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Dada bodies

Between battlefield and fairground

Elza Adamowicz

Dada bodies focuses critical attention on Dada’s limit-forms of the human image from an international and interdisciplinary perspective, in its different centres (Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, Paris and New York) and diverse media (art, literature, performance, photography and film). Iconoclastic or grotesque, a montage of disparate elements or reduced to a fragment, machine-part or blob, Dada’s bodily images are confronted here as fictional constructs rather than mimetic integrated unities. They act as both a reflection of, and a reflection on, the disjunctive, dehumanised society of wartime and post-war Europe, whilst also proposing a blueprint of a future, possible body. Through detailed analysis of works by Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Hannah Höch, Marcel Duchamp and others, informed by recent theoretical and critical perspectives, the work offers a reassessment of the movement, arguing that Dada occupies an ambivalent space, between the battlefield (in the satirical exposure of the lies of an ideology that sought to clothe the corpse of wartime Europe) and the fairground (in the playful manipulation of the body and its joyful renewal through laughter, dream and dance).

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Stevensons Financial Gothic

Money, Commerce, Language, and the Horror of Modernity in ‘The Isle of Voices’

Robbie Goh

Money, not merely as subject in literature but also in its very form and function, exhibits qualities of spectral evanescence, fetishised power over the imagination, and the uncontrollable transgression of boundaries and limits, which closely parallel the concerns and anxieties of Gothic literature. Yet it is in the writings of economic theorists and commentators on market society like Adam Smith and Karl Marx that these Gothic anxieties about money are most clearly articulated. Stevensons short story ‘The Isle of Voices’, read in the context of his comments on money in his other writings, is one of the few fictional texts which uses these properties of money to create what might be called a ‘financial Gothic’ narrative, which nevertheless has insights and implications for the narratives of capitalist modernity in general.

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‘An angel satyr walks these hills’

Imperial Fantasies for a Post-Colonial World

William Hughes

In an age of Imperial confidence, the social rhetoric of Victorian Britain frequently manifested a perceptible unease when considering cultural problems within the home nation. The imagery of ‘darkest England’, dependant as it was upon a powerful colonialist discourse, authorised and transmitted a register of language whereby an internal Other might be configured as uncivilised, and thus capable of being subject to the explorer and the missionary. Much, of course, has already been written upon the Gothic possibilities of this phenomena which characterised an Imperial age which allegedly declined with the nineteenth century. No similar consideration, however, has yet been made of its continuation into the twentieth century, a progressively post-colonial era in which the Imperial (or Imperialised) Other, in consequence, functions differently. This article considers two Gothic short stories, one in a reprinted Edwardian collection, the other a component of an original collection, both of which were issued in volume form in the late 1940s. The two narratives examine classic ‘cultures-within-cultures’, pockets of resistance within the fabric of the Imperial nation, though in a cultural context radically different from their Victorian predecessors. Algernon Blackwood‘s ‘Ancient Sorceries’ (1908), published in the 1947 reprint of his John Silence, and L.T.C. Rolt‘s ‘Cwm Garon’ published in Sleep No More (1948) share a preoccupation with the casual, localised, travelling which has replaced Imperial adventure, and with the decline of identifiable Christian institutions and landmarks themselves the products of earlier missionary activity in a familiar, though threatening, European landscape. In both short stories a form of devil worship is enacted before the eyes of the traveller, and in a landscape which fascinates and somehow holds him. In ‘Ancient Sorceries’, where the Devil does attend the bacchanal, the protagonist is almost seduced into willing participation but, on evading the sexual lure of the sabbat, vows never to return. Rolt, writing after the recent horrors of the Second World War, discards the presiding Devil in favour of a mortal substitute, but still leaves open the possibility that, in Kilvert‘s words, ‘an angel satyr walks these hills’. Neither welcomed nor seduced by the satanic community, Rolts protagonist finds himself fascinated by the land, and thus drawn into unwilling participation. In colonial terms, these two narratives explore the frequently rehearsed dangers of ‘going native’ that lie at the core of, among other works, Kipling‘s ‘The Mark of the Beast’, Rider Haggard‘s She and Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. A subject people is identified, but their strength either supernatural or merely cultural, the ability to preserve a distinctive and resistant way of life tests the limits of the perceiving power. These are, in a sense, Imperial fantasies for a post-colonial world, a reflexing of colonised culture back in upon the formerly colonising nation.

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When the Music Stops

Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

Stephen Hopgood

Introduction The modern global humanitarian system takes the form it does because it is underpinned by liberal world order, the post-1945 successor to the imperial world of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the global political and economic system the European empires created. Humanitarian space, as we have come to know it in the late twentieth century, is liberal space, even if many of those engaged in humanitarian action would rather not see themselves as liberals. To the extent that there is something constitutively

Open Access (free)

José Luís Fiori

-state capitalist system. To explore this proposition, let us adopt an approach that is highly unorthodox in the field of international political theory: the analysis of myths. 2 We will focus here on an interpretation of a millenarian religious myth, universalised through the Judeo-Christian tradition: the myth of the Tower of Babel. Ancient and enigmatic, this myth appears in almost identical form in different places and cultures throughout the history of Mesopotamia. As with all myths that have resisted the passing of time, this one contains truths and

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A World without a Project

An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

Juliano Fiori

his madness, but there are objectives. There is a strategy. Trump seeks to deconstruct the existing order and anything that might limit American power, even institutions created by the US. This change in strategy happens at a moment when rivals are on the rise. Russia perhaps doesn’t want to be a world leader, but it wants to affirm its regional position. And China, yes, has another plan for the world, which it develops with subtlety, in specific negotiations, always prepared to accept otherness. JF: What are the likely implications of this

Open Access (free)

Fabrice Weissman

shroud of secrecy. Instead of importing the K&R policies of the major profit-driven companies, aid organisations must be able to review their experiences, discuss them and learn the necessary practical and political lessons. Such efforts are impossible without a minimum of internal and external transparency. As long as humanitarian organisations seek to erase any trace of kidnappings from public scrutiny, they will also be forced to do the same internally for fear of leaks. Lastly, transparency is essential to inform volunteers about the dangers they face and limit

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All Lives Are Equal but Some Lives Are More Equal than Others

Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

Miriam Bradley

, 2016 ). I draw on this literature to identify likely explanations for the distinction between staff security and civilian protection, which I assess in order to argue that differential political constraints and opportunities are a key factor driving the differences between the two fields of practice. This article also builds on academic literature on the negative impacts of existing staff-security strategies on humanitarian action and on the limits of humanitarian approaches to the protection of civilians (see, for example, Bradley, 2016 ; Duffield, 2012 ; Fast

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Post-Humanitarianism

Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Mark Duffield

and services contracted ( Cornia, 1987 ). Moving to catch up, so to speak, by the 1990s a ‘post-social’ economy was consolidating in the global North. While marked differences remain, the North and South have drawn together around the economic logic of precarity. In the latter, fuelled by jobless growth, for several decades a self-reproducing informal sector has been by far the largest employer and supplier of goods and services ( Meagher, 2016 ). For the North, precarity has taken the form of the disappearance of ‘good’ jobs as the casualisation

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Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

law as closer to communities than central government, but they called for reform ( Fanthorpe, 2006 ). On the eve of the Ebola outbreak, therefore, chiefs maintained their power but it was not unchallenged. Historical divisions between Americo- and African-Liberians have marked the fight for power and socio-political identities in Liberia ( Ellis, 1999 ). During the political instability of the 1980s and the fourteen years of civil war (1989–2003), these distinctions became exacerbated, with the legitimacy of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ forms of power becoming