This essay examines how lay scribal practices of sermon note-taking linked individual spiritual crises to collective experience and became a family project. Examining the sermon notes kept by the Gell household from the 1640s to the 1710s reveals them as devotional prompts that sustained the family’s Presbyterianism across two generations. In evaluating the figure of Katherine Gell, this essay also demonstrates the crucial role played by women within the home in sustaining a nonconformist devotional culture both before and after the Restoration.
This essay examines the domestic worship of Presbyterians both before and after the Act of Toleration (1689). By investigating the dissenting clergyman Oliver Heywood’s diary and his printed treatise A Family Altar (1693), this essay provides a case study on how centralising prayer became within the godly home. In doing so, it reveals how through his writing on prayer, Heywood configured household worship as a substitute for chapel worship in dissenting circles, blurring the lines between corporate and domestic devotion. Ultimately Heywood’s ministry, writings and devotional exercises show us how the performance of household piety could be a unifying force that helped galvanise the faith of families during trying periods and times of great change.
Looking at European developments from 2017 to 2019, the Afterword situates the volume among the resurgent interest in questions of contested histories, calls for restitution, and the resurgence of provenance research. It argues that given the varied ways European nations are addressing questions of colonial collections, it seems contradictory that the collections of military museums are seemingly absent from the debate. The chapter consequently considers the affective values of objects, and the symbolic nature of return, arguing that there is a distinction to objects in UK military collections, linked to the idea of ‘sentiment’. Looking again at the conflict highlighted in the Introduction, it addresses two initiatives in 2018 in the UK which discussed the 1868 capture of the fortress at Maqdala and two items, again linked to Emperor Tewodros II, which over time have troubled their national custodians. It considers how such questions were addressed through display at the Victoria and Albert Museum and links this to the National Army Museum’s gesture of returning hair samples linked to Emperor Tewodros. Comparing these two initiatives it seeks to understand the historical moment in which such discussions, and therefore the issues addressed in Dividing the Spoils, can be more widely understood.
This afterword reviews and draws on the findings and arguments of the essays in the collection to emphasise the role of the familial in shaping early modern devotional practice, interiors and interiorities, not only (and obviously) in homes but in worshiping communities and societies, whatever their specific religious orientation, in the various contexts of personal record, scribal copying, manuscript circulation and printing that nurtured the spiritual life, in the rituals, homilies and literature that marked the stages from birth to death, even in the prisons that too often were the consequence of religious commitment. It adduces the non-partisan regard for George Herbert to conclude that the lived experience of the family of the children of God united believers across the socio-economic, political and religious boundaries that otherwise divided and segregated early modern life.
A contrasting choreography of flags, military booty and skulls from late nineteenth-century Africa
The later years of the Victorian era saw a series of ‘small wars’ and large battles conducted in Africa. This essay analyses two of these taking place in successive years (1897 and 1898): the Benin Punitive Expedition in the riverine creeks of south-eastern Nigeria and the Battle of Omdurman in the deserts of Sudan. In spite of their clear imperial motivations, in both cases military engagements were justified as defensible retaliation for the actions of what were represented as callous rulers. Yet the two conflicts otherwise contrast sharply in scale, in how they were reported, what was acquired by way of booty and in the ultimate fate of what was brought back from each. Some objects were judged appropriate to the royal collections, others to the national collections or smaller military museums, with significant numbers shifting between them. Each relocation, it is argued, represents a different commodification. The complex range of divergent object biographies is discussed, exploring how some have retained an enduring status as trophies while others have taken on a new personhood beyond the circumstances of their original acquisition.
This chapter investigates fundraising and financial governance on the part of Al Qaeda from the 1990s to 2014. First, it outlines detail of US-directed interventions in Afghanistan during the Afghan–Soviet War (1979–1989). Building on the description of these interventions before the declaration of the establishment of Al Qaeda in 1988, the analysis then explores the relative significance for Al Qaeda fundraising of wealthy donors and charities in the Middle Eastern region, alternative remittance systems, and broader commercial activities. Insights from declassified Western government intelligence material, testimony from figures within these organisations, and reliable information from think tanks are applied to the documentary discussion of Al Qaeda finance. The concluding section of the chapter discusses precepts of Islamic finance that conflict with the political and economic policies of neoliberalism, including neoliberal economic managerial mechanisms. Collectively, the chapter explores how Al Qaeda’s financial behaviour can be understood as representing the organisation’s collective expression of ‘habitus’ within a ‘field’ and ‘doxa’ of normalised neoliberal political-economic relations.
