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Editors: Tania Ørum and Jesper Olsson
A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1950-1975 is the first publication to deal with the postwar avant-garde in the Nordic countries. The essays cover a wide range of avant-garde manifestations in arts and culture: literature, the visual arts, architecture and design, film, radio, television and the performative arts.
It is the first major historical work to consider the Nordic avant-garde in a transnational perspective that includes all the arts and to discuss the role of the avant-garde not only within the aesthetic field but in a broader cultural and political context: The cultural politics, institutions and new cultural geographies after World War II, new technologies and media, performative strategies, interventions into everyday life and tensions between market and counterculture.
Der Band enthält 13 Studien zum Schauspiel des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit. Dabei werden einerseits theoretische Betrachtungen, etwa zum Unterschied zwischen Osterfeier und Osterspiel oder zur Bedeutung der Musik für die Spiele, vorgelegt. Andererseits wird auf spezifische Spiele eingegangen, wie etwa auf das Heidelberger Passionsspiel von 1514, das Lübener Osterspielfragment, das älteste schwedische Spiel 'De uno peccatore', das Theophilusspiel, das Berliner Weihnachtsspiel von 1589 und Sebastian Brants 'Tugent Spyl'. Aber auch die Rezeption der Komödien des Terenz, die Entwicklung des Fasnachtspiels, das Puppenspiel in den Bearbeitungen des Maugis d'Aigremont sowie der Inseldiskurs und dessen Einfluss etwa auf Shakespeares 'The Tempest' werden behandelt.

Die Beiträge stammen von Bernd Bastert, Bart Besamusca, Cornelia Herberichs, Johannes Janota, Cobie Kuné, Tanja Mattern, Volker Mertens, Christian Moser, Arend Quak, Werner Röcke, Eckehard Simon, Clara Strijbosch und Elke Ukena-Best.

Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries presents a ground-breaking comparative approach to the study of multicultural literature. Focusing on the development of migration literature in Sweden, Denmark, Flanders, and the Netherlands, the volume argues that the political and institutional preconditions for the development of ‘multicultural’ literatures are still given within the frame of the nation-state. As a consequence, both the field of ‘migration literature’ and the (multi-)lingual quality of literary texts are shaped differently in each state and in each language area. The volume delineates the development of multicultural literature in Scandinavia and the Low Countries as a function of the specific language situations in these countries as well as the various political, institutional, and discursive contexts.
This book not only offers a comprehensive theoretical and methodological analysis of multilingualism and multicultural literature, but also provides overviews sketching the discourse on multiculturalism, language and the development of the literary field in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Flanders. Besides it presents a broad range of in-depth analyses of selected literary texts from each of these countries.
A Study of Post-War Rumour in Tartu
Author: Eda Kalmre
Under certain conditions, some rumours, which were established as part of folklore already long ago, may become fixed in the memory and the subconscious of several generations. This is what happened with the rumour about a human sausage factory after the Second World War. In Tartu, Estonia, this rumour obtained a symbolic meaning and power due to the politics of the totalitarian Soviet regime. The memories of the post-war period are still vivid in the collective mind, and the onetime rumour of sausage factories incorporates the population’s tensions, pain, loss, choices, defiance and irreconcilability. The individual and community emotions that are brought to a focus in this discourse are an indicator of defining social boundaries and behaviour, of ‘us’ and ‘them’. When describing the events that took place in Tartu, folklore becomes a powerful tool with which to construe the meaning of the era at the social level.
Through documents, photos and people’s memories, the book offers an insight into the city of Tartu after the Second World War and reveals the several layers of meaning represented by rumour in this period.
A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1900-1925 is the first publication to deal with the avant-garde in the Nordic countries at the start of the twentieth century. The essays cover a wide range of avant-garde manifestations in arts and culture: literature, the visual arts, painting as well as photography, architecture and design, film, radio, and performing arts like music, theatre and dance.
It is the first major historical work to consider the Nordic avant-garde in a transnational perspective which includes all the arts and to discuss the role of the avant-garde not only within the aesthetic field, but in a broader cultural context. It examines the social and cultural context of the avant-garde: its media, its locations, its reception and audiences, the transmissions between Scandinavia and Europe, and its cultural consequences.
