Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, this book uncovers the historical trajectory of U.S. independent hip-hop in the post-golden era, seeking to understand its complex relationship to mainstream hip-hop culture and U.S. culture more generally. Christopher Vito analyzes the lyrics of indie hip-hop albums from 2000-2013 to uncover the dominant ideologies of independent artists regarding race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and social change. These analyses inform interviews with members of the indie hip-hop community to explore the meanings that they associate with the culture today, how technological and media changes impact the boundaries between independent and major, and whether and how this shapes their engagement with oppositional consciousness. Ultimately, this book aims to understand the complex and contradictory cultural politics of independent hip-hop in the contemporary age.
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“Nothing moved except the mirage”: Analysing Fear and Freedom in Adania Shibli’s Minor Detail — by Dr. Chaandreyi Mukherjee
Dr. Chaandreyi Mukherjee presents an academic paper that is also a book review for Palestinian author Adania Shibli’s 2020 novel, “Minor Detail” (New Directions). A finalist for the National Book Award, “Minor Detail” is one of the most relevant works of contemporary Palestinian literature that connects 1949 and the Nakba with present day Palestine—as its protagonist digs into the past to uncover horrific truths. Mukherjee’s response and writing on the novel and its many themes is essential to understanding the greater depth to be found in decades of Israeli occupation over Palestinian land and life. The academic not only includes relevant criticism within this piece but also integrates theoretical formulations and observations by various scholars and thinkers that are pertinent to her own readings, such that through her ‘book-review-as-academic-paper’ one gets access to entire bodies and fields of knowledge, from postcolonial theory to resistance literature. Just as “Minor Detail” tells the story of a people and their larger history by means of a protagonist, Dr. Mukherjee’s paper offers multiple vectors of understanding in order to facilitate incisive critical engagement with this recent work of Palestinian literature.
Dr. Inshah Malik speaks in relative detail about her monograph, “Muslim Women, Agency and Resistance Politics: The Case of Kashmir” (Palgrave Pivot, 2019). The book presents a considerable volume of research and knowledge about the agency of Muslim Kashmiri women and their varied roles in forming and shaping resistance, a subject that has been undermined, if not ignored, in the global arena of academic writing. As such, this seminal text serves to break multiple stereotypes and myths, while uncovering the history of a multifarious resistance by Kashmiri women, whether against state control, patriarchy (both militarized and societal) or political repression. As a visiting professor, Dr. Malik also gave a related lecture on the subject for the South Asia Center at the University of Washington earlier last year. Relevant links included.
While evaluating the writings of various philosophers and theorists like Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway, Mubashir Karim presents an extensive paper that considers the central role that animals play in celebrated works of literature and film. From Chekhov’s “Misery,” Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi’s “The Cow,” Maile Meloy’s “Travis B.” among others, to film adaptations by Dariush Mehrjui and Kelly Reichardt, the Kashmiri academic traces the connections between stories and films where animals find a prominent place. The resulting study weaves multiple theoretical, critical and philosophical formulations by leading thinkers on the subject of animals. Karim brings in his own observations and interpretations to present a world of fiction and film where animals humanize humans further or retrieve their humanity by entering their plane of existence to create greater depth within it.
Possible selves of a hashtag: Moving from the theory of speech acts to cultural objects to interpret hashtags — by Gevisa La Rocca
Abstract: In recent years hashtag studies have increased their numbers. The role of hashtags becomes increasingly predominant in social media studies. Many researchers wonder how to study them, ending up treating them in an aggregate way and turning to big data and static-mathematical modeling. This type of studies seem to consider hashtags as tools, favoring a single analysis perspective. In fact, the studies and the research carried out in the field of social media deal with what users do with hashtags. This paper wishes to propose a different perspective. The question raised here is not “what users do with hashtags,” but “what they do to hashtags.” This theoretical approach presupposes a change in the perspective based on the reading of hashtags as speech acts, which impacts the construction of social reality and identifies hashtags as cultural products. This interpretative path of cultural nature seems to be necessary in order to be able to look at the hashtag as a concept that changes its meaning through human interaction. The consequence of inserting this perspective is that the hashtag becomes a multidimensional concept, which in order to be analyzed must be decomposed and analyzed in all its possible dimensions. If the aim of the research is to reconstruct the sense and meaning of the hashtag.