This chapter commences an account of Al Qaeda’s political-economic propaganda. The discussion and analysis are influenced by interpretations of neo-jihadism articulated in the work of the activist-scholars Iain Boal, T. J. Clark, Joseph Matthews, and Michael Watts, as well as insights from investigative journalism in the Global War on Terror. The analysis in this chapter foregrounds Islamist ideologues that influenced Al Qaeda at its 1988 inception, before reflecting on how the organisation’s political-economic propaganda engaged with dominant anti-capitalist and anti-US perspectives prior to and following 11 September 2001, and after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The investigation addresses the discourse of prominent figures who influenced Al Qaeda in history and who spoke on behalf of the organisation, including Osama Bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, Aymenn al-Zawahiri, and Adam Gadahn. Drawing on Bourdieusian theory, it explores how Al Qaeda leaders appeal to social, cultural, and symbolic capital through their propaganda, while their collective expression of an anti-capitalist ‘habitus’ corresponds to a changing ‘field’ of anti-capitalism that developed over time.
This article traces how the queer Black writer James Baldwin’s
transnational palate and experiences influenced the ways he wrote about Black
domestic spaces in the late twentieth century. In the 1960s and 1970s, while
Black feminist cooks and writers like Edna Lewis, Jessica B. Harris, and
Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor developed new theories of soul food in relation to the
Black American community and broader American cuisine, Baldwin incorporated
these philosophies and transnational tastes into his lifestyle and works. He
traveled and worked around Europe, settling in places like Paris, Istanbul, and
Saint-Paul de Vence for years at a time. In Saint-Paul de Vence, where he spent
his last years, he set up his own welcome table, at which he hosted
internationally renowned guests and shared his love of cuisine. Inevitably,
Baldwin’s passion for cooking and hosting meals became a large, though
scholarly neglected, component of his novels and essays. In his novels
Another Country, which he finished in Istanbul and
published in 1962, and Just Above My Head, which he finished in
Saint-Paul de Vence and published in 1979, Baldwin’s depictions of food
and Black kitchens take a queer turn. Instead of lingering on traditional Black
family structures, these texts specifically present new formulations of intimate
home life and reimagine relationships between food, kitchens, race, and sex in
the late twentieth century.
Between “Stranger in the Village” and I Am Not Your
Jovita dos Santos Pinto, Noémi Michel, Patricia Purtschert, Paola Bacchetta and Vanessa Naef
James Baldwin’s writing, his persona, as well as his public speeches,
interviews, and discussions are undergoing a renewed reception in the arts, in
queer and critical race studies, and in queer of color movements. Directed by
Raoul Peck, the film I Am Not Your Negro decisively contributed
to the rekindled circulation of Baldwin across the Atlantic. Since 2017,
screenings and commentaries on the highly acclaimed film have prompted
discussions about the persistent yet variously racialized temporospatial
formations of Europe and the U.S. Stemming from a roundtable that followed a
screening in Zurich in February 2018, this collective essay wanders between the
audio-visual and textual matter of the film and Baldwin’s essay
“Stranger in the Village,” which was also adapted into a
film-essay directed by Pierre Koralnik, staging Baldwin in the Swiss village of
Leukerbad. Privileging Black feminist, postcolonial, and queer of color
perspectives, we identify three sites of Baldwin’s transatlantic
reverberations: situated knowledge, controlling images, and everyday sexual
racism. In conclusion, we reflect on the implications of racialized, sexualized
politics for today’s Black feminist, queer, and trans of color movements
located in continental Europe—especially in Switzerland and France.
Reading James Baldwin’s Existential Hindsight in Go Tell It
on the Mountain
This essay reads James Baldwin’s first novel, Go Tell It on the
Mountain, through the lenses of European existentialism and Black
existential thought to arrive at a new understanding of the novel itself as well
as essential stages of its development. Archival sources and close reading
reveal Baldwin’s historically and existentially informed artistic vision,
summed up in the terms hindsight and insight.
His thoughtful, uncomfortable engagement with the past leads to a recuperated
relationship to the community and constitutes existential hindsight, which
informs his inward understanding of himself—his insight. This
investigation draws on various works from Baldwin’s fiction, essays,
interviews, and correspondence to arrive at a better understanding of the
writer’s intellectual and artistic development, focusing especially on
the professed objectives behind, and major revisions of, the novel. I conclude
the essay through a close reading of the conversion scene that constitutes Part
Three of Go Tell It on the Mountain.