Crossing Boundaries: From Syria to Slovakia

Crossing Boundaries: From Syria to Slovakia

Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XIV
IWM, Vienna 2003 [Published on the Web]

Edited by: Slavica Jakelic and J. Varsoke

Contributions by: Bogdan Barbu, Slavica Jakelic, Slavomir Krekovic, Adam Lipszyc, Katharina Pewny, Paulo Pinto, J. Varsoke, Natascha Vittorelli

Introduction

The array of themes and disciplines displayed in this volume mirrors two fundamental features of intellectual life at the IWM – its multidisciplinary orientation and its international makeup. The contributions of Paulo Pinto, Bogdan Barbu, Natascha Vittorelli, Adam Lipszyc, Katharina Pewny and Slavomir Krekovic, fellows of the IWM and nearly all participants of the Junior Fellows’ Conference held at the IWM in June of 2002, involve history, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, and gender studies, to name a few. They cover regions that extend from Syria to Slovakia, and include a variety of subject matters – from the symbolic cultural presence of the West in Romania during the Cold War to the quest for tranquility in the contemporary age of disquietude.
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Dangerous Liasons: Sufism and the State in Syria

The relations between Muslim identities and communities and authoritarian states are a central element for understanding the political dynamics of Islamic groups in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. Academic research on this topic has been centered mainly on the groups that construct and mobilize Muslim identities within an explicitly political project of social reform according to what they consider to be the basic tenets of Islam (Eickelman, 1996; Mitchell, 1969; Roy,1992).
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Hollywood Movies, American Music and the Cultural Policies Behind the Iron Curtain.
Case Study: Cold War Romania 1945- 1971

This article is a reflection of a larger research project dealing with the US presence in Romania during the Cold War, building on this author’s previous work and focused on the presence of “America” in Romania during the inter-war period and in the 1940s. The study of the pre-Cold War period, as well as the awareness of the current situation were helpful in gradually building a chronological outline of the American presence in Romania for the whole 20th century, and provided the necessary historical framework for the current project.
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‘(…) einige Seiten der weiblichen Seele und des weiblichen Schicksals (…)’
Zu Zofka Kveders Erstlingswerk »Misterij zene«.

Im Jahre 1900 zieht Zofka Kveder (1878-1926) nach Prag. In Prag erscheint auch - nur wenige Monate nach dem Umzug - Kveders slowenischsprachiges Erstlingswerk: »Misterij žene« (»Mysterium der Frau«). Die Sammlung lediglich ein- bis zweiseitiger, titelloser Skizzen sorgt für einige Aufregung und sollte den Ruf ihrer zweiundzwanzigjährigen Verfasserin als Kämpferin für Frauenrechte begründen.
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The Post-Assimilatory Generation of German-Jewish Intellectuals: A Map of Political and Intellectual Paths

I am concerned here with a peculiar generation of German Jews and their political and intellectual choices. What I have in mind is a group of people from rather affluent, upper-middle class German-Jewish families. At some point in the 19th century the families took the path of assimilation and the estrangement between them and the traditional Jewish way of life grew bigger and bigger. (...) Many of their children, born in the late eighties and nineties of the 19th century, for one reason or another broke with the way of life of their parents and began a very passionate quest for new beliefs and ways of living.
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Tracing Tranquility: A Proposal in Progress

In a very broad sense, my paper discusses the connections between Ruhe (calmness, stillness, peace, tranquility) and Unruhe (restlessness) in theater and politics. My initial question concerns the human im/possibility of finding Ruhe, and will require further research into the level of social and cultural productions of Ruhe. The decision to focus on theater (and not on film, video, virtual worlds or literature) is based on the assumption that, in a specific way, theater can provide an escape from the contemporary consumer world, which might evoke the (viewers’) production of Ruhe. Prominent theories of theater (Plato, Aristotle, Schiller, Brecht) suggest that theater is a place of political disturbance (Be/un/ruhigung)...
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New Media Culture: Internet as a Tool of Cultural Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe

The main focus of my paper is on certain aspects of the transformation of the cultural sector in post-communist countries of Eastern Europe. I am dealing with the importance of emerging cultural institutions and activists, which I think play a considerable role in the process that these countries have undergone since the fall of communist regime. My assumption is that these organizations are going to take over the role of the state as the main actor in the cultural sphere (as it was the case in past decades). Today it is obvious that new digital technologies, especially new communication networks connected within the Internet, are one of the main tools that enabled the establishment of radically new models of cultural production, management and information distribution...
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