Focusing on the re-unification of Germany, this text asks what happens when a political and economic system collapses overnight. It concentrates especially on how these changes have affected certain "border zones" of daily life - including social organization, gender and religion.
Anthropologist Daphne Berdahl was one of the leading scholars of the transition from state socialism to capitalism in central and eastern Europe. From her pathbreaking ethnography of a former East German border village in the aftermath of German reunification, to her insightful analyses of consumption, nostalgia, and citizenship in the early 21st century, Berdahl's writings probe the contradictions, paradoxes, and ambiguities of postsocialism as few observers have done. This volume brings together her essays, from an early study of memory at the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C., to research on consumption and citizenship undertaken in Leipzig in the years before her untimely death. It serves as a superb introduction to the development of the field of postsocialist cultural studies.
The period between the French Revolution and the Second World War saw an unprecedented proliferation of mapmaking and map reading across modern European society. This book explores the age of cartophilia through the story of mapmaking in the disputed French-German borderland of Alsace-Lorraine. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, both French and Germans claimed Alsace-Lorraine as part of their national territories, fighting several bloody wars with each other that resulted in four changes to the borderland s nationality. In the process, the contested territory became a mapmaker s laboratory, a place subjected to multiple visual interpretations and competing topographies. And the mapmakers were not just professional border surveyors but rather people from all walks of life, including linguists, ethnographers, historians, priests, and schoolteachers. Empowered by their access to affordable new printing technologies and motivated by patriotic ideals, these popular mapmakers redefined the meaning and purpose of European borders during the age of nationalism."
'The Bengal Borderland' constitutes the epicentre of the partition of British India. Yet while the forging of international borders between India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma (the 'Bengal Borderland') has been a core theme in Partition studies, these crucial borderlands have, remarkably, been largely ignored by historians.
The changes that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 were particularly dramatic for East Germans. With the German Democratic Republic effectively taken over by West Germany in the reunification process, nothing in their lives was immune from change and upheaval: from the way they voted, the newspapers they read, to the brand of butter they bought. But what was it really like to go from living under communism one minute, to capitalism the next? What did the East Germans make of capitalism? And how do they remember the GDR today? Are their memories dominated by fear and loathing of the Stasi state, or do they look back with a measure of fondness and regret on a world of guaranteed employment and low living costs? This is the story of eight citizens of the former German Democratic Republic, and how these dramatic changes affected them. All of the people in the book were born in East Germany after the Berlin Wall was put up in August 1961, so they knew nothing other than living in a socialist system when the GDR fell apart. Their stories provide a fascinating insight not only into everyday life in East Germany, but also into how this now-vanished state is remembered today, a quarter of a century after the fall of the Wall.
This book discusses the reunification of Germany and the negative impacts that this had on East German intellectuals. The book is an ethnographic account of how the intellectuals of East Germany reacted to the demise of their nation, their “dream” of a socialist world, and unification with capitalist West Germany. Part I covers unification, 1990-91; Part II presents a quarter century later follow-up with one-fourth of those interviewed in 1990-91; and Part III examines the case from three social science perspectives.
In 1918, the end of the First World War triggered the return of Alsace and Lorraine to France after almost fifty years of annexation into the German Empire. Enthusiastic crowds in Paris and Alsace celebrated the return of the 'lost provinces, ' but return proved far more difficult than expected. Over the following two decades, politicians, administrators, industrialists, cultural elites, and others grappled with the question of how to make the region French again. Differences of opinion emerged, and reintegration rapidly descended into a multi-faceted struggle as voices at the Parisian centre, the Alsatian periphery, and outside France's borders offered their views on how to introduce French institutions and systems into its lost borderland. Throughout these discussions, the border itself shaped the process of reintegration, by generating contact and tensions between populations on the two sides of the boundary line, and by shaping expectations of what it meant to be French and Alsatian. Borderland is the first comprehensive account of the return of Alsace to France which treats the border as a driver of change. It draws upon national, regional, and local archives to follow the difficult process of Alsace's reintegration into French society, culture, political and economic systems, and legislative and administrative institutions. It connects the microhistory of the region with the "macro" levels of national policy, international relations, and transnational networks, and with the cross-border flows of ideas, goods, people, and cultural products that shaped daily life in Alsace as its population grappled with the meaning of return to France. In revealing the multiple voices who contributed to the region's reintegration, it underlines the ways in which regional populations and cross-border interactions have forged modern nations.
Drawing on cultural anthropology and cultural studies, this book sheds new light on the everyday politics of heritage and memory by illuminating local, everyday engagements with Germanness through heritage fetishism, claims to hometown belonging, and the performative appropriation of cultural property.
