime of truth
that leads to the so-called problems in the first place. Problematising
famine is an example, and what are put forward as ways of ending hunger can
turn out to be functioning to reproduce it. Turning to expertise, the
chapter examines the case of Dr David Kelly, a scientist who attempted to
challenge the manipulation of intelligence to justify the Iraq war. When an
‘expert’ such as Kelly enters the political fray, their voices are sometimes
either not heard, or even suppressed. Is there an alternative? The chapter
suggests that thinking in terms of a slow listening and an excavation of
forgotten subaltern knowledge – and a quiet rebuilding of the world, brick
by brick – may help.
Nursing work and nurses’ space in the Second World War: a gendered construction
The introduction contextualises the Second World War and the position of nurses within it. It argues that the developments in weapons’ manufacture and transport technologies created a war in which mass killing and maiming could be achieved across the globe. The injuries and diseases caused by the mobility of troops and modern weaponry demanded a highly responsive medical service close to the action. This introductory chapter therefore provides a frame for the book within the historiography of wartime medical services, women’s participation in war and that of nurses more specifically. Negotiating Nursing uses written and oral testimony to explore the work and experiences of nurses on active service overseas. The introduction examines the nature of the sources and the value of personal testimony to the history of Second World War military nursing.
Stone’s early film career, exemplified by productions like Platoon (1986) and Wall Street (1987) has often been contrasted by critics with a seemingly less vital period after the commercial failure of Nixon (1995). This chapter explains how a thematic analysis focusing on war, politics, money, love and corporations will be deployed to demonstrate a much more significant set of changes across Stone’s filmography and career. The chapter considers how Stone’s dramatic filmmaking shifted from specific critiques of the establishment in films like JFK (1991) towards more muted polemics in films like W. (2008) and a focus on morality. Accompanying this transition was the emergence of a distinct documentary style in films like Comandante (2003).
The introduction contextualises issues of professional agency in relation to the history of women theatre and performance workers in the first half of the twentieth century. It provides a framework for the book as a whole and explains the chapters and their relationships with one another.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the impact of emigration on the churches by exploring the consequences and potential consequences of mass population loss for each communion. It explores the theme of religious interpretations of the outflow by addressing a commonly referenced but only rarely scrutinised belief in emigration as a divinely dictated mission to spread Christianity across the globe, and consequent conceptions of an Irish 'spiritual empire'. The book relies for evidence on careful use of literary sources, the accounts of visitors to and travellers in Ireland, clerically authored pamphlets, parliamentary reports and manuscript material from religious archives. It surveys each of the Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic churches practical religious involvement in the lives of emigrants, and in particular, the systematic provision of clergy by the home churches to emigrant communities.