Berghahn Journals is the journals division of Berghahn Books, an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. A peer-review press, Berghahn is committed to the highest academic standards and seeks to enable innovative contributions to the scholarship in its fields of specialty.
When standing in the middle of the transit hub in Charlotte, the noise of buses and passengers overwhelms the senses. Over twenty bays serve at least that many bus lines, and the roof amplifies brake sounds, honking, engine noises, and chatter. My students astutely suggested that interviews would be nearly impossible to record. But over several years, we collected interviews and surveys in this space, studying how transit riders in Charlotte accessed fruits, vegetables, and other foods. We wrote reports for our partner organization, Friendship Gardens, about the perception and use of the mobile farmers market they provided at the transit hub on Thursday afternoons.
What became clear over time was that transportation mediates food access—people shop at a bus stop on their way home, borrow cars for weekend trips to the store, or purchase food at the transit hub. Almost all of those using the transit hub bought something to eat there every week or so, and on average, riders shopped 1.6 times per week on their bus rides. The idea of “food deserts” was incomplete, and our project suggested different ways of thinking about food in urban spaces. What we found at the intersection of transportation and food shopping suggests new elements to add to models of food insecurity, particularly the role of snacks and cultural expectations surrounding shopping. We also suggest that broader trends in urban planning that focus on big data and technology as ways to improve urban services are likely to miss important elements of food access.
“Food deserts” have been characterized broadly as areas that lack access to food, in terms of either the presence of food stores or the availability of healthy foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat (Hendrickson et al. 2006). For example, in Charlotte, many neighborhoods do not have a full-service grocery store in their immediate area (Racine et al. 2010a), and this absence has been identified as a primary factor for poor diets and associated health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (Rose and Richards 2004; Racine et al. 2010a; Larsen et al. 2009). However, other characteristics may also be important determinants for access to food, such as transportation availability, perception of area crime, or time available to buy and prepare food (Childs and Lewis 2012), personal preferences or culture (Smith and Miller 2011), or a lack of awareness about nutrition. There is a gap in our knowledge about what creates problems of food access, or what might alleviate these, particularly in the Charlotte urban area.
We combined interview and survey data as a way to better understand the issues surrounding food access (Childs and Lewis 2012). We worked with Friendship Gardens, a project of the Friendship Trays nonprofit in Charlotte that creates community gardens, to assess one of their new programs at the uptown transit center. In fall of 2012, these organizations started a fresh produce cart at the transit center one afternoon a week. This program was in response to earlier work (Racine 2010b) that identified lack of transportation as an important variable for food access. In this project, researchers observed, interviewed, and surveyed transit riders about their use of and experiences with this cart, and monitored the sales to understand how the program is being used. Open-ended questions used in the interviews also provided confidential feedback about the program. We also replicated the survey in spring 2014 to determine effectiveness and changes over time.
What do they shop for?
About a quarter of the transit riders surveyed in 2014 have shopped at the mobile market, though they tend to purchase snacks rather than ingredients for meals (65.5 percent in 2014). Many grab a banana, apple, or orange for their ride, sometimes combining these with fried chicken or other fast food purchased at the transit hub.
When do they shop?
The day for the mobile market has been Thursday from March to October, following the seasonality for fresh produce. In 2013 and 2014, we asked which dates people would prefer shopping at the mobile market, and many suggested weekends would be preferable. Preferred additional openings for the mobile market were noon to 6 p.m. Friday (49.1 percent), Wednesday (33.3 percent), Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (all 31.6 percent). The interest in Friday and Saturday surprised those at Friendship Gardens, who say that no one is at the transit center on weekends. One of the interviewed travelers suggested in 2013 that they would prefer “Saturday, around seven. On Saturdays most people are off of work and are going to basketball games. And like now, people are getting off of work, and on Thursdays, most people do not get paid until Fridays. Saturdays would be more convenient.” These findings complicate ideas about shopping, which may not be simply accomplished on the way home, but connect to other social events and outings that are on weekends.
Why do they shop?
