Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 50 items for

Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques x
  • Refine by Access: My content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Open access

Not-Russians on TV

Class, Comedy, and the Peculiarities of East European Otherness on 2 Broke Girls

Erica L. Fraser

Abstract

This article discusses portrayals of a Ukrainian and a Polish character on the US sitcom 2 Broke Girls (2011–2017). The pilot episode reveals that the showrunners used stereotypes of Russian characters to establish different national origins for Oleg and Sophie. The show perpetuates offensive stereotypes of Slavic and postsocialist characters to elide differences from Russians but with notable distinctions—stemming from Oleg and Sophie's economic backgrounds in the struggling postsocialist economies of the 1990s. American television has produced many comedic characters from the European margins (Greek, Czech, Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian, or from invented but East European-coded lands) who were understood as chaotic but loveable. Crucially, however, they were not Russian. From the late Cold War through the 2010s, Russianness onscreen seems to consistently signal dishonesty, danger, or hopelessness for Western audiences. This suggests that while stereotypes persist, in comedy, at least, showrunners use East Europeans to support, not threaten, American characters, further othering Russianness.

Open access

The Romanovs on Contemporary American TV

Nostalgia for White Imperialism

Katharina Wiedlack

Abstract

This article analyzes the Netflix six-part docudrama The Last Czars as well as the Amazon Prime anthology drama The Romanoffs for its representations of Russian imperial history and its heritage. Using an intersectional lens, it utilizes a close watching of the TV shows to identify a nostalgia for Russia's imperial legacy as core element of both series. Embedding the findings within popular culture, the analysis further shows that the nostalgic depiction of the last Russian imperial family and the mourning of their loss has a century-long history within American media. Comparing these depictions further to recent commemorations of the last Romanovs through the exhibitions Russia My History points to the Western complicity in Russian imperialist and colonial ideology through the recent shows in liberal American media.

Free access

The Strawpeople of Russian, Eastern European, and Soviet History in English-Language TV and Film

Erica L. Fraser and Danielle C. Kinsey

Abstract

This special issue features historical scholars of imperial Russia and the Soviet Union analyzing representations of Russian and East European characters and history in contemporary Anglophone television and films, such as The Americans, Black Widow, The Great, For All Mankind, and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. They identify several tropes that shore up Anglosphere conceptions of progressiveness, liberalism, feminism, and even whiteness in ways that put pressure on geopolitics today, which some have characterized as a second Cold War. Gender and sexuality are dominant themes through which difference between the West and Eastern Europe is commonly staged onscreen. Debate emerges on whether this is a return to twentieth-century thinking or a new vision of Russian and East European otherness.

Open access

“God's Mighty Arm Makes the French Victorious”

The French Revolutionary Deists Who Believed in Miracles

Joseph Waligore

Abstract

The deists have commonly been characterized as irreligious thinkers who believed in a distant and inactive deity. This characterization of deism is undermined by the large number of French Revolutionary deists who believed that God worked miracles. Some French Revolutionary deists claimed that God continually led the French armies to victory, while others said that God worked a single miracle. After eliminating the French Revolutionaries who were following the party line when Maximilien Robespierre was in power, there were 72 French Revolutionary deists who believed God worked miracles to help the French Revolution. The French Revolutionary deists shared a common theology with the earlier deists, and many earlier deists also believed that God worked miracles. The Enlightenment deists were much more religious than commonly thought.

Open access

Sixteen “Creeds” at the Fin de Siècle

Transitioning to New Pedagogical Directions

Rosa Bruno-Jofré and Gonzalo Jover

Abstract

This article examines the pedagogic creeds published in New York and Chicago during 1896 and 1897 in The School Journal. The configuration of ideas framing the creeds reveals the dynamics of modernities and transatlantic crossings, mainly the ideas of Georg W. F. Hegel, Herbert Spencer, Friedrich Froebel, Johann Friedrich Herbart, and Wilhelm Wundt and their contextual adaptation. The creeds are analyzed at the interplay of evolutionism and its versions, including Lamarckianism, developments in psychology, the intersection of Protestantism, and the gendered and racial ordering of society. The child study movement and theories of recapitulation also had a presence. The creeds provide a picture of the ideas at the fin de siècle. They were aimed at reform with various agendas that included social reconstruction with a modernist civilizing agenda, segregationism, and residential/boarding schools for Indigenous children. John Dewey's more well-known and influential creed brought its own unique avenues through his embracement of pragmatism.

