Otherness

No. 2 - Year 11 - 06/2021

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM

Editorial

It is likely that anyone who encounters the term otherness for the first time would think it describes something different from us and yet akin to us. And they would be right, just as they would simultaneously be wrong. Otherness is an exceptionally complex term, which cannot be understood separately from the idea of the self. When we want to articulate who is, to us, the other, we also have to articulate who is their opposite – the latter being us. Therefore, when speaking of the other, we inevitably speak of ourselves. The coupling of terms myself/other was mentioned already by Hegel, who emphasized that the identification of the Other enabled the synthetization of one’s own identity (112). The Other (who is often identified within ethnic, racial, religious, geographical, and many other cultural and social categories) functions as a mirror. For Georg Simmel, for example, the Other is more than a stranger who is either close to or distant from us. The Other is an element that can simultaneously be a member of the group, outside of it, and in a confrontation with it (144). For Emanuel Levinas, the Other is what I am not. It is identified as one similar to us, but also different and extraneous. Precisely this extraneousness, which Levinas also refers to as alterity, illuminates a subject’s path toward himself by demonstrating that which is intrinsic – where he belongs (43, 48). By identifying the Other, a person or a group is labeled in a process in which we construct our own roles, our position within the society, and the meaning of ourselves. To have an Other is essential to creating an identity, for by identifying the Other, we facilitate the understanding of that which is “here” and that which is “there” because, as Antony Smith emphasized, identity is not created merely from one’s own experiences, memories, and myths, but through positioning oneself in relation to the collective identities of Others (11-36, 43). This process of synthetization of one’s own identity consists of forming an awareness of an in-group, which is based on a necessary delimitation toward an out-group. ...

Literature and Culture
Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey:

This paper is a critical examination of discursive strategies of othering in three refugee-focused books in Turkish children’s literature written after the onset of Syrian civil war. Drawing upon Van Dijk’s ideological analysis, eliciting the representation of “us vs. them” in a network of semantic and formal structures, the study has two closely related main aims. The first is to show how children’s literature, as a significant conveyor of norms, values, and ideology, provides fertile ground to examine power relations. The second is to identify discursive strategies of othering, which categorize and underscore group-based differences by attributing negative characteristics, in three Turkish children’s books about the Syrian war. Findings demonstrate that negative representation of the Other is foregrounded by actor description, lexicalization, and implicitness within the framework of semantic structures. Formal structures resonate with topoi under the umbrella of argumentation and rhe...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lc.5
Literature and Culture
Karla Žagi, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia:

The article rethinks the contemporary approach to the process of othering, which observes it through the lenses of modern social changes. The general premise of the article is that othering can be analyzed in the context of migration to Europe through three main categories. Namely, the behavioral-perceptive category, symbolic category, and lingual category. By analyzing the relevant research and theories, I will attempt to show that migrants are always necessarily othered by the dominant population, but with specific differences between migrant groups – in terms of religion, language, culture, values, and race. Keywords: the process of othering, migration, domicile society, discriminationOthering, a complex theory developed and analyzed by many theorists such as Jacques Lacan, Edward Said, Emmanuel Levinas, Simmel, and Michel de Certeau, is most briefly explained as the relationship of power and subordination during the encounter of different cultures (Said 5), groups, or individuals. ...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lc.4
Literature and Culture
Luka Šešo, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia:

This paper analyzes four reports concerning dog-headed creatures (pasoglavci) published in the late 19th and early 20th century in the Journal of Folk Life and Customs of Southern Slavs (Zbornik za narodni život i običaje Južnih Slavena). In order to determine who the dog-headed creatures represented in the Croatian folk culture of the time and why reports concerning them got published in the first ethnological journal in Croatia, it was necessary to study the concept of dog-headed creatures from the perspective of the process of othering. The conclusion was that the specific historical and cultural circumstances that existed in the area from which the reports originated stimulated the construction of the idea that the dog-headed creatures existed, which was used both to demonize other ethnoreligious groups and to create a positive image of the original group’s own identity.

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lc.1
Literary Translation
Rejtő Jenő and Zachery Anderson:

I have never yet written
I’ve only scribbled this or that nor was it ever true
I now can write and can see, what it is.
True.
Such truth as is reality itself, like that which is not like itself
A mathematical dream:
An absolute good. On the cube.
Now I will write no more, I’ll merely jeer.
Jeer even Anatole France himself and I surely can write yet surely more can cry and even more can endure... if someone requires it of me.
It bothers me greatly that there is no reasoner... measurer.
...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lt.2
Literary Translation
Colin Barrett and Blaž Martić i Marina Veverec:

U mom gradu sigurno niste bili, ali znate taj tip. Izlaz s autoceste, industrijska zona, kino s pet dvorana, kilometar kvadratni grada nakrcan stoljetnim pabovima. Atlantik je blizu; blizu je kvrgava čeljust obale s rtovima pod vječitom najezdom galebova. Ljetne večeri; miris balege naliježe na pašnjake okolnih naselja dok ravnodušni volovi podižu glave da bolje osluhnu riku friziranih jurilica koje klinci ganjaju zabačenim cestama.Mlad sam, a nas mladih ovdje nema mnogo, pa se može reći da se sve nas pita. Nedjelja je. Gotov je vikend, taj trodnevni festival drobljenja. Nedjelja je dan pročišćenja i kajanja; dan omekšanih lubanja, uzburkanih želudaca i šupljih obećanja da se više nikada, ali nikada nećemo tako razvaliti. Veseli te što dan ide svome kraju prije nego što je uopće počeo. Osam sati već je odavno prošlo, ali vani se još nije smračilo; topla svjetlost prožeta je onom ugodnom melankolijom koja prati srpanjske večeri na zapadu. Sa mnom za stolom, u prostoru za pušače vani pre...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lt.4
Literature and Culture
Nataša Polgar, The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Croatia:

This text discusses the discursive construction of the body of a woman/witch as a threatening Other under Article 60 of the Criminal Practice, which served both as a criminal law and as a criminal procedure law in Hungary, and thus Croatia and Slavonia, during the period of mass witchcraft trials from 1699 to the mid-18th century. Otherness is approached from a psychoanalytic, Lacanian point of view because it opens up the possibility of understanding the collective affective politics of fear as a reflection of the unconscious in the language that created the witch imaginary, which takes its origin from the register of the imaginary and the mirror stage, i.e., in the psychological economy of structuring of the self/ego. The legal procedures that are analyzed in the text as part of the symbolic register seek to socially channel and discipline fear first by inscribing on and into women’s bodies various deviations and transgressions of the human, which are then entirely annulled through d...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.11.lc.3