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Backstage versus frontstage politics in the European Parliament
Ruth Wodak

European Parliament (EP) which often seem to take politics’ very definition for granted. In this chapter, and in line with this book’s general agenda to ­re-imagine Europe and its Union from within an inclusive ontology,2 I ask what are the consequences for our conceptualisation and study of politics – and hence of the working practices of MEPs and EP officials? Or, to turn the question around, how does re-conceptualising politics enable us to simultaneously re-conceptualise Europe? The chapter explores these general questions through the making of three analytical

in Governing Europe’s spaces
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The cosmological frame in anthropology
Allen Abramson and Martin Holbraad

uniformity of nature, and the Romantic enchantment with the diversities of human genius (e.g. Dupré 1993). Here, however, we may note only that, based on an ontology of a uniform nature subject to a diversity of cultural viewpoints, this image provided also the framework for the anthropological study of indigenous cosmologies, as well as a template for their overall shape. In particular, it framed the study of indigenous cosmologies with reference to what we may call a topology of reflexive ethnocentrism. According to this image, the human cosmos marks out a particular

in Framing cosmologies
Richard Rushton

undeniably real, and, granted the time and space provided by depth of field and the long take, reality will be free to yield its beauty and mystery.19 Most film scholars seem quite content to dispense with Bazin along such lines. For example, Robert Stam and Sandy FlittermanLewis infer that the kind of realist ontology pursued by Bazin was overcome by a critique of the mimetic basis of that ontology. ‘Film theory’, they argue, ‘gradually transformed itself from a meditation on the film object as the reproduction of pro-filmic phenomena into a critique of the very idea of

in The reality of film
Dimitris Dalakoglou

critical thinking addressing the issue of automobile highways considers them one of the most crucial elements in the development of modern capitalism. This is probably embedded within the wider school of thought that considers Nazism and fascism as programmatic of late modern capitalism (Arendt 1951; Bauman 1989; Virilio 1974). For example, Arendt, in her discussion of the banality of evil (1951), suggested that the ontology of the modern capitalist state (dictatorial or democratic) is such that it facilitates the organization and the performance of a potential holocaust

in The road
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‘The fork in the road’
Simon Malpas and Andrew Taylor

structures of government surveillance and rapidly changing forms of information technology all encourage the kinds of anxiety that paranoia fosters. Moreover, as The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow and Vineland all make explicit, technologies come to structure both the epistemological and ontological contours of Pynchon’s world such that, as Leo Bersani points out, these aspects of social reality work to legitimate the paranoid narrative: ‘at least in the traditional sense of the word’, Pynchon’s paranoids are ‘really not paranoid at all’.10 Emily Apter’s vision of a

in Thomas Pynchon
Boom! (1968), Secret Ceremony (1968) and Figures in a Landscape (1970)
Colin Gardner

confine his protagonists within hermetically sealed environments so that serious ontological issues of life, death and sex are divorced from all social and political (i.e. class) relevance. This has led critics such as Jean-Pierre Coursodon to question whether Losey had any legitimate Brechtian credentials in the first place: Losey, no matter what many critics and he himself

in Joseph Losey
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Snakes, vivisection and scientific medicine in colonial Australia
Author: Peter Hobbins

From the day that Europeans first stepped ashore to occupy the Australian continent, they were never alone. If colonists took comfort from the presence of these familiar beasts, they remained less certain of the indigenous creatures they encountered. This book argues that the practice of vivisection inextricably linked familiar animals and venomous snakes in colonial Australia, and offers a new perspective, inter alia, on science and medicine in the colonial antipodes. Public vivisections to study envenomation and antidotes established standards of proof and authority which were followed, rather than led, by learned professionals. The book establishes the concept of the colonial animal matrix, elaborating how white settlers related both to the domestic species that landed alongside them and the autochthonous animals they encountered up to 1840. By the early 1850s, plebeian expertise had established vivisection as the prime means of knowing venomous animals in Australia. Instruments and living experiments became necessary to establish objective medical facts in the antipodes. By the time that Britain legislatively regulated vivisection in mid-1876, animal experimentation had independently become de rigueur for colonial investigations of envenomation and remedies. Seeking an effective remedy for snakebite was considered sufficient reason to lessen moral consideration for animals such as dogs, involved in such experiments. Clinical experience appeared largely to trump vivisectional data for much of the 1890s. Yet, when a 'universal' antivenene appeared, predicated upon the new science of immunology, its efficacy was concomitantly discredited by the novel technologies of experimental medicine.

Open Access (free)
Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

Taking care of difference in museums
Billie Lythberg, Wayne Ngata and Amiria Salmond

colonisation.5 Yet, as Indigenous scholars6 and theorists like Elizabeth Povinelli have pointed out, multiculturalist policies have at the same time served as powerful strategies of commensuration deployed to smooth out distinctions between groups to the advantage of ruling elites.7 In defining certain kinds of difference as ‘cultural’ (as opposed to, say, political), multiculturalism Curating the uncommons mobilises a powerful ontology of sameness that can be used to dismiss those who insist on the fundamental importance of things that might exceed its realms of

in Curatopia
Andrew Patrizio

) have been among the most clearly energetic expressions of the ecological eye and it would be impossible to do justice to all their complexity and richness. What I claim, however, is that, despite their diversity, they collectively form an expression of a wider tendency towards ‘flat ontologies’. They embrace the further erosion of hierarchical structures and thought patterns, and by troubling the easy boundaries that have existed in Western thought in relation to animal representation, ethics, rituals and domestic practice they have great power and future potential

in The ecological eye