Women’s Rights in Afghanistan: Strategic Dilemmas

This guest post is part of our MESA blog series published in conjunction with the meeting of the Middle East Studies Association in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18-21. #MESA2017DC


By Torunn Wimpelmann, author of The Pitfalls of Protection: Gender, Violence, and Power in Afghanistan

A few days ago, on the 11th of November 2017, Afghan Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh proudly presented his country’s new penal code. To most legal scholars, justice officials and aid workers it was a moment of satisfaction. Afghanistan’s last penal code was issued in 1976 and outdated. Moreover, since 2001, when the country became awash with expatriate advisors, a large number of standalone codes with criminal provisions had been promulgated, mostly by presidential decree. Regulating issues such as anti-narcotics, money laundering and terrorism, these new codes had been produced in isolation from the overall legal framework, but all (un)conveniently contained a clause stating that it abrogated any other law in contradiction to it, ( and on many occasions there were indeed contradictions, sometimes multiple). Judges was required to refer to ever-increasing number of laws containing criminal provisions, (some fifty according to one estimation) and so the idea of creating a new comprehensive penal code appeared a sensible one.

But one law has not been incorporated into the new code. The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women ( EVAW Law) will continue to exist as a stand alone piece of legislation, due to some considerations, as the Vice President said. He did not elaborate further but in my book The Pitfalls of Protection, Gender Violence and Power in Afghanistan, the EVAW law features centrally, as it has done in the gender politics of Afghanistan over the last decade and a half. To follow the trajectory of the law, how it was conceived, promoted, contested, and (partly) implemented is to travel alongside some of the major political, religious, sexual and ideological faultlines of the order erected upon the US-led invasion in 2001.

The law, criminalizing 22 acts as violence against women was conceived in 2005. After a series of strategic and substantial battles within the country’s women’s movement, it was enacted as a presidential decree four years later. The EVAW law failed however to be ratified in parliament where conservative MPs denounced it as an anti-Islamic, foreign product and objected in particular to the law’s criminalization of underage and forced marriage, as well as certain forms of wife beating and polygamy. As such, the law had an unclear legal standing, but was nonetheless celebrated as an historical achievement by many in Afghanistan, both Afghan women’s activists and their allies in Western embassies who had been important in securing the law’s enactment. For years now, despite its ambiguous status as a decree, the law has been the focus of a massive implementation apparatus underwritten by development aid.

But not without some controversy. The conservative parliament aside, legal scholars argued that the law had technical flaws and unclear terminology, and that women’s protection would be better served by merging its provisions into the upcoming comprehensive penal code, which would anyway be the main reference point for judges henceforth. Yet, supporters of the law refused, arguing that to dispossess Afghan women of the law especially dedicated to them would be a reactionary move and a setback for women’s protection. The position reflected the particularities under which women’s rights advocates had been working in post-2001 Afghanistan. Both enabled and disabled by the international presence, which had offered them unprecedented political leverage yet also strengthened both Islamist actors and resentment to foreign influence more generally, many women activists seized on opportunities to get (sometimes discretely) progressive frameworks and institutions in place with the help of external allies and untainted by compromises with more conservative national actors. Whether this strategy will stand the test of time remains to be seen. One indicator will be whether the EVAW law will be applied alongside the new penal code, or fade into irrelevance as a mainly symbolic item and a product of a particular era.


Torunn Wimpelmann is a researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

The Pitfalls of Protection is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Why I Chose to Publish Open Access

by Thomas Patteson, author of Instruments for New Music: Sound, Technology, and Modernism

This guest post is published in conjunction with the just-concluded annual conference of the American Musicological Society where Instruments for New Music was awarded the 2017 Lewis Lockwood Award


I chose open access because I want people to read my book. For purposes of academic capital, gaining tenure, and the like, simply being published is enough. But what really matters is being pondered, discussed, enjoyed, and criticized. I want my writing to be available not only to other inhabitants of the sprawling yet exclusionary university-industrial complex, but to anyone who happens to share an interest in my somewhat esoteric field of research. Let’s be honest: having your book accessible during a limited print run, and then only through university libraries, is not a great way to broadcast your little contribution to human knowledge.