Shopping at the mobile market during the week thus may lead toward snacks rather than meal planning. The mobile market is convenient for snacks but may not fit into expectations about shopping. However, the mobile market also provides a way to supplement weekly shopping trips. One respondent said about the mobile market: “I think it is good because you can get some fresh produce. You can buy it down here, instead of having to wait to go to the supermarket.”
Our studies in 2013 and 2014 highlight the need to examine more than location and shopping habits for those at risk for experiencing food insecurity. “Food deserts” are static representations of food outlets that neglect the mobility of residents, as well as the cultural context of shopping, which might include specific days and habits. Surveys are often unable to capture the ways people shop for, prepare, and experience food, though remain valuable for getting larger-scale information about behavior and preferences. What does this limitation mean for how we study food access in cities like Charlotte? How can urban planning respond to these challenges?
Feeding a smart city?
A current trend in urban planning is to envision and implement “smart cities” that could respond to the needs of urban citizens by using “big data” to detect patterns and provide feedback mechanisms. These are being realized in projects like mobility apps and smart cars, connected meters, and other technologies that promise to make cities run smoother and more efficiently, with a focus on data and innovation.
Food systems are a potential target for smart technologies that can reduce waste through better communication among the different parts of the system, like tracking supply and demand or calculating footprints (e.g., Food Metres). Given the focus on mobility and transportation in many “smart cities” (Handy 2005; Firnkorn and Müller 2015), there is the potential to examine the ways transportation efficiency might also affect food access. Future research on the mobile market might examine larger transit trends and connect these to market locations or other points of overlapping access.
However, the research we completed suggests that the data we need to understand food access does not exist in “big data” quantities but rather in the qualitative habits and preferences of transit users who in many cases still experience a gap between need and access. Even mapping their transit patterns will only review what they do now, rather than what might be potential ways to improve their food security. We might imagine a case where food insecure transit riders are encouraged to stop off for the grocery store most convenient to their route home, only to find that this is still not convenient for other reasons.
Food security is the result of a complex set of relationships that go beyond the kitchen and grocery story—transit adds another element, but the model is still incomplete. In order to understand why some urban residents do not get enough to eat, we must acknowledge that more stores (Dubowitz et al. 2015), data, or even transit will not suffice.
There is an emerging literature on both food systems and smart cities that emphasizes the critical role of governance and citizen involvement in planning (Morgan and Sonnino 2010; Angelidou 2016; Lee and Lee 2014; Childs and Lewis 2012; see Kitchin et al. 2015 for a combination of both). Food security could be reframed as a governance concern rather than a technological problem of supply and demand (Sonnino 2014). Calls for governance approaches to food systems and urban planning in general include preferences for citizen engagement in decision-making through co-production, co-design, and co-evaluation processes (Castelnovo et al 2015).
There are many valuable outcomes from examining the findings and trends explored above, along with some of my earlier work with participatory governance and institutional analyses. Designing the food system in Charlotte will require greater thought about how to start this process—what are the questions, who should ask them, and what kind of information we need to answer them. At the very least, we need to understand food as a part of other sectors—transportation, economy and wages, family, environment, and so on.
When we asked what transit riders thought might help their community eat healthier, the three most common answers were access to more variety of food (17.6 percent), lower prices (17.6 percent), and more awareness (13.4 percent). Yet creating the conditions for improved variety, prices, and awareness is a multi-sectoral challenge that requires deeper data rather than big data.
Yet this also requires a different approach to governance and food system efforts more broadly. If we cannot improve food access with a focus on the food system alone, we need to examine the connections among the different systems and develop strategies for creating a better set of interacting systems. Governance becomes crucial for setting up the conditions needed to ensure that community members play a central role in decisions that affect them, as they bring critical knowledge about preferences, habits, and goals, as well as the unique ways that their food systems interact with economy, environment, leisure, and other elements.
The following students also contributed to this article: Jessica Ballard, Lauren Ballard, Rebecca Bubp, Joshua Buck, Mary Cassada, Ucha David, Benjamin Douglas, Monica Dyer, Brianna Fulp, Michelle Grey, Bryan Guess, Athina Hinson, Eric Holsinger, Jordan Kitchens, Michele Kohan, Kristy Lally, Nicholas Evan Mathis, Erica McLeod, Gabrielle Peterson, Patrick Preudhomme, Hayden Sisk, and Lauren Whipp. Work presented here was based on research presented in the Assessment of the Friendship Gardens Mobile Market in Spring 2013 (Report to Friendship Gardens, Charlotte, NC) as well as a follow-up study in 2014. Special thanks to Katherine Metzo and Friendship Gardens for their collaboration on this work.
