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Howard Cooper

Forty years later, I am asked – as a rabbi, a psychotherapist and, I suppose, as a longstanding (and, I now realise, embarrassingly frequent) contributor to the journal – to offer an overview of the way in which the theme of Judaism and Psychotherapy has been reflected within its pages over these years. And as I look back, imagining that this topic emerged only during the 1980s when three editions of the journal were dedicated to it, I open up again that first edition, from the summer of 1966, and read how Leslie Shepard, in his text Religion and the Affluent Society, is already writing about the shadow side of 'modern society' where 'the sweets have lost their flavour. There is fear, loneliness, frustration, emptiness, bitterness and despair. The psychoanalyst hears more of these things that the priest …' (Vol. 1, No. 1, p.13).

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Michael Hilton

Since the mid-1980s, interfaith issues have been arguably the major theme of European Judaism. Public events reflected in these pages have been commented on from an interfaith perspective. President Ronald Reagan's visit to German war graves in 1985 provoked a bitter Jewish-Christian argument about forgiveness after the Holocaust. The humanitarian crisis in Bosnia in 1993, the massacre in Hebron in 1994, Rabin's assassination in 1996, the millennium and the 9/11 terrorist attacks all provoked much comment. The back issues of this journal must be regarded as a major resource for the modern history of dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Few of the articles were written specially; nearly all are conference papers, recorded speeches or reprinted from other publications. In spite of that, the editors have managed to capture all the big events and issues.

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Michael Williams

Memory is a curious thing, as we all know. Revisiting the past even physically, in my case especially physically, can have unexpected results. For me, it has often been a question of 'shrinkage' for want of a better word. Places that seemed in one's youth vast, impressive, overwhelming seem so much smaller. Revisiting Oxford in the 1980s for example, after a period of perhaps fifteen years absence, I was so struck, not only by the 'Disneyland' that the town had become (ten times worse since then), but by how far less physically impressive the vast Shangri-la of my youthful imagination had become to me: beautiful, yes – but no Rome or Versailles. Living in Paris – a majestic city – whatever its other drawbacks and travelling fairly widely in the world had no doubt - unconsciously – put the 'dreaming spires' of my memory into architectural perspective.

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Richard Vokes

This article responds to Michael Herzfeld's call for anthropologists to develop a new form of 'reflexive comparison' by imaginatively casting the peoples of the African Great Lakes as part of Melanesia. Specifically, it explores how notions of personhood and sociality in this African setting might be understood through interpretative approaches developed in the New Melanesian Ethnography of the 1970s and 1980s. It finds that this sort of thought experiment yields key insights by focusing analytical attention upon concepts of shared vital substances, upon practices intended to control the flow of these substances, and upon the agency of non-human actors (especially cattle) in shaping these processes. An examination of these features suggests new perspectives on a range of ethnographic 'problems', from condom use to Rwanda's ubuhake cattle exchange.

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History from Down Under

E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class and Australia

Ann Curthoys

E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class was influential in Australia as it was throughout the Anglophone world. The focus of interest changed over time, starting with the fate of those of The Making's radical protesters who were transported to the Australian colonies, and then focusing on questions of class formation and the relationship between agency and structure. The peak of influence was in the 1980s, especially in the rising field of social history, and a little later in the burgeoning field of cultural history. Yet The Making's own limitations on questions of gender, race, and colonialism meant that feminist and indigenous histories, which were transforming the discipline, engaged with it only indirectly. In recent years, as the turn to transnational, imperial, and Indigenous histories has taken hold, Thompson's influence has somewhat declined.

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Aaron Eckstaedt

Klezmer Music and Yiddish Song in post-war Germany developed in three phases, which are clearly divided through repertoire and style of interpretation: Yiddish song from the 1960s to the 1980s was followed by Klezmer as instrumental music, until Klezmer as World Music became part of the intercultural scene. This corresponds with the way the audience and the musicians attribute meaning to the music: Protest against the fathers generation and coping with the past by singing and hearing Yiddish song in both parts of then divided Germany was followed by the liberation of the 'unpolitical' and cheerful Klezmer as a meeting with the missing Jewish reality in reunited Germany. With Klezmer making up only one facet of the rich multicultural musical scene of Tango, Salsa, Turkish Music and many others, it is suddenly turning into something it has not been in Germany for some hundred years: a symbol of Jewish identity.

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The Sibirica Editorial Team

This second issue of volume 7 marks the completion of three volumes of Sibirica under the current editorship and with our publisher, Berghahn Books. We have been working to improve the content and delivery of the journal, organizing several issues around special themes, often as the result of interdisciplinary conferences related to the region. Our partnership with Berghahn has been great from the start and is only gaining strength. They have been expanding the electronic infrastructure for web access to subscribers, and Sibirica is accessible through Ingenta via links on Berghahn’s own website. We are in the process of digitizing all the back issues of Sibirica, all the way to its first incarnation as photocopied typescripts in the 1980s. This will give subscribers and others easy access to important scholarly material on Siberian studies.

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Judith Inggs

This article explores the development of girl characters in works for children and young adults during Perestroika. First, it examines established heroines from the Soviet era, such as Elli in Volkov's Volshebnik izumrudnogo goroda [The wizard of the emerald city], and then goes on to examine the depiction of female protagonists and characters in works written during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The conclusion is that although there was a clear demand for new heroines and a new role model for girls, writers did not succeed in providing strong, independent female characters with a sense of agency. Instead, the Soviet preference for male protagonists continued, with females often being portrayed stereotypically as weak and ineffectual.

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The Body in Motion

Communism and Epistemology in Iva Pekárková's Novel Truck Stop Rainbows

Simona Fojtová

Drawing on feminist conceptualisations of the body, this essay analyses Iva Pekárková’s novel, Truck Stop Rainbows (published as Péra a Perutě [Feathers and wings] in 1989, translated into English in 1992), to show how this contemporary Czech writer challenges the metaphor of the female body as a container through which communist propaganda in Czechoslovakia offi cially sanctioned and established a normative female identity in maternal, economic and civic functions. I seek to demonstrate how Fialka, the female protagonist who lives under the Czechoslovak communist regime of the 1980s, critiques discursive and epistemic formations that conceptualised the female body as a vessel for reproduction and labour and denied the female body the authority to function as a source of knowledge. Striving to spotlight the body in its cognitive role, I argue for an understanding of the body not as an instrument of knowledge or a neutral medium that enables knowledge production but, rather, as a condition of the possibility of knowing.

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Hilary Callan and Brian Street

The article addresses the position of anthropology in new educational contexts, considering anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education. While some transatlantic comparisons are drawn, the emphasis is on developments within the U.K. These are treated historically, using the Royal Anthropological Institute's experience in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education from the 1980s to the present as an extended case-study. The work done by the RAI's Education Committee to design and introduce a new GCE A-level in anthropology, culminating in its successful accreditation by the national regulator, is recounted in the style of 'rich ethnography'. A case is made for the potential of academic associations to create the alliances across sectors that are needed in this context; and conclusions are tentatively drawn regarding the implications of these initiatives for the future of the discipline and its public engagement.