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Arthur Goldhammer

The evolution of French culture from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century is described as a succession of three "cultural configurations": humanist (or literary/philosophical), scientific/organic, and industrial. The transformation of the culture is linked to changes in the educational system in response to France's altered place in the global order after 1945. French attitudes toward, and internal critiques of, the shifting cultural hegemony are examined as both causes and consequences of these evolving configurations.

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Larissa Mellor

This article explores the relationship between my cultural inheritance and its impact on my work as a visual artist. Questions in the work related to language and geography are tied to my lived experience. These themes led me to explore the contemporary context of German clubs in the United States. I found the art process of collage – cutting and pasting to rearrange parts on a surface – to be an apt visual for the position of the German clubs today, arriving at the term ‘collaged culture’. Similarities between visual art and life reveal that both carry histories. By investigating the relationships between these, we can better perceive the current state of the work of art.

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Jonathan Gosnell

This article explores cultural traditions from a little-known corner of the francophone world, what specialists call Franco-America. It represents a fertile site for reexamination of francophone postcolonial cultures. Beginning in the nineteenth century, French Canadians traveled to New England mill towns in search of work, established ethnic communities, and progressively became Franco-Americans. Today, endogamous Franco enclaves have all but disappeared, but French cultural expressions persist. Jack Kerouac is the most wellknown representative of this obscure French life. Franco-American written cultures, the focus of this essay, shed light on a distinct immigrant experience in the United States.

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AJEC

Investigating European Cultures, Bridging Disciplines

Gabriela Kiliánová and Tatiana Podolinská

The Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, initiated by German scholar Ina-Maria Greverus together with Christian Giordano in 1990, played a central role in the fundamental changes that the hitherto more or less nationally confined European ethnologies have undergone since then. The journal mediated the intensifying exchange between eastern and western Europe, while its attempt to cross boundaries in particular between an anthropology of Europe and European ethnology remains key.

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"A World of Their Own"

Searching for Popular Culture in the French Countryside

Stéphane Gerson

This article revisits the role that the concept of popular culture has played in Eugen Weber's Peasants Into Frenchmen and in the historiography of France. It delineates the contours of this field of study in the 1970s then traces its evolution, focusing on the nineteenth century. It also assesses Weber's contribution to this body of scholarship and considers future directions of research—and how his book may still prove helpful. The article proposes that, in terms of conceptualization, epistemological stance, and rhetorical voice, Peasants Into Frenchmen adopts two perspectives on popular culture, perspectives that are sometimes compatible but typically at odds. The first revolves around the confident discovery of a fixed traditional civilization in the French countryside; the second is a more conjectural search for fluctuating cultural processes. While commentators have focused on the first, the second foreshadowed later developments in the field and has more to offer us today.

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On the Taste of the Regions

Culinary Praxis, European Politics and Spatial Culture – A Research Outline

Bernhard Tschofen

Regional culinary 'specialities' are usually considered as indicative of the culture of specific areas, of their traditions and ways of life. Only recently has research begun to focus on the processes that constitute regional food cultures. This article traces the use of 'culinary heritage' as a concept in regional practices and European politics, developing an analysis of how everyday food practices are transformed first into cultural heritage, and then into cultural property. It then presents a comparative ethnographic project aiming at a cultural analysis of procedures involved in the EU food quality assurance system. In conclusion, the article proposes perspectives that may help fill the gaps in research identified in this context.

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Generational Transmission in Local Culture

An Exploration of European Research Drivers in Central Slovakia

Ivan Murin

This article presents some findings from the ethnography exploration of priority research in the European Research Area. The title of the priority is ‘Connecting People with Heritage’. The Old Generation and Generation Y are the drivers contained in the document’s strategic research agenda (SRA). The research has been conducted by European experts within the Joint Program Initiative in Cultural Heritage (JPI CH). Revitalisation of local society is related to sustainability of specific local forms of culture. The demographic changes, mobility and new forms of cultural transfer are only some of the phenomena affecting generational transmission in the local culture. Both generations are dissimilar in their attitudes to roles and values in the local culture. Generational interactions in a living form of intangible culture in central Slovakia exemplify its significance for anthropology.

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Living Heritage and Religious Traditions

Reinterpreting Columba/Colmcille in the UK City of Culture

Máiréad Nic Craith

In 2013, Derry~Londonderry became the inaugural UK City of Culture. Given tensions between national and unionist versions of history, the title generated considerable debate on the location of Derry~Londonderry's culture within a UK and/or Irish context. All this had implications for the character of Columba/Colmcille, who had been appropriated by competing secular and religious versions of history in the past and who featured prominently in the year-long celebrations. This essay explores the layering and cultural appropriation of the narrative of Columba/Colmcille over the centuries and the reshaping of this narrative in anticipation of the year of UK City of Culture. It contextualises the emergence of a fresh narrative in the new political context which seeks to redefine the city as a common heritage space for a previously divided people.

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Introduction

Triumph of culture, troubles of anthropology

Levent Soysal

Culture has always been the defining feature and disciplinary asset of anthropology. Before the reflective conversations of the 1980s, anthropology had owned culture. In the aftermath of the "crisis of anthropology" came the expansion and augmentation of culture to disciplines, domains, and settings beyond anthropology. Culture is now present in every aspect of social life and it is possible to buy, sell, design, invent, market, perform, and circulate culture(s) individually or collectively in (in)tangible forms. With the expansion, "culture talk"—not always in benign variety—has also become the predominant mode of addressing citizenship, security, and even economy, which were conventionally considered to be distinct from culture. This article elucidates this expansive venture of culture from being a disciplinary analytical artifact to an authoritative arbiter of rights, difference, heritage, and style, and suggests "projects of culture" as an analytical tool to enter into the burdensome territory of culture today, without getting trapped in culture talk.

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Europe and Culture

Anthropological Perspectives on the Process of European Integration

Hana Horáková

After the fall of the Iron Curtain a new concept of Europe as a socially relevant object of study emerged in the social sciences challenging the model of Europe as historical entity, or a philosophical or literary concept. This concept provoked an upsurge of interest in the study of European identity among anthropologists who began to study how Europeanness is constructed and articulated both by the architects of the EU themselves and at a grass-root level. Drawing on notions of European culture and identity, this text examines the image of Europe/the EU in post-communist Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, from two different perspectives. First, how the institutionalisation of Europe as a cultural idea is viewed by some of the Czech political commentators, and second, from an ethnographically grounded anthropological perspective, focusing on how and at what levels a Czech local community identifies with Europe and the EU. Drawing on a broad range of data, the text attempts to provide new insights into the pitfalls of collective European identity in the making, with the emphasis on its cultural dimension in the post-communist Czech Republic.