1112 Chapters
Medium 9780253338112

8 The Post-Soviet Era: Winding Down or Starting Up Again?

Zvi Gitelman Indiana University Press ePub

What began as a courageous and seemingly far-sighted attempt to modernize and democratize the Soviet system ended in its destruction. Mikhail Gorbachev intended to re-construct a system whose foundations he believed to be sound but whose superstructure was inefficient, unproductive, and alienating. But the process of reconstruction revealed that the foundations were rotten and that there was far less general support for the Soviet state and its political and economic systems than most analysts within and outside the country had believed. In the short run, at least, Gorbachev’s attempts to modify the economic system were producing inflation and unemployment, phenomena unknown in the USSR. His political reforms allowed free expression of opinion and the political mobilization of the hitherto disenfranchised and even suppressed, but they also gave freedom of expression to those who opposed his reforms and believed that the USSR’s ills could be remedied by moving back toward authoritarian controls.

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9. Charms and Spiritual Practitioners: Negotiating Power Dynamics in an Enslaved African Community in Jamaica

Edited by Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula S Indiana University Press ePub

Paula Saunders

In recent times, the focus of African Diaspora archaeological research has moved to examine the spiritual-based practices of people of African descent throughout the Diaspora (see, e.g., K. L. Brown 1994, 2001, 2004; Fennell 2007b; Russell 1997; Stine et al. 1996; Wilkie 1997, on spirituality and ritual paraphernalia). The results of these studies often produce more questions than answers, and demonstrate the many complexities involved in examining such places of ritual activity, as well as the impossibility of creating standardized theories and methodologies to deal with such complex sites. As a result, archaeologists are still attempting to find ways to address the use of spirituality as one of the means whereby oppressed women, men, and children in the Diaspora negotiated power, resistance, and discourse inherent within the colonial state, as well as how these practices may be seen in the archaeological record.

This chapter presents some findings from the enslaved village at Orange Vale coffee plantation, located in Portland, Jamaica. This research applies an interdisciplinary approach by combining documentary, archaeological, and oral sources. In addition to information on daily living conditions and settlement patterns within the enslaved African village, additional findings include (1) the recognition of various levels of power negotiation, and (2) clues to the enslaved people’s ritualized spiritual practices through their use of charms. Further, this research underscores the importance of including descendant communities throughout the archaeological process, as well as the need to engage oral traditions in the interpretation of past societies, particularly for marginalized groups excluded from “official”—that is, written—stories of the past.

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7 Egyptian Colonialism and the Mahdī in the Sudan

Roman Loimeier Indiana University Press PDF


Egyptian Colonialism and the Mahdī in the Sudan

Historical Themes and Patterns

After the collapse of the Funj empire in the early nineteenth century, the lands on the two Niles became one of the few regions in Africa not colonized by a European colonial power but by an Arabo-African empire, Egypt. As in pharaonic times, Egypt sought to secure its southern marches, to control the Nile valley, and to gain access to the natural resources of the Sudan. Egyptian power politics were linked with a program of modernization in Egypt as well as in the new Egyptian provinces in the Sudan. While the Egyptian colonial conquest of the Sudan succeeded, Egyptian efforts to modernize the Sudan remained superficial and created unrest and instability. The new administration, often based on a bureaucracy staffed by Copts, turned social structures upside down, and marginalized established authorities while pampering new social and religious movements, especially among the Sufi orders and religious scholars. The extension of the Egyptian administration into the southern and western marches of the

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24 Portraits of the Perpetrators

Yitzhak Arad Indiana University Press ePub

The German extermination machine, which geared itself to the concentration and transport of the Jews of Poland and other European countries to Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, included in its ranks thousands of people—government officials and SS personnel of the highest ranks in the Third Reich, who made the decisions and published the orders to transport the Jews to the extermination camps; local administrative and police personnel, whose job was to round up the people and have them brought to the trains; the executives and workers of the Reich railway; and the security personnel who accompanied the deportees to the camps.

The suffering and hardships that the hundreds of thousands of Jewish deportees experienced while still on their journey to the camps were the direct result of the attitude and treatment that was meted out to them by the Germans and the collaborators of other nationalities, who were all part of this very complicated network. But the most excruciating experiences that the deportees went through, in the final hours of their lives, when they finally reached their destination, were determined above all by the local SS personnel, and especially by the commanders. This was likewise true with regard to the daily routine set for the prisoners who were kept on in these camps.

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7: Pilgrimage and Reconciliation: Crossing Boundaries to Transcend Them

McIntosh, I.S.; Harman, L.D. CABI PDF


Pilgrimage and Reconciliation:

Crossing Boundaries to Transcend Them

Daniel J. Simons*

Trinity Church, New York City, USA


Pilgrimage, by definition, involves boundary crossing and also dislocation, leading to new discoveries and often whole-life transformation.

This chapter discusses the concept of ‘accidental pilgrimage’ and how it may become more intentional. To do this, it explores the correspondence between the outer and inner journey through the lens of three pairs of related concepts often used in discussions of pilgrimage, namely tourist/ pilgrim, secular/religious and sacred/holy. Several pilgrimage contexts, including the Camino de

Santiago de Compostela, the pilgrimage to Palestine/Israel, the new pilgrimage shrine of St. Paul’s

Chapel in New York City and the Burning Man festival in Gerlach, Nevada, are in focus. These settings provide an opportunity to examine the function of pilgrimage as an organizing principle for greater psychological and spiritual integration within the individual, between individuals and among estranged groups, which is the peace-­ building work that I call reconciliation.

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