Desecularising Culture in Method: Five Theses on Syncretism

By Sebastián Eduardo Dávila. After experiencing the Alasitas Celebration in Puno, Peru, the author puts forward five theses on syncretism, or the amalgamation of different religions and cultures in the Andean region. By advancing an understanding of syncretism not as fusion, but as layering of experience through centuries marked by colonisation, diaspora, and resistance across the hemisphere, the author attempts to redraft the concept of syncretism.

That Was Tomorrow: A Conversation About Arab Imaginaries in Berlin

Syrian writer Rasha Abbas and Palestinian artist Muhammad Jabali, in conversation with Diana Abbani, discuss the evolving dynamics and narratives shaping Berlin, a city once envisioned as an Arab cultural hub. By exploring how Berlin’s cultural landscape has been influenced by migration, identity politics, and recent political changes, emphazizing the need for both imagination and realistic approaches to create more livable cities.

The Ottoman Canon and the Construction of Arabic and Turkish Literatures: Personal and Scholarly Reflections on My Book

C. Ceyhun Arslan introduces his recently published book “The Ottoman Canon and the Construction of Arabic and Turkish Literatures” which challenges assumptions about the modernization of Arabic and Turkish literatures, examining their evolution into national literatures comparable to Western ones. The book explores how Ottoman authors navigated multilingual influences, shaping literary traditions and national identities in the Middle East and North Africa. It highlights how late Ottoman and post-Ottoman scholars integrated and reinterpreted classical texts, revealing the complex cultural and literary dynamics that formed modern Arabic and Turkish literary canons.

Elections, Rule of Law and Democracy in Greece

By Taygeti Michalakea. In the 2023 elections, Greece’s ‘New Democracy’ party won a second term with 40.5% of the vote, while the opposition Syriza received only 17.8%. Smaller far-right parties also gained seats, raising concerns about the rule of law. Issues such as weakened independent institutions, lack of media freedom, widespread surveillance, and political interference in the judiciary are contributing to this decline. This text explores how these factors are undermining democracy and eroding fundamental freedoms in Greece.

Hysteria: Unveiling Tunisian Women’s Journey in Writing Chick-Lit

In this article, Cyrine Kortas reviews the Tunisian writer Faten Fazaa’s book “Hysteria”. Written in Tunisian dialect and focusing on the everyday struggles of an ordinary woman from the old Medina, the book is labeled as Tunisian chick lit, a new literary genre that has flourished. Offering a glimpse into the lives of Tunisian young women, she addresses social and political issues while questioning cultural norms. By means of this novel Cyrine Kortas examines the topic of female gender identity negotiation in a Muslim society on the eve of the Arab Spring era.

Decolonizing Family Metaphors in the Context of the Russian-Ukrainian War and Beyond

By Illia Ilin. The recent history of Ukraine can be metaphorically described as a journey to break away from the abusive “triune Russian people” family and reconnect with the democratic “European peoples” family. This long process of decolonization has been ongoing for over 30 years and signifies the reclamation of Ukrainian territories, history, and identity by the Ukrainian people. This article will explore the family metaphors of (de)colonization of Russia and unified Europe in relation to Ukraine, and the potential for their expansion and decolonization.

Navigating Bureaucratic Hurdles: Tuberculosis and Healthcare Access in Republican Istanbul

By Zehra Betül Atasoy. Tuberculosis, often referred to as consumption or phthisis, was one of the most dreaded diseases of the 19th and 20th centuries on a global scale. From the 1930s to the 1960s, the period on which this piece focuses, tuberculosis claimed a significant number of lives each year in Turkey. The absence of a structured and centralized TB treatment and prevention system left countless individuals grappling with the disease alone. However, one of the reasons for the lack of access to treatment was the cumbersome bureaucratic processes, exacerbating social class disparities.

Digital Apartheid in India: Depriving India’s Youth from Digital Empowerment

By Nihakira Srivastava. “The divide between India’s haves and have-nots created vastly different worlds of opportunity – all shaped by their level of internet access from birth. For some it opened doors, while for others it remained a locked portal.” This article addresses the critical issue of digital exclusion and its impact on the younger generation in India. Through her research and writing, the author aims to highlight and combat the systemic barriers that hinder digital inclusion, striving to create a more just and empowered digital future for all.

Complicity, Past and Present: Portrayals of Involvement in Mass Violence and Terror in Documentary Fiction

By Juliane Prade-Weiss. One of the puzzling questions about Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and other conflicts is why people participate in, support, or condone mass violence when it appears, for observers, so glaringly wrong. Reasons for becoming complicit with violence against civilians vary with individual positions as well as historical and regional contexts. Participation in, aiding and abetting mass violence and the structures of authoritarian, totalitarian or other regimes exerting it are key issues in the social sciences and in history. Yet, literary texts can contribute to understanding complicity, too.

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