Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory

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Overview

Balkan Identities brings together historians, anthropologists, and literary scholars all working under the shared conviction that the only way to overcome history is to intimately understand it. The contributors of Balkan Identities focus on historical memory, collective national memory, and the political manipulation of national identities. They refine our understanding of memory and identity in general and explore and assess the significance of particular manifestations of Balkan national identities and national memories in the region.

The essays in Balkan Identities grapple with three major problems: the construction of historical memory, sites of national memory, and the mobilization of national identities. While most essays focus on a single country (e.g. Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Cyprus, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia), they are in dialogue with each other and share an opposition to rigid isolationist identities.

Illuminating and challenging, Balkan Identities demonstrates the ever-changing nature of a troubled and culturally vibrant region.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Although the essays explore different events from various historical periods in individual countries, the authors are animated by a common denominator: opposition to rigid isolationism, preserving space for a creative dialogue, and opposition to political manipulation of national identities."

-Multicultural Review,

"Todorova kept her authors engaged with each other and with the current scholarly literature on memory, history and nationalism. Their efforts to create such a rich and diverse volume must be commended."

-American HIstorical Review,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814782798
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Todorova is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Table of Contents

The Contributors
Introduction: Learning Memory, Remembering Identity 1
Pt. I Creating Historical Memory: Individual, Local and National Identities
National Memory as Narrative Memory: The Case of Kosovo 25
Internal Colonialism: Nation and Region in Nineteenth-century Greece 41
Exploring Memory Through Oral History in Turkey 60
Communal Memory and Turkish Cypriot National History: Missing Links 77
Times Past: References for the Construction of Local Order in Present-day Albania 103
Conversion to Islam as a Trope in Bulgarian Historiography, Fiction and Film 129
Pt. II The Masonry of National Memory: Monuments, Heroes, Anti-Heroes
Edifices of the Past: War Memorials and Heroes in Twentieth-century Romania 158
The Monument in the Main City Square: Constructing and Erasing Memory in Contemporary Croatia 180
Affections of a Greek Hero: Pavlos Melas and Heroic Representations in Greece 197
Villains and Symbolic Pollution in the Narratives of Nations: The Case of Boris Sarafov 233
A Criminal-National Hero? But Who Else? 253
Pt. III National Identity: Problems of Transmission and Mobilisation
The Uses of Tradition and National Identity in the Balkans 269
Greek Identity: A Long View 294
Construction of Historical Consciousness: The Case of Serbian History Textbooks 327
Memory in Romanian History: Textbooks in the 1990s 339
Bulgarian Textbooks of Literary History and the Construction of National Identity 355
Index 366
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