Student Protests. Three Periods of University Governance — by Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat and Bob Jeffery
Exploring the idea of student protests as an autonomous object of research and discussion, this paper leads to the understanding that the transforming role of the university and its governance defines the possibilities for the political role of students. In this perspective, there is a particular constellation of the different forms of higher education governance that provides students with the right and even the responsibility of protesting as politically engaged citizens of the university and of the state. Approaching the transformation of the models of university governance as a set of archaeologically organised states this paper identifies the sequential roles provided to the students and the meaning of their protests and demonstrations. After visiting some antecedents of more contemporaneous student movements and protests, this paper focuses on the UK to explore three manifestations of university governance that can be roughly differentiated as the enduring democratic period that extends from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, the globalisation period that extends from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s and as the post-millennial turn. These periods, embodying three different styles of governance of higher education, not only demonstrate conformity with the political and economic contexts in which they are embedded, they also correspond to particular socio-technological and communicative ecosystems and determine the specificities of the role of the students and their capacity for political action.
Reading Discourses of Power and Violence in Emerging Kashmiri Literature in English: The Collaborator and Curfewed Night — by Amrita Ghosh
Abstract: This essay studies two literary texts on Kashmir, The Collaborator (2011) by Mirza Waheed and Curfewed Night (2010) by Basharat Peer and analyzes the discourses of power and covert and overt forms of violence that the works present. It first contextualizes events from the last three years that have occurred in Kashmir to present forms of violence Kashmiri subjects undergo in the quotidian of life. Thereafter, it situates the two works by the Kashmiri writers in the growing body of writing in English on Kashmir and historicizes the conflict. The essay, thus, argues that the selected literary works represent Kashmir as a unique postcolonial conflict zone that defies an easy terminology to understand the onslaught of violence, and the varied forms of power. As analyzed in the article, one finds a curious merging of biopolitics and necropolitics that constructs the characters as “living dead” within this emergency zone. For this, the theoretical trajectory of the essay is mapped out to show the transition from Foucault and Agamben’s idea of biopolitics to Mbembe’s concept of necropolitics. Thereafter, essay concludes how the two texts illustrate Agamben’s notion of the bare life is not enough to understand subjects living in this unique postcoloniality. The presence of death and the dead bodies go beyond bare life and shows how that bodies become significant signifiers that construct a varied notion of agency.
In view of the recent protests in Chile, we bring you this essential reading, a chapter entitled ‘Protest and Police “Excesses” in Chile: The Limits of Social Accountability’ by Professor Michelle D. Bonner, originally published in “The Politics of Violence in Latin America” (ed. Pablo Policzer, University of Calgary Press, 2019).
This journal article by Nuzhat Firdous, published in The International Journal of Indian Psychology, is reproduced here via Creative Commons License. Abstract: “War damages the very fabric of the society. It not only damages its physical structure but also disrupts its entire social tissue, its environment and the normal routine of life for which people account several reasons. Kashmir has been witnessing a chronic socio-political unrest for the last two and a half decades now. The conflict has had an enormous impact on different aspects of Kashmir’s society. Indeed, there has been a colossal damage to the property and infrastructure; however, its impact can be felt nowhere more than on the mental health of the people of Kashmir. Deliberating upon the human suffering, the conflict has not only left thousands dead and orphaned, unleashed and unmitigated violence on women and children, but the alarming increase in the psychiatric morbidity in general, is among the worst possible forms of suffering. This paper thus attempts to give an up-to-date description of the current mental health scenario and ensuing physiological and behavioural implications among the people of Kashmir.”
