The Slavic Dossier, Iurie Stamati’s objective is to understand the reasons for the emergence of two different discourses on the place of the Slavs on the territory of Moldova and their role in the genesis of Moldovans and their culture during the medieval period in the Soviet archaeology. His analysis goes beyond the utilitarian perception of Soviet archeology. To achieve this, Stamati not only questions the political contexts in which these discourses emerged, but also looks at the history of the Moldovan archaeological field, personal profiles of archaeologists, their theoretical and ideological attachment, relationships and interactions with each other inside and outside the archaeological field.
Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his
The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol.
The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.
Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz was an extraordinary figure on the Polish political scene at the turn of the 20th century. A Marxist and patriot, academic and politician, Kelles-Krauz was most known for his efforts to reconcile the needs of the nation with international socialism. This volume, however, offers a selection of his writings centred on the history of ideas, published for the first time in English. Kelles-Krauz’s works, while Marxist at heart, linked ideas stemming from the concepts of German idealists, French positivists, as well as contemporary sociologists who offered a bridge between research on individuals and the workings of social systems. Kelles-Krauz, however, repeatedly transcended Marxist tenets, focusing on the construction of traditions, social norms, and the social role of art.
This edited volume was first published in Polish as
Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz: Marksizm a socjologia. Wybór pism by Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego in 2014. This current work has been revised and translated into English.
Focusing on the role of arts in the construction of national identity, Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud has chosen to study the case of a country lacking an ancient state history of its own, Latvia. This book analyses the part played by the visual arts in transmuting the cultural concept of a nation, advocated by a small intelligentsia, into a widespread claim for independence. By the end of the 19th century, fretting under Russian political domination and German economic and cultural supremacy, the Latvians turned back to their own language, culture and folklore, with a special interest for their
dainas, their timeless common heritage rooted into a mythical golden age. Latvian artists thus found themselves entrusted with the mission of creating a national iconographic representation and a specifically Latvian art, freed from Russian and German influences. The author shows how the links between the cultural and political spheres evolved between 1905 and 1940, including during the period of authoritarian government preceding WWII. An enlightening contribution to understanding how art and history can be turned into social and political instruments, this book reaches far beyond the Latvian case to a European and even global scope.