This article examines the impact of social and political factors on the spiritual transformation of society. Analysing sources and field research, the study aims to present an objective picture of the spiritual and mental transformation of the Uzbek people based on the oral history method of the 1920-1930s. Using the integration method, the author seeks to explain historic facts through the prism of philosophical reflection. At the same time, the research provides an overview on the processes of self-identification and integration, as well as on the development of state policies, in post-Soviet countries.
Shahnoza O. Madaeva
Transformation from Village to Suburban Town
Mary Elaine Hegland
Anthropological participant observation, in-depth, open-ended interviewing and oral history reveal aspects of social change and modernisation that have taken place in Aliabad, Iran, over more than half a century. These developments have transpired in interplay with economic, political and cultural processes. As a result of economic transformation from sharecropping and trading to urban-style jobs, and due to outside influences as a consequence of advances in transportation, communication, education and travel, villagers have been able to make other choices. Through bottom-up social and political change, relationships in all areas of life have become less authoritarian and hierarchical and more egalitarian and subject to negotiation and individuation.
Gender Relations in German History: Power, Agency and Experience from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century edited by Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Harvey
Divided Memory. The Nazi Past in the Two Germanies by Jeffrey Herf
Embattled Selves: An Investigation into the Nature of Identity through Oral Histories of Holocaust Survivors by Kenneth Jacobson
The Grand Experiment: Debating Shock Therapy, Transition Theory, and the East German Experience by Andreas Pickel and Helmut Wiesenthal
Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State by Eric D. Weitz
Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison edited by Ian Kershaw and Moshe Lewin
An Oral History of the Muleteers of Zhaozhou
Ma Jianxiong and Ma Cunzhao
Mule caravans established a network across physical, political, and ethnic boundaries that integrated Southwest China, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. This article is a first exploration of this little-known mobile network. Based mainly on oral history, it focuses on the mule caravans based in Zhaozhou in western Yunnan from the late Qing to the 1940s, when the first motor roads were constructed. The investigation assembles horse and mule technologies and trade organization in detail in order to reconstruct the role and standing of transporters and their networks in local society, in the regional setting, in a volatile political environment, and in the face of challenging natural conditions.
David Orr, Holly Eva Ryan, and André Alias Mazawi
Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. Seth M. Holmes, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013, ISBN: 9780520275140, 264 pp., Pb. £19.95.
Displaced: The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement. Olivia Bennett and Christopher McDowell, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (Studies in Oral History series), 2012, ISBN: 978-0-230-11786-0, 231 pp. Hb. $95 (U.S.) Pb. $28 (U.S.).
Gendered Paradoxes: Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress. Fida J. Adely, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-00690-1 (cloth), 978-0-226-00691-8 (paper), ix + 228 pp.
Local Society and Train Transport in Zhejiang Province in the 1930s
The Hangzhou-Jiangshan railway across Zhejiang province was built in the early 1930s, connecting the mountainous interior to the coastal area. The construction in the context of military strategy enjoyed high government attention and was implemented with personnel and a workforce brought into the area. Drawing on literary writings, archival documents, and oral histories, this article traces the range of attitudes, reactions, and activities among the inhabitants of rural towns and villages in the area of Quzhou and Jinhua as well as migrants who had left for cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. The name “redrake” created by locals captures attitudes of mingled apprehension in the fact that a dragon, which is always associated with water, becomes a re-creature; curiosity and excitement in the association with dragon lantern processions; and practical usefulness in the closeness to the train that is literally a “re-vehicle” in Chinese.
A Case Study on Romania's Ways of Remembering its Pronatalist Past
Taking the memory of pronatalism in contemporary Romania as a case study, this article is an attempt to view the national politics of memory of contemporary Europe with regard to its communist past from an anthropological perspective. From 1966 to 1989, the communist regime imposed extreme policies of controlled demography in Romania, as it was imputed, for 'the good of the socialist nation'. Profamily measures were developed in parallel to the banning of abortion on request and the making of contraception almost inaccessible. The social remembering of such a difficult past is still a taboo in contemporary Romanian society. This general lack of public remembering, which is still playing a role in the current situation of Romania's reproductive health, is influenced by the interrelations between the different forms of pronatalist memory. The analysis is based on oral history fieldwork conducted between 2003 and 2008, and is theoretically informed by the interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies.
In the years after the fall of communist governments in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), a flood of memoir literature began to fill bookstores around the region. Some of these books were newly written, others had been composed long ago but could not be published during the socialist period. Alongside this rush of published work, historians and anthropologists began numerous oral history projects devoted to recording ordinary people’s experiences of state socialism. This need to narrate one’s own past and capture the memories of those who witnessed the tragedies of the twentieth century continues to the present day. The turn to autobiography and personal narrative inspired the theme section in this issue of Aspasia: women’s autobiographical writing and correspondence.
British Military Travelers in the Balkans since 1992
Tens of thousands of British military personnel traveled in former Yugoslavia as peacekeepers between 1992 and 2007. The settlements where British forces established their military presence and supply chain were conceptually far from former Yugoslavia's tourist sites, but military travelers made sense of them by drawing on the commonplaces of previous travel accounts and the lessons of pre-deployment training. British military travelers constructed themselves as often frustrated helpers in Bosnia who struggled with political limitations on their activities but found satisfaction in improving socio-economic relations at the level of the immediate community. For troops, long otiose periods in a stabilizing and startlingly cheap country engendered a touristic sensibility. This article draws on published memoirs and more than fifty new oral history interviews with British peacekeepers and their Bosnian employees to illustrate how British military travelers drew on, perpetuated, and changed the patterns and representation of British travel to the Balkans.
This essay explores the history of young historians clubs in East Germany as they pursued antifascist projects from the early 1950s through the final years of communist rule. Using antifascism as an analytical tool, the author investigates students who not only accepted socialist values and prescribed historical interpretations in total or in part, but advanced them in their own right during their leisure time. Voluntary young historians clubs provided a previously unexplored window into the prevalence and relative depth of youth interest in the regime's favored heroes-communist resistance fighters. Youth interest in this theme dispels the pervading theory in some contemporary political circles that young people overwhelming rejected state-supported antifascism. The primary source base for this essay includes individual club reports, regional statistics, conference documents, and oral history interviews.