On the Ground / In the Flux of the World

Arena Quarterly no. 16 carries features on the internal political background to the Ukraine war, the reorientation of China’s economic program, the calamitous history of recent US wars, and an editorial on Gaza. Back home, arguments for the virtues of white civilisation and teaching it are countered in a history of Nordic supremacist and Nazi thinking in the Humanities at Melbourne University. At the heart of this edition is a special section on the contemporary self. Featuring five in-depth essays on how the person is shaped today, these reflect on the consequences of the pandemic for families, youth and ‘mental health’; the trauma of Aboriginal youth in Alice Springs; the fate of family therapy; the entwinement of philosophy in the constructed self; and new developments in culture and society that have led to an ungrounding of the self and distinctive forms of despair. Then there’s the Spanish Civil war, cannibal capitalism, East Timor, the work of Alan Garner, and reviews and poetry.

Editorial: Gaza and The Unspeakable

If this disarticulation of founding story and psychological investment doesn’t occur, what hope is there for Palestinians? But what hope for Israeli Jews too?

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Arena Quarterly issue no. 16, 2023

Contents

TitleAuthorPagePg.
Editorial
Alison Caddick1
World
Half a century of failed US adventures, from Vietnam to Afghanistan
Amin Saikal5
The Dragon Takes a Slow Dance
China’s new development model, global shifts and how the pundits get it wrong
Clinton Fernandes9
Ukraine's Borderline Disorder
How Ukraine's bizarre internal politics created a European war
Peter Korotaev13
Special Section: A Hall of Broken Mirrors?
Introduction
24
After the Inferno
Mental health, identity, children and families in the wake of the pandemic
David Ferraro25
Identity in Question
The contemporary self as philosophical by-product
Mark Kelly36
Smashing, grabbing, falling
Loss, trauma, core self and youth offending in Mpwartne/Alice Springs
Pamela Nathan41
The Waxing and Waning of Family Therapy
From the collectivism of 70s therapy to neoliberal individualism today
Mark Furlong50
The Ungrounded Self
Are we witnessing a breakdown in the transmission of culture and subjectivity?
Guy Rundle56
History, Memory, Accounting
Civilisation and its White Myths
The captivating whiteness of the humanities at the University of Melbourne
Warwick Anderson62
Atop Corbera D’Ebre
Memorialising the Spanish Civil War
Grazyna Zajdow70
Turning a Blind Eye
The Australia–Timor Information Gap and the legacy of Shirley Shackleton
Peter Job77
Arts and Culture
Time Is Ignorance
Language, location and time in Alan Garner’s writing for children
Valerie Krips80
Poetry
An Accounting / Cuttings / Continuous Train / Rejoice / Paddock Edge / The Hillside
David Mason84
White Rose
Barry Hill98
Reviews
Where Does Value Lie?
Nancy Fraser’s Cannibal Capitalism
Alison Caddick89
From Small Things Grow
Voices for Indi’s The Indi Way
Frank Bongiorno92
More Light Shining in Oxbridge
Terry Eagleton’s Critical Revolutionaries
Robert DiNapoli95

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