In this study, the author reflects on his personal experiences and dilemma, when in 2000 an analyst from the Missing in Action Division of the United States Department of Defence asked him to identify some photos taken during the 1980-s in Vietnam. Although the author refused this request at first, he later realized that he would in fact have to identify himself on the photos and agreed to cooperate. The department wanted to make sure that the person in question was not a lost American officer previously detained in a “re-education camp”. The mere fact of this request shocked the author, making him aware of the ideological, political and ethical hazards of field research in Vietnam and the dangers generally inherent in anthropological fieldwork. His article investigates these problems.
INTRODUCTION According to the comprehensive summary by Susan E. Reed, western dance anthropology had already perceived the relationship between dance and politics as early as the 1970s, although it was not until the 1980s that research on the
As a contribution to a larger theoretical discussion of the relationships between literature and political context, this paper offers an examination of the reception of the works of Hungarian poet and novelist Dezső Kosztolányi during the communist period, drawing particular emphasis to the origins of several misunderstandings. Over the past several decades Hungarian Marxist literary theorists, influenced by the philosophical and aesthetical heritage of György Lukács, have thought of artists as having a revolutionary role in society and literature as having an important role as a means through which to educate the nation. Kosztolányi’s concept of art for art’s sake did not minister to this ideological and political system, and as a consequence his reception and reputation suffered. Not only were critical evaluations of his writings, both literary and theoretical, distorted and crafted with the intention of creating a misleading image of the author, but the editions of his texts were also censored. It is not mere accident or circumstance that the critical edition series of his works could not be edited and research groups and projects dealing with an edition of his life’s work were not financed under the communist regime. Hungarian intellectuals have yet to raise the question as to why open discussion of the beginning of the 20th century (when events took place that continue to exert an influence on conceptions of culture today) remains a taboo. Why are there no (or few) critical editions and anthologies or studies dealing with the period? Twenty years have passed since the political transition and the situation remains essentially the same. Hungarian philologists who deal with Kosztolányi’s oeuvre must address these questions and challenge the Marxist axioms and stereotypes if they hope to further the development of Kosztolányi’s reception. Relying on postmodern theories is not sufficient if there is little fundamental research.
Recently in Britain a proposal to ban hunting with dogs has caused a political furore. A fever pitch has been reached with the impending prospect of legislation under the new Labour Government. (Twice previously legislation has been brought before Parliament, but has failed to become law.) Among communities, the polarisation of popular opinion into pro- and anti-hunting pressure groups, led, in June 1998, to the formation of the Countryside Alliance, arguably the largest protest body with a 'status quo' agenda that Britain has ever known. Out of these tensions and perceived threats to rural lifestyles there has grown a renewed sense of community, in which such cherished institutions as the hunt supper together with the singing of traditional hunting songs have come to the fore. The assertion of identity 'in song' of those who value these cultural traditions has, during the last six years, crossed the boundary from the closed gatherings of hunting groups and rural communities into the public arena of political controversy. Based on fieldwork in the west Yorkshire Pennine hills, this paper will consider the changing perceptions of the function and meaning of such songs and the political implications of their performance.
Expression of Politico-Religious Identity. In: Sharon MACDONALD (ed.) Inside European Identities. Ethnography in Western Europe. Oxford, Berg, 167-193.
CIPRIANI, Roberto 1984: Religion and Politics. The Italian Case