DepositThe Medium Is the Danger: Discourse about Television among Amish and Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Women

This study shows how Old Order Amish and ultra-Orthodox women’s discourse about television can help develop a better understanding of the creation, construction, and strengthening of limits and boundaries separating enclave cultures from the world. Based on questionnaires containing both closed- and open-ended questions completed by 82 participants, approximately half from each community, I argue that both communities can be understood as interpretive communities that negatively interpret not only television content, like other religious communities, but also the medium itself. Their various negative interpretive strategies is discussed and the article shows how they are part of an “us-versus-them” attitude created to mark the boundaries and walls that enclave cultures build around themselves. The comparison between the two communities found only a few small differences but one marked similarity: The communities perceive avoidance of a tool for communication, in this case television, as part of the communities’ sharing, participation, and common culture.

DepositDancing with Knives: American Cold War Ideology in the Dances of West Side Story

In cultural studies today, there is emerging an interpretive revolution “from below” – that is, a radical reassessment of the politics of cultural forms, based on a recovery of the embodied and affective subject as the center of meaning-making. Making sense of dance performances is therefore methodologically important because of their particular ability to offer insight into these two aspects of subjectivity. As an artifact of Cold War American culture, Jerome Robbins’ choreography in the film West Side Story (1961) enforces an ideological distinction between legitimate and illegitimate forms of violence, through its portrayals of “cool” affect as a necessary disposition, and organized violence as a necessary evil. Our close analysis of the dances “Rumble” and “Cool” offers new insights into the affective “map” that provided the ideological foundation for American political theorists and policy makers in formulating their Cold War attitudes.

DepositDisremembering 1798?: An Archaeology of Social Forgetting and Remembrance in Ulster

On the face of it, the legacy of the 1798 rebellion in the northeastern Irish counties of Antrim and Down seems to be a paradigmatic case of “collective amnesia.” Over the course of the long nineteenth century, growing identification of the Protestants of the area with unionism, loyalism and Orangeism, fortified through opposition to the rise of nationalism amongst Catholics, encouraged public effacement of discomforting memories of the mass participation of Protestants, in particular Presbyterians, in republican insurrection. However, the uncovering of a “hidden” (or perhaps relatively low-profile) popular historiography grounded in oral traditions reveals continuous obsessive, though characteristically ambivalent, local preoccupation with remembrance of the rebellion. Acknowledging that forgetting is not the antithesis, but an integral component, of memory, this case study of what appears to be an Ulster lieu d’oubli conceptualizes “social forgetting” as the outcome of multi-layered relationships between oblivion and remembering.

DepositBetraying Wordsworth: the Strategies of Migratory Translation in the Travel Narrative of Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

Abstract: This article addresses the challenge of articulating an immediate transnational response to migration as presented in the West Indian travel narrative of Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy (1990). In particular, Lucy highlights the conflict between the migrant’s urgency to project a spontaneous translation of a transnational encounter and the presence of presumptive global knowledge that controls all cultural readings of transnationalism. I argue that Lucy interrogates the grand West Indian and North American narratives of migration and deliberately exposes their illusive authority. Thus, Lucy presents the protagonist’s orchestration of textual, visual, and aesthetic betrayal that effectively exposes the effaced limitation and deficiency in both western and global interpretations of the transnational encounter. My argument follows an interdisciplinary approach as it engages translation studies and post-structuralist, narratological, and cultural critiques of global western textuality. In particular, Homi Bhabha’s, Gayatri Spivak’s, and Gerard Genette’s theories are integrated and redirected in my discussion of agency via disloyalty in Lucy.

DepositBook Review: Interreligious Encounters by Michael Amaladoss in Reading Religion November 2017

There are two kinds of academic writing, if we classify the work by the nature of the author’s expertise. The first one, the most prevalent, is the kind of writing that is born out of the scholarly work of the author and is primarily based on research and teaching experience. The second kind, comparatively harder to come by, is the writing of a scholar that is the result of an entire lifetime of study, research, teaching, understanding, and more importantly, dialogue. Interreligious Encounters is a rare gem of the second kind of academic writing. When the reader lays their hands on it, and sees the name of the author, they are already overawed with great expectation and tremendous reverence. Michael Amaladoss is a rare theologian and practitioner, who has long critically examined his own faith tradition in order to have meaningful dialogue with other faiths.

