247 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Eastern Europe about their New Books

New Books in Eastern European Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.9 • 14 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Eastern Europe about their New Books

    Andrea Pető, "The Women of the Arrow Cross Party: Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    Andrea Pető, "The Women of the Arrow Cross Party: Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

    Andrea Pető's book The Women of the Arrow Cross Party: Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) analyses the actions, background, connections and the eventual trials of Hungarian female perpetrators in the Second World War through the concept of invisibility. It examines why and how far-right women in general and among them several Second World War perpetrators were made invisible by their fellow Arrow Cross Party members in the 1930s and during the war (1939-1945), and later by the Hungarian people's tribunals responsible for the purge of those guilty of war crimes (1945-1949). It argues that because of their 'invisibilization' the legacy of these women could remain alive throughout the years of state socialism and that, furthermore, this legacy has actively contributed to the recent insurgence of far-right politics in Hungary. This book therefore analyses how the invisibility of Second World War perpetrators is connected to twenty-first century memory politics and the present-day resurgence of far-right movements.
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    • 57 min
    Cristina A. Bejan, "Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019)

    Cristina A. Bejan, "Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019)

    In 1930s Bucharest, some of the country's most brilliant young intellectuals converged to form the Criterion Association. Bound by friendship and the dream of a new, modern Romania, their members included historian Mircea Eliade, critic Petru Comarnescu, Jewish playwright Mihail Sebastian and a host of other philosophers and artists. Together, they built a vibrant cultural scene that flourished for a few short years, before fascism and scandal splintered their ranks.
    In Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association (Palgrave, 2019), Cristina A. Bejan asks how the far-right Iron Guard came to eclipse the appeal of liberalism for so many of Romania's intellectual elite, drawing on diaries, memoirs and other writings to examine the collision of culture and extremism in the interwar years. The first English-language study of Criterion and the most thorough to date in any language, this book grapples with the complexities of Romanian intellectual life in the moments before collapse.
    Cristina A. Bejan is a historian, theatre artist, and poet. A Rhodes and Fulbright scholar, she has had fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Wilson Center and Georgetown University. A playwright and spoken word artist, her creative work has appeared in the US, UK, Romania and Vanuatu. Bejan runs the arts and culture collective Bucharest Inside the Beltway (BiB), based in Denver, CO. Please visit www.cristinaabejan.com for more info. You can also follow her on social media: Cristina A. Bejan (Facebook); @CristinaABejan (Twitter); Cristina A. Bejan PhD (LinkedIn); & BiB at @BiBDenver (Facebook) and @bucharestinsidethebeltway (Instagram).
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    • 52 min
    Mark Gilbert, "European Integration: A Political History" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020)

    Mark Gilbert, "European Integration: A Political History" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020)

    “Awareness of the EU's undeniable past and present importance can - and has - led to complacency and hubris. There is nothing inevitable about European integration".
    So writes Mark Gilbert in European Integration: A Political History (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020), a compact, narrative history of the European Communities and the European Union pitched at both political-science students and the general reader.
    Sympathetic to the integration process but critical of “Whig” histories of unstoppable federal progress, Gilbert makes a case for traditional “villains” – Charles De Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher – as simply advocates of alternative models of governance.
    Mark Gilbert is resident professor of international history at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna and Associate Editor of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies.
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
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    • 41 min
    Tatiana Zhurzhenko, "War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Tatiana Zhurzhenko, "War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) analyzes the shaping of the commemorative space in the three post-Soviet countries that used to share commemorative practices and memorial space in general. For the reader outside of the Soviet space, “war,” which is mentioned in the title of the book, will most likely not evoke a specific historical event that the book, in fact, refers to—WWII. Moreover, for the contemporary, “non-Soviet” reader, the title will most likely refer to the present conflict between Russia and Ukraine. For readers, who are well familiar with Soviets’ past, the book will signal, first and foremost, the Second World War, the event which occupies an extensive memorial space for the majority of the post-Soviet countries and their peoples. The editors and the contributors of War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus analyze how the memory of the war shapes the historical, political, and cultural dimensions of the three countries. While during the USSR, this memory was shared by the Soviet republics, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, each of these republics appeared to undertake their own trajectories in terms of integrating the war narratives and memory about them into their independent post-Soviet memorial programs.
    The book nuances the mnemonic divergences that the three countries illustrate when they deal with how the Second World War can be and should be represented in commemorative practices of their nations. Interestingly, these divergencies are dictated to some extent by how each of these countries views their Soviet legacy. Russia presents itself as a main successor of the Soviet Union and this factor considerably shapes the way in which today’s Russia promotes the official historical narrative of WWII as one of the narratives that mobilizes and unites the Russians. While Belarus follows Russia’s steps in trying to use the war narrative to unite the Belarusians through the creation of some grand-narrative, Ukraine in many cases takes a different route. In Ukraine, there is an attempt to put the narrative and the memory of the Second World War not so much in the Soviet context, but in the European one. One of the signals in this regard is the adoption of the poppy flower emblem as a symbol of war remembrance. War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus delves into the complexities of memory politics, which help investigate the convergences and divergences of the memorial practices that the post-Soviet countries are currently engaging with.
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    • 48 min
    M. Wodziński and W. Spallek, "Historical Atlas of Hasidism" (Princeton UP, 2018)

