Book review: Queer Stories of Europe

Queer Stories of Europe, edited by Kārlis Vērdiņš and Jānis Ozoliņš and published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2016, has been reviewed by Uku Lember of Tallinn University, Estonia, in the Journal of Baltic Studies.

The full review requires subscription (click here), but here is an excerpt from the first paragraph:

“This is a great survey of the variety of approaches to queer culture and history
with an emphasis on literary texts from Central and Eastern Europe. Four of the
volume’s chapters are on Western Europe, four on Central and Eastern Europe,
and six on the Baltic (mostly Latvian) context and transnational connections. The
book has two parts: the first six chapters are devoted to queer literature in a
contemporary context and the last eight chapters are on literary culture in history.
The volume is the outcome of the international conference ‘Queer Narratives in
European Cultures’ that was organized in Riga in 2015 by the volume editors,
Kārlis Vērdiņš and Jānis Ozoliņš.”


To purchase the book directly from Cambridge Scholars, please click here.

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“And There’ll Be NO Dancing”: Perspectives on Policies Impacting Indigenous Australia Since 2007

“Sexual abuse of children is inexcusable. So why is there such a fuss about a state intervention? Should we shut up and do nothing just because there is racism? No child or woman must be molested, irrespective of who the perpetrator is!” Thus my recollection of what one of my Scottish colleagues said in an informal conversation about the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention, a set of legal and political measures intended to curtail domestic violence in Indigenous Australian communities. “Yes”, I replied, “race should not be an issue when talking about crime”. Not least because domestic violence happens everywhere, including Scotland. I would not have heard anyone talking about a specifically Scottish, White or European propensity for domestic violence. Yet there is abundant talk about Black violence. Generalisation is the hallmark of racialisation. Blackness is scripted as inherently violent—a tenacious trope deriving from colonial concepts of ferocious animalism (e.g. Eze 2000; Nederveen-Pieterse 1990). Blackness is juxtaposed with Whiteness, the latter being normalised as non-violent and civilised, thus becoming the final arbiter of Indigenous destinies. Perceptions of racialised violence justify intervening not merely in matters of domestic violence but also in Indigenous life and sovereignty—hence to take far-reaching measures for the sake of securing a seemingly non-violent whitened social order; or put succinctly, to save Indigenous children in order to erode Indigenous sovereignty. “You should read And There’ll Be NO Dancing,” I told my colleague. It discusses such readings of Indigenous sovereignty and the various forms of racialisation ensuing from the Intervention.

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Call for Papers: Literacy, empathy and social sustainability collection, 30th April 2018

Call For Papers: Literacy, empathy and social sustainability collection

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

What role can reading fiction play in social literacy? This collection is a health, social sustainability and reading. Within nursing education and schools the reading of fiction is part of the curriculum but voices can be heard asking if it is really that necessary and how it is useful. Librarians deal with literature every day. A perspective that these professions three share is that fiction can be a bridge in helping practitioners understand different perspectives, experiences and cultures.

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Jim Combs: For scholars, there are no final answers, but we can use our curiosity to look wide and deep in the world

James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture. He is currently participating in the ‘Meet our Authors‘ campaign: his full testimonial follows below.

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Meet our Authors: James Combs – March 2018

James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He has been active in such academic associations as the Popular Culture Association and the International Communication Association. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture, exploring such concepts as political drama, phony culture, the comedy of democracy, and the expansion of social play. His current research focus is in the broad field of popular experience, particularly the importance and variety of moving pictures.

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Book Review: Mapping the History of Folklore Studies: Centres, Borderlands and Shared Spaces

This collection of twenty articles is the outcome of a conference that was held in Riga in 2014 to celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of the Archives of Latvian Folklore. The book sheds light on the history of folkloristics in Europe, its ideological background, success stories and hardships, and the complicated relationship of the discipline with political realities. As Dace Bula notes, the change of political regimes has meant “repeated transfer from one space of truth and epistemological practices to another” (43)—and these ruptures and transitions are discussed in several of the book’s articles.

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