Thursday, February 09, 2006

Random Notes

I must be an arrogant fool. I may attempt to read Jose Ortega y Gasset's Meditacion de Europa in Spanish--no English translation exists. If anyone knows of one, please tell me.

Colonialogy--that's the term that Jonathan Dresner wants to coin. The problem, as he sees it, is that what happens on the other side of the imperial relationship is ill considered, probably to justify imperial projects retroactively:
I think we need a new word for the study of colonialism, imperialism and the post-colonial discourses, pro and con. Pro? Who’s in favor of it? Well, this is what makes it interesting, these days: there are a lot of former colonial powers out there whose citizens and leaders, in their heart of hearts, still believe that they accomplished something that was ultimately positive, who still believe that their developmental initiatives and their anti-communist (or anti-capitalist) positions were justified by subsequent developments. This is usually — explicitly or implicitly — intended to mitigate or cancel out any discussions of political repression, economic exploitation, military atrocities or strategic abandonment. Sometimes it’s just good historical sense, but then it usually comes with very careful caveats about not canceling out the other stuff.

What was the cost of the Super Bowl to the city of Detroit? The destruction of the Motown Building (read Detroit Blog here.)

Click here to read more.
Konrad Lawson at Munnin recounts his recent trip to Japan. He covers the conference he attended, the attitudes of Japanese to his presence, tourism, ... . Some very interesting comments about the sport of telling Asians (and Europeans) apart from one another.

Silversmith considers not guilty verdicts in rape cases from the early modern era (as found in the Old Bailey record.) A theory that architecture is a continuation of cliff dwelling (see David Sucher)? Via H-France, the SSRC has set up a website of essays about the Riots in France as seen from the perspective of academics in the social sciences. Brandon has some great links on the cartoon controversy; the best reactions from Arab world can be found at Global Voices Online.

Joel at Far Outliers extracted some bits from this interview of David Hackett Fischer. I was particularly interested in his comments about teaching at Brandeis University. Although it has the reputation of being "the Jewish university," it is mostly secular, with about half the students identifying themselves as Jewish. Indeed, I'd say that attitudes of reform domainte. Nonetheless, I've found that many of the professors have 'converted'--they learned to appreciate Judaism, and even have taken a strong interest in it through their research and publications. (Aside: Although an historian at Brandeis University, I have never met him: at the graduate level, the Americanists and the non-Americanists are in different departments.)

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