An interview with Marina Galvani
Bénédicte Miyamoto and Marie Ruiz

Art curator of the World Bank art collection Marina Galvani describes the back stage of curating artistic exhibitions focusing on political issues. She reflects on the structural and institutional constraints on World Bank art programmes, but also how realpolitik and worldwide political events affect the logistics of international art institutions, with artworks necessitating authorisations to be exhibited and artists sometimes being unable to attend exhibitions for political and administrative reasons. Museums and galleries often depend on the support of national and international authorities and are affected by global conflicts. Galvani also explains how the World Bank supports and protects artists worldwide, with a focus on vulnerable artists. Curating Uprooted: The Resilience of Refugees, Displaced People and Host Communities made her realise that artworks travel much more easily than the artists themselves.

in Art and migration
Dheepan and Les Frères Sisters
Gemma King

The notion of ‘French cinema’ as an inseparable, French-language product of ‘France’ is a powerful one, connected as much with the practical realities of French film production as with the influence of the cultural imaginary. This chapter reveals the challenge to such ideas posed by Audiard’s most recent films, the Tamil-language Dheepan (2015) and English-language Les Frères Sisters (2018). It begins with an analysis of Dheepan’s multilingual, transcultural portrayal of the Sri Lankan war zone and the Parisian banlieue as sites of eternal border-crossing and border contestation. It then moves on to the book’s final film analysis, Les Frères Sisters, in which the reinvention of the Western genre tradition collides with the reworking of the slippery notions of the national versus the transnational that define Audiard’s work.

in Jacques Audiard
Urban encounters with crusading
Paul Oldfield

The complex entanglement of Norman Italy and crusading has long underpinned research on the region for the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This chapter re-examines one notable case of such entanglement: the encounter between the citizens of Messina in Sicily and the Anglo-Norman contingent stationed nearby during the winter of 1190–91 on its journey on the Third Crusade.

To date, the scholarship has primarily explored this encounter at Messina from the external perspective presented by the (mostly) Anglo-Norman narratives associated with the crusading parties. This chapter instead examines the encounter from the urban perspective. While the sources offer insight into religious, cultural and Anglo-French tensions, viewed from a different angle and situated alongside other sources, they also allow us to see how these tensions could be shaped by the dynamics of an encounter between an increasingly assertive urban community and powerful external forces.

The chapter finds that, while Messina was often a pawn in higher diplomatic struggles, its multicultural urban community, civic autonomy and public ritual all presented a framework within which the crusaders had to be accommodated somehow. Crucially, the fluctuating relationship between precedent and memory played a central formative role: to the Messinesi, the crusaders were prima facie the sort of transient visitors whom they had encountered for decades. In 1190–91, however, the combination of the magnitude, pre-eminence and difference of those visitors also brought a cultural threat which proved volatile at a time when the eyes of the wider Latin Christian world were watching.

in Rethinking Norman Italy
Stephan Hensell and Klaus Schlichte

The history of non-state armed groups since the end of the Second World War shows that they often follow a particular trajectory in international politics. While initially being denounced as ‘criminals’, ‘bandits’ or ‘terrorists’, they later often become recognised as regular political actors. How armed groups become legitimate actors in world politics has not yet been systematically analysed. We argue that the ultimate legitimation of such actors, their recognition as official actors by other governments, largely depends on historical timing in three consecutive eras. Two analytical perspectives are suggested. The first is the ‘politics of legitimacy’ of armed groups. Armed groups seek to justify the use of violence by referring to identities, institutions, interests and political aims. They make legitimacy claims and engage in strategies of self-legitimation or in the politics of legitimacy. The other perspective is the politics of recognition of the ‘international community’. States and international organisations are the major actors in the global state system that are able to confirm and validate legitimacy claims of armed groups through acts of recognition. The international recognition of armed groups is in part a reaction to the demands of these groups, but in part also motivated by a host of other facctors, which sometimes seem to defy any logic.

The core argument is that the politics of legitimacy and international recognition of armed groups is subject to historical change, depending on the international contexts of these policies. Armed groups need the right ‘world historical timing’ in order to be successful in achieving recognition. The chapter draws on a database on armed groups which was established by one of the authors and on both authors’ case-related fieldwork in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeastern Europe.

in Armed non-state actors and the politics of recognition
A name-list of Sicilian Muslims from the Rollus Rubeus cartulary of Cefalù cathedral
Alex Metcalfe

This chapter examines three folios from the ‘Rollus Rubeus’ cartulary of Cefalù in Sicily, held in the Archivio di Stato at Palermo. The 120-page volume was compiled in Latin between 1329 and 1330 by Roger of Mistretta, a scribe from the cathedral church of Holy Saviour. The three folios include a list of eighty-three ‘men’ given to the church by its founder, King Roger II.

The Rollus Rubeus name-list not only informs us of the church’s record-keeping practices, but it also makes rare reference to the Muslims’ response of flight, fight or conversion towards the end of their long-running revolts between 1189 and 1246. As a fourteenth-century record of a twelfth-century grant that also refers to calamitous, poorly remembered events in the thirteenth, this in-house recollection is a germane example of historiography in the making.