DepositEALC111-511 East Asian Digital Humanities (Spring 2018)

This Spring 2018 course at University of Pennsylvania covers a wide range of current and emerging digital projects and topics in East Asian studies. Students will engage with digital projects focused on East Asia (encompassing Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages) as well as research being done on digital methodologies for the humanities in those areas. Coursework consists of project and research analysis, active discussion, and learning about the implementation of various digital projects. No technical expertise is required but students must have reading knowledge of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean at the high-intermediate or advanced level. Class presentations, papers, discussions, and all course readings are in English, but projects involve reading articles and/or critiquing projects in the language and geographic area of students’ expertise.

DepositDie „puls“ – Experimentalarchäologische Untersuchungen zu einer antiken römischen Getreidebreizubereitung

Studies by the author in experimental archaeology have been dealing with the (re-)production of the ancient Roman meal “puls” since 2012. This porridge puls was mainly prepared with wheat and other grains and it can be considered as the ancient Roman “national dish” par excellence, according to literary evidence. Concerning the recipes, puls is mentioned by the author Cato and especially by a recipe collection attributed to the legendary gourmet and gourmand Apicius. Additionally, puls is also proven by archaeological evidence. Due to the simple preparation, archaeological as well as historical sources, and ethnographic comparisons, it can be assumed that puls was a very common meal in both the civil and military sectors. The experimental archaeological investigations deal with the production process (both in laboratory and field tests), the physical properties of the porridge puls during the cooking process, and an analysis of the sensory characteristics.

DepositThe shortest species: how the length of Russian poetry changed (1750–1921)

The paper studies long-term changes in the length of Russian poetry (1750–1921) to reveal the relation of poem length (counted in lines) to a poetic form and its evolution. The research has shown a dramatic decrease in the mean and median poetry lengths during the 19th century. This decrease was followed by the decline in length diversity, which resulted in short poems (8–20 lines) overpopulating the literature during the age of Modernism. We argue that this transformation towards the short form could be understood in the framework of cultural evolution: Russian poetry struggled to keep its literary niche, while being continuously under the pressure of successful large narratives of the 19th century. Therefore, it was forced to develop complexity while being highly constrained formally (accentual-syllabic verse and rhyme maintained for a long time) by the shrunk length of a lyrical poem.

DepositReflections on the Use of Social Networking Sites as an Interactive Tool for Data Dissemination in Digital Archaeology

Based on a case study, the paper analyses the possibilities of social media as a tool for science communication in the context of information and communication technology (ICT) usage in archaeology. Aside from discussing the characteristics of digital archaeology, the social networking sites (SNS) Twitter, Sketchfab, and ResearchGate are integrated into a digital research data dissemination tool. As a result, above-average engagement rates with few impressions were observed. Compared with that, status updates focusing on actual fieldwork and other research activities gain high numbers of impressions with below-average engagement rates. It is believed that most of the interactions are restricted to a core audience and that a clearly defined social media strategy is obligatory for successful research data dissemination in archaeology, combined with regular posts in the SNS. Additionally, active followers are of highest importance.

DepositThe Haunted School on Horror Hill

As gaming technology for personal computers has advanced over the last two decades, the text-adventures that predominated in the 1980s ceased to be commercially viable. However, the easy availability of powerful authoring systems developed by enthusiasts and distributed free over the Internet has led to a renaissance in text-adventures, now called “Interactive Fiction.” The educational potential in playing these text-based games and simulations was recognised when they were first popular; the new authoring systems now allow educators to explore the educational potential of creating these works. The authors present here a case-study using the ADRIFT authoring system to create a work of interactive fiction in a split grade 4/5 class (9 and 10 year-olds) in Quebec. They find that the process of creating the game helped improve literary and social skills amongst the students