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Art beyond Borders

Artistic Exchange in Communist Europe (1945-1989)

Edited by Jerome Bazin, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, and Piotr Piotrowski

This book presents and analyzes artistic interactions between 1945 and 1989, both within the Soviet bloc and between it and the Western bloc. During the Cold War the exchange of artistic ideas and products united Europe’s avant-garde in a most remarkable way. Through the Iron Curtain and through the national borders there was a constant flow of artists, artworks, artistic ideas and practices. But the geography of these exchanges still needs to be defined. How were networks, centres, peripheries (local, national and international), scales and distances constructed? What were the relations between the officially promoted socialist realism and the (neo)avant-garde tendencies? The slowly expanding literature on the art of Eastern Europe in western European languages provides a great deal of factual knowledge about a vast cultural space mostly through the prism of stereotypes and in national compartments. By discussing artworks, studying the writings on art, reconstructing trajectories and artists’ strategies, as well as the influence of political authorities, art dealers and art critics, the essays in Art beyond Borders compose a transnational history of arts in the Soviet satellite countries. Key words: 1. Art and society--Communist countries. 2. Art--Foreign influences--Communist countries--20th century. 3. Art, European--20th century. 4. Cultural relations--History--20th century.

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Ascensions on High in Jewish Mysticism

Pillars, Lines, Ladders

By Moshe Idel

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.

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Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern

Demographic Developments in Ottoman Bulgaria

By Maria m. Todorova

This study, which is an updated, extended, and revised version of the out-of-print 1993 edition, reassesses the traditional stereotype of the place of the Balkans in the model of the European family in the nineteenth century on the basis of new source material and by synthesizing existing research. The work first analyzes family structure and demographic variables as they appear in population registers and other sources, and the impact of these findings on theoretical syntheses of the European family pattern. On most features, such as population structure, marriage and nuptiality, birth and fertility, death and mortality rates, family and household size and structure, as well as inheritance patterns, the Balkans show an enormous deal of internal variety. This variability is put in a comparative European context by matching the quantifiable results with comparable figures and patterns in other parts of Europe. The second section of the book is a contribution to the long-standing debate over the zadruga, the complex, collective, joint or extended family in the Balkans. Finally, the book considers ideology and mythology and the ways it has adversely affected scholarship on the family, and broadly on population history.

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Between the Living and the Dead

A Perspective on Witches and Seers in the Early Modern Age

By Eva Pocs

In examining the relics of European shamanism in early modern age sources, the techniques and belief-systems of mediators found in the records of witch-craft trials from the 16th-18th centuries, the author's goal was to explore the kinds of communication systems known to early modern Hungarians, the role of these systems in the everyday life of the village, and how they were connected to contemporary European systems. In addition, the author investigates the relations and changes of paradigm of the systems defined. The book represents a contribution to the most up-to-date international research into historical anthropology and the study of religions, drawing on Eastern European material and literature not previously included. On the basis of her material and analysis, the author contributes a number of new details, identifying new types of mediators and sys-tems which function right up to the twentieth century.

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Beyond Mosque, Church, and State

Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans

Edited by Theodora Dragostinova and Yana Hashamova

By exploring the development of ethnic diversity and national tensions in Bulgaria and Bosnia, while also drawing parallels with Macedonia, this volume uses the three most diversely populated areas in the Balkans to tackle complex issues. What institutions of state building are capable of managing diverse ethno-religious traditions and conflicting national identities? How do people on the ground respond to state-sponsored political projects at the local community level? In what ways do studies of cultural representations of ethno-national and religious conflicts call attention to inequality and human rights violations? How have studies of human rights problems in the Balkans contributed to changes in international law? More generally, what is the role of the humanities and social sciences in developing a discourse on the subject of conflict resolution and human rights? The volume engages the question of ethno-national conflicts and identities from three perspectives: historical interpretations of national conflict and ethno-religious tensions in the context of empire- and state-building; cultural debates as reflected in the use of language and dance, film, and media production and circulation as tools for nation-and community-building; and thirdly, current political controversies over national resurgence and human rights both in the post-Yugoslav war context and in connection to European Union integration.

