Numer 7 (2/2014)
Redaktorzy: Sonia Caputa, Anna Gonerko-Frej


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Paweł Jędrzejko
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5 – 6
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Uniwersytet Śląski / Wydział Filologiczny
Sonia Caputa,
Anna Gonerko-Frej
Introduction
7 – 10
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1 Uniwersytet Śląski
2 Uniwersytet Szczeciński
Patrick Imbert
The Transpacific Travel from India to Canada in Life of Pi by Yann Martel and Its Link to Transculturality and Transdisciplinarity
11 – 32
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The goal is to see how the transpacific travel of the immigrant Piscine from India to Canada in the best seller and Booker Prize novel Life of Pi allows us to revisit the dynamic of exclusion, and the idea of nation and place as well as to recognize alterity in perspectives emphasizing more transculturalism than multiculturalism. This anthropo-thematic analysis will lead us to a theoretical perspective based upon the comparison between trans-multi-interdisciplinary and trans-multi-intercultural perspectives and to establish links between the trans, the multi and the inter in the context of the legitimacy of symbolic and geographic displacements and of multiple encounters as they are linked to the Americas.

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University of Ottawa, Canada
Tomomi Nakagawa
The Scientific Thought of Lafcadio Hearn: A Case of Interpreting Japanese Art
33 – 59
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The article focuses on Lafcadio Hearn’s scientific thought. His absorption in Herbert Spencer is well-known; and he tries to use Spencer’s theory positively in understanding Japanese culture, especially in understanding its religions, Shinto and higher (dogmatic) Buddhism. More specifically, the author concentrates on Hearn’s understanding of Eastern (Japanese) art, especially in the contexts of his references to science. While Western painters attempt to paint a particular model precisely, Japanese painters tend towards deformation or abstraction, based on their own recollections of the model, which Hearn addresses in his essay ‘About Faces in Japanese Art’. With the aid of ‘one of the living greatest naturalists’, Hearn maintains that Japanese paintings have succeeded in extracting the essence of the objects scientifically. He argues that both abstraction in Japanese paintings and scientific data extraction seem to share a similarity. Hearn’s lifetime coincides with the heyday of modern science; reliance on scientific knowledge and proof increased dramatically, on an unprecedented scale, in his day. It is therefore possible to argue the existence of a connection between his position with respect to art and the social and cultural conditions into which he was born. Therefore, even though traditionally Hearn’s works have been examined within the field of ‘literature’, a trans-disciplinary approach to his work seems to offer a new vista on Lafcadio Hearn’s thought.

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Hitotsubashi University, Japan
Mátyás Bánhegyi,
Judit Nagy
A Transatlantic Transfer of Cultural Values: Constructing A Canada-Related Cultural Reader Series for the Secondary English Classroom in Central Europe
61 – 91
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The ‘Canada in the English Classroom’ joint research team of the University of Colongne and Károli Gáspár University of the Hungarian Reformed Church has been producing a cultural reader series to enhance the dissemination of up-to-date and engaging cultural information on Canada through general English language classes for the secondary school age group in Central Europe. The cultural reader series is seen as a means of facilitating cultural discourse and cross-cultural learning, also advocated in Canadian contexts by Berrell and Gloet (1999). Using Kramsch’s (1991) and Damen’s (2003) theories, the readers have been devised so that more abstract and/or lesser-known Canadian cultural aspects can be brought closer to the target group through English as a foreign language. To realize this objective in an effective way in the English classroom, Gochenour and Janeway’s (1993) model of culture learning has been observed, which advocates the gradual involvement of students in culture-related issues: starting from observation of culture moving towards genuine communication about culture. After introducing the cultural reader series project briefly, the paper will discuss the theoretical background behind the series and the project activities leading up to the preparation and compilation of its completed volumes. As a next step, an overview of the content of these volumes and the accompanying teacher’s notes will be presented. This will be followed by a sample unit demonstration of how the series achieves the goals that research has targeted.

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1 Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
Edgardo Medeiros da Silva
Theme and Subject Matter in Francis Parkman’s The Old Régime in Canada
93 – 117
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‘There are no political panaceas, except in the imagination of political quacks’. These are the words used by the American historian Francis Parkman (1823–1893) to suggest that the English and French settlements on the North American continent had been quite different from their onset and were quite possibly bound to remain as such in years to come. His History of France and England in North America (1865–1892) provides us with a historical account of the colonization of New France which sheds some light on the colonial beginnings of New England as well. Like all Romantic or literary historians of the time, Parkman had a story to tell, novelistic in style and all-encompassing in theme and subject matter, which in this particular case is as much about France’s status as a colonial power as about England’s. Drawing on part four of his History, entitled the Old Régime in Canada (1874), this paper examines the failure of France to establish the basis of a well-regulated political community in North America in the context of the Anglo-French rivalry for the control of that continent. It aims to determine to what extent Parkman’s historical narrative on New France also gives us an insight into New England’s history; what does it tell us about the political culture of both colonies? and what vision, if any, of America/of the Americas does it offer us?

