Encounters with Civilizations: From Alexander the Great to Mother Teresa

Encounters with Civilizations: From Alexander the Great to Mother Teresa

by Gaston Roberge
     
 

ISBN-10: 1412818311

ISBN-13: 9781412818315

Pub. Date: 05/18/2011

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

Encounters with Civilizations is a broad-ranging work, uniting sweeping themes such as history, culture, the media, social issues, and politics. Building around comparative analyses of aspects of Albanian, Egyptian, British, and Indian cultures, Alpion addresses the problems people experience in their encounters with civilizations different from their birth

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Overview

Encounters with Civilizations is a broad-ranging work, uniting sweeping themes such as history, culture, the media, social issues, and politics. Building around comparative analyses of aspects of Albanian, Egyptian, British, and Indian cultures, Alpion addresses the problems people experience in their encounters with civilizations different from their birth cultures.

The course of history has made the confrontation and comingling of different cultures inevitable. It has also engendered ambivalence toward the cultures involved, including a desire to emulate the new culture, or resentment, or conflicting attitudes toward the relative strength or weakness of both birth and new cultures. Alpion describes how Egyptian culture and politics have been shaped by foreign domination while retaining ancient customs at the social level. In comparison, Great Britain has been an imperial power whose cultural preeminence has shaped the images of smaller countries in the eyes of the world. Alpion writes of English images of his native Albania and offers a penetrating analysis of Mother Teresa as a Christian missionary in Hindu and Muslim India, focusing on her cultural presentation via the media and the cult of celebrity.

Whether discussing the customs of Egyptian coffee houses or Alexander the Great as a defining figure in Western and Eastern culture, Alpion grasps the impact of these cultural encounters. He makes us aware that understanding and resolving such differences involves considering ultimate issues of life and death.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412818315
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
05/18/2011
Pages:
327
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii

Foreword Gaston Roberge xvii

Part 1 Albania 1

1 An interview with the ghost of Mohammed Ali, former ruler of Egypt 3

2 Kosova - a corner of Europe still waiting for peace 15

Part 2 Egypt 21

3 Foreigner complex 23

i When in Rome 23

ii Back to the army 26

iii Enslaved by the slaves 27

iv Complete apathy 29

v Cultural invasion 31

vi Cracked hut not broken 33

vii Becoming foreign to become Egyptian 36

viii The making of Egypt's politicians 38

ix Egypt for the Egyptians 41

4 Egyptian coffee shops 45

i The ancient drinking-places 45

ii The advent of coffee 47

iii The Alexandrian bursa 49

iv The Cairo club 52

v The rural gharza 55

5 The Bride of Hapi - female sacrifice and cosmic order 59

i The genesis of the rite 59

ii The drowning 63

iii The revival 66

6 A parade of porters 71

i The Nubian doorman 72

ii The peasant bowab 74

iii The simsars in their prime 76

iv Today's bowab 78

Part 3 The United Kingdom 81

7 If Only the Dead Could Listen (a play) 83

Cast and Crew 84

Synopsis (Scenes One, Two and Three) 85

Scene Four 87

Synopsis (Scene Five) 102

8 Images of Albania and Albanians in English literature - from Edith Durham's High Albania to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter 103

9 Western media and the European 'other' - images of Albania in the British press 117

i Introduction 117

ii Expanding the Orient 118

iii Racial prejudice towards the Balkans 122

iv Identity crisis 126

v The exotic archive 127

vi The Death of the Journalist 138

vii The price of biased journalism 140

viii The media and double standards 147

Part 4 India 153

10 Oh! not Calcutta 155

11 Media and celebrity culture - subjectivist, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches to Mother Teresa's celebrity status 159

12 A review of Hiromi J. Kudo's book Mother Teresa: A Saint from Skopje 185

13 A note on Gëzim Alpion's book Mother Teresa: Saint or Celebrity? By Gaston Roberge 189

14 Mother Teresa, abortion and the media By Gaston Roberge 193

Introduction: In praise of Mother Teresa 193

Part 1 Mother Teresa's thought about abortion 194

Part 2 How Mother Teresa talked about abortion 201

a A prophetic approach 202

b The Nobel Prize for Peace: acceptance speech and Nobel lecture 203

Part 3 How the media reported Mother Teresa's statements about abortion 207

a The Nobel Prize for Peace 207

b A feature film on Mother Teresa 209

Conclusion: The logic behind Mother Teresa's concern about abortion 212

Envoi: 'No' to social closure 215

15 Brain down the drain: an exposé of social closure in Western academia 217

i Introduction 217

ii The modern workhouse 218

iii Brain drain: a new chapter of an old story 222

iv Dictatorship and intellectual exodus 225

v Between myth and reality 227

vi An Italian and Japanese affair 236

vii The long journey home 237

viii Defining the 'ethnic' 238

Notes 245

Select bibliography 269

Index 287

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