Nicole D. Peterson, anthropologist at UNC Charlotte, examines how humans interact with their environments and how we can create better socio-environmental systems. She has studied marine protected areas in Mexico and climate change adaptation in Ethiopian agriculture. Dr. Peterson currently focuses on Charlotte area food security and coordinates the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability to highlight the importance of social aspects of sustainability for engineering, business, and other domains. See her previous blog post on INSS here.
The photos in this post are credited to the author.
Angelidou, Margarita. 2016. “Four European Smart City Strategies.” International Journal of Social Science Studies 4, no. 4.
Castelnovo, W., G. Misuraca, and A. Savoldelli. 2015. “Citizen’s Engagement and Value Co-production in Smart and Sustainable Cities.” Pp. 1–16 in International Conference on Public Policy.
Childs, Jessica, and Laura R. Lewis. 2012. “Food Deserts and a Southwest Community of Baltimore City.” Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 15, no. 3: 395–414.
Dubowitz, T., M. Ghosh-Dastidar, D.A. Cohen, R. Beckman, E.D. Steiner, G.P. Hunter, K.R. Flórez, C. Huang, C.A. Vaughan, J.C. Sloan, and S.N. Zenk. 2015. “Diet and Perceptions Change with Supermarket Introduction in a Food Desert, but Not Because of Supermarket Use.” Health Affairs 34 no. 11: 1858–1868.
Firnkorn, J., and M. Müller. 2015. “Free-floating Electric Carsharing-fleets in Smart Cities: The Dawning of a Post-private Car Era in Urban Environments?” Environmental Science & Policy 45: 30–40.
Handy, S. 2005. “Smart Growth and the Transportation-land Use Connection: What Does the Research Tell Us?” International Regional Science Review 28, no. 2: 146–167.
Hendrickson, D., C. Smith, and N. Eikenberry. 2006. “Fruit and Vegetable Access in Four Low-income Food Desert Communities in Minnesota.” Agriculture and Human Values 23: 371–383.
Kitchin, R., T.P. Lauriaulta, and G. McArdleb. 2015. “Knowing and Governing Cities through Urban Indicators, City Benchmarking and Real-time Dashboards.” Regional Studies, Regional Science 2 no. 1: 6–28.
Larson, Nicole I., Mary T. Story, and Melissa C. Nelson. “Neighborhood Environments Disparities in Access to Healthy Foods in the U.S.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36, no. 1: 74–81.
Lee, J., and H. Lee. 2014. “Developing and Validating a Citizen-centric Typology for Smart City Services.” Government Information Quarterly 31: S93–S105.
Morgan, K., and R. Sonnino. 2010. “The Urban Foodscape: World Cities and the New Food Equation.” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society: 1–16.
Racine, Elizabeth, Qingfang Wang, and Christina Wilson. 2010a. “Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment 2010: Prepared for Mecklenburg County Health Department in Cooperation with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council and Mecklenburg County GIS.”
Racine, Elizabeth, Qingfang Wang, and Devonda Gomez. 2010b. “Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment 2010, Phase 2: Focus Group Study. Prepared for Mecklenburg County Health Department.”
Rose, D., and R. Richards. 2004. “Food Store Access and Household Fruit and Vegetable Use among Participants in the US Food Stamp Program.” Public Health Nutrition 7, no. 8: 1081–1088.
Smith, Chery, and Hannah Miller. 2011. “Accessing the Food Systems in Urban and Rural Minnesotan Communities.” Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior 43, no. 6: 492
Sonnino, R. 2014. “The New Geography of Food Security: Exploring the Potential of Urban Food Strategies.” The Geographical Journal. doi:10.1111/geoj.12129.
