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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 12, Issue 1, 2015
Allegories of Imperialism: Barbarians and World Cultures

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Displaying: 1-10 of 17 documents


1. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
I-Chun Wang, Asun López-Varela, Allegories of Imperialism: Barbarians and World Cultures
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2. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
David Lea, Sovereignty, Linguistic Imperialism and the Quantification of Reality
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The events of 9/11 have underlined the relevance of the thought of Georgio Agamben in so far as he attempts to explain the genesis of an authoritarianism that increasingly implements extraordinary measures and enhanced surveillance. This can be understood in terms of the expansion of a biopolitical regime. Biometric analysis: finger printing, iris and retina scans etc., are to be understood in their relation to the individual as bare life, the individual stripped of his/her political legal identity and thus identified without reference to the latter. The camp, according to Agamben, is said to be the ultimate space, a lawless zone, wherequestions of legality and illegality become irrelevant. However, this paper argues that Agamben fails to underline the importance of the Cartesian legacy that initiated a form of conceptualization in which the ordering of reality replaced qualitative distinctions with mathematical quantification. Biometric analysis, which relies heavily on mathematized quantification of biological features, is integral to the biopolitical regime, as described by Michel Foucault and Agamben. This paper argues that a rejection of this Cartesian inheritance is necessary if we are to overcome insidious forms of control based on surveillance, biometric identification or even managerial oversight through supposedly quantifiable metrics of performance.
3. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Abobo Kumbalonah, The Invention of a Philosophy: Postcolonialism in the Context of Akan Proverbs
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This essay situates the debate on the philosophy of indigenous thought systems within the context of postcolonial theory. I argue that postcolonialism is areinvention of preexisting indigenous philosophy. Beginning from the late 1960s into the early 1970s a seemingly new wave of thinking was theorized by scholars as postcolonialism. Today, its popularity is evident in the many academic fields that have adopted and adapted it as an instrument of scholarly inquiry. In this essay, I argue, using Akan proverbs, that postcolonialism is not a new philosophy.
4. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Antonia Peroikou, Speaking (of) the Unspoken: Exploring the Mystery behind Friday’s Severed Tongue in Coetzee’s Foe
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In his 1987 novel Foe, J. M. Coetzee re-introduces the figure of Friday, a speechless cannibal, who is Robinson Crusoe’s slave and who allegedly had histongue severed by slave-traders. Evidently, Friday’s bestialization and his peculiar position within the narrative are inextricably linked to his status as a nonspeaking character. In contrast to Susan, Coetzee’s “failed narrator” (MacLeod, 2006: 6), Friday narrates nothing in the novel. Hence, his silence can be seen as a site of resistance to the oppressive power that tries to define him, marking the limit of a language and a literature that seek to place him within western logocentrism. Thus, the enigma of Friday and the enigma that is Friday, are the major axis around which the novel and all relationships within it unfold. Susan’s -and by extension, Coetzee’s own- inability to interpret Friday’s silence does not incapacitate the narrative but quite the contrary: it is only through her (and Coetzee’s) productive failure to determine, to identify and to define the figure of Friday that Coetzee is able to restore agency and meaningfulness to Friday’s silence, opening up its void to the possibility of a restitution (and a justice) to come.
5. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Temisanren Ebijuwa, Adeniyi Sulaiman Gbadegesin, Mediating Ethnic Identities: Reaching Consensus through Dialogue in an African Society
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In recent times, African states have experienced multiple challenges. The most disturbing one is the inability to evolve a sustainable culture of dialogue that issuitable for the mitigation of ethnic conflicts in contemporary Africa. It is this failure that has generated many other problems in other spheres. These problems, inconcert, have made the socio-political space largely that of frustration, despair and disappointment. This accounts for the social design of unhealthy alliances and the basis for the affirmation of parochial primordial frivolities at the detriment of a trans-national identity. But why have the affirmation of these primordial alliancesand its attendant conflicts remain daunting, intricate and resilient, in spite of the several attempts by scholars to mitigate it? This paper argues that extant discourse of the above concern fails because it ignores the value of the conditions for the practical realisation of agreement in situations of conflict. The attempt here is to explore indigenous mediation strategies especially from the traditional Igbo speaking people in South-Eastern Nigeria in arriving at trans-national identity in Africa, which will be inclusive other than the divisive structure that has exclusive character in extant discourse. This paper, therefore, will employ the analytic-descriptive method to interrogate the above in a manner many scholars are wont to ignore. Hence, it is expected that this paper will initiate a perspective that will challenge extant interpretation of the conditions of dialogue and consequently human solidarity in African States.
6. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Shiuhhuah Serena Chou, Claiming the Sacred: Indigenous Knowledge, Spiritual Ecology, and the Emergence of Eco-cosmopolitanism
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This essay examines the persistent engagement with cosmopolitan inclusivity through the endorsement of indigenous sacredness in works of ethnographicfiction. I focus on Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home, James Cameron’s Avatar, and Taiwanese writer Ming-yi Wu’s science fiction The Man with the Compound Eyes, three iconic environmental representations of indigenous knowledge. These texts illustrate how indigenous thinking has very often been transformed from place-bound, locally-embedded cultural traditions to an embodiment of Euro-American eco-spirituality that overturns both national boundaries and the humannature divide at the turn of the twenty-first century. In settler environmental narratives, the insistence on the ethnographic mode strengthens the desire for authenticity and intimacy.
7. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Stephen Joyce, The Fearful Merging of Self and Other: Intra-civilizational and Inter-civilizational Colonial Cultures in Richard E. Kim’s Lost Names
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Although most colonisations have been invasions of territory by neighbouring peoples with similar appearances, languages, and customs, postcolonial theoryis dominated by cases of inter-civilizational imperialism between the West and the non-West. This article argues that a new theoretical framework is needed to describe intra-civilizational colonial encounters because the psychological conflicts of the intra-civilizational colonial sphere and their political ramifications function differently to those described in postcolonial theory. Drawing on Nobel Prize nominee Richard E. Kim’s memoir of growing up in Korea during the Japanese Occupation, this article explicates the primary differences between the two forms of colonialism with reference to Homi Bhabha’s theories of hybridity and mimicry. It argues that without a visible racial difference between coloniser and colonised, hybridity and mimicry are imperial strategies of assimilation rather than native strategies of resistance and that the growth of cultural nationalism is a logical response.
8. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Oxana Karnaukhova, Tracing the Roots of Colonial History and Orientology in Russia
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In this paper, I focus on the idea of identity hybridization, assuming that multicultural models, relevant for each type of state, depend on complex historical,socio-cultural, and political contexts. This hypothesis directs my inquiry into Russia’s colonial and postcolonial past, contemplated in relation to European development as well as with similar situations in other parts of the globe. My review of intellectual discussions on the topic and of Russian Orientology in particular show that the complexity of Russian national identity can be traced back to contradictions within the process of European intellectual colonization, as well as to Russia’s realization of the Orthodox civilizing mission in its own empire. I propose the expression “secondary orientalism” to refer to the Russian situation.
9. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Michaela Keck, Culture-Crossing in Madison Smartt Bell’s Haitian Trilogy and Neo-Captivity Narrative
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This article investigates Madison Smartt Bell’s Haitian trilogy as a neocaptivity narrative that combines in new ways the conventions of the slave (captivity)narrative and the Barbary captivity narrative. Furthermore, it examines the culture-crossing of the character of Doctor Hébert in the course of the successful slaveuprising of Saint Domingue (1791-1804). Captivity, I argue, constitutes the central theme and structuring device and also triggers Hébert’s culture-crossing in a reversed Hegelian master-slave dialectic that needs to be read together with Riau’s enslavement. Lacking the social recognition of a free subject, Riau attains his independent self-consciousness through physical resistance and Saint-Domingue’s distinct black culture. Whereas Hébert learns to actively resist slavery as he crosses over into the Haitian society. In their struggles, both undergo the three phases (preliminal, liminal, post-liminal) of rites of passage.
10. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Mary Theis, Ideal Isolation for the Greater Good: The Hazards of Postcolonial Freedom
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Given the increasing complexity of living in a global village, countries and regions that are parts of larger political entities frequently have considered the optionof separating or seceding an ideal solution to their problems with a larger center of power. Isolation, a form of “freedom from,” has the potential of offering themfree rein or “freedom to” manage their affairs for their own sake. Francophone playwrights and filmmakers have found the dialectical interplay between “freedomfrom” and “freedom to” fertile dramatic soil for plays and films. Some of them work in both of these and other genres. These works seem to ask the same question: Is it desirable or possible to achieve both, even in ideal isolation, without suffering cultural stagnation or repeating the abuse of power on the part of the political center that led to the separation? This article explores the answers to this question given in the plays of Aimée Césaire, Anne Hébert, and Wajdi Mouawad within the greater context for this issue found in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and Azouz Begag’s Un Mouton dans la baignoire and in francophone films by Raoul Peck, Bertrand Tavernier, Claire Denis, Rachid Bouchareb, Ousmane Sembène, Michael Haneke, and Mathieu Kasovitz.