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Edited by Barbara Dalle Pezze and Carlo Salzani

The past thirty years saw a growing academic interest in the phenomenon of boredom. If initially the analyses were mostly a-historical, now the historicity of boredom is widely recognised, though often it is taken as evidence of its permanence as a constant “quality” of the human condition, expression of a metaphysical malady inherent to the fact of being human. New trends in the literature focus on the peculiar relationship between boredom and modernity and attempt to embrace the new social, cultural and political factors which provoked the epochal change of modernity and relate them to a change in the parameters of human experience and the crisis of subjectivity. The very changes that characterise modernity are the same that led to the “democratisation” of boredom: modernity and boredom are shown to be inextricably connected and inseparable.
This volume aims at contributing to the growing body of literature on boredom with a number of essays which reflect on the connection of boredom and modernity and focus on particular texts, authors, or aspects of the phenomenon. The approach is multidisciplinary, in keeping with the pervasiveness of the phenomenon in our culture and societies, with essays reflecting on philosophy, literature, film, media and psychology.

Gunnar Skirbekk

we focus on? Here is my answer, my choice: (i) we should use concepts of modernisation and democratisation, and (ii) we should focus on decisive events and experiences, such as war and crisis, and enduring cultural and class conflicts – all of this against the background of natural conditions and

After the GDR

New Perspectives on the Old GDR and Young Länder


Edited by Laurence McFalls and Lothar Probst

This volume represents the efforts of fifteen scholars from Europe and North America to work through the complex and sometimes compromising past and the current struggles that together define eastern German identity, society, and politics ten years after unification. Their papers offer an exemplary illustration of the variety of disciplinary methods and new source materials on which established and younger scholars can draw today to further differentiated understanding of the old GDR and the young Länder. In a volume that will interest students of German history, cultural studies and comparative politics, the authors show how utopian ideals quickly degenerated into a dictatorship that provoked the everyday resistance at all levels of society that ultimately brought the regime to its demise. They also suggest how the GDR might live on in memory to shape the emerging varieties of postcommunist politics in the young states of the Federal Republic and how the GDR experience might inspire new practices and concepts for German society as a whole. Most importantly, the papers here testify to the multidisciplinary vitality of a field whose original object of enquiry disappeared over a decade ago.


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.

Irina Dzero and Tatyana Bystrova

Stanford prison experiment by rebelling against the “guards.” It is precisely “to open the world of politics to average people, especially in the case of decision making, to democratize the government, and to politicize culture,” as Žmijewski puts it, that Pussy Riot perform in most unlikely venues and for

The Uneven Travels of World Literature

On Creole and Untranslatability in Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners and Miriam Mandelkow’s Die Taugenichtse

Birgit Neumann

intervention. In Selvon’s novel, language is a “democratizing possibilit[y]” (27), as McLeod puts it, aimed at forging a new, diasporic sense of community and at claiming belongingness to Great Britain. Consider the following passage, which describes one of London’s many swinging parties, to see what is at

Tan Mingran

Bangladesh have become poorer and more chaotic after being democratized, and Latin Americans have lost confidence in democracy because of a lack of economic growth, the deterioration of public services, a rise in crime, and the persistence of widespread corruption. “A 2003 survey found that more than 50

Megan Liu

de Brito, Carmen González-Enríquez, and Paloma Aguilar, eds., The Politics of Memory: Transitional Justice in Democratizing Societies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001 ), 38; Paul Connerton makes a similar point in How Societies Remember (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989 ), 1

Jingxi Liu

Translator Anja Bihler

A new trend in Chinese politics and academia has emerged that advocates political meritocracy and new authoritarianism. The timing of this political phenomenon is related to the current low ebb in the global wave of democratization and follows the pervasive theme in current Chinese thought and