7331 Chapters
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1 Museology and Globalization: The Quai Branly Museum

Dominic Thomas Indiana University Press ePub

Almost nothing displayed in museums was made to be seen in them.

Susan Vogel1

The history of European nation-building and identity formation is inextricably connected with complex display practices in which the lines of demarcation between human and material entities have become indistinct, yielding as a consequence an apparatus of signifiers relating to objectivity and subjectivity that require examination and scrutiny.2 The study of exhibition sites in Europe during both the colonial and postcolonial eras provides an opportunity to engage in comparative historical analysis and to improve the contextualization of the official and public discourse they have triggered. Europe and other regions of the world are symbiotically linked through a long history of contact informed by slavery, colonialism, immigration, and a multiplicity of transnational networks and practices. In recent years, these factors have informed both national and pan-European debates concerning the legacies of these encounters and their current reformulation with regard to transhistorical phenomena that impact ethnic minorities and immigrant populations. These concern a broad set of cultural, economic, political, and social factors that include reflection on the limits and pertinence of reparation and restitution, the study and reassessment of colonialism, the role and instrumentalization of memory, the status of postcolonial subjects, and ultimately the parameters of a multicultural Europe.3

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7. Witnessing Atrocity: The Testimonial Evidence

Lawrence L. Langer Indiana University Press ePub

Some time ago I was asked to examine the videotaped testimony of a woman who survived Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Flossenbürg, and Mauthausen. Her father was Jewish, her mother was not. She said the Gestapo tortured her mother in 1938 after the November pogrom in an effort to force her to divorce her husband. According to her account, she worked in a Jewish hospital in Vienna, and was deported to Theresienstadt, along with its patients, in October 1941. Since she claims that she was present during the Red Cross visit to the camp, she must have been there at least until June 1944. Soon afterward, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she remained for nine months. Upon arrival she and the women with her were put in a room that was a combination shower and gas chamber. “I was lucky,” she insists; “the Germans decided to turn on the water instead of the gas.” Five times in four and a half years, she continues, she found herself in similar circumstances, and on each occasion her luck held out—water instead of gas. From Auschwitz, she informs us, she was sent to the main camp at Flossenbürg, where she worked in an aircraft factory. Finally she was evacuated, partly by death march and partly by boxcar, to Bergen-Belsen, where the camp was so overcrowded that her transport was sent to Mauthausen instead. There she lived in a barrack at the base of the quarry. On May 5, 1945, SS guards drove her and her fellow prisoners from their barrack up the steps of the quarry to a gas chamber, where they stood in the sunlight awaiting their fate. Only the arrival of American troops at that very moment rescued them from a horrible death.

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1. Dreaded Non-Identities of Night: Night and Shadows in Chicana/o Cultural Production

DeGuzmán, María Indiana University Press ePub

How do you make the invisible visible? You take it away.

—Lila Rodriguez in A Day Without a Mexican

The Nighttime of a Day without a Mexican

Of the more than fifty million Latina/os currently within the continental borders of the United States, Mexican Americans have had a long borderlands history—defined by military battles and treaties in the name of U.S. national expansion, by laws, and by daily discriminatory practices—of being treated as the other Americans, los otros americanos. They became aliens in their own land with the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that officially concluded the Mexican-American War and in the years subsequent to that treaty, which involved an Anglo landgrab of previously Mexican areas. In 1971, Chicano attorney, writer, and political activist Oscar “Zeta” Acosta pointedly summed up the situation:

The American government took our country away from us in 1848, when the government of Mexico sold us out. They sold not only the land, but they basically sold us as slaves in the sense that our labor and our land was [sic] being expropriated. The governments never gave us a choice about whether to be American citizens. One night we were Mexican and the next day we were American. This historical relationship is the most important part of the present day relationships, but it’s totally ignored or unknown or rejected by the Anglo society. [emphasis mine]1

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8 The Overthrow of Mobutu and After, 1996–2015

Erik Kennes Indiana University Press ePub

THE LATE 1990s saw the successful achievement of the self-proclaimed military objectives of the Katangese ex-Tigres and the survival, even the revitalization, of their historical and political agenda. The violent overthrow of Zairian president Mobutu Sese Seko in May 1997—an initiative in which the ex-Tigres played a significant role—created the prospect for political change that might address some of their long-standing grievances and aspirations. Just as important for many ordinary ex-Tigres, it finally allowed them to return home after decades in exile. However, because of their lack of a coherent political leadership, they were armed, mobilized, and equipped by the Angolans. They were then placed under the control of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL) president, Laurent Kabila, who ultimately ensured that his direction of the ex-Tigres’ military capacity could not be used to pursue the political goals long associated with these forces—the granting of autonomy and recognition of the special political status of Katanga.

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30. A Sketch of Logical Critics (1911)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub

 

MS 675. [In the spring of 1909, J. W. Slaughter and G. F. Stout, two friends of Victoria Lady Welby, decided to honor her with a collection of essays on “Signifies,” and eagerly sought a contribution from Peirce. He was glad to accept, but ill health slowed him down until a reminder from Slaughter, in April 1911, revived his impetus. MS 675, probably written in August 1911, is one of the more polished versions of Peirce’s eventually unsuccessful attempt to complete his assignment. Maybe as a consequence, the collection of essays was never published.] Although this writing is at most only a fragment of the paper Peirce had in mind, it contains important clarifications and sheds much light on the late trajectory of Peirce’s thought. By “logical critics,” Peirce means “the theory of the kinds and degrees of assurance that can be afforded by the different ways of reasoning.” This is, for Peirce, a semiotic question, and one that exercised him a great deal in his later years. Although he never really reaches the question here, he does come to discuss “precisely” what we mean by “reasoning,” and points out that it is only one of two ways that knowledge is acquired, the other being experience. Belief acquired through reasoning must be justified by what preceded it in our minds; but belief gained from experience needs no justification. Peirce discusses two faults with his 1877-78 pragmatism papers: his definition of “belief,” and his failure to see that “a true would-be is as real as an actuality.” He concludes with a call for a cooperative scientific attack on the “problems of the nature, properties, and varieties of Signs.”

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