THE OBJECTIVE of this project is to explore the various ways in which the histories of the Balkan peoples were shared, connected and entangled, and in some cases became structurally inter-dependent in the course of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries; also to explore transfers and crossings within the region and from Western Europe and Russia. What is offered is a provisional open-ended and long-term research program guided by a general paradigm , frame of reference and key concepts. I would rather keep the project open and flexible with regard to substantial issues, though with a clear vision of the general (transnational) perspective. A list of topics includes national and social movements, disputed territories, minorities and refugees, cultural and political transfers. The variegated topics demand expertise in different areas and a trans-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary treatment without regard to established disciplinary boundaries. Systematically applying the transnational and relational perspective to the study of a region as complex as the Balkans has huge cognitive potential and innovative power. The new perspective and cutting-edge methodologies will reveal fresh vistas and bring insights to a number of topics that cannot be restricted in advance. Older research objects will look different and acquire new meanings in the new context and entirely new historical objects will be constituted. The national paradigm of self-contained national histories will be challenged. Such a project may well have wider social and political relevance. There is a positive and integrative value in showing how entangled the histories of the present-day Balkan nations and states were and still are. I would like to imagine such research as promoting good relations rather than fostering divisiveness and separation. This project will also be an input to the European integration of the region, which will hopefully involve the rest of the Balkans in the near future.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call