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Migrations West to East in the Times of the Ottoman Empire

The Example of a Gypsy/Roma Group in Modern Iran

Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov

This article presents the community of the Romanies/Gypsies called the Zargar, who live in contemporary Iran. For centuries the Zargar had not been aware of the existence of other Gypsies. Only nowadays, with the means of modern telecommunications, including the Internet, have representatives of the Zargar 'discovered' that there are other Roma in the world, and they have begun looking for their place within the international Romani community. Lacking a clear memory of their own past, the Zargar are trying to construct such a history and an extended identity, while establishing contact with their 'kin' in Europe.

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Between Resistance and the State

Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France

Itay Lotem

In June 2014, the newly appointed president of the Comité national pour la mémoire et l’histoire de l’esclavage (CNMHE), Myriam Cottias, spoke about the organization’s history and future plans in an oral history interview. For her, one of the most

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Listening to the Troubled Waters

Ethnographical Work as a Reciprocal Activity

Jaana Kouri

The history of Lypyrtti, an old pilot village in the southwestern coast of Finland, is for many villagers a story of depopulation of a vital community during the last fifty years. In 2005 the villagers of Lypyrtti expressed their interest in collecting the oral history of their village. This material is gathered, edited and released in the context of research on the topic of 'narrated environment', which draws attention to the interdisciplinary methods and theories of the practices of place making

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Shahnoza O. Madaeva

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.

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Aliabad of Shiraz

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.

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Sara Lennox

Gender Relations in German History: Power, Agency and Experience from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century edited by Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Harvey

Frank Biess

Divided Memory. The Nazi Past in the Two Germanies by Jeffrey Herf

Erik Willenz

Embattled Selves: An Investigation into the Nature of Identity through Oral Histories of Holocaust Survivors by Kenneth Jacobson

Wade Jacoby

The Grand Experiment: Debating Shock Therapy, Transition Theory, and the East German Experience by Andreas Pickel and Helmut Wiesenthal

Henry Krisch

Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State by Eric D. Weitz

Jan Plamper

Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison edited by Ian Kershaw and Moshe Lewin

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On Memory Work in Post-communist Europe

A Case Study on Romania's Ways of Remembering its Pronatalist Past

Lorena Anton

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.

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Catherine Plum

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.

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Pogo, Pop and Politics

Robert Benayoun on Comics and Roy Lichtenstein

Gavin Parkinson

did not read any comic books as a child but vaguely recalled following Dick Tracy and Buck Rogers and, more enthusiastically, Alley-Oop : ‘Oral History Interview with Roy Lichtenstein, 15 November 1963–15 January 1964’, Archives of American Art

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The Mule Caravans of Western Yunnan

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.