Cite as: Peterson, Nicole. 2016. “Challenges for Urban Food Access in an Era of Big Data.” EnviroSociety, 20 June. www.envirosociety.org/2016/06/nicole-peterson-challenges-for-urban-food-access-in-an-era-of-big-data.
We are pleased to announce that the latest issue of Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology has recently published and is available online at its new home, www.berghahnjournals.com/focaal.
This issue’s theme section, titled “In/visible—In/secure” and guest edited by Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein, illustrates the multiple and shifting intersections of in/visibility and in/security in today’s security-minded world and also reminds us of the unique contributions that anthropology can make to the critical study of security. The editors’ introduction is available to all readers for free.
Focaal 75 also includes a regular articles section, which features a freely available Open Access article by Judith Bovensiepen, and a forum piece by Katharina Bodirsky on politically organizing subjection in the contexts of current EU-Europe and Turkey. As always, forums are freely available to all readers.
Volume 2016, Issue 75: In/visible—In/secure
Guest Editors: Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein
In/visible—In/secure: Optics of regulation and control
Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein
Intimidation, reassurance, and invisibility: Israeli security agents in the Old City of Jerusalem
Erella Grassiani and Lior Volinz
Sensing evil: Counterterrorism, techno-science, and the cultural reproduction of security
Mark Maguire and Pete Fussey
The correct secret: Discretion and hypertransparency in Chinese biosecurity
Katherine A. Mason
Visions of prosperity and conspiracy in Timor-Leste
The everyday politics of India’s “land wars” in rural eastern India
Kenneth Bo Nielsen
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We are delighted to inform you that Berghahn titles will be on display at The Council for European Studies Conference in Philadelphia, PA on April 14-16, 2016. Please stop by and don’t miss your chance to browse our selection of books at special conference price and pick up free journal samples.
If you are unable to attend, we would like to provide you with a special discount offer. For the next 30 days, receive a 25% discount on all Europe Studies titles found on our website. At checkout, simply enter the code CES16.
Here is a preview of some of our newest releases on display.
The State of the Art
Edited by Olivier Fillieule and Guya Accornero
Foreword by James Jasper
Volume 16, Protest, Culture & Society
Bringing together over forty established and emerging scholars, this landmark volume is the first to comprehensively examine the evolution and current practice of social movement studies in a specifically European context. While its first half offers comparative approaches to an array of significant issues and movements, its second half assembles focused national studies that include most major European states. Throughout, these contributions are guided by a shared set of historical and social-scientific questions with a particular emphasis on political sociology, thus offering a bold and uncommonly unified survey that will be essential for scholars and students of European social movements.
A Comparative History of a European Concept
Edited by Pasi Ihalainen, Cornelia Ilie, and Kari Palonen
Parliamentary theory, practices, discourses, and institutions constitute a distinctively European contribution to modern politics. Taking a broad historical perspective, this cross-disciplinary, innovative, and rigorous collection locates the essence of parliamentarism in four key aspects—deliberation, representation, responsibility, and sovereignty—and explores the different ways in which they have been contested, reshaped, and implemented in a series of representative national and regional case studies. As one of the first comparative studies in conceptual history, this volume focuses on debates about the nature of parliament and parliamentarism within and across different European countries, representative institutions, and genres of political discourse.
Making and Unmaking Heritage in Cyprus
WINNER OF THE 2016 PROSE AWARD FOR ANTHROPOLOGY
On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, rural villages, traditional artefacts, even atmospheres and experiences are considered heritage. Heritage making not only protects, but also produces, things, people, and places. Since the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, heritage making and Europeanization are increasingly intertwined in Greek-Cypriot society. Against the backdrop of a long-term ethnographic engagement, the author argues that heritage emerges as an increasingly standardized economic resource, a “European product.” Implemented in historic preservation, rural tourism, culinary traditions, nature protection, and urban restoration projects, heritage policy has become infused with transnational market regulations and neoliberal property regimes.
