New Books in Eastern European Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of Eastern Europe about their New Books

Marshall Poe


    • Dec 31, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 59m AVG DURATION
    • 420 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from New Books in Eastern European Studies

    Rich Brownstein, "Holocaust Cinema Complete: A History and Analysis of 400 Films, with a Teaching Guide" (McFarland, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 66:06

    Holocaust movies have become an important segment of world cinema and the de-facto Holocaust education for many. One quarter of all American-produced Holocaust-related feature films have won or been nominated for at least one Oscar. Yet most Holocaust movies have fallen through the cracks and few have been commercially successful. In Holocaust Cinema Complete: A History and Analysis of 400 Films, with a Teaching Guide (McFarland, 2021), Rich Brownstein explores these trends--and many others--with a comprehensive guide to hundreds of films and made-for-television movies.Recommendations and reviews of the 50 best Holocaust films are included, along with an educational guide, a detailed listing of all films covered and a four-part index-glossary. The book also has a companion website, Holocaust Cinema Complete. Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Putin's Attempt to Hide the Crimes of Stalinism

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2021 51:41

    For the past 30 years, a group of Russian scholars have dedicated themselves to uncovering the crimes of Stalinism. Their organization, Memorial, has in that time made great strides in understanding the scale, nature and history of Stalin's repression. On 28 December 2021, Russia's highest court found that Memorial was in violation of the Russian Federation's law regarding "foreign agents" and ordered it to be closed.   In this interview, I talked with Benjamin Nathans about Memorial's history, work, and the reasons Putin decided to shut it down now. Nathans, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, has worked with and for Memorial since the 1990s. For more about Memorial, go here.  Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Tomek Jankowski, "Eastern Europe! Everything You Need to Know" (New Europe Books, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 40:34

    When the legendary Romulus killed his brother Remus and founded the city of Rome in 753 BCE, Plovdiv―today the second-largest city in Bulgaria―was thousands of years old. Indeed, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam are all are mere infants compared to Plovdiv. This is just one of the paradoxes that haunts and defines the New Europe, that part of Europe that was freed from Soviet bondage in 1989, and which is at once both much older than the modern Atlantic-facing power centers of Western Europe while also being much younger than them. Eastern Europe! (New Europe Books, 2021) is a brief and concise (but informative) introduction to Eastern Europe and its myriad customs and history. Even those knowledgeable about Western Europe often see Eastern Europe as terra incognito, with a sign on the border declaring “Here be monsters.” Tomek Jankowski's book is a gateway to understanding both what unites and separates Eastern Europeans from their Western brethren, and how this vital region has been shaped by but has also left its mark on Western Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. It is a reader-friendly guide to a region that is all too often mischaracterized as remote, insular, and superstitious. The book comprises three parts, The first sums up modern linguistic, geographic, and religious contours of Eastern Europe, while the second, main part delves into the region's history, from the earliest origins of Europe up to the end of the Cold War. Closing the book is a section that makes sense of geographical name references -- many cities, rivers, or regions have different names -- and also includes an "Eastern Europe by Numbers" feature that provides charts describing the populations, politics, and economies of the region today. Throughout are boxed-off anecdotes ("Useless Trivia") describing fascinating aspects of Eastern European history or culture. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Paul Bushkovitch, "Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 67:15

    The transfer of power is something every must state attend to (and preferably by peaceful means). Remarkably, this fundamental aspect of statecraft was governed by custom rather than law into the eighteenth century in Russia. In Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725 (Cambridge UP, 2021), Paul Bushkovitch traces the history of how tsars (and earlier, grand princes) came to the Russian throne. Overturning generations of scholarship, Bushkovitch shows that there were various means by which a ruler came to govern Russia. Russian grand princes often designated their eldest sons to the throne in their lifetime, but primogeniture was neither codified nor the only option. The Russian elite on certain occasions elected the new tsar, and women multiple times found themselves at the pinnacle of state power. Deploying decades of erudition and archival sleuthing, Bushkovitch offers a thought-provoking front row view on the evolution of determining the heir and succession politics in early modern Russia. Erika Monahan is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    E. Natalie Rothman, "The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic Interpreters and the Routes of Orientalism" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 71:50

    The Dragoman Renaissance: Diplomatic Interpreters and the Routes of Orientalism (Cornell UP, 2021) is a fascinating study of a crucial early modern cadre of "go-betweens:" the Istanbul-based diplomatic translator-interpreters, known as the dragomans. Blending a creative mix of quantitative methods, prosopography, and the systematic close reading of texts produced or translated by the dragomans, the book shows how, far from being simple intermediaries, the dragomans actively engaged Ottoman elites in the study of the Ottoman Empire, refracting the knowledge thus acquired across Europe. The book takes a three-pronged approach: it first focuses on the dragomans themselves, exploring how, particularly Venetian dragomans, were recruited, trained, and eventually grew to create an influential cast of subordinate elites enmeshed in both Ottoman and Veneto-Habsburg patterns of representation and consumption. The book then delves into different texts translated or produced by dragomans (relationi, translations of Ottoman charters, grammar books, and even pictorial representations) to examine the self-representation and mediation strategies developed by this specialized cast of interpreters. The final chapters of the book explore the legacy of the dragomans, notably how they contributed to the definition, in Europe, of a Turkish canon of letters that would coalesce into the discipline known as Orientalism. The Dragoman Renaissance offers two substantial contributions to our understanding of diplomacy, mediation, and even incipient Orientalism in the early modern Mediterranean. First, it challenges Eurocentric assumptions still pervasive in Renaissance studies by showing the centrality of Ottoman imperial culture to the articulation of European knowledge about the Ottomans. By studying the sustained interactions between dragomans and Ottoman courtiers in this period, Rothman, therefore, disrupts common ideas about a singular moment of "cultural encounter," as well as about a "docile" and "static" Orient, acted upon by extraneous imperial powers. Second, Rothman creatively uncovers how dragomans mediated Ottoman ethno-linguistic, political, and religious categories to European diplomats and scholars, showing how these intermediaries did not simply circulate fixed knowledge. Rather, their engagement of Ottoman imperial modes of inquiry and social reproduction shaped the discipline of Orientalism for centuries to come. Thanks to the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, the e-book editions of The Dragoman Renaissance are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open and other repositories. Natalie Rothman, associate professor at the University of Toronto, specializes in early modern Mediterranean history, the history of cultural mediation, genealogies of Orientalism, and the relationship between translation and empire. She is currently continuing her research on intermediaries on The Dragoman Renaissance research platform  Ian F. Hathaway, a postdoctoral fellow at the Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte (IEG), focuses on mobility, identification, and cross-cultural diplomacy in the early modern Mediterranean. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Lucie Fremlova, "Queer Roma" (Routledge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 61:21

