Letter from the Editors,

We live in interesting times. As messages and images of exploitation, displacements, rage, and violent uprisings circulate through media, we register expressions of nihilism, apathy, and pain. This issue continues our push to incorporate a more intentional use of the arts and intertextual media to enhance essays and articles and challenge hyper-branded time of discourse production and analysis. We look forward to the forthcoming shift to a new platform which will support a larger variety of texts in a more accessible form.

Supporting the application of rigorous critical thought to unfolding events in a peer reviewed, open access space, will undoubtedly continue under the leadership of the incoming editors at large, Mario Khreiche and Shelby Ward, as well as the incoming editor-elects, Caroline Alphin and Alex Stubberfield.

SPECTRA issue 5.2, offers speaks to power across private and public, local and global divides. In a time of divisive rhetoric such translations and explorations are to be celebrated.

Michael McPhie (University of Utah) investigates public discourse in the United States regarding diabetes since 1985. He argues that its use of crisis language has imbibed the disease with a certain salience and meaning in contemporary American society.

In “Eco-body”, Bill Hill (Jacksonville University) explores how reliance on technological, aesthetic extensions of the human body may be leading to a “post-body” shift in human evolution.

Michele Deramo (Virginia Tech) explores the discursive nature (and creation) of group identities by using both ethnographic and interpretive methods to present the history of the people now known as Somali Bantu. This creative methodology nuances the political and social intersections of diasporic identities.

Despite the huge number of lives lost and massive destruction resulting from the American invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States’s efforts to ameliorate the humanitarian effects have been minimal. Jared Keyel (Virginia Tech) explores how the concept of the “global harm principle” obligates the states responsible for such disruptions and loss to commit substantial resources and efforts to making reparations.

In his piece, “Symbiogenic Interaction”, Alexander T. Stubberfield (Virginia Tech) argues that “neoliberal” explanations for contemporary changes in the U.S. university confuse changes in rationality for changes in ideology. He discusses the works of Louis Althusser, Wendy Brown, and William Connolly in order to show how dynamics between the university and the economic systems it is embedded in best explain the rapid changes in the American academy.

Claudio D’Amato (Virginia Tech) identifies how liberal approaches to development, by ignoring the non-liberal ethics that dominate in many societies, hinder the work development entities want to conduct. He argues that communitarian critiques, in a moral particularist mold, need to be taken more seriously.

Finally, Elena R. Popan (Texas Tech) explores how the emerging medium of “emergency cinema” had made an impact on how concepts of justice and empathy are read into the Syrian conflict by a global audience.

Judson Abraham’s (Virginia Tech) review of the film, The Purge (2013), engages with critiques from Foucault and Marcuse.

Lastly, we are excited to have a special section with essays from three scholars: Francois Debrix (Virginia Tech), IIan Kapoor (York University), and Lisa Ann Richey (Roskilde University). The essays are adapted from their spoken remarks at a session at the 2016 International Studies Association conference, “Celebrity Humanitarianism, North and South.”



Copyright (c) 2016 Jordan Laney and Anthony Szczurek