The other main reason I chose open access is what I would call a feeling of reciprocity. The fact is, neither my book nor my existence as a scholar would have been possible without the freely available resources of Project Gutenberg, Archive.org, Ubuweb, Monoskop Log, and many others. These sites, some of them at best quasi-legal, are the foundation stones of a truly universal library, offering the ability to search and read on demand, unfettered by paywalls and password protection. Contributing to this project, with the sanction of a major university press to boot, was an opportunity I was happy to take. At a time of widespread privatization and profiteering, open-access publishing suggests another world is possible.


Thomas Patteson is Professor of Music History at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is also Associate Curator for Bowerbird, a performing organization that presents contemporary music, film, and dance.

Instruments for New Music is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Formatting Keys to Play

by Roger Moseley, author of Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo

This guest post is published in conjunction with the just-concluded annual conference of the American Musicological Society where Keys to Play was awarded the 2017 Otto Kinkeldey Award


Those who write about play from scholarly perspectives are caught in a double bind: the sober imperative to take play seriously is hard to ignore, while the pressure to be suitably whimsical can be equally stifling. When I started tapping on my computer keyboard to form the strands of text that would eventually become Keys to Play, I lacked a clear sense of how the book would trace the course of its ludic subjects (which range from Apollo to Nintendo by way of Mozart) and could not foresee how those strands might be braided in order to bear structural weight.

As someone committed to the history and analysis of media, however, I was all too conscious of the extent to which works of art, fields of play, and discursive parameters are defined by their material affordances and constraints. Perhaps it should have been no surprise, then, that solutions to my quandaries could be found in the multifarious formats—both digital and analog—in which Keys to Play was to be published.

From the start, I was delighted that the book was to appear under the imprimatur of UC Press’s open-access Luminos program. Like many others, I was attracted by the notion of making my research accessible to a broader readership by removing the barrier of cost. What I didn’t initially realize was the degree to which the complementary formats of print-on-demand, PDF, EPUB, and Mobi would help me appreciate how the ludomusical phenomena under discussion could be experienced. In particular, they led me to consider how the book’s audiovisual elements, which include audio recordings I made with my Cornell colleagues and video footage of digital games, might best be integrated.

While companion websites to books on music and the other arts are commonplace, the print and PDF versions of Luminos titles improve the experience by incorporating not only digital object identifier (DOI) links, but also QR codes that, when scanned by a smartphone camera, take the reader directly to the media in question. The EPUB format, which is compatible with both Google Books and Apple’s iBooks, goes one better by embedding audiovisual materials within the document itself: upon tapping any video still or musical example, it starts to play. Keys to Play was the first book in the Luminos program to take advantage of this functionality, which I believe has the potential to transform scholarly writing about music, games, and other media.

The EPUB version of Keys to Play also allows readers to jump around the main text and the endnotes by tapping the note markers. The nonlinearity of this type of navigation guided me toward the structural solution I’d been seeking from the outset. Instead of five traditional chapters, the book comprises five “keys,” each of which consists in turn of five miniature keys.

This recursive arrangement reflects the book’s media-archaeological method as well as the interface of the keyboard itself. Moreover, it enabled me to inject a degree of combinatorial playfulness—one of the book’s central themes—by composing the final miniature key (“Replay: A Cento”) as a permutation of sentences drawn from each of its predecessors. In the EPUB version, tapping the relevant note markers reveals the source of each sentence, which in turn leads back to the concluding section.

With all that said, and despite the exciting opportunities that formats such as EPUB and Mobi present, I must confess that the print-on-demand version of Keys to Play remains closest to my heart. It’s somehow comforting to know that, with the click of a button, the book’s contents can still be tangibly materialized, gathered, and bound. What is more, the speed with which the analog version’s full-color images can be randomly accessed with a flicking thumb puts the search-and-scroll performance of its digital siblings to shame.


Roger Moseley is Assistant Professor of Music at Cornell University. Active as a collaborative pianist on modern and historical instruments, he has published essays on the interface of the keyboard, the performativity of digital games, the practice of eighteenth-century improvisation, and the music of Brahms.

