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2 The Melancholy Modern: The Rise of a Refugee Intelligentsia

Zuzanna Olszewska Indiana University Press ePub

The Rise of a Refugee Intelligentsia

A few years ago, I happened to sit next to a lady on a bus who introduced herself as a master’s student in law. That day, our words about the limited number of bus seats reserved for women compared to men1 led to a discussion of women’s rights, and we spoke a lot about the difference between women’s and men’s blood money (diyeh) and inheritance, custody rights, the equality of men’s and women’s rights, and so on. We had a lively exchange. As she was getting off, she said something that has bothered me all these years. She said, “I hadn’t thought an Afghan woman would even understand what rights are, let alone look at her rights from a religious point of view while being an intellectual (rowshanfekr) at the same time.” That Iranian woman’s words struck me as strange, but they forced me to think a little about what she had said, especially because in these years I have witnessed many changes in the thought and behavior of my compatriot women in exile.

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4 Court Cases: Order and Disorder

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

A Kaguru chief’s court was ordinarily held every Saturday at the Native Authority courthouse, usually starting about nine or ten in the morning and continuing nonstop until about four or five in the afternoon. Occasionally court was held on additional days as well. Very rarely a chief might hold an open-air court in an outlying area if he thought the cases and people involved merited this.1 Applicants with cases registered their suits a few days to several weeks ahead, paying three shillings registration fee (uda) in civil cases, a fee later paid by the defendant if he was found liable. Criminal cases did not require a fee.2 The length of time taken for a case to reach a hearing and settlement after its registration depended on many factors. Weeks might be lost trying to trace an unwilling defendant or witness who had fled, or in seeking someone living in another court district. Sometimes delays were made by the court itself in order to increase chances of securing a particular judgment or to avoid hearing a case at all. Sometimes an accused, especially if he was a Baraguyu or Maasai who would be hard to recapture, was kept in the lockup for many days.3

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CHAPTER FOUR Bereavement Made Manifest

Holly Everett University of North Texas Press PDF

ROADSIDE MEMORIAL CASE STUDIES • 81

Bereavement

CHAPTER FOUR

Made Manifest

The communicative power that roadside crosses accrue as a result of the tension between private and public, and the recognition of “ordinary” lives and memories, results from contemporary responses to death in North American society. Many scholars and health care practitioners, such as Geoffrey Gorer (1965), Jack

Kamerman (1988), Kathy Charmaz (1980), and Phyllis Silverman

(1981) have studied such responses in North America and Britain. All note the increasing isolation of bereaved individuals and contributing societal conditions, such as the development,

Kamerman writes, of “mechanisms . . . in American society to keep death out of sight and out of minds,” (1988, 2). Similarly,

Charmaz refers to the “social construction of the denial of death”

(1980, 88-96). Indeed, the contemporary experience of loss, even when documented almost four decades ago by Jessica Mitford in her oft-cited The American Way of Death (1963), frequently involves the medical establishment and the death care industry in processes that minimize contact between the deceased and her or his survivors.

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5 Domestic Internationalisms, Imperial Nationalisms: Civil Rights, Immigration, and Conjugal Military Policy | Rachel Ida Buff

Sukanya Banerjee Indiana University Press ePub

RACHEL IDA BUFF

How do denizens of a nation come to imagine our imperial relations? How do we in the United States envision denizens of our far-flung territories, even as they are engaged in such intimate activities as manufacturing our clothing and pleasuring our soldiers abroad and crossing our borders to wash our clothes, raise our children, and serve our food? What avenues exist to create an oppositional political discourse that speaks the name of empire?

The discourse of diaspora implicitly contests the hegemony of the nation and its claims on social identities and cultural politics. For this reason, the heterodox diasporan imaginary is often obscured by discourse of nation and empire and needs to be retrieved by archival and analytical searching.

In foreign policy discourse in the United States, terms such as “making the world safe for democracy” and “the global war on terror” bear a seemingly incontestable weight. Repressing continuity with earlier practices of empire, these terms convey an urgency that wants to defy analysis. What reasonable person is against democracy, in favor of terror? Imperialism is thus naturalized. To speak of U.S. foreign policy for what it is—the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly: the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence—invites suspicion.1 When I was traveling back from San Francisco in early 2002, I had my wallet with all my IDs stolen. Thinking that traveling this way, so close to 9/11, would be difficult enough, I left my new copy of Hardt and Negri’s Empire with friends, who sent it to me later.2

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Two: Getting in Touch with the Spirits: The First Discoveries

Felicitas D. Goodman Indiana University Press ePub

In the Protestant Christian tradition in which I was raised, it was held that the only way in which a human could communicate with the beings inhabiting the alternate reality was by prayer. But in the view of the vast majority of other traditions, speech, as the mode of communication of ordinary reality, is singularly unsuited for this purpose. It is but a hardly audible knock on the very thick wall separating humans from the spirit realm. In fact, humans have to make a truly heroic effort to be noticed on the other side. Merely talking, falling into a worshipful mood, feeling “transcendent,” “numinous,” or “oceanic,” or whatever other pompous words are listed in the dictionary, simply will not do. Instead humans, if they have the urgent necessity or desire to squeeze through the chinks in that wall, need to change the very functioning of their bodies in the most radical way. The term summarizing these changes is religious trance, one of a large group of altered states of consciousness of which humans are capable. It is termed religious because observation shows that it is the one occurring in religious context, that is, when contact is made with the alternate, the sacred, reality. (For the problem of defining “religion,” see Goodman 1988.)

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