Cultural Anthropology: Lessons for Liberalism from the “Illiberal East” (2018)

29 April 2018, dusan

“The cumulative effects of Brexit, the resurgence of populist politics in Europe, and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States have given rise to the perception that Western liberal democracies are undergoing profound change, if not a bona fide crisis. Moreover, there is a sense that it is the political liberalism of the post–Cold War period—rather than its far less popular companion ideology of neoliberalism—that finds itself in disarray. As scholars and commentators rummage through their intellectual toolboxes for explanatory frameworks, many are turning to (post)socialist histories and experiences as heuristic devices for making sense of the upheavals in Western politics. In this Hot Spots series, we suggest that the postsocialist transition, as both discursive space and set of practices that attempted to make capitalists out of socialists and liberals out of totalitarians, renders the former socialist world a rich site for understanding the current shifts in the Western political landscape. We aim to make sense of this landscape in a way that is attuned to both long-term processes and to the state of emergency reinforced with each new wave of current events. Even though the ground appears to be constantly shifting beneath our feet, these essays insist that detailed, historically and geopolitically sensitive analysis of actually existing post–Cold War liberalisms is one key approach for making sense of the present.”

Edited by Dace Dzenovska and Larisa Kurtović
Publisher Society for Cultural Anthropology, Apr 2018
Hot Spots series
ISSN 1548-1360

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Local Contexts / International Networks: Avant-Garde Journals in East-Central Europe (2018)

10 April 2018, dusan

“This volume presents papers based on the presentations held at the conference Local Contexts / International Networks – Avant-Garde Magazines in Central-Europe (1910-1935) held at the Kassák Museum in September 2015. The Museum is the only Hungarian museum devoted entirely to the avant-garde and its documents. It launched a programme centred around the presentation of archives and private collections, contemporary reflections on the avant-garde, and a reconsideration of Kassák’s oeuvre.

The avant-garde journal was arguably the most important medium of communication for progressive literature and visual arts in the region during World War I and the interwar period. The conference brought together researchers of different disciplines and approaches to analyse the multifaceted nature of the avant-garde journal. It aimed to draw attention to the tensions between national/local and international/cosmopolitan and offer possible answers to the question: how did the different cultural and historical characteristics affect the local avant-gardes of Central Europe?” (from Introduction)

With texts by Gábor Dobó and Merse Pál Szeredi, Eszter Balázs, Jindřich Toman, Gábor Dobó, Piotr Rypson, Michalina Kmiecik, Przemysław Strożek, Klára Prešnajderová, Sonia de Puineuf, Michał Wenderski, Dušan Barok, György C. Kálmán and András Kappanyos, and Irina Denischenko.

Edited by Gábor Dobó and Merse Pál Szeredi
Publisher Petőfi Literary Museum & Kassák Museum, Kassák Foundation, Budapest, 2018
The Avant-Garde and Its Journals series, 2
Creative Commons Licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License
ISBN 9789631259728
192 pages

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Maja Fowkes: The Green Bloc: Neo-Avant-Garde Art and Ecology Under Socialism (2015)

4 December 2017, dusan

“Expanding the horizon of established accounts of Central European art under socialism, The Green Bloc uncovers the neglected history of artistic engagement with the natural environment in the Eastern Bloc. Focussing on artists and artist groups whose ecological dimension has rarely been considered, including the Pécs Workshop from Hungary, OHO in Slovenia, TOK in Croatia, Rudolf Sikora in Slovakia, and the Czech artist Petr Štembera, Maja Fowkes’s innovative research brings to light an array of distinctive approaches to nature, from attempts to raise environmental awareness among socialist citizens to the exploration of non-anthropocentric positions and the quest for cosmological existence in the midst of red ideology. Embedding artistic production in social, political, and environmental histories of the region, this book reveals the artists’ sophisticated relationship to nature, at the precise moment when ecological crisis was first apprehended on a planetary scale. ”

Publisher Central European University Press, New York and Budapest, 2015
ISBN 9789633860687, 9633860687
viii+299 pages
via Memory of the World

Reviews: Katalin Cseh-Varga (Springerin, 2015, DE), Juliane Debeusscher (Critique d’art, 2018).

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