    Lucie Fremlova's book Queer Roma (Routledge, 2021) offers in-depth insight into the lives of queer Roma, thus providing rich evidence of the heterogeneity of Roma. The lived experiences of queer Roma, which are very diverse regionally and otherwise, pose a fundamental challenge to one-dimensional, negative misrepresentations of Roma as homophobic and antithetical to European and Western modernity. The book platforms Romani agency and voices in an original and novel way. This enables the reader to feel the individuals behind the data, which detail stories of rejection by Romani families and communities, and non-Romani communities; and unfamiliar, ground-breaking stories of acceptance by Romani families and communities. Combining intersectionality with queer theory innovatively and applying it to Romani Studies, the author supports her arguments with data illustrating how the identities of queer Roma are shaped by antigypsyism and its intersections with homophobia and transphobia. Thanks to its theoretical and empirical content, and its location within a book series on LGBTIQ lives that appeals to an international audience, this authoritative book will appeal to a wide range of readers. It will a be useful resource for libraries, community and social service workers, third-sector Romani and LGBTIQ organisations, activists and policymakers. Dr. Lucie Fremlova is an independent researcher who works at the interface between academia, social movements and policy. Her close-up, transdisciplinary research focuses on ethnic, ‘racial', sexual and gender identities, particularly in relation to queer Roma. Her article ‘LGBTIQ Roma and queer intersectionalities: the lived experiences of LGBTIQ Roma', published by the European Journal of Politics and Gender in 2019, won the EJPG 2021 Best Article and the Council for European Studies Gender and Sexuality Research Network 2019 Best Article Award. Her article ‘Non-Romani researcher positionality and reflexivity: queer(y)ing one's privilege' was the most-read article published in 2019 in volume 1, number 2 of the Critical Romani Studies Journal. Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Jeffrey Brooks, "The Firebird and the Fox: Russian Culture under Tsars and Bolsheviks" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 40:01

    Firebird and the Fox: Russian Culture under Tsars and Bolsheviks (Cambridge UP, 2019) by Jeffrey Brooks, Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, is a summa of his lifetime study of Russian culture. In doing so, Brooks provides a needed corrective to the prior standard work, now over 50 years old. Firebird and the Fox chronicles a century of Russian artistic genius, including literature, art, music and dance, within the dynamic cultural ecosystem that shaped it. Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are at https://strategicdividendinves... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Tibor Martí and Roberto Quiros Rosado, "Eagles Looking East and West: Dynasty, Ritual and Representation in Habsburg Hungary and Spain" (Brepols, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 49:20

    The fifteen contributors to Eagles Looking East and West: Dynasty, Ritual and Representation in Habsburg Hungary and Spain (Brepols, 2021) describe politics and representation in the Kingdom of Hungary from the sixteenth to the eighteen century. Hungary was part of Habsburg Europe under the banner of the double-headed eagle which flew from Spain to Austria and their many possessions. Coronations, funerals, patronage, diplomacy, and artwork reveal how the special relationship between Hungary and Spain functioned and appeared. In this interview, Tibor Martí explains the purpose, spirit, and achievement of the book, and he goes into depth about his own essay in the volume on the chivalric order of the Golden Fleece as an instrument of diplomacy between these great European Catholic monarchies in the Early Modern world. Tibor Martí is a Research Fellow in the Early Modern History Department at the Institute of History part of the Research Centre for the Humanities, in the Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest and has been a lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in the Faculty of Philosophy and also the Faculty of the Humanities. He is author of dozens of articles and papers in English, Spanish, German, and Hungarian, all available at this link from Academia.com: https://tti.academia.edu/TiborMart%C3%AD. Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of Early Modern Europe specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel in Central Europe and the Spanish Empire. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Izabela Wagner, "Bauman: A Biography" (Polity, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 59:21

    Global thinker, public intellectual, and world-famous theorist of ‘liquid modernity', Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was a scholar who, despite forced migration, built a very successful academic career and, after retirement, became a prolific and popular writer and an intellectual talisman for young people everywhere.  Izabela Wagner's Bauman: A Biography (Polity Press, 2020) is the first comprehensive biography of his life and work. Dr. Wagner, Professor of Sociology at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, returns to Bauman's native Poland and recounts his childhood in an assimilated Polish-Jewish family and the school experiences shaped by anti-Semitism. Bauman's life trajectory is typical of his generation and social group: the escape from Nazi occupation and Soviet secondary education, communist engagement, enrolment in the Polish Army as a political officer, participation in WWII, and the support for the new political regime in the post-war Poland. Dr. Wagner sheds new light on Bauman's activity as a KBW political officer. His eviction in 1953 from the military ranks and his academic career reflect the dynamic context of Poland in 1950s and 1960s. His professional career in Poland was abruptly halted in 1968 by the anti-Semitic purges. Bauman became a refugee again - leaving Poland for Israel, and then settling down in Leeds in the UK in 1971. His work would flourish in Leeds, and after his retirement in 1991 he entered a period of enormous productivity which propelled him onto the international stage as one of the most widely read and influential social thinkers of our time. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Andrew Gilbert, "International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy: Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina" (Cornell UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 70:31

    In International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy (Cornell UP, 2020) Andrew C. Gilbert, who is assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, argues for an ethnographic analysis of international intervention as a series of encounters, focusing on the relations of difference and inequality, and the question of legitimacy that permeate such encounters. He discusses the transformations that happen in everyday engagements between intervention agents and their target populations, and also identifies key instabilities that emerge out of such engagements. Gilbert highlights the struggles, entanglements and inter-dependencies between and among foreign agents, and the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina that channel and shape intervention and how it unfolds. Drawing upon nearly two years of fieldwork studying in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gilbert's probing analysis identifies previously overlooked sites, processes, and effects of international intervention, and suggests new comparative opportunities for the study of transnational action that seeks to save and secure human lives and improve the human condition. Above all, Gilbert's book foregrounds and analyzes the open-ended, innovative, and unpredictable nature of international intervention that is usually omitted from the ordered representations of the technocratic vision and the confident assertions of many critiques. Christian Axboe Nielsen is associate professor of history and human security at Aarhus University in Denmark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Bogdan Popa, "De-Centering Queer Theory: Communist Sexuality in the Flow During and After the Cold War" (Manchester UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 57:48

    Bogdan Popa's De-Centering Queer Theory: Communist Sexuality in the Flow During and After the Cold War (Manchester University Press, 2021) seeks to reorient queer theory to a different conception of bodies and sexuality derived from Eastern European Marxism. The book articulates a contrast between the concept of the productive body, which draws its epistemology from Soviet and avant-garde theorists, and Cold War gender, which is defined as the social construction of the body. The first part of the book concentrates on the theoretical and visual production of Eastern European Marxism, which proposed an alternative version of sexuality to that of western liberalism. In doing so it offers a historical angle to understand the emergence not only of an alternative epistemology, but also of queer theory's vocabulary. The second part of the book provides a Marxist, anti-capitalist archive for queer studies, which often neglects to engage critically with its liberal and Cold War underpinnings. Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at louisahann92@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Alex Panasenko, "The Long Vacation: A Memoir" (Iris Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 53:25

