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Tom Verschaffel and Kaat Wils

The political use and instrumentalization of history is a central theme within the historiography of history education. Neither history nor education is a politically neutral domain; history education is and has always been a highly politicized phenomenon. For his recent article on the development of history education in England, Germany, and the Netherlands throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Dutch history didactician Arie Wilschut chose the significant title, “History at the Mercy of Politicians and Ideologies.” History education, Wilschut argues, has, in all three countries, continually—with a short break in the 1960s and 1970s—been instrumentalized by national politics to the detriment of unbiased interpretations of the past.

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Kira Mahamud Angulo and Anna Ascenzi

This special issue examines textbooks in countries undergoing political transition, change, and convulsion. The articles consider textbooks from countries shifting from one political regime to another, “at different speeds and with different priorities,”1 in the second half of the twentieth century. The articles raise a number of questions. What happens to textbooks during the intervals between one form of government and another? How does the information contained in textbooks change during these intervals of instability and uncertainty, and during the phases of the construction and consolidation of a new political regime?

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Rehabilitating Eden

Archetypal Images of Malaya in European Travel Writing

Siti Nuraishah Ahmad, Shanthini Pillai and Noraini Md. Yusof

This article links Jungian literary criticism on archetypes with contemporary postcolonial theories on colonial discourse in travel writing (David Spurr) and the worlding of a colonized land (Gayatri Spivak) in order to understand the pattern of images in European travel writing that created the fiction of Malaya. This fiction is created through a process of worlding by European travelers from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century. The practice of Islam and magic among the Malays was represented as contributing to the degeneration of Malaya. The resulting image is that of an Eden that has fallen into ruin and that needs to be transformed back into paradise by the white man.

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Moroccan Jews in Modern Times

Orientations and Reorientations

Norman A. Stillman

Until the mid twentieth century, Moroccan Jewry constituted the largest non-Ashkenazi Jewish community and had more than double the population of any other Jewish community in the Islamic world. Under the influence of the Alliance Israélite Universelle school network, French colonialism, the experience of World War II and the innate tensions between Zionism and Arab nationalism, the Jews of Morocco underwent a variety of transformations and ultimately the dissolution of the community as a result of the mass exodus to Israel, France and North America.

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Authentically socialist

Czech heritage management at the former Liechtenstein estate of Lednice-Valtice

Veronica E. Aplenc

The Lednice-Valtice area, Southern Moravia, represents over 220 square kilometers of vast architectural and landscape heritage. As the former Liechtenstein ducal seat nationalized in 1945 and a major tourist attraction throughout the twentieth century, this site embodies the complex issues of heritage and authenticity. Post-war Czech preservationists incorporated pre-socialist legislative systems and beliefs into their socialist-era professional praxis, in a striking use of Habsburg-era, modernist cultural capital. Central to this borrowing was preservationists' casting themselves as state-legislated experts in heritage management, using an almost exclusively aesthetics-focused presentation in messy ideological situations.

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Walking to Write

Following Patrick Leigh Fermor across Europe

David Wills

In 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out to walk from Holland to Istanbul. The accounts of his journey published during his lifetime are regarded as classics of twentieth century travel literature. Since Fermor’s death in 2011, renewed interest in all aspects of his long life has included two tribute walks across Europe. Both published in 2014, Jeremy Cameron’s Never Again and Nick Hunt’s Walking the Woods and Water consider the continuities as well as changes which are apparent in Europe since Fermor’s day. In paying homage to Fermor’s physical and literary journey, these narratives demonstrate how engaging with a travel writer’s legacy can produce different outcomes.

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Dean Duda

This article starts from three preliminary and interrelated issues: the status of travel writing as a literary genre and its development in the first half of the twentieth century; the social/textual figures that define the tendencies in travel culture and its main protagonists (especially the dichotomy of traveller/tourist as a particular figure of the dichotomy of high/popular culture); and, finally, the concept of modernism that enables a sound integration of all the elements necessary for such an analysis. In order to facilitate understanding, examples from English literature and travel writing will occasionally be given.

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The Death of Maternity?

Simone de Beauvoir's A Very Easy Death

Christie McDonald

Contrasting the view of motherhood in Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex with the description of her mother's illness and death in A Very Easy Death, this essay examines the revelation of feelings previously unexplored in the relationship to her mother. Faced with a life-shattering experience, Beauvoir revisits issues not only about motherhood and maternity from her philosophical and sociological study, but her own feelings about her mother and disturbing ways in which doctors and families withheld knowledge from the dying in the mid-twentieth century.

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European Union

Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?

Isabelle Petit and George Ross

On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.

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Russell J. Dalton and Wilhelm Bürklin

The 2002 Bundestag elections demonstrate the emerging new style

of German electoral politics. Where once party competition was

built upon a stable base of Stammwähler, the catchword for 2002 was

the Wechselwähler—the changing voter. The traditional bonds to social

groups, such as class and religion, have steadily eroded across Bundestag

elections in the late twentieth century, and these bonds had a

diminished impact in 2002. Similarly, this chapter will demonstrate

that affective psychological ties that once connected citizens to their

preferred party have also weakened. Certainly some German voters

remain connected to a social milieu or a habitual party tie, but the

number of these voters is steadily decreasing.