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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

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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.

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.

Adopting and Remembering Soviet Reality

Life Stories of Lithuanian Women, 1945 – 1970

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Dalia Leinarte

For millions of people, the Soviet experience meant not only living through the torment of Stalinism and the GULAG, the unbelievable destiny of men and women during the 1917 Revolution, civil war, and the Second World War, or those breathtaking, gigantic Socialist construction projects. Many citizens of the former Soviet Union lived “ordinary lives in ordinary times”, where the fate of men and women depended not on armed coercion, but Soviet ideology and propaganda. Adopting and Remembering Soviet Reality contains the stories of ten women, talking about their lives in Soviet Lithuania, one of the annexed Baltic republics. The book gives a compelling account of how, in the last years of Stalin’s rule, after 1945, during the so-called “Khrushchev Thaw”, and in the beginning of the “Stagnation Era”, Soviet ideology transfused the everyday life of women and dictated just about every major aspect of their lives. Based on interviews, the journalistic press of that era, as well as other material, the book reveals how propaganda shaped women’s understanding of family and work responsibilities, child care, interpersonal relationships, romantic love, and friendship.

Cold War in Psychiatry

Human Factors, Secret Actors

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Robert van Voren

For 20 years Soviet psychiatric abuse dominated the agenda of the World Psychiatric Association. It ended only after the Soviet Foreign Ministry intervened. Cold War in Psychiatry tells the full story for the first time and from inside, among others on basis of extensive reports by Stasi and KGB – who were the secret actors, what were the hidden factors? Based on a wealth of new evidence and documentation as well as interviews with many of the main actors, including leading Western psychiatrists, Soviet dissidents and Soviet and East German key figures, the book describes the issue in all its complexity and puts it in a broader context. In the book opposite sides find common ground and a common understanding of what actually happened.

From Recognition to Restoration

Latvia’s History as a Nation-State

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Edited by David J. Smith, David J. Galbreath and Geoffrey Swain

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.

Shrinking Citizenship

Discursive Practices that Limit Democratic Participation in Latvian Politics

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Edited by Maria Golubeva and Robert Gould

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.

Images of the North

Histories – Identities – Ideas

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Edited by Sverrir Jakobsson

This interdisciplinary volume seeks to examine and explore the various issues surrounding image construction, identity making and representations of the North, as well as the interconnectedness between those issues. The aim is to elucidate the multiple aspects of the idea of the North, both as a mythological space and a discursive system created and shaped by cultures outside the North as well as from within. The objective of the research project Iceland and Images of the North is to elucidate several aspects of images of the North and to explore their functions in the present, focusing especially on Iceland. What effect have Iceland and its people had on images of the North, and how do those images influence the Icelanders and other nations? The project will be a cooperative, interdisciplinary undertaking by researchers in the humanities and social sciences.