    NB: This interview contains material about wartime experiences that may be upsetting to some listeners.  When Alex Panasenko was born in 1933, his native Ukraine was devastated by Stalin's program of mass starvation; millions were murdered and, soon after, millions more removed in Stalin's Great Purge. In 1941, when Panasenko was eight years old, Hitler's Wehrmacht invaded and he was deported with his family for slave labor. As the tide turned against the Nazis, Panasenko, now separated from his family, tramped westward with the retreating German army. The Long Vacation is Alex Panasenko's war memoir, remembering the formative, often harrowing experiences that shaped his character. In this conversation, Mr. Panasenko discusses the extremities of life, death, terror, lust, and hunger from a child's perspective, and with a child's canny reactions aimed at survival, even when the prospect seemed most unlikely. With things falling apart around him—laws, governments, the conventions of the adult world—Panasenko came to rely only on himself. Consequently, as an adolescent in the chaotic period following the war, he became an astonishingly successful black marketeer in the liberated Bavarian town of Memmingen. Finally, Mr. Panasenko reflects on his life in the 75 years since the war, including his forty years as a biology teacher at Berkeley High School in northern California. Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of Early Modern Europe and the Spanish Empire; he had the privilege of being one of Alex Panasenko's biology students in 1993-94. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Anna Machcewicz, "Civility in Uncivil Times: Kazimierz Moczarski's Quiet Battle for Truth, from the Polish Underground to Stalinist Prison" (Peter Lang, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 60:18

    In Civility in Uncivil Times: Kazimierz Moczarski's Quiet Battle for Truth, from the Polish Underground to Stalinist Prison (Peter Lang, 2020), Anna Machcewicz offers a powerful case study in the ethics and logistics of bearing witness in response to the two forces that brutalized Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century: Nazism and Stalinism. Civility in Uncivil Times is a biography of Kazimierz Moczarski (1907-1975), a Polish lawyer, journalist, and political prisoner. A major figure in the Polish Underground State in the final months of World War II, Moczarski is nonetheless best known for sharing a postwar Stalinist prison cell with SS general Jürgen Stroop, liquidator of the Warsaw Ghetto. After serving one of the longest prison terms in the history of communist Poland - eleven years - Moczarski reconstructed his conversations in forensic detail in a book published after his death under the title Conversations with an Executioner. Machcewicz's book makes a major contribution to the scholarship on Stalinist political imprisonment, while also illuminating the possibilities for serious civic engagement in post-Stalinist societies. Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Catholics on the Barricades (Yale, 2018) and editor, among others, of Political Exile in the Global Twentieth Century (with Wolfram Kaiser). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Andrew Demshuk, "Three Cities After Hitler: Redemptive Reconstruction Across Cold War Borders" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 43:31

    Three Cities After Hitler: Redemptive Reconstruction Across Cold War Borders (U Pittsburgh Press, 2021) compares how three prewar German cities shared decades of postwar development under three competing post-Nazi regimes: Frankfurt in capitalist West Germany, Leipzig in communist East Germany, and Wrocław (formerly Breslau) in communist Poland. Each city was rebuilt according to two intertwined modern trends. First, certain local edifices were chosen to be resurrected as “sacred sites” to redeem the national story after Nazism. Second, these tokens of a reimagined past were staged against the hegemony of modernist architecture and planning, which wiped out much of whatever was left of the urban landscape that had survived the war. All three cities thus emerged with simplified architectural narratives, whose historically layered complexities only survived in fragments where this twofold “redemptive reconstruction” after Nazism had proven less vigorous, sometimes because local citizens took action to save and appropriate them. Transcending both the Iron Curtain and freshly homogenized nation-states, three cities under three rival regimes shared a surprisingly common history before, during, and after Hitler—in terms of both top-down planning policies and residents' spontaneous efforts to make home out of their city as its shape shifted around them. Amber Nickell is Associate Professor of History at Fort Hays State University, Editor at H-Ukraine, and Host at NBN Jewish Studies and Eastern Europe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    David Moon et al., "Place and Nature: Essays in Russian History" (White Horse Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 66:10

    Place and Nature: Essays in Russian History (White Horse Press, 2021) is a collection of essays on environmental history spanning primarily the 19th and 20th centuries. Covering a wide range of thematic topics (water history, migration history and environmentalism) and geographic locations, this book provides new perspectives on the intersection between humans and the environments that surround them. This is largely achieved through the researchers' experiences traveling extensively through the areas they study, seeing them as living places, interviewing inhabitants and marveling at the beauty and harshness of the environment they study. Join us as we talk with Nicolas Breyfogle, David Moon and Alexandra Bekasova about their journeys and research, how the two intertwined and how that granted them new perspectives on the Russian and Soviet environment. Samantha Lomb is a lecturer at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Barbara Martin, "Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika" (Bloomsbury, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 61:22

    In Dissident Histories in the Soviet Union: From De-Stalinization to Perestroika (Bloomsbury,, 2019), Barbara Martin traces the careers of four prominent figures: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Roy Medvedev, Aleksandr Nekrich and Anton Antonov-Ovseenko. Based on extensive archival research into these four authors, Martin provides a new account of dissident history writing in the Soviet Union from the post-Stalin Thaw through to the Brezhnev era and Perestroika. Dissident Histories illuminates the challenges associated with researching, writing and publishing Soviet history and the critical impact that this work had on intellectual life in the Soviet Union. Barbara Martin is a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of History at the University of Basel. Iva Glisic is a historian and art historian specialising in modern Russia and the Balkans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Devin J. Vartija, "The Color of Equality: Race and Common Humanity in Enlightenment Thought" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 72:54

    The Enlightenment is often either praised as the wellspring of modern egalitarianism or condemned as the cradle of scientific racism. How should we make sense of this paradox? The Color of Equality: Race and Common Humanity in Enlightenment Thought (U Pennsylvania Press, 2021) is the first book to investigate both the inclusive language of common humanity and the hierarchical language of race in Enlightenment thought, seeking to understand how eighteenth-century thinkers themselves made sense of these tensions. Using three major Enlightenment encyclopedias from England, France, and Switzerland, the book provides a rich contextualization of the conflicting ideas of equality and race in eighteenth-century thought. Enlightenment thinkers used physical features to categorize humanity into novel "racial" groups in a discourse that was imbued with Eurocentric aesthetic and moral judgments. Simultaneously, however, these very same thinkers politicized equality by putting it to new uses, such as a vitriolic denunciation of slavery and inhumane treatment that was grounded in the nascent philosophy of human rights. Vartija contends that the tension between Enlightenment ideas of race and equality can best be explained by these thinkers' attempt to provide a naturalistic account of humanity, including both our physical and moral attributes. Enlightenment racial classification fits into the novel inclusion of humanity in histories of nature, while the search for the origins of morality in social experience alone lent equality a normative authority it had not previously possessed. Eschewing straightforward approbation or blame of the Enlightenment, The Color of Equality demonstrates that our present-day thinking about human physical and cultural diversity continues to be deeply informed by an eighteenth-century European intellectual revolution with global ramifications. Alexandra Ortolja-Baird is Lecturer in Digital History and Culture at the University of Portsmouth. She tweets at @timetravelallie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák, "The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe" (Routledge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 63:17

