NEBULA6.3, September 2009 Fewer issues have contained such widely divergent articles as this quarter's issue and this poses a challenge for an introductory piece of writing such as this. Nevertheless, one can grasp the congruity of possible connections between an article on the teleological relationship between mythology and misogyny, and another on the study of English soccer hypermasculinities. Taking us further into this pursuit of the gender question is Omolola Ladele's literary criticism, where intersections between postcolonial and feminist theory are explored. James Arvanitakis's piece poses a genderless question of social rights and provides a much needed historiography for a rapidly forgetful Australian people. If you come here in search of the cerebral, the theoretically complex abstractions of mind and cognition, Faucher's latest Nebula instalment, together with Fleming and O'Carrol and Roach's articles will fulfil the needs of your search. Homer's piece integrates well into the folds of an issue with a significant presence of cultural studies, best represented by Redhead's encyclopaedic and extensive scholarship on English Soccer Fandom, while Victor Edo furnishes us with the latest instalment of his extensive Benin historiography.
It is my pleasure to once more resume the duty of introducing a new Nebula issue. I hope, however, that the reader won't find me too rusty in this new attempt after a significant absence from the task. This issue opens with an interview with the unique and courageous Sarojini Sahoo, who penetrates through taboo effortlessly and necessarily. Continuing this concern for sexual and bodily rights, Sarah Antinora's submission comes at a time when the US's 44th president announces that, as a Christian, he believes in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, reinforcing and validating institutional heterosexim by continuing to support the Defence of Marriage Act. James Keller continues this interrogation of U.S. civil rights poverty for LGBT persons by revisiting residual sodomy laws five years after the landmark Lawrence vs. Texas case. Although still a part of the Free World, the US seems to be now at the rear end of it, leaving European countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and neighbouring Canada in north America at the forefront. Nevertheless, US states like Iowa and New Hampshire do deserve an honorary mention in this brief statement. Tata's contribution to this issue is nothing short of poetic prose that celebrate the glory of screen villianesses: consumable, disposable and grand. A word of caution: Tata's style and wit may leave you breathless, admiring, astonished. Professor Redhead's contribution takes us through the vistas of English (military and urban) history via the enduring artefact of the 'bunker,' while Chris Vanderwees engages our critical and metaphyscial faculties in evaluating criticism of Harraway's The Companion Species Manifesto. And just when we continue our descent into the darkness at the heart of the human condition, with Ayobami Kehinde's analysis of two of Graham Greene's dystopian narratives, we are reminded of the humble greatness of imagination when combined with intellect in Schaberg's original piece. Alice Mills' short story is the first we have featured in some time and it has been well worth the wait. I shall leave the remaining contributions for you to discover without my whispers, delivering you some mystery that you can investigate.
This issue of Nebula, like its predecessors, invites an engagement with diversity. Reading it, I rediscovered the pleasure of encountering unexpected resonances between these apparently disparate pieces, an experience that is all the more engrossing in an issue that encompasses a series of interrogations of various kinds of continuity. Monica F. Jacobe, Lee Barron, Walter L. Williams, and Brabazon, Dear, Greene and Purdy all ask questions about the continuity of identity. Gaining Imperial Paradise asks questions about the interplay between the literatures of the colonised and the colonisers. Reflective Solutions examines the role of language in dissent, asking questions about the continuity of speech and action and offering an interesting contrast to Philip Santa-Marias essay Virtuous Victims of an Enlightenment Paradox, which questions the continuity between speech and action in the ethics of Benjamin Franklin. There are many more intriguing confluences here, most of which, Im sure, have yet to be unearthed. This is fertile ground. Happy reading.
