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Contemporary perceptions and discourses of Arctic mining are linked to concerns of local and global futures, especially in relation to climate change and its diverse ramifications for the Arctic and the world. Both the far North and the subterranean world have been imagined as mysterious and enchanted in European mindscapes. This chapter explores how extractive industries in the Arctic, and more generally, are entwined with such beyond-the-rational conceptualizations and the associated long-running fears and dreams linked to otherworldliness and danger but also treasure and a better future. These ideas and perceptions have a substantial affective potential, which is evident in historical and contemporary discourses of mining and the North. We propose that the controversies around and affective qualities of contemporary mines and mining are entangled with the broader cultural ideas and perceptions of the subterranean. The emotional and affective power of mines and mining – their ability to elicit responses such as fear, excitement, and fascination – must be accounted for in order to unravel our complex historically and culturally mediated relationship with the world underneath.
The aim of this article is to present the sources available to the ordinary Turkish citizen for forming an opinion about Byzantium. These sources range from the written (school curricula to newspapers) to the visual (cinema to television), and I categorize them on the basis of a set of criteria such as accessibility, control over the audience, and intellectual depth. I aim to show how non-state actors have been laying the groundwork for a more informed perception of Byzantium. Movies, theatrical productions, and cartoons in humorous magazines satirizing the essentializing view of the Byzantine past through parody, are shown to play a deconstructive role in this process.
The chapter considers: (1) the importance of historical period as well as social and political contexts in the making, distribution, and consuming of comics by and about Latinx subjects and experiences of the hemispheric Americas; (2) the specific techniques (panel layout, perspective, coloring, bubble placement, font, and so on) used by Latinx comic book creators to give shape to the everyday lives, unique traditions, and representations of the very varied ethnoracial make-up of Latinx subjects within specifics of times and regions; (3) the construction of Latinx reader-viewers as co-creators of Latinx hemispheric visual-verbal narratives; (4) how these Latinx comics work within and radically resist mainstream comics; and (5) how Latinx comics can and do complicate, enrich, and make new reader-viewers’ perspective, thought, and feeling concerning the experiences Latinx subjects and experiences hailing from the hemispheric Americas. This chapter will provide readers with an analysis of the history of Latinx comics built out of Latin/x hemispheric idiomatic and shared visual and verbal narrative systems. It will provide a history of Latinx hemispheric cross-pollination that includes the physical transmigration of artists and their styles and worldviews from one place (region or country) to another. It will provide a critical history that understands Latin/x comics to be built out of the active participation of entities (creators and editors and translators) in the publishing and translating of comic books across Latin/x hemispheric time (history) and contexts (languages and cultures).
This chapter examines the relationship between Wallace’s writing and works of visual art. Beginning with the many moments of ekphrasis that punctuate the writing, ranging from myths of tapestry-weaving to Leutze’s mural of Manifest Destiny, encompassing Bernini and Escher in Infinite Jest alone, this chapter explores the ways in which Wallace makes use of the language of images in his writing, situating narrative in conversation with visual culture and reaching beyond language to image, color and texture. Reflecting on prior scholarly attention to art positioned in Wallace’s writing, the chapter explores the connections between attention and aesthetic. The chapter also examines the ways in which visual cues appear in other ways in Wallace’s work, from the defecatory art of Brint Moltke in “The Suffering Channel” to the incidence of color as a motif throughout the work, specifically Wallace’s insistent references to clothing. The chapter highlights the materiality of these instances, attending to both the visual and the haptic elements of his narrative deployment of art in fictional worlds. This chapter works in concert with the next, delineating the intermediate nature of Wallace’s writing, poised between language, sense and image, and how his inclusion and occlusion of art recalibrate and reflect the relationships between author and reader.
