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Abstract

Zbiva is an open access online research data base for the archaeology of the Eastern Alps in the Early Middle Ages. The data base is the product of four decades of thoughtful digital curation and is continually evolving at the data record level. As such, it is best described by the concept of Deep Data. The authors deposited a subset of the Zbiva data base in a persistent open access repository, Zenodo. This was necessary to ensure stable reference, facilitate the reproducibility of the results, and promote data reuse in their ongoing publication efforts. The deposited data cover the period from 500 to 1000 ce and are spatially restricted to present-day Slovenia, southern Austria, and a small part of north-eastern Italy. The data set is particularly suitable for archaeological gis analyses.

Open Access
In: Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Authors: and

Abstract

In this article we aim to explore how vernacular ideas about spiritual power, words, and silence shape perceptions of religion and witchcraft among the rural Komi people, whose predominant religion is Russian Orthodoxy. In this framework we investigate local ideas of witchcraft, belonging, and strangeness. During our joint ethnographic fieldwork trips to the Komi Republic, Russia, these notions were evoked repeatedly in discussions concerning the Evangelical Protestants who established their mission in a village historically associated with witches. This particular coincidence is reflected in discourses that brand the Evangelicals culturally alien, drawing on both traditional and contemporary categories of otherness. Our analysis shows that ideas about magical power and the usage of words constitute significant aspects of vernacular understanding of faith regardless of formal denominational belonging. We claim that religious practices are switched more spontaneously than feelings of spiritual power and traditionally accepted religious belonging among the rural Komi.

Open Access
In: Numen

Abstract

Building on the idea of “ritual quotation,” this article offers a new perspective on rituals enacted within contemporary theatrical performances in South India. Drawing from an existing corpus and reproduced in a different framework, the ritual tēvāram is embedded in a broad web of intertextual relationships comprised not only of items of repertoire and prescriptive manuals, but also of elements of ritual practices, shared beliefs, claims of social status, and ongoing negotiations between individual imagination and collective expectations.

Usually a Nampūtiri domestic ritual, tēvāram is also carried out within Kūṭiyāṭṭam performances. Through a detailed analysis, I argue that the enactment of tēvāram on stage is not merely the stylized reproduction of a religious service, but it is rather an integral part of the narrative and aesthetic body of the theater practice. The performative and textual milieu of tēvāram creates scope for variations that modify both the plot and the tēvāram ritual itself. Kūṭiyāṭṭam-tēvāram thus becomes a transformative action and a tool of negotiation in the positioning of individuals within the social matrix.

Open Access
In: Numen

Abstract

The term “water diplomacy” has gained currency among policy makers and academics. It reflects an awareness that the use, management, and protection of transboundary water resources is intrinsically political and often embedded in complex political settings. Based on a review of academic and policy documents, we analyze the variety of understandings and common patterns in the definition of water diplomacy. We also analyze tools, tracks, and levels through which and at which water diplomacy is conducted or analyzed. With our own definition of water diplomacy as deliberative political processes and practices of preventing, mitigating, and resolving disputes over transboundary water resources and developing joint water governance arrangements by applying foreign policy means which are embedded in bi- and/or multilateral relations beyond the water sector and taking place at different tracks and scales, we aim to advance the discourse on water diplomacy both in the academic and policy realms.

Open Access
In: Diplomatica

Abstract

A stone panel bearing a heraldic shield surmounted by a bust of the Virgin and Child flanked by kneeling supplicants in low relief survives today on the façade of an early twentieth-century house in the Old Town of Nicosia. Barely noticed in publications on Cypriot heraldry, it has escaped scrutiny. Yet it raises the same questions as any other object deprived of its original function and context: How can the modern observer use and interpret such a lone witness, seemingly hovering in time and space, at first sight totally anonymous and therefore mute? In order to give it a voice and demonstrate the value of every single piece of evidence from a period whose material culture remains surprisingly underexplored, this essay endeavours to identify the two coats-of-arms on the shield, to link them to individuals documented in the written record, and ultimately to provide an approximate date for the panel and to reconstruct its wider context. As demonstrated, it belongs to the later fifteenth century and the early decades of Venetian rule on Cyprus (1474/89-1570/71), a period of rapid change on all fronts for the island. Its iconography and style are briefly discussed in terms of craftsmanship and as testimonies to the cultural references and aspirations of members of a social class that has left behind little beyond textual attestations, drawing conclusions at the same time about its function within the built environment of Venetian Nicosia.

