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Economics and Culture of Transition in Mitteleuropa, the Baltic and the Balkan Area
Besides providing a historical record of the long road from the economic agenda of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution to the present transition from communism, this book can be considered a staunch defense of market capitalism and liberal democracy. Any celebration of the current transition in Eastern Europe necessarily affirms the superiority of a market system over a non-market one and of a democratic system over a non-democratic one. The author does not deny the failures, shortcomings or imperfections of market economy and democracy. Nor does he take the survival of market capitalism and liberal democracy for granted. On the contrary, by highlighting the valiant and painful process of transition and attempting to understand its economics and culture, he seeks to contribute to the theoretical (academic) and practical (political) defense of Western civilization.
The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR
During his reign over the former Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin oversaw the forced resettlement of six million people - a maniacal passion that he used for social engineering. The Soviets were not the first to thrust resettlement on its population - a major characteristic of totalitarian systems - but in terms of sheer numbers, technologies used to deport people and the lawlessness which accompanied it, Stalin's process was the most notable. Six million people of different social, ethnic, and professions were resettled before Stalin's death. Even today, the aftermath of such deportations largely predetermines events which take place in the northern Caucasus, Crimea, the Baltic republics, Moldavia, and western Ukraine. Polian's volume is the first attempt to comprehensively examine the history of forced and semi-voluntary population movements within or organized by the Soviet Union. Contents range from the early 1920s to the rehabilitation of repressed nationalities in the 1990s, dealing with internal (kulaks, ethnic and political deportations) and international forced migrations (German internees and occupied territories). An abundance of facts, figures, tables, maps, and an exhaustively-detailed annex will serve as important sources for further researches.
Holocaust Memory in Contemporary Art and Documentary Film
The book explores representations of the Holocaust in contemporary art practices. Through carefully selected art projects, the author illuminates the specific historical, cultural, and political circumstances that influence the way we speak—or do not speak—about the Holocaust. The book’s international focus brings into view film projects made by key artists reflecting critically upon forms of Holocaust memory in a variety of geographical contexts. Kékesi connects the ethical implications of the memory of the Holocaust with a critical analysis of contemporary societies, focusing upon artists who are deeply engaged in doing both of the above within three regions: Eastern Europe (especially Poland), Germany, and Israel. The case studies apply current methods of contemporary art theory, unfolding their implications in terms of memory politics and social critique.
Norms and Everyday Practices of Parenthood in Russia and Eastern Europe
Takes a comparative perspective on family life and childhood in the past half century in Russia and Eastern Europe, highlighting similarities and differences. Focuses on the problematic domains of the institutions and laws devised to cope with family difficulties, and discusses the social strains created by the transition from communist to post-communist national systems. In addition to the substantial historic analysis, actual challenges are also discussed. The essays examine the changing gender roles, alterations in legal systems, the burdens faced by married and unmarried women who are mothers, the contrasts between government rhteoric and the implementation of policies toward marriage, children and parenthood. By addressing the specifics of welfare politics under the Communist rule and the directions of their transformation in 1990–2000s, this book contributes to the understanding of social institutions and family policies in these countries and the problems of dealing with the socialist past that this region face.
The Supernatural and Its Visual Representation
Supernatural phenomena and causalities played an important role in medieval society. Religious practice was relying upon a set of cult images and the sacral status of these depictions of divine or supernatural persons became the object of heated debates and provoked iconoclastic reactions. The miraculous intervention of saints or other divine agents, the wondrous realities beyond understanding, or the manifestations of magic attributed to diabolic forces, were contained by a variety of discourses, described and discussed in religion, philosophy, chronicles, literature and fiction, and also in a large number of pictures and material objects. The nine essays in this collection discusses how supernatural phenomena – especially angels and devils – found visual manifestation in Latin and Eastern Christianity as well as Judaism in the late medieval, early renaissance period.
Contains two very different narratives; both are for the first time presented in an updated Latin text with an annotated English translation. An anonymous notary of King Bela of Hungary wrote a Latin Gesta Hungarorum (ca. 1200/10), a literary composition about the mythical origins of the Hungarians and their conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Anonymus tried to (re)construct the events and protagonists—including ethnic groups—of several centuries before from the names of places, rivers, and mountains of his time, assuming that these retained the memory of times past. One of his major “inventions” was the inclusion of Attila the Hun into the Hungarian royal genealogy, a feature later developed into the myth of Hun-Hungarian continuity. The Epistle to the Sorrowful Lament upon the Destruction of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Tartars of Master Roger includes an eyewitness account of the Mongol invasion in 1241–2, beginning with an analysis of the political conditions under King Bela IV and ending with the king’s return to the devastated country.
This book interrogates the nature of anti-Americanism today and over the last century. It asks several questions: How do we define the phenomenon from different perspectives: political, social, and cultural? What are the historical sources and turning points of anti-Americanism in Europe and elsewhere? What are its links with anti-Semitic sentiment? Has anti-Americanism been beneficial or self-destructive to its “believers”? Finally, how has the United States responded and why?
Radical revisions of Collective Identity
The last volume of the Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770–1945 series presents 46 texts under the heading of “antimodernism”. In a dynamic relationship with modernism, from the 1880s to the 1940s, and especially during the interwar period, the antimodernist political discourse in the region offered complex ideological constructions of national identification. These texts rejected the linear vision of progress and instead offered alternative models of temporality, such as the cyclical one as well as various narratives of decline. This shift was closely connected to the rejection of liberal democratic institutionalism, and the preference for organicist models of social existence, emphasizing the role of the elites (and charismatic leaders) shaping the whole body politic. Along these lines, antimodernist authors also formulated alternative visions of symbolic geography: rejecting the symbolic hierarchies that focused on the normativity of Western European models, they stressed the cultural and political autarchy of their own national community, which in some cases was also coupled with the reevaluation of the Orient. At the same time, this antimodernist turn should not be confused with rightwing radicalism—in fact, the dialogue with the modernist tradition was often very subtle and the anthology also contains texts which offered a criticism of 'modern' totalitarianism in an antimodernist key.
The volume investigates the registers of fifteenth-century supplications to the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See and presents an analysis of a multiplicity of issues in which a context of the local needs of Western Christians and the central power of the Pope occurred. The contributions make it clear that local and individual factors and the Christian faith and religion in practice must not be seen as separate from the global power of the Roman curia. The latter's influence could become directly important for any individual in any local space, even ...et usque ad ultimum terrae (Acts 1:8), in the utmost peripheries of the Christian world. It is shown that the assistance of the Apostolic Penitentiary was indispensable in a large variety of cases. Such cases were dealt with both in the local, regional space and in the globalized centre of the Holy See.
Pillars, Lines, Ladders
Ascensions on high took many forms in Jewish mysticism and they permeated most of its history from its inception until Hasidism. The book surveys the various categories, with an emphasis on the architectural images of the ascent, like the resort to images of pillars, lines, and ladders. After surveying the variety of scholarly approaches to religion, the author also offers what he proposes as an eclectic approach, and a perspectivist one. The latter recommends to examine religious phenomena from a variety of perspectives. The author investigates the specific issue of the pillar in Jewish mysticism by comparing it to the archaic resort to pillars recurring in rural societies. Given the fact that the ascent of the soul and pillars constituted the concerns of two main Romanian scholars of religion, Ioan P. Culianu and Mircea Eliade, Idel resorts to their views, and in the Concluding Remarks analyzes the emergence of Eliade's vision of Judaism on the basis of neglected sources.