    This new book by James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák explores the complex intersection of secret police operations and the formation of the religious underground in communist-era Eastern Europe. In sixteen chapters, The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2021) looks at how religious groups were perceived as dangerous to the totalitarian state whilst also being extremely vulnerable and yet at the same time very resourceful. In this podcast James and Kinga talk about what is special about secret police archives and how they allow us to explore the material culture, including things like photographs and food, of clandestine and secretive communities. They argue that stories from the archives continue to shape present day religious communities and postsocialist societies more generally as well as reflecting upon what comparing movements from eight different countries shows us that we might miss from looking just at one or two case studies. Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Grant T. Harward, "Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 84:43

    What motivated conscripted soldiers to fight in the Romanian Army during the Second World War? Why did they obey orders, take risks, and sometimes deliberately sacrifice their lives for the mission? What made soldiers murder, rape, and pillage, massacring Jews en masse during Operation Barbarossa? Grant Harward's ground-breaking book Romania's Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust (Cornell UP, 2021) combines military history, social history, and histories of the Holocaust to offer a new interpretation of Romania's role in the Second World War. In this interview he talks about his surprising discussions with veterans, his notion of “atrocity motivation” as an unexplored reason why soldiers commit horrific acts during wartime, the relative military effectiveness of the Romanian army, the role of the Orthodox Church, and the content of propaganda aimed at soldiers. As he explains, Harward's research opens up whole new fields of research for military historians and others interested in the relationship of war to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and violence. Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Katarzyna Bartoszyńska, "Estranging the Novel: Poland, Ireland, and Theories of World Literature" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 31:39

    Katarzyna (Kasia) Bartoszyńska is an assistant professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies at Ithaca College. Her research and teaching focuses on the novel form and the theories connected to it, combining a formalist investigation of textual mechanics with an interest in studies of gender, sexuality, race, and world literature. Prof. Bartoszyńska is also active in Polish-English translation. She has translated several texts by Zygmunt Bauman, including Sketches in the Theory of Culture (Polity 2018), Of God and Man (Polity 2015), and Culture and Art (2021) and is currently completing a translation of a book about Bauman's work by Dariusz Brzeziński. In this interview, she discusses her new book Estranging the Novel: Poland, Ireland and Theories of World Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021), a comparative study of two national literatures that also makes a serious intervention into the history of the novel as a literary form. Estranging the Novel: Poland, Ireland, and Theories of World Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021) offers a new way of thinking about the development of the novel as a genre. The work pushes against the standard narrative of the novel's rise on two fronts, arguing that the focus on Anglo-French fiction, on the one hand, and realism, on the other, gives us an overly narrow sense of the novel's potential, and skews our readings of fiction from "other" parts of the world. Bartoszyńska uses three close readings of pairs of books from Poland and Ireland, spanning the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, to demonstrate how mainstream theories of the novel fail to engage their most innovative features, because they do not conform to emerging conventions of realist fiction. Examining the features of these works that have been seen as deviations from the novel's teleology, such as satire, interlaced tales, or the use of the supernatural, she presents them as efforts to theorize the potential of the form and investigates the novel's world-building powers. Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Jessie Barton-Hronešová, "The Struggle for Redress: Victim Capital in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 65:07

    In Jessie Barton Hronešová's new book, The Struggle of Redress: Victim Capital in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), she explores pathways to redress for main groups of victims/survivors of the 1992-5 Bosnian war —families of missing persons, victims of torture, survivors of sexual violence, and victims suffering physical disabilities and harm. The author traces the history of redress-making for each of these groups and shows how differently they have been treated by Bosnian authorities at the state and subnational level. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, thousands of war victims have had to suffer re-traumatising ordeals in order to secure partial redress for their suffering during 1992–1995 and after. While some, such as victims of sexual violence, have been legally recognised and offered financial and service-based compensation, others, such as victims of torture, have been recognized only recently with a clear geographical limitation. The main aim of the book is to explore the politics behind recognizing victimhood and awarding redress in a country that has been divided by instrumentalized identity cleavages, widespread patronage and debilitating war legacies. Jessie Barton Hronešová is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill and Ca' Foscari University. Christian Axboe Nielsen is associate professor of history and human security at Aarhus University in Denmark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Molly Thomasy Blasing, "Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 59:03

    Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture (Cornell UP, 2021) considers how photography has shaped Russian poetry from the early twentieth century to the present day. Drawing on theories of the lyric and the elegy, the social history of technology, and little-known archival materials, Molly Thomasy Blasing offers close readings of poems by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, Joseph Brodsky, and Bella Akhmadulina, as well as by the late and post-Soviet poets Andrei Sen-Sen'kov, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, and Kirill Medvedev, to understand their fascination with the visual language, representational power, and metaphorical possibilities offered by the camera and the photographic image. Within the context of long-standing anxieties about the threat that visual media pose to literary culture, Blasing finds that these poets were attracted to the affinities and tensions that exist between the lyric or elegy and the snapshot. Snapshots of the Soul reveals that at the core of each poet's approach to writing the photograph is the urge to demonstrate the superior ability of poetic language to capture and convey human experience. Molly T. Blasing holds degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University (AB, 2002) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MA, 2006; PHD, 2014). After teaching at Florida State University, Wellesley College, and Oberlin College, she joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky as Assistant Professor of Russian Studies in 2014 and was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2021.  Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Karla Huebner, "Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 71:19

    Karla Huebner's Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020) follows the life and career Czech artist Toyen (Marie Čermínová, 1902-1980). Toyen's career spans the twentieth century, from the cultural flux of interwar Prague to postwar France. Huebner traces the growth, divergence, and fluidity of Czech as well as international avant-gardes. Eroticism, Huebner argues, centered Toyen's life, settings, and art. Toyen's ambiguous gender equally found its own place in the predominantly male Czech Devětsil group, lesbian milieus of interwar Paris, and André Breton's postwar Surrealist network. So too did Toyen's work in erotic drawings, book commissions, collage, and oil paintings, all generously represented in this monograph. Magnetic Woman hence unites art history with cultural and intellectual history. Huebner analyzes Toyen's artistic collaborations and friendships with figures as diverse as Jindřich Štyrský, Karel Teige, and Philippe Soupault. She traces Toyen's wide reading of European classics, contemporary writing, and psychological and sexual literature of the day. Huebner anchors Toyen's artwork in these contexts throughout the monograph while showcasing its inherent originality and formal innovations. Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic furnishes readers with both a fascinating biography of the artist and a map of the entangled histories of the Czech and French avant-gardes. Huebner's work will interest scholars of interwar European history, of European sexuality and gender, art history, and international history alike, and the heavily illustrated monograph will intrigue scholars, general readers, and artists in equal measure. John Raimo is a PhD. Candidate in History at NYU finishing up my dissertation (on postwar publishing houses) this summer in European history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Svitlana Biedarieva, "Contemporary Ukrainian and Baltic Art" (Ibidem Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 47:02

