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Margaret Litvin

To my knowledge, this is the first essay collection in any language to be devoted to Arab appropriations of Shakespeare. Studies of international Shakespeare appropriation have mushroomed over the past fifteen to twenty years. Excitement began to build in the 1990s, as several lines of academic inquiry converged. Translation theorists found in Shakespeare’s plays a convenient (because widely known and prestigious) test case. Scholars in performance studies, having noted how sharply local context could influence a play’s staging and interpretation, saw a need to account for ‘intercultural’ performances of Shakespeare in various languages and locales. Marxist scholars became interested in the fetishisation of Shakespeare as a British cultural icon which, in turn, was used to confer cultural legitimacy on the project of capitalist empire-building. Scholars of postcolonial drama and literature explored how the periphery responded. The ‘new Europe’ provided another compelling set of examples. All this scholarship has developed quickly and with a great sense of urgency. Shakespeareans in many countries have contributed. By now there is a rich bibliography on Shakespeare appropriation in India, China, Japan, South Africa, Israel and many countries in Latin America and Eastern and Western Europe.

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Books for the Masses

The Amsterdam Yiddish Book Industry, 1650–1800

Shlomo Berger

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Amsterdam functioned as the European printing centre of Yiddish books. Texts in the Ashkenazi vernacular were published in the city for the benefit of the local reading public, and these books were also distributed throughout the Ashkenazi diaspora, in central and eastern Europe. Two basic guidelines directed the work of Yiddish book agents in Amsterdam: printing was considered a service to Ashkenazim and their communities: nevertheless, printing of Yiddish books also needed to be a commercially sustainable project. Therefore, books dealing with religion, tradition and didactical literature comprised the majority of the printed output. These were considered as practical (printed in Yiddish for the benefit of the masses who could not read Hebrew) and thus their production also included a commercial logic. Between circa 1650 and 1800 more than 500 Yiddish books were published, including texts in various genres. The modernization process that encompassed Jewish communities in Western Europe also signalled the downfall of Yiddish book production in Amsterdam, and the end of a period of Yiddish literature composed and published in West Yiddish, a dialect that was pushed aside by the emerging Eastern European, modern, Yiddish.

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Yiddish Tango

A Musical Genre?

Lloica Czackis

The tango was born just before the turn of the twentieth century in Buenos Aires as the resulting blend of the cultures of Italian, Spanish, French and Eastern European Jewish immigrants and Afro-Argentine rhythms. In the 1910s the tango took Western Europe by storm, soon reaching Eastern Europe. Ballrooms and cabarets featured this Latin American import; composers, Jews amongst them, started to write new tangos. Inevitably, during the Holocaust tango became part of the life of ghettos and concentration camps, where it, now in Yiddish, was once again adopted as a vehicle to express the experience of inmates and their hopes for freedom. Not only did the Nazis allow this music, they forced Lagerkapellen, the camp orchestras, to play the Tango of Death to accompany prisoners as they were marched to the gas chambers. In different and happier circumstances, Jewish musicians living in Buenos Aires and New York – many of whom were émigrés – wrote Yiddish tangos for the Yiddish theatre, musicals and Jewish revues. The mixed nature of tango probably explains why it has been continuously embraced and transformed during its extraordinary voyage around the world. Yiddish tangos are only an episode in this chronicle, an example of the Jews' tendency to adapt to the ethos of their adoptive countries and also, more generally, the mutual acceptance and fruitful interaction between peoples.

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Ruth Hatlapa and Andrei S. Markovits

There is no question that with Barack Obama the United States has a rock star as president who—behooving rock stars—is adored and admired the world over. His being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize nary a year after being elected president and barely ten months into his holding the office, testified to his global popularity rather than his actual accomplishments, which may well turn out to be unique and formidable. And it is equally evident that few—if any—American presidents were more reviled, disdained and distrusted all across the globe than George W. Bush, Obama's immediate predecessor. Indeed, the contrast between the hatred for the former and the admiration for the latter might lead to the impression that the negative attitudes towards America and Americans that was so prevalent during the Bush years have miraculously morphed into a lovefest towards the United States on the part of the global public. This paper—concentrating solely on the German case but representing a larger research project encompassing much of Western Europe—argues that love for Obama and disdain for America are not only perfectly compatible but that, in fact, the two are merely different empirical manifestations of a conceptually singular view of America. Far from being mutually exclusive, these two strains are highly congruent, indeed complementary and symbiotic with each other.

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Transfers between Media and Mobility

Automobilism, Early Cinema, and Literature, 1900-1920

Dorit Müller

The essay analyzes the interrelationship between media technologies and the development of mobility based on a concrete historical constellation—the emergence of automobilism and its representation in literature and film between 1900 and 1920. The focus lies on Western European countries and most notably on Italian and German literature as well as British, German, and French films. During that period, the portrayal of the automobile in these countries shows a dominant pattern: due to their speed, cars seem to embody a destructive power per se. This is expressed by numerous violence-related scenarios. However, the accentuation of destructive tendencies cannot only be described as a response to increased risks. Rather, they are a product of media technologies and media-specific aesthetics, too: film, establishing itself as a new media form experimenting with “dynamization“ and destruction; and literature, responding to the new visual media using dynamic language and the demolition of traditional poetic forms. Consequently, the noticeable surge in technology around 1900 created new and different types of mobility in the areas of transportation and media, influencing each other.

