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Series:

Edited by Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin and Mats Roslund

In Identity Formation and Diversity in the Early Medieval Baltic and Beyond, the Viking World in the East is made more heterogeneous. Baltic Finnic groups, Balts and Sami are integrated into the history dominated by Scandinavians and Slavs.
Interaction in the region between Eastern Middle Sweden, Finland, Estonia and North Western Russia is set against varied cultural expressions of identities. Ten scholars approach the topic from different angles, with case studies on the roots of diversity, burials with horses, Staraya Ladoga as a nodal point of long-distance routes, Rus’ warrior identities, early Eastern Christianity, interaction between the Baltic Finns and the Svear, the first phases of ar-Rus dominion, the distribution of Carolingian swords, and Dirhams in the Baltic region.
Contributors are Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Valter Lang, John Howard Lind, Marika Mägi, Mats Roslund, Søren Sindbaek, Anne Stalsberg, and Tuukka Talvio.

Water in Social Imagination

from Technological Optimism to Contemporary Environmentalism

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Edited by Jane Costlow, Yrjö Haila and Arja Rosenholm

Water in Social Imagination considers how human communities have known, imagined and shaped water – and how water has shaped both material culture and the imagination. Essays from diverse perspectives offer histories of water at different scales – from community water wells and sacred springs to Siberian rivers and the regulated space of the Baltic Sea. From early modernization through Soviet style technological optimism to contemporary environmentalism, water’s ideological uses are multiple. With sustained attention not just to state policy and the technologies of high modernity, but to creative resistance to utilitarian imaginations, these essays insist on fluidities of meaning, ambiguities that derive both from water’s physical mutability and from its dual nature as life necessity and agent of destruction.

The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland

The Formation of an Elite Clerical Identity

Series:

Erika Sigurdson

In The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland, Erika Sigurdson provides a history of the fourteenth-century Icelandic Church with a focus on the the social status of elite clerics following the introduction of benefices to Iceland. In this period, the elite clergy developed a shared identity based in part on universal clerical values, but also on a shared sense of interdependence, personal networks and connections within the framework of the Church.
The Church in Fourteenth-Century Iceland examines the development of this social group through an analysis of bishops’ sagas, annals, and documents. In the process, it chronicles major developments in the Icelandic Church after the reforms of the late thirteenth century, including its emphasis on property and land ownership, and the growth of ecclesiastical bureaucracy.

Series:

Edited by 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.

Forgotten Pages in Baltic History

Diversity and Inclusion

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Edited by Martyn Housden and David J. Smith

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.

The last ambassador

August Torma, soldier, diplomat, spy

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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.

Post-Communist Democratisation in Lithuania

Elites, parties, and youth political organisations. 1988-2001

Series:

Diana Janušauskienė

Post-Communist Democratisation in Lithuania: Elites, Parties, and Youth Political Organisations. 1988 – 2001 explains 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.

Soldiers of Memory

World War II and Its Aftermath in Estonian Post-Soviet Life Stories

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Edited by Ene Kõresaar

Soldiers of Memory explores the complexities and ambiguities of World War II experience from the Estonian veterans’ point of view. Since the end of World War II, contesting veteran cultures have developed on the basis of different war experiences and search for recognition in the public arena of history. The book reflects on this process by combining witness accounts with their critical analysis from the aspect of post-Soviet remembrance culture and politics.
The first part of the book examines the persistent remembrance of World War II. Eight life stories of Estonian men are presented, revealing different war trajectories: mobilised between 1941 and 1944, the narrators served in the Red Army and its work battalions, fought against the Soviet Union in the Finnish Army, Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, the German political police force and Wehrmacht, deserted from the Red Army, were held in German and Soviet prison and repatriation camps.
The second part of the book offers a critical analysis of the stories from a multidisciplinary point of view: what were the possible life trajectories for an Estonian soldier under Soviet and German occupations in the 1940s? How did the soldiers cope with the extreme conditions of the Soviet rear? How are the veterans’ memories situated in terms of different memory regimes and what is their position in the post-Soviet Estonian society? What role does ethnic and generational identity play in the formation of veterans’ war remembrance? How do individuals cope with war trauma and guilt in life stories?
Offering a wide range of empirical material and its critical analysis, Soldiers of Memory will be important for military, oral and cultural historians, sociologists, cultural psychologists, and anybody with an interest in the history of World War II, post/communism, and cultural construction of memory in contemporary Eastern European societies.

Series:

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.