Abstract only
The coronation of Louis XVI, 11 June 1775

The coronation of Louis XVI, which took place on 11 June 1775, is described in detail in this chapter where it is considered as an amalgam of several smaller rituals each with its own provenance and meaning. Apparently transgressive gestures are granted positive meaning. The role of the queen in the coronation is considered, as is the meaning of tales of the king walking among the people after the ceremony.

in Death and the crown
Abstract only
An inspiring model

This chapter deals with liberal writings on Western culture, perceived as a source of inspiration and not only as a reservoir of conspiracies; on globalization, which was defined as a lever for Arab economic modernism; and on peace and coexistence with Israel, presented as an essential component in the promotion of Arab humanism.

in Arab liberal thought in the modern age
The permeable clusters of Hanna Rydh

This chapter discusses the Swedish reception of two articles that Rydh wrote after contact with French international research. We meet Hanna Rydh in the 1920s when she was establishing her position as an archaeologist. She had to navigate a male-oriented discipline, even though the archaeological scene was not explicitly homogeneous. Other Nordic countries, and to some extent Mediterranean and other European countries, were linked by scholarly discussions. However, few thematic meetings took place between Scandinavians and non-Scandinavians and few Scandinavians developed theoretical approaches, except for theories about culture and people. In these articles Rydh used Durkheimian ideas, for example that manifestations of group or community life may be connected to a more general social order, and that social structure and organisation can be observed and maintained on different levels in social life. At that time, such thinking was unusual within Swedish archaeology, and Rydh probably got her inspiration at St-Germain-en-Laye. The harsh reception of the articles is discussed from perspectives of intersecting axes of power such as profession, gender and economy, relating these to various social clusters of which Rydh was a part.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Abstract only

Attachments to historical and archival sources are at the center of Nayland Blake’s 2012 installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Entitled FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX! the components of the exhibition, as well as one of its public programs (a piercing demonstration conducted by Blake and his long-time familiar Lolita Wolf), is the subject of the seventh chapter. As a young artist Blake was a participant in San Francisco’s changing arts landscape, and his relation to the massive development of the South of Market area (where YBCA is located, and also where many leather bars and institutions were established), structures his questions about San Francisco’s leather histories. By literally attaching himself to a reproduction of an iconic mural decorating one of San Francisco’s earliest leather bars, Blake stages an encounter with history, exhorting his audience to participate in claiming historical networks and lineages.

in Bound together
Abstract only

Chapter 7 engages with the ideas coming out of the 1970s women’s movement and their influence on the identities of women religious. Through the Nun in the World and feminist theologians, nuns and sisters experienced a more thorough grounding in theology that acknowledged their womanhood and sexuality and linked it to a deeper understanding of their faith. They questioned the ‘charged symbols’ of religious life. Enclosed nuns opened their non-cloistered spaces more readily, and some began to see the grille that separated them from the world as an unnecessary impediment to their ministry. The other loaded symbol of religious life, the religious habit, was being modified and in some communities was seen as a barrier to new ministries. For some, these unchanging symbols of religious life signified tradition, security and the authenticity of religious life. For others, the need for modernity, to meet the modern world in different ways offered a ‘renewed’ way to be an authentic religious. Women religious, like feminists, claimed for themselves the right to define their own place in both secular society and the Catholic world. This chapter demonstrates that both religious and secular ideas shaped these women’s awareness of their womanhood.

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Abstract only
Post-war modernity and religious vocations

Chapter 1 provides a snapshot of the Catholic Church engaging with the modern world in the 1940s and 1950s. It examines both the global and the national Church and is the backstory to the remaining chapters, asserting a significant prehistory to the Second Vatican Council. It surveys young women’s place in the modern world of the 1940s and 1950s, considering their opportunities and their decision to enter religious life through an analysis of the ‘vocation story’. It links the specificities of their life histories to the growing global, national and institutional awareness that fewer women were saying ‘yes’ to religious life. The 1950s was often remembered as a golden age ‘when novitiates were bursting’. The archives suggest a different story that features the paucity of women crossing the monastic threshold. This phenomenon was addressed in various ways. Pope Pius XII’s apostolic constitution Sponsa Christi (1950) and subsequent international congresses advocated a renewal of religious life. Modern approaches were employed to develop a more sophisticated means of vocation promotion that was direct, public-facing and professional. The new religious discourse on the ‘modern world’ acknowledged that religious life must modernise to become more relevant and attractive to Catholic women.

