1475 Chapters
Medium 9780253012234

15 Multiple Homelands: Heritage and Migrancy in Brazilian Mahjari Literature

PAUL AMAR Indiana University Press ePub

This chapter discusses the rhetorical strategies through which mahjari literature sought to inscribe the Arab immigrant onto the Brazilian nation. It explores how this literature responds to Brazilian nationalist discourses by reinterpreting the very language and images often meant to exclude them.

John Tofik Karam demonstrates in Another Arabesque how an Arab identity has been recently embraced as a component of Brazilian culture and society in reaction to increased globalization (Karam 2007). In this chapter, I explore the roots of a multicultural Brazil with a recognized Arab component that lie in an earlier stage of globalization—the era of mass international migration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Beginning with the first arrivals, Arab immigrants to Brazil usually aimed to preserve their home identity without seeming disloyal or disrespectful to their Brazilian hosts. However, this liminal identity was unsatisfactory for Brazilian nation builders, who criticized this posture as too ambiguous. Despite an initial negative reaction to their presence, early Arab immigrants refused to completely forsake their original culture and language, arguing that their interstitial stance did not represent a threat to the Brazilian nation but was actually complementary with nationalistic ideals of racial democracy.

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Medium 9780253015143

3 Remaking Female Citizenship

Robert Lorway Indiana University Press ePub

Life gains its vitality, its essential productivity, in the course of struggle and resistance.

—Judith Butler, Subjects of Desire

Commenting on the oppression of gays and lesbians in the Bahamas, the postcolonial feminist M. Jacqui Alexander describes citizenship as “premised within heterosexuality and principally within heteromasculinity,” posing a broader question of salience to this chapter: “In the absence of visible lesbian and gay movements, can feminist political struggles radically transform these historically repressive structures?” (Alexander 1994, 7). I consider this question alongside the modes of gender and sexual defiance enacted by lesbian youths, modes that continually collide against the oppressive structural forces that privilege heterosexual males. In Katutura Township I observed how groups of young females who took up lesbian identifications confronted daily oppressions with vivid displays of gender and sexual dissidence—dressing and carrying themselves like men and chasing after and professing their love for women. During interviews and informal conversations with these youths, they described how their practices of freedom fared outside the protected “safe spaces” of TRP’s self-awareness workshops, where they faced myriad forms of oppression.

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Medium 9781576756270

Chapter 2 Cracking the Story Code

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

— RUDYARD KIPLING

Before we wrote things down, we told stories. Aboriginal and indigenous people have elaborate and detailed stories about everything in their world, and those stories code information both for the things and for the culture.

The classic model of a story builds emotional impact in five stages around the story’s core message:

Typically, a story starts out with a character having his or her world thrown out of balance.

Then there’s a series of progressive complications as she struggles to get her life back into balance.

Next she’s confronted with a crisis—a choice she must make that will forever change her world.

This is followed by the climax of the story—making the choice and experiencing the result—and this is where both the moral/message of the story as well as its maximum emotional impact are coded.

Then the story resolves, with loose ends being tied up and everybody living “happily ever after.”

This five-part story structure is so hardwired into humanity that you find it in 50,000-year-old Australian Aboriginal stories, 40,000-year-old stories from the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, and 20,000-year-old stories from American Indian communities. You find it everywhere—from the works of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Steinbeck to Spielberg.

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Medium 9780253015693

1 Sweet Crude: Neoliberalism and the Paradox of Oil Politics

Omolade Adunbi Indiana University Press ePub

ON A HUMID afternoon in February 2008 in Abuja, the federal capital, I attended a conference organized by a major Nigerian news outlet, Tell Magazine. The event, “50 Years of Oil in Nigeria,”1 was a weeklong celebration drawing participants mostly from the government and the private sector, and particularly all of the major players in Nigeria’s oil industry. The vice president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; the Senate president, Mr. David Mark; and other government functionaries had agreed to attend.

Before the conference, individuals, corporate organizations, and government departments placed advertorials in the major newspapers, congratulating the government and the people of Nigeria on the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of commercial oil exploration. Glossy pictures displayed paved roads, beautiful hospitals, well-tended schools, and robust and healthy children being attended to by well-dressed teachers. These images were superimposed on oil pipelines, flow stations, wells, and platforms. Congratulatory television messages also appeared from organizations, corporate bodies, and elite individuals wanting to warmly thank the president and his deputy for “proper management” of the oil revenues, enabling Nigeria and Nigerians to take “giant strides.”

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Medium 9781609948054

Chapter 14. Enough Unilateralism

Dietz, Rob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Changing National Goals and Improving International Cooperation

On a visit to Leningrad some years ago, I consulted a map to find out where I was, but I could not make it out. From where I stood, I could see several enormous churches, yet there was no trace of them on my map. When finally an interpreter came to help me, he said: “We don’t show churches on our maps.” … It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map which failed to show many things I could see right in front of my eyes. All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life.

E. F. SCHUMACHER (1977) 1

The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, emits about 18 percent of the world’s total output of greenhouse gases.2 The five largest coal users, China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan, consume 77 percent of the world’s coal production.3 In the twenty-first century, when a single nation’s consumption habits can produce global consequences, unilateral economic decisions can be downright dangerous. Aggressive competition, especially among the wealthiest nations, for control of critical resources like land, water, and oil could prove disastrous. The last thing we need is a race to wring the final fragments of growth out of an already overgrown global economy.

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