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Introduction: Shakespeare and/in Europe: Connecting Voices

Abstract

Recent Shakespearean productions, just like current European crises, have highlighted the exclusionary nature of European identity. In defining the scope of this special issue, the aim of this introduction is to shift the study of Shakespeare in/and Europe away from the ideological field of “unity within diversity” and its attendant politics of negotiation and mediation. Instead, it investigates whether re-situating Shakespearean analysis within regimes of exclusionary politics and group conflict attitudes helps to generate dynamic cultural and social understandings. To what effect is Shakespeare’s work invoked in relation with the tensions inherent in European societies? Can such invocations encourage reflections on Europe as a social, political and/or cultural entity? Is it possible to conceptualize Shakespearean drama as offering an effective instrument that connects―or not―the voices of the people of Europe?

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The Annexation of the Transvaal in 1877: The First Boer Reactions

Abstract

In April 1877 The South African Republic was annexed by the British Empire. This was a part of a wider scheme to unify the sub-continent under the British rule. The story is well known. Many works deals with the motives of Lord Carnarvon and other British decision-makers. Much less deals with the question of immediate Boer reaction, or to be exact, the reasons behind their inaction. This article deals with this problem. Tries to evaluate the attitudes of both, the British and the Boers, and to show why the Transvaal Boers mostly ignored the annexation declaration? This text is just an excursion into field which demands much wider and more detailed studies.

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Dutch Caribbean Poetics in a Historical Perspective

Abstract

This article provides an overview of two hundred years of Dutch Caribbean poetics: from Eurocentrism to originality, from imitation towards creation.

In the 19th century colonial poets of the ABC islands followed European examples, in the beginning of the 20th century they searched for local themes and forms, and from the last decades of the 20th and in the beginning of the 21st centuries they combined the local and the global arriving at a creative amalgam of the glocal.

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The Aberdeen Burgh Records of 1398–1531 and the Semantic Web

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.

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Gearing up for Catalan Intellectual History: JOCIH’s Twist

Abstract

This article can be read as an Editorial for the first issue of the Journal of Catalan Intellectual History (JOCIH) in its new stage at de Gruyter Open. It offers, first, a methodical review of the concept, roles, and trends of intellectual history in the 20th century. Next, it looks into the particular Catalan tradition, historiography, and cultural analysis to position the aim and the role of the Journal with regard to similar initiatives. It tries to give an answer to the crisis of intellectual history as a discipline, at the end of the past century. The third part of the article describes some of the available resources. The fourth section introduces the contents of the present issue, focussing on the construction of a collective identity and the literary engagement of Catalan writers between 1920 and 1980, either in their country or in exile. The Notes of the present issue highlight the importance of technology, natural language processing, and Semantic Web developments in carrying out contemporary research in this field.

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Over Hesperiaanse Melancholie: Eugène Nielen Marais en de Geschiedenis van een poëtische Gemoedsgesteldheid

Abstract

The article gives a brief ‘idea history’ of Hesperian melancholy a.k.a. Hesperian depression, the fleeting state of dejection that some humans and animals experience at dusk. The term was apparently coined by the South African poet and naturalist Eugene Marais (1871-1936), who noticed the phenomenon during his field observations of baboons. Marais' observations of primates were in the first place an attempt to shed more light on the evolutionary roots of the human psyche and its afflictions - not in the least his own. A personal focus seems probable in his notes on the use of euphoria-inducing substances among animals and humans, which are an evident reflection of his own morphine addiction; but also in his writings about Hesperian depression. During his lifetime, Marais only published about Hesperian depression twice, once in a very concise article in English, and once in more elaborate form in Afrikaans. The term ‘Hesperian depression’ only became more current when his manuscript on primate behaviour, The Soul of the Ape, was posthumously published in 1963. Since then, the term and its description sometimes appear in (popular) publications of paleobiologists and scholars of the evolution of human behaviour. In psychology and psychiatry, the term was introduced by the eminent American psychoanalyst William G. Niederlander, who presented it in a 1971 article in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association as an idea of his own. It is evident, however, that he took his cue from Marais, who thus was posthumously plagiarized.

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Shakespeare and National Mythologizing in Czech Nineteenth Century Drama

Abstract

The paper will discuss the ways in which Shakespeare’s tragedies (King Lear) and histories (1 and 2 Henry IV), translated in the period of the Czech cultural renaissance (known also as the Czech National Revival) at the end of the 18th and in the first half of the 19th century, challenge and transform the nationalist concept of history based on “primordialism” (Anthony Smith), deriving from an invented account of remote past (the forged Manuscripts of Dvur Kralove and Zelena Hora) and emphasizing its absolute value for the present and future of the Czech nation. While for nationalist leaders Shakespeare’s dramas served as models for “boldly painted heroic characters” of the Czech past, translators, dramatists and poets had to deal with the aspects of Shakespeare’s tragedies and histories which were disrupting the nationalist visions of the past and future. Contrasting the appropriations of King Lear and both parts of Henry IV in the translations and historical plays by the leading Czech dramatist Josef Kajetán Tyl (1808-1852) and the notebooks and dramatic fragments of the major romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836), the paper will attempt to specify the role of Shakespeare in shaping the historical consciousness of emerging modern Czech culture.

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A Poetic Voice in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Holland: Remco Campert and Breyten Breytenbach

Abstract

This article discusses the Dutch poet Remco Campert’s involvement in the anti-apartheid movement in Holland by focusing on his magazine Gedicht (1974-1976) and his poem dedicated to the imprisoned South African writer Breyten Breytenbach. Campert’s international engagement is part of the actions undertaken by the Breytenbach-committee and other Dutch initiatives which tried to maintain public interest for the case of Breyten-bach’s imprisonment.

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The Censorship of Essays Written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany (1968–1978)

Abstract

General Franco’s censorship apparatus was quick to pounce on the intellectual dissent in the essays written by Maria Aurèlia Capmany from 1968 to 1978. Based on censorship records, this article analyses the ideological way that those in charge of issuing the reports read her essays. The essays that suffered the most in the hands of the censors were La joventut és una nova classe? (1969), Pedra de toc (1970), El feminismo ibérico (1970) and El feminisme a Catalunya (1973).

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Digital Humanities on the Semantic Web: Accessing Historical and Musical Linked Data

Abstract

Key fields in the humanities, such as history, art and language, are central to a major transformation that is changing scholarly practice in these fields: the so-called Digital Humanities (DH). A fundamental question in DH is how humanities datasets can be represented digitally, in such a way that machines can process them, understand their meaning, facilitate their inquiry, and exchange them on the Web. In this paper, we survey current efforts within the Semantic Web and Linked Data, a family of Webcompatible knowledge representation formalisms and standards, to represent DH objects in quantitative history and symbolic music. We also argue that the technological gap between the Semantic Web and Linked Data, and DH data owners is currently too wide for effective access and consumption of these semantically enabled humanities data. To this end, we propose grlc, a thin middleware that leverages currently existing queries on the Web (expressed in, e.g., SPARQL) to transparently build standard Web APIs that facilitate access to any Linked Data.

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