Discourses of Collective Identity
in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945 Vol. I.
Emergence of the Modern 'National Idea'
Balázs Trencsényi is Assistant
Professor of History at the Central European University,
Michal Kopecek is Research Fellow at the Institute
of Contemporary History, Prague.
This volume represents the first in a four-volume
series , a daring project by CEU Press which presents
the most important texts that triggered and shaped the
processes of nation-building in the many countries of
Central and Southeast Europe. The series brings together
scholars from Austria, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary,
the Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and
Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. The editors
have created a new interpretative synthesis that challenges
the self-centered and "isolationist" historical
narratives and educational canons prevalent in the region,
in the spirit of of "coming to terms with the past."
The main aim of the venture is to confront 'mainstream'
and seemingly successful national discourses with each
other, thus creating a space for analyzing those narratives
of identity which became institutionalized as "national
canons." The series will broaden the field of possible
comparisons of the respective national cultures.
Each text is accompanied by a presentation of the author,
and by an analysis of the context in which the respective
text was born.
Acknowledgments; General Introduction:
Inter-texts of identity; Introduction: Kontler: The
Enlightenment in Central Europe?; Kitromilides: The
Enlightenment in Southeast Europe; Chapter I. The
Transformation of Symbolic Geography (9 texts); Chapter
II. Cultural and Historiographical Narratives of
Identity (11 texts;) Chapter III. Creating an
Enlightened National Public (10 texts); Chapter IV.
Reform and Revolution: Formatting the Enlightened
Polity (14 texts)
ISBN 978-963-7326-52-3 cloth $55.00 / €38.00 / £32.00
"The editors hope to overcome two tendencies. The
first tendency is to treat the 'process of creating
national identity in Central and Southeast Europe' as
something exceptional. The editors very much reject
the idea of studying these cultures only in terms of
themselves. However, they also reject any notion of
explaining these cultures by comparing them to an ideal
Western type: 'we sought to abandon the 'Platonic' image
dividing the continent in two ontologically incompatible
worlds: the transcendent world of the Real - the Occident,
and its ontologically inferior imitation - the Orient,
the 'Remainder of Europe'.
The editors of this series very much succeed in their
attempt to get readers to look across national boundaries
when studying the region. The multitude of languages
required by any scholar to pursue cross-cultural comparisons
in the region is no doubt a discouragement to many.
By taking the time to provide the documents in English
translation in one central collection, the editors have
done much to facilitate the breaking down of traditional
boundaries." - Slavic and East European Journal
of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe
Vol. II. National
Romanticism – The Formation of National Movements
III/1 Modernism – The Creation of Nation States
III/2 Modernism – Representations of National
Vol. IV. Anti-modernism – Radical Revisions of Collective Identity
"This intelligently chosen and extremely useful
anthology provides insight into the way narratives of
national identity were shaped in the region noted in
the book's title. Items include such richly varied materials
as anthems, songs, constitutions, manifestos, novels,
correspondence, autobiographical materials, and contemporary
historical narratives. Each item is accompanied by information
on the author and context as well as bibliographical
material. Summing up: Highly recommended. All levels
and libraries." - Choice
"Discourses of Collective Identity bietet
eine eindrucksvolle Lektüre und sei auch solchen
Lesern empfohlen, die sich jenseits der ostmittel-,
südosteuropäischen Area Studies für
Nationalismusforschung interessieren. Für jene
Regionalstudien bedeutet er einen gewichtigen Versuch,
das Feld für eine kritische Ideengeschichte zurückzugewinnen,
nachdem besonders für Südosteuropa ethnologisch-anthropologische,
kultur- und sozialgeschichtliche Fragestellungen in
letzter Zeit eine dominierende Stellung einnehmen."