    M. Wodziński and W. Spallek, "Historical Atlas of Hasidism" (Princeton UP, 2018)

    The Historical Atlas of Hasidism (Princeton UP, 2018) is the first cartographic reference book on one of the modern era’s most vibrant and important mystical movements. Featuring seventy-four large-format maps and a wealth of illustrations, charts, and tables, this one-of-a-kind atlas charts Hasidism’s emergence and expansion; its dynasties, courts, and prayer houses; its spread to the New World; the crisis of the two world wars and the Holocaust; and Hasidism’s remarkable postwar rebirth.
    This spatial history of a movement that has often been understood as aterritorial combines painstaking source work, cartographic skill, and inventive visualisations to create a masterful contribution to the history of Hasidism and the history of religion more broadly.
    Marcin Wodziński is Professor of Jewish History and Literature, and head of the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław (Poland).
    Waldemar Spallek is Assistant Professor of geographic information systems and cartography at the University of Wrocław (Poland).
    Luca Scholz is Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester (UK). His research focuses on European and spatial history. He tweets at @DrLucaScholz.
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    • 44 min
    Jill Massino, "Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania" (Berghahn, 2019)

    Jill Massino, "Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania" (Berghahn, 2019)

    In this episode, we meet Dr. Jill Massino, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina who is fascinated researching everyday life under dictatorships. We discuss her first book Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania (Berghahn, 2020). This book which is based on more than one hundred oral histories and extensive work with archival material, shows convincingly that people and societies are complex and elude clear-cut generalizations. The author looks through the prism of everyday life, following the cycle of growing up, marriage, parenthood, and also discussing the materiality that structures one’s life – the accessibility of consumer goods and the efforts going into procuring them when they are scarce. “For me the important thing about everyday life history is that […] it provides a fuller portrait of the politics, of the economic system, of the society you are focusing on and it allows to see how people were both effected by and responded to state policies,” Massino explains. People did suffer under the Eastern European socialist regimes, the author says, and not only in prison and labour camps, but also juggling careers and family responsibilities, witnessing the gulf between the state’s delusional propaganda and reality, queuing for hours in the cold or trying to find infant formula through connections. On the other hand, Massino shows that this was also a time of meaningful experiences – some people escaped poverty and explored their talents, pursued fulfilling careers, and spent their family vacations on the Black Sea. The focus of the book is on women’s experiences; the author looks at their inclusion in the labour force – simultaneously encouraged and failed by the state, their reproductive struggles, as well as the shifts but also the patriarchal residues in gender roles at the work place and in the family.
    Marina Kadriu is an international MA student in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.
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    • 1 hr 15 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Knihovnik527 ,

today’s show

worthwhile content today with john connelly...he is easily understood but the host is barely intelligible...please fix this...hard to spend an hour listening to such poor audio...

Caliwinter ,

Great content, but bad quality

Great, interesting content, excellent books. Just wish that the audio quality would be on the level. A lot odd noise, fade outs, tough to hear parts make it not easy to enjoy.

NemoX1970 ,

5 stars content. 1 start production.

This work is too important to have such poor production values. Echoes, fade out, stuttered audio.

Some fantastic books. Articulate authors who are able to discuss their work so that the educated layman may follow it.

The audio should be the easy part. The guests (and listeners) deserve better.

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