Languages, Literatures, & Cultures Research Works

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    Sanctifying Domestic Space and Domesticating Sacred Space: Reading Ziyāra and Taṣliya in Light of the Domestic in the Early Modern Ottoman World
    (MDPI, 2020-01-28) Allen, Jonathan Parkes
    Shrine-visitation (ziyāra) and devotion to Muḥammad (such as expressed in taṣliya, the uttering of invocations upon the Prophet), both expressed through a range of ritualized practices and material objects, were at the heart of everyday Islam for the vast majority of early modern Ottoman Muslims across the empire. While both bodies of practice had communal and domestic aspects, this article focuses on the important intersections of the domestic with both shrine-visitation and Muḥammad-centered devotion as visible in the early modern Ottoman lands, with a primary emphasis on the eighteenth century. While saints’ shrines were communal and ‘public’ in nature, a range of attitudes and practices associated with them, recoverable through surviving physical evidence, travel literature, and hagiography, reveal their construction as domestic spaces of a different sort, appearing to pious visitors as the ‘home’ of the entombed saint through such routes as wall-writing, gender-mixing, and dream encounters. Devotion to Muḥammad, on the other hand, while having many communal manifestations, was also deeply rooted in the domestic space of the household, in both prescription and practice. Through an examination of commentary literature, hagiography, and imagery and objects of devotion, particularly in the context of the famed manual of devotion Dalā’il al-khayrāt, I demonstrate the transformative effect of such devotion upon domestic space and the ways in which domestic contexts were linked to the wider early modern world, Ottoman, and beyond.
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    The Influence of Native Phonology, Allophony, and Phonotactics on Nonnative Lexical Encoding: A Vocabulary Training Study
    (Wiley, 2023-04-20) Zheng, Qi; Gor, Kira
    Second language (L2) speakers often experience difficulties in learning words with L2-specific phonemes due to the unfaithful lexical encoding predicted by the fuzzy lexical representations hypothesis. Currently, there is limited understanding of how allophonic variation in the first language (L1) influences L2 phonological and lexical encoding. We report how the Mandarin Chinese L1 phonemic inventory and allophonic variation subject to phonotactic constraints predict phonological encoding problems for novel L2 English words with the /v/–/w/ contrast. L1 English and L1 Chinese participants speaking two varieties of Mandarin Chinese differing as to the presence of [ʋ]–[w] allophonic variation for the /w/ phoneme participated in a vocabulary learning task. The novel L2 words with the /v/–/w/ contrast were systematically less robustly encoded than the control words on the day of training and 24 hours later. The degree of fuzziness in lexical representations was jointly predicted by L1 allophonic variation subject to phonotactic constraints and L2 phonological categorization.
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    Ethnography, Incongruity, History: Soviet Poetic Cinema
    (Wiley, 2023-01-22) Papazian, Elizabeth A.
    This essay examines the entangling of the poetic and the ethnographic in the art cinema of the 1960s as an indicator of a broader collision of epistemological/discursive regimes in postwar Soviet cinema—and ultimately, a clash between two fundamentally opposed approaches to the discursive production of history. In the Soviet poetic cinema of the 1960s, the temporal-spatial frameworks of the Stalin era are disrupted, shifting first of all, to what Tarkovsky called a lived experience of time—that is, to the subjective emotions and experiences of individual people; second, to localized histories that may not coincide with the supra-national Soviet developmental narrative; and third, to the positing of an archaic, even pre-historical temporality as a kind of lost ideal. I argue that poetic cinema serves as a site for playing out the contradiction among temporalities and spatialities in post-Stalin culture, and therefore among opposed sense-making projects and representational modes, creating the possibility for subverting the colonial function of Soviet cinema.
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    Revolutionary Landscapes and Kitchens of Refusal: Tomato Sauce and Sovereignty in Egypt
    (Wiley, 2022-10-09) Gaul, Anny
    This article presents a cultural history of tasbika, a tomato-based cooking technique, as a window into transformations of sovereignty in colonial and postcolonial Egypt. It draws on cookbooks, popular magazines and oral histories to argue that tasbika’s relatively recent emergence as one of the country's most ubiquitous home cooking methods was made possible not only by state-led industrialisation and modernisation projects, but also through a form of sovereignty wielded by women working in their home kitchens. This article describes this ‘kitchen sovereignty’ as an everyday form of power exercised by home cooks making decisions about how to manage scarce resources and feed their families. Moving beyond questions of food policies and market supply, this study of food and power centres the domestic labour that home cooks performed to transform raw ingredients into the flavours of everyday life in Egypt.