Thanks to Renzo Duin’s annotated translation, the voice of Lodewijk Schmidt—an Afrodiasporic Saramakka Maroon from Surinam—is finally available for Anglophone audiences worldwide. More than anything else, Schmidt’s three mid-twentieth-century ethnographic accounts tell the tragic story of Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands (northern Brazil, and southern Suriname and French Guiana). Schmidt’s is a story that takes account of the pathological mechanisms of colonialism, in which Indigenous Peoples and African Diaspora communities, both victims of colonialism, vilify each other falling privy to the divide-and-conquer mentality mechanisms of colonialism.
Accounts like that of the death and mourning of a magnificent Indigenous leader, Alapité, on 13-14 August 1941, suggest a deep respect on the part of the Maroon author, while his accounts also show his awareness of how the Indigenous Peoples vilified the Maroons. Beyond the ethnographic element, Duin argues that Schmidt was sent on a covert mission to determine whether or not the Nazis had engaged in covert missions and if they had established bases and airfields in the region.
As current ecological disasters, incurred by neocolonial, neoliberal and geopolitical practices, threaten to completely destroy the Amazonian forests that Schmidt describes, his meticulous accounts underscore the predetermined tragedy that is the result of the European and later North-American presence in present-day Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Duin’s profound knowledge of the history, topography, and fauna of the region contextualizes Schmidt’s ethnographic accounts and forces us to take account of the catastrophe that is deforestation and ethnocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands.
The Joker both fascinates and repels us. From his origin in Detective Comics in 1940, he has committed obscene crimes, some of the worst the Batman universe has ever known, and, conversely, fans have made him the topic of erotic and pornographic “fan fiction.” Speculation about the Joker abounds, where some fans have even claimed that the Joker is “queer coded.” This work explores various popular claims about the Joker, and delves into the history of comic books, and of other popular media from a semiotic viewpoint to understand “The Clown Prince of Crime” in the contexts in which he existed to understand his evolution in the past. From his roots as a “typical hoodlum,” The Joker even starred in his own eponymous comic book series and he was recently featured in a non-canonical movie. This work examines what it is about the Joker which fascinates us.
Friendly social relations during free time, referred to here as leisure-based sociability, constitute a prominent reward of participation in groups based on voluntary membership, consisting for this review mainly of amateurs, hobbyists, volunteers, and their associations. This benefit is analyzed according to two subtypes: sociable nonprofit associations and social clubs. The goal of this issue of the Voluntaristics Review is to examine the leisure component of these two subtypes as framed in the serious leisure perspective (SLP), put nonprofit sociability in organizational context, and then review the empirical literature bearing on it. Excluded are the studies and theoretic treatises approaching nonprofit groups from another angle (e.g., organizational structure, management issues, funding sources, governmental regulation, type of employment). Specifically, this review centers on the relevant publications listed in the SLP website bearing on amateurs, hobbyists, and career volunteers (the serious pursuits), casual leisure, and project-based interests. It includes several extensions of the theory and research on leisure-related aspects of aging and retirement, arts and science administration, library and information science, positive psychology, therapeutic recreation and disability studies, and tourism and event analysis. Compared with the specialties in leisure studies, the SLP casts by far the broadest theoretical and empirical net in that interdisciplinary field. The research reviewed shows that such talk—generically known as socializing—reflects one or more of 14 themes. In general, members find sociability in these clubs and associations in and around the core activities they pursue there and on which the two subtypes have formed. The studies reviewed, taken together, provide considerable validation of the proposition that leisure-based sociability is a prominent reward of participating in a multitude of volunteer groups. Leisure-based sociability is essentially micro-analytic, but when viewed through the lens of the SLP, it can be further understood using meso and macro levels of analysis.