    Contemporary Ukrainian and Baltic Art (Ibidem Press, 2021) focuses on political and social expressions in contemporary art of Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. It explores the transformations that art in Ukraine and the Baltic states has undergone since their independence in 1991, discussing how the conflicts and challenges of the last three decades have impacted the reconsideration of identity and fostered resistance of culture against economic and political crises. It analyzes connections between the past and the present as seen by the artists in these countries and looks at their visions of the future. Contemporary Ukrainian art portrays various perspectives, addressing issues from controversial historical topics to the present military conflict in the East of the country. Baltic art speaks out against the erasure of past historical traumas and analyzes the pertinence of its cultural scene to the European community. The contributions in this collection open a discussion of whether there is a single paradigm that describes the contemporary processes of art production in Ukraine and the Baltic countries. With contributions by Ieva Astahovska, Svitlana Biedarieva, Kateryna Botanova, Olena Martynyuk, Vytautas Michelkevičius, Lina Michelkeviče, Margaret Tali, and Jessica Zychowicz. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Mark Mazower, "The Greek Revolution: 1821 and the Making of Modern Europe" (Penguin, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 56:10

    In the exhausted, repressive years that followed Napoleon's defeat in 1815, there was one cause that came to galvanize countless individuals across Europe and the United States: freedom for Greece. Mark Mazower's wonderful The Greek Revolution: 1821 and the Making of Modern Europe (Penguin, 2021) recreates one of the most compelling, unlikely and significant events in the story of modern Europe. In the face of near impossible odds, the people of the villages, valleys and islands of Greece rose up against Sultan Mahmud II and took on the might of the imperial Ottoman armed forces, its Turkish cavalrymen, Albanian foot soldiers and the fearsome Egyptians. Despite the most terrible disasters, they held on until military intervention by Russia, France and Britain finally secured the kingdom of Greece. Mazower brilliantly brings together the different strands of the story. He takes us into the minds of revolutionary conspirators and the terrors of besieged towns, the stories of itinerant priests, sailors and slaves, ambiguous heroes and defenceless women and children struggling to stay alive amid a conflict of extraordinary brutality. Ranging across the Eastern Mediterranean and far beyond, he explores the central place of the struggle in the making of Romanticism and a new kind of politics that had volunteers flocking from across Europe to die in support of the Greeks. A story of how statesmen came to terms with an even more powerful force than themselves - the force of nationalism - this is above all a book about how people decided to see their world differently and, at an often terrible cost to themselves and their families, changed history. Mark Mazower is the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Governing the World, Hitler's Empire and The Balkans: A Short History, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History, among other books. He lives in New York City. Thomas Kingston is currently a Huayu Enrichment Scholar, studying Mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan University, as he finds himself in post MPhil and pre PhD limbo. He holds an MA in Pacific Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London and an MPhil in Philosophy from Renmin University of China. His research interests focus on the political and intellectual histories of nationalism(s), imaginaries and colonialism in the East and Southeast Asian context.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Katja Praznik, "Art Work: Invisible Labour and the Legacy of Yugoslav Socialism" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 60:48

    In Art Work: Invisible Labour and the Legacy of Yugoslav Socialism (U Toronto Press, 2021), Katja Praznik counters the Western understanding of art – as a passion for self-expression and an activity done out of love – and instead builds a case for understanding art as a form of invisible labour. Focusing on the experiences of art workers and the history of labour regulation in the arts in socialist Yugoslavia, Praznik unpacks the contradiction at the heart of artistic production, and shines a light on how the economic reality of creative work has often been obscured by the mystification of artistic endeavour. Drawing on Marxist-feminist analysis, the book demonstrates the value of recognising that artistic labour is ultimately a category of work. In this way, Praznik offers a strategic framework for enhancing our understanding of the struggle for equity in the world of institutionalised art production. Katja Praznik is Associate Professor within the Arts Management Program at the University at Buffalo. Iva Glisic is a historian and art historian specialising in modern Russia and the Balkans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Yuri Kostenko, "Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History" (HURI, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 31:16

    Yuri Kostenko's Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2020) is a meticulous account of how the Ukrainian government made a decision in the 1990s to give up the nuclear status. The book includes unique documents from the private archive, which Yuri Kostenko shares with the readers. Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament provides not only an account of nuclear weapons elimination in Ukraine, but also offers a broader picture of the political environment in which Ukraine found itself after the fall of the USSR. What political players participated in the construction of the newly formed independent state? What challenges did the country face? In addition to this retrospective approach, the book also provides insights into the present moment, particularly in terms of the ongoing armed conflict initiated by Russia in 2014. Yuri Kostenko mentions that the occupation of the Crimea and the subsequent Russian military aggression against Ukraine were not a surprise to him. The book engages with the consequences of the nuclear disarmament and prompts the readers to draw parallels between the decisions that were made in the 1990s and the current international position that was created for Ukraine.  Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Julia E. Ault, "Saving Nature Under Socialism: Transnational Environmentalism in East Germany, 1968-1990" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 54:42

    When East Germany collapsed in 1989-1990, outside observers were shocked to learn the extent of environmental devastation that existed there. The communist dictatorship, however, had sought to confront environmental issues since at least the 1960s. Through an analysis of official and oppositional sources, Saving Nature Under Socialism: Transnational Environmentalism in East Germany, 1968-1990 (Cambridge UP, 2021) complicates attitudes toward the environment in East Germany by tracing both domestic and transnational engagement with nature and pollution. The communist dictatorship limited opportunities for protest, so officials and activists looked abroad to countries such as Poland and West Germany for inspiration and support. Julia Ault outlines the evolution of environmental policy and protest in East Germany and shows how East Germans responded to local degradation as well as to an international moment of environmental reckoning in the 1970s and 1980s. The example of East Germany thus challenges and broadens our understanding of the 'greening' of post-war Europe, and illuminates a larger, central European understanding of connection across the Iron Curtain. Julie Ault is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Utah. She completed her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 before joining the faculty at Utah. She is currently a faculty fellow at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center with the goal of developing her second book project, tentatively entitled Solidarity & Socialist Riches: East German Diplomacy, Environment & Technology, 1949-1989. Her research interests include the environment, transnational networks, social movements, socialism, and the Cold War. Leslie Waters is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso and author of Borders on the Move: Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938-1948 (University of Rochester, 2020). Email her at lwaters@utep.edu or tweet to @leslieh2Os. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Andrea Gondos, "Kabbalah in Print: The Study and Popularization of Jewish Mysticism in Early Modernity" (SUNY Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 50:51

    Long before Kabbalah books lined multiple books shelves in bookstores, Jewish educators in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thought of copious ways of making Kabbalah more accessible for readers who were not acquainted with this lore. The book, Kabbalah in Print: The Study and Popularization of Jewish Mysticism in Early Modernity (SUNY Press, 2020), introduces the reader to an early seventeenth-century rabbi, Yissachar Baer, who lived and worked in Prague. Each of his four works seeks to illuminate a different facet of the Zohar (Book of Splendour), the medieval classic of kabbalistic speculation. His goal was to simplify the language of the Zohar as well as to assemble its halakhic teachings so Jews could enrich their daily observance of the commandments with the corresponding mystical explanation. He also wrote a short introduction to the study of Kabbalah and organized brief excerpts of the Zohar into an anthology. His works were important mediators of the Zohar and Kabbalah to Jewish and Christian readers alike. Andrea Gondos is an Emmy Noether post-doctoral fellow at Freie Universität (Berlin) where her current research centers on women's health and healing as discussed in early modern Jewish recipe books of magic and practical Kabbalah Her next book project will examine how the female body and its reproductive powers constituted a unique epistemological space for ba'alei shem (Jewish wonder-working healers) where knowledge concerning creation and regeneration could be accessed and controlled. Prior to joining the Emmy Noether research group, she held post-doctoral positions at Tel Aviv University and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She was also a fellow at the Katz Centre of Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Jan Rybak, "Everyday Zionism in East-Central Europe: Nation-Building in War and Revolution, 1914-1920" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 82:18