Chapter 2 investigates the development of a transnational Allied culture of rehabilitation that underwrote local and national efforts to rehabilitate the war disabled. Military and government officials, social reformers, philanthropists, and medical authorities contributed, throughout the war, to a robust, multi-directional campaign that championed the virtues of rehabilitation and solicited support for programmes that aimed to fit the war disabled into post-war society. Such literature became, itself, a way to imagine the contours of the post-war world with respect to hierarchies of gender and class and the roles of religion, science, rights, and internationalism. The co-constructed nature of the wartime culture of rehabilitation, in which images and rhetoric were frequently borrowed and re-circulated amongst nations, served to harmonise – though not entirely homogenise – Allied visions for rehabilitation and for social rights and welfare, more broadly.
Initially known as “the Turkish Godfather,” Turkish TV series Çukur (2017–2021) occasionally received criticism from government ministers and the government’s media regulatory board. This was surprising because Turkey’s and Çukur’s cultural universes converged around the masculinist protection of family and territory. So, why this political backlash despite the convergence? Wouldn’t that convergence of masculinity produce similar political imaginations? In this article we argue that in shaping the family and urban space, Çukur’s masculinities remain precarious vis-à-vis the hegemonic masculinity in “New Turkey.” Rather than being the society’s building blocks, Çukur’s families are suffocating spaces. At the same time, as opposed to cultivating neoliberal responsibility, Çukur’s familialism emerges as a space of solidarity in a precarious neighborhood to which state forces can hardly enter. Therefore, the neighborhood (mahalle) is not a space of consumption and surveillance but a haven against urban precarities. Despite their hierarchies and authoritarianism, Çukur’s men reject unquestioned political loyalty, conspicuous consumption, and entrepreneurship while endorsing the various impasses in family and urban life. Showing that absolute political obedience and economic dependence is not the only way out of neoliberal authoritarianism, Çukur confirms popular culture’s power in representing liminal spaces outside the state’s oppressive power and the markets’ commodifying logics.
How do people know how – very practically speaking – to be violent? This article explores that question through a Science and Technology Studies perspective. It does so in order to go beyond the usual location of global political violence at a structural level that attributes its emergence principally to hierarchical orders, formal training, or deep cultural, political, or ideological factors. The alternative explanation offered here draws on Bruno Latour's concept of ‘plasma’ to sketch a theory of how practices of violence are embedded at a distributed ontological level through the historical accumulation of (popular) cultural, textual, technological, and other epistemic objects. In making that claim, I seek to stress how violent knowledge circulates outside the formal domains associated with it (the military, police) and is instead preconsciously accessible to each and every person. To support this argument, the article draws on empirical examples of the use of torture, including interviews conducted with Syrian perpetrators of torture, as well as by tracing the paradoxical entanglements between scientific practice and the practice of torture. I conclude by engaging the field of preventive medicine to speculate on the need to develop modes of violence prevention that appreciate political violence as a population-level sociopolitical problem.
The typical vision of the Middle Ages western popular culture represents to its global audience is deeply Eurocentric. The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones imagined entire medievalist worlds, but we see only a fraction of them through the stories and travels of the characters. Organised around the theme of mobility, this Element seeks to deconstruct the Eurocentric orientations of western popular medievalisms which typically position Europe as either the whole world or the centre of it, by making them visible and offering alternative perspectives. How does popular culture represent medievalist worlds as global-connected by the movement of people and objects? How do imagined mobilities allow us to create counterstories that resist Eurocentric norms? This study represents the start of what will hopefully be a fruitful and inclusive conversation of what the Middle Ages did, and should, look like.
