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This chapter provides an assessment of the shifting terrain of 1960s-era political radicalism through an analysis of Sam Greenlee’s novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1969/1973). It argues that the novel employs and challenges recognizable Civil Rights and Black Power discourses of social change to destabilize institutionalized racism and socio-economic discrimination and to begin to imagine untested paths to resistance. The chapter also considers how Greenlee uses espionage to reconfigure familiar political ideals and modes of leadership and to explore how the imagined integration of the CIA becomes a device for critiquing employment discrimination and the state’s half-hearted deployment of affirmative action. It closes by showing how spy training and spycraft offer Greenlee opportunities to rethink the connections among gender, sexuality, and revolution, while additionally illustrating how heterosexual masculinity dominates the space of the revolutionary. Through the frame of espionage, Greenlee reimagines Black identity and activism.
Through most of human history, displays of violence, either between humans or animals, have been an integral component of sport. Violent sports have been global in reach and they have extended across every social rank, though they have been largely a male domain, with many societies placing restrictions on the extent to which women might participate in sports of any kind whether as participants and spectators. Yet the period since 1800 has witnessed an unmistakable redrawing of the place of violence in sport, with many societies becoming considerably more squeamish about sports that manipulate or showcase aggression between men or animals for entertainment. The West initiated legislation prohibiting animal cruelty in the nineteenth century, and these extended, albeit in a piecemeal fashion, to other parts of the globe in the twentieth century. There has also been a global move to restrict the degree of interpersonal violence in martial arts, boxing and wrestling, and although hand-to-hand combat sports remain popular across the globe, regulation has sharply reduced the risk of death or serious during competitive events. As a result, the period 1800-2000 has witnessed new controls on the degree of violence permitted in sport.
Trained violence was a central forum for establishing the relationship between Chinese dynastic governments and their subjects. Because training in the use of violence (martial arts), along with access to weapons, determined an imperial subject’s effectiveness in carrying out violence in the service of the state, or in resisting the will of the state, imperial governments were always concerned to confine skills and weapons to those loyal to the state. Not only did different dynasties solve that problem differently at the beginning of their rule, the institutions governing training in violence changed over time in response to a government’s evolving society and external threats. Seen in this light, a state’s control over trained violence and access to weapons is a direct reflection of that state’s evaluation of its subjects’ loyalty and commitment to dynastic goals.
This article re-examines our understanding of modern sport. Today, various physical cultures across the world are practised under the name of sport. Almost all of these sports originated in the West and expanded to the rest of the world. However, the history of judo confounds the diffusionist model. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, a Japanese educationalist amalgamated different martial arts and established judo not as a sport but as ‘a way of life’. Today it is practised globally as an Olympic sport. Focusing on the changes in its rules during this period, this article demonstrates that the globalization of judo was accompanied by a constant evolution of its character. The overall ‘sportification’ of judo took place not as a diffusion but as a convergence – a point that is pertinent to the understanding of the global sportification of physical cultures, and also the standardization of cultures in modern times.
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