Our readers have been asking about reading material to better understand what far too many Kashmiris have bitterly and desolately called The Forgotten Conflict. As such, and now more than ever, the following embedded Google Doc titled #TheKashmirSyllabus is a course plan with weekly readings compiled by Kashmir scholars and experts from multiple fields of knowledge and with years and decades of experience in research, writing and scholarship on the topic of Kashmir and its unresolved history. The result are readings and resources from a diverse field of academic knowledge called Kashmir Studies. The document is featured in our Academia section and is embedded directly from its original source such that any updates and changes will be reflected immediately.
Introduction: “In 1968 a distinguished group of writers, critics, and translators organised a symposium in post-revolutionary Cuba in an attempt to assess the colossal impact that Julio Cortázar’s groundbreaking novel Rayuela (1963) (Hopscotch; 1966) had had in the Latin American literary arena.1 If the rationale behind the forum was to underline the uniqueness and innovativeness of a work that had shaken the foundations of Latin American literature, then the speakers soon realised that Cortázar’s masterpiece could only be approached, ironically, from the perspective of an even greater revolutionary work, James Joyce’s Ulysses. While Cortázar’s Hopscotch remained at the heart of the literary debate, the haunting figure of Joyce became a ubiquitous and inescapable ghostly presence that materialised, time and again, in the eloquent and dazzling performances of the speakers. The comparison of Hopscotch with Modernism’s most revered monument laid the ground for a vigorous debate that would have a long-lasting effect on ensuing critical insights of Hopscotch.2 How, then, was the phantom of Joyce summoned in a symposium in Havana dedicated to pay tribute to the path-breaking novel of an Argentine author?”
Professors Mohamad Junaid and Hafsa Kanjwal do a teach-in at The People’s Forum NYC to give an introduction to Indian Occupied Kashmir while also providing the necessary historical context to those not aware of the oldest standing conflict in modern history. Starting from a ‘101’ on Kashmir, its people, its history, its political situation, the rise of resistance to occupation till the present time, the teach-in very effectively covers many aspects ignored in the global media. The presenters/instructors elaborate possibilities for a solution and specify ways to build global solidarity for the people of Kashmir.
In this paper originally published in 2008, Dr. Haja Mohideen (Associate Professor) and Shamimah Mohideen (Lecturer) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia evaluate the impact of specific words, key terms, phrases and names (used in internet media) in propagating Islamophobia. Eleven years later, this paper is as relevant as ever in providing a perspective on how things have progressed, regressed, stayed the same and even worsened along the same tangents of intolerance that mark the widespread, unquestioned legitimization and acceptance of Islamophobia at the level of ordinary language. Given that the paper was produced more than a decade ago, it engages with basic definitions, historical context and background information as well as multiple citations from media outlets and people of great influence from the 2000s era. In doing so, the paper reveals how there is a linear and constantly escalating pattern of perceptions grounded in ordinary language used in the media to intensify Islamophobic sentiments with certain keywords, phrases and names contextualized and consistently stressed upon to perpetuate animosity towards Muslims through a process of toxic othering that on the surface appears to be subtle, unassuming and neutral.
In Pursuit of a Nation: Conflicting Formulations of Nationalism in the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir (1930 – 1940) — by Gowhar Yaqoob
Abstract: This paper explores the different constitutive elements of nationalist ideology in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in the twentieth century by placing it in the social and political context. Here, I analyze two strands of nationalist discourse in the region in the time of its emergence – first, a response to the trends that reinforced centralized urban empowerment as evident in the writings of Prem Nath Bazaz and the second, articulation of nationalist ideology built around Kashmiri language aiming at empowering the non-urban, marginal social groups by Abdul Ahad Azad. Bazaz deployed print newspaper in the Urdu language as a significant means to create a nationalist consciousness and suggest electoral politics as a characteristic feature of a democratic state. Whereas, Abdul Ahad Azad saw in writing a history of Kashmiri language- the mother-tongue- and promotion of linguistic nationalism as a potential means to bring socio-economic and political change through revolution.