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Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770-1945 Vol. I.

Late Enlightenment


Emergence of the Modern 'National Idea'


The editors:
Balázs Trencsényi is Assistant Professor of History at the Central European University, Budapest.
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.

Contents

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)

2006
361 pages
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

Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770–1945

Vol. II. National Romanticism – The Formation of National Movements
Vol. III/1 Modernism – The Creation of Nation States
Vol. III/2 Modernism – Representations of National Culture
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." - H-Soz-u-Kult

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