Keys to Play is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Congratulations AMS Award Winners

UC Press is honored to have numerous books and journals among the award winners at the 2017 American Musicological Society Conference. Please join us in congratulating the following  award winners.

Book Awards

Free ebook editions of the award-winning titles are available through Luminos, UC Press’s Open Access publishing program. Click on the direct links below and/or visit www.luminosoa.org to download free digital copies and sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more.

Keys to Play cover Moseley

 

Otto Kinkeldey Award 
for outstanding work of musicological scholarship (beyond early stages)

Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo
by Roger Moseley

 

 

 

 

 

Lewis Lockwood Award 
for outstanding work of musicological scholarship (early stages)

Instruments for New Music: Sound, Technology, and Modernism
by Thomas Patteson

 

 

 

 

Article Awards

In celebration, we are making the award-winning articles free without a subscription for a limited time.

Robert M. Stevenson Award 
for outstanding scholarship in Iberian music, including music composed, performed, created, collected, belonging to, or descended from the musical cultures of Spain, Portugal, and all Latin American areas in which Spanish and Portuguese are spoken.

Carlos Chávez’s Polysemic Style: Constructing the National, Seeking the Cosmopolitan
by Leonora Saavedra
Journal of the American Musicological Society

 

H. Colin Slim Award 
for outstanding article in musicology (beyond early stages)

Sentimental Remembrance and the Amusements of Forgetting in Karl and Harty’s “Kentucky”
by Sumanth Gopinath and Anna Schulz
Journal of the American Musicological Society

 

 

Alfred Einstein Award
for outstanding article in musicology (early stages)

Solidarity, Song, and the Sound Document
Andrea F. Bohlman
The Journal of Musicology

 

 


Open in order to . . . . Author Anne Rademacher Explains Why She Published with Luminos

by Anne Rademacher, author of Building Green: Environmental Architects and the Struggle for Sustainability in Mumbai

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


We live in an age marked by environmental vulnerability—some of it longstanding, and some completely new. In recent weeks, flooding and storm events seemed to serve as a daily reminder of environmental vulnerability: from Florida to Houston to Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. Just a few months ago, Mumbai, the setting for Building Green: Environmental Architects and the Struggle for Sustainability in Mumbai, experienced record-setting rainfall and catastrophic floods—just one chapter in the story of 2017’s Asian monsoon, a season marked by floods, landslides, and damaging rains that affected millions across the region and killed well over a thousand people.

The frequency and intensity of storm events is just one environmental condition that cities around the world will have to face if they are to maintain basic services like water, energy, and shelter provision—to say nothing of social well being, public health, and safety. Regardless of our location on the global map, we face the question of whether and how we can realize ecological sustainability and social resilience in the context of an uncertain, but certainly unprecedented, environmental future.

If achieving sustainable cities is a key challenge to humanity, then those who seek to design and implement its components—green buildings, open spaces and parks, cleaner energy systems, and the like—are critically important for forging needed change. We might consider certain kinds of green expertise to be essential to the planners, developers, municipal officials, activists, and architects of our future cities. What are their visions and aspirations for sustainable cities and societies? How is training in a “green” urban profession different from conventional training? And, perhaps most importantly, once one knows the tools of the green expert, what does it take to implement them?

Building Green traces the experience of environmental architects as they study to acquire the skills they need, and then try, post-training, to implement what they’ve learned. By recounting architects’ experiences, the book gives us a sense of the layers of powerful interests, institutions, and history that are fundamental aspects of any kind of urban transformation. It underlines the chasm that often exists between practitioners who are trying to make cities more environmentally sound, and the forces that hold sway over how cities are ultimately built—a key obstacle we must overcome if we are to realize a more sustainable urban future.

Why open access? At the level of a future we share in common—one marked by an uncertain and even unprecedented environment—open access allows readers worldwide to learn from one another. But equally important is the potential for open access publications to reach readers who would otherwise be unable to participate in the conversation or to learn from the experiences beyond their geographic context. In the case of Building Green, it is a chance to widely share one group’s story of forging a greener urban future in a complex and unsustainable present.


