Anglo-Saxon ‘things’ could talk. Nonhuman voices leap out from the Exeter Book Riddles, telling us how they were made or how they behave. In The Husband’s Message, runic letters are borne and a first-person speech is delivered by some kind of wooden artefact. Readers of The Dream of the Rood will come across a tree possessing the voice of a dreaming human in order to talk about its own history as a gallows and a rood. The Franks Casket is a box of bone that alludes to its former fate as a whale that swam aground onto the shingle, and the Ruthwell monument is a stone column that speaks as if it were living wood, or a wounded body.

This book uncovers the voice and agency that these nonhuman things have across Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture. It makes a new contribution to ‘thing theory’ and rethinks conventional divisions between animate human subjects and inanimate nonhuman objects in the early Middle Ages. Anglo-Saxon writers and craftsmen describe artefacts and animals through riddling forms or enigmatic language, balancing an attempt to speak and listen to things with an understanding that these nonhumans often elude, defy and withdraw from us. The active role that things have in the early medieval world is also linked to the Germanic origins of the word, where a þing is a kind of assembly, with the ability to draw together other elements, creating assemblages in which human and nonhuman forces combine. Anglo-Saxon things teach us to rethink the concept of voice as a quality that is not simply imposed upon nonhumans but which inheres in their ways of existing and being in the world; they teach us to rethink the concept of agency as arising from within groupings of diverse elements, rather than always emerging from human actors alone.

This collection interrogates the representation of humanitarian crisis and catastrophe, and the refraction of humanitarian intervention and action, from the mid-twentieth century to the present, across a diverse range of media forms: traditional and contemporary screen media (film, television and online video) as well as newspapers, memoirs, music festivals and social media platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr). The book thus explores the historical, cultural and political contexts that have shaped the mediation of humanitarian relationships since the middle of the twentieth century. Together, the chapters illustrate the continuities and connections, as well as the differences, which have characterised the mediatisation of both states of emergency and acts of amelioration. The authors reveal and explore the significant synergies between the humanitarian enterprise, the endeavour to alleviate the suffering of particular groups, and media representations, and their modes of addressing and appealing to specific publics. The chapters consider the ways in which media texts, technologies and practices reflect and shape the shifting moral, political, ethical, rhetorical, ideological and material dimensions of international humanitarian emergency and intervention, and have become integral to the changing relationships between organisations, institutions, governments, individual actors and entire sectors.

Reasonable tolerance

The idea of toleration as the appropriate response to difference has been central to liberal thought since Locke. Although the subject has been widely and variously explored, there has been reluctance to acknowledge the new meaning that current debates offer on toleration. This book starts from a clear recognition of the new terms of the debate, reflecting the capacity of seeing the other's viewpoint, and the limited extent to which toleration can be granted. Theoretical statements on toleration posit at the same time its necessity in democratic societies, and its impossibility as a coherent ideal. There are several possible objections to, and ways of developing the ideal of, reasonable tolerance as advocated by John Rawls and by some other supporters of political liberalism. The first part of the book explores some of them. In some real-life conflicts, it is unclear on whom the burden of reasonableness may fall. This part discusses the reasonableness of pluralism, and general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. The forces of progressive politics have been divided into two camps: redistribution and recognition. The second part of the book is an attempt to explore the internal coherence of such a transformation when applied to different contexts. It argues that openness to others in discourse, and their treatment as free and equal, is part of a kind of reflexive toleration that pertains to public communication in the deliberative context. Social ethos, religious discrimination and education are discussed in connection with tolerance.

Open Access (free)

Longhurst, Germany and the use of force.qxd 30/06/2004 16:25 Page 5 1 On strategic culture The decision making process in matters of defence is not an abstract construct based purely in the present moment but is, rather, steeped in the beliefs, biases, traditions and cultural identity of the individual country – all of which feeds into its strategic culture.1 [R]ather than obedience or disobedience to an abstract set of stipulative requirements, in times of war what really makes the difference is how a nation state, as a collective identity, ‘behaves’ is the

in Germany and the use of force
The disposal of bodies in the 1994 Rwandan genocide

8 Display, concealment and ‘culture’: the disposal of bodies in the 1994 Rwandan genocide Nigel Eltringham Introduction In their ethnography of violent conflict, ‘cultures of terror’ 1 and genocide, anthropologists have recognized that violence is discursive. The victim’s body is a key vehicle of that discourse. In contexts of inter-ethnic violence, for example, ante-mortem degradation and/or post-mortem mutilation are employed to transform the victim’s body into a representative example of the ethnic category, the manipulation of the body enabling the

in Human remains and mass violence

2 Labour’s organisational culture The purpose of this chapter is to establish the institutional context for Labour’s response to cultural change.1 It surveys the character of the party’s organisation and the nature of its membership on the verge of the 1960s, and in particular highlights the activities and assumptions of those most responsible for the party’s well-being. Before that can be done, however, it is necessary to outline Labour’s organisational structure and identify some of the issues to which it gave rise. The basic unit in all 618 constituency

in The Labour Governments 1964–70 volume 1
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The racecourse and racecourse life

5 Racing culture: the racecourse and racecourse life hile people could not avoid having views on racing only a minority actually attended race-meetings, and it is to the cultural and social life of the racegoing public that we now turn. The anticipatory thrill of travel was important, and a first section deals briefly with changes in travel over the period. A following more substantial section deals with social relationships, behaviour and attendance in relation to social class and gender. Changes and continuities in the comfort and facilities of the course, and

in Horseracing and the British 1919–39

This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. But what is visual culture, and why use this phrase in place of the ‘fine arts’ or the ‘visual arts’? In part, this choice is motivated by my concern with exploring the plays in their historical contexts. Shakespeare and his contemporaries would not have recognised the phrase ‘fine arts’. Nor would

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
The Marshall Plan films about Greece

A growing number of studies have argued for a historical and historicised understanding of global humanitarianism and humanitarian intervention. 1 However, the history of the interdependence of humanitarianism with media campaigns and the wider visual culture of each period remains an underexplored field, as the few studies in this area highlight. 2 The Marshall Plan films stand for a landmark

in Global humanitarianism and media culture

political consumerism as a channel for a humanitarian impulse? Can the everyday practice of consumption be a space of care and concern for international justice? In this chapter, I bring these questions to the analysis of the consumption of children’s toys and the online discussions of boycotting ‘unsafe’ toys. I explore how a neoliberal parenting culture in the West, which promotes a highly individualised

in Global humanitarianism and media culture