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Identity and Loss of Historical Memory

The Destruction of Archives

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Igor Filippov and Flocel Sabaté

Archives are the documentary memory of each society and so they become one of the pillars of its identity. Its destruction is sometimes accidental, but it is often deliberate in order to remove the ties with the past. The new times that revolutions attempt to reach usually involve forceful and symbolic ruptures with former identity, including the destruction of the economic, administrative and historical documentation. This book collects updated texts written by outstanding researchers from an initial Congress held in Moscow in 2006 in order to analyze the causes and consequences of the destructive violence against archives boasted during revolutionary turmoils. The studies pay special attention to the first important contempt and destruction of documentation, during the French Revolution; continue studying the damages to archives during 19th century; and culminated analyzing the effects of Russian Revolution over the documentation and the evolution until the end of the Soviet period.

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Agnieszka Malek and Dorota Praszalowicz

The contributions in this book focus on U.S. migration policies, receiving society, ethnic communities and return migration. The authors analyze various aspects of migratory history ranging from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. They cover such topics as the times when Eastern European immigrants in the USA encountered hostility and marginalization, the efforts to create American Polonia military formations during the WWI, the problem of ethnic mobilization among Ukrainian political migrants in the U.S. as well as how state policies influence the movement of people. All the contributions are extended and revised versions of the papers presented at the 7th Workshop American Ethnicity and Ethnic Community Building.

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McLuhan and Symbolist Communication

The Shock of Dislocation

Series:

Andrea Lombardinilo

With an interview with Derrick de Kerckhove.

Symbolism as a parataxis, as a «jazz of the intellect»: this is the starting point of this research, inspired by a socio-literary interpretation of Marshall McLuhan’s mediology and developed from a diachronic and exegetic perspective. According to the Canadian sociologist, the footsteps that led to this electric era can be traced through the study of certain writers and poets, whose symbolism provides a number of sociological hints foreshadowing our media modernity. This book aims to investigate the role of symbolism in McLuhan’s sociological research, by outlining how the study of memory and the analysis of literary tradition are fundamental to understanding the complex development of communication and cultural studies. The research presented here focuses on the function of symbols as interpretative keys for the study of media carried out by McLuhan. It is exactly in this artistic movement that the sociologist finds the opportunity to analyse the representative practices (irrational and linear) of modern men, shaped by the reticular patterns of the mind. From this perspective, McLuhan identifies the creative process that lies at the root of symbolist poetry, identified as «a disposition, a parataxis, of components that draws a particular intuition through precise links, but without a point of view, that is a linear connection or sequential order».

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(Con)textos femeninos: Antología de escritoras españolas. Tomo I

De Al-Ándalus hasta el siglo XVIII. Tomo II. El siglo XIX hasta la actualidad

Elizabeth Rousselle and Erika M. Sutherland

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Diaspora, Food and Identity

Nigerian Migrants in Belgium

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Maureen Duru

This book examines the connection between food and identity in the Nigerian diaspora community in Belgium. Encounters between people from different cultures do not lead to a simple adaptation of the diet, but usually give rise to some kind of fusion of new and indigenous food habits.

The author questions the relationship between what Nigerian migrants in the diaspora eat, their self-perception and how they engage with outsiders. Starting with a historical introduction about the country, this study examines what aspects of the Nigerian food culture is retained and what has changed. This is reflected by the dynamics in the Nigerian homes, especially the gender roles.

The new generation of Nigerians, who see Belgium as home, also hang on to a Nigerian diet that remains not only an important part of who they are, but is also used in the creation of cultural boundaries and group identities. However, the influence of the new environment is very present because each diaspora community, wherever and whenever, must adapt. Skills such as language and social norms are indeed necessary to survive in the new environment. Yet, food plays a prominent role: on the one hand, it contributes to the affirmation of Nigerian feelings, and on the other hand, food serves as a means of communication with the host country.

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The Aesthetic Revolution in Germany

1750–1950 – From Winckelmann to Nietzsche – from Nietzsche to Beckmann

Meindert Evers

The Aesthetic Revolution in Germany refutes the stereotypical image of Germany as the country of romantic but unworldly poets and thinkers. In 1750, an aesthetic revolution takes place in Germany, at the beginning of which stands J.J. Winckelmann. The romantic movement (Schiller, Hölderlin, Kleist) paves the way for this aesthetic revolution, which Heine is one of the first to criticise. Since then, criticism has never fallen silent. Opposing the rationalisation of the world (Wagner), the aesthetic revolution climaxes in the philosophy of Nietzsche. During the 1920s and 30s, it becomes a conservative revolution (George, Spengler, Th. Mann, Benn) and fails inevitably. Beckmann and M. Walser show that particularly after 1945 the aesthetic perspective is still necessary.

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Marianna Hudcovičová

This book presents empirical research of grammatical collocations of the type: verb and the prepositions «of» and «to». It is based on comparisons of English and Czech sentences containing verbs and prepositions that are followed by the object. The author creates English–Czech verbal prepositional counterparts and groups on the grounds of the similar semantic, syntactic features. She identifies the features that are the same for each verb group and generalizes them. The book determines trends and tendencies for verbs when they collocate with a certain preposition.

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In the Shadow of the Iron Curtain

Central and Eastern European Alterglobalists

Grzegorz Piotrowski

This book examines the alterglobalist activists in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Based on lengthy ethnographic fieldwork and numerous in-depth interviews with key figures of the movement, it covers mobilizations and actions between 1998 and 2011 and analyzes the process of adapting the alterglobalist way of thinking, claims and organizational modes in post-socialist countries. By pointing out the main challenges the movement faced, the author discusses the ways it tried to overcome these. The main argument is that the post-communist legacy (expressed in low levels of mobilization, in rejection of leftist ideals and discourse and in deep mistrust towards political life) had a tremendous impact on the formation and the shape of the alterglobalist movement in the region.

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Vulnerable Futures, Transformative Pasts

On Vulnerability, Temporality, and Ethics

Miri Rozmarin

Vulnerability reins our time. People know that their world is changing in ways that they cannot foresee. Communities disintegrate and boundaries lose their relevance. Drawing on the concept of vulnerability as an affective relation individuals hold with their world and with their lives, this book analyzes vulnerability as it is immanently connected to temporality. It provides an account of political temporality – connections between past, present, and future that engage with the contemporary social reality – and enables and sustains transformative dynamics through which individuals can mobilize their vulnerability. This technique allows them to gradually transform their reality and its influence on their own subjectivity and agency. This book portrays the kinds of relations through time and social space that people can create by working with their vulnerability as an affect that has the power to yield new sensibilities, skills, and values. These connections with the past are called transformative lineages.

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Sculpting the Woman

Muscularity, Power and the Problem with Femininity

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Jamilla Rosdahl

What is femininity?

Why does the idea of femininity not seem to «fit» with muscular women?

Why are muscular women the object of such controversy and skepticism?

Why do some women build muscle despite these strong cultural reactions?

Muscular women have long been the focus of public scrutiny, cultural contempt and fascination. Sculpting the Woman interrogates the protected status of femininity as it has been rendered irrelevant to the history, theory and politics of the muscular woman. This highly original and provocative work draws on important social thinkers including Michel Foucault and Judith Butler as well as recent theoretical developments on gender, identity and the body in poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, various feminisms and social and moral philosophy. This book offers a personal insight into one of the most threatening of cultural identities: the «muscular female». Through its analysis of femininity’s complex relationship with muscularity, it explores the larger question: «What is a woman?»