Arranging Legality in European Labor Migration Policies
The conditions for non-EU migrant workers to gain legal entry to Britain, France, and Germany are at the same time similar and quite different. To explain this variation this book compares the fine-grained legal categories for migrant workers in each country, and examines the interaction of economic, social, and cultural rationales in determining migrant legality. Rather than investigating the failure of borders to keep unauthorized migrants out, the author highlights the different policies of each country as “border-drawing” actions. Policymakers draw lines between different migrant groups, and between migrants and citizens, through considerations of both their economic utility and skills, but also their places of origin and prospects for social integration. Overall, migrant worker legality is arranged against the backdrop of the specific vision each country has of itself in an economically competitive, globalized world with rapidly changing welfare and citizenship models.
Deportation, Punishment and Everyday Life
Volume 17, Dislocations
Focusing on the lived experience of immigration policy and processes, this volume provides fascinating insights into the deportation process as it is felt and understood by those subjected to it. The author presents a rich and innovative ethnography of deportation and deportability experienced by migrants convicted of criminal offenses in England and Wales. The unique perspectives developed here – on due process in immigration appeals, migrant surveillance and control, social relations and sense of self, and compliance and resistance – are important for broader understandings of border control policy and human rights.
Cultural Legacies of Europe at War, 1936-2016
Edited by Manuel Bragança and Peter Tame
Foreword by Richard Overy
Afterword by Jay Winter
Volume 17, Contemporary European History
In its totality, the “Long Second World War”—extending from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to the end of hostilities in 1945—has exerted enormous influence over European culture. Bringing together leading historians, sociologists, and literary and film scholars, this broadly interdisciplinary volume investigates Europeans’ individual and collective memories and the ways in which they have shaped the continent’s cultural heritage. Focusing on the major combatant nations—Spain, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Russia—it offers thoroughly contextualized explorations of novels, memoirs, films, and a host of other cultural forms to illuminate European public memory.
Poverty, Welfare and Social Ties in Modern Europe
Edited by Beate Althammer, Lutz Raphael, and Tamara Stazic-Wendt
Volume 27, International Studies in Social History
In many ways, the European welfare state constituted a response to the new forms of social fracture and economic turbulence that were born out of industrialization—challenges that were particularly acute for groups whose integration into society seemed the most tenuous. Covering a range of national cases, this volume explores the relationship of weak social ties to poverty and how ideas about this relationship informed welfare policies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By focusing on three representative populations—neglected children, the homeless, and the unemployed—it provides a rich, comparative consideration of the shifting perceptions, representations, and lived experiences of social vulnerability in modern Europe.
Late Authoritarianism and Student Protest in Portugal
Volume 18, Protest, Culture & Society
Histories of Portugal’s transition to democracy have long focused on the 1974 military coup that toppled the authoritarian Estado Novo regime and set in motion the divestment of the nation’s colonial holdings. However, the events of this “Carnation Revolution” were in many ways the culmination of a much longer process of resistance and protest originating in universities and other sectors of society. Combining careful research in police, government, and student archives with insights from social movement theory, The Revolution before the Revolution broadens our understanding of Portuguese democratization by tracing the societal convulsions that preceded it over the course of the “long 1960s.”
Discourses of Trauma, Exclusion and Survival
Edited by Lynda Mannik
Volume 35, Forced Migration
At a time when thousands of refugees risk their lives undertaking perilous journeys by boat across the Mediterranean, this multidisciplinary volume could not be more pertinent. It offers various contemporary case studies of boat migrations undertaken by asylum seekers and refugees around the globe and shows that boats not only move people and cultural capital between places, but also fuel cultural fantasies, dreams of adventure and hope, along with fears of invasion and terrorism. The ambiguous nature of memories, media representations and popular culture productions are highlighted throughout in order to address negative stereotypes and conversely, humanize the individuals involved.
