This volume starts out with two contrasting studies of monuments. How does the seemingly stability of stone and bronze hide a constantly changing cultural use? Anne Eriksen looks at the history of ruins in Norway. The murmur of ruins turns out to be a speech of modernity, a way of emotionalising place and history. Viktoriya Hryaban discusses the fate of socialist monuments in Ukraine and shows how the attempts to create alternative post-socialist memorials reproduce a traditional Soviet cultural grammar. Lace is a dominating decorative element in many Turkish Dutch homes. It has become a sign of "Turkishness" but as Hilje van der Horst points out, peoples relations to this mundane domestic element mirror some important conflicts and ideas about modernity and ethnicity. From the cultural media of monuments and lace, the discussion moves on to two more classic mass media and their role in identity politics. Stijn Reijnders explores a popular Dutch game show that has managed to survive for decades, becoming something of a national institution for some, an example of an outmoded genre for others. How does the involvement mirror ideas of an imagined national community?
Finally, Silke Meyer looks at an 18th century national stereotype of The German quack in English popular debate and mass media. How did this caricature of Germanness become an alter ego of the English?
Regina Bendix is professor at Georg-August Universitat, Gottingen.