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Historical and Juridical Succession: communal ownership in Vrancea, 1910, 2000 (2010-2011)
The paper is strongly guided by the importance of historical sequentiality as a source of tension for the present. One can play an
18th century clavichord after the instrument’s revival in 1900, but one cannot hear it after two intervening centuries of the pianoforte in the way it was heard in 1700 (Daston and Galison 2008). The same goes for the reconstitution of communal ownership practices in contemporary Romania, and particularly taking into account the intervening decades of socialism. Inevitably, the resurgence of the communal in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe invites also inquiry into the ways in which the socialist collectivization of everyday life has subtly transformed previous communal and cooperative practices. In this sense, historical sequentiality affects not only the practical realization of social forms in the present, but acts also retrospectively on their very conceptualization. That is, contemporary understanding of 19th and early 20th century scholarship on these issues has to contend with a certain degree of indeterminacy