Asymmetry and Proximity at Europe’s Frontiers
Edited by Jutta Lauth Bacas and William Kavanagh†
“As befits anthropology, Border Encounters is rich in empirical detail. However, it is also an excellent introduction to border theory, with a helpful literature review. The theoretical framework clearly set out in the Introduction and the individual chapters do collectively illustrate why borders should be seen as constructs and as sites of asymmetrical social relationships…All in all, this is an intriguing and well-structured volume which will be of interest to students and scholars from a variety of academic disciplines.” · LSE Review of Books
Edited by Steven King and Anne Winter
Volume 23, International Studies in Social History
“…a valuable and engaging contribution to historical debates about labor, poverty, relief, and belonging…[The papers] are written by leaders in their fields…and pulled together [by the editors] in an elegant and convincing treatment of the case for such a geographical spread.” · Alannah Tomkins, University of Keele
The issues around settlement, belonging, and poor relief have for too long been understood largely from the perspective of England and Wales. This volume offers a pan-European survey that encompasses Switzerland, Prussia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain. It explores how the conception of belonging changed over time and space from the 1500s onwards, how communities dealt with the welfare expectations of an increasingly mobile population that migrated both within and between states, the welfare rights that were attached to those who “belonged,” and how ordinary people secured access to welfare resources.
Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the ‘Long 1960s’ in Greece
Volume 10, Protest, Culture & Society
Winner of the 2015 Keeley Book Prize of the Modern Greek Studies Association
“This long-anticipated… publication signals the beginning of a potentially fruitful and certainly long overdue examination of the 1960s and 1970s in Greece. After so many years of discussions and debates on the Greek Civil War, the time for a careful consideration of the junta and its afterlife seems to have finally come. Kornetis offers an enormously productive entry point by exploring the issue that is analytically most central and socially most sensitive concerning this period: resistance and its counterpart, complicity. For anyone with an interest in the period or in the broad range of theoretical issues raised by its study, Children of the Dictatorship is an indispensible book that is sure to anchor future discussion and debate of the military regime.” · Journal of Modern Greek Studies
Edited by Eric Langenbacher, Bill Niven, and Ruth Wittlinger
“Overall this is an interesting collection with a number of thought-provoking essays. Notably, several of the chapters bring new (social science) methodologies to the interdisciplinary field of memory studies. It is also a strength of the volume that, while the focus is clearly on memories of World War II and the Holocaust, it incorporates consideration of a range of pasts that continue to have a significant impact on the way Europeans understand themselves and others. The comparative perspective proves particularly fruitful in raising new questions regarding different kinds of remembrance at both the national and the European level.” · European Legacy
Previously published as Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures
Published since 1990, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (AJEC) engages with current debates and innovative research agendas addressing the social and cultural transformations of contemporary European societies. The journal serves as an important forum for ethnographic research in and on Europe, which in this context is not defined narrowly as a geopolitical entity but rather as a meaningful cultural construction in people’s lives, which both legitimates political power and calls forth practices of resistance and subversion. By presenting both new field studies and theoretical reflections on the history and politics of studying culture in Europe anthropologically, AJEC encompasses different academic traditions of engaging with its subject, from social and cultural anthropology to European ethnology and empirische Kulturwissenschaften.
Aspasia is the international peer-reviewed annual of women’s and gender history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE). It aims to transform European women’s and gender history by expanding comparative research on women and gender to all parts of Europe, creating a European history of women and gender that encompasses more than the traditional Western European perspective. Aspasia particularly emphasizes research that examines the ways in which gender intersects with other categories of social organization and advances work that explores transnational aspects of women’s and gender histories within, to, and from CESEE. The journal also provides an important outlet for the publication of articles by scholars working in CESEE itself. Its contributions cover a rich variety of topics and historical eras, as well as a wide range of methodologies and approaches to the history of women and gender.
FPC&S is the journal of the Conference Group on French Politics & Society. It is jointly sponsored by the Institute of French Studies at New York University and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
European Comic Art is the first English-language scholarly publication devoted to the study of European-language graphic novels, comic strips, comic books and caricature. Published in association with the American Bande Dessinée Society and the International Bande Dessinée Society, European Comic Art builds on existing scholarship in French-language comic art and is able to draw on the scholarly activities undertaken by both organisations. However, our editorial board and consultative committee bring expertise on a wider European area of comic art production and the journal will emphasise coverage of work from across Europe, including Eastern Europe.