Anne Rademacher is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Anthropology at New York University. Her books include Reigning the River: Urban Ecologies and Political Transformation in Kathmandu, Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability, and the edited volume Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism.

Building Green is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Open in order to . . . . Author Paul Barclay Explains Why He Published with Luminos

by Paul D. Barclay, author of Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border” 1874-1895 

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


Based on my ten years of experience as the editor of a digital archive of historical images (East Asia Image Collection), I’ve seen open-access publishing bring together researchers, archivists, and people with personal connections to our materials across vast distances. Thanks to the internet’s ubiquity, persistence, and capillary reach, library staff at the Puli Municipal Library in central Taiwan, and the National Showa Memorial Museum in Tokyo, as well as several private collectors, have found us and since become partners.

In addition, the old photographs, postcards, prints and slides on our website brought descendants of a Canadian missionary, an American Consul, and a Japanese bureau chief, all of whom lived in colonized Taiwan during the 1930s, into contact with us. These viewers, as well as the family of a prominent Taiwanese dissident, have provided our team with advice, corrections, and additional materials while we helped them learn about their family histories.

I predict that the publication of Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border” 1874-1895 (forthcoming in November) on the Luminos open access platform will engender similar types of collaborative relationships, because digitally born content is always just a click away, anywhere in the world where an internet connection exists. More importantly, however, is that the work will reach people I wish to repay for their patience and openness regarding the research for this book. Outcasts is a study of indigenous peoples in world history, viewed through the prism of several native-newcomer encounters in rural Taiwan. Its subject matter, as I’ve learned at workshops, conferences, and field trips involving the descendants of the book’s protagonists, is of great interest to Taiwan Indigenous Peoples, their Han neighbors, and Japanese citizens as well. Open access is the best vehicle for making Outcasts available to the peoples most affected by the stories related in its pages.

Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar bookstores or museum shops that stock academic books are concentrated in a few large cities, while traditional online commerce only operates within the context of a copyright, delivery, and distribution infrastructure that leaves much of the planet’s population underserved. Therefore, I think the Luminos platform has the potential to improve relationships between authors and the communities they write about and to become the occasion for more open-ended collaboration than previous publication models have allowed for.


The author (front left) with colleagues at the National Showa Memorial Museum in Tokyo, 2014

Paul D. Barclay is Professor of History at Lafayette College. He is also general editor of the East Asia Image Collection, an open-access online digital repository of historical materials.

Outcasts of Empire is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.

 


Transforming Shattered Grounds into New Beginnings

by Christina Zanfagna, author of Holy Hip Hop in the City of Angels

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


The United States has witnessed an onslaught of catastrophic upheavals of both nature and culture in the second half of 2017—from the deadly Charlottesville, VA attack on protesters at a “Unite the Right” rally to the series of torrential hurricanes sweeping through the Gulf Coast and Caribbean to the mass shooting that killed 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas, CA. And now, as I write this, Northern California still smolders from deadly wildfires that have reduced whole neighborhoods to piles of ash and claimed more than forty lives.

How can we make sense of this level of loss and tragedy? Where can we find the imagination, strength, and beauty to transform these shattered grounds into new beginnings?

Folks in Southern California—an area that is no stranger to these kinds of disastrous environmental and social eruptions—were faced with these same questions in the 1990s after four major earthquakes rattled through the Southland. The Joshua Tree earthquake (M6.1), Landers earthquake (M7.3), and Big Bear (M6.5) earthquake, which all struck in 1992, and the Northridge earthquake of 1994 (M6.7), in addition to the mass flooding and firestorms that followed, caused over $43 billion of damage. 1992 also witnessed the rioting, looting, and arson that exploded in the wake of the Rodney King beating by five LAPD officers and their subsequent acquittal by a mainly white jury. Out of the ashes of these costly and calamitous events, Angelenos forged new modes of creativity and connection: the Bloods and the Crips brokered a historic gang truce in south L.A., community churches were erected in place of Western Surplus gun stores, and a subset of brown and black youth decided to share their struggles and aspirations through holy hip hop—sacred rhymes over hip hop beats that delivered wholeness, holiness, and hope.