Open Access
In: Frankokratia
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

Abstract

While access to library and archival collections in mainland China remains unclear due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and increasing government scrutiny, past experiences in Chinese archives are still relevant for scholars going forward, in the event that the People’s Republic of China reopens the doors to these collections. In surveying the digital, print publication, and manuscript collections pertaining to the Chinese history of World War ii, this article shows how access to new kinds of sources redefined the pre-pandemic state of the field. In particular, curated volumes that emphasized perspectives from the Chinese Communist Party and leftist intellectuals gradually have given way to a more representative collection of the documentary evidence, and Taiwanese collections continue to be important to the historiography. The article begins with coverage of well-known guides and published catalogues of mainland and Taiwanese collections. It then covers some military documents that Chinese scholars occasionally have referenced. It emphasizes the richness of accessible material on the social and cultural history of the war era as part of a call to colleagues and future students to expand the scope of what is traditionally thought to be “military history.” There is ample opportunity for major interventions into our understanding of wartime China, which shaped the course of modern history overall, and major innovations in historiography that scholars usually make from the dusty reading rooms of the libraries and archives.

Open Access
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Author:

Abstract

This essay introduces readers to the recent discovery of the personal papers of Grand Steward Tajima Michiji. These documents capture the post-surrender reflections of Hirohito, Japan’s Shōwa Emperor, and record him speaking on such issues as his war responsibility, as well as the culpability of prewar politicians such as Konoe Fumimaro and General Tōjō Hideki. In August 2019, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) (nhk) announced that it had gained privileged access to the papers. Acting on advice from scholars, it then released extracts from Tajima’s audience records. Drawing not on the Tajima papers themselves, but on what the nhk has made available, the documents demonstrate that Hirohito, after Japan’s surrender, experienced anguish and over the war and its outcome. He continued as emperor because he accepted “moral responsibility” for the war that required him to help his nation and its people endure occupation and reconstruction. This article also describes Hirohito’s postwar reflections on several issues, such as Japanese field officers and subordinates in the 1930s initiating without authorization acts of aggression, the Rape of Nanjing, and Japan’s postwar rearmament. While the Tajima papers will not resolve the ongoing debate over the emperor’s responsibility for Japan’s path of aggression before 1945, they do provide valuable insights about his role in and reaction to events before, during, and after World War ii.

Open Access
In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

Abstract

Portraits of the Roman emperors have been a focal point in the study of the ancient world. However, questions on how this medium developed over time and/or how perceptions of the emperor changed over more than four centuries of imperial rule, are constrained by the availability and accessibility of the material. This article introduces the Roman Imperial Portraits Dataset (ripd) to allow researchers to study the portraiture of Roman emperors through a more quantitative approach (). The dataset has systematically brought together more than 2,100 extant (i.e. published) portraits of the Roman emperors into a single dataset that can be used for further study. The article also introduces a web application with the aim to allow researchers and interested parties to work with the data(set) in an user-friendly manner.

Open Access
In: Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Author:

Abstract

Psychopathy was one of the most common diagnoses in Finnish forensic psychiatric examinations between the 1910s and 1960s. Abnormal categories of emotions such as sensitivity, indifference and the tendency to shift among different emotions or lability, were among the principal symptoms of psychopathy. This paper describes and analyses the ways in which Finnish forensic psychiatrists between the 1900s and 1930s perceived and portrayed the emotions of individuals they considered to be psychopaths, and how abnormal categories of emotions persisted until the end of the 1960s. Psychopathic categories of emotions were defined along a spectrum ranging between the extremes of sensitivity and of coldness and included volatility, which entailed rapid mood swings. Displaying either or both extremes of emotion defined psychopathy. The unifying category of abnormal emotions disappeared when the diagnosis of psychopathy ceased to exist in 1969, when it was replaced by the diagnostic category of personality disorders.

Open Access
In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society