The Role of the Romanies: Images and 'Counter-Images' of Gypsies

The Role of the Romanies: Images and 'Counter-Images' of Gypsies

The Role of the Romanies: Images and 'Counter-Images' of Gypsies

The Role of the Romanies: Images and 'Counter-Images' of Gypsies

Synopsis

Since the arrival of the "Gypsies," or Romanies, in Europe at the beginning of the eleventh century, Europeans have simultaneously feared and romanticized them. That ambiguity has contributed to centuries of confusion over the origins, culture, and identity of the Romanies, a confusion that too often has resulted in marginalization, persecution, and scapegoating. The Role of the Romanies brings together international experts on Romany culture from the fields of history, sociology, linguistics, and anthropology to address the many questions and problems raised by the vexed relationship between Romany and European cultures. The book's first section considers the genesis, development, and scope of the field of Romany studies, while the second part expands from there to consider constructions of Romany culture and identity. Part three focuses on twentieth-century literary representations of Romany life, while the final part considers how the role of the Romanies will ultimately be remembered and recorded. Together, the essays provide an absorbing portrait of a frequently misunderstood people.

Excerpt

This book emerges from a conference held in autumn 2000 on ‘The Role of the Romanies: Images and Counter-Images of ‘Gypsies’/Romanies in European Cultures’ at the University of Liverpool. the papers pre-sented to the conference have been extensively refereed and revised for publication in dialogue with the editors. No publication of this kind is possible without assistance from many quarters, the providers of which are too numerous to mention individually. Nonetheless, the editors would especially like to thank their generous sponsors: the British Academy, the Goethe Institute (Manchester) and the Austrian Cultural Institute (London). Thanks are also due to the University of Liverpool for its support, and in particular to the librarians working with the Gypsy Collections.

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