The building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 shocked the world. Ever since, the image of this impenetrable barrier between East and West, imposed by communism, has been a central symbol of the Cold War. Based on vast research in untapped archival, oral, and private sources, Burned Bridge reveals the hidden origins of the Iron Curtain, presenting it in a startling new light. Historian Edith Sheffer's unprecedented, in-depth account focuses on Burned Bridge-the intersection between two sister cities, Sonneberg and Neustadt bei Coburg, Germany's largest divided population outside Berlin. Sheffer demonstrates that as Soviet and American forces occupied each city after the Second World War, townspeople who historically had much in common quickly formed opposing interests and identities. The border walled off irreconcilable realities: the differences of freedom and captivity, rich and poor, peace and bloodshed, and past and present. Sheffer describes how smuggling, kidnapping, rape, and killing in the early postwar years led citizens to demand greater border control on both sides--long before East Germany fortified its 1,393 kilometer border with West Germany. It was in fact the American military that built the first barriers at Burned Bridge, which preceded East Germany's borderland crackdown by many years. Indeed, Sheffer shows that the physical border between East and West was not simply imposed by Cold War superpowers, but was in some part an improvised outgrowth of an anxious postwar society. Ultimately, a wall of the mind shaped the wall on the ground. East and West Germans became part of, and helped perpetuate, the barriers that divided them. From the end of World War II through two decades of reunification, Sheffer traces divisions at Burned Bridge with sharp insight and compassion, presenting a stunning portrait of the Cold War on a human scale.
On April 23, 2003, to the surprise of much of the world, the ceasefire line that divides Cyprus opened. The line had partitioned the island since 1974, and so international media heralded the opening of the checkpoints as a historic event that echoed the fall of the Berlin Wall. As in the moment of the Wall's collapse, cameras captured the rush of Cypriots across the border to visit homes unwillingly abandoned three decades earlier. It was a euphoric moment, and one that led to expectations of reunification. But within a year Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected at referendum a United Nations plan to reunite the island, despite their Turkish compatriots' support for the plan. In The Past in Pieces, anthropologist Rebecca Bryant explores why the momentous event of the opening has not led Cyprus any closer to reunification, and indeed in many ways has driven the two communities of the island further apart. This chronicle of the "new Cyprus" tells the story of the opening through the voices and lives of the people of one town that has experienced conflict. Over the course of two years, Bryant studied a formerly mixed town in northern Cyprus in order to understand both experiences of life together before conflict and the ways in which the dissolution of that shared life is remembered today. Tales of violation and loss return from the past to shape meanings of the opening in daily life, redefining the ways in which Cypriots describe their own senses of belonging and expectations of the political future. By examining the ways the past is rewritten in the present, Bryant shows how even a momentous opening may lead not to reconciliation but instead to the discovery of new borders that may, in fact, be the real ones.
Excavating Nations traces the history of archaeology and museums in the contested German-Danish borderlands from the emergence of antiquarianism in the early nineteenth-century to German-Danish reconciliation after the Second World War. J. Laurence Hare reveals how the border regions of Schleswig-Holstein and Snderjylland were critical both to the emergence of professional prehistoric archaeology and to conceptions of German and Scandinavian origins. At the center of this process, Hare argues, was a cohort of amateur antiquarians and archaeologists who collaborated across the border to investigate the ancient past but were also complicit in its appropriation for nationalist ends. Excavating Nations follows the development of this cross-border network over four generations, through the unification of Germany and two world wars. Using correspondence and site reports from museum, university, and state archives across Germany and Denmark, Hare shows how these scholars negotiated their simultaneous involvement in nation-building projects and in a transnational academic community. --Provided by publisher.
DIVA fascinating exploration of how social memory serves to hinder communication and foster disorder in Northern Ireland /div
This book reassesses Putin's attempt to reverse the decentralization of power that characterised centre-regional relations in the 1990s, focusing on regional responses to Putin's federal reforms. It explains the decline of regionalism after 2000 in terms of the dynamics of regional boundaries, understood as the juridical boundaries which demarcate a region's territorial extent and its resources; institutional boundaries that sustain regional differences; and cultural boundaries that define the ethnic or technocratic principles on which a region could claim legitimate existence. The book questions the conventional wisdom regarding the success of Putin's regime. It shows how regional governors responded not by attempting to deflect the reforms with outright resistance, but by mimicking Putin's centralisation of power at the regional level. In turn, this facilitated the homogenisation of regional political regimes and regional mergers. The book demonstrates how the reordering of regions advanced sporadically, how pockets of resistance persist, and how the potential for the revival of regionalism continues.
Time and the Other is a classic work that critically reexamined the relationship between anthropologists and their subjects and reoriented the approach literary critics, philosophers, and historians took to the study of humankind. Johannes Fabian challenges the assumption that anthropologists live in the "here and now," that their subjects live in the "there and then," and that the "other" exists in a time not contemporary with our own. He also pinpoints the emergence, transformation, and differentiation of a variety of uses of time in the history of anthropology that set specific parameters between power and inequality. In this edition, a new postscript by the author revisits popular conceptions of the "other" and the attempt to produce and represent knowledge of other(s).
