The Diggers, a subversive subset of the broader American counterculture in San Francisco in the 1960s, stood for a unique form of anarchist theater. They presented a form of performance art they referred to as life-acting the game of freedom which was itself a form of what they dubbed guerrilla theater. Drawing on Hakim Bey’s concept of the temporary autonomous zone, Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the carnivalesque, and Victor Turner’s idea of anti-structure, the essay examines the Diggers as a unique element within the American counterculture that deserves a critical reappraisal. Analysis of central Digger events and projects provides a view of their distinct perspective, one that critically engages with the politically motivated New Left (including the antiwar and Berkeley Free Speech movements) and spiritually motivated hippies (including unofficial leaders like Timothy Leary). The tactics of guerrilla theater were meant to reveal the contingency of social roles and encourage an anarchistic form of individual responsibility. Digger events provide strategies for subverting normative social structures while providing spaces for the exploration of alternate identities and community structures.
How does commercial DNA ancestry testing navigate the apparently conflicting ideologies of individual freedom and genealogical determinism? By exploring the cultural politics of this vast and growing industry and analyzing video advertisements by 23andMe and Ancestry.com, two key figures emerge in these adverts: the unexpectedly “not-quite-white” individual and the maximally “mixed-race” individual. Represented as the “ideal” subjects of the genealogical quest, they are able to access and instrumentalize ancestral self-knowledge in a way that amplifies, rather than impinges on, their powers of personal and consumer agency. Through the cultural capital that stems from their range of “ethnic options” and their “post-authentic” claim to histories of injury, they appear as the masters of a fluid, all-purpose, commercially driven relationship to their own ancestral identity: a stance that the paper terms liquid genealogy, after Zygmunt Bauman’s theory of liquid modernity. However, this representation co-opts and romanticizes often-violent histories, leverages a depoliticized identity politics, and grossly misrepresents real-world race relations.
During his long political career, Bob Dole was a loyal friend of the Armenian American community and a consistent supporter of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States. His attachment to this cause stemmed from his special relationship with an Armenian American surgeon, Dr. Hampar Kelikian, who gave new meaning to Dole’s life after he returned from World War II severely handicapped. It led him to defend Armenia and the Armenian people in Congress and to fight for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States (which proved reluctant to antagonize Turkey, its NATO ally). In 1990, Dole and Armenian activists led a long and tough battle in the Senate to pass Senate Joint Resolution 212 (S. J. Res. 212), a resolution recognizing the Genocide. They faced strong opposition from Turkey, the Executive branch, and Robert Byrd, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The resolution was eventually rejected. This article analyzes Dole’s strong relationship with the Armenians and his struggle to obtain the recognition of the Genocide in Congress. It focuses on Dole and Byrd, and it discusses how the Senate operated, Congress-Executive relations, and the significance of lobbying.
This article presents a qualitative study of Chinese scholars’ Fulbright experiences in the United States and factors influencing the outcomes, based on interviews with 32 Chinese professors who were visiting Fulbright scholars during the period between 2001 and 2012. The purpose of the study is to shed some light on US public diplomacy programs to suggest improvements for their efficacy benefitting all parties concerned, and ultimately to further relations between the US and the rest of the world.
This paper explores the significance of the mansion of Matcham in Henry James’s two final major novels, The Wings of the Dove (1902) and The Golden Bowl (1905). In many ways, these works represent variations on a theme, the first a tragedy, the second—especially if one accepts one classic definition of comedy as tragedy in which nobody dies—a comedy. In each, two impecunious lovers who cannot afford to marry each other encounter the possibility of massively improving their own lives by their ability to attract and charm the possessors of colossal American wealth. In each case, the fortunes involved prove a profound source of danger to their American owners and to those who would exploit them, distorting the lives of everyone involved. And in each story, the same exclusive English country house—dazzlingly charming, luxurious, even sybaritic, and ultimately sinister—is the fulcrum of the plot.
Over the past century, many studies have been devoted to American literature set in Europe and its capitals. Scholars including D. E. Barclay and E. Glaser-Schmidt, Hans-Jürgen Diller, Hanspeter Dörfel, Elisa Edwards, Peter Freese, Walter Kühnel, Henry Cord Meyer, Martin Meyer, Georg Schmundt-Thomas, and Waldemar Zacharasiewicz have focused on Germany’s image in the American imagination, either literary or from a general standpoint of comparative imagology. Yet despite a marked increase in American fiction treating Berlin since its first designation as Germany’s capital (and an overwhelming increase in the past twenty years), few studies have targeted Berlin itself as a setting or image in American literature and popular consciousness. Those which have are almost limited to Jörg Helbig’s very general collection Welcome to Berlin: Das Image Berlins in der englischprachigen Welt von 1700 bis heute and to Christine Gerhardt’s very specific “‘What was left of Berlin looked bleaker every day’: Berlin, Race, and Ethnicity in Recent American Literature.” This paper surveys trends in the development of American literature set in the German capital from around 1900 to the present.
Lack of consent is valorized within popular culture to the point that sexual assault has become a spectator sport and creepshot entertainment on social media. Indeed, the valorization of nonconsensual sex has reached the extreme where sex with unconscious girls, especially accompanied by photographs as trophies, has become a goal of some boys and men.
Marisa Ronan investigates how the ideology of the “American Century” became enmeshed in the emergence of a distinct evangelical Christian fiction genre. By positioning the End Times narrative within an identifiably American experience, evangelicals sought to locate America’s destiny within a biblically ordained narrative of American Exceptionalism that drew heavily upon the geopolitical developments of the time. The article explores the origins of the “American Century” as a concept, from its earliest appearance in Henry R. Luce’s 1941 editorial, to how it became, for evangelical writers and theologians, a useful entry point into the political sphere and a way to encode their writing with an ever increasing sense of urgency. In focusing on the writings of Frank Peretti, Tim LaHaye, and Jerry Jenkins, Ronan seeks to establish how the novels that found greatest popular success were those which were fully entrenched in the “American Century” narrative.