Browse results

Author: Tizian Zumthurm
Tizian Zumthurm uses the extraordinary hospital of an extraordinary man to produce novel insights into the ordinary practice of biomedicine in colonial Central Africa. His investigation of therapeutic routines in surgery, maternity care, psychiatry, and the treatment of dysentery and leprosy reveals the incoherent nature of biomedicine and not just in Africa. Reading rich archival sources against and along the grain, the author combines concepts that appeal to those interested in the history of medicine and colonialism. Through the microcosm of the hospital, Zumthurm brings to light the social worlds of Gabonese patients as well as European staff. By refusing to easily categorize colonial medical encounters, the book challenges our understanding of biomedicine as solely domineering or interactive.

Abstract

Excavations at Old Dongola in 2018/2019 led to the discovery of a quarter of wattle-and-daub houses located outside the town walls. The houses, dated to the 17th − 18th century, are arranged in compounds and visibly differ from other dwellings. This paper aims to identify the functional and social organisation of domestic space, based primarily on the analysis of access and activity areas. It sheds light on the relations of private and public space as well as gender divisions. The paper also addresses the question of the identity of dwellers and the social structure of the town in the Funj period.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Based on fieldwork amongst Burundians in Rwanda, the Netherlands and Belgium, this article explores how information circulates transnationally in times of political and violent crisis and how ordinary members of the diaspora seek to manage these flows of information. Our main argument is that conflict in the homeland creates a massive flow of information across various digital platforms and that while members of the diaspora eagerly take part in consuming and sharing this information, they do so reticently. Rather than simply explore the information flows, their intensity, their ‘spread’ or their content, we explore how individuals in the diaspora engage in emotion work, as they struggle between being ‘hailed’ by the images and messages flowing with ever-increasing intensity, speed and urgency and their reticence towards getting too involved.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

During the 2010 excavations of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania, a single rifle bullet casing was recovered. Analysis of this casing found that it was manufactured in 1877 at the munitions factory in Danzig for the German infantry’s Mauser 71 rifle. This casing is thus directly linked to the period of German colonization of Tanganyika, during which Iringa was a key centre of anti-colonial resistance. Mlambalasi was the location of the last stand of Chief Mkwawa of the Hehe people, and this bullet casing provides a tangible link to his uprising during the 1890s. In light of this colonial context and our ongoing research at Mlambalasi, this find is used to illustrate that a single artifact can reinforce multiple narratives about the past and the significance of an archaeological site.

In: Journal of African Archaeology
Author: Majid Daneshgar

This essay will explore how the intellects of both scholars and their audiences are censored. In addition to various Western thinkers, particular attention will be paid to Ali Shari'ati, one of the most influential thinkers of modern Iran, and how he represented an important Islamic tradition. Not only did his ideas inspire revolutionary acts by generations of Iranians, but Turkish, Arab, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian philosophers, sociologists, theologians, and politicians have all employed his definitions of concepts such as justice, injustice, revolution, corruption, and bliss. This article sheds light both on how intellectuals influence their audience, and their long-term impact on broader communities. In order to do so, it will analyze the material and political conditions that censor both what scholars are able to say, and what their audiences are allowed to hear.

In: The Journal of Interrupted Studies
Author: Reem Doukmak

Reem Doukmak was born in Syria and studied English literature at al-Baath University. In 2007 she completed her Master’s degree at the University of Warwick. With the help of cara she continued her studies at Warwick where she is now starting her academic career. Her work investigates how the right pedagogic interventions can help children in refugee camps. The use of drama plays a key role in her research and feeds into broader questions surrounding self-representation and agency. These are among the vital issues The Journal of Interrupted Studies has also sought to explore. We were lucky to engage Reem on her research and its implications for addressing the problematic discourses that surround refugees and yet neglect to include their voice.

In: The Journal of Interrupted Studies
Author: Nasser Karami

Due to its widespread political and social consequences, the relationship between drought and climate change in the Middle East has been widely reported on by the media. Climate change is mainly understood within the paradigm: “prolonged drought is created and intensified by global warming.” The purpose of the study is to review this paradigm and examine aspects of it. Thus, climate trends in the Middle East are studied across three periods: 1900–1970, 1970–2000, and 2000–2017. Due to the importance of studying sequences of drought occurrence based on timescales of climatic patterns, the climatic trends of the Khuzestan Plain, were examined too. The results show that to have a clear understanding of both the modality of climate change in the Middle East and the current dominant paradigm, predominant assumptions of the paradigm should be reconsidered. For example, prolonged droughts are part of the natural pattern of climate in the Middle East, although the current drought has not been recorded for at least 100 years. This claim is based on the fact that prolonged droughts in this region can have natural causes, which can be studied as long-term climate trends, although the impact of global warming on the escalation of the Middle Eastern drought is undeniable. However, the exacerbating effect of non-anthropogenic factors on the impact of drought in the region should be studied, too. Additionally, as an epistemological assumption, the term “drying up” (as a new normal and permanent climatic pattern) should be used instead of “drought” (as a normal and reversible pattern) to determine the current climate change situation in the Middle East. The author concludes that the findings emphasize the need for further research in order to identify the modality of climate change in the Middle East.

