front cover of Adventures in the Stone Age
Adventures in the Stone Age
A New Guinea Diary
Leopold Pospíšil
Karolinum Press, 2021
The first publication of a charming fieldwork memoir by a giant of legal anthropology.
When Leopold Pospíšil first arrived in New Guinea in 1954 to investigate the legal systems of the local tribes, he was warned about the Kapauku, who reputedly had no laws. Skeptical of the idea that any society could exist without laws, Pospíšil immediately decided to live among and study the Kapauku. Learning the language and living as a participant-observer among them, Pospíšil discovered that the supposedly primitive society possessed laws, rules, and social structures that were as sophisticated as they were logical. Drawing on his research and experiences among the Kapauku—he would stay with them five times between 1954 and 1979—Pospíšil broke new ground in the field of legal anthropology, holding a professorship at Yale, serving as the anthropology curator of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and publishing three books of scholarship on Kapauku law.

This memoir of Pospíšil’s experience is filled with charming anecdotes and thrilling stories of trials, travels, and war told with humor and humility and accompanied by a wealth of the author’s personal photos from the time.

front cover of Ancient Weeds
Ancient Weeds
Contours of Popular and Trash Literature in Ancient and Medieval Times
Edited by Sylva Fischerová and Jirí Starý
Karolinum Press, 2023
This book blurs the line between high and low culture throughout literary history.

The common story in literary studies is that the emergence of popular and junk literature is related to the emergence of modern society due to the rise of literacy and the shortening of workdays. Ancient Weeds upends this misconception by demonstrating that antiquity had its fair share of literary pieces that fit the definition of popular, trivial, and junk literature. The authors analyze artifacts such as the ancient Egyptian Turin Papyrus, ancient love novels, Christian hagiographies and passion plays, lives of Jesus and Marian hymns, Byzantine parodies of liturgical procedure, Old Norse tales and lying sagas, Arabic maqams, and Spanish blind romances. Through numerous excerpts, it becomes clear that the line between junk and high literature is thinner than it seems. They reveal how seemingly low themes such as sex and violence often overlap with the themes of high literature. In many cases, low literature is more imaginative and subversive than canonical texts, and bizarreness and non-conformity do not necessarily equate to the ephemerality of a work. As Ancient Weeds shows, thousands of years after it was written, low literature can still be a great source of entertainment today.

front cover of Archaeology, History, and Formation of Identity in Ancient Israel
Archaeology, History, and Formation of Identity in Ancient Israel
Filip Capek
Karolinum Press, 2023
A critical examination of the history of Israel.

When did Israel begin? The origins of ancient Israel are shrouded in mystery, and those hoping to explore the issue must utilize resources from three different fields—archaeology, epigraphy, and biblical texts—and then examine their interrelations while keeping in mind that the name Israel was not used to describe just one state but referred to numerous entities at different times.

Archaeology, History, and Formation of Identity in Ancient Israel provides a critical reading of Israel’s history. It is neither a harmonizing reading, which takes the picture painted by texts as a given fact, nor a reading supporting biblical texts with archaeological and epigraphic data; instead, it offers the reader multiple options to understand biblical narratives on a historical and theological level. In addition to presenting the main currents in the field, the book draws upon the latest discoveries from Czech-Israeli excavations to offer new hypotheses and reconstructions based on the interdisciplinary dialogue between biblical studies, archaeology, and history.

front cover of Around the Globe
Around the Globe
Rethinking Oral History with Its Protagonists
Edited by Miroslav Vanek
Karolinum Press, 2013
In this unusual and important new work, Miroslav Vanek interviews twelve experts on oral history to discuss the medium’s current status within the social sciences in light of recent technology breakthroughs. Around the Globe addresses many of the challenges of oral history, from its inherent subjectivity to whether it should be treated as a discipline or simply a method for research. The interviewees also include their own accounts of how they began to study oral history, giving each section of the book a personal element that makes it a unique handbook for anyone using oral history in their research.  

front cover of The Avant-Postman
The Avant-Postman
Experiment in Anglophone and Francophone Fiction in the Wake of James Joyce
David Vichnar
Karolinum Press, 2022
A new look at the development of innovative postwar writing in France, Britain, and the United States.

The Avant-Postman explores a broad range of innovative postwar writing from France, Britain, and the United States. Taking James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake as a joint starting point, David Vichnar draws genealogical lines from there through the work of more than fifty writers up to very recent years, including William Burroughs, B. S. Johnson, Ian Sinclair, Kathy Acker, Alan Moore, David Foster Wallace, and many others. Centering the exploration around five strategies employed by Joyce—narrative parallax, stylistic metempsychosis, concrete writing, forgery, and neologizing the logos—the book reveals the striking continuities and developments from Joyce’s day to our own.

front cover of Azerbaijan's Geopolitical Landscape
Azerbaijan's Geopolitical Landscape
Contemporary Issues, 1991–2018
Edited by Farid Shafiyev
Karolinum Press, 2019
Being located between the Black and Caspian seas, Azerbaijan has always been the juncture of Eurasia—with a traditional reputation as a crossroads between the north-south and east-west transport corridors—and the traditional ground for competition between numerous regional and global players, using both soft and hard power. With its vast hydrocarbon energy reserves, Azerbaijan is a country of particular importance in the South Caucasus. The region’s complex geopolitics have immensely influenced Azerbaijan’s foreign policy strategy. With the dissolution of the USSR, Azerbaijan, as a new state with fragile security, found itself in a complicated situation surrounded by regional powers like Iran, Russia, and Turkey. This book focuses on several major foreign policy issues faced by the Republic of Azerbaijan since it regained its independence in 1991. These major issues include the conflict with Armenia and related matters, the relationship with the West, as well as the complexities arising from its relationship with Russia and its ties to Muslim countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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