Search Results

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Edited by László Marácz

Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been pushing for a quick 'return to Europe'. The project of 'expanding European unity' is in full progress, however, so far none of the former Soviet bloc countries have been able to join the European Union. Technical problems, related to financial management and administrative matters, still have to be overcome, but more fundamental issues are also at stake: what are the borders of Central and Eastern Europe? And will the eastward expansion of the European Union be conducted on the basis of western images and stereotypes of `the East'? This volume examines the state of affairs after ten years of attempts to further enlarge the Union. Written by authors from 'the East' as well as 'the West' some of the articles focus on the general issue of how to distinguish between Western, Central and Eastern Europe, while others discuss the specific situation of the countries that are closest to joining the European Union: Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Loyalty, Dissent, and Betrayal

Modern Lithuania and East-Central European Moral Imagination

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Leonidas Donskis

Loyalty and betrayal are among key concepts of the ethic of nationalism. Marriage of state and culture, which seems the essence of the congruence between political power structure and collective identity, usually offers a simple explanation of loyalty and dissent. Loyalty is seen as once-and-for-all commitment of the individual to his or her nation, whereas betrayal is identified as a failure to commit him or herself to a common cause or as a diversion from the object of political loyalty and cultural/linguistic fidelity. For conservative or radical nationalists, even social and cultural critique of one’s people and state can be regarded as treason, whereas for their liberal counterparts it is precisely what constitutes political awareness, civic virtue, and a conscious dedication to the people and culture.
This book is the first attempt to provide a discursive map of Lithuanian liberal and conservative nationalism. Analyzing the works and views of dissenters and critics of society and culture, we can reveal a mode of being of liberal nationalism as a social and cultural criticism. This volume is of interest for intellectual historians, social theorists, students of East-Central European thought, and anyone interested in Baltic studies and the new members of the EU. Dissent: act of betrayal, or loyalty? Leonidas Donskis' new remarkable study is one consistent, thorough and dedicated effort to provide an answer to that question. – Zygmunt Bauman (from the Preface)

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Edited by Geoffrey V. Davis, Peter H. Marsden, Bénédicte Ledent and Marc Delrez

This collection has one central theoretical focus, viz. stock-taking essays on the present and future status of postcolonialism, transculturalism, nationalism, and globalization. These are complemented by ‘special’ angles of entry (e.g. ‘dharmic ethics’) and by considerations of the global impress of technology (African literary studies and the Internet). Further essays have a focus on literary-cultural studies in Australia (the South Asian experience) and New Zealand (ecopoetics; a Central European émigrée perspective on the nation; the unravelling of literary nationalism; transplantation and the trope of translation). The thematic umbrella, finally, covers studies of such topics as translation and interculturalism (the transcendental in Australian and Indian fiction; African Shakespeares; Canadian narrative and First-Nations story templates); anglophone / francophone relations (the writing and rewriting of crime fiction in Africa and the USA; utopian fiction in Quebec); and syncretism in post-apartheid South African theatre. Some of the authors treated in detail are: Janet Frame; Kapka Kassabova; Elizabeth Knox; Annamarie Jagose; Denys Trussell; David Malouf; Patrick White; Yasmine Gooneratne; Raja Rao; Robert Kroetsch; Thomas King; Chester Himes; Julius Nyerere; Ayi Kwei Armah; Léopold Sédar Senghor; Simon Njami; Abourahman Waberi; Lueen Conning; Nuruddin Farah; Athol Fugard; Frantz Fanon; Julia Kristeva; Shakespeare. The collection is rounded off by creative writing (prose, poetry, and drama) by Bernard Cohen, Jan Kemp, Vincent O’Sullivan, Andrew Sant, and Sujay Sood.

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Edited by Charmian Brinson and Richard Dove

This volume focuses on the contribution of German-speaking refugees from Nazism to the performing arts in Britain, evaluating their role in broadcasting, theatre, film and dance from 1933 to the present. It contains essays evaluating the role of refugee artists in the BBC German Service, including the actor Martin Miller, the writer Bruno Adler and the journalist Edmund Wolf. Miller also made a career in the English theatre transcending the barrier of language, as did the actor Gerhard Hinze, whose transition to the English stage is an instructive example of adaptation to a new theatre culture. In film, language problems were mitigated by the technical possibilities of the medium, although stars like Anton Walbrook received coaching in English. Certainly, technicians from Central Europe, like the cameraman Wolf Suschitzky, helped establish the character of British film in the 1950s and 1960s. In dance theatre, language played little role, facilitating the influence in Britain of dance practitioners like Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leeder. Finally, evaluating the reverse influence of émigrés on Germany, two essays discuss Erich Fried’s translations of Shakespeare and Peter Zadek’s early theatre career in Germany.

Making Russians

Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus after 1863

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Darius Staliūnas

Making Russians is an innovative study dealing with Russian nationalities policy in Lithuania and Belarus in the aftermath of the 1863 Uprising. The book devotes most attention to imperial confessional and language policy, for in Russian discourse at that time it was religion and language that were considered to be the most important criteria determining nationality. The account of Russian nationalities policy presented here differs considerably from the assessments usually offered by historians from east-central Europe primarily because the author provides a more subtle description of the aims of imperial nationalities policy, rejecting the claim that the Russian authorities consistently sought to assimilate members of other national groups. At the same time the interpretation this study offers opens a discussion with western and Russian historians, especially those, who lay heavy emphasis on discourse analysis. This study asserts that the rhetoric of officials and certain public campaigners was influenced by a concept of political correctness, which condemned all forms of ethnic denationalisation. A closer look at the implementation of discriminatory policy allows us to discern within Russian imperial policy more attempts to assimilate or otherwise repress the cultures of non-dominant national groups than it is possible to appreciate simply by analysing discourse alone.