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University of Lisbon, Portugal
Virginia R. Dominguez
Zones of Discomfort in US Latino Politics: When Sharing a Sea Does Not Suffice. What is a US Latino and what does US Latino politics look like?
119 – 139
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What is a U.S. Latino and what does US Latino politics look like? Moreover, what does space, location, and travel over sea, land, and air have to do with U.S. Latino life and politics? Over the years many people have come to anticipate certain things as characteristic of the Latino presence in the US (either from media coverage or political analysis). Many concentrate on the large population of at least partial Mexican family origin. But what happens when different questions are asked and different locations are privileged? In this paper, I look at the southeast coast of the U.S. and not the central, western, or southwestern parts of the country, and I examine expectations of who lives in Florida, what their relation to ‘the US’. is, and what their sense of diaspora and nationness are. Typical and long-standing associations placing Cubans in southern Florida and Puerto Ricans in the New York metropolitan area are shown here to be more problematic than expected. This paper will show (a) that a noteworthy difference still exists between Puerto Rican and Cuban-American engagement with the US but that it is full of paradoxes, (b) that much of the difference concerns racialization, and (c) that it may be most productive now and in the future to concentrate on the surprises, what I have elsewhere (Dominguez, American Anthropologist, September 2012) recently called the ‘zones of discomfort’, rather than our ‘comfort zones’ as students, scholars, and academics. Among the most provocative points made reframing the issue will be the idea that the Cuban diaspora has made more Cubans into Americans than the 1917 Act made Puerto Ricans Americans.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Maria Luz Arroyo Vázquez
The Empowerment of American Women during the Great Depression in Comparative Perspective
141 – 156
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This paper examines the significant progress that women made during the Great Depression and will focus its attention on the Roosevelt era, a period in which women not only reached key posts in the administration but also managed to acquire a new dignity and social status. Besides, it will try to explore the echo that some of these significant women had across other countries, giving as an example the Spanish case. Roosevelt’s four terms in office (1933–1945) were a clear example of a time when women participated actively in public life. Women were appointed to relevant government positions and played key roles in the development of the Roosevelt Administration. Roosevelt himself and his federal government fostered these expanded roles for women who worked as heads of Federal agencies, as political advisers, in the New Deal’s relief programs, etc. Behind these appointments, we have to highlight the support and compromise of relevant women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, Mary Bethune and Molly Dewson, just to mention some of the most inspiring figures during this era. Women worked in two main areas: Democratic Party politics and social welfare. As Susan Ware points out, there was ‘a network of professional contact and personal friendship that linked the women in top New Deal positions’. In summary, this paper tries to acknowledge and pay tribute to those women, who proved their talent and self-worth and to the ones who were deeply committed with the defence of social reforms and participated actively in politics and social welfare legislation during the Roosevelt era.

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Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain
Lei Zhang
The Cultural Logic of America’s Pivot to the Asia-Pacific
157 – 181
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The past few years have witnessed the Obama administration’s rhetoric from ‘return to Asia-Pacific’ to ‘pivoting/rebalancing toward Asia-Pacific’ under which a comprehensive package of political, economic and military moves has been implemented, signifying America’s endeavor to shift its focus from the Middle East to Asia-Pacific. However, the notion of ‘America’s Pacific Century’ by Hillary Clinton and the strategy of ‘America’s Re-balancing toward Asia-Pacific’ evade the persistently long history of America’s dominance in Asia and the Pacific and America’s cultural representation and construction of Asia-Pacific as one region. by reading Obama’s foreign tactics toward Asia-Pacific as literature and tracing the translation of America’s cultural literacy of this region into policy, this paper treats Obama’s pivoting/rebalancing toward Asia-Pacific as a cultural heritage and historical continuity rather than a gravity shift in America’s global strategy. That is, such political trope and actions need to be scrutinized from a historical and cultural perspective and the cultural logic behind deserves a careful examination. To do so, I would examine the hegemonic vision and free-trade imperialism, historically upheld and culturally shaped by America, in the very ‘fashionable’ transpacific project promoted by US-TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) in the climate of globalization and transnational capitalism. Also, the discourse of sublimity and American Orientalism should be evaluated in the course of America’s ambitious political engagement and aggressive military deployment in this region. In conclusion, the cultural logic of the current U.S. foreign policy toward Asia-Pacific is inextricable from the Imperialist Imaginary, American Orientalism and American Sublime, all of which but not limited to, render this rebalancing strategy problematic. Rather than dealing with a rising Asia, particularly being anxious about China’s threat, America needs a critical self-reflexive examination of its imperialist culture which has shaped the Asia-Pacific Other and translated into its current foreign policy toward Asia and the Pacific.

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Renmin University of China
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1 – 196
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International American
https://www.journals.us.edu.pl/index.php/RIAS
ISSN: 1991-2773 (Print)
Studies Association
https://doi.org/10.31261/RIAS.x.xxxx.xx
ISSN: 1991-2773 (Online)