Maria Todorova puts in conversation several fields that have been traditionally treated as discrete: Balkans, Eastern Europe, Ottoman, Habsburg and Russian empires. Applying different perspectives and different methodological approaches, it insists on the heuristic value of scales
"If the Balkans hadn't existed, they would have been invented" was the verdict of Count Hermann Keyserling in his famous 1928 publication, Europe. Over ten years ago, Maria Todorova traced the relationship between the reality and the invention. Based on a rich selection of travelogues, diplomatic accounts, academic surveys, journalism, and belles-lettres in many languages, Imagining the Balkans explored the ontology of the Balkans from the sixteenth century to the present day, uncovering the ways in which an insidious intellectual tradition was constructed, became mythologized, and is still being transmitted as discourse. Maria Todorova, who was raised in the Balkans, is in a unique position to bring both scholarship and sympathy to her subject, and in a new afterword she reflects on recent developments in the study of the Balkans and political developments on the ground since the publication of Imagining the Balkans. The afterword explores the controversy over Todorova's coining of the term Balkanism. With this work, Todorova offers a timely, updated, accessible study of how an innocent geographic appellation was transformed into one of the most powerful and widespread pejorative designations in modern history.
For decades, we have come to accept that nationalism formed the basis of the modern history of the Balkans. In this bold and controversial study, Pavlos Hatzopoulos turns this assumption on its head. Through a ground-breaking examination of the non-nationalist ideologies in the Balkans during the interwar period, Hatzopoulos calls into question the supposedly inherent connection between the Balkans and nationalism and argues that nationalism does not form the sole ordering principle of the modern history of the Balkan region. Focusing on the ideologies of communism, liberal internationalism and agrarianism, Hatzopoulos examines how these interact with nationalist ideology. He demonstrates how non-nationalist theories challenge the nationalist view of the Balkans as the sum of several national spaces. He even questions the nationalist understanding of the very term 'the Balkans'. "The Balkans Beyond Nationalism and Identity" revisits contemporary debates on a region that is still a European crisis point and challenges the nation-centric understanding that permeates it. In proposing a description of 'the Balkans' as a contested political concept, the book argues for a completely fresh interpretation of the region's composition.
In writings about travel, the Balkans appear most often as a place travelled to. Western accounts of the Balkans revel in the different and the exotic, the violent and the primitive − traits that serve (according to many commentators) as a foil to self-congratulatory definitions of the West as modern, progressive and rational. However, the Balkans have also long been travelled from. The region's writers have given accounts of their travels in the West and elsewhere, saying something in the process about themselves and their place in the world. The analyses presented here, ranging from those of 16th-century Greek humanists to 19th-century Romanian reformers to 20th-century writers, socialists and 'men-of-the-world', suggest that travellers from the region have also created their own identities through their encounters with Europe. Consequently, this book challenges assumptions of Western discursive hegemony, while at the same time exploring Balkan 'Occidentalisms'.
Since 1989, Europe’s eastern rim has been in constant flux. This collection focuses on how political and economic transformations have triggered redefinitions of cultural identity. Using discursive modes of identity construction (deconstruction, reconstruction, reformulation, and invention) the book focuses on the creation of opposition to old and new 'outsiders' and 'insiders' in Europe. The linguistic study of discourse elements in connection with an exploration of the significance of metaphors in anchoring individual and collective identity is innovative and allows for a unique analysis of public discourse in Europe.
This volume is the second Annual of the Konitsa Summer School in Anthropology, Ethnography and Comparative Folklore of the Balkans containing the proceedings of two years, 2007 and 2008. It includes papers written by members of the teaching staff, papers delivered as lectures or especially prepared for the Annual, papers written by students based principally on their fieldwork exercise in Greece and Albania, presentations of ongoing PhD theses and, finally, the syllabi of the subjects of instruction.
