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David Thang Moe

between us (no longer male and female). But in reality, otherness , as Miroslav Volf defines in Exclusion and Embrace , as ‘the simple fact of being different in some way’ 1 remains and it becomes a challenging factor for us today. My assumption is that the world we live in today is more

Augustine Uka Nwanyanwu

novel takes us into the fleeting dwelling-places of her female protagonist Ifemelu and other young Nigerians trying to escape the absence of choice in Nigerian society in the 1990s. This paper discusses the novel’s presentation of its agenda: namely, its concern with emigration/exile and its traumatic

Alexandra Deliu

This chapter aims at revealing one potential effect of international migration on the sending communities: the use, in day to day life, of a new criterion for distinguishing among individuals - having experienced migration or not. The analysis is based on qualitative data, generated through extensive sociological interviews with members – migrants, as well as people who have not had such an experience - of two Romanian, rural communities with high incidence of international migration. It is carried under the premise that discourse is a form of social action and that individuals make sense of themselves and the world around them through narrative. As such, I develop an in-depth analysis of the way in which individuals use discursive resources in their interactions with the researcher in order to account for the significant differences between migrants and non-migrants and, implicitly, to position themselves and their peers in the community and in their significant social world. In line with the theoretical approaches on social remittances, starting with the works of Peggy Levitt, I argue that migration has vast effects on life at the origin, such as restructuring social orders, enabling the formation of networks or leading to altered meanings of concepts such as ethnicity or religious orientation in lay vocabularies. Here, I demonstrate how, in interviews, individuals construct a sense of otherness on the basis of migration experience: migrants and non-migrants appear as belonging to meaningfully distinct social categories at the origin. Further, by analysing transcripts of the interviews, I provide empirically informed answers to the following questions: What is the social significance of migration and what is the common portrait of the migrant? How do people place themselves, in the interactions with the researcher, in relation to others in the community on the basis of having experienced migration?

Cecilia Åsberg

this commentary, the microscopic animals of the genus Rotifera, or “rotifers,” emerge as a theory-provoking nonhuman animal. Rotifers embody otherness in ways that may intrigue scholars within both Human-Animal Studies and feminist science studies. In their encounter with rotifers, such fields of


Katsuhiko Muramoto

quite often leave us disengaged from nature and other people for the sake of efficiency and saving energy. It is important to notice that the question of Why do we save? is substituted by How do we save? as the driving force for inquiry. Now, sustainability discourse in architecture is reduced to a

Sofia Aboim and Pedro Vasconcelos

In different historical and cultural contexts it is important to examine the ways in which diasporic and transnational relations are a key process of societal change, which may involve complex forms of dislocation and integration. Drawing on a qualitative research project on immigrant men in Portugal, we aim at disentangling the ways in which community identities are constructed in a gendered manner, with differences pertaining to the constitution of specific diasporic communities (Brazilians, Cape Verdeans and Mozambicans), hailing from diverse Portuguese colonial and post-colonial histories. We contend that for a deeper understanding of the overall consequences of migration and transnationalism, a gender perspective, which is often neglected when tackling cultural encounters and multiple modernities, is mandatory. For immigrant men, the experience of otherness, even if permeated by cultural entanglements, hybridity and social inclusion, is marked, in most cases, by subalternity. This subordinate condition, of being a discriminated stranger, a categorised other, often experiencing feelings of frustration and disenchantment with the ‘European dream,’ is reinforced by racialised/ethnic otherness vis-à-vis the dominance of whiteness. The ways of dealing with discrimination lead to the construction of identities along national lines of origin, in a highly gendered form, in terms of masculinities. As a consequence, Portuguese and European men are strongly devaluated and viewed as feminine and emasculated. Simultaneously, Portuguese women tend to be perceived as strongly masculinised. Conversely, immigrant men tend to stress self-definitions of identity that give priority to a virile sexuality and bodily performances as a way to compensate for the lack of other capitals of masculinity (e.g. financial and public power). However, these strategies can be quite paradoxical. On the one hand, there is a reinforcement of a defensive communitarian sense of belonging that ultimately leads to ghettoisation. On the other hand, there are also aspirational processes operating through the mimicry of the dominant other, even if these are often conflicting and contradictory. In sum, at the same time, immigrant men aspire to power in many-sided ways (namely by reinventing multiple forms of male bodily performativity), and tend to shut themselves to inclusion in the dominant Portuguese gender order, frequently being complicit with their own fetishisation as Other.

Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon

Superhero narratives are distinguished by the hero’s negotiation of the relationship between two constructed identities, one ordinary, one extraordinary. The superhero, whose costume emphasizes otherness, shelters in the guise of a civilian, in a performance of ordinariness. Prompted by Jacob Riis’ invitation in ‘How The Other Half Lives’ (1890), journalists of that era engaged in performance of ordinariness in search of trans-status empathy. These journalists cloaked themselves in a ‘signified cloth granting liberation and opportunity.’ The clothes reduced their status, masking their profession or prestige, and they found themselves empowered. The disguises allowed them normalcy and anonymity, thereby enabling relationships and activities previously out of reach. Dressing down in civilian wardrobe, the superhero engages in similar trans-status disguise. By concealing otherness, he is liberated from the responsibilities of the superhero lifestyle and the extreme attention it garners. Superman’s civilian masquerade provides the freedom to engage with normal human society. We can consider his Clark Kent persona in terms of the trans-status observations emerging from social experiments that utilise disguise to enter a closed social group. Kal-El of Krypton is a ‘covert operative’ who originates from outside the subject of his study, and disguises himself in order to infiltrate the group. He learns their costumes and customs via his rural Kansas upbringing, and then in adulthood and the urban sprawl of Metropolis, positions himself as ‘one of them.’ Superman’s relationship with his civilian alter-ego differs from that of other superheroes, who acquire their superpowers later in life. Spider-Man, for example, can be equated to a ‘retrospective participant observer’: he is able to model his civilian disguise on his own past experiences of ordinariness. This chapter will compare trans-status disguise in superhero comics to the activities of undercover journalists and social scientists, exploring the concealment of otherness through the performance of ordinariness.

Davor Marko

state definitely does not reduce fear. In fact, it just transforms it from a pure natural instinct for survival into the more institutionalized form of fear. Fear of each other (‘homo homini lupus’) becomes fear of the authority and its absolute right to punish everyone who disobeys its rules. “When a

Anne Cheng

, in all kinds of ways, including the intention to justify both China’s “otherness” and China’s “politics of recognition” (as defined by Charles Taylor). 3 I have always found the routine binary distinction between “East” and “West” (and especially between “China” and “the West”) rather disturbing

Morning, Paramin

Derek Walcott, Peter Doig, and an Ekphrasis of Relation

Maria Cristina Fumagalli

interspersed with references to works by (amongst others) Gianbattista Tiepolo, Paolo Veronese, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and J.M.W. Turner, for which he also offers his own ekphrastic readings. Walcott’s substantial contribution to what Heffernan (1993) has called “the museum of words” has been routinely