This issue of Nebula draws together a diversity of subjects and approaches to academic writing. Its heterogeneity provides the opportunity to map some unexpected intersections, and to explore a variegated terrain. Momin Rahmans In Search of My Mothers Garden offers the term intersectionality as a way of charting the copresent cartographies of space and identity. Its a term that might be used as a key for this issue from the spatial intersections mapped on the skin, which occupy Ahmad M.S. Abu Bakers reading of The English Patient and Isam M. Shihadas figuration of The Story of Zahra, to the philosophical crossroads traversed by Gerry Coulter. And there are thematic intersections between otherwise dislocated landscapes; Mike Kents exploration of the digital divide, for example, offers an intriguing point at which to enter the discussion of educational resource allocation in Nigeria. The collection for this issue is arranged with such intersections in mind, but they are of course guided by my own explorations. I invite you to explore this diverse topography for yourself and I hope you find it as enjoyable a space as I have.
Joshua Meyer Editor Australian Nebula Collective Contents
This issue of Nebula features a collection of pieces that examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a relatively consistent set of personal and critical lenses. Many of these pieces take on the difficult task of speaking for ordinary Palestinians, providing a series of challenging, thought provoking encounters. But where the consistency of critical focus that enables such important and generative provocation is perhaps a little less "nebulous" than usual, the object of that focus is itself suggestive of another metaphoric working of nebulousness.
Diffuse nebulae have no clear borders. Though they may appear to us through imperfect mediation as indistinct masses stained by fierce bands of light, they are also the collective shape of a whole series of complex, interlocking tensions. Apprehending the forms of these tensions, too often at the limits of our vision, requires a perspective that prioritises both depth and diversity. While I hope not to stretch the metaphor too far, I would add that the articles in this issue make significant contributions to the acquisition of such a perspective. I hope they engage you as much as they did me.
Last night I was watching a documentary about the Hubble telescope. It showed how Hubble has brought disparate and faraway stars, planets and galaxies into focus, illuminating dark matter and revealing to us things we hadnt even dreamed existed. The internet is in some ways our invisible, earthbound telescope, allowing instant access to faraway places, collecting data on disparate ideas about the universe, and bringing our very large and yet very tiny world closer together. In this issue of Nebula we have a number of essays that focus their gaze upon different parts of the world and their local specificities: bringing to our attention the role that British colonialism played in creating a centralised monarchy among the Nigerian ethnic group of Ebiraland; to considering the poetic politics of Emirates poet Saleha Obeid Ghabesh; the theme of return in the work of Palestinian author Samira Azzam; or what the Academy Awards ceremonies reflect about United States culture. Geography plays a pertinent part in creating our realities, and this issue features articles that discuss what cities mean to their musical soundscapes, and the role of maps in weaving the texture of literature such as The English Patient. So too does this issue address those moments when our lenses into other places can be faulty or unable to effect change, as seen in the biased reporting in the United States media about the Al-Aqsa intafada, or the inability of the United Nations Security Council to enforce its 1967 Resolution 242. Other essays turn their attention to questions that resonate with history, whether this be in re-examining the philosophy of Epicurus, or Confucian perspectives on music education. Today more than ever, we interact with technologies on a daily basis, and in this issue of Nebula we have essays spotlighting how we interact with these technologies, from the popularity of social networking sites to the growth of a digital intellect. I hope you will enjoy this issue of Nebula, and it will fulfil its mission of bringing into view a diverse variety of ideas about and examinations of humanity and its cultural creations.
Editing an online journal such as Nebula is always a pleasure, not only because of the quality of the submissions we receive for each issue, or the variety of topics that tend to be covered on a quarterly basis or the delightful synchronicities that make themed issues out of a journal decidedly open to the gesture of the un-themed. It is not only for these reasons that Nebula brings us a great deal of pleasure and privilege to produce, it is also the power and privilege that such a journal brings in terms of connecting scholars and scholarships across the world. I certainly look forward to a fifth year of Nebula in 2008 where I hope we can continue to produce scholarship relevant to the state of the world and our role within it.