    Jan Rybak's Everyday Zionism in East-Central Europe: Nation-Building in War and Revolution, 1914-1920 (Oxford UP, 2021) examines Zionist activism in East-Central Europe during the years of war, occupation, revolution, the collapse of empires, and the formation of nation states in the years 1914 to 1920. Against the backdrop of the Great War—its brutal aftermath and consequent violence—the day-to-day encounters between Zionist activists and the Jewish communities in the region gave the movement credibility, allowed it to win support and to establish itself as a leading force in Jewish political and social life for decades to come. Through activists' efforts, Zionism came to mean something new: rather than being concerned with debates over Jewish nationhood and pioneering efforts in Palestine, it came to be about aiding starving populations, organizing soup-kitchens, establishing orphanages, schools, kindergartens, and hospitals, negotiating with the authorities, and leading self-defence against pogroms. Through this engagement Zionism evolved into a mass movement that attracted and inspired tens of thousands of Jews throughout the region. Everyday Zionism approaches the major European events of the period from the dual perspectives of Jewish communities and the Zionist activists on the ground, demonstrating how war, revolution, empire, and nation held very different meanings for people, depending on their local circumstances. Based on extensive archival research, the study shows how during the war and its aftermath East-Central Europe saw a large-scale nation-building project by Zionist activists who fought for and led their communities to shape for them a national future. Avery Weinman is a PhD student in History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She researches Jewish history in the modern Middle East and North Africa, with emphasis on Sephardi and Mizrahi radicals in British Mandatory Palestine. She can be reached at averyweinman@ucla.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Machteld Venken, "Peripheries at the Centre: Borderland Schooling in Interwar Europe" (Berghahn Books, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 62:06

    Following the Treaty of Versailles, European nation-states were faced with the challenge of instilling national loyalty in their new borderlands, in which fellow citizens often differed dramatically from one another along religious, linguistic, cultural, or ethnic lines. Peripheries at the Centre: Borderland Schooling in Interwar Europe (Berghahn Books, 2021) compares the experiences of schooling in Upper Silesia in Poland and Eupen, Sankt Vith, and Malmedy in Belgium — border regions detached from the German Empire after the First World War. It demonstrates how newly configured countries envisioned borderland schools and language learning as tools for realizing the imagined peaceful Europe that underscored the political geography of the interwar period. Jill Massino is a scholar of modern Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, gender, and everyday life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Serhii Plokhy, "The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present" (HURI, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 55:25

    Serhii Plokhy's The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus', the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Meni Even-Israel, "The Steinsaltz Tanya V3: Sha'ar Hayihud Veha'emuna and Iggeret Hateshuva" (Maggid, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 44:35

    The Tanya, a hugely influential 18thcentury work of Hasidic philosophy and spirituality, is at the foundation of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, indeed, written by the movement's founder, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812). Join us as we discuss volume 3 of The Steinsaltz Tanya, featuring the late Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz's translation and commentary of two self-contained sections of the Tanya: Sha'ar HaYihud VeHa'emuna or ‘The Gate of Unity and Faith,' and Iggeret HaTeshuvaor or ‘Letter on Repentance.' Rabbi Meni Even-Israel serves as the Executive Director of the Steinsaltz Center, which oversees the teachings and publications of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, and has recently put out the app, Steinsaltz Daily Study. Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus (Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Emily Greble, "Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 56:38

    Dr. Emily Greble, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, is the author of Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2021). Focusing on the Muslim inhabitants of the Austro-Hungarian Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and later Yugoslavia, as they repeatedly adjusted to shifting borders and modern state building projects between the 1870s and the 1940s, Dr. Greble shows how Ottoman political, legal, economic, and social legacies shaped post Ottoman successor states, and how ordinary Balkan Muslims understood, negotiated, and reworked the rapidly changing ideological landscapes into which the late nineteenth century had thrown them. The book forcefully argues that modern European constructs of law, national minority, and public education developed in a distinct Christian context. By recovering the Balkan Muslims' struggle to define the role of Islam in their new, nationalizing states and societies, the book sheds new light on the historical dynamics of modern citizenship and multiculturalism, but also illuminates Muslims' oft overlooked agency in the making of modern Europe. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Jay Rubenstein, “Apocalypse Then: The First Crusade” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 113:01

    Apocalypse Then: The First Crusade is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Jay Rubenstein, Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Premodern World at the University of Southern California, and provides us with fascinating insights into medieval society. How did the First Crusade happen? What could have suddenly caused tens of thousands of knights, commoners and even nuns at the end of the 11th century to leave their normal lives behind and trek thousands of miles across hostile territory in an unprecedented vicious and bloody quest to wrest Jerusalem from its occupying powers? Jay Rubenstein, historian of the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual worlds of Europe in the Middle Ages, carefully explores those questions based on his extensive research while discussing the Apocalypse: the crusaders' sincere belief that the end of the world was approaching and their opportunity to participate in the last stage of the divine plan. Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Eunice Blavascunas, "Foresters, Borders, and Bark Beetles: The Future of Europe's Last Primeval Forest" (Indiana UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 59:37

    In Foresters, Borders, and Bark Beetles: The Future of Europe's Last Primeval Forest (Indiana University Press, 2020), Eunice Blavascunas provides an intimate ethnographic account of Białowieża, Europe's last primeval forest. At Poland's easternmost border with Belarus, the deep past of ancient oaks, woodland bison, and thousands of species of insects and fungi collides with authoritarian and communist histories. Foresters, biologists, environmentalists, and locals project the ancient Białowieża Forest as a series of competing icons in struggles over memory, land, and economy, which are also struggles about whether to log or preserve the woodland; whether and how to celebrate the mixed ethnic Polish/Belarusian peasant past; and whether to align this eastern outpost with ultra-right Polish politics, neighboring Belarus, or the European Union. Drawing on more than twenty years of research, Blavascunas untangles complex conflicts between protection and use by examining which forest pasts are celebrated, which fester, and which have been altered in the tumultuous decades following the collapse of communism. Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Catholics on the Barricades (Yale, 2018) and editor, among others, of Political Exile in the Global Twentieth Century (with Wolfram Kaiser). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Leonidas Mylonakis, "Piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Maritime Marauders in the Greek and Ottoman Aegean" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 35:45

    Dr. Leonidas Mylonakis (PhD in History from the University of California, San Diego) is the author of Piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Maritime Marauders in the Greek and Ottoman Aegean (Bloomsbury, 2021). This captivating book is based on rich sets of Ottoman, Greek, and other archival sources. Dr. Mylonakis shows that far from ending with the introduction of European powers to the region around the year 1830, Aegean piracy continued unabated into the twentieth century. The book considers how changes in global economic patterns, imperial power struggles, ecological phenomena, shifting maritime trade routes, revisions in international maritime law can explain the fluctuations in violence at sea. Finally, Dr. Mylonakis concludes that pirates' place in state-building processes changed only around 1900, as modern states reevaluated the role of irregular warfare. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Ivor Sokolić, "International Courts and Mass Atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 66:26

