Modernities Revisited

Modernities Revisited

Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XXIX
IWM, Vienna 2011 [Published on the Web]

Edited by: Maren Behrensen, Lois Lee and Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu

Contributions by: Maren Behrensen, Antonio Ferrara, Grzegorz Krzywiec, Lois Lee, Sorin Gog, Leonardo Schiocchet, Leo Schlöndorff, Elitza Stanoeva, Katharina Steidl, Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, and Andrea Thuma

Modernities Revisited – Introduction

  “Modernity” is one of the master concepts of nineteenth and especially twentieth century thought and it has, impressively, entered the twenty-first century largely intact. It is telling of its forcefulness that the concept has survived – and, indeed, emerged hardly altered after – the heavy battering of blows dealt it by postcolonial and postmodern …
Read more

Hannah Arendt, Agency, and the Public Space

Hannah Arendt’s work is a major contribution to key concepts of political theory, such as freedom, political action, and the public space. Arendt’s specific understanding of these concepts enables a perspective on acting in the public space as essential to a fulfilled human existence. The notion of agency is central in making Arendt’s approach to …
Read more

Being European / being Muslim:
International Relations and contending forms of Muslim presence in the West

1. Introduction In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., the European continent saw the Madrid bombings of March 2004, the murder of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh in November 2004, the London bombings of July 2005, the riots in Parisian neighborhoods, the Danish cartoon crisis, reactions to Pope Benedict’s remarks about …
Read more

Religious education as a counter-secularization strategy in contemporary Romania

  The thesis of this paper[1] is that in spite of the disappearance of the communist regime and its secular policy of implementing an atheistic worldview, the Romanian post-socialism brought forth not a religious revival, as some sociologists have claimed, but a new logic of secularization. This logic of secularization manifests itself especially among the …
Read more

1914: The old world, the new world, and the end of the world

Introduction Apocalyptic text production is closely related to certain events: The earthquake of Lisbon (1755), the Eruption of Mount Tambora (1815) and the year without a summer (1816) are incidents which stimulated apocalypticism in European poetry. The year 1914 usually stands for Sarajevo and the catastrophe of the First World War. In the same period, …
Read more

Between the catastrophe and the promised return: Palestinian refugee trajectories and conceptions of time in Lebanon

This paper is based on 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork for my Ph.D. dissertation. The dissertation is called Refugee Lives: Ritual and Belonging in Two Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon,[1] and it is a comparative ethnography of one Muslim (Al-Jalil) and one Christian Palestinian refugee camp (?bay eh) in Lebanon. It utilizes a ritual approach …
Read more

From “neutrality” to dialogue:
Constructing the religious other in British non-religious discourses

Abstract: Traditionally, the “secular mindset” has been thought of as a nonentity, the absence of a substance (religion) rather than a substance itself. If it has been seen to exist at all, this existence has involved the sole characteristic of being “neutral” towards all religion. In recent years, however, many have argued that the secular …
Read more

Intersex athletes: Do we need a gender police in professional sports?

During last year’s Athletics World Championships in Berlin, two athletes absorbed most of the public attention: Usain Bolt and Caster Semenya. Bolt was celebrated for his world records in the men’s 100m and the 200m dash. Semenya, whose performance in the women’s 800m run was as dominating as Bolt’s, was facing allegations that she was …
Read more

Polish anti-Semitism: The last European closet, cultural code, or social problem?

Genealogy The beginning of twentieth century, precisely having in mind the period between 1905 and 1914, involved a certain matrix of Polish-Jewish relations[1]. The spread of political anti-Semitism had led to a serious alteration in the Polish attitude to the Jews. No less important significant for Polish-Jewish relations was the powerful rise of Jews in …
Read more

The dead body of the leader as an organizing principle of socialist public space:
The mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov in Sofia

Historical and spatial frame On September 9, 1944, a long period of socialist governance in Bulgaria was begun with the overthrow of the government by the left-party coalition, Fatherland Front. In its aftermath, the city center of Sofia was subjected to an intensive reshaping that aimed at recreating, in visual codes, the new ideological identity …
Read more

Traces of/by nature:
August Strindberg’s photographic experiments of the 1890’s

The following paper centers on August Strindberg’s photograms of the 1890’s and their relation to an attributed capacity of photography – its apparent ability to capture a picture automatically, without human interference – and the nineteenth century conceptualization of photographic objectivity which followed from this attribution. Strindberg’s notions of nature and chance play a crucial …
Read more

Beyond Ethnic Cleansing: Demographic Surgery in European History [1]

Ethnic cleansing is generally recognized as a major feature of modern European history, especially of the extremely violent first half of the 20th century.[2] While this is certainly a plausible description, this is only a part of a bigger story: in this short essay, I will argue that ethnic cleansing was just one of the …
Read more