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Symbolic Traces of Communist Legacy in Post-Socialist Hungary

Experiences of a Generation that Lived During the Socialist Era

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Lisa Pope Fischer

In Symbolic Traces of Communist Legacy in Post-socialist Hungary, Lisa Pope Fischer shows how personal practices symbolically refurbish elements from the Communist era to fit present-day challenges. A generation who lived through the socialist period adapt to post-socialist Hungary in a global context. Life histories weave together case studies of gift giving, procurement strategies, harvest ritual, healthcare, and socialist kitsch to illustrate turns towards mysticism, neo-traditionalism, nostalgia, nationalism, and shifts in time-place. People’s unrequited past longing for future possibilities of a Western society facilitate desires for a lost way of life. Not only does this work gain understanding of an aging population’s life experiences and the politics of everyday practices, but also social change in a modern global world.

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Oto Luthar

This volume presents a series of chapters about the Great War and memory in Central and South-Eastern Europe which will widen the insufficient and spotty representations of the Great War in that region.
The contributors deliver an important addition to present-day scholarship on the more or less unknown war in the Balkans and at the Italian fronts. Although it might not completely fill the striking gap in the historical representations of the situation between the Slovene-Italian Soča-Isonzo river in the North-West and the Greek-Macedonian border mountains around Mount Kajmakčalan in the South-East, it will add significantly to the scholarship on the Balkan theatre of war and provide a much-needed account of the suffering of civilians, ideas, loyalties and cultural hegemonies, as well as memories and the post-war memorial landscape.

The contributors are Vera Gudac Dodić, Silviu Hariton, Vijoleta Herman Kaurić, Oto Luthar, Olga Manojlović Pintar, Ahmed Pašić, Ignác Romsics,
Daniela Schanes, Fabio Todero, Nikolai Vukov and Katharina Wesener.

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Edited by Gearóid Barry, Enrico Dal Lago and Róisín Healy

This edited volume examines the experience of World War I of small nations, defined here in terms of their relative weakness vis-à-vis the major actors in European diplomacy, and colonial peripheries, encompassing areas that were subject to colonial rule by European empires and thus located far from the heartland of these empires. The chapters address subject nations within Europe, such as Ireland and Poland; neutral states, such as Sweden and Spain; and overseas colonies like Tunisia, Algeria and German East Africa. By combining analyses of both European and extra-European experiences of war, this collection of essays provides a unique comparative perspective on World War I and points the way towards an integrated history of small nations and colonial peripheries.
Contributors are Steven Balbirnie, Gearóid Barry, Jens Boysen, Ingrid Brühwiler, William Buck, AUde Chanson, Enrico Dal Lago, Matias Gardin, Richard Gow, Florian Grafl, Dónal Hassett, Guido Hausmann, Róisín Healy, Conor Morrissey, Michael Neiberg, David Noack, Chris Rominger, Danielle Ross and Christine Strotmann.

Trotsky’s Challenge

The ‘Literary Discussion’ of 1924 and the Fight for the Bolshevik Revolution

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Frederick Corney

In Trotsky’s Challenge: The ‘Literary Discussion’ of 1924 and the Fight for the Bolshevik Revolution, Frederick C. Corney examines the political polemic surrounding the publication of Trotsky’s The Lessons of October. Trotsky’s analysis ran counter to the efforts of Bolshevik leaders to fashion the narrative of October as a foundation event in which the Bolshevik Party, under the clear-sighted leadership of Lenin, played a major role in bringing about a radical socialist revolution in Russia. Corney has translated into English the major contributions to this polemic, annotated them, and written an extensive contextualising introduction, examining the polemic for its impact not only on the figure of Trotsky, but also on the changing political culture of the 1920s and 1930s.

