Popularizing National Pasts is the first truly cross-national and comparative study of popular national histories, their representations, the meanings given to them and their uses, which expands outside the confines of Western Europe and the US. It draws a picture of popular histories which is European in the full sense of this term. One of its fortes is the inclusion of Eastern Europe. The cross-national angle of Popularizing National Pasts is apparent in the scope of its comparative project, as well as that of the longue durée it covers. Apart from essays on Britain, France, and Germany, the collection includes studies of popular histories in Scandinavia, Eastern and Southern Europe, notably Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Armenia, Russia and the Ukraine, as well as considering the US and Argentina. Cross-national comparison is also a central concern of the thirteen case studies in the volume, which are, each, devoted to comparing between two, or more, national historical cultures. Thus temporality –both continuities and breaks- in popular notions of the past, its interpretations and consumption, is examined in the long continuum. The volume makes available to English readers, probably for the first time, the cutting edge of Eastern European scholarship on popular histories, nationalism and culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Stefan Berger, Chris Lorenz, and Billie Melman Part I: Popular National Histories in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries 1. Revolutionary Politics and Revolutionary Aesthetics: Opera, Classics, and Popular National History. Simon Goldhill 2. History as Romance and History as Atonement: Nineteenth-Century Images from Britain and France. Stephen Bann 3. ‘That which we learn with the eye’: Popular Histories, Modernity, and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century London and Paris. Billie Melman 4. Popular Heritage and Commodification Debates in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Britain, France, and Germany. Astrid Swensson Part II: Popular National Histories in the First Half of the Twentieth Century 5. Imagining Russia’s Pasts: Revolutionary and Tsarist Russia in American, British and German Cinema, 1927–1939. Sarah Street 6. Balkans Baedecker for Übermensch Tourists: Janko Janev’s Popular Historiosophy. Balász Trencsényi 7. Exhibiting Scandinavian Culture: The National Museums of Denmark and Sweden. Peter Aronsson 8. Locating Transylvanians: Real and Fictional Ethnohistories. Borbála Zsuzsanna Török Part III: Popular National Histories in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century 9. Migrants, Foreigners, Jews, and the Cultural Structure of Prejudice: The Nation as Performative Event in US and German TV Crime Dramas. Wulf Kansteiner 10. Filming a Livable Past: The 1970s–1980s in Contemporary Russian Cinema. Oksana Sarkisova 11. On Track to the Grand Prix: The National Eurovision Competition as National History. Philip V. Bohlman 12. A City and its Pasts: Popular Histories in Kaliningrad between Regionalization and Nationalization. Stefan Berger 13. The Internet and National Histories. Markku Jokisipilä 14. ‘Unpopular past’: The Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo and their Rebellion against History. Berber Bevernage
Stefan Berger is Professor of Social History and Director of the Institute of Social Movements at Ruhr University Bochum. He is also chair of the executive board of the Foundation Library of the Ruhr at the House for the History of the Ruhr in Bochum. His areas of research are modern and contemporary European history, comparative labor history, the history of social movements and nationalism and national identity studies. He is author of Inventing the Nation: Germany (2004) and co-editor (with Chris Lorenz) of The Contested Nation (2008).
Chris Lorenz is Professor of Historical Culture of Germany at VU University Amsterdam and at the Amsterdam University College. He has published predominantly on theory of history, on German historiography, and on modern educational policy. His most recent publications include Bordercrossings. Explorations between History and Philosophy'(in Polish, 2009) and Nationalizing the Past. Historians as Nation Builders in Modern Europe (co-edited with Stefan Berger, 2010).
Billie Melman is Professor of Modern History, Henri Glasberg Chair of European Studies and Director of the Graduate School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Her fields of teaching and research are British and Western European cultural and social history, popular culture, colonialism, and gender. She is author of The Culture of History: English Uses of the Past, 1800-1953 (2006) and Borderlines: Genders and Identities in War and Peace 1870-1930 (1998).
"The individual essays are exciting, and offer a variety of new topics and methods that will greatly increase our understanding of the impact of the past on the historical and contemporary present." Stephanie Barczewski, Clemson University, USA