In the growing body of literature about the evolution and the role of Islam in Europe as a whole and the Balkans in particular, this volume holds a special place as it offers a multidisciplinary approach to the encounter-transformation-discontinuity-continuity of Islam in the region. Thus, it provides excellent material for students of social and political studies, history and even architecture, at the bachelor and master level. At the same time, it aspires to attract the attention of researchers and academics who are interested in the evolution of Islam in the Balkans. It should be noted that the style and the language of the articles in this volume would also make it easily accessible to the general interested reader who is not detached from the latest social and political developments in the Balkans. In this regard, the volume would also be useful for a number of think tank members and even politicians in the Balkans, providing them with knowledge of the region’s past and present, with hope for an integrated future.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, the borders hitherto separating Greek culture and society from its contiguous Balkan polities came down, and Greeks had to reorient themselves toward their immediate neighbors and redefine their place within Europe and the new, more fluid global order. Projecting the political foresight and mustering the modernization policies to succeed in such an undertaking turned out to be no small feat, especially as the regional conflicts that had lain dormant during the Cold War were revived. Synthesizing the cultural, political, and historical into a sophisticated, interdisciplinary analysis, this innovative study untangles the prolonged 'historical moment' in which Greece and Europe were effectively held hostage to events in the Balkans - just at the time when both hoped to serve as the region's welcoming hosts.
This volume features sixteen thought-provoking essays by renowned international experts on German society, culture, and politics that, together, provide a comprehensive study of Germany's postunification process of "normalization." Essays ranging across a variety of disciplines including politics, foreign policy, economics, literature, architecture, and film examine how since 1990 the often contested concept of normalization has become crucial to Germany's self-understanding. Despite the apparent emergence of a "new" Germany, the essays demonstrate that normalization is still in question, and that perennial concerns -- notably the Nazi past and the legacy of the GDR -- remain central to political and cultural discourses and affect the country's efforts to deal with the new challenges of globalization and the instability and polarization it brings. This is the first major study in English or German of the impact of the normalization debate across the range of cultural, political, economic, intellectual, and historical discourses. Contributors: Stephen Brockmann, Jeremy Leaman, Sebastian Harnisch and Kerry Longhurst, Lothar Probst, Simon Ward, Anna Saunders, Annette Seidel Arpaci, Chris Homewood, Andrew Plowman, Helmut Schmitz, Karoline Von Oppen, William Collins, Donahue, Katharine Schödel, Stuart Taberner, Paul Cooke Stuart Taberner is Professor of Contemporary German Literature, Culture, and Society and Paul Cooke is Senior Lecturer in German Studies, both at the University of Leeds.
Illyria in Shakespeare’s England studies the eastern Adriatic region known as “Illyria” in five plays by Shakespeare and other early modern English writing. It examines the origins and features of past discourses on the area, expanding our knowledge of the ways in which England and other polities negotiated their position in the early modern world.
This book explores the historial role of the Balkan Wars. In Eastern Europe, the two Balkan Wars of 1912/13 had greater importance than the First World War for the construction of nations and states. This volume shows how these “short” wars profoundly changed the sociopolitical situation in the Balkans, with consequences that are still felt today. More than one hundred years later, the successors of the belligerent states in Southeastern Europe memorialize the wars as heroic highlights of their respective pasts. Furthermore, the metaphor that the Balkans were Europe’s “powder keg”, perpetuated at the beginning of the twentieth century in the face of these wars, was reactivated in both the West and the East up through the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The authors entangle the hitherto exclusive national master narratives and analyse them cogently and trenchantly for an international readership. They make an indispensable contribution to the proper integration of the Balkan Wars into the European historical memory of twentieth-century warfare.
Maps and borders notwithstanding, some places are best described as "gaps"--places with repeatedly contested boundaries that are wedged in between other places that have clear boundaries. This book explores an iconic example of this in the contemporary Western imagination: the Balkans. Drawing on richly detailed ethnographic research around the Greek-Albanian border, Sarah Green focuses her groundbreaking analysis on the ambiguities of never quite resolving where or what places are. One consequence for some Greek peoples in this border area is a seeming lack of distinction--but in a distinctly "Balkan" way. In gaps (which are never empty), marginality is, in contrast with conventional understandings, not a matter of difference and separation--it is a lack thereof. Notes from the Balkans represents the first ethnographic approach to exploring "the Balkans" as an ideological concept. Green argues that, rather than representing a tension between "West" and "East," the Balkans makes such oppositions ambiguous. This kind of marginality means that such places and peoples can hardly engage with "multiculturalism." Moreover, the region's ambiguity threatens clear, modernist distinctions. The violence so closely associated with the region can therefore be seen as part of continual attempts to resolve the ambiguities by imposing fixed separations. And every time this fails, the region is once again defined as a place that will continually proliferate such dangerous ambiguity, and could spread it somewhere else.