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Biographical Dictionary of Women’s Movements and Feminisms

Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries

Edited francisca DeHaan, Anna Loutfi

Contains 150 expertly-researched biographical portraits (with pictures) of women and men who were active in, or part of, women's movements and feminisms in 22 countries in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus it challenges the widely-held belief that there was no feminism in this part of Europe. The biographical portraits not only show that feminists existed here, but also that they were widespread and diverse, and included Romanian princesses, Serbian philosophers and peasants, Latvian and Slovakian novelists, Albanian teachers, Hungarian Catholic social workers, Austrian factory workers, Bulgarian feminist scientists and socialist feminists, Russian radicals and philanthropists, Turkish republican leftist political activists and nationalists, internationally recognized Greek feminist leaders, and so on-women, and some men, from all walks of life. Their stories together constitute a rich tapestry of feminist activity, rejecting the notion that either there was no feminism here, or that it was 'imported from the West.' Women in every society and in every generation protest gender injustice, and any suggestion to the contrary is a denial of the intelligence and human agency of countless women and men, including those featured in this Biographical Dictionary. The biographies not only provide a window onto the historical background of contemporary feminism (thus giving present-day women's movements the 'historical support' that they need and are entitled to), in some cases they demonstrate explicitly the historical continuities between feminisms past and present.

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Blood and Homeland

Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900-1940

Edited by Marius Turda

The history of eugenics and racial nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe is a neglected topic of analysis in contemporary scholarship. The 20 essays in this volume, written by distinguished scholars of eugenics and fascism alongside a new generation of scholars, excavate the hitherto unknown eugenics movements in Central and Southeast Europe, including Austria and Germany. Eugenics and racial nationalism are topics that have constantly been marginalized and rated as incompatible with local national traditions in Central and Southeast Europe. These topics receive a new treatment here. On the one hand, the historiographic perspective connects developments in the history of anthropology and eugenics with political ideologies such as racial nationalism and anti-Semitism; on the other hand, it contests the 'Sonderweg' approach adopted by scholars dealing with these issues.

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Bones of Contention

The living archive of Vasil Levski and the making of Bulgaria's national hero

By Maria M. Todorova

This book is about documenting and analyzing the living archive around the figure of Vasil Levski (1837–1873), arguably the major and only uncontested hero of the Bulgarian national pantheon. The processes described, although with a chronological depth of almost two centuries, are still very much in the making, and the living archive expands not only in size but constantly adding surprising new forms. The monograph is a historical study, taking as its narrative focus the life, death and posthumous fate of Levski. By exploring the vicissitudes of his heroicization, glorification, appropriations, reinterpretation, commemoration and, finally, canonization, it seeks to engage in several broad theoretical debates, and provide the basis for subsequent regional comparative research. The analysis of Levski's consecutive and simultaneous appropriations by different social platforms, political parties, secular and religious institutions, ideologies, professional groups, and individuals, demonstrates how boundaries within the framework of the nation are negotiated around accepted national symbols.

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Building the New Man

Eugenics, Racial Science and Genetics in Twentieth-Century Italy

By Francesco Cassata

Discusses several fundamental themes of the comparative history of eugenics: the importance of the Latin eugenic model; the relationship between eugenics and fascism; the influence of Catholicism on the eugenic discourse and the complex links between genetics and eugenics. It examines the Liberal pre-fascist period and the post-WW2 transition from fascist and racial eugenics to medical and human genetics. As far as fascist eugenics is concerned, the book provides a refreshing analysis, considering Italian eugenics as the most important case-study in order to define Latin eugenics as an alternative model to its Anglo-American, German and Scandinavian counterparts. Analyses in detail the nature-nurture debate during the State racist campaign in fascist Italy (1938–1943) as a boundary tool in the contraposition between the different institutional, political and ideological currents of fascist racism.

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Burek

A Culinary Metaphor

By Jernej Mlekuz

“As simple as burek” is a popular phrase used by many young people in Slovenia. In this book Jernej Mlekuž maintains that the truth is just the opposite. The burek is a pie made of pastry dough filled with various fillings that is well-known in the Balkans, and also in Turkey and the Near East by other names. Whether on the plate or as a cultural artifact, it is in fact, not that simple. After a brief stroll through its innocent history, Mlekuž focuses on the present state of the burek, after parasitical ideologies had attached themselves to it and poisoned its discourses. In Slovenia, the burek has become a loaded metaphor for the Balkans and immigrants from the republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Without the burek it would be equally difficult to consider the jargon of Slovenian youth, the imagined world of Slovenian chauvinism and the rhetorical arsenal of advertising agents when promoting healthy foods. keywords: 1. Discourse analysis--Slovenia. 2. Political culture--Slovenia. 3. Popular culture-- Slovenia. 4. Nationalism--Slovenia. 5. Immigrants--Slovenia--Public opinion. 6. Pies- -Slovenia. 7. Food--Symbolic aspects--Slovenia. 8. Metaphor--Political aspects-- Slovenia. 9. Slovenia--Politics and government. 10. Slovenia--Social life and customs.

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