Grand Hotel Nostalgia | The Difference between Bullshit and Diplomacy | The Harmful Legacy of Mega-Events


Modern Central European Hotels and Spas in Cultural Criticism: Grand Hotel Nostalgia: an Introduction

Sean M. Williams Forum for Modern Language Studies

“Exclusive hotels are commonplaces, or topoi, of twentieth-century cultural criticism. Speaking in 1967, Michel Foucault suggested that the hotel is a ‘heterotopia’: a social counter-site designated for ritualistic behaviour, or the limited subversion of cultural convention. He gave the example of sex in a honeymoon suite. Foucault mentioned Scandinavian saunas, too, as a further type of heterotopian scenario, in which civilized norms are exchanged for rituals of hygiene. And so we might introduce the grand hotels and spas of Central Europe – the subject of the subsequent pages – as such ‘effectively enacted utopia’…”


Subverting the Art of Diplomacy: Bullshit, Lies and Trump

Selman Özdan Postdigital Science and Education

“…Bullshit, a deceptive method which aims at manipulating the opinions and attitudes of those with whom the bullshitter speaks, with no regard for the truth, can be no part of [the diplomatic] art. Yet…the U.S. president Donald Trump all too often engages in bullshit and lies in his dealings with international states. Trump confidently, even bombastically, asserts his success and abilities on foreign policy issues and international negotiations; however, on closer analysis of social media, it is clear that Trump lacks these vital skills, frequently compromising agreement and undermining progress. This article examines the difference between bullshit and diplomacy by analysing Trump’s statements on social media platforms and concludes that Trump’s bullshit is a threat to diplomacy.”


Talking about the ‘Rotten Fruits’ of Rio 2016: Framing Mega-Event Legacies

Adam Talbot International Review for the Sociology of Sport

“Legacy has become a watchword of hosting mega-events in recent years, used to justify massive spending and far-reaching urban transformations. However, academic studies of legacy outcomes suggest there is only limited evidence for the efficacy of using mega-events to deliver broader policy goals. The discourse of legacy promulgated by the International Olympic Committee promotes a fantastical vision of the possibilities created by mega-events while obfuscating critical analyses of legacy. This paper explores legacy talk among a wholly different group – activists who have protested against the Olympic Games, specifically in Rio de Janeiro – based on interviews conducted two years after the Games as part of a broader ethnographic study. The positive connotations of legacy, even among these Olympic critics, places a straitjacket on conversation, leading activists to discuss specific legacy projects, at the expense of highlighting the very real harms of mega-event development…”

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