Through its analysis of the list, the chapter provides a clearer view of naming, identity, prosopography, community, occupations and tax obligations, data at the very heart of medieval history and historiography as viewed through a church cartulary of King Roger II’s own foundation, rather than through narratives or charter evidence, with which it can be profitably used in tandem.

in Rethinking Norman Italy
Mark Olssen

Chapter 6 examines the issue of naturalism through the lens of Hobbes and seeks to present a Foucauldian critique which goes ‘beyond nature’, replacing naturalism with constructivism as an approach to ethics. Naturalism, from Foucault’s viewpoint, of the sort that Hobbes is committed to, is simply an alternative route to metaphysics, and asserts postulations that are indemonstrable in an attempt to establish grounds for contentious political, economic, and social philosophical standpoints. The chapter also examines arguments from religion as constituting another form of metaphysics, and, in the closing section, provides a Foucauldian critique of modern social contract theory, as exemplified by John Rawls.

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
Moving beyond agency
Saskia Huc-Hepher

Chapter 3 turns to the habituation component of the habitus triad. Conceptualised as an internalised embodiment of the external field, habituation is concerned with the subjective, pre-reflexive dimension of habitus. The chapter considers the effect of habituation on participants’ initial mobility and its continued influence over their emplacement and identity post-migration. Gradual habituation to the local field emerges as a powerful factor in settlement and one that undermines the rationalised reasoning typically drawn on in migration narratives. Moreover, early encounters with the Other through travel, heritage or media in the premigration field are deemed to plant the mobility seed and foster an unconscious ‘migrancy habitus’. Another key element of habituation developed is the unthinking sense of postmigration security as an embedding factor. Here, the relationship between security and freedom is foregrounded, as is hierarchised comparison between Paris and London ‘securiscapes’. Through the prism of security, the chapter demonstrates the circular interplay between feeling safe and feeling ‘at home’, both of which are conducive to a habituated sense of belonging and long-term settlement. The chapter also explores the transformative creep of habituation to the diasporic field and its potentially disruptive impact, demonstrating how participants’ internal subjectivities are gradually, imperceptibly and potentially disconcertingly modified by their external surroundings. Finally, it establishes humour as the ultimate hurdle to habituated integration. It argues that spontaneous, culturally inflected humour strengthens ties between London-French migrants but excludes them from full belonging to the ‘host’ culture, due to a lack of affinity with pre-reflexive, shared comedic codes.

in French London
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Rethinking Norman Italy
Joanna H. Drell and Oldfield Paul

The introduction begins by acknowledging the ground-breaking work of Graham Loud in establishing Norman Italy (c. 1000–c. 1200) as a field of study. This pluralistic society where Christian, Muslim, Jew, Greek, Latin, Lombard and Norman commingled remained under-researched until the late twentieth century, but is now a fixture at academic meetings and in classrooms, journals and other publications around the world.

Moving on to the content of the volume itself, the introduction underlines the wide-ranging, holistic approach taken to examining Norman Italy’s role in some of the medieval period’s most important transitions. Emphasising socio-cultural, religious and political histories, the contributions build on a rising awareness of cross-pollination between Norman Italy and the wider medieval world, moving the field’s emphasis beyond the frontier and articulating both the region’s contribution to broader historical currents and the impact of these currents upon the region, an instance of reciprocal influence perhaps surpassing the sum of its parts.

The introduction concludes by identifying the four major strands that provide the structure of the book – ‘Historiographies’, ‘Identities and communities’, ‘Religion and the Church’ and ‘Conquering Norman Italy and beyond’ – and outlining the specific contribution of each chapter within this scheme.

in Rethinking Norman Italy
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Relationships and intimacy in British films of the 2000s
Nigel Mather

The introduction reflects on what it might mean to say ‘I love you’ to someone and on how love, desire and sex are linked in important ways, but are also quite separate in particular situations (as will be explored in the films discussed in the book). The concept of the ‘unlikely couple’ is introduced, alongside a felt need by some cultural commentators for new kinds of narratives about romance, courtship rituals and long-term relationships in British film-making, an area in which some observers have claimed British cinema in the past has not excelled. The chapter proceeds to offer a detailed breakdown and summary of the various chapters in the book and their particular areas of concern. The introduction highlights important questions about the films’ treatments of love, desire and sexuality, which will be subjected to detailed analysis and consideration in subsequent chapters.

in Sex and desire in British films of the 2000s
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Gemma King

The introduction lays out how this book, much as Audiard’s cinema itself, focuses on the motifs of the border and the body that crosses it. It covers some of the broader themes of Audiard’s border-crossing filmmaking, and his history of reworking the conventions of auteur and genre cinemas. It provides an overview of his career trajectory, and his screenwriting, editing, production and finally directing roles, as well as his collaborative working practices. The introduction situates Audiard at the intersection of a French cinematic heritage and international filmmaking contexts, before moving on to a presentation of the analysis chapters. These are entitled ‘Body’, ‘Society’ and ‘Globe’, and delve deeper into how Audiard’s eternal border-crossing manifests in, and defines, his films themselves.

in Jacques Audiard