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Opting Out

Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction

Series:

Ana Sobral

Opting Out explores the theme of deviance as a form of protest in famous cult novels that have left an indelible mark on contemporary American culture – from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Adopting a generational lens, it centers on the deviant heroes and literary spokesmen of two major cohorts: the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Here for the first time the cult texts that defined these generations are submitted to a critical analysis that allows them to enter into a dialogue – or rather a heated debate – with each other. This opens new perspectives on the generation gap in America since 1945, offering a dynamic look at the role of youth as agents of social change and cultural innovation.
The volume is of interest to students and researchers in contemporary American literature and culture, as well as to fans of cult fiction in general. The interdisciplinary approach to the themes of generational conflict and deviant behaviour also makes a significant contribution to the fields of sociology, contemporary history and cultural studies.

Series:

Edited by Andrea Hammel and Bea Lewkowicz

This volume examines the Kindertransport to Britain 1938/39. The seventeen contributions provide various new perspectives, which are investigated for the first time in this volume. Chapters focus on the Kindertransport in British historiography, on the identity development of specific groups of Kindertransportees, on the Kindertransportees’ further migration pattern, and on Kindertransport literature. Further contributions include a comparative study of Kindertransportees and evacuees, an article on therapeutic work with former Kindertransportees and reports on various memorial and cultural projects. The volume questions widely held myths and assumptions and provides new insights into the Kindertransport phenomenon.

Writing the Heavenly Frontier

Metaphor, Geography, and Flight Autobiography in America 1927-1954

Series:

Denice Turner

Writing the Heavenly Frontier celebrates the early voices of the air as it examines the sky as a metaphorical and political landscape. While flight histories usually focus on the physical dangers of early aviation, this book introduces the figurative liabilities of ascension. Early pilot-writers not only grappled with an unwieldy machine; they also grappled with poetics that were extremely selective. Tropes that cast Charles Lindbergh as the transcendent hero of the new millennium were the same ones that kept women, black Americans, and indigenous peoples imaginatively tethered to the ground. The most popular flight autobiographies in the United States posited a hero who rose from the mundane to the miraculous; and yet the most startling autobiographies point out the social factors that limited or forbade vertical movement—both literally and figuratively. A survey of pilot writing, the book will appeal to flight enthusiasts and people interested in American autobiography and culture. But it will also appeal strongly to readers interested in the poetics and politics of place.

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

Series:

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.

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Edited by Anthony Grenville and Andrea Reiter

Political Exile and Exile Politics in Britain after 1933 brings together a number of scholarly essays that shed light on a hitherto neglected aspect of the experience of German and Austrian refugees in Britain – their political activities in their country of refuge and how these were viewed (and used) by the British government and its Secret Service.
This volume does not claim to be exhaustive. However, it offers a range of case studies on various issues concerning political exile and the possibility of the continuation of political engagement in exile, even in the internment camps. Most of the contributions in this volume are based on archival material that has never been used before possibly because, like the MI5 files on Karl Otten which have only recently been declassified, researchers have not been able to access them.
Predictably, the majority of these essays show the political activities of men. The efforts of women which constitute the focus of three contributions therefore are all the more noteworthy.

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.

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.

Neo-Victorian Tropes of Trauma

The Politics of Bearing After-Witness to Nineteenth-Century Suffering

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Edited by Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben

This collection constitutes the first volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, which explores the prevalent but often problematic re-vision of the long nineteenth century in contemporary culture. Here is presented for the first time an extended analysis of the conjunction of neo-Victorian fiction and trauma discourse, highlighting the significant interventions in collective memory staged by the belated aesthetic working-through of historical catastrophes, as well as their lingering traces in the present. The neo-Victorian’s privileging of marginalised voices and its contestation of master-narratives of historical progress construct a patchwork of competing but equally legitimate versions of the past, highlighting on-going crises of existential extremity, truth and meaning, nationhood and subjectivity. This volume will be of interest to both researchers and students of the growing field of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in memory studies, trauma theory, ethics, and heritage studies. It interrogates the ideological processes of commemoration and forgetting and queries how the suffering of cultural and temporal others should best be represented, so as to resist the temptations of exploitative appropriation and voyeuristic spectacle. Such precarious negotiations foreground a central paradox: the ethical imperative to bear after-witness to history’s silenced victims in the face of the potential unrepresentability of extreme suffering.

The Scottish Romance Tradition c. 1375–c. 1550

Nation, Chivalry and Knighthood

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Sergi Mainer

This is the first ever comprehensive study of the Scottish medieval romances. The book reinstates the status of the Scottish romances. It offers a new definition of the Scottish romance tradition, bringing together texts which have not generally been considered part of the same corpus. It argues that Barbour’s Bruce ( c.1375) established the rhetorical devices and literary traits which were going to be typical of the later Scottish romances. It also examines the extent to which the translation of the four Arthurian and Alexander romances from French originals follows Barbour’s precepts. These texts contributed to the founding both of the vernacular tradition and of the fabrication of national identity through dialogic interchanges between the narratives and the socio-historical circumstances of Scotland.