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A Laboratory of Liberty

The Transformation of Political Culture in Republican Switzerland, 1750-1848

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Marc Lerner

Looking at a series of Swiss political debates, this book offers a case study of a revolutionary transformation to a rights-based society and political culture. Based on a tradition of political innovation and experimentation, Swiss citizens recalibrated their understanding of liberty and republicanism from 1750 to 1848. The resulting hybrid political culture centered around republican ideas, changing understandings of liberty and self-rule. Drawing from the public political debates in three characteristic cantons, A Laboratory of Liberty places the Swiss transformation into a European context. Current trends in Revolutionary studies focus on the revolution in its global context and this book demonstrates that the Swiss case enhances our understanding of the debates over the nature of liberty in the transatlantic world during the Age of Revolution.

China and Its Others

Knowledge Transfer through Translation, 1829-2010

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Edited by James St. André and Hsiao-yen PENG

This volume brings together some of the latest research by scholars from the UK, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to examine a variety of issues relating to the history of translation between China and Europe, aimed at increasing dialogue between Chinese studies and translation studies. Covering the nineteenth century to the present, the essays tackle a number of important issues, including the role of relay translation, hybridity and transculturation, methods for the incorporation of foreign words and concepts, the problems entailed by the importation of foreign paradigms and epistemes, the role of public institutions, the issue of agency, and the role of metaphors to conceptualize translation. By examining the dissemination of certain key terms from the West to the East, often through pivotal languages, and by laying bare the transformation of knowledge conveyed through these terms, the essays go well beyond the “difference and similarity” comparison model in the investigation of East-West relations, demonstrating that transcultural hybridity is a more meaningful topic to pursue. Moreover, they demonstrate how the translator, always working simultaneously under several domestic and foreign institutions, needs to resort to “selection, deletion and compromise”, in other words personal free choice, when negotiating among institutional powers.

Opting Out

Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction

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Ana Sobral

Opting Out explores the theme of deviance as a form of protest in famous cult novels that have left an indelible mark on contemporary American culture – from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Adopting a generational lens, it centers on the deviant heroes and literary spokesmen of two major cohorts: the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Here for the first time the cult texts that defined these generations are submitted to a critical analysis that allows them to enter into a dialogue – or rather a heated debate – with each other. This opens new perspectives on the generation gap in America since 1945, offering a dynamic look at the role of youth as agents of social change and cultural innovation.
The volume is of interest to students and researchers in contemporary American literature and culture, as well as to fans of cult fiction in general. The interdisciplinary approach to the themes of generational conflict and deviant behaviour also makes a significant contribution to the fields of sociology, contemporary history and cultural studies.

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Edited by Andrea Hammel and Bea Lewkowicz

This volume examines the Kindertransport to Britain 1938/39. The seventeen contributions provide various new perspectives, which are investigated for the first time in this volume. Chapters focus on the Kindertransport in British historiography, on the identity development of specific groups of Kindertransportees, on the Kindertransportees’ further migration pattern, and on Kindertransport literature. Further contributions include a comparative study of Kindertransportees and evacuees, an article on therapeutic work with former Kindertransportees and reports on various memorial and cultural projects. The volume questions widely held myths and assumptions and provides new insights into the Kindertransport phenomenon.

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Edited by Eva Alcón Soler and Maria-Pilar Safont-Jordà

Studies on discourse and language learning originated in the field of general education and they focused on first language learning environments. However, since 1980s research on discourse and language learning broadened the scope of investigation to respond to second and foreign language environments. Recently, the emergence of new language learning contexts such as computer mediated communication, multilingual settings or content and language integrated contexts requires further research that focuses on discourse and language learning. From this perspective, the present volume aims to broaden the scope of investigation in foreign language contexts by exploring discourse patterns in the classroom and examining the impact of factors such as gender, explicitness of feedback or L1 use on language learning through discourse. With that aim in mind, this volume will bring together research that investigates discourse in various instructional settings, namely those of primary, secondary and university L2 learning environments, content and language integrated contexts and other new language learning settings. The number and variety of languages involved both as the first language (e.g. English, Finnish, Basque, Spanish, Japanese, French, Italian, Catalan) as well as the target foreign language (e.g. English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) makes the volume specially attractive. Additionally, the different approaches adopted by the researchers participating in this volume, such as information processing, sociocultural theory, or conversation analysis, widen the realm of investigation on discourse and language learning. Finally, the strength of the volume also lies in the range of educational settings (primary, secondary and tertiary education) and the worldwide representation of contributors across seven different countries, namely those of Spain, France, Austria, Finland, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States. The uniqueness of the volume is due to its eclectic and comprehensive nature in tackling instructional discourse. Worldwide outstanding researchers, like Julianne House, Carme Muñoz, Ute Smit, Tarja Nikula or Roy Lyster, to quote but a few, adopt different perspectives in this joint contribution that will certainly broaden the scope of research on language learners’ discourse.

