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Civilization versus Barbarism

The Franco-Prussian War in French History Textbooks, 1875–1895

Jörg Lehmann

In French history textbooks published after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, the presentation of the war and its outcome frequently include the myth of France's revanche and depictions of the Prussian enemy as barbarians. Other textbooks presented a narrative of progress in which the French Third Republic is shown as the endpoint of a process of advancing civilization. While the idea of a French revanche can be regarded as a founding myth of the Third Republic, the narrative of progress can be seen as an echo of this myth, cleansed of the concept of the enemy as barbarian, which constitutes a national master narrative.

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“And so lived our ancestors…”

Peter Slovtsov’s Urals Childhood and Its Meanings

Mark A. Soderstrom

This article examines the Urals roots and self-perception of the Siberian historian and bureaucrat Peter Andreevich Slovtsov (1767–1843). Best known as the author of the two-volume Historical Survey of Siberia (1838–43), Slovtsov is often described as the first Siberian patriot and precursor to the Siberian regionalist movement. Drawing on a range of published and archival sources to analyze how Slovtsov made sense of his family roots in the Urals region, the author suggests that Slovtsov is best understood as a man of the empire who understood both his own life trajectory and Siberian history as fruits of enlightened imperial rule.

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Parallel Myths, Popular Maps

The Europe of Soccer

Paul Dietschy, David Ranc, and Albrecht Sonntag

Although history textbooks are highly revealing sources of what is considered worthy of being included in collective memory, they only tell half the story. The study of the non-official “parallel pantheons” of popular culture also contribute significantly to understanding patterns of perception and self-perception as well as mental representations of “Europe.” For more than a century, soccer, Europe's most widely shared social practice, has contributed to shaping perceptions of what can be encompassed under the term “Europe.” This article focuses on the “popular maps” of Europe that soccer has drawn over the last half-century and hints at the myths of cultural commonality that underpin them. It appears that while soccer represents a somewhat ambiguous metaphor for contemporary Europe, it can also supply interesting insights into the emergence of horizontal bonds between Europeans.

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Describing the Other, Struggling with the Self

Hungarian Travel Writers in Mexico and the Revision of Western Images

Balazs Venkovits

This article provides an overview of nineteenth-century Hungarian travel accounts on Mexico and examines their relationship with Western European and United States travelogues. How did Hungarian travelers relate to images projected by Western accounts? How did their Hungarian/Central European background influence and alter such images? This article shows that the first Hungarian travel writers not only built on but also identified with concepts promoted by "imperial" travelers, calling attention to the power of Western texts in the representation of Mexico. A new wave of travelers at the end of the century tried to break away from the previous discourse and began to call for alternative approaches to Mexico. Based on texts so far unstudied in this context and mostly available in Hungarian only, the analysis offers new insights into the mechanics of travel writing and describes a struggle for a more just depiction of Mexico, a process also influenced by Hungarian self-perception.

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Margarita del Olmo

This paper focuses on analysing challenges that students coming from different countries face when they come to Spain and continue their school trajectories started in their countries of origin. I use the narrative of one of these students, constructed through ethnographic work carried out in a programme designed to help migrant students ease their transition into the school system of the Community of Madrid. This narrative allows me to introduce some of the challenges these students face and how they re-shape their trajectories and their self-perceptions according to the possibilities their new contexts present them with. With this, I contextualize the case study to show a broader picture of migrant students coming from different countries to stay in Spain during the last decade, and how schools themselves address this situation in Spain, in general, and in Madrid, in particular.

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<i>Deutschland einig Vaterland?</i>

East-West Cleavages in Germany Thirty Years After Reunification

Christian Schweiger

Thirty years on from the peaceful revolution in the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) Germany remains profoundly divided between the perspectives of Germans living in the eastern and the western parts of the country, which is becoming ever more obvious by the polarization of domestic politics. Hence, Germany today resembles a nation which is formally unified but deeply divided internally in cultural and political terms. This article examines the background to the growing cleavages between eastern and western regions, which have their roots in the mistakes that were made as part of the management of the domestic aspects of German reunification. From a historic-institutionalist perspective the merger of the pathways of the two German states has not taken place. Instead, unified Germany is characterized by the dominance of the institutional pathway of the former West German Federal Republic, which has substantially contributed to the self-perception of East Germans as dislocated, second-class citizens.

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Modern Women in a Modern State

Public Discourse in Interwar Yugoslavia on the Status of Women in Turkey (1923–1939)

Anđelko Vlašić

Abstract

After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Turkish women gained numerous political, social, and educational rights. Their rapidly improving status was a frequent topic in the public discourse of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (SHS)/Yugoslavia during the interwar years. One can find numerous comments in Yugoslav newspapers and journal articles, monographs, diaries, travel accounts, and other texts of the period on the contrast between the status of women in the “traditional,” “conservative,” theocratic Ottoman Empire and the status of women in the “modern,” “liberal,” secular Republic of Turkey. The Yugoslav media compared the status of Turkish women with the position of women’s rights in Yugoslavia. Through the analysis of interwar Yugoslav public discourse on the status of women in contemporary Turkey, this article aims to reveal the Yugoslav public’s perception of women’s issues through the prism of Turkey as Europe’s “Other” and their self-perception.

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Wilfried van der Will

After considering the functions of capital cities this article argues that culture both as creative activity and as living heritage of customs and architectural assemblies plays a central role in the self-perception of present-day Berlin. The agents—public and private—that interact in the conception and execution of decisive initiatives in the remake of the city form an extensive cultural policy establishment. They derive their legitimation from regional and federal constitutions and from their command of attention in the public discourse. Berlin's claimed status as the most obvious German metropolis is not self-evident. Within the nation it is neither the center of finance, nor the media, nor the supreme courts. In Germany there are other towns and metropolitan regions with a similarly rich infrastructure that can compete at least nationally. But Berlin, building on Enlightenment traditions, is making a plausible effort in regaining its cosmopolitanism. Despite a host of problems, it is now surpassing the ethnic and cultural diversity that was lost in the years of Nazi dictatorship. Can it maintain its attraction for creative talent, both cultural and technological, in view of accelerating social divisions and gentrification?

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Jonathan Magonet

been suppressed, and consequently Jewish identity had been deliberately concealed for generations, a far broader understanding of Jewish ‘belonging’ was now needed. A view of the self-perception of the British Jewish community in the post- war period

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Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Mette Louise Berg, and Johanna Waters

‘People and Places’ pieces, the section direct[s] attention to transit countries in the global South both to examine how they react to … external demands to become gatekeepers and, more importantly, to understand the (self-)perceptions, conceptualizations