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The claim of reason
Ruth Sheldon

3 University melodramas: the claim of reason The university loves to have guidelines and policies in place to back itself up … but it just becomes a bit of, as I would say in Arabic, a ‘Syrian drama’, which is very like [in a high-​pitched voice] aahhhh! Lots of things going on, but nothing much is happening.1 In April 2010, I began my initiation into the student politics of Palestine–​Israel when I went to observe the NUS National Conference. The UJS and FOSIS had organised a fringe meeting entitled ‘Hate Speech on Campus’, which had generated intense advance

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
Palestine– Israel in British universities
Author: Ruth Sheldon

For over four decades, events in Palestine-Israel have provoked raging conflicts between members of British universities, giving rise to controversies around free speech, ‘extremism’, antisemitism and Islamophobia within higher education, which have been widely reported in the media and subject to repeated interventions by politicians. But why is this conflict so significant for student activists living at such a geographical distance from the region itself? And what role do emotive, polarised communications around Palestine-Israel play in the life of British academic institutions committed to the ideal of free expression?

This book invites students, academics and members of the public who feel concerned with this issue to explore the sources of these visceral encounters on campus. Drawing on original ethnographic research with conflicting groups of activists, it explores what is at stake for students who are drawn into struggles around Palestine-Israel within changing university spaces facing pressures associated with neoliberalism and the ‘War on Terror’. It begins from this case study to argue that, in an increasingly globalised world that is shaped by entangled histories of the Nazi Holocaust and colonial violence, members of universities must develop creative and ethical ways of approaching questions of justice.

Tragic Encounters and Ordinary Ethics curates an ethnographic imagination in response to the political tensions arising out of the continuing violence in Palestine-Israel. It invites students and academics to attend to lived experiences within our own university institutions in order to cultivate ethical forms of communication in response to conflicts of justice.

Nineteenth-century Manchester theatre architecture and the urban spectator
Viv Gardner

century achieved what Joyce describes as ‘a rapprochement of polite and popular culture’53 with music halls and variety theatres alongside the Calverts’ Prince’s Theatre productions of Shakespeare, the Theatre Royal’s Number One tours (Beerbohm Tree as Svengali in Trilby, the first production of La Bohème in English attended by Puccini, and Dan Leno in pantomime) and the St James’s Theatre’s operas and melodramas. Just how harmonious this ‘rapprochement of polite and popular culture’ was may be assessed by a return to the events on Lower Mosley Street and at the St

in Culture in Manchester
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Ambiguous passions and misrecognition
Ruth Sheldon

contrast with melodrama and which I will draw out in the ethnographic narrative that follows: truth as ambiguity and excess, the undoing of temporal and spatial distance and the engagement of ambivalent, fragmented subjectivities. Critchley describes tragic theatre as an invention that happens when a society experiences a disjuncture at the heart of its political life (Critchley and Kesselman 2012). In contrast with the coherent moral truth of melodrama, tragedy expresses a sense of truth as the excess of that which can be rationally known and contained. As I explore in

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
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Good relations, freespeech and political activism
Ruth Sheldon

tragic conflict from an ethical perspective. Tracing how a political melodrama was experienced within campuses, I have shown how students felt torn between impossible norms of rationality and autonomy, and the claims of haunting pasts and deeply felt cultural attachments to Palestine–​Israel. While a dominant university culture silenced passionate expression, aggressive feelings re-​emerged over time, attracting media attention which produced further shaming and repression. Woven into this ethnographic narrative, I have offered a theorisation of the connections between

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
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Conversation, friendship and democratic possibilities
Ruth Sheldon

] insists more on the events of 1947/​1948, whereas the first one will more insist on what’s happening now. And that is often, er, a divergence in the debate, where a lot of the –​I don’t know if I’m saying the right things –​where a lot of pro-​Palestinians will want to discuss about the events until 1948, whereas a lot of pro-​Israelis will want to discuss events, how they are now. As discussed in the previous two chapters, melodramatic and tragic campus dramas differed in their temporal orientations. While melodramas dramatised a synchronic conflict between abstract

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
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A sociologist of hope or a prophet of gloom?
Ali Rattansi

research in Street (2011: 21–76). Even news and current affairs programming – Bauman’s ‘infotainment’ – follows the conventions of genre (news can be seen to work via constructing plots, creating (melo)dramas and so forth). Because Bauman failed to deconstruct the ways in which the content of television, magazines and newspapers is socially constructed, coded and made to RATTANSI 9781526105875 PRINT.indd 282 24/05/2017 13:19 Conclusion283 fit into particular genres, while at the same time being constrained by the need to attract advertising and make profits, he did

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
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Unsettling subjects of justice and ethics
Ruth Sheldon

’ and ‘terrorism’ in Palestine–​Israel. Drawing together the empirical analysis across these two chapters, I  develop the theoretical argument that, while the melodramatic assertion of the liberal university affirmed the dominant institutional order, the disruptive excess re-​emerged as a return of the repressed. Learning from aesthetic theories of melodrama and tragedy, I offer an explanation for the repetitive, circular and high-​profile quality of these campus conflicts over time, including the role of public media and the logics of spectatorship in this process

in Tragic encounters and ordinary ethics
Humour and narrative control on stage with Ayşe Şahin
Annedith Schneider

-fitting top that leaves both arms and one shoulder bare. Her wig is bleached blonde and obviously fake. Her make-up includes bright red rouge. When Selma takes on the personality of ‘Vanessa’ to greet customers or answer the telephone, one suspects that she’s drawing on stereotypical images of loose women, especially European ones, from old Turkish melodramas. When clients call, she lowers her voice to a husky alto and thrusts her hips and bosom in moves she believes fit the character she mimics. The overall effect, however, is a kind of female-to-female drag, as she

in Turkish immigration, art and narratives of home in France
Dave Boothroyd

form of phoney cross-overs between ‘drugs education’ and sensationalist entertainment. These were produced outside of the dominant studio system of production and distribution and generally presented by film showmen at travelling ‘roadshows’. Titles such as Human Wreckage (Wray, 1925) and The Pace that Kills (Parker, 1928) were typical of these highly popular antidrug melodramas, which the authorities none the less feared and partly suppressed on the ground that, despite their overt intentions of demonising drug abuse, they might actually widen the public’s nefarious

in Culture on drugs