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Issue 48 - June 2008

Tuesday 24 June 2008

New books published

(JPG) Vadim Toropov, Crimean Roma: Language and Folklore, in Romani and English (State University Publisher, Ivanovo - 2008), supported by the Grants Program of VORBA project

The book presents an unique research based on the oral histories and folklore of the Crimean Roma. Crimean Roma are an ethnolinguistic community leaving in the area of the Crimean peninsula since the 18 c. Today some 12,000 to 15,000 live in Russia and Ukraine. During the past century the Crimean Roma suffered persecution that brought them on the verge of extinction. In 1944 they were forcedly deported from their traditional place of residence and were never given permission to return. The book presents oral history narratives about these dramatic events collected by the author in the last couple of decades as well as original pieces of Roma folklore preserved by the community in Romani as an important fundament for maintaining the community identity.

The bi-lingual publication is targeted at the Romani communities in South Russia and Ukraine, where it will back up the teaching of Romani language and folklore as a school subject, but will also be of a significant value for activists, Romani scholars and historians.

(JPG) J. Mark Davidson Schuster: Informing Cultural Policy: The Research and Information Infrastructure, translation into Polish by Marek Krol (Jagiellonian University Press, Krakow - 2007), supported by the Cultural Policy Translations project

Informing Cultural Policy is a book resulting from a study commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts for the purpose of examining other nations’ models of a cultural policy research infrastructure that might be borrowed in the United States. The author J. Mark Davidson Schuster overviews the current trends and challenges in the filed of cultural policy by undertaking a comparative research in twenty-six organizations in France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Hungary, and Croatia. His analysis goes deep into the various systems of collecting, interpreting, and disseminating cultural policy data. Schuster’s scope of research includes priavte- and public-sector models, namely reserach divisions of government cultural funding agencies, national statistics agencies, independent nonprofit research institutes, government-designated university-based research centers, private consulting firms, cultural "observatories", noninstitutional networks, research programs, and publications. One of the basic claims of the study is that information infrastructure plays a leading role in the design of an effective cultural policy. Only through optimizing the function of the “connective tissue” (which means not only distributing information, but also verifying it) – insists the author – the gap between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners could be overcome.

The translation into Polish has been initiated within the Cultural Policy Translations Project, which is a joint initiative of Next Page Foundation and the Cultural Policy Education Group (CPEG) of the European Cultural Foundation. The project aims at supporting universities and academic institutions, dealing with cultural policy education in Central and Eastern Europe, to work on strengthening their curriculum potential to transfer know-how on cultural policy to a next generation of policy makers.

The book is going to be used as textbook at the Institute of Public Affairs of the Jagiellonian University, the oldest and most prestigious university in Poland, which actively participated in the process of translation and publication of the edition.