weeklies 28-4-2012

We’ve gone through another week, and writing to the blog I feel like that’s all that happens to the week, they just whizz by. It’s been a busy week, in non-virtual life as well as on the blog. And we continue with more interesting stuff.

– Let’s start with The Five Myths About Contemporary Classical Music.

– Foreign Policy’s sex issue includes Mona Eltahawy’s (@monaeltahawy) must-read piece on hatred of women in the Middle East. Please read her ‘Why Do They Hate Us’?. Here’s a particularly disturbing bit:

How much does Saudi Arabia hate women? So much so that 15 girls died in a school fire in Mecca in 2002, after “morality police” barred them from fleeing the burning building — and kept firefighters from rescuing them — because the girls were not wearing headscarves and cloaks required in public. And nothing happened. No one was put on trial. Parents were silenced. The only concession to the horror was that girls’ education was quietly taken away by then-Crown Prince Abdullah from the Salafi zealots, who have nonetheless managed to retain their vise-like grip on the kingdom’s education system writ large.

In response to the quick and polarizing twitter discussion around Eltahawy’s piece, @alexhanna did a network visualization and came up with very interesting results. @jilliancyork

Of course, one has to also take into account that part of the backlash Eltahawy received relates to her simplifying some of the reasonings behind her arguments. Men hate women is easier to say, yet does not explain most of the situation. It may be a good way to start people to think about it, but for those who are already at work in the Middle East, this may not be constructive. An article on Jadaliyya criticizes Eltahawy.

– Continuing with gender, here’s an interview from Gender Across Borders with Flavia Dzodan, an Argentinian immigrant in the Netherlands. Click to read ‘The immigrant body is a gendered body’. Great observations regarding the election cycles and the immigration rhetorics in the Netherlands and in Europe.

– If you have been following the blog for a while, you might have noticed my interest in academic publishing and how the current set-up of academic publishing is unsustainable and makes no sense (copyright to the journals, and work not public despite public funding for most research). Here’s Harvard University starting to encourage their professors to use open access journals as well. Hope more universities (nudge nudge Brown) join this trend.

– Turkey and the Netherlands are celebrating 400 years of relations between the Dutch and Ottoman Empire, and one way to do this is through culture. While Rijksmuseum has exhibitions such as Ottomania, while all modern museums of Istanbul are hosting a Dutch focused exhibition. So, naturally, NYTimes does a piece on it. The comments of Mr Roelof, however, are so Netherlands focused, it is a bit entertaining. Luckily he admits that despite preaching multiculturalism that even the Netherlands doesn’t practice it as much in politics. Go ahead and read From Amsterdam to Istanbul; Art and Diplomacy.

– And to finish off this week, here’s another Game of Thrones drinking game to enjoy for the rest of the season. It looks good!

Game of Thrones drinking game // Source: annalucylle.wordpress.com