The focus for this study is the collection of mosaic-floors that adorn the entrances, fauces, to atrium-houses around Pompeii. The aim is to further our understanding of the Roman view of transitional spaces, in this case the private house-entrance between the inside and the outside world. Contemporary approaches to Pompeian studies regard space and décor as closely intertwined components, which suggests that the designs for an entrance-decoration were intended to convey an appropriate message. Ever since the early excavations of Pompeii, especially the figurative fauces-mosaics have been recognised, leaving the non-figurative mosaics less emphasised (and still so today), although outnumbering the others. In order to provide a more holistic and nuanced picture, the present study is based on several contextualising steps, which take into account the (rather low) number of fauces-mosaics (in 29 houses); the houses’ topographical distribution within the city; their sizes and general interior decoration-level; the fauces-passages’ spatial design and layout; the temporal framework of the fauces-mosaics (ranging between c. 100 B.C. to A.D. 79) and the iconographical subject-matter of the mosaics. The results of the study show that certain clusters can be discerned, particularly so of a “fashion” for fauces-mosaics in the large terrace-houses during the late Republic. Moreover, many of the mosaic-motifs alluded to mundane matters instead of religious, and the general attitude to the outside world was one centred around a positive and greeting communication. By laying a fauces-mosaic, a house-owner intentionally conveyed that his or her house was worthy of attention. Nevertheless, it is also clear that a superstitious perception of the entrance acknowledged its need of protection. In some cases, defending symbols on the mosaics do point to such a paradoxical awareness of the owners.
This dissertation studies the relationship between emotions and the everday application of apartheid in South Africa between 1948 and 1990. Histories of apartheid have long been politics-driven, focusing on the rise and fall of the regime with its reception being studied primarily through the lens of the popular struggle that, in part, led to apartheid’s downfall. Thus, the lived experience and reception on the ground of everyday racial segregation in South Africa during the National Party era, remains to a degree unexplored. While apartheid was expressed through multiple practices, the so-called ‘petty’ apartheid sphere, I argue, proffered opportunities for racial notions to be installed in the individual on a consistent basis. From this point of departure, I ask what role emotions, when thought of theoretically as biocultural entities, played in creating, naturalising and undermining the logics of race, as well as class and gender, that petty apartheid laws reflected and sought to cultivate. In three empirical chapters, which each focuses on a specific piece of petty apartheid legislation, I draw out so-called ‘emotional encounters’ from a source material produced chiefly by the bureaucracy, the judicature, and the press, as well as supplementary material in the form of autobiography, parliamentary debates, fiction, and legislative texts to interrogate the operation and experience of apartheid. In what resembles a discourse analysis, I explore episodes emerging as a result of the segregation of recreational space, the prohibition of interracial romantic relationships and the application of the socially constructed ontology of race that accompanied official race classifications and the opportunity to be ‘re-classified’. I discuss what these encounters tell us about how emotions mark differences between individuals and define social communities and furthermore inquire into what they potentially reveal about the relative longevity of apartheid.The first chapter shows how specific emotions such as anger, pain and disgust pertaining to the use of otherwise ‘happy places’ worked to sustain racial hierarchies and ideology within the context of recreational space. The second chapter homes in on the apparent importance of employing successful emotion management in accordance with racialised and gendered standards with regards to interracial love and sex. The third chapter revolves around the disjunctions for individuals between their ‘emotional’ and social communities that apartheid-era race classification and re-classification cases laid bare. In the concluding chapter and epilogue, I argue that petty apartheid laws enforced a constant, everyday experience of racialised social and emotional control. For segregation to endure, racial logics and ideology would have to be ‘felt’ by those who lived it. While feelings are culturally informed, their ability to operate as markers of truth lie in that to the individual or the community, they seldom manifest themselves as anything other than natural, innate, entities. This fact, paradoxically, also means that those historical subjects who transgressed established emotional norms, did so because what they knew to be ‘right’, to them, felt wrong. In this way, emotions could also defy and challenge racialised structures. Tentatively, the dissertation suggests that cultures of emotion, when conceived of as a form of internalised habits, evolve at a slower rate than formal political or societal changes. Indeed, newer research shows that many of the examples of racialised emotional practice that this dissertation covers, endure in contemporary South African society.
Portraying Unease critically discusses a tendency amongst politicized scholars to endow artworks with traits of subversion and political productivity. Artworks that address structural discrimination, such as heterosexism, racism, or ableism, are often described as possessing qualities that can challenge unjust systems or initiate political change. This thesis considers hope and belief in the political utility of visual art in terms of an emotional attachment: an anticipatory emotional bond to a set of promises concerning art’s abilities. It follows the work of five artists: Laura Aguilar (US), T.J. Dedeaux-Norris (US), Sands Murray-Wassink (NE), Jenny Grönvall (SE), and Xandra Ibarra (US), for whom the act of attributing hopes of social or political change to art is portrayed as a source of depression, insecurity, self-doubt, embarrassment, and a sense of being stuck. When one turns to art in search of its potential political efficacy one risks, the author argues, using a framework wherein representations of specific kinds of weaknesses, failures, or institutional attachments become associated with scholarly discomfort or embarrassment.
Publisher: Umeå universitet, Enheten för ekonomisk historia
In this extensive and detail-rich monograph, Zsuzsanna Varga explores Hungarian agriculture during the Cold War. The so-called “agricultural miracle”, with a question mark, relates to the successful transfer of Western technology and know-how, which in the 1970s and early 1980s had transformed the Hungarian countryside, dominated by producer cooperatives, far from the Stalinist kolkhoz-type. The Hungarian agricultural miracle? Sovietization and Americanization in a communist Country by Szuzsanna Varga - translated by Frank T. Zsigó, Lexington Books, 2020, 354 pp., $125.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-7936-3435-1, $45.00 (eBook), ISBN 978-1-7936-3436-8.