Cameras on the Nation’s Darkest Hour

Recent BBC Culture article, Christian Petzold: How Germans today confront the Nazis, takes a look at how the attitude of German filmmakers has changed in the past 15 years and how the cinema is turning the cameras on the nation’s darkest hour in films and TV. Read more on what Nina Hoss, an actress in the latest German film to address the war and its aftermath Christian Petzold’s Phoenix, has to say


Browse some of Berghahn’s relevant titles on the topic of Nazi portrayal and postwar cinema in Germany & Europe.


Politics and Memory
Marek Haltof

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The Norwegian Constitution, A ‘Living Document’

When it was signed May 17, 1814, the Constitution of Norway was considered one of the most radical Constitutions of the day. To celebrate the 200th year since it was first enacted, editors Karen Gammelgaard and Eirik Holmøyvik and their contributors have written a collection of historical accounts about the document. Their book Writing Democracy: The Norwegian Constitution 1814-2014 was published this month. Following, the editors provide more information about the history of this guiding document as well as the history of the volume.




What drew you to the study of the Norwegian Constitution?


For researchers in Norway it has been impossible not to be drawn to the Norwegian Constitution these last few years due to the bicentenary in 2014.

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Museum Studies

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened 55 years ago on October 21, 1959 at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Since its first day, the Frank Lloyd Wright building has been an iconic space for the display of art as well as a cherished landmark, providing a striking silhouette to countless images, from tourist snapshots to feature films, and becoming an essential part of New York’s architectural landscape. Visit museum website for more information on events, locations and current exhibitions.


While Guggenheim celebrates its birthday, Berghahn is delighted to present some of our latest Museum Studies titles:


Museums and Collections Series:

This series explores the potential of museum collections to transform our knowledge of the world, and for exhibitions to influence the way in which we view and inhabit that world. It offers essential reading for those involved in all aspects of the museum sphere: curators, researchers, collectors, students and the visiting public.


Volume 6

Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations
Wolfram Kaiser, Stefan Krankenhagen and Kerstin Poehls
Translated from the German

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Investing in the Environment

As consumers, are we changing the world with our buying power? This question, which has garnered much attention in recent years, is merely the tip of the iceberg of issues discussed in Ethical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice, which is now available in paperback. Following, editors James Carrier and Peter Luetchford explain the purpose behind their volume and delve deeper into the mentality behind “ethical consumption.”




This volume arose from our common interest in the ways that ethical consumption is understood, both those seeking to analyse it and by those seeking to pursue it.

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World Food Day #WFD2014

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger. On October 16th people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger by starting a conversation, learning and educating about food, farming, and hunger. This World Food Day celebrates family farmers for growing our food and caring for the earth. #Toast a Farmer!


Berghahn is delighted to present some of its relevant titles:


Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives
Edited by Paul Collinson and Helen Macbeth
Foreword by Hugo Slim

Volume 8, Anthropology of Food & Nutrition

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Religion, TV Drama, and Life in Africa

Television dramas set in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, offer viewers interesting commentaries on life in the African city, according to Katrien Pype. The connection between real-life and filmic melodrama, conversion narratives, Christian songs and testimonies are described in her book, The Making of the Pentecostal Melodrama: Religion, Media and Gender in Kinshasa, now available in paperback. Following, the author gives a synopsis of two popular TV shows in Kinshasa, Kalaonga and The Heritage of Death. These descriptions are followed by clips from each serial.





(produced between March 2004 and November 2005)


The serial opens in the Dark World. Baaba, the Devil, accompanied by two demons, is listening to his daughter, the siren Kalaonga.

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Reinventing Holiday

In advance of the approaching holiday, on Monday, October 6th, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to redesignate the federal Columbus Day holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day to reflect that Native Americans were living on the continent before Christopher Columbus’s 15th Century arrival. Reinventing the holiday to a more politically correct and inclusive would celebrate the contributions and culture of the people on the other side of the New World discovery story.

Minneapolis voted in April to replace Columbus Day, while several states, including Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon do not acknowledge the holiday which became a U.S. federal holiday in 1937.



Berghahn recognizes the significance of indigenous cultures and is happy to present some of its relevant titles:


The Complex Relation between Identity and Statistics
Edited by Per Axelsson and Peter Sköld

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Hearing History of the 19th and 20th Centuries

In a newly published collection, editor Daniel Morat and his contributors approach historical analysis in an uncommon way — by using their sense of hearing. The authors examine the way modern history sounds in Sounds of Modern History: Auditory Cultures in 19th- and 20th-Century Europe. Following, the editor gives a brief introduction and shares an excerpt from his chapter. The excerpt is accompanied by a recording from 1914 Germany.




When Europe went to war in the summer of 1914, scenes of vociferous war enthusiasm have been reported from many European cities. Historiographic research of the last twenty years has shown that these scenes were not representative of the general mood in the warring nations. Still, they have long dominated our perception of the outbreak of World War I.

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Media Studies

The media allows access to incredible amounts of information and continues to become very integral to the lives of many people. Legislatures, media executives, local officials, general population, historians and sociologists have all debated the controversial question of what rode and influence does mass media play in history and society. While opinions vary as to the extent and type of influence the mass media wields, all sides agree that mass media is a permanent part and a significant force in modern culture.


Berghahn is delighted to present some of its relevant titles from the Media Studies list:


Strategies and Performances from the 1960s to the Present
Edited by Kathrin Fahlenbrach, Erling Sivertsen & Rolf Werenskjold

Volume 11, Protest, Culture & Society

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If Monuments Could Talk

War memorials are more than a simple, objective way to commemorate the past; they can also, as a visual message, guide the memory of a society in certain political and ideological directions. Author Elisabetta Viggiani looks at and into war memorials in Northern Ireland — and what these say about the broader culture — in her just-published Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern IrelandBelow, the author gives an introduction to her work, followed by an excerpt from the volume.





If memory was simply about the past, why would governments and public authorities be prepared to put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service? The answer is because memory is seldom about the past, rather it is about the present moment; as Pierre Nora puts it, ‘through the past, we venerate above all ourselves’. Talking Stones investigates how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society.


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