In: The Journal of Interrupted Studies
Author: Abdul Awal Khan

It is estimated that between 2008 and 2014, 4.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters in Bangladesh and that by 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. The subject matter of this paper is based on a theoretical analysis of various existing social and legal barriers relating to climate displacement in Bangladesh. This article critically analyses the social and legal barriers to helping Climate Change Displaced People (cdp) by drawing on existing legal literature such as the Bangladeshi constitution and qualitative data from Bangladesh’s experience with cdp. Ultimately, this article corroborates the lack of a coherent human rights framework for cdp in Bangladesh and suggests international cooperation as a first step towards a functioning regime.

In: The Journal of Interrupted Studies

The carbon budget of planet earth is regulated by the soil compartment in all types of ecosystems. We conducted a first order analysis of soc in November 2017 both in the mangrove dominated Indian Sundarbans and the highly urbanized city of Kolkata with the aim of identifying the natural and anthropogenic contributions of organic carbon in soil. We also attempted to analyze the spatial variation of soc between these two significantly different ecosystems. We observed a comparatively higher mean value of soc in Kolkata (2.06%) than in the Sundarbans (1.25%). The significant spatial variation in soc between Kolkata and the Sundarbans (p < 0.05) may be attributed to anthropogenic stress, which is of greater magnitude in the city of Kolkata. The significant spatial variation in soc between north and south Kolkata (p < 0.05) is due to the efficiency of the drainage system in the north and the magnitude of city limit expansion in the south. In the Sundarban deltaic complex, a natural phenomenon like erosion seems to be a determining factor in the domain of soil carbon dynamics. soc analyses of all major metropolises around the world, of which Kolkata is one, are essential to understand the carbon sequestration potential of urban soils.

In: The Journal of Interrupted Studies

This publication emerges from a process of co-creation in which historian Maartje Janse and research journalist Anne-Lot Hoek challenge the dominant national narrative about the colonial experience in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). In combining journalistic and academic writing with musical performance by musician Ernst Jansz they amplify the critical voices that have spoken out against colonial injustice and that have long been ignored in public and academic debate. Even though it is often suggested that the mindset of people in the past prevented them from seeing what was wrong with things we now find highly problematic, they argue that there was indeed a tradition of colonial criticism in the Netherlands, one that included the voices of many ‘forgotten critics’ whose lives and criticism are the subject of this publication. The voices however were for a long time overlooked by Dutch historians. The publication is organized around the biographies of several critics (whose lives Janse and Hoek have published on before), the historical debate afterwards and includes reflective videos and texts on the process of co-creation.

Maartje Janse started the process by tracing the life history of an outspoken nineteenth-century critic of the colonial system in the Dutch East Indies, Willem Bosch. The authors argue that it was not self-evident how criticism of colonial injustices should be voiced and that Bosch experimented with different methods, including organizing one of the first Dutch pressure groups.

The story of Willem Bosch inspired Ernst Jansz, a Dutch musician with Indo roots, to compose a song (‘De ballade van Sarina en Kromo’). It is an interpretation of an old Malaysian ‘krontjong’ song, that Jansz transformed into a protest song that reminds its listeners of protest songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Jansz, in his lyrics, adds an indigenous perspective to this project. He performed the song during the Voice4Thought festival in 2016, a gathering that aimed to reflect upon migration and mobility in current times. Filmmaker Sjoerd Sijsma made a video ‘pamplet’ in which the performance of Ernst Jansz, an interview with Maartje Janse, and historical images from the colonial period have been combined.

Anne-Lot Hoek connected Willem Bosch to a series of twentieth-century anti-colonial critics such as Dutch Indies civil servant Siebe Lijftogt, Indonesian nationalists Sutan Sjahrir, Rachmad Koesoemobroto, Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek and Indonesian activist Jeffry Pondaag. She argues that dissenting voices have been underrepresented in the post-war debates on colonialism and its legacy for decades, and that one of the main reasons is that the notion of the objective historian was not effectively problematized for a long time.

http://dissentingvoices.bridginghumanities.com/

In: Bridging Humanities