Archive for the ‘Bucur/Wingfield’ Category

Mark my footsteps, my good page. Tread thou in them boldly

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Symbols are used to create a national identity.  The meaning, and validity of the symbol, however depends on the observer.  Nancy Wingfield’s article in the book “Staging the Past” shows how the statue of Joseph II was controversial to the Germans and Czechs.  In Cynthia Paces’ article, she shows how the commemoration of Jan Hus and Saint Wenceslas were controversial to differing religions in Czechoslovakia.

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National Identity and Statuary: What is the Connection?

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Maria Bucur and Nancy M. Wingfield. Staging the Past: The Politics in Hapsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present. Indiana: Purdue University Press. 2001. Pp. 112, 114.

Bucur and Wingfield’s Staging the Past is compiled with essays that address the connection between nationalism and the collective memory of a population. An appropriate question to ask ourselves is: How is this achieved? (more…)

Staging the Past

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Staging the Past

Staging the past by Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield is a book comprised of essays aimed at discussing the use of commemorative ceremonies, celebrations, statues and cemeteries. These manifestations of national pride were a means that the Hapsburg Monarchy used to try and create fervor for a new nationalism. These were intended to show the people that the monarchy still had value and that it was not illegitimate. Throughout the essays the authors discuss the differences of national level commemoratives vs. local level commemoratives. It seems to be a theme that the local level commemoratives proved to be better received by the people, as they bonded together communities on a local level by pointing out a common and shared past. This makes sense when you look at the idea of commemoratives as a means of creating collective memories, and in turn creating a sense of common nationality and nationalism.

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Staging the Past – Rural Myth and National Identity in Poland

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Bucur, Maria & Nancy M. Wingfield. Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Hapsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present. Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2001.

In Staging the Past, Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield gather a collection of essays focused on the “development of nationalism from the perspective of collective memory and cultural practice.” (2) 

I think the most interesting aspect of collective memory is its nature as a contested space, subject to interpretation and manipulation.  There will always be competing interests seeking legitimacy by laying claim to historical events or figures.  It is beneficial to approach the study of nationalism from “the perspective of collective memory” because it lays bare the fluid and contested nature of nationalism, and the difficulties in controlling or directing nationalist sentiments. (more…)

Staging the Past — Steven Beller and Alice Freifeld

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

by Laszlo Taba

Bucur, Maria and Winfield, Nancy M., Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Hapsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present (2001)

Maria Bucur’s and Nancy Winfield’s Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Hapsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present is a collection of essays about the relationship between commemorative practices and historical memory and nationalism. They divide the book into three parts (summarized on pages 4-7). The first examines how the Hapsburg court attempted to legitimize its power by inventing traditions. The second examines local efforts to influence national identity. The third section looks at similar issues after the fall of the Hapsburg monarchy. (more…)

Of Statues and Traditions in Hungary.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Bucur, Maria, and Wingfield, Nancy M., eds. Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present. Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2001.

Essay discussed: “The Cult of March 15: Sustaining the Hungarian Myth of Revolution, 1849-1999″ by Alice Freifeld.

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Staging the Past – Kraus’s Firework

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

In Staging the Past, Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield have compiled a series of essays from various authors which, each in their own way, examine the relationship between institutionalized ceremony and national identity. Using the model of the Hapsburg empire, particularly the reign of Franz Joseph, the editors have divided the book into three sections.

Section one examines the attempts by the imperial court to reinvent, or sometimes just invent, traditions as a means of building back up its power base after 1848.

Section two considers how local commemorative traditions compete with those imposed from above.

Section three examines how the symbols and traditions of the Hapsburg monarchy endured and affected the post-monarchy successor states.

Section two has probably the most interesting essay, Jeremy King’s “The Nationalization of East Central Europe”. But since several other people have already posted entries emphasizing this essay, I thought I would comment first on a different essay.

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Readings for September 27: Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield’s Staging the Past

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Posted by Misha Griffith

Some commemorations are created in stone, and are meant to last. Others, like parades and public speeches, are fleeting events that are only preserved in written accounts and images. (more…)

The Politics of Commemoration

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Beth Gryczewski

Bucur, Maria, and Wingfield, Nancy M., eds. Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present. Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2001.

Bucur and Wingfield have compiled a series of essays on a common theme of nationalism via commemoration. The book is an interesting compilation of essays that describes different means of commemoration that somehow attempt to legitimate (or do actually legitimate) a country’s nationhood. The commemoration involves everything from rituals or ceremonies/celebrations to memorial statues in city centers or cemeteries. Of all the essays in the compilation, the two that are most interesting to me are “The Nationalization of East Central Europe” by Jeremy King and “Reasserting Empire” by Daniel Unowsky.

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Brubaker Revisited

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Kraman: Reading Response #4, September 27, 2007

Maria Bucur and Nancy M. Wingfield, eds. Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present, West La Fayette, IN: University of Purdue Press, 2001.

Jeremy King, “The Nationalization of East Central Europe: Ethnicism, Ethnicity, and Beyond.” and

Cynthia J. Paces, “Religious Heroes for a Secular State: Commemorating Jan Hus and Saint Wenceslaus in 1920s Czechoslovakia.”

Jeremy King concludes his article with a quote from a recent Rogers Brubaker article to the effect that the search for a single theory of nationalism is misguided because the theoretical and political problems associated with nationhood and nationalism are multiform and varied.

Cynthia J. Paces concludes her article with surprise and disappointment that the secular, rational, and elite Czech nationalists – particularly Tomáš Masaryk – used the somewhat mythical Bohemian heroes, Jan Hus, a rebellious Roman Catholic priest and martyr, and good King Wenceslaus, an orthodox Roman Catholic martyr as key elements in the Brubakian nationalizing process for the Czech people in the 1920s. (more…)