Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Open Access (free)
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame
Elleke Boehmer

This chapter returns to the question of how women writers, specifically of a younger generation, theorise and re-emblematise the nation in their work. Whereas some women writers choose to distance themselves from the nation as extraneous to their concerns, Yvonne Vera and Arundhati Roy are representative of a subtly different approach. In the face of neocolonial disillusionment and the erasures of identity threatened by globalisation, they extend the ‘revisionary scepticism’ concerning the homogenising nation they share with their male counterparts, yet strategically play off its different narratives – of patriliny and matriliny, of modernity and tradition – against one another. Avoiding the stance of spokesperson and the all-commanding epic voice, they reframe the male-defined co-ordinates of national selfhood in relation to other modes of situating identity, such as those of region, environment, belief and sexuality, without however refusing the nation altogether. The chapter also offers an intertextual commentary on Roy's first and to date only novel, The God of Small Things, and of her non-fictional polemic against transnationalism.

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Reasonable tolerance
Catriona McKinnon and Dario Castiglione

tolerance in the past popular justifications of toleration relying on either some form of scepticism or prudential reasoning seemed sufficient to guarantee peaceful coexistence within the boundaries established by a combination of the international system, the nation state, and democratic politics. The problem with the merely prudential form of justification seems to be one of stability: on this view, toleration can be, at most, a modus vivendi. If the distribution of power changes such that peace could be maintained by one group forcibly imposing its views on the others

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies
Eric Pudney

’s Masque of Queens (1609), in which the contrast between witchcraft and royalty is built into the dramatic structure – masque versus anti-masque – of the entertainment. Scepticism and belief in witchcraft itself is not always easy to detect directly in the Jacobean witchcraft drama, because it is not often at issue in these plays. The plays are not in any real sense about witchcraft; they are really about kingship and tyranny, or good and bad rule.3 All of the plays seek to draw a line between rightful kings and tyrants, or between order and chaos. Macbeth and the Masque

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
Eric Pudney

present. The witches that appear in Elizabethan theatre are distanced from those represented in the purportedly factual texts of demonologists and pamphleteers, ensuring that it would have been possible for contemporary audiences to interpret stage witchcraft as fictional, and unrelated to the type of witchcraft they encountered outside the theatre. In consequence, both belief in and scepticism about the phenomenon of witchcraft remain, for the most part, submerged. Nonetheless, latent scepticism about witchcraft – magic carried out by women – can be seen to have shaped

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
John Donne, George Chapman and the senses of night in the 1590s
Susan Wiseman

override night and light, yet the senses remain the ground of metaphor and thought. Donne’s ‘Songs and Sonnets’ put the senses to work in researching the world.28 Charles Coffin has noted Donne as a non-pastoral poet.29 However, even as Coffin seems to bypass Donne’s engagement with the senses, he engages sharply with their key discursive location in Donne’s systematic thinking – scepticism. Coffin has influentially framed Donne as caught between two ways of interpreting the world, one ‘scholastic’ and synthetic, the other Galilean as ‘new facts made a cleavage between

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain
María Tausiet

how and with what instrument to do so’:50 Let the exorcist when he comes across one of these people, make him clean out his mouth and spit out all its contents, and he will see, unless it is the devil he spits out, no longer can he imitate birdsong. It is true there are exorcists who are so fanciful that seeing them spit out a bit of leek or cabbage leaf, or some herb or other . . . will swear that it is the Devil transformed into what came out of the mouth.51 These and other investigations confirmed the monk in his scepticism 52 Beyond the witch trials

in Beyond the witch trials
Philip Lynch

and promotion of the free market by signing the Maastricht Treaty. This opened a schism in the Conservative Party that Major exacerbated by paying insufficient attention to the growth of Euro-sceptic sentiment. Membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) prolonged recession and undermined the party’s reputation for economic competence. Finally, Euro-sceptics argued that Major’s unwillingness to rule out British entry into the single currency for at least the next Parliament left the party unable to capitalise on the Euro-scepticism that prevailed in the

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Open Access (free)
Nico Randeraad

-time member of the board of the Statistical Society of London, scornfully referred to the congresses as ‘international picnics’ which had accomplished next to nothing in twenty years.1 British scepticism about unity in Europe is nothing new. Anyone who has followed the debate about the future of the European Union will have seen many parallels between contemporary events and the dealings of the international statistical congresses. A Eurosceptic would have written off Quetelet’s international statistics project as an obvious failure, and he would be inclined to regard the

in States and statistics in the nineteenth century