The essays trace the connections between the avant-garde and the cultural discourses of contemporary currents such as revolutionary socialism, radical nationalism and occultism, and discuss questions of gender, ideology and politics, geographical location and technological innovation. The cultural history thus focuses on the role of the avant-garde in shaping the ideas of cultural modernity in the Nordic countries.
The years from 1918 to 1945 remain central to European History. It was a breath-taking time during which the very best and very worst attributes of Mankind were on display. In the euphoria of peace which followed the end of the First World War, the Baltic States emerged as independent forces on the world stage, participating in thrilling experiments in national and transnational governance. Later, following economic collapse and in the face of rising totalitarianism among even Europe’s most cultured nations, Baltic communities succumbed to nationalism too. During wartime, Baltic peoples became both victims and, sometimes, victimisers. Ultimately their victimhood lasted until the end of the Cold War, yielding consequences still discernible at the start of the twenty first century. Taking the period 1918 to 1945 as pivotal, this collection of essays examines some of the key themes in Baltic History as they are emerging today. These include appreciations of identity, autonomy and the rights of national minorities; the everyday and social foundations of international security; and the importance of historical memory to popular and political identities.
August Torma, soldier, diplomat, spy
Author: Tina Tamman
Estonian ambassador August Torma had a protracted and unconventional relationship with the British Foreign Office. Appointed to the Court of St James’s in 1934, Torma lost his government in 1940 when the Soviet Union overran his country, but continued to live at the legation in London and visit the Foreign Office. Gradually, however, his diplomatic standing was eroded because of Soviet demands. For Torma there was the very real fear that Britain might recognise the Soviet occupation of his homeland and he continued to reiterate his faith in international law in the hope that Estonia’s stolen independence would be restored one day. He died in 1971, twenty years before the country regained its lost freedom. This book is a biography of Torma who had a remarkable life: he assisted in the creation of the Estonian state in 1918–20, worked for it during the inter-war period and struggled to keep its cause alive during and after the Second World War; it is also a study of the awkward relationship between the ambassador and the Foreign Office that lasted for more than three decades.
Elites, parties, and youth political organisations. 1988-2001
Post-Communist Democratisation in Lithuania: Elites, Parties, and Youth Political Organisations. 1988 – 2001explains post-communist changes in Lithuania. The transformation of political party system, political elites and youth political organisations in Lithuania are examined in light of democratisation in other post-communist countries. By linking theories of democratisation and elites to actual events, the book provides an analytical framework for interpreting political regime change and development in Lithuania. The book is based on five assumptions: (1) democratisation in Lithuania belongs to a ‘Western type’ of democratic development; (2) elites and nationalism were the major forces in modernisation; (3) Lithuanian elites have used the favourable conditions of perestroika and were the major actors in regime transformation; (4) the crop of political elites in Lithuania undergoes a generational change, and youth political organisations are very important in this process as they serve as schools for future politicians; and (5) class theory is less useful than elite theory when analysing the process of democratisation in Lithuania.
Author: Theo Malekin
Strindberg and the Quest for Sacred Theatre brings a fresh perspective to the study of Sweden’s great playwright. August Strindberg (1849-1912) anticipated most of the major developments in European theatre over the last century. As such he is well-placed to provide perspectives on the current burgeoning interest in sacred theatre. The religious crises of the 19th Century provoked in Strindberg both sharp scepticism about claims to religious authority and a visionary search for truth. Against the backdrop of a major change in European culture this book traces the emergence in some of Strindberg’s late plays of a proto-sacred-theatre. It argues that Strindberg faced the alternatives of a contentless transcendent abyss, threatening the extinction of his ego, or a retreat into conservative theism, reducing him to slavish submission to the commandments and rule of an external father-God. Weaving together theatrical, aesthetic, and theological voices, this book investigates the relationship of the sacred to subjectivity and its implications for Strindberg’s dramaturgy. In doing so it always keeps in view the sense both of loss and opportunity engendered by a turning point in the western experience of the sacred.