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  1. Mar 2022 Journal Article photographies

    Between emptiness and superfluity: funeral photography and necropolitics in late-apartheid South Africa

    Louise Bethlehem, Musih Norma
    Abstract

    Documentary photography has undergone a process of devaluation in post-apartheid South Africa. In response, Patricia Hayes has introduced the term “empty photographs” into the scholarly conversation, using it to designate images that have been derided as “‘bad,’ ‘boring,’ or repetitious” in post-apartheid settings (“The Uneven Citizenry,” 189). This article revisits a

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  2. 29 Dec 2021 Journal Article Interventions

    Hydrocolonial Johannesburg

    Abstract

    Johannesburg is a landlocked city, famously the largest human concentration in the southern hemisphere not located on a river. What opportunities does it afford for hydrocolonial analysis, given Isabel Hofmeyr's anchoring of that term in oceanic studies? How might a hydrocolonial orientation defamiliarize the relations between surface and depths that have shaped

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  3. 1 Dec 2021 Journal Article American Anthropologist

    A Rabbi of One's Own? Navigating Religious Authority and Ethical Freedom in Everyday Judaism

    Abstract

    This article examines the varying ways religious devotees utilize, negotiate, embrace, and reject religious authorities in their everyday lives. Ethnographically exploring the ways that Orthodox Jews share reproductive decisions with rabbinic authorities, I demonstrate how some sanctify rabbinic rulings, while others dismiss them, or continue to “shop around” until they

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  4. 5 Nov 2021 Journal Article Convergence

    Thumbs up and down: The cultural technique of thumb-typing

    Abstract

    This paper explores thumb-typing as a cultural technique stemming from the mutual development of typing interfaces and practices. Focusing on the work of the typing fingers, it examines how the assignment of thumbs to be the primary writing digits is an innovation that correlates—and in some respects causes—textual and social changes that are central to digital culture

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  5. 10 Sep 2021 Journal Article Religions

    “It’s Not Doctrine, This Is Just How It Is Happening!”: Religious Creativity in the Time of COVID-19

    Lea Taragin-Zeller, Edward Kessler
    Abstract

    Drawing on thirty in-depth interviews with faith leaders in the UK (including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism), we examine the diverse ways religious groups reorient religious life during COVID-19. Analysing the shift to virtual and home-based worship, we show the creative ways religious communities altered their customs, rituals, and practices to

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  6. Sep 2021 Journal Article The Cultural Cold War and the Global South

    Choreographing Ideology: On the Ballet Adaptation of Peter Abrahams' The Path of Thunder in the Soviet Union

    Abstract

    South African writer Peter Abrahams’s literary mediation of the Harlem Renaissance is often seen as foundational for black literary production in apartheid South Africa. Abrahams’s exilic trajectories have also been widely noted. Despite scholarly interest in Abrahams’s transnational involvement with pan-Africanism and communism however, existing research has not

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  7. 25 Jul 2021 Journal Article Internet Histories

    Aleph-bet, dits-and-dahs, zeros and ones: representing Hebrew in character code

    Abstract

    One of the basic features facilitating communication on the Internet in a variety of languages is Unicode code-layout. It standardizes the representation of most of the world’s writing systems on digital media, thus enabling the process and transmission of information through such technologies. Unicode is a contemporary character code, and this paper traces its evolvement

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  8. Apr 2021 Journal Article Narrative Culture

    Becoming a Version: The Case of Walter Anderson's Studies of Yiddish Folk Narratives

    Abstract

    Variants and versions are key concepts in narrative studies. This article reconsiders these concepts in light of Walter Anderson's pioneering studies of Yiddish folklore in the 1920s. Anderson collected Yiddish narratives in Minsk while he was a teacher in Jewish gymnasia, turning them into versions of international tale types in his publications. An analysis of these

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  9. 1 Mar 2021 Journal Article American Anthropologist

    A Pirouette with the Twist of a Wheelchair: Embodied Translation and the Creation of Kinesthetic Commensurability

    Abstract

    The field of integrated dance brings together dancers with and without disabilities to create a novel art form. In dancing together, participants engage in a process of “translation” to interpret and enact movement, a practice I term embodied translation. This practice involves distilling a movement to its kinesthetic and expressive core, then exploring potential

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  10. 1 Sep 2020 Journal Article Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

    Expanding intersubjective awareness: the anthropology of kinaesthetic diversity

    Abstract

    When people with widely diverse bodily characteristics collaborate in dancing together, an exploration and communication of movement and embodied knowledge takes place through dialogue and shared practice. Engagement in these activities develops participants’ awareness of and appreciation for kinaesthetic complexities and diverse embodiments, promoting an

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