The years following the fall of the Berlin Wall saw a wave of interest in a far away nation now largely independent of Soviet influence: Cuba. The three documentary fims that this article treats are a part of this "Cuba wave." Yet, as I argue here, more than simply tales of the Caribbean, Buena Vista Social Club by Wim Wenders and Havanna mi amor and Heirate mich! by Uli Gaulke and Jeannette Eggert are ciphers for competing and unpopular discourses surrounding German (re)unification. As sanctioned narratives of the Germanies increasingly ossify, these films articulate obscured and agonistic visions of national identity in the Berlin Republic.
Jennifer Ruth Hosek
Dialogues with Deportation
Faced with a troubled past, national collectivities can negotiate identities through iconic figures. Prescient hero Charles de Gaulle and later Resistance martyr Jean Moulin played this role in France in the decades after World War II. More recently, other individuals from the same generation have come to the fore as exemplary actors through whom the French enact reconciliation with their nation’s wartime history. Marc Bloch, a Jew executed for his Resistance activity, has become a figure who allows French republicans to work their way out of what Henry Rousso terms the obsessive phase of the Vichy Syndrome.
In few countries has language played a greater role in constituting national identity than in modern France. French is first and foremost a political idiom, enshrined by the leaders of the Revolution and the Third Republic as the language of the Republic and the Nation. The French state promotes the use of French at home and throughout the world through an array of government institutions, including the Académie française, the Ministry of Culture and the agencies responsible for France’s francophonie policies.2 The French language also represents a highly charged common cultural ground marking the boundaries of French society.
zur Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte in katalanischen Schulbüchern
The Tension between Regionalism and National Identity When Interpreting and Mediating History in Catalan Textbooks
In den letzten Jahren ist in Spanien in den Medien eine heftig ausgetragene Kontroverse entbrannt über Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte an öffentlichen Schulen. Eine vergleichende Analyse von Geschichtslehrwerken (2008-2010) dreier Verlagshäuser verschiedener spanischer Regionen bestätigt die dem Beitrag vorangestellte These, dass die Darstellung und der Diskurs der spanischen Historie bewusst zum Aufbau einer nationalen katalanischen Identität eingesetzt werden. Die Divergenzen in der kulturellen bzw. geschichtlichen Perzeption werden durch einen nuancierten Sprachgebrauch, gezielte Selektion der Abbildungen und Quellen sowie strukturelle Anordnung der Schulbuchtexte sichtbar.
“All history is contemporary history,” observed Benedetto Croce. Work on the French Revolution has often proven his insight.* In today’s globalizing climate, it is worth examining French revolutionary historians’ uneven embrace of the current historiographic trend toward transnational approaches. On one hand, scholarship has been comparatively slow to take this turn for several reasons, notably the persistent belief in the centrality of the nation. The revolutionaries themselves built claims of French exceptionalism into their construction of universalism, and historians have inherited the strong sense that the Revolution held particular power and played an integral role in constructing French national identity.
Projecting False Memories
This article offers a critical exploration of social studies textbooks and allied curriculum materials used in New South Wales primary schools between 1930 and 1960, and of the way in which these texts positioned, discussed, and assessed Aboriginal Australians. With reference to European commitments to Enlightenment philosophies and social Darwinian views of race and culture, the author argues that Aboriginal peoples were essentialized via a discourse of paternalism and cultural and biological inferiority. Thus othered in narratives of Australian identity and national progress, Aboriginal Australians were ascribed a role as marginalized spectators or as a primitive and disappearing anachronism.
The 1920s Beauty Contest in France and America
This article examines the beauty contest as a cultural register for shifting definitions of femininity in the 1920s. It focuses on the photographic beauty competition, the “Miss“ pageant, and the film Prix de Beauté, to show how beauty contests in France and the United States engendered transnational debates about feminine beauty, identity, and visibility. It asks how, as valueladen cultural enterprises and as popular commercial entertainments, these events fashioned models of modern womanhood that were simultaneously respectable and risqué; national and international; ordinary and exceptional.
This article analyzes how the fundamental challenge of decolonization has resonated in history textbooks published in France since the 1960s. It therefore contextualizes textbook knowledge within different areas of society and focuses on predominant discourses that influenced history textbooks' (post)colonial representations in the period examined. These discourses encompass the crisis of Western civilization, modernization, republican integration, and the postcolonial politics of memory. The author argues that history textbooks have thus become media, as well as objects of an emerging postcolonial politics of memory that involves intense conflicts over immigration and national identity and challenges France's (post)colonial legacy in general.
The Observations of a Russian Woman Traveler (1868)
This article examines Maria F. Karlova's relatively unknown travelogue about her visit to Ottoman Macedonia and Albania in 1868. She was a sister of the prominent Slavist scholar and diplomat Alexander F. Gil'ferding and traveled with him. She appears to be the only known Russian female traveler to publish a travelogue about the Ottoman Balkans until the late 1870s. Karlova constructs her gender identity through elite lenses against three principal backdrops: the Turkish province, Europe, and Russia. She offers an example of how gender and class can be inserted into discourses about Russian identity and Russia's place in Europe's symbolic map of modernity. She also introduces gender issues into debates about Russia's political interests and Slavophile views about the Balkans. This article argues that Karlova asserts her sense of belonging to European elite culture in order to raise the issue of women's emancipation. The travelogue provides insights into the process of gender construction in Russia. The intertwined themes of gender, class, and national identity are compared to contemporaneous Victorian women's travelogues.
The Tailor and Ansty Revisited
Maryann Gialanella Valiulis
Censorship laws were introduced in the Irish Free State in 1928 and sparked immediate controversy among intellectuals, the media, and the political classes. The issue of censorship became the center of a conversation about Irish national identity. It was, in part, an assertion of independence and a conscious rejection of colonialism, an attempt to decide what stories would be told about them, what image they would portray to the world. In 1942, one text in particular sparked a renewal of the censorship controversy: Eric Cross's book, The Tailor and Ansty, which was banned because it was a realistic portrayal of Irish peasant life that was unacceptable to post-colonial Ireland, and because the author, an English folklorist, was perceived to be trying to undermine post-colonial attempts to establish a modern identity for Ireland. Thus, the application of censorship laws in Ireland can be seen as a move to free Irish self-identity from the negative portrayals of the Irish so prevalent in the colonial period.