    In his new book International Courts and Mass atrocity: Narratives of War and Justice in Croatia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) Ivor Sokolić explores the effects of international and national transitional justice in Croatia, and in particular the consequences of the work of the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the ICTY. Sokolić casts a critical analytical gaze on how and why universal human rights norms become distorted or undermined when they are filtered through national and local perceptions and narratives. Based on extensive research involving focus groups in Croatia, Sokolić's book marks an innovative approach to exploring the limitations of transitional justice and reconciliation in a post-conflict environment. Ivor Sokolić is a lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Christian Axboe Nielsen is associate professor of history and human security at Aarhus University in Denmark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Josiah Ober, “Democratic Lessons: What the Greeks Can Teach Us” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 127:31

    Democratic Lessons: What the Greeks Can Teach Us is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Josiah Ober, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Professor in Honor of Constantine Mitsotakis Professor of Political Science and Classics at Stanford University. This extensive conversation includes topics such as the serendipitous factors that led him to study the classical world, the insights that examining rhetoric provide about ancient Athenian society, and how social media might help us fruitfully recreate aspects of the past. Prof. Ober discusses his insights that the ancient Athenians didn't just happen to stumble upon the idea of democracy—they somehow managed to make it work in practice for the better part of 200 years, all the while facing many of the same divisive societal pressures that we are currently grappling with. Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Eliyana R. Adler, "Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 63:34

    Between 1940 and 1946, thousands of Jewish refugees from Poland lived and toiled in the harsh Soviet interior. They endured hard labor, bitter cold, and extreme deprivation. But out of reach of the Nazis, they escaped the fate of millions of their coreligionists in the Holocaust. In Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2020), Eliyana Adler provides the first comprehensive account in English of their experiences. Eliyana Adler is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Gábor Ágoston, "The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe" (Princeton UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 149:30

    The image of the Ottoman Turks and their interaction with the Christian West, has undergone many changes in the past: from William Gladstone's famous comment that: “[The Turks] one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I hope, clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned.” To the more recent revisionist views of the 'cultural exchange' school, who de-emphasize the military conquest, endemic violence and proto-ethnic cleansing that were in fact part and parcel of Ottoman rule in the Balkans and elsewhere. And, instead emphasize cultural interaction between the Christian West and the Muslim East.  In his new book The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe (Princeton UP, 2021), Ottoman specialist, Professor Gabor Agoston, of Georgetown University, goes beyond both of the above schools, in a post-revisionist treatment which while not ignoring some aspects of the 'cultural exchange' school, retains the correct emphasize on Ottoman Turk policies of military conquest, violence and expansionism in the Balkans and elsewhere. In a treatment which depends upon rich stream of research in Ottoman Turkish archives as well as elsewhere, Professor Agoston provides the reader with an in depth analysis of the military structure that made the Ottoman Turks one of the great, military and imperial powers of the 16th and 17th centuries. And why that power's failure to adapt, eventually resulted in its long decline and eventual fall. In short, Professor Agoston's treatment is a splendid work, aimed at both the academic and the lay educated audience. A sheet delight to read. Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House's International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    John-Paul Himka, "Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust: OUN and UPA's Participation in the Destruction of Ukrainian Jewry, 1941-1944" (Ibidem Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 60:39

    One quarter of all Holocaust victims lived on the territory that now forms Ukraine, yet the Holocaust there has not received due attention. John-Paul Himka's Ukrainian Nationalists and the Holocaust: OUN and UPA's Participation in the Destruction of Ukrainian Jewry, 1941-1944 (Ibidem Press, 2021) delineates the participation of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its armed force, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainska povstanska armiia--UPA), in the destruction of the Jewish population of Ukraine under German occupation in 1941-44. The extent of OUN's and UPA's culpability in the Holocaust has been a controversial issue in Ukraine and within the Ukrainian diaspora as well as in Jewish communities and Israel. Occasionally, the controversy has broken into the press of North America, the EU, and Israel. Triangulating sources from Jewish survivors, Soviet investigations, German documentation, documents produced by OUN itself, and memoirs of OUN activists, it has been possible to establish that: OUN militias were key actors in the anti-Jewish violence of summer 1941; OUN recruited for and infiltrated police formations that provided indispensable manpower for the Germans' mobile killing units; and in 1943, thousands of these policemen deserted from German service to join the OUN-led nationalist insurgency, during which UPA killed Jews who had managed to survive the major liquidations of 1942. Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Jeffrey Veidlinger, "In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust" (Metropolitan Books, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 54:09

    Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true. Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems. In riveting prose, In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust (Metropolitan Books, 2021) repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century. Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of the award-winning books, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine, The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage, and Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire. He is the chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a former vice-president of the Association for Jewish Studies. Leslie Waters is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso and author of Borders on the Move: Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938-1948 (University of Rochester, 2020). Email her at lwaters@utep.edu or tweet to @leslieh2Os. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Rano Turaeva and Rustamjon Urinboyev, "Labour, Mobility and Informal Practices in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe" (Routledge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 53:22

    In Labour, Mobility and Informal Practices in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2021), Dr. Turaeva and Dr. Urinboyev have brought together a number of studies which explore the daily survival strategies of people within the context of failed states, flourishing informal economies, legal uncertainty, increased mobility, and globalization. As they show, many people who are forced by the circumstances to be innovative and transnational, have found their niches outside formal processes and structures. The book provides a thorough theoretical introduction to the link between labour mobility and informality and comprises convincing case studies from a wide range of post-socialist countries. Overall, it highlights the importance of trust, transnational networks, and digital technologies in settings where the rules governing economic and social activities of mobile workers are often unclear and flexible. Finally, the book shows how many of the processes surrounding labor, mobility, and informality in Russia and Central Asia shared similarities with broader global trends. Nicholas Seay is a PhD student at Ohio State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Olesya Khromeychuk, "A Loss: The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister" (Ibidem, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 61:30

    This book is the story of one death among many in the war in eastern Ukraine. Its author is a historian of war whose brother was killed at the frontline in 2017 while serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Olesya Khromeychuk takes the point of view of a civilian and a woman, perspectives that tend to be neglected in war narratives, and focuses on the stories that play out far away from the warzone. Through a combination of personal memoir and essay, Khromeychuk attempts to help her readers understand the private experience of this still ongoing but almost forgotten war in the heart of Europe and the private experience of war as such. A Loss: The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister (Ibidem, 2021) will resonate with anyone battling with grief and the shock of the sudden loss of a loved one. Dr. Olesya Khromeychuk is a historian and writer. She received her PhD in History from University College London. She has taught the history of East-Central Europe at the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of East Anglia, and King's College London. She is author of A Loss. The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister (Stuttgart: ibidem, forthcoming) and ‘Undetermined' Ukrainians. Post-War Narratives of the Waffen SS ‘Galicia' Division (Peter Lang, 2013). She is currently the Director of the Ukrainian Institute London. Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Patrice M. Dabrowski, "The Carpathians: Discovering the Highlands of Poland and Ukraine" (Northern Illinois UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 56:56

