Subscribe to our newsletter

Editorial Advisory Board’s ‘Recommended Read’ - February 2020

Our ‘Recommended Read’ for February has been chosen by Professor Clara Sarmento. One of our most prolific writers, she has authored or co-authored 6 books with Cambridge Scholars, with her seventh due for release later this year. In addition to being a regular contributor to this section, she is also a valued and trusted member of our Anthropology Editorial Advisory Board

Her choice is Folkloric Aspects of the Romanian Imaginary and Myth by Claudia Costin (Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania), published in August 2018, which seeks to shed new light on the mythical-ritualistic aspects of Romanian folkloric traditions, a topic which has been steadily returning to popular cultural consciousness in the country after much of it was suppressed during the communist era. The book has plenty to offer not only to those specifically interested in Romanian cultural history, but to anthropologists and general readers with in interest in cultural interaction and dissection.

As explained in the Foreword, the book “addresses more than just specialists but people from all walks of life, it can be seen as a “bridge” between cultures, between people willing to discover, beyond the elements that reveal identity and aspects that configure or reconfigure the similarities in the grand diversity.”

Cambridge Scholars are offering a 50% discount on Clara’s choice throughout February. You can redeem the discount by using the code ‘EABFEB20’ on our website when purchasing the book.

Here’s what Clara had to say about the book:

“Claudia Costin challenges the times and spaces of globalization, by combining the study of national identities with the classical synthesis of myth and reality, in the peculiar realm of Romanian culture, strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, as well as in the margins of the Ottoman, the Tsarist, and the Austro-Hungarian Empires.

The author addresses the diversity of Romanian popular culture and folklore – from music and dance to gastronomy, fairy tales, and rituals – as keepers of the spiritual structure of the Balkans. The cultural identity of Romania is revealed through traditions and collective memories, creating a sense of unity within the wider search for reconstruction and national identity of this former communist state.

In fact, resistance to the impositions of globalization is marked by the way local communities preserve and transmit their oral traditions, myths and precepts of common knowledge, whose cultural symbolism, ethics and aesthetics function as educational tools for intercultural competence. Such manifestations of memory as part of identity, both individual and collective, are also a key factor for the continuity, coherence and (re)construction of communities. In this book, narratives of local culture allow to analyze critically the discourses that guide the logic of identity and the practices that move (and are moved by) current and retrospective representations of reality.

 Costin successfully manages to describe such diversity as an ontological dimension, where self and other are no longer hostile opposites but examples of effective intercultural communication. A universe of challenging symbols, employed for regulating and protecting the community, sheds light on the practices and representations that infuse the cultural codes of the Romanian imaginary.”

To learn more about the volume and its author, to read a sample extract from the text, or to purchase the book with your 50% discount you can follow this link. For more information on our reviewer, you can click here.

Tags :  articleblogrecommended reads
Leave your comment