The need to promote core human values that could facilitate an agenda for democracy, social justice and sustainable socio-economic development throughout the globe has always been paramount to Nebula. Indeed, the forces of globalization have further enmeshed the global space to the extent that we can no longer afford to luxuriate in knowledge simply for knowledges sake. Interestingly, the vision of Nebula is not just the mere acquisition of knowledge but for the understanding and positive transformation of our world. The articles in Nebula 4.3 aptly capture these vistas of hope and renewal. As usual, the contributors to this edition are drawn from various geographical, disciplinary and ideological backgrounds, hence the variety of styles and approaches. This easily discernible trend, however, seems to be one of the major strengths of Nebula 4.3 because each contributor brings into his/ her article his/her own insight and disciplinary perspective. This, no doubt, has further enriched the collection and broadened the multidisciplinary and theoretical horizons of the journal. Like the previous editions, this particular issue confirms the fact that every discipline reinforces the other. Thus, the ultimate goal is to bridge the artificial academic boundaries created by the apostles of disciplinary exclusivity. Consequently, the issues raised in this edition dovetail into literature, philosophy, sociology, democracy, development economics, gendered proverbs, corruption and so on. This wonderful package is vintage Nebula; a multidisciplinary journal par excellence.
A nebula could have been so many astronomical entities: a black hole, a supermassive black hole, a white hole, a syzygy, a neutron star, a white dwarf, a red giant.Nebula becomes a nebula because it exemplifies and embodies the dual pulsations of explosion and implosion; the scattering of matter limitlessly through a galaxy and its concentration in a point of pure density; the expansion and dissolution of objects lodged precariously in a space simultaneously supporting their mass and swallowing them up. In a nebula, matter of all ilks detonates, consumed by the fiery passion of an excess energy which no spatial limit can hope to absorb.Nebula 4.2also contains its fair share of concatenations, some of them aesthetic, others political, all of them resonant with contemporary cultural, philosophical, textual and visual concerns. Genres redefine themselves through the international coming out/coming in story, the interactive feature film, the poeticization of post-60s rock n roll, and anarcho-Taoist approaches to feminist science fiction.By their side, other constellations burst into flames: politically, a post-Oslo Palestine articulates the necessity of self-determination in the wake of colonial bellicosity, and a manifesto of technological existentialism enters the cyborg fray with a fresh perspective on the moral relevance of corporeal modification. Enjoy these fluctuations and make them yours.
This issue of Nebula is our largest volume to date, spanning over two-hundred and eighty pages, including nineteen articles by eighteen different authors, widely divergent topics, three independent mentions of Lao Tzu by three unrelated authors, and some rare and impressive scholarship across the board, not to mention impeccable creative work .... what more could an editor ask for? What other reward more fulfilling?
One can never adequately describe the sensation that prevails when an insight is being discovered, shared, exchanged, needless to say it is a sensation belonging to a higher nature, as Emerson might have said. As I was going through the final content of this issue I often felt captivated by the ideas and arguments advanced below, to the extent that some of them continue to haunt my mind. Whether it was Keramati's giant of a hypothesis in which oil reserves around the world veritably become a means of studying modern military histories, or the haunting analysis of Steele's Abu Ghraib prison guards, or the utterly confusing nature of time travel that Gendler presents ... In every contribution there was a new world to be explored; in Wright's article it was a case of reverse mimesis, while Cootey's first person narrator writes with a forceful vision, almost a delirium, in which Conrad's Heart of Darkness communicates beyond the narrative, in a meta narrative unfolding in the reader's mind. From Adesoji we learn that not all the world's national media invariably becomes an accomplice with the governments of those nations, that sometimes the media, in a post-globalisation world, can act as a powerful force in achieving good instead of hindering it. Rebecca Beirne's contribution discusses how the media can present images that are contradictory to the revolutionary rhetoric they imply -- how on the one hand a narrative that seeks to de-normalize and de-marginalize, can still unwittingly enforce prevalent and misleading discourses. In Moses Ayeomoni's contribution we learn about the use of English - the mother of all colonial languages - among Yoruba-speaking Nigerians. So here it is, the last issue of 2006, and the close to a third wonderful year of Nebula. See you soon in 2007 with issue 4.1. Thank you to all the contributors and the readers for their endless encouragement and support.
It is with the utmost pleasure that I present to you this double issue of Nebula. We have had considerable difficulty in ordering the table of contents below -- because we have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated each and every contribution.