    Patrice M. Dabrowski's book The Carpathians: Discovering the Highlands of Poland and Ukraine (Northern Illinois UP, 2021) tells story of how the Tatras, Eastern Carpathians, and Bieszczady Mountains went from being terra incognita to becoming the popular tourist destinations they are today. It is a story of the encounter of Polish and Ukrainian lowlanders with the wild, sublime highlands and with the indigenous highlanders--Górale, Hutsuls, Boikos, and Lemkos--and how these peoples were incorporated into a national narrative as the territories were transformed into a native/national landscape. The set of microhistories in this book occur from about 1860 to 1980, a time in which nations and states concerned themselves with the frontier at the edge. Discoverers not only became enthralled with what were perceived as their own highlands but also availed themselves of the mountains as places to work out answers to the burning questions of the day. Each discovery led to a surge in mountain tourism and interest in the mountains and their indigenous highlanders. Although these mountains, essentially a continuation of the Alps, are Central and Eastern Europe's most prominent physical feature, politically they are peripheral. The Carpathians is the first book to deal with the northern slopes in such a way, showing how these discoveries had a direct impact on the various nation-building, state-building, and modernization projects. Dabrowski's history incorporates a unique blend of environmental history, borderlands studies, and the history of tourism and leisure. Patrice M. Dabrowski has taught and worked at Harvard, Brown, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Vienna. She is currently an associate of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA), and editor of H-Poland. Dr. Dabrowski is the author of three books: Commemorations and the Shaping of Modern Poland (2004), Poland: The First Thousand Years (2014; paperback edition, 2016), and The Carpathians: Discovering the Highlands of Poland and Ukraine (release date: October 15, 2021). In 2014 she was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Maria Mavroudi, “Byzantium: Beyond the Cliché” (Open Agenda, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 148:31

    Byzantium: Beyond the Cliché is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Maria Mavroudi, Professor of History at UC Berkeley. Maria Mavroudi specializes in the study of the Byzantine Empire and this wide-ranging conversation explores her extensive research on the Byzantine Empire and how it has repeatedly been undervalued by historians despite its having been a military and cultural powerhouse for more than a millennium. Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Paul Betts, "Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe After the Second World War" (Basic Books, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 49:18

    "One of the most enduring myths of history writing about Europe in the 20th century is that the century can be neatly divided into a tale of two halves, with the first half made up of episodes of war, revolution and mass violence while the second is a tale of relative peace and prosperity”. In Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe After the Second World War (Basic Books, 2021), Paul Betts challenges this two-halves historical narrative. This modern political history of the use of the concept of “civilisation" confronts the self-image of the European Union with lessons for core debates about democracy and the rule of law today. Paul Betts is a professor of European history at Saint Antony's College, Oxford, whose work centres on modern cultural history with a special focus on 20th century Germany. His Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic (OUP Oxford, 2010) received the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History awarded by the Wiener Library. *The author's own book recommendations are: Project Europe: A History by Kiran Klaus Patel (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi (Allen Lane, 2021). Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley advisors (a division of Energy Aspects). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Ivana Bajic-Hajdukovic, "Can You Run Away from Sorrow?: Mothers Left Behind in 1990s Belgrade" (Indiana UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 61:31

    How does emigration affect those left behind? The fall of Yugoslavia in the 1990s led citizens to look for a better, more stable life elsewhere. For the older generations, however, this wasn't an option. In this powerful and moving work, Ivana Bajic-Hajdukovic reveals the impact that waves of emigration from Serbia had on family relationships and, in particular, on elderly mothers who stayed. With nowhere to go, and any savings given to their children to help establish new lives, these seniors faced the crumbling country, waves of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO bombing, the failing economy, and the trial and ouster of Slobodan Milosevic. Can You Run Away from Sorrow?: Mothers Left Behind in 1990s Belgrade (Indiana UP, 2020) poignantly depicts the intimacy of family relationships sustained through these turbulent times in Serbia and through the next generation's search for a new life. Bajic-Hajdukovic explores transformations in family intimacy during everyday life practices-in people's homes, in their food and cooking practices, in their childcare, and even in remittances and the exchange of gifts. "Can You Run Away from Sorrow?" illustrates not only the tremendous sacrifice of parents, but also their profound sense of loss-of their families, their country, their stability and dignity, and most importantly, of their own identity and hope for what they thought their future would be. Anna Domdey, M.A., studied Cultural Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Goettingen and is currently doing professional training in the field of museology, but she still likes to engage with compelling anthropological research. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Samuel Foster, "Yugoslavia in the British Imagination: Peace, War and Peasants Before Tito" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 54:29

    Despite Britain's entering the 20th century as the dominant world power, its public discourses were imbued with cultural pessimism and rising social anxiety. Samuel Foster is a Visiting Academic at the University of East Anglia. His first monograph, Yugoslavia in the British Imagination: Peace, War and Peasants before Tito (Bloomsbury, 2021), explores how this changing domestic climate shaped perceptions of other cultures, and Britain's relationship to them, focusing on those Balkan territories that formed the first Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1941. The book examines these connections and demonstrates how the popular image of the region's peasantry evolved from that of foreign 'Other' to historical victim - suffering at the hand of modernity's worst excesses and symbolizing Britain's perceived decline. This coincided with an emerging moralistic sense of British identity that manifested itself during the First World War. Consequently, Yugoslavia was legitimized as the solution to peasant victimization and, as Foster's nuanced analysis reveals, enabled Britain's imagined (and self-promoted) revival as civilization's moral arbiter. Drawing on a range of previously unexplored archival sources, this compelling transnational analysis is an important contribution to the study of British social history and the nature of statehood in the modern Balkans. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

    Vladislav Davidzon, "From Odessa with Love: Political and Literary Essays in Post-Soviet Ukraine" ( Academica Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 58:16

    The Tashkent-born Russian-American literary critic, editor, essayist, and journalist Vladislav Davidzon has been covering post-Soviet Ukraine for the past ten years, a tumultuous time for that country and the surrounding world. The 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” heralded a tremendous transformation of Ukrainian politics and society that has continued to ripple and reverberate throughout the world. These unprecedented events also wrought a remarkable cultural revolution in Ukraine itself. In late 2015, a year and a half after the 2014 Revolution swept away the presidency of the Moscow-leaning kleptocratic President Viktor Yanukovich, Davidzon and his wife founded a literary journal, The Odessa Review, focusing on newly emergent trends in film, literature, painting, design, and fashion. The journal became an East European cultural institution, publishing outstanding writers in the region and beyond. From his vantage point as a journalist and editor, Davidzon came to observe events and know many of the leading figures in Ukrainian politics and culture, and to write about them for a Western audience. Davidzon later found himself in the center of world events as he became a United States government witness in the Ukraine scandal that shook the presidency of Donald Trump. From Odessa with Love: Political and Literary Essays in Post-Soviet Ukraine (Academica Press, 2020) tells the real story of what happened in Ukraine from the keen and resilient perspective of an observer at its center Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

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