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A digital Jewish history?

Abstract

How can we teach Jewish history in a modern and effective way? In Hamburg, Germany, a school project called Geschichtomat tries to find an answer to that question. With the help of digital media, students explore their Jewish neighbourhood. This one-of-a-kind German program permits students to experience the Jewish past and present life in their hometown. During the project, students explore their neighbourhood to understand its historical figures, places, and events. This way they engage with Jewish life. Under the supervision of experts in the disciplines of history and media education, the students will: research, perform interviews with cultural authorities and contemporary witnesses, visit museums and archives, shoot and cut films, edit photos and write accompanying texts. Finally, their contributions are uploaded to the geschichtomat.de website. Little by little a digital map of Jewish life from the perspective of teenagers will take shape.

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11. Traditional and Innovative Methods in Approaching Music Styles. Pedagogical Implications

Abstract

The approach to music styles entails an in-depth musicological analysis aimed at synthesizing numerous bibliographical sources belonging to different fields and directions of research. A chronological overview of studies (Jean Molino, Fait musical et sémiologie de la musique, 1975; Jean Jaques Nattiez, Quelques reflexions du style, 1993; R. J. Pascall, Style, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1994; Jean Jaques Nattiez, La musique de l’avenir, in Musique. Une Encyclopédie pour le XXI siècle, 2003; Mario Baroni, Stil şi mutaţii stilistice în tradiţia muzicală europeană, in Musique Une encyclopédie pour le XXI siècle, 2006) and of universal (Leonard Meyer, Explaining Music, 1973; Charles Rosen, Le style classique: Haydn. Mozart, Beethoven, 1978; Leonard B. Meyer, Style and Music. Theory, History and Ideology, 1989; and Romanian specialised literature (Cornel Ţăranu, Elemente de stilistică muzicală (sec. XX), 1981; Edgar Papu, Despre stiluri, 1986; Valentina Sandu-Dediu, Alegeri Atitudini Afecte, 2010; Vasile Iliuţ, O carte a stilurilor muzicale, 2011; Valentin Timaru, Stilistică muzicală, 2014) from the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, reveal the different and, more often than not, contrasting views of historians, analysts, aestheticians, philosophers, scholars and educators, starting from the meaning of the very idea of style, to the reception of this phenomenon in contemporaneity. On these grounds, this study proposes a systematization of the most relevant landmarks in documentation to date, for the purpose of applying them from a didactic perspective.

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Jewish philosophy and political theory to the shoah, some aspects

Abstract

For many researchers, the new categorical imperative by philosopher Theodor Adorno about thinking and acting in the way so that Auschwitz is never repeated, has become the new starting point for rethinking the rules of practicing the humanities. In the article, I present the postwar history of Jewish thought that has been manifested in the discourse about the Shoah.

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Education: 4. Perspectives on the Concepts of Gifting and Talent and How they are Used in the Arts

Abstract

The educational programs dedicated to gifted and talented people are developed or must be developed starting with an adhesion to a definition of the working concept, in this case „giftedness” or „talent”. A foray into the literature proves that the meaning of the concept of giftedness has developed over time, as influenced by various factors such as historical (history of the research) and of human nature (psychological or educational). The aim of the paper is to make a review of the associated key moments in the evolution of the concept of giftedness. The bibliographical sources allowed us to achieve a chronological overview of the position/attitude of the most prestigious researchers in the field, who tried to explain the concept of giftedness and talent. The collected data demonstrates that there is no unanimous acceptance of a single definition until today, and that the concept keeps its tendency to perpetual transformation. The constant during this time remains its relationship with the demonstrated, respectively with the potential performance.

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A Note On Chess In 19th Century Turkestan

Abstract

A note by A. Chernevski in the 1877 Shakhmatny Listok described two chess variants played in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan. One, the “Bukharan game”, is a slightly modified version of shatranj, similar to Rumi chess as described in Murray’s History of Chess. The other, the “Persian game with a queen” resembles to some extent the Persian chess described in 1846 in the Chess Player’s Chronicle but differs from it in several important aspects. Chernevski’s information, which includes recorded games by native players, is absent from later sources on chess history. A summary of Chernevski’s report is provided, with a discussion of several other historical chess variants, and various errors that have crept into their description in the literature.

