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Displaying: 101-120 of 142 documents


ii. arts and culture
101. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Shawn Clybor Socialist (Sur)Realism: Karel Teige, Ladislav Štoll and the Politics of Communist Culture in Czechoslovakia
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This article focuses on the relationship between two Czech communist intellectuals whose ideas it attempts to situate in the broader history of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia: Karel Teige (1900-1951), a leading member of the European avant-garde; and Ladislav Štoll (1902-1981), a prominent journalist in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Standard historical accounts have used morally simplistic categories to create a stark opposition between Teige and Štoll: After the communist seizure of power in 1948, the former suffered intense repression for his heretical support of the avant-garde, whereas the latter became a leading architect of Zhdanovite socialist realism. The goal of this article, however, is to problematize such oppositions by focusing instead on the many intellectual and political commonalties both men shared. In doing so it undermines the Cold War myth of a communist monolith imposed from above that separated the ideologically loyal from those who refused to tow the official line. Drawing upon a range of archival and secondary sources, the article demonstrates that until 1950, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia never had a monolithic “line” on art and culture, making it anachronistic to impose concrete boundaries between “true believers” and intellectual “heretics.” To the contrary, Teige insisted throughout his life that his avant-garde aesthetics (which he based on French Surrealism and Russian Constructivism) were consistent with the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism. At the same time, Party functionaries such as Štoll largely tolerated, if not agreed with such opinions—despite how greatly such opinions deviated from the Soviet norm after 1937.
iii. communist communities of expert knowledge
102. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Ştefan Bosomitu Notes and Remarks on the (Re) Institutionalization of Sociology in Communist Romania in the 1960s
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This paper aims to evaluate the place of Romanian sociology during the communist regime by trying to reconstruct the regional and internal political context which led to the (re) institutionalization of that discipline. After experiencing a fertile period between the wars, Romanian sociology was “banned” at the end of WWII and the establishment of the communist regime. After two decades of “misery”, sociology was once again institutionalized in the mid 1960s in the context of an intellectual and political “liberalization”. The paper tries to explain the institutional development of Romanian sociology within Michael Voříšek’s methodological framework, discussing a series of indicators of a discipline’s institutionalization: research, teaching, professional organization, discourse, and label. The paper also analyzes the role of diverse factors (prewar tradition, political regime) in the development of sociology after WWII. It concludes by explaining that the tortuous process of institutionalization was due to the necessity to find the right timing when sociology was to be accepted as a legitimate and useful discipline, but also to the fact that sociology was only then able to individualize itself within the theoretical and ideological complex of Marxism-Leninism.
103. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Bogdan C. Iacob Co-option and Control: The Changing Profile of the Historical Front in Communist Romania at the End of the Fifties
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Th e 1948 transformation of the Academy, combined with extensive purges of the higher education system qualifies as a Great Break, Romanian style, within the scientific field. In 1955, at the 2nd RWP Congress, the communist regime adopted, within the academic realm, an approach of simultaneouslyfulfilling the goals of the cultural revolution and promoting the reformed old intelligentsia, compliant bourgeois specialists. As the RWP was searching for an identity in the context of de-Stalinization, the role of science changed, bringing along with it significant transformations both at a personnel and thematic level. The RWP targeted both co-option and control. It is the thesis of the present article that from 1955 to 1963 the historical front gained a polycentric profile. Various groups converged towards the same point: the creation of both the ideological and infrastructural basis for the master narrative about Romania’s evolution into socialism. Once the axiomatic but creative role of the present in making sense of the national past was commonly accepted, a new productive equilibrium was reached on the historical front.
104. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Nevena Dimova Macedonian and Albanian Intellectuals and the National Idea(s) in Socialist Macedonia
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This article looks at the relations between Macedonian and Albanian intellectuals and the communist party in the Republic of Macedonia. More specifically, it focuses on the creation and development of national program by Macedonian intellectuals within state structure. The article argues that during the socialist period the party policies and the socialist Macedonian intellectuals were supporting each other in the realization of their common goals: the establishmentand consolidation of the Macedonian national program. It looks at intellectual production created by members of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU) to show how historiography and linguistics became the battlefields for the development of national ideology in Macedonia. Based on the establishment of these “invented” traditions, Macedonian scholars and socialist politicians made claims within Yugoslavia, but also internationally that Macedonians are a separate nation and that they have the right to an independent state after socialism. I show that Albanian intellectuals also developed an Albanian national program, only quietly and in the background. Simultaneously, the article argues that the Yugoslav policies of national determination, decentralization and self-expression reinforced ethnic differences in the country and assisted in the development of Albanian and Macedonian parallel national projects. The processes of inclusion and national consolidation, while excluding ‘the others’ from the national project, were legitimized and institutionalized by the creation of a national culture and politics by the intellectuals within the socialist state structures.
105. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Luciana M. Jinga Intellectuelles ou apparatchiks. Les politiques pour la promotion des femmes dans le Parti Communiste Roumain
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L’État communiste roumain s’est appuyé dans sa politique concernant le statut des femmes sur deux principaux piliers: la loi (prétendument égalitaire) et partis communistes de la région. Une particularité du cas roumain a été, en revanche, la promotion constante des femmes dans le parti et le suivi attentif des pourcentages. Cependant, malgré les mesures proactives prises dans les années 1970 et 1980, la représentation féminine au sein du PCR n’a jamais dépassé 36%. Une présence numériquement importante au sein du parti n’a pas conduit a une représentation similaire dans les instances politiques dirigeantes. Ici aussi, notre étude nous a permis de nuancer les appréciations et de mettre en évidence une disparité entre les organes locaux et les organes centraux du parti. Dans les comités du parti au niveau départemental, le pourcentage de femmes était a peu pres le meme (sinon plus élevé) que la moyenne nationale des femmes membres du parti. Au contraire, dans les instances centrales notamment dans le Comité Central, le Comité Politique Exécutif ou son Bureau, la présence des femmes restait plutôt une exception. Le cumul des fonctions a toutefois donné au niveau de l’opinion publique l’image d’une omniprésence féminine dans les postes de direction, aussi bien dans les organismes civiques que dans les instances du parti et les institutions d’Etat. Il nous a semblé intéressant de confronter cette image commune avec la situation réelle. L’analyse attentive des diff érentes instances nous a permis d’identifi er un groupe dirigeant formé par les femmes membres du parti «cumulardes». Il ne comprenait pas plus de 30 a 40 personnes. Le portrait général des femmes membres du parti, élues au Comité Central Parti Communiste Roumain, diff ere de l’image stéréotypée de l’ouvriere analphabete, militante du parti, promue uniquement pour l’adhésion totale au parti et moins pour des raisons méritocratiques. Depuis octobre 1945, la proportion des intellectuelles a été signifi cative, meme majoritaire pendant des deux décennies. Comme pour l’organisation féminine de masse, le Parti Communiste Roumain a désigné comme représentantes au Comité Central des femmes sur lesquelles on pouvait compter du point de vue professionnel et intellectuellement.
106. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Márta B. Erdős, Gábor Kelemen The Finite Universe: Discursive Double Bind and Parrhesia in State Socialism
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Readers are invited into a universe established by the discursive practices of “soft dictatorship” in Hungary between 1957 and 1989. The two major categories of our epistemic discourse analysis, representing the internal struggles of the intellectuals in the era, are manipulation and parrhesia. Manipulation is understood as an abuse of power; it impairs human collaboration and social development by delimiting social participation. Parrhesia is an act in which the speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, taking the risks and responsibilities of veridiction in crisis situations.
iv. dissent
107. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Iulia Vladimirov Monica Lovinescu: The Voice of Unbound Freedom
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Starting with 1962, Monica Lovinescu became, for hundreds of thousands of Romanians, the voice of unbound freedom as editor with Radio Free Europe. Her well-known broadcasts, Theses and Antitheses in Paris and The Romanian Cultural Bulletin, revealed the true face of communist Romania while openly discussing the fate of literature, art, music or politics under dictatorship. Monica Lovinescu’s well-grounded opinions and her determination never to compromise made her a living example of moral integrity, which exiled and non-exiled Romanians constantly referred to.The impact of Monica Lovinescu’s live transmissions forced the Romanian Securitate to initiate and develop deftly devised plans to marginalize, belittle or even “neutralise” the rebellious “element”. Lovinescu’s refusal to collaborate with the communist authorities was followed by hostile press campaigns, closesurveillance by the Securitate officers and informants and, last but not least, an act of violent physical aggression against her in November 1977.Monica Lovinescu’s opposition to the communist regime continued, irrespective of the Securitate’s opening or closing her file. The Romanian Revolution of 1989marked the beginning of a new stage in Lovinescu’s career. She spoke as openly about the need for lustration and in favour of democratic values. Her unparalleled contribution to the cause of freedom needs to be properly assessed.
108. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Cosmina Tănăsoiu Revisiting Romanian Dissent under Communism. The Unbearable Lightness of Solitude
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Explanations for the relative silence of Romanian intellectuals between 1945 and 1989 vary, though all centre upon the regime’s ability to coerce and control intellectual circles through its repressive and manipulative tools, such as its political police (the Securitate), a nationalist discourse that equated opposition with betrayal and an incentive-based approach (economic and social benefits). While structural constraints as well as a particular nationalistic culture, explain the limited dissent, they do not account for why dissent happened at all. This article focuses on agency as well as context examining not just the factors that influenced dissent but also analyzing the various forms of dissent which occurred during communism. It takes a historical analysis approach and relies upon a dataset obtained through original, open-ended interviews with leading Romanian intellectuals and primary sources (i.e. memoirs, open letters) to explain and analyze intellectual dissent. The article argues that individual acts of dissent show that despite the sophisticated mechanisms of indoctrination, propaganda and control, the party’s ability to atomize society was not absolute. Such Quijotic acts provided society with reference points outside the sphere of the Party itself and the grey zone of ethical minimalism.
109. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Ana-Maria Cătănuş Breaking the barriers of Romanian conformism. Dissent and scientific critique of Communism in mathematician Mihai Botez’s thinking. A case study
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This study discusses the case of mathematician and futurologist Mihai Botez, one of the most important Romanian dissident thinkers in the 1980s. Using unedited documents from personal archives, documents from the archives of the former Securitate, Radio Free Europe, as well as oral history sources, this study emphasizes how Mihai Botez’s dissidence emerged, the main directions of his dissident project, similarities in terms of ideas withother dissidents in Eastern Europe/Soviet Union, the relevance of his dissent in relation to Communist power and Romanian society.The study consists of two parts, each divided in several sub-themes. The first part of this study deals with investigating the intellectual roots of Botez’s dissidentthinking, discussing also the influence that his professional education had on the rise of his political consciousness. It also discusses the main directionsof Mihai Botez’s dissidence: the conceptualization of solitary dissidence as a first step towards individualizing a group of independent critical intellectuals,dissident strategies, and expected results.The second part deals with Mihai Botez’s works and research aimed at developing the cybernetics of Communist regimes. His dissident project aimedat bringing to light the parallel society that existed but which kept silent, encouraging diversity of views and creating pressure from society, one capable ofinfluencing government strategies.
v. reviews
110. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Corina Doboș Vladimir Tismăneanu (ed.), Promises of 1968. Crisis, Illusion, and Utopia
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111. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Florea Ionicioaia Grégoire Gafenco/ Grigore Gafencu, Préliminaires de la guerre a l’est, De l’accord de Moscou (21 aout 1939) aux hostilités en Russie (22 juin 1941)/ Preliminariile războiului din răsărit, De la Acordul de la Moscova (23 august 1939) până la ostilităţile din Rusia (22 iunie 1941)
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112. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Raluca Grosescu Stephen Kotkin, Jan Gross, The Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment
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113. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Dumitru Lăcătuşu Mircea Stănescu, Reeducarea în România comunistă (1948-1955). Târgșor și Gherla
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114. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Andrei Muraru Charles King, Odessa: Genius and Death in the City of Dreams
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115. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Notes on contributors
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116. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Call For Papers For 2012
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117. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
History of Communism in Europe A New Journal of Comparative Studies
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argument
118. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Mihail Neamţu Studying Communism in Eastern Europe: Moral Clarity, Conceptual Diversity, and Interdisciplinary Methodology
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i. miscellanea
119. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Vladimir Tismăneanu Coming to Terms with a Traumatic Past: Reflections on Democracy, Atonement, and Memory
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The collapse of communism and the subsequent transition to democracy of the Central and South-East European countries have been characterized by a dynamic approach towards their recent past. In those countries having pursued some legal and extra-legal remedies, ranging from criminal trials and truth commissions to lustrations, parliamentary inquiries, compensations, restitutions or governmental based investigations, the transitional dynamic has been hugely analysed in a tremendous corpus of literature. Such clear „signs” as carried out measures and their nature are on the other hand the sheer evidence of some shaken order and of the attempt on re-establishing the trust. Besides the trauma of the early Stalinist period, all the countries in the region (Romania included) had and still have to deal with “the grey veil of moral ambiguity” (Tony Judt) that was a defining feature of really existing socialism. These societies and most of their members have an uneasy conscience in relation with the past: complicities are often covered by the thick veil of denial, collaborationism is presented as an inevitable choice, and resistance is underestimated.
120. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 1
Paul Hollander Political Pilgrimages: Their Meaning, Aftermath, and Linkages
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Many distinguished Western intellectuals visited communist (or state socialist) countries (such as the former Soviet Union, China under Mao and Cuba under Castro) during the past century with a highly favourable predisposition and wrote admiring accounts of their experiences. These political pilgrimages demonstrated the capacity of intellectuals for wishful thinking and bizarre political misjudgements.More recently the same underlying attitudes which gave rise to these misjudgements found expression in anti-Americanism and the non-judgmental or sympathetic attitudes towards Islamic radicalism. These misjudgements and the associated illusions compel the revision of widely held conceptions ofintellectuals as individuals with highly developed critical faculties capable of distinguishing between appearance and reality.