FPC&S is the journal of the Conference Group on French Politics & Society. It is jointly sponsored by the Institute of French Studies at New York University and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
French Politics, Culture & Society explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines France’s relationship to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire. The editors also welcome pieces on recent debates and events, as well as articles that explore the connections between French society and cultural expression of all sorts (such as art, film, literature, and popular culture). Issues devoted to a single theme appear from time to time. With refereed research articles, timely essays, and reviews of books in many disciplines, French Politics, Culture & Society provides a forum for learned opinion and the latest scholarship on France.
French Politics, Culture & Society is now available on JSTOR!
German Politics and Society is a joint publication of the BMW Center for German and European Studies (of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). These centers are represented by their directors on the journal’s Editorial Committee.
German Politics and Society is a peer-reviewed journal published and distributed by Berghahn Journals. It is the only American publication that explores issues in modern Germany from the combined perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural studies.
German Politics and Society is now available on JSTOR!
A Journal for the New Europe
Published in association with the Leo Baeck College and the Michael Goulston Education Foundation.
For over 40 years, European Judaism has provided a voice for the postwar Jewish world in Europe. It has reflected the different realities of each country and helped to rebuild Jewish consciousness after the Holocaust.
The journal offers: stimulating debates exploring the responses of Judaism to contemporary political, social, and philosophical challenges; articles reflecting the full range of contemporary Jewish life in Europe, and including documentation of the latest developments in Jewish-Muslim dialogue; new insights derived from science, psychotherapy, and theology as they impact upon Jewish life and thought; literary exchange as a unique exploration of ideas from leading Jewish writers, poets, scholars, and intellectuals with a variety of documentation, poetry, and book reviews section; and book reviews covering a wide range of international publications.
European Judaism is now available on JSTOR!
Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology
Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology is a peer-reviewed journal advocating an approach that rests in the simultaneity of ethnography, processual analysis, local insights, and global vision. It is at the heart of debates on the ongoing conjunction of anthropology and history as well as the incorporation of local research settings in the wider spatial networks of coercion, imagination, and exchange that are often glossed as “globalization” or “empire.”
Introducing: FocaalBlog, which aims to accelerate and intensify anthropological conversations beyond what a regular academic journal can do, and to make them more widely, globally, and swiftly available.
From The Bookseller’s website:
The British Book Industry Awards will celebrate the greatness of the British book trade and the people behind it – the best books, the best writers, the best bookshops, the best publishers – from industry greats to those starting out. Building on the success and legacy of The Bookseller Industry Awards (the trade “Nibbies”), 2016 will mark the first step, and a step-change, in the way the book trade presents itself to itself and to the wider world.
The winners will be announced 9th May 2016. Stay tuned!
The following is a guest blog post written by Michael G. Cornelius, author of the article Sexuality, Interruption, and Nancy Drew, which appeared in Volume 8, Number 2 of the journal Girlhood Studies.
It’s admittedly an odd thing, to be a Nancy Drew scholar.
Strictly speaking, “Nancy Drew Scholar” is not the official occupation listed on my tax forms. And when strangers ask me what I do for a living—whenever such casual conversations between strangers bubble up, such as on an airplane—I never reply “Nancy Drew scholar.” I usually say “English teacher” or “professor” or even “medievalist” (which raises more than a few eyebrows on its own, trust me.) And, at the risk of sounding like an actor who worries about typecasting, I’m more than a Nancy Drew scholar. I write on a wide variety of subject matter: sword-and-sandal movies; science fiction; sexuality in the premodern and early modern eras—a quick perusal of my CV would reveal books and articles with words like “Chaucer” and “Shakespeare” and “Gawain” in the titles (there’s also one that includes the word “Farts,” but that’s a subject of a whole different blog post.)
Despite all that, around half my scholarly output involves Nancy Drew, Vicki Barr, Trixie Belden, Shirley Flight, Rick Brant, Christopher Cool, or some other girls’ or boys’ series protagonist. I can’t help it. My obsession started at a young age when a prescient elementary-school librarian pressed a copy of Secret of the Forgotten City (Nancy Drew #52) into my hands at the impressionable age of 9. This book had everything: mystery, adventure, secret codes, archaeology, thrilling discoveries, friendship—safe and sane as these books may be, for a farm-town kid ensconced in an upstate village of 200 people and 8000 dairy cattle, this was heady stuff indeed. I never looked back, and I never outgrew my love of Nancy Drew.
