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Volume 3, Issue 1: Contents

 
 
 

The Whig Interpretation of Media: Sheppard Lee and Jacksonian Paperwork

 
  JORDAN ALEXANDER STEIN  
 
Jordan Alexander Stein: The Whig Interpretation of Media
Scholars in many different disciplines generally accept that the conceptual abstraction called "the public sphere"—a space of critical self-reflection functioning at least partially independent of state authority—developed coextensively with the rise of print. "Developed coextensively" is, however, somewhat elliptical as a historical explanation; for print—the impression of text and design characters onto paper—is usually taken to be a technology and not an agent. Print cannot be said in any single-handed sense to cause anything, let alone the public sphere.
Jordan Alexander Stein: The Whig Interpretation of Media, Figure 2

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Empire's Babel: US Military Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War

 
  MONICA KIM  
  The US military interrogation room has often been the site of controversy, but it has seldom been the object of scrutiny. Faced with photos from Abu Ghraib and reports from Gitmo, the public has primarily honed its outrage on the practice of torture within these interrogation rooms. While the debate about torture escalated over the White House paper trail that provided a legal framework for coercive techniques, the interrogation room itself remained relatively untouched. It was the excessive behavior within the interrogation room that received all the attention. I want to argue that the interrogation room has, in fact, played a pivotal—if little noticed—role in the mainstream discourse of war, law, and violence. Both critics and defenders of torture practices have relied upon a surprisingly similar assumption: that the interrogation room itself can be a rational space for the

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Intervention: Occupy Wall Street: "Bartleby" Against the Humanities

 
  LEE EDELMAN  
  On August 11, 2011, Mitt Romney, while pursuing the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States, appeared before a crowd at the Iowa State Fair to argue for cutting government spending instead of raising taxes on people. When a heckler called out the alternative of raising taxes on corporations, Romney responded with the now famous phrase, "corporations are people, my friend." In a climate of intense political debate over income inequality, corporate bailouts, unregulated Wall Street speculation, illegal mortgage foreclosure practices, and seven-figure executive bonuses, this response seemed to crystallize . . .

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Monastic Governmentality, Colonial Misogyny, and Postcolonial Amnesia in South Asia

 
  INDRANI CHATTERJEE  
  Between the second and the eighteenth century CE, a form of political society located in the household was that of an eminent or skilled teacher and his coresidential disciple or student. I call this order "monastic governmentality" on the strength of the epigraphic, numismatic, and narrative evidence of societies in eastern India. In the essay that follows, I argue that monastic governments existed all over eastern and Himalayan India until the late eighteenth century, when colonial law eroded privileges associated with them. This process impoverished women in the households and inverted the terms in which these women had earlier been remembered by grateful clients. Colonial politics, driven by a liberal political economy and an evangelical Christian morality in the early nineteenth century, disabled and disavowed precolonial women's histories. Postcolonial scholarship, formed at the juncture of liberal and evangelical notions of law, agency, and history, has persisted in this disavowal. It has mislaid the responsibility for misogyny. Instead of looking closely at eighteenth-century European laws and commerce, it blamed Hindu or Muslim "traditions" for what is, in fact, a hypermodern colonial misogyny. These misattributions were manifest in 1987, when a woman's death in Deorala sparked off a flurry of scholarship on women's immolations (sati). Very few scholars who participated in this exchange had either researched the precolonial political order or reinvestigated the minutiae of late eighteenth-century colonial economics.

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History of the Present is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal, with issues appearing in the fall and spring.
 
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