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Ontologies of connection, reconstruction of memory
Jeremy C.A. Smith

132 6 Pacific imaginaries: ontologies of connection, reconstruction of memory It is remarkable that the Pacific is almost entirely absent from contemporary civilisational analysis, especially given its evident importance to anthropology, to archaeology and to Durkheim and Mauss –​two formative thinkers in the paradigm. But new world contexts more generally are still marginal to civilisational analysis. The lacuna relates to the strengths and limitations of the three images of civilisations discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. American and Pacific new worlds were

in Debating civilisations
Sidi NDiaye

This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Sharon Weinblum

: how have exclusionary policies been justified in the Israeli political discourse? To which other elements have the mobility of asylum seekers and the policies in place been connected in political discourse and with what effects? How has the imaginary of the border, detention, and deportation played out in the discourse surrounding the issue of asylum seekers? By its approach, this contribution is in

in Security/ Mobility
José Luís Fiori

the myth of Babel. 3 Set in an imaginary context, it describes a universal ‘syndrome’ of the struggle for power. It is suggestive for those who seek to explain recent changes in international relations and in the security strategy of the US. According to the myth of the Tower of Babel, humanity, after the Great Flood, was united and spoke just one language and had just one system of values. It sought to build a tower to reach heaven. But God, taking this as a challenge to his exclusive authority, divided humanity, scattering people and giving each

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

an imaginary vertical line down from the apex of the roof, Aravena’s project is complete on only one side of this line. The ‘half house’ has been used for post-earthquake reconstruction in Chile, and it is based on a fundamentally humanitarian calculation: half a house costs half the money, which can help twice as many people. The central idea in this approach is that it is better to offer a longer-lasting, better-quality, incomplete house than a smaller, inferior

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

stakeholders in humanitarian innovation. The affordances of emergencies, coupled with what is technologically possible and what is imagined to be so, engender a permissive imaginary when intrusive uses for intimate tracking devices in the Global South are conceptualised and legitimated. In a series of remarkable passages in a recent article called ‘The Application of Wearable Technologies to Improve Healthcare in the World’s Poorest People. Technology and Investment’, as part of a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. This book focuses on the scholarship produced in this field since the 1970s. It begins with anthropological axioms posited by Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and George Pachymeres. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-cultural units, entities or blocs in an 'integrationist' image. They emerge out of long-term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a 'relational' image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-societal and inter-cultural encounters. The book traces the history of semantic developments of the notions of 'civilisation' and 'civilisations' coextensive with the expansion of Europe's empires and consubstantial with colonialism. Early modernities are more important in the long formation of capitalism. Outlining the conceptual framework of inter-civilisational engagement, the book analytically plots the ties instituted by human imaginaries across four dimensions of inter-civilisational engagement. It also interrogates the relationship between oceans, seas and civilisations. Oceanian civilisation exhibits patterns of deep engagement and connection. Though damaged, Pacific cultures have invoked their own counter-imaginary in closer proximity to past islander experiences. Collective memory provides resources for coping with critical issues. The book also explores Latin American and Japanese experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations, applying the model of inter-civilisational engagement to modern perspectives in culture and the arts, politics, theology and political economy.

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Languages of racism and resistance in Neapolitan street markets

Race Talk is about racism and multilingual communication. The book draws on original, ethnographic research conducted on heterogeneous and multiethnic street markets in Napoli, southern Italy, in 2012. Here, Neapolitan street vendors worked alongside migrants from Senegal, Nigeria, Bangladesh and China as part of an ambivalent, cooperative and unequal quest to survive and prosper. A heteroglossia of different kinds of talk revealed the relations of domination and subordination between people. It showed how racialised hierarchies were enforced, as well as how ambivalent and novel transcultural solidarities emerged in everyday interaction. Street markets in Napoli provided important economic possibilities for both those born in the city, and those who had arrived more recently. However, anti-immigration politics, austerity and urban regeneration projects increasingly limited people’s ability to make a living in this way. In response, the street vendors organised politically. Their collective action was underpinned by an antihegemonic, multilingual talk through which they spoke back to power. Since that time, racism has surged in Napoli, and across the world, whilst human movement has continued unabated, because of worsening political, economic and environmental conditions. The book suggests that the edginess of multilingual talk – amongst people diversified in terms of race, legal status, religion and language, but united by an understanding of their potential disposability – offers useful insights into the kinds of imaginaries that will be needed to overcome the politics of borders and nationalism.

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Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’
Jeremy C.A. Smith

contrasted with his own sociology of cities that, arguably, produced a second image of civilisational patterns. Weber’s The City can be read as a separate line of thinking, which stresses urban imaginaries as conduits of alternative civilisational and democratic-​revolutionary potential (see Rundell, 2014). The City is an open book in the sense that it lends itself to multiple versions of modernity, including one of a long civilising process. Weber is not seeking to construct a typology of cities, preferring to more actively explore the contingency of urban formations

in Debating civilisations
Open Access (free)
Seas, oceans and civilisations
Jeremy C.A. Smith

in civilisational analysis. Moreover, the disciplines of world history and sociology have favoured contained national societies and land-​ based civilisations qua civilisation. But even when oceanic, portal and islander-​ based civilisations are treated, it is less for their imaginaries and proclivity for engagement and more for their part in the histories of other larger and ‘greater’ states, empires and civilisations. In response, I contend that maritime civilisations reach out to saltwater horizons and are animated by oceanic imaginaries. They develop marine

in Debating civilisations