Earle’s chapter considers the implications of the early appearance of Joyce’s writings in pulp fiction outlets. Building on his previous work, Recovering Modernism: Pulps, Paperbacks, and the Prejudice of Form (2009), the chapter considers the significance of the after-life of Joycean texts, circulating as pulp fiction in the popular sphere, reflecting on the broader stakes of modernism as an organizational or conceptual category. The dispute over the “high” or “low” nature of Joyce’s oeuvre allows us to examine not just the vexed relationship between modernism and mass culture but also the nature of popular outlets. What does their publication of Joyce tell us about the values underpinning pulp magazines? The chapter considers how criticism tends to “cherry pick” Joyce, and how his work lends itself to this type of piecemeal exploration (for better or worse). In other words, the manifestations of popular Joyce consisted of very specific pieces of writing, and the dynamics that made them available for such remediation were definitely not true of other pieces. This observation points to the importance of celebrating the fragmentary nature of modernism, illustrating a new modernist studies that resists cohesive understandings of modernism.
Chapter 1 focuses on framing research with strong grounding in theory and previous scholarship. This chapter introduces the book’s methodology and sources, as well as providing an overview of the book’s chapters and main arguments. This work claims two central arguments: first, the modern nation-state of Iran was established in 1979 with the revolution that instilled an indigenous and independent nationalism and eradicated all vestiges of foreign power, including the shah; second, the national identity created by the people during the decades preceding the revolution was the most resonant and inclusive because it infused the Shiite symbols ignored by the Pahlavi dynasty, and overused by the Islamic Republic, into populist elements of Iranian society. Despite the political turmoil of the Islamic Republic, that fusion and plurality endure. While the various chapters explore their own specific themes, these ideas run as threads throughout the work to tie the pieces together.
Chapter 5 explores Iranian cinema and television. While cinema and television were important mediums before the revolution, they became especially significant after the revolution in legitimating the newly established Islamic Republic. Media has been used and often tightly controlled by the I.R. for its own ends, but after the war artistic expression became gradually more relaxed and Iranian cinema began to flourish in the late 1990s. In spite of its international acclaim however, cinema in Iran still operates with structured guidelines and artists have come under severe pressure from authorities. Here, we see the interaction of the state and the people and the contest over media and identity formation. While popular films such as Āzhāns-e Shishehi (The Glass Agency) and Ekhrāji-ha (The Rejects) picked out themes from the Iran–Iraq war, both films also challenged stereotypes and depictions of the war. Films like A Separation captivated Iranian audiences for their realism in portraying multifaceted characters and stories of everyday life. The characters in these films questioned the simple binary of good and bad often depicted in war films. Instead, they added layers and nuance to the nature of Iranian people, the lives they lead, and the complexity of their identities.
While the Iranian nation-state has long captivated the attention of our media and politics, this book examines a country that is often misunderstood and explores forgotten aspects of the debate. Using innovative multi-disciplinary methods, it investigates the formation of an Iranian national identity over the last century and, significantly, the role of Iranian people in defining the contours of that identity. By employing popular culture as an archive of study, Assal Rad aims to rediscover the ordinary Iranian in studies of contemporary Iran, demonstrating how identity was shaped by music, literature, and film. Both accessible in style and meticulously researched, Rad's work cultivates a more holistic picture of Iranian politics, policy, and society, showing how the Iran of the past is intimately connected to that of the present.
The Epilogue traces the complex afterlife of gas masks for civilians in five ways: in popular culture and memory of the Second World War; as a sign of protest against government regimes and in favor of social justice and democracy; as an emblem of the antiwar movement especially during the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003; as an indicator of living during a climate emergency; and in relationship to the face masks of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The “occult world,” or occulture, is a term that has developed a very wide meaning in modern academic discourse. The full panoply of occult thinking is enormous. While always mindful of the broader definition of the subject, this essay is largely limited to what the author believes would be an acceptable vernacular definition of the occult as essentially referring to black magic, and most especially to the satanic. This has been a subject with enormous resonance for American history and culture. The argument in this chapter is that Satan has played, and continues to play, a central – and on occasion a decisive – role in American cultural and political life. He is a figure deeply in the American grain, a vivid and personal presence in the lives of many millions of Americans, given powerful and recurring embodiment in American popular culture, in particular. But he is also a presence centrally informing some of the classic works of American literature.
