Taking its cue from the 90th anniversary commemorations of November 2008, this work explores the relationship between state and nationhood during the three phases to date in Latvia’s existence as a territorial entity: the sovereign statehood of 1918-1940; the Soviet and Nazi occupations of 1940-1944 and the ensuing half-century within the USSR; and the post-1991 period, which has seen the restoration of independence on the basis of legal continuity from the inter-war period and – latterly – accession to the European Union. The aim in relation to all three eras is to go beyond the often essentialising contours of Cold War and post-Cold War debates and reveal the underlying complexities and ambiguities of political and social development.
The book, based on research results from a three-year study of parliamentary and media debates in Latvia, analyses the discourses of Latvian politicians and the media about nation, citizenship, cultural diversity, history and the nation-state. This is the first large-scale study of political debates in a Baltic State from the perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Separate chapters, by researchers from Canada, Latvia, Lithuania and the UK, analyse the intersections between national identity construction, national mythmaking, concepts of citizenship, journalistic action, press ownership and questions of control of political and media discourses. All of these have impact on the fundamental questions of the relationship between individuals and the state. The authors conclude that even after the accession to the European Union in 2004, political pressures in Latvia, as also frequently on the political Right in other EU countries, promote ethnic membership as the guiding factor of state-building.
Speaking of Animals consists of a linked series of thirteen essays about subjects ranging from deciding to castrate a dog, evaluating recent dog memoirs, observing animals in Spain, reading about the training of big cats, watching Animal Planet, and being unable to kill a racoon in Texas. So often personal, even while analyzing novels such as
Water for Elephants or movies such as
Into the Wild, the essays offer both an implicit critique and a continuation of recent discursive trends in animal studies, whose language is too haplessly abstracted from the animals in whose name we humans strive to speak as well as narrate.
A diary kept by a boy in the 1790s sheds new light on the rise of autobiographical writing in the 19th century and sketches a panoramic view of Europe in the Age of Enlightenment. The French Revolution and the Batavian Revolution in the Netherlands provide the backdrop to this study, which ranges from changing perceptions of time, space and nature to the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and its influence on such far-flung fields as education, landscape gardening and politics. The book describes the high expectations people had of science and medicine, and their disappointment at the failure of these new branches of learning to cure the world of its ills.
This volume focuses on a previously under-researched area, namely exile in and from Czechoslovakia in the years prior to the Second World War as well as during the wartime and post-war periods. The study considers, firstly, the refugees from Germany and Austria who fled to Czechoslovakia during the 1930s; secondly, the refugees from Czechoslovakia, both German and Czech-speaking, who arrived in Britain in or around 1938 as refugees from Fascism; and thirdly, those who fled from Communism in 1948. From a variety of perspectives, the book examines the refugees’ activities and achievements in a range of fields, both on a collective and an individual basis. The volume will be of interest to scholars and students of twentieth century history, politics and cultural studies as well as those involved in Central European Studies and Exile Studies. It will also appeal to a general readership with an interest in Britain and Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
Robert W. Heingartner kept this diary during his two year service as American consul in Kaunas, the provisional capital of Lithuania, 1926-1928. First titling the work “Impressions of Kaunas,” he wanted to record all his impressions of this small city about which he actually knew very little. He started with negative impressions, but he soon came to like it. He watched its growth with considerable sympathy.
The diary’s appeal lies in its picture of daily life in Kaunas as the “provisional capital” of a newly independent small state – the conditions of life in the city, the social life of the diplomats, and backstage episodes in the life of the foreign diplomats. The diary records some unusual details about the family of Antanas Smetona, the ruler of Lithuania from 1926 to 1940, and it abounds in interesting commentary on the attitudes of both Lithuanians and foreigners.
The book contains the memoirs of Robert van Voren covering the period 1977-2008 and provides unique insights into the dissident movement in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, both inside the country and abroad. As a result of his close friendship with many of the leading dissidents and his dozens of trips to the USSR as a courier, he had intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the dissident movement and participated in many of the campaigns to obtain the release of Soviet political prisoners. In the late 1980s he became involved in building a humane and ethical practice of psychiatry in Eastern Europe and the (ex-) USSR, based on respect for the human rights of persons with mental illness. The book describes the dissident movement and many of the people who formed it, mental health reformers in Eastern Europe and the response of the Western psychiatric community, the battle with the World Psychiatric Association over Soviet, and later, Chinese political abuse of psychiatry, his contacts with former KGB officers and problems with the KGB’s successor organization, the FSB. It also vividly describes the emotional effects of serving as a courier for the dissident movement, the fear of arrest, the pain of seeing friends disappear for many years into camps and prisons, sometimes never to return.
The studies offered in this volume contribute to a Global Labor History freed from Eurocentrism and methodological nationalism. Using literature from diverse regions, epochs and disciplines, the book provides arguments and conceptual tools for a different interpretation of history – a labor history which integrates the history of slavery and indentured labor, and which pays serious attention to diverging yet interconnected developments in different parts of the world. The following questions are central:
▪ What is the nature of the world working class, on which Global Labor History focuses? How can we define and demarcate that class, and which factors determine its composition?
▪ Which forms of collective action did this working class develop in the course of time, and what is the logic in that development?
▪ What can we learn from adjacent disciplines? Which insights from anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists are useful in the development of Global Labor History?
This book deals with the De Bry collection of voyages, one of the most monumental publications of Early Modern Europe. It analyzes the textual and iconographic changes the De Bry publishing family made to travel accounts describing Asia, Africa and the New World. It discusses this editorial strategy in the context of the publishing industry around 1600, investigating the biography of the De Brys, the publications of the Frankfurt firm, and the making of the collection, as well as its reception by Iberian inquisitors and seventeenth-century readers across the Old World. The book draws on a wide variety of primary sources, and is hence important for historians, book historians, and art historians interested in the development of Europe's overseas empires.