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Simulational Realism—Playing as Trying to Remember

Summary

In this text, I describe a specific way of addressing the past in video games which are set in historical times but at the same time deliberately undermine the facticity of their virtual worlds. By grounding my argument in analyses of two blockbuster productions—Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, 2007) and Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision, 2010)—I introduce and define the notion of “simulational realism”. Both games belong to best-selling franchises and share an interesting set of features: they relate to historical places, events, and figures, establish counter-factual narratives based around conspiracy theories, and—most importantly—display many formal similarities. Like most AAA games, Assassin’s Creed and Black Ops intend to immerse the player in the virtual reality and, for this purpose, they naturalize their interfaces as integral elements of reality. However, in the process of naturalizing simulation, objectivity of the past becomes unthinkable.

In my considerations, I situate this problem in two contexts: 1) of a cultural and epistemic shift in perceiving reality which was influenced by dissemination of digital technologies; 2) Vilém Flusser’s prognosis on the effects of computation on human knowledge. According to Flusser’s theory of communication, history—as a specific kind of human knowledge—emerged out of writing that was always linear and referential. Consequently, the crisis of literary culture resulted in the emergence of new aesthetics and forms of representations which—given their digital origin—dictate new ways of understanding reality. As history is now being substituted by timeless post-history, aesthetic conventions of realism are also transformed and replaced by digital equivalents.

Following Flusser’s theory, I assert that we should reflect on the epistemological consequences of presenting the past as simulation, especially if we consider the belief shared by many players that games like Assassin’s Creed can be great tools for learning history. I find such statements problematic, if we consider that the historical discourse, grounded on fact, is completely incompatible with the aesthetics of sim-realism which evokes no illusion of objective reality.

Open access
Pirate Television Stations in the Years 1990-1994

Abstract

The history of pirate, illegal television stations in Poland is presented here against the broader background of systemic transformations (both political and legal). According to the author of the article, it was an inevitable phenomenon, closely linked to the creation of the foundations of a democratic, lawful state with free-market economy. They were a factor which enforced acceleration of political change, legislative works and affected the change of the programming offer. Although pirate television stations were a short-lived phenomenon, they had huge impact on the later development of electronic media in Poland.

Open access
From the Concept to the Practice of Parliamentary Immunity

Abstract

Scholars have long debated the normative rationality, the temporal and legal aspects, and finally the limits and modern practices of parliamentary immunity. Therefore, this study does not insist on these classical interpretations anymore, but seeks to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual history of parliamentary immunity. Embracing two schools of thought, the Koselleckian interpretation and the Skinnerian variant, this paper aims to establish and clarify in detail the story of the concept of parliamentary immunity in order to elucidate, in a Socratic fashion, what we really mean when we say that a senator or a deputy benefits from legislative immunity. This inquiry will help us emphasise how this concept leaves behind its abstract notion and becomes an institution with strict rules and practices. In addition, considering the importance of this concept in the modern legislative and rhetoric histories and the frequency with which it is used, this study will question the meanings of parliamentary immunity in the light of different historical settings and will eventually trace out a single, coherent, and unified conceptual matrix. My contention is that once parliamentary immunity – seen as a conceptual construct only adjusting the balance of power between the executive and the legislative powers – becomes an institution with strong practices, it enforces the parliament as a unified and independent body and creates the prerequisite conditions for the democratic development.

Open access
Digital artefacts to change the teacher’s practices

Abstract

The change imposed by the diffusion of information and communications technology concerns didactic transposition practices, especially in the context of ‘public subjects’, such as taught history, because their epistemological paradigms are also affected by the mediatization process which they are subjected to in the Web.

Digital competence is essential for building a meaningful curriculum of history, which could generate relevant knowledge for the contemporary world through digital artefacts that can start the change in didactic practices.

The traditional analogical supports, primarily the text books, could be overtaken by the aggregation of technological mediators. The digital mediators can make historical culture both evident and significant, and they can support the intellectual training that history asks of students.

Open access
Chinese Migration and Settlement in Austria

Abstract

Chinese migration to Austria displays some characteristics of the new Chinese migration order facilitated by, among other factors, globalisation and the open-door policies of the People’s Republic of China. This paper offers a historical account of Chinese migration to Austria against a broader background of Chinese migration to Europe, illustrating both the active and the passive roles of Austria in various historical periods. Moreover, through delineating and analysing the distribution by subgroups and the characteristics of the Chinese community in Austria since the 1980s, it elaborates how Austria has shifted from being a temporary transit point to becoming home for the new non-qiáoxiāng Chinese migrants.

Open access