These are the L.A. stories and soundings that permeate my book, Holy Hip Hop in the City in the Angels. They have a lot to teach us about the far-reaching effects of disaster as well as the power of creative practices of renewal. Sometimes music and art are the only way to make sense of such chaotic and widespread trauma. While the losses are real and must be meaningfully grieved, destruction also creates the conditions of possibility for transformations of all kinds. New ideas, expressions, and structures must emerge, even as they are necessarily grounded in the broken earth from which they spring forth. What artful spark will ignite the efforts to reimagine and rebuild in such turbulent times?


Christina Zanfagna is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara University.

Holy Hip Hop in the City in the Angels is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy of the book.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Open in order to . . . connect to France and the rest of the world

by Jean Beaman, author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


In my new book, Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France, I write about many different perspectives—those of my respondents, middle-class children of North African immigrants in France, and also my own—as a Black American sociologist. I discuss how children of North African immigrants in France—and racial and ethnic minorities in France, more generally—are still kept on the margins of French society because of their racial and ethnic origin. They are not seen as full citizens, or as I put it, they are denied cultural citizenship to be accepted by others as French as any other person. To do this research, I lived in Paris for various periods. When I told people I interacted with in France that I was writing a book based on this research, many immediately assumed that my book would be inaccessible since I was working with a United States based publisher and therefore purchase and shipping costs might be prohibitive. I was happy to inform them that while hard copies can still be purchased, my book would be accessible via open access. Even though my book was just recently published, I have already heard from people in France and other countries who have been able to download my book—either by chapters or in its entirety. In my work, I talk with people both throughout and outside of the United States and it is therefore very beneficial for people to be able to immediately access my work—without delay. Since I am a non-French person researching and writing about France, it is extremely fruitful for me to be able to immediately engage and dialogue with French people about my book and the questions it raises.


Jean Beaman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purdue University.

Citizen Outsider is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy of the book.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.


Elementa: A Brief History

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo

 


Keep up to date on Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene news & updates by signing up for the eNewsletter, and following along on Facebook and Twitter.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene was founded by BioOne in 2013 through a partnership with five research universities: Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. Please visit our Founders page for the full history.


Collabra: Psychology: A Brief History

At UC Press, open access—the free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work—is central to our mission. In celebration of 2017 International Open Access Week (October 23-29), we are highlighting open access publishing initiatives at UC Press, including our Collabra and Luminos publishing programs. This year’s OA Week theme “Open in order to . . . ” is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly publications openly available. Follow the full blog series here#OAWeek #OpenInOrderTo


To continue our #OAWeek celebrations, we reflect on important milestones in Collabra: Psychology‘s history and asked Collabra: Psychology authors to share why they chose to publish their research open access, in keeping with the OA Week theme “Open in order to . . .”

Open in order to give everyone access to science. Open in order to improve replicability in psychology. Open in order to save university libraries a ton of money. Open in order to support a journal with a wonderful model of how open science can work.”
—Ashley J. Thomas, University of California, Irvine, and author of Collabra: Psychology article No Child Left Alone: Moral Judgments about Parents Affect Estimates of Risk to Children

“Open in order to allow everyone who wants to consume and create knowledge to be able to do so without artificial restrictions.”
—Chris H. J. Hartgerink, Tilburg University, and Collabra: Psychology author of Too Good to be False: Nonsignificant Results Revisited

“Open in order to focus on the quality of the research methods to test hypotheses and less on the pattern of results obtained. Open in order to share my publicly funded research with the public and not only those with privileged access. Open in order to support a journal that encourages Open Science Practices.”
—Lorne Campbell, University of Western Ontario, and author of Collabra: Psychology article Initial Evidence that Individuals Form New Relationships with Partners that More Closely Match their Ideal Preferences

Collabra: Psychology in order to support an ethical, honest journal that rewards reviewers, doesn’t appear to be profit-oriented (as evidenced by the reasonable APCs), aims to publish sound research (not just flashy effects), and has open review and a very convenient streamlined review option.”
—Tom Heyman, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat, and author of Collabra: Psychology article Does a Working Memory Load Really Influence Semantic Priming? A Self-replication Attempt