"Historical Meso-Region": A Concept in Cultural Studies and Historiography

von by Stefan Troebst Original aufOriginal in German, angezeigt aufdisplayed in EnglischEnglish
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    The research design of "historical meso-regions" (Geschichtsregionen) is a transnational comparative method that has been developed in the historical subdiscipline of East European History as it has emerged in German-speaking countries since the late 19th century. It is also employed by historians of art and of literature who deal with Eastern Europe. In addition, the concept has attracted sporadic interest in general history and social anthropology. Meso-regionalizing historical concepts ranging from "East-Central Europe", "Northeastern Europe" and "Southeastern Europe" to "the Black Sea World" and the "Levant", to "Eurasia" and "Arctic Europe" create non-territorialised meso-regions connected by time that cross the boundaries of state, society, nation and sometimes even civilization. They provide a working hypothesis for a comparative historical analysis that aims to identify and delineate specific clusters of structural characteristics over longer periods.

    InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents
    Regional divisions have probably been more salient and their meaning more contested in Europe than in any other part of the world. The debate on this subject is complementary to the ongoing dispute on European exceptionalism, seen as a macro-regional or civilizational feature, and it is no more likely to be settled in definitive terms.
    Johann P. Arnason 20051

    "Space" or "Region"?

    The ongoing debate on a supposed "return of space" or a "spatial turn"2 concerns not only methodology but also content: on the one hand, "space" has become prominent again in the field of historiography as an explanatory tool and a category of investigation; on the other, "space" is no longer the exclusive object of research of neighbouring disciplines, such as geography or sociology. At times, the emotional involvement of both the proponents of "space" and those responding to them is startling.3 Thus, the editors of a collection of articles characterized the "spatial turn" as the replacement of "historiography's old neglect of space" with "an obsession with space that is no less misleading" and warn:

    Das "sexy label" Raum verdeckt vieles und hilft so, einem methodologisch, theoretisch und heute vor allem epistemologisch schlechtem Gewissen vorzubeugen. Bei genauerem Hinsehen verbirgt sich dahinter indes nicht selten alter Wein in neuen Schläuchen – oder präziser: ein empirieorientierter Neo-Positivismus, der in seinen diversen Spielarten längst als glücklich überwunden galt.4

    Alongside this debate, although also partially inspired by it, an older discursive strand is becoming more obