The queer optimism of asylum
This last chapter will look at the other side of the affective economy of LGBT
asylum discourses, and concentrate on the question of optimism. Asylum
discourses are bound up entirely, though often implicitly, with the question
of queer futures and optimism. Behind the way hospitality for queer asylum
refugees is conceived lies an organising nexus of homonationalism, neoliberalism and futurism, where liberal queerness itself is re-imagined as a goal
orientating subjects. This chapter proposes that at the core of the social
PASOK’s opportunistic optimism
New Democracy’s electioneering during the campaign was as selective as it was
cynical. It portrayed itself as the honest party, omitting any mention of its own
enormous responsibility and the challenges faced by Greece. The opposition,
PASOK, in turn placed responsibility on the shoulders of the ruling party.
However, the opposition did not provide a comprehensive or complete analysis
of what had led the Greek economy into crisis. PASOK’s campaign was equally
riddled with vague claims and generalities. The country was ‘on the
A hopeless case of optimism?
Jürgen Kuczynski and the end of the GDR*
‘Communism is already visible on the horizon’ declared Khrushchev
in a speech.
Question from the floor: ‘Comrade Khrushchev, what is a
‘Look it up in a dictionary’, replied Nikita Sergeevich.
At home the questioner found the following explanation in a
reference work: ‘Horizon, an apparent line separating the sky from
the earth, which retreats as one approaches it’. (Political joke from
the 1960s Soviet bloc)1
Then and now: the communist era and aftermath
’ ( Ramalingam et
al. , 2009 : 2). Innovation offered a way forward, if not a way
out, for a humanitarian community that has perennially felt on the verge of becoming
shipwrecked; 1 and an unfamiliar
tide of ‘optimism, bordering on technological determinism’ ( Garman, 2015 : 440) has lifted up that community
for a decade. Yet aid organisations now feel even more under threat than when this
innovation turn began ( Scott-Smith, 2016 ),
and this sense of threat is intensified by ‘an
An Interview with Rainer Schlösser, Spokesperson of the Association of the Red Cross Museums in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Rotkreuz-Museen)
, I would say that there’s much ground for optimism and encouragement! Red Cross museums are now well established within Germany, but there’s also much happening now internationally. Some years ago, for example, the chief archivist of the ICRC Archives started organizing a series of international conferences of Red Cross archivists and museum leaders. The next such conference, incidentally, will take place in Berlin and Luckenwalde in 2022. I have also heard of plans for new Red Cross museums and exhibits in Lisbon, Oslo, and Tokyo. So I think we will see much more
A Response to the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Special Issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action (JHA, 1:3)
, many – if not all – of the articles in the Innovation Issue refer to the relationship between humanitarian innovation and technology. Sandvik speaks about an ‘unrealistic optimism’ about the role of technology as ‘game changer’, and for Scott-Smith we are in a state of ‘uncritical technophilia’. For Redmond there is an over-focus on the technology and not on ‘the human support that is required for that technology to work’. In the closing remarks of his interview, Redmond points to the role of human support and particularly to this being locally driven and led.
Lessons Learned for Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
After decades of conflict, an agreement in 2005 set in motion the processes that would lead South Sudan to become an independent nation-state in 2011. After an initial period of optimism, conflict re-emerged; first over control of oil resources in 2012, and then in the form of a civil war, starting in 2013. The conflict has caused the displacement of millions of people internally and internationally as refugees. Compounded by the lack of basic infrastructure and services, limited capacity, and minimal governmental presence outside of Juba
humanitarian sector. A culture shift has taken place
regarding the permissibility and necessity of private-sector
collaboration to achieve success. The optimism – sometimes unrealistic
– about technology which pervades the sector means that digital humanitarian
goods are routinely hailed as ‘game changers’ or ‘revolutions
in humanitarian affairs’. 8
At the same time, the optics of engaging in humanitarian activities have acquired
commercial logic by creating a
This book provides an extended analysis of Paul Auster's essays, poetry, fiction, films and collaborative projects. It explores his key themes of identity; language and writing; metropolitan living and community; and storytelling and illusion. By tracing how Auster's representations of New York and city life have matured from a position of urban nihilism to qualified optimism, the book shows how the variety of forms he works in influences the treatment of his central concerns. The chapters are organised around gradually extending spaces to reflect the way in which Auster's work broadens its focus, beginning with the poet's room and finishing with the global metropolis of New York: his home city and often his muse. The book uses Auster's published and unpublished literary essays to explain the shifts from the dense and introspective poems of the 1970s, through the metropolitan fictions of the 1980s and early 1990s, to the relatively optimistic and critically acclaimed films, and his return to fiction in recent years.
Anecdotal evidence of the testimonies of patients who received treatments for sexual deviations and medical attitudes towards them are scattered in the recorded accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) people. This book examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It explores why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. The book is specifically about the treatments developed for sexual deviations in the UK. Transvestism was also treated fairly widely; however, not to the same extent as homosexuality. After an examination of the oppression and suppression of the sexual deviant, the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance is considered. During the 1930s-1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of 'therapeutic optimism' as new somatic treatments and therapies were introduced in mental hospitals. The book also examines the impact these had on the role of mental nurses and explores how such treatments may have essentially normalised nurses to implement painful and distressing 'therapeutic' interventions . The book interprets the testimonies of these 'subversive nurses'. Finally, it explores the inception of 'nurse therapists' and discusses their role in administering aversion therapy.