Free access

Introduction

Transatlantic Circulation of Political and Legal Actors, Ideas, and Bodies of Knowledge between Europe and America during the Twentieth Century

Emanuele Podda and Ignacio Alejandro López

This special issue features articles based on contributions to the international workshop “The Circulation of State Models and Institutional Designs between Europe and Latin America—Transatlantic Perspectives on Political and Legal History in the Twentieth Century,” which was held virtually on 26 May 2022. The event was co-organized by the research group Modernity and Society 1800–2000 at the History Department, KU Leuven, and the School of Law and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick. The initiative was also sponsored by the Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho (INHIDE), a prestigious legal history research center based in Buenos Aires. We acknowledge the important assistance of Martin Kohlrausch and Magaly Rodriguez Garcia (KU Leuven), Ingrid de Smet (University of Warwick), and Ezequiel Abásolo and Viviana Kluger (INHIDE) in the final settlement of that event. The event was attended by prestigious legal scholars: Carlos Herrera (CY Cergy Paris Université), Peter Heyrman (KU Leuven), Elisa Speckman (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Eduardo Zimmermann (Universidad San Andrés), and Werner Thomas (KU Leuven). Several exponents from diverse institutions in Europe and Latin America also participated as contributors in a rich interdisciplinary dialogue between legal history and political history: Zakia Mestari (University of Toulouse), Luciano Aronne de Abreu (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul), María Angélica Corva (Universidad Católica Argentina), Ana Brisa Oropeza Chávez (Universidad de Anahuac-Veracruz), Janne Schreurs (KU Leuven), Agustín Parise (Maastricht University), María Rosario Polotto (Universidad Católica Argentina), Pamela Cacciavillani (Universidad de Monterrey), and Horacio García Bossio (Universidad Católica Argentina) attended the meeting.

Free access

Émigrés and Migrations during the French Revolution

Identities, Economics, Social Exchanges, and Humanitarianism

Lloyd Kramer

The French Revolution profoundly influenced many of the ideas and institutions that created the modern world. This far-reaching revolutionary upheaval drew widely on eighteenth-century Enlightenment culture to construct and spread modern ideas about human rights, republicanism, legal equality, nationalism, and the value of scientific knowledge. At the same time, France's revolutionary leaders began to create new institutions that France and other modern countries would use to develop large state bureaucracies, mass conscription armies, centralized monetary and taxation systems, nationwide legal codes and police surveillance, carefully orchestrated public rituals, and new plans for public education.

Free access

Bad Custom

The Meanings and Uses of a Legal Concept in Premodern Europe

Anthony Perron

The place and function of custom as a species of law—distinguished from custom as simply polite manners or cherished cultural traditions—has long been a source of research and debate among legal theorists and historians. One school of thought, reflecting the authority of written statute in modern jurisprudence, has relegated custom in a juridical sense to “primitive” societies, whereas proper law belongs to a world of state sovereignty. Other scholars have revisited the continuing validity of custom, including a trenchant body of work on the use (and manipulation) of custom in modern colonial regimes. At the same time, some have seen benefits in the acknowledgment of custom as a source of norms. A 2006 collection of articles, for instance, explored ways in which customary law might serve as a better foundation for the sustainable development of natural resources. As David Bederman has written, “Custom can be a signal strength for any legal system—preliterate or literate, primitive or modern.”

Free access

Introduction

When Was Brexit? Reading Backward to the Present

Antoinette Burton

Abstract

This introductory article lays out the stakes of thinking through the temporalities of Brexit history across multiple fields of vision. It makes the case for books as one archive of Brexit subjects and feelings, and it glosses all the articles in the special issue.

Free access

Introduction

Cultural Heritages and Their Transmission

Elizabeth C. Macknight

This Spring 2021 issue of Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques is about cultural heritages and their transmission, focusing on the period from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present. An important stimulus for the creation of the issue was the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) in 2018. There were four main themes for the EYCH: protection, engagement, sustainability, and innovation. National coordinators and local organizers of events and initiatives across the continent adopted the unifying slogan “Our Heritage. Where the past meets the future.” The articles brought together here serve as an invitation to readers to continue reflecting on subjects and questions that were at the heart of planning for and supporting public participation in EYCH 2018. The European Year of Cultural Heritage provided myriad opportunities to discover the roles played by individuals and groups in the preservation and valorization of natural sites and landscapes, public monuments, cultural institutions, artifacts, digital resources, and intangible cultural heritage. It highlighted educational initiatives to raise awareness of multiple, diverse cultural heritages within communities and to promote intercultural dialogue. It pushed governments and nongovernmental organizations to address matters of financial investment, legal accountability, partnership management, and the shaping of policies on conservation and ownership rights. It challenged professional historians as well as archivists, librarians, archeologists, conservators, and curators to think hard about widening access and about ways of integrating local, national, and international perspectives when communicating with audiences about surviving traces of the past.