If you ever need evidence of this, feel free to come to my house. I can show you my collection. I have 900 Nancy Drew books (and growing). Collectible dot shelves here and there; a few pieces of original Nancy Drew artwork adorn the walls. And my CV reflects this: I’ve written about Nancy Drew and primitivism; Nancy Drew and the Awkward Age; Nancy Drew and Shakespeare; Nancy Drew and sacrality; Nancy Drew and teleological perfection; Nancy Drew and illness; Nancy Drew and motherhood; and, for the piece included in the most recent edition of the the journal of Girlhood Studies (8.2, 2015), “Sexuality, Interruption, and Nancy Drew.”
People sometimes look at me funny when they find out about my obsession with Nancy Drew. I don’t blame them. There are precious few of us out there (though I have always contended there are not nearly enough of us out there.) Many social critics have observed that it is our leisure time, and not our working hours, that truly defines us, whether we obsess over baseball statistics or knitting patterns or growing a pumpkin the size of a Winnebago. I obsess over Nancy Drew and her fellow girl and boy sleuths. I belong to two different girl sleuth societies; I attend Nancy Drew conventions (yes, we have them, and they are spectacular); I re-read the books; I ponder them. And I use them to understand the world. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? What we academics are really doing, each in our discipline, each in our own way? Trying to understand the world—our world, each world, every world. And what better way to do that than through Nancy Drew? Everyone knows her name. She is a cultural zeitgeist—probably the most well-known female literary character of all time. New Nancy Drew books have been produced for the last 85 years, with no signs of stopping. And over the course of hundreds and hundreds of mysteries solved, criminal conspiracies uncovered, and villains locked behind bars, Nancy Drew—directly and indirectly—has confronted nearly every aspect of society, all while remaining a blank slate and a figure of mythopoesis. She is larger-than-life and yet, at the same time, utterly scribe-able to every reader, so that we may place ourselves, not in her shoes (for, indeed, no one is Nancy Drew), but next to her, in her flashlight’s glow, part of her coterie, part of her circle of friends, part of her adventures and part of her world. That is the real power of Nancy Drew. The worlds of characters like Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur are too rarified for us—one has to be extraordinary just to be let in the front door (even Watson, for all his bluster, is a pretty good writer). With Nancy Drew, however, one just has to be curious, and a little bit brave. We can all do that.
“Sexuality, Interruption, and Nancy Drew” looks, quite literally, at the verbal tactic of interruption in the Nancy Drew books, pondering why it is, whenever the topic of conversation turns to marriage, Nancy abruptly and vigorously changes the narrative, altering the course of conversation away from any hint of romance, marriage, coupling, and dyadism, and back to more important matters—like mysteries. Take, for example, the conclusion to The Mystery at Lilac Inn, where Nancy finds it necessary to interrupt two chums whose conversation dares to veer toward their upcoming nuptials:
Later, as Nancy, Helen, and Emily were talking, the two older girls suddenly stopped speaking on the subject of their forthcoming weddings. Helen said, “Goodness, Nancy, you must be tired of hearing us talk about steady partners when—” Nancy interrupted. Laughing gaily, she said, “Not at all. For the present, my steady partner is going to be mystery!” (Keene 1961: 180)
As a scholar, I sometimes feel as Nancy does. I love spying riddles in texts and television shows and trying to ascertain what it all might mean. Of course being a Nancy Drew scholar makes perfect sense in this imperfect world. Who is better at solving mysteries than Nancy? A Nancy Drew scholar? I’m proud to be identified as such.
Keene, Carolyn. 1961. The Mystery at Lilac Inn. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.
MICHAEL G. CORNELIUS is the author/editor of fifteen books, including nancy drew and her sister sleuths: essays on the fiction of girl detectives (co-edited with Melanie E. Gregg; McFarland, 2008) and the companion book, The Boy Detectives: Essays on the Hardy Boys and Others (McFarland, 2010). He has published extensively on Nancy Drew, Vicki Barr, and other girls’ and boys’ series literature. Cornelius is the chair of the Department of English and Communications at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA.
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