The author deals with the importance of memories in connection with historical buildings and sites. The theoretical framework of the study is the concept of space and place (mostly in approach of S. Low) and collective memory (M. Halbwachs). Abstract space is transformed through human activities, interpersonal relationships, communication, memories, etc. into a known place with sense and specific meanings for certain people. Collective memory (the social representation of the past) plays an important role in this process of change. On the other hand, the memories are bound to a certain place, that is to say they are spatially anchored. In this study, the author observes what memories are related to the buildings and the site of the old hospital in Topoľčany. His informants were its former employees, doctors and nurses and the main method used was ethnographic semi-structured interview.
In the late 1970s, Czech society was becoming increasingly aware of the worsening environmental situation. Officials in the Žďár nad Sázavou district agreed to begin revitalizing the “Opening of the Wells” ritual to educate people about environmental problems and as a partial solution to them. This paper examines how this revitalization occurred, focusing on the conceptual framework meant to legitimize this project (the topoi selected, collective memory, ideological proclamations) and ensure its continuation. Studying attempts to make local authorities hold “Opening of the Wells” ceremonies in the villages of this district also allows us to examine how certain mechanisms of power worked during the Communist era. It also helps us better understand how environmental issues were dealt with at the district level.
This study follows on from previous research on the “ancien time régime” (to around 1800) by R. Koselleck and A. Assmann. It examines representations of eternity in exempla, legends and other texts. The basic motif of these texts is the break with the time, i.e. the situation where the mortal man enters a different time regime (such as paradise) and spents there a seemingly a short time, while, in fact, hundreds of years have passed. The study describes the basic types of these tales (song of the bird, wedding, vision, etc.) and analyses their common motifs.
The study is focused on motif of the name taboo in European prosaic folklore (it’s specially focused on Czech folklore tradition) and in popular culture as well. The basic definition of this taboo says it’s a prohibition against uttering the name of a person or thing. The motif appears in folklore in few variants. Taboo may be uttering own name or name of dangerous creature. The study describes differences and similarities between these various motif forms and compares changes in motif’s narrative and social functions in time. It also shows ways how popular culture deals with the motif and creatures connected to it. And it explains functions that name taboo has in movies, tv series and popular literature.
The study focuses on the etymology and origin of the meaning of the term race, which from its first use on a herd of horses with excellent (riding) characteristics, was to define human groups. Expert research examining the etymology of the word race has found out at more or less three established hypotheses: the "Arabic", "Greek-Latin" and "French" hypotheses. Furthermore, it is the French hypothesis that will interest us, because if the French hypothesis applied then the word race comes from the French haras, with the meaning "herd" (horses) with "aristocratic", "noble blood origin". The original meaning of the term race referred to the quality of "blood" ("origin") of a unique "herd" of horses or dogs. It gradually began to be used for a "quality family" (caste) of a socially "noble" group of people (knights, bishops or king), who spoke of himself in terms of an aristocratic, noble family, origin, thus in the meaning of a noble "bloodline".