This volume of Ethnologia Europaea starts out with
two contrasting studies of monuments. How does
the seemingly stability of stone and bronze hide a
constantly changing cultural use?
Anne Eriksen looks
at the history of ruins in Norway. The murmur of
ruins turns out to be a speech of modernity, a way of
emotionalizing place and history.
discusses the fate of socialist monuments in Ukraine
and shows how the attempts to create alternative
post-socialist memorials reproduce a traditional
Soviet cultural grammar.
Lace is a dominating decorative element in many
Turkish Dutch homes. It has become a sign of
“Turkishness” but as Hilje van der Horst points out,
people’s relations to this mundane domestic element
mirror some important conflicts and ideas about
modernity and ethnicity.
From the cultural media of monuments and
lace, the discussion moves on to two more classic
mass media and their role in identity politics. Stijn
Reijnders explores a popular Dutch game show
that has managed to survive for decades, becoming
something of a national institution for some, an example
of an outmoded genre for others. How does
the involvement mirror ideas of an imagined national
Finally, Silke Meyer looks at an
18th century national stereotype of “The German
quack” in English popular debate and mass media.
How did this caricature of Germanness become an
alter ego of the English?