Anthropologist Dr Ad Borsboom, chair of Pacific Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, devoted his academic career from 1972 onwards to the transmission of cultural knowledge. Borsboom handed the insights he acquired during many years of fieldwork among Australian Aborigines on to other academics, students and the general public. This collection of essays by his colleagues, specializing in cultures from across the globe, focuses on knowledge transmission. The contributions deal with local forms of education or pedagogics, the learning experiences of fieldwork and the nexus of status and education. Whereas some essays are reflexive, others are personal in nature. But all of the authors are fascinated by the divergent ways in which people handle ‘knowledge’. The volume provides readers with respectful representations of other cultures and their distinct epistemologies.
Today we can hardly imagine life in Europe without roads and the automobiles that move people and goods around. In fact, the vast majority of movement in Europe takes place on the road. Travelers use the car to explore parts of the continent on their holidays, and goods travel large distances to reach consumers. Indeed, the twentieth century has deservedly been characteried as the century of the car. The situation looked very different around 1900. People crossing national borders by car encountered multiple hurdles on their way. Technically, they imported their vehicle into a neighboring country and had to pay astronomic import duties. Often they needed to pass a driving test in each country they visited. Early on, automobile and touring clubs sought to make life easier for traveling motorists. International negotiations tackled the problems arising from differing regulations. The resulting volume describes everything from the standardied traffic signs that saved human lives on the road to the Europabus taking tourists from Stockholm to Rome in the 1950s. Driving Europe offers a highly original portrait of a Europe built on roads in the course of the twentieth century.
In the seventeenth century, the Dutch herring fisheries in the North Sea were considered the most sophisticated and demanding fishing operation in the world. This is the first study to assess the North Sea herring and herring fisheries over the span of several centuries. It contributes to the understanding of pre-modern natural resource exploitation and the role of the natural environment in long-term development of the Dutch herring fisheries.
Nowadays most consumers are aware of the European dimensions of their electricity supply. But what ideas lie behind this European network? In constructing electricity networks, Europe performed a Janus-faced function. On the one hand, a European network would bolster economic growth and peace. On the other, economic growth through electrification would increase military potential.
By combining a wide array of rarely used sources, this book unravels how engineers, industrialists, and policymakers used ideas of Europe to gain support for building a European system. By focusing on transnational and European actors, this book is a valuable addition to existing national histories of electrification. It is an original contribution to the history of technology, while also making the role of technology visible in more mainstream European history.
The empirical chapters show how ideas of European cooperation in general became intertwined with network planning during the Interwar period, although the Depression and WWII prevented a European electricity network from being constructed. The subsequent chapters describe the influence of the Marshall Plan on European network-building, focusing on both its economic and military aspects. The last chapter portrays how the Iron Curtain was contested. The troubled expansion of networks and capacity in Western Europe provided an underpinning for political rapprochement with the East in the 1970s and 1980s. Political and economic turmoil after 1989 accelerated this process, leading to an interconnected European system by 1995.
Since 1882, the Gotthard Railway, with its fifteen-kilometer long tunnel under the Gotthard Mountains, has provided a crucial international link through the Swiss Alps, between North-Western Europe and Italy. Its symbolic meaning has never sunk into oblivion. In Swiss society today, references to the railway evoke images of a technological railway project, with allusions to Swiss history, alpine nature, and national identity. Reading this book helps us understand contemporary discussions about the future of the Gotthard Railway, the region in which it lies, and the Swiss national identity. To illustrate to what extent historical actors co-constructed the railway and Swiss identity, the book starts with an engineering discussion about tunneling methods. Then it examines reactions in Switerland to the inauguration of the railway line. Subsequently, it describes how the railway line was portrayed in travel guides of the belle poque. The last chapter captures the glory days of the Gotthard myth, before and during the Second World War, with a focus on novels and plays in which the Gotthard Tunnel construction occurs. This historical overview offers insight into the multiple roles that technology plays in the construction of a sense of national identity.