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Gretchen Schafft

Anthropologists who were also medical doctors often had a particularly active role in the Nazi regime, including the SS. One of these, Herbert Grohmann, studied under Eugen Fischer at Kaiser Wilhelm Institut of Anthropologie (KWIA) in Berlin from 1937 to 1938 and became his assistant. Grohmann, an SS officer, was sent to Poland as the head of public health in Lodz while maintaining his association with the KWIA. This article describes the interconnections of anthropology and public health in occupied Poland including the elimination (killing) of mentally ill patients, the implementation of the Deutsche Volksliste and the culling of 'racially fit' children for abduction to Germany. All of these activities are seen through the career of Herbert Grohmann.

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A Great Endeavor

The Creation of the Hungarian Feminist Journal A Nő és a Társadalom (Woman and Society) and Its Role in the Women's Movement, 1907–1913

Orsolya Kereszty

The monthly journal A Nő és a Társadalom (Woman and society) was launched in 1907 by two organizations, Feministák Egyesülete (Association of Feminists) and Nőtisztviselők Országos Egyesülete (National Organization of Female Clerks) in Budapest. Based on archival research, this article describes the foundation of the journal in 1907, the working methods it strived to adopt, and the role editor-in-chief Róza Schwimmer played during this period. The article shows that A Nő és a Társadalom performed a variety of crucial functions in the Hungarian women's movement of the time, including that of being a means of informal education for its readers.

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Siobhan B. Somerville

This article offers a first-person account of the author's experience teaching an undergraduate course on local queer culture, using her own campus as the site for primary research. The course asks how students might understand the role of Midwestern public universities in the production of queer culture. And how might such knowledge revise understandings of queer culture and its locations, both in the past and in the present? The author describes the course design, the goals of introducing undergraduate students to two scholarly methods (archival research and ethnography) and a number of original research projects undertaken by students.

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Galia Golan

The failure to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict for many years has often been attributed in significant part to the absence of trust in the sincerity of the other side and, more specifically, to the recalcitrant nature of the opponent. Analyses of past proposals and actual negotiations have pointed out missed opportunities, possibly the result of misperceptions or misunderstandings. Recent archival research, publications, and interviews regarding the Israeli protagonists reveal that actual deception, as distinct from ‘misperception’, may have been at play. The article examines this phenomenon as it has appeared since 1967 in six instances of Israeli government dealings with its own public and with the US or the international community, even in recent months, due primarily to an unwillingness to withdraw from the Occupied Territories or agree to enter serious negotiations for ending the conflict with the Palestinians.

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"A Mountain of Words"

Children's Literacy in Rural France, 1800–1950

Elizabeth C. Macknight

This article presents an interdisciplinary approach to archival research on records produced by children that survive in family archives. It corresponds with the aims of education specialists who investigate patterns in language learning to understand how young minds absorb influences concurrently from familial, religious, and social circles across disparate cultural settings. Drawing upon the concept of syncretic literacy, the article interprets French archival evidence of children’s development of linguistic competency and sensitivity to language use in context. It argues for the need to advocate both the conservation of children’s archives and the design of educational programs that enable children to discover the role of archivists and the purposes of recordkeeping in society.

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Between the Old and the New World in Poland

Marian Falski’s <em>Elementarz</em>

Joanna Wojdon

Marian Falski’s “Reading Primer” (Elementarz) was the first textbook to be published in Warsaw in 1945 by the newly established State School Publishing House (Państwowe Zakłady Wydawnictw Szkolnych). It was officially approved by the Ministry of Education and by the Censorship Office, but nevertheless had an interim character, unlike other editions published before, during and after the war, both in Poland and abroad. The core of the book was reprinted from the prewar edition. However, in his depictions of war trauma and postwar circumstances the author was apparently trying to comply with the propaganda model developed during the Stalinist period. These findings are empirically grounded in a content analysis of the primers following archival research conducted in the files of the Ministry of Education and the Censorship Office, both of which are housed in the Modern Records Archive (Archiwum Akt Nowych) in Warsaw.

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Toward an Anthropology of ‘State Failure’

Lebanon’s Leviathan and Peace Expertise

Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

The sizable amount of academic and policy-oriented literature on socio-political violence in Lebanon could be said to have rendered the country a 'prestige zone' for theorizing on the powerful image of the Leviathan, the Hobbesian idea that a secular social order is achievable only within a strong sovereign state. Building on the insights of the anthropology of the state, this article argues for the necessity of a critical assessment of contemporary expert discourses of 'state failure'. Based on archival research and anthropological fieldwork, the article addresses the metaphor of the failed Leviathan as an empirical question. Overall, it seeks to explore its productivity as an applied expert category and to highlight both the conditions of its construction and dissemination, as well as some of its particular effects.

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Satirical Panels against Censorship

A Battle That Raged during the Spanish Transition

Gerardo Vilches

In mid-1970s Spain, many new satirical magazines featured a strong political stance opposing Francisco Franco’s regime and in favour of democracy. Magazines with a significant amount of comics-based content constituted a space for political and social critics, as humour allowed them to go further than other media. However, legal authorities tried to censor and punish them. This article analyses the relationship between the Spanish satirical press and censorship and focuses on the difficulties their publishers and authors encountered in expressing their criticism of the country’s social changes. Various cartoonists have been interviewed, and archival research carried out. In-depth analysis of the magazines’ contents is used to gain an overview of a political and social period in recent Spanish history, in which the satirical press uniquely tackled several issues.

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Writing for Student Audiences

Pitfalls and Possibilities

Heather Streets-Salter

When historians privilege writing to and for one another over all other kinds of writing—especially in a period when the humanities in particular are under siege at public universities around the country—do we run the risk of making ourselves irrelevant to anyone but ourselves? This article explores the stakes involved when historians shift the focus of their scholarly work toward alternate, non-academic audiences. In this case, I will focus my attention on writing for university and secondary student audiences through textbooks and reference works. On the one hand, I argue that writing for students has its pitfalls, because it is devalued in the historical discipline relative to monographs and articles based on archival research. As such, investment in such writing can prove detrimental to achieving tenure and promotion. On the other hand, I argue that writing for students allows us to reach a much larger audience than our peers. In addition, writing for student audiences forces us to think carefully about the accessibility of our writing as well as the link between research, telling stories in writing, and teaching. As such, I argue that writing for students may allow historians greater visibility and relevance in the public at a critical time, given recent cuts in higher education budgets.

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Virginie Rey

This article presents an analysis of the evolution of ethnographic museums in Tunisia, tracing their development from the period of French colonial rule until the present. It documents and interprets the trajectory of museography in the country over nearly a century, demonstrating changes and continuities in role, setting and architecture across shifting ideological landscapes, from the colonial, to the postcolonial to the more recent revolutionary setting. It is argued that Tunisian ethnographic museums, both in their processes of conception behind the scenes and in their scenography itself, have been key sites in which to read debates about national identity. The article excavates the evolution of paradigms in which Tunisian popular identity has been expressed through the ethnographic museum, from the modernist notion of 'indigenous authenticity' to efforts at nation-building after independence, and more recent conceptions of cultural diversity. Based on a combination of archival research, participant observation and interviews with past and present protagonists in the Tunisian museum field, this research brings to light new material on an understudied area.