Imagined Empires

Tracing Imperial Nationalism in Eastern and Southeastern Europe
$75.00 / €63.00 / £54.00
Publication date: 
July, 316 pages, 3 figures

The Balkans offer classic examples of how empires imagine they can transform themselves into national states (Ottomanism) and how nation-states project themselves into future empires (as with the Greek “Great Idea” and the Serbian “Načertaniye”). By examining the interaction between these two aspirations this volume sheds light on the ideological prerequisites for the emergence of Balkan nationalisms.

With a balance between historical and literary contributions, the focus is on the ideological hybridity of the new national identities and on the effects of “imperial nationalisms” on the emerging Balkan nationalisms. The authors of the twelve essays reveal the relation between empire and nation-state, proceeding from the observation that many of the new nation-states acquired some imperial features and behaved as empires. This original and stimulating approach reveals the imperialistic nature of so-called ethnic or cultural nationalism.

Dimitris Stamatopoulos

Part I. The Ottoman Empires

Prelates Weeping on Demand, Prelates Nationalists, Prelates Janissaries: Instrumentalist Discourses and Power Entanglements of the Christian Orthodox Clerical Elites in the Late Ottoman Empire
Dimitris Stamatopoulos

Hellenizing the Empire through Historiography: Pavlos Karolidis and Greek Historical Writing in the Late Ottoman Empire
Fujinami Nobuyoshi

International Crisis and Empire: Muslim and Jewish Solidarity with the Ottoman Imperial Ideal in the Greek-Ottoman War of 1897
Ariadni Moutafidou

Part II. The Balkan Empires

Dreaming of an Empire: Discourse Analysis of Serbian Poetry at the Beginning of the 20th Century
Bogdan Trifunović

An Attractive Enemy: The Conquest of Constantinople in Bulgarian Imagery
Nikolay Aretov

“Turkish Illyrians” or Bulgarians/Serbs? Ottoman South Slavs Within the Croatian and Bulgarian National Models (1830s–1840s)
Naoum Kaytchev

Part III. Eastern Slavic Empires

Russia in Serbian and Bulgarian National Mythologies until the First World War
Magdalena Żakowska

Russian View on Balkan Nationalism (1878–1914)
Lora Gerd

Imagining the Third Rome and the New Jerusalem in the 16th–18th Century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Liliya Berezhnaya

Part IV. Ottoman Utopias and Dystopias

Balkan Nationalisms Against the Oriental Empire: Balkan National Poetry and the Disavowal of a Literary System
Maro Kalanztopoulou

Differing Perceptions of Ottoman Rule in the Bulgarian Ethnic Narrative of the Revival
Eleonora Naxidou

Against the Imperial Past: The Perception of the Turk and Greek “Enemy” in the Albanian National Identity-building Process
Konstantinos Giakoumis

List of Contributors


"There is a lot to praise about this important scholarly volume – the international composition of the contributors; the wide geographic, temporal and thematic scope; the careful and balanced relationship between the thematic and geographic foci; the stimulating analytical framework and the intriguing cross-references and resonances throughout the volume. The volume’s powerful thematic statement – that hybridity characterizes the process of national formation in its political and cultural manifestations – provides a strong arc that consistently weaves the disparate contributions together."
"Once revered and unquestioned, over the last decades, the way the past was imagined and narrated has been heavily criticized—first by Western-based scholars and lately by local students. The contributions of the edited volume Imagined Empires, besides bringing a fresh breeze to the study of nationalism in the Balkans, belong to this latter wave. Through a series of comparisons, the authors expose an open-ended space of connectivity and circulation of ideas and programs between the actors and promoters of the region’s nationalist movements. The collection of essays has some fascinating contributions that shed more light on the history of the Balkans as a region that, notwithstanding its specificities, its past can be explained as part of Europe and the Mediterranean."