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Lisa Marie Anderson

This book reads messianic expectation as the defining characteristic of German culture in the first decades of the twentieth century. It has long been accepted that the Expressionist movement in Germany was infused with a thoroughly messianic strain. Here, with unprecedented detail and focus, that strain is traced through the work of four important Expressionist playwrights: Ernst Barlach, Georg Kaiser, Ernst Toller and Franz Werfel. Moreover, these dramatists are brought into new and sustained dialogues with the theorists and philosophers of messianism who were their contemporaries: Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Martin Buber, Hermann Cohen, Gershom Scholem. In arguing, for example, that concepts like Bloch’s utopian self-encounter ( Selbstbegegnung) and Benjamin’s messianic now-time ( Jetztzeit) reappear as the framework for Expressionism’s staging of collective redemption in a new age, Anderson forges a previously underappreciated link in the study of Central European thought in the early twentieth century.

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Edited by Alvydas Nikžentaitis, Stefan Schreiner and Darius Staliūnas

The Lithuanian Jews, Litvaks, played an important and unique role not only within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but in a wider context of Jewish life and culture in Eastern Europe, too. The changing world around them at the end of the nineteenth century and during the first decades of the twentieth had a profound impact not only on the Jewish communities, but also on a parallel world of the “others,” that is, those who lived with them side by side. Exploring and demonstrating this development from various angles is one of the themes and objectives of this book. Another is the analysis of the Shoah, which ended the centuries of Jewish culture in Lithuania: a world of its own had vanished within months. This book, therefore, “recalls” that vanished world. In doing so, it sheds new light on what has been lost. The papers presented in this collection were delivered at the international conferences in Nida (1997) and Telšiai (2001), Lithuania. Participants came from Israel, the USA, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Germany, and Lithuania.

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Edited by Nancy van Deusen and Leonard Michael Koff

The essays in this volume explore the nature of time, our God-given medium of ascent, known, as Augustine puts it, through the ordered study of the “liberal disciplines that carry the mind to the divine ( disciplinae liberales intellectum efferunt ad divina)”: grammar and dialectic, for example, to promote thinking; geometry and astronomy to grasp the dimensions of our reality; music, an invisible substance like time itself, as an exemplary bridge to the unseen substance of thoughts, ideas, and the nature of God (theology). This ascending course of study rests on procedure, progress, and attainment — on before, following, and afterwards — whose goal is an ascending erudition that lets us finally contemplate, as Augustine says in De ordine, our invisible medium — time — within time itself: time is immaterial, but experienced as substantial. The essays here look at projects that chronicle time “from the beginning,” that clarify ideas of creation “in time” and “simultaneous times,” and the interrelationships between measured time and eternity, including “no-time.” Essays also examine time as revealed in social and political contexts, as told by clocks, as notated in music and embodied in memorializing stone. In the final essays of this volume, time is understood as the subject and medium of consciousness. As Adrian Bardon says, “time is not so much a ‘what’ as a ‘how’”: a solution to “organizing experience and modeling events.”
Contributors are (in order within the volume) Jesse W. Torgerson, Ken A. Grant, Danielle B. Joyner, Nancy van Deusen, Peter Casarella, Aaron Canty, Jordan Kirk, Vera von der Osten-Sacken, Gerhard Jaritz, Jason Aleksander, Sara E. Melzer, Mark Howard, Andrew Eschelbacher, Hans J. Rindisbacher, James F. Knapp, Peggy A. Knapp, Raymond Knapp, Michael Cole, Ike Kamphof and Leonard Michael Koff.

Living in Translation

Polish Writers in America

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Edited by Halina Stephan

Living in Translation: Polish Writers in America discusses the interaction of Polish and American culture, the transfer of the Central European experience abroad and the acculturation of major representatives of Polish literature to the United States. Contributions written by American specialists in Polish Studies tell the story of contemporary Polish expatriates who recently lived or are currently living in the U.S. These authors include directors/screen writers Roman Polanski and Agnieszka Holland, the Nobel Prize laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz, theatre critic Jan Kott, prose writer Jerzy Kosinski, essayist Eva Hoffman, and poet/translator Stanislaw Baranczak. Living in Translation presents these and other writers in terms of the duality of their profiles resulting from their engagement in two different cultures. It documents problems encountered by those who became expatriates in response to a totalitarian system they had left behind. And it revises and updates the image of the Polish exile authors, refocusing it along the lines of culture transfer, border straddling, and benefits resulting from a transcultural existence.

Contextuality in Reformed Europe

The Mission of the Church in the Transformation of European Culture

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Edited by Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Hendrik M. Vroom and Michael Weinrich

The scope of this volume is how churches experience themselves and their mission in their context. The discussions in this volume provide ample material to substantiate the claim that the church should not be an ecclesia incurvata in se ipsa, (a church curved into itself) but welcoming and directed not only to personal needs but to social needs as well—but not bound to what people often feel the needs are and delving deeper to the real roots of sin and selfishness, be it personal, social or national. Contextualization in itself is part of the mission of the churches, but it is on the edge: should the church adapt to its context and lose both its identity and witness or should it find a way between the Scylla of easy adaptation to the changing contexts of this world that is passing and the Charybdis of a preservation of forms and identities of bygone times that have lost the freshness of the message of liberation of bondage, conversion and freedom, freedom to be what the church is called to be, a sign of hope, peace, reconciliation, justice and love?