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Fostering peace through dialogue

The international social democratic movement and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Pentti Väänänen

The Socialist International (SI), the worldwide forum of the socialist, social democratic, and labor parties, actively looked for a solution to the Jewish-Palestinian conflict in the 1980s. At that time, the Israeli Labour Party still was the leading political force in Israel, as it had been historically since the foundation of the country. The Labour Party was also an active member of the SI. The Party’s leader, Shimon Peres, was one of its vice-presidents. At the same time, the social democratic parties were the leading political force in Western Europe. Several important European leaders, many of them presidents and prime ministers, were involved in the SI’s work. They included personalities such as Willy Brandt of Germany; former president of the SI, Francois Mitterrand of France; James Callaghan of Great Britain; Bruno Kreisky of Austria; Bettini Craxi of Italy; Felipe Gonzalez of Spain; Mario Soares of Portugal; Joop de Uyl of the Netherlands; Olof Palme of Sweden; Kalevi Sorsa of Finland; Anker Jörgensen of Denmark; and Gro Harlem Brudtland of Norway—all of whom are former vice-presidents of the SI. As a result, in the 1980s, the SI in many ways represented Europe in global affairs, despite the existence of the European Community (which did not yet have well-defined common foreign policy objectives).

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Jewish Space and the Beschneidungsdebatte in Germany

Multiculturalism, Ritual and Cultural Reproduction

Jay (Koby) Oppenheim

The concept of Jewish space, initially conceived by Diana Pinto as a unique European development, marked a critical shift in relations between Jews and non-Jews, the latter embracing a Jewish past as constitutive of their countries' own. The hoped-for European multiculturalism failed to blossom and Jewish space, in Pinto's assessment, has not born the fruit of its potential. To investigate the shortfall of Jewish space, this article examines the 2012 debate on ritual male circumcision in Germany (Beschneidungsdebatte) that drew contemporary Jewish practice into the public eye. Pinto's formulation is premised on a multicultural society that actively works to blunt intolerance, a condition whose fulfilment in contemporary Europe remains incomplete and uneven. Moreover, this attempt to extend the integration of history into memory was stymied by its lack of a living subject. While Jews constitute a long-standing minority population with a unique history in Germany, their success in establishing a shared Jewish space is tied to the broader project of tolerance and integration facing immigrant and minority groups in Western Europe.

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The Burden of History

The Defeat of Second-Wave Feminism in Greece

Margaret Poulos

The specificity of national histories shapes the priorities, tensions, and character of respective feminist movements. In the case of Greece, several waves of occupation and resistance from the Second World War to the Colonels dictatorship (1967-1974) gave rise to a broad-based and complex women's movement in the 1970s. This paper investigates the main division in the movement between (a) activists who espoused the autonomy of feminist politics in the spirit of Western European and American feminisms and (b) activists who aligned women's liberation with the projects of the Greek socialist and communist left. This article seeks to illuminate the ways in which second-wave feminism was shaped by the legacy of the Second World War when, in popular memory, the notions of freedom, justice, and equality became identified with the Greek left. While the rift enriched the women's movement, deeply entrenched beliefs in feminism as a subdivision of mainstream politics prevailed and ultimately stifled the development of an enduring contemporary feminist political culture in Greece.

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Nina Witoszek

Religion has long stood at the center of debates on the environmental crisis of late modernity. Some have portrayed it as a malade imaginaire, providing divine legitimation for human domination and predatory exploitation of natural resources; others have looked up to it as an inspirational force that is the essential condition of planetary revival. There is an ongoing battle of the books on the salience of religion in the modern world. Some trendy volumes declare that God Is Back (Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2009). Others advert to The End of Faith (Harris 2004, harp the theme of The God Delusion (Dawkins 2006), or claim that God Is Not Great (Hitchens 2007). Both sides provide ample evidence to support their adversarial claims. In much of Canada and Western Europe, where religious establishments have courted or colluded with the state, religion has come to be viewed as the enemy of liberty and modernity. Not so in the United States, where the Jeffersonian separation of religion from politics forced religious leaders to compete for the souls of the faithful—and thus to make Christianity more reconcilable with the agenda of modernity,

individualism and capitalist enterprise.

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Eugenia C. Kiesling The Legacy of the French Revolutionary Wars: The Nation-in-Arms in French Republican Memory by Alan Forrest

Holly Grout Colette’s Republic: Work, Gender, and Popular Culture in France, 1870–1914 by Patricia A. Tilburg

Laird Boswell Alsace to the Alsatians? Visions and Divisions of Alsatian Regionalism, 1870–1939 by Christopher J. Fischer

Rosemary Wakeman Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 by Jeffrey H. Jackson

Nicole Rudolph Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad by Whitney Walton

Carolyn J. Eichner Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris by Jennifer Anne Boittin

Robert Zaretsky The French Who Fought for Hitler: Memories from the Outcasts by Philippe Carrard

Paul V. Dutton Conflicts of Interest and the Future of Medicine: The United States, France, and Japan by Marc A. Rodwin

James Shields Party Competition Between Unequals: Strategies and Electoral Fortunes in Western Europe by Bonnie M. Meguid

Jonathan Laurence Secularism and State Policies Toward Religion: The United States, France and Turkey by Ahmet T. Kuru

Johanna Siméant Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France by Miriam Ticktin