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Abstract only
Leather, sex, archives, and contemporary art

Bound Together: Leather, Sex, Archives, and Contemporary Art considers historic gay and lesbian leather communities by way of two interrelated lines of enquiry; addressing the archives where leather histories and their attendant visual and material objects currently reside, while also examining the projects of contemporary artists who bring leather histories to the fore, making an implicit argument for their potential queer political force in the present. Arguing for an expansive, yet grounded, consideration of the vicissitudes and pleasures of archival work, the book centers the material and visual cultures produced by members of gay and lesbian leather communities, tracing their contextual meanings at the time of their making, as well as their continued ability to produce community-specific histories in archival repositories (that may or may not be solely dedicated to leather communities). Contemporary artists such as Dean Sameshima, Die Kränken, Monica Majoli, A. K. Burns and A. L. Steiner, and Patrick Staff have incorporated the themes, materialities, and/or histories of such archival holdings into their heterogeneous practices, establishing leather history as a persistent and generative touchstone for rethinking queer life, relationality, and sexual politics.

Britain, 1945–90

Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age examines the changes in religious life for women religious in Britain from 1945 to 1990 identifying how community and individual lives were altered. This work is grounded in three core premises: women religious were influenced by and participated in the wider social movements of the long 1960s; women’s religious institutes were transnational entities and part of a larger global happening; and the struggles of renewal were linked to competing and contradictory ideas of collective, institutional identities. The work pivots on the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), but considers pre and post Vatican II social, cultural and religious events and social movements of the 1960s as influencers in these changes. It interrogates ‘lived experience’ by examining the day-to-day lives of women religious. Though rooted in the experiences of women religious in Britain, the book probes the relationships and interconnectivities between women religious within and across national divides as they move from institutions embedded in uniformity to the acceptance of cultural plurality. It also engages with the histories of the social movements of the long 1960s. For too long, religion has been relegated to its own silo, unlinked to the ‘radical sixties’ and depicted as ultimately obstructionist to its social movements. To contest this, female religious life is examined as a microcosm of change in the Catholic Church pointing to the ‘new thinking and freer lifestyles’ that allowed for the questioning of institutional cultures.

Housed in a mobile library and archive, Viola Johnson’s pin sash—a leather garment onto which hundreds of metal pins and buttons have been affixed—spotlights the terms of her expansive leathersexuality. Such a sexuality, for Johnson, is predicated on a notion of service that primarily manifests in the constant upkeep, revising, archiving, and presenting of leather history, through the display and interpretation of her sash and library. After detailing the genesis and social milieu of the Carter/Johnson Leather Library and the significance of pins and buttons in leatherwear more generally, this chapter focuses on a button reading ‘The L.A.P.D. FREED the Slaves April 10, 1976.’ Initially made to protest the raid of a mock slave auction at the Mark IV bathhouse in Los Angeles, the button underscores the dyadic yet fungible terms of freedom and enslavement, and thus the relationships between sexual power-play and non-consensual state violence.

in Bound together
Abstract only

The Conclusion encapsulates the changes enacted from 1945 to 1990, considering both the voices heard and the voices not heard in this study, and acknowledging the pain of change. It returns to the three core premises – religious life as a social movement influenced by secular social movements; transnational influences; and changing identities – setting these in the more international frame of religious life, identifying what made British religious life distinctive. In addressing the global nature of these changes, it reminds us of the internationality of religious life and the transnational encounters that informed women’s understanding of religious change. It then links this historical study with the sustained complexity of contemporary religious life: a time of continued diminishment and innovations, revelations of abuse and new religious movements.

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age