Reaching for the Sky

Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives

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Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

Young people have to make their own way in the world; they have to give meaning to and find meaning in their lives. This is the field of religious education, which is provided by parents, religious leaders, or teachers of religion and worldviews. One of the most important challenges is to educate children in their own religion, emphasizing that religion’s tolerant and peaceful side and to teach children about the beliefs of other traditions. An even more important challenge is to teach them to live together in peace and justice. This volume deals with religious education in Christianity and Islam in specific countries. Scholars in religious education need to know more about the ways in which Muslims and Christians perceive and practice their respective forms of religious education and explore methods that help young people develop their religious identity in accordance with their tradition—and also meet with comrades from other traditions, as the two young Gambian and Dutch women shown on the cover do.
This volume explores the field of Christian and Islamic education. Muslim and Christian scholars from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands describe various aspects of religious education at school, at home, in the mosque and church, via the media and in peer groups. The papers were presented and discussed at an authors’ conference at VU University Amsterdam, organized in close collaboration between the staff of its Centre of Islamic Theology and other scholars in religious education, and the Islamic Universities League in Cairo. The authors describe actual processes of education, reflect on religious identity formation and respect for other people and the influences from home, school, mosque, and church, the media and “the street.”

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Edited by Norbert Hintersteiner

Thinking the Divine in Interreligious Encounter seeks to take seriously our questions of cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue on God or the Divine: How can the Divine be named and thought as Europe finds itself in midst of cross-cultural processes of a global nature and as religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism come into the foreground in the West? What are some of the major shifts in Christian theology, as it recognizes that peoples of non-Christian faith traditions name and think the Divine in ways that differ from and sometimes conflict with Europe’s dominant religion(s) and secular culture? Together with “Naming and Thinking God in Europe Today” and “Post-colonial Europe in the Crucible of Cultures” (Rodopi 2007), this volume allows us to discover opportunities for a multivalenced reflection on God or the Divine that achieves mutual intelligibility without surrendering to a dogmatic untranslatability or a crude relativism.

COSATU'S Contested Legacy

South African Trade Unions in the Second Decade of Democracy

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Edited by Sakhela Buhlungu and Malehoko Tshoaedi

COSATU's Contested Legacy provides a fresh and up-to-date analysis of trade unionism in contemporary South Africa by focusing on the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the largest and most powerful federation. Drawing on quantitative data from four time series surveys of union members over a period of sixteen years, the authors present rigorous and authoritative analyses that shed light on the dilemmas and opportunities facing trade unionism today. The volume shows how various sections of the trade union movement grapple with these dilemmas and contest with one another to chart a future trajectory for trade unionism.

Addressing Modernity

Social Systems Theory and U.S. Cultures

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Edited by Hannes Bergthaller and Carsten Schinko

Niklas Luhmann’s theory of social systems is one of the most ambitious attempts to create a coherent account of global modernity. Primarily interested in the fundamental structures of modern society, however, Luhmann himself paid relatively little attention to regional variations. The aim of this book is to seek out modernity in one particular location: The United States of America. Gathering essays from a group of cultural and literary scholars, sociologists, and philosophers, Addressing Modernity reassesses the claims of American exceptionalism by setting them in the context of Luhmann’s conception of modernity, and explores how social systems theory can generate new perspectives on what has often been described as the first thoroughly modern nation. As a study of American society and culture from a Luhmannian vantage point, the book is of interest to scholars from both American Studies and social systems theory in general.

Efficacité / Efficacy

How To Do Things With Words and Images?

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Edited by Véronique Plesch, Catriona MacLeod and Jan Baetens

This book aims at offering a broad survey of the encounter between word and image studies and anthropology and to demonstrate the mutual benefits of this dialogue for both disciplines in the three fields of the image (Marin), the social history of writing (Petrucci), and memory (Yates). The themes discussed by the contributors to this volume, all specialists in their field, highlight each in their specific field one or more aspects of the agency of both text and image. Bridging the gap between the Anglo-Saxon and the Latin research traditions, this bilingual volume focuses on three major questions: What do we do with texts and images? How do texts and images become active cultural agents? And what do texts and images help us do? Contributions cover a wide range of topics and disciplines (from visual poetry to garden theory and from ekphrasis to new media art), and represent therefore the best possible overview of what cutting-edge analysis in word and image studies stands for today.