Essays

Essays are selected scholarly articles published without prior peer-review process.

Women as “the People” Reflections on the Black Protests as a counterforce against right-wing and authoritarian populism

The author argues in this essay, that one of the main achievements of the Black Protests is that they have not only offered powerful examples of active rejections of the exclusionary articulation of “the people” as articulated by the illiberal regime and conservative Christian movements, but also an alternative collective identity — another, feminist and transnational version of “the people” — that has proven effective in mobilizing broadly nationally and transnationally on democratic issues far beyond sexual and reproductive rights.

Essay by Jenny Gunnarsson Payne May 24, 2020

Hungarian vineyard landscapes in transition A case study from Lake Balaton

The author traces the transformation of vineyard hills and their change of function through the example of a small village close to Lake Balaton. Under the impact of tourism these areas are gaining a new function: besides agricultural production they are now acquiring a recreational role. As part of this process there have also been substantial changes in the use of the buildings used to process grapes and store wines as the new owners have converted them into second homes or holiday homes. In certain respects the buildings on the vineyard hill also reflect this transformation in the relationship between the landscape and man. The newcomers no longer look on the landscape as a source of livelihood but as a kind of refuge where they can escape urban life from now and then.

Essay by László Mód February 25, 2020

THE NATION THAT’S US DIVERGENT INTERPRETATIONS OF A CONCEPT

The concept of nation is not only, as is often assumed, related to states but to the people who feel that they belong to a community based on a common identity, wherein language and culture are often emphasized as something that knit people together. History, as well as contemporary experience, reveal the notion that state nationalism tends to oppress local languages and cultures. However, in a cultural nation interpretation, all national minorities, while being citizens of their state of domicile, are per definition not members of the majority nationality.

Essay by Thomas Lundén February 20, 2020

Missing people, missing times: The Internet, archaeology, and the spectacular

We are, as my examples show, tricked into believing that archaeological research, museum practices, and the digitalization of museum objects, archived material, and so on will make a secret world more open and transparent and that this will be positive for the public, democracy, and for the scientific community. The real world is, however, much more dynamic and diverse but always out of reach for the public because of our naïve desire for the Internet. Archive and museum activities are a practice done in reality, not on the Internet, and so is research.

Essay by Johan Hegardt December 30, 2019

The Heritage of the Missing Some remarks from an international law perspective

There is an emerging regime of international law for protecting cultural heritage that focuses on three things: (1) conflict resolution between disputing parties, (2) safe return of cultural objects to legitimate claimants, and (3) criminal justice meted out to individuals who have acted in bad faith, mala fide.

Essay by Ove Bring December 30, 2019

The missing of history in heritage H.G. Adler's novel The Wall

The property of the disappeared first becomes mere “things” without name, use, or status. Then they turn into museum artifacts of ethnographic, aesthetic, or historical value (at least those of them that are not stolen by the “conquerors” nor rejected by the experts). Then, again, with the collapse of the museum project, what used to be displayed as cultural heritage turns again into “just things”. They burden their custodians who only wish to get rid of them.

Essay by Irina Sandomirskaja December 30, 2019

Introduction. The property of missing persons Cultural heritage, value, and historical justice

In general, social disasters always result in the disproportionate excess of things: while humans perish en masse, artifacts survive in the form of market commodities and museum exhibit; as human life extinguishes in catastrophes, the life of objects gets more and more active in market exchanges, expropriations, and lootings. The history of Eastern Europe in the 20th century has witnessed many such episodes.

Essay by Irina Sandomirskaja December 30, 2019

“We know what we are losing …” The scattering of art in revolutionary Petrograd

The history of revolutionary Petrograd covers the period between the two times when the city changed its name, in 1914 and 1924. During this period, it came to witness a world war (not accidentally called the Great War) and two revolutions, as well as cold, famine, and destruction. Even though difficult to assess, the consequences for museums and collections, both private and public, were enormous, as they were for a variety of art institutions and, even more so, for private persons such as collectors, artists, art critics, and so on.

Essay by Iulia Demidenko November 21, 2019

Gone Missing Books and their owners in the siege of Leningrad

The book lovers, collectors, and dealers of the siege were moving antiquarian books on strollers and sleds, as they had done with dead bodies several months earlier, thus reorganizing the devastated spaces of the changed city. From the “vacant” apartments of missing people, books that materially represented material and symbolic values of the past were running through — and up against — a new reality, a contact or collision that engendered new forms of inquiry and of collaboration between past and present

Essay by Polina Barskova November 21, 2019

Cross or Crossroads Will there be a 'quiet revolution' in Poland?

With the recent screening of a feature film and a documentary depicting corruption and sexual abuse by priests in Poland, issues that were previously taboo are now being aired in public. What effect, if any, will they have on the powerful position of the Church in Poland? This article looks first at how scandals have challenged the massive authority of the Church in another conservative and Catholic country, Ireland. It asks whether there are sufficient points of similarity between the two countries and their political predicaments for the Irish experience to act as a guide for the Polish situation.

Essay by Brendan Humphreys November 21, 2019