This article examines American travel and performance in Britain in the decades prior to the First World War, arguing that the expression of nationality in this transatlantic context played a profound role in formulating both America’s dominant culture and a culture of opposition advanced by African American performers. It explores this “oppositional” culture in detail, focusing on the transatlantic work of Ida B. Wells and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Both found a sympathetic audience across the Atlantic at a time of increased repression at home. British support opened new avenues for these activists, but also limited the rhetorical possibilities of their work. By bringing into conversation previously separate historiographies on early waves of “Americanization,” the transnational dimensions of various reform movements and the international formation of the Black Atlantic, it illustrates the economic, infrastructural, and racial inequalities that shaped the United States’ emerging national culture.
The First World War introduced the widespread use of lethal chemical weapons. In its aftermath, the British government, like that of many states, had to prepare civilians to confront such weapons in a future war. Over the course of the interwar period, it developed individual anti-gas protection as a cornerstone of civil defence. Susan R. Grayzel traces the fascinating history of one object – the civilian gas mask – through the years 1915–1945 and, in so doing, reveals the reach of modern, total war and the limits of the state trying to safeguard civilian life in an extensive empire. Drawing on records from Britain's Colonial, Foreign, War and Home Offices and other archives alongside newspapers, journals, personal accounts and cultural sources, she connects the histories of the First and Second World Wars, combatants and civilians, men and women, metropole and colony, illuminating how new technologies of warfare shaped culture, politics, and society.
Chapter 18 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet explores cities’ role as creators and creations of totalitarian states on the left and the right and the march toward humanity’s most horrific acts of self-destruction and “urbicide” during World War II. The chapter begins with a section on the promising urban gender, sexual, and racial revolutions of the 1920s that opened up new urban spaces of pleasure and expression for many people who had lived far more circumscribed roles before. Nonetheless, totalitarians found ways to leverage many different urban spaces into power. They rebuilt cities to strengthen their grip, then to arm themselves for a war of annihilation. New facilities devoted to drilling for petroleum, transporting it, and refining it became central to the course of the war. Acts of mass imprisonment, torture, and racial extermination led to the construction of some of world history’s most horrific built spaces. Meanwhile, the aerial bombing of cities and civilian neighborhoods became routine, culminating in fire bombings and the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Theformal traditional culture was the province of men. Grandmothers, many of them illiterate until recently, did not partcipate in this culture. Theirs was the rich popular culture of stories and legends, which they transmitted to their grandchildren as they cared for them, talked to them and entertained them.
Theirs was also the world of religion, spirits and ghosts. They prayed for their treasures at temples and shrines, they found ways to protect them from malevolent spirits. They were the trasmitters of an immense informal, oral culture. Much of this culture survived Maoist attacks on religion and superstition; grandmothers were unwitting agents of subversion. The old popular culture has rebounded strongly in the Reform Era.
Many grandmothers practised informal medicine, as midwives and healers. Traditional Chinese medicine was the province of men.
A child’s first language was and often still is a dialect, learnt from grandmothers. Standard language came later, at school. Many children became bilingual, in standard Chinese and a dialect. If the dialect carried prestige (Beijing or Shanghai) then being bilingual was an advantage in later life.
Reading Marcus Garvey as a brilliant popular culture practitioner, this chapter situates Garvey vis-à-vis his Black contemporaries to challenge readings of Garveyism and the UNIA that have tended to repeat limiting narratives of rise and fall, tragedy and farce, and failure. Paying careful attention to the use of uniforms, pamphlets, parades, songs, speeches, and pageantry within Garveyism, Russell analyzes Garvey as a popular cultural artist before such a concept was even conceived. The chapter is particularly sensitive to the affective dimensions of performance within Garveyism. UNIA members across the African diaspora participated in performance as embodied futurity by marching, singing the anthem, and wearing UNIA uniforms, enacting a utopian vision of Black liberation and unity that facilitated the construction of what Benedict Anderson has called an “imagined community”.