A Companion to Border Studies introduces an exciting and expanding field of interdisciplinary research, through the writing of an international array of scholars, from diverse perspectives that include anthropology, development studies, geography, history, political science and sociology. Explores how nations and cultural identities are being transformed by their dynamic, shifting borders where mobility is sometimes facilitated, other times impeded or prevented Offers an array of international views which together form an authoritative guide for students, instructors and researchers Reflects recent significant growth in the importance of understanding the distinctive characteristics of borders and frontiers, including cross-border cooperation, security and controls, migration and population displacements, hybridity, and transnationalism
In The Land of Weddings and Rain, Gediminas Lankauskas examines the components of the contemporary urban wedding – religious and civil ceremonies, “traditional” imagery and practices, and the conspicuous consumption of domestic and imported goods – in the context of the Western-style modernization of post-socialist Lithuania. Studying the tensions between “tradition” and “modernity” that surround this important ritual event, Lankauskas highlights the ways in which nationalism serves to negotiate the impact of modernity in the aftermath of state socialism’s collapse. His analysis also shows the importance of consumption and commodification to Lithuania’s ongoing “Westernization.” Based on more than a decade of ethnographic research, The Land of Weddings and Rain is a fascinating account of the tensions – between national and transnational, East and West, and old and new – that shape life in post-socialist Eastern Europe.
Although the end of the Cold War was greeted with great enthusiasm by people in the East and the West, the ensuing social and especially economic changes did not always result in the hoped-for improvements in people’s lives. This led to widespread disillusionment that can be observed today all across Eastern Europe. Not simply a longing for security, stability, and prosperity, this nostalgia is also a sense of loss regarding a specific form of sociability. Even some of those who opposed communism express a desire to invest their new lives with renewed meaning and dignity. Among the younger generation, it surfaces as a tentative yet growing curiosity about the recent past. In this volume scholars from multiple disciplines explore the various fascinating aspects of this nostalgic turn by analyzing the impact of generational clusters, the rural-urban divide, gender differences, and political orientation. They argue persuasively that this nostalgia should not be seen as a wish to restore the past, as it has otherwise been understood, but instead it should be recognized as part of a more complex healing process and an attempt to come to terms both with the communist era as well as the new inequalities of the post-communist era.
This study examines the multiple and conflicting ways in which German national identity is spatially expressed through the material and metaphor of the human body. In particular, it describes the various gendered, sexed, and raced constructions of Germany, as they emerged in the capital city of Berlin since 1989. Based on two ethnographic case studies situated in neighboring urban environments, the Love Parade and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, the author shows how bodily representations of post-1989 Germany are fluctuating between the sexualized, demasculinized celebration of multiculturalism and the repeatedly racist, masculinist and even anti-Semitic reconstruction of German nationhood.
How is it that walls, borders, boundaries-and their material and symbolic architectures of division and exclusion-engender their very opposite? This edited volume explores the crossings, permeations, and constructions of cultural and political borders between peoples and territories, examining how walls, borders, and boundaries signify both interdependence and contact within sites of conflict and separation. Topics addressed range from the geopolitics of Europe's historical and contemporary city walls to conceptual reflections on the intersection of human rights and separating walls, the memory politics generated in historically disputed border areas, theatrical explorations of border crossings, and the mapping of boundaries within migrant communities.
A major new book by New York Times bestselling author and geopolitical forecaster George Friedman (The Next 100 Years), with a bold thesis about coming events in Europe. This provocative work examines “flashpoints,” unique geopolitical hot spots where tensions have erupted throughout history, and where conflict is due to emerge again. “There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8 Ball.” —The New York Times Magazine With remarkable accuracy, George Friedman has forecasted coming trends in global politics, technology, population, and culture. In Flashpoints, Friedman focuses on Europe—the world’s cultural and power nexus for the past five hundred years . . . until now. Analyzing the most unstable, unexpected, and fascinating borderlands of Europe and Russia—and the fault lines that have existed for centuries and have been ground zero for multiple catastrophic wars—Friedman highlights, in an unprecedentedly personal way, the flashpoints that are smoldering once again. The modern-day European Union was crafted in large part to minimize built-in geopolitical tensions that historically have torn it apart. As Friedman demonstrates, with a mix of rich history and cultural analysis, that design is failing. Flashpoints narrates a living history of Europe and explains, with great clarity, its most volatile regions: the turbulent and ever-shifting land dividing the West from Russia (a vast area that currently includes Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania); the ancient borderland between France and Germany; and the Mediterranean, which gave rise to Judaism and Christianity and became a center of Islamic life. Through Friedman’s seamless narrative of townspeople and rivers and villages, a clear picture of regions and countries and history begins to emerge. Flashpoints is an engrossing analysis of modern-day Europe, its remarkable past, and the simmering fault lines that have awakened and will be pivotal in the near future. This is George Friedman’s most timely and, ultimately, riveting book. From the Hardcover edition.