After the Soviet Empire

Legacies and Pathways

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Edited by Sven Eliaeson, Lyudmila Harutyunyan and Larissa Titarenko

The break-up of the Soviet Union is a key event of the twentieth century. The 39th IIS congress in Yerevan 2009 focused on causes and consequences of this event and on shifts in the world order that followed in its wake. This volume is an effort to chart these developments in empirical and conceptual terms. It has a focus on the lands of the former Soviet Union but also explores pathways and contexts in the Second World at large.
The Soviet Union was a full scale experiment in creating an alternative modernity. The implosion of this union gave rise to new states in search of national identity. At a time when some observers heralded the end of history, there was a rediscovery of historical legacies and a search for new paths of development across the former Second World.
In some parts of this world long-repressed legacies were rediscovered. They were sometimes, as in the case of countries in East Central Europe, built around memories of parliamentary democracy and its replacement by authoritarian rule during the interwar period. Some legacies referred to efforts at establishing statehood in the wake of the First World War, others to national upheavals in the nineteenth century and earlier.
In Central Asia and many parts of the Caucasus the cultural heritage of Islam in its different varieties gave rise to new markers of identity but also to violent contestations. In South Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have embarked upon distinctly different, but invariably contingent, paths of development. Analogously core components of the old union have gone through tumultuous, but until the last year and a half largely bloodless, transformations. The crystallization of divergent paths of development in the two largest republics of that union, i.e. Russia and Ukraine, has ushered in divergent national imaginations but also in series of bloody confrontations.

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Zeev Levin

Zeev Levin seeks to provide a comprehensive picture of government efforts to socialize the Jewish masses in Uzbekistan, a process in which the central Soviet government took part, together with the local, republican and regional administrations and Soviet Jewish activists. This research presents a chapter in the history of the Jews in Uzbekistan, as well as contributing to the study of the socialization process of the Jewish population in the USSR in general. It also contributes to the study of relations among political and government bodies and decision makers. The study is based on archival documents and provides a unique glance at the implementation of Soviet nationalities policy towards Bukharan Jews while comparing it to other national minority groups in Uzbekistan.

Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume Three

Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies

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Edited by Roumen Daskalov and Alexander Vezenkov

Modern Balkan history has traditionally been studied by national historians in terms of separate national histories taking place within bounded state territories. The authors in this volume take a different approach. They view the modern history of the region from a transnational and relational perspective in terms of shared and connected, as well as entangled histories. This regards the treatment of shared historical legacies by rival national historiographies. The volume deals with historiograpical disputes that arose in the process of “nationalizing” the past.

Contributors include: Diana Mishkova, Alexander Vezenkov, Roumen Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov and Bernard Lory.

The Dimensions of Hegemony

Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

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Craig Brandist

Though generally associated with the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the idea of hegemony had a crucial history in revolutionary Russia where it was used to conceptualize the dynamics of political and cultural leadership. Drawing on extensive archival research, this study considers the cultural dimensions of hegemony, with particular focus on the role of language in political debates and in scholarship of the period. It is shown that considerations of the relations between the proletariat and peasantry, the cities to the countryside and the metropolitan centre to the colonies of the Russian Empire demanded an intense dialogue between practical politics and theoretical reflection, which led to critical perspectives now assumed to be the achievements of, for instance, sociolinguistics and post-colonial studies.

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Janneke Weijermars

The United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815-1830) was a creation of the Congress of Vienna, where the map of Europe was redrawn following Napoleon’s defeat. Dutch language and literature were considered the essential tools to smoothly fuse the North and South – today, the Netherlands and Belgium respectively. King Willem I tried a variety of measures to stimulate and control literary life in the South, in an effort to encourage unity throughout his kingdom.

Janneke Weijermars describes the driving force of this policy and especially its impact in the South. For some authors, Northern Dutch literature represented the standard to which they aspired. For others, unification triggered a desire to assert their own cultural identity. The quarrels, mutual misunderstandings and subsequent polemics were closely intertwined with political issues of the day. Stepbrothers views the history of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands through a literary lens.

Broken Narratives

Post-Cold War History and Identity in Europe and East Asia

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Edited by Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik

The end of the Cold War reshuffled the power relations between former friends and enemies. In Broken Narratives the contributors offer an account of the consequences of the end of the Cold War for the (re-)telling of history in film, literature and academic historiography in Europe and East Asia. Despite the post-modern claim that there is no need for a master-narrative, the contributions to this book show that we are in the middle of an intense and difficult search for a common understanding of the past. However, instead of common narratives polyphony and dissonances are produced which reflect a world in a period of transition. As the contributions to this volume show, the year 1989 has generated broken narratives.
Contributors include: Peter Verstraten, Rotem Kowner, Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, Carsten Schäfer, Martin Gieselmann, Yonson Ahn, Chang Lung-chih, Andrea Riemenschnitter, Shingo Minamizuka, Petra Buchholz, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko.