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Israelis memorialising the Palestinian Nakba
Author: Ronit Lentin

The 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel also resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society, when some 80 per cent of the Palestinians who lived in the major part of Palestine upon which Israel was established became refugees. Israelis call the 1948 war their ‘War of Independence’ and the Palestinians their ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe. After many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees, in recent years the Nakba is beginning to penetrate Israeli public discourse. This book explores the construction of collective memory in Israeli society, where the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel's war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, it makes a contribution to social memory studies through a critical evaluation of the co-memoration of the Palestinian Nakba by Israeli Jews. Against a background of the Israeli resistance movement, the book's central argument is that co-memorating the Nakba by Israeli Jews is motivated by an unresolved melancholia about the disappearance of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinians, a melancholia which shifts mourning from the lost object to the grieving subject. The book theorises Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance, counterpoising co-memorative practices by internally displaced Israeli Palestinians with Israeli Jewish discourses of the Palestinian right of return, and questions whether return narratives by Israeli Jews are ultimately about Israeli Jewish self-healing.

Ronit Lentin

3 Memory and melancholia This world has been destroyed forever. And my heart often cries when I recall it. Because it was part of my life, my childhood, and it had beauty and connections. Not only fear, not only death. Many of us loved the villages we detonated, that world gone forever. (Haim Guri 2004: 189, emphasis added) After the 1967 war I went to the Shuafat refugee camp as part of my work in order to study its problems ... I asked those who attended the meeting about their villages ... and suddenly another geography, the geography of my childhood, was

in Co-memory and melancholia
Matrilinearity, Sufism, and l’errance in the autofictional works of Abdellah Taïa
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

’s postcolonial queer melancholia, and to the theme of l’errance – errancy or wandering – in An Arab Melancholia , which performs a queer assemblage of cultures and temporalities validating his position as a gay, Moroccan, Muslim, Arab man. Moroccan society’s negation of the homosexual citizen, I suggest, triggers religious doubt in Taïa’s autobiographical self and a desperate embrace of matrilineal and Sufi versions of Islam posited at a remove from mainstream Islamicate normativity. Despite his repeated gestures towards interethnic homoeroticism, which chimes with the work

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
John Potvin

2 Shame and melancholia  Social perceptions and a long-held reputation have maintained Paris as the centre of all things artistic, creative and cultural. In the interwar period, artists, writers, designers, architects, musicians and dancers from around the world sought out the city for what it offered creatively and the longed-for sexual freedom their native countries often denied them. Numerous Scandinavians, for example, fled to the French capital in the years leading up to and following World War I in search of artistic and sexual liberation. Although the

in Deco Dandy
Ronit Lentin

8 Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return Introduction In publicising its activities, Zochrot emphasises the shift from denial to Israeli acknowledgement of the Nakba, rightly arguing that denial is no longer tenable. Chapter 7 discussed the performance of co-memory through an analysis of Zochrot’s commemorative practices. This chapter revisits the link between melancholia, race, memory, identity, and politics. Zionist state memory construction involved the creation of myths in the foundation of culture, society and nation (Ohana and Wistrich

in Co-memory and melancholia
Anne Quéma

In The Arcades Project, Benjamin explores the different aspects of nineteenth-century culture, in search of a historical reality to which people can awake in a revelatory act of political consciousness. However, the uncanny effects of his archival approach impinge on this revelatory and sublime process. Rather than revealing the political, economic, and technological latent content of the past, representations of the material object confront consciousness with the unfamiliar and abject forms of the repressed collective unconscious. The Gothic tropes of Benjamin‘s text are the traces of the melancholy haunting his concept of a demystifying revelation of historical and material truth.

Gothic Studies
Death and Desire in Jane Campion‘s The Piano
Michael Davis

This article proposes a reading of Jane Campion‘s film The Piano as psychic allegory; as a Gothic psychomachia, in which Eros and Thanatos are the chief contenders. It is argued that the factitious Victorianism and the apparent proto-feminist agenda of this film should not blind the reader to the fact that this is a cinematic text which radically interrogates the very readings that it ostensibly elicits; readings inevitably of a ‘politically correct’ tenor. The film poses many questions and provisional answers are offered by orchestrating a dialogue between the film and Julia Kristeva‘s musings on depression and melancholia in her book, Black Sun.

Gothic Studies
The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School
Author: Simon Mussell

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

Open Access (free)
Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction
Kathryn Robson

   The female vampire: Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction Julia Kristeva opens her text, Soleil noir: dépression et mélancolie, with the claim that ‘Ecrire sur la mélancolie n’aurait de sens, pour ceux que la mélancolie ravage, que si l’écrit même venait de la mélancolie’ (‘For those who are racked by melancholia, writing about it would have meaning only if writing sprang out of that very melancholia’).1 This chapter explores the possibility of writing ‘de la mélancolie’ through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Abstract only
Melancholic dispositions and conscious unhappiness
Simon Mussell

, the possibilities that are either opened up or foreclosed by particular constellations of material and social relations, the inextricable intertwinement of thought and feeling, there remains much to be gleaned from the remains of critical theory’s corpus. I will begin by charting the major historical conceptualizations of melancholia, both in its medical and cultural iterations, since these have played such a significant role in shaping our understanding of (un)happiness. Particular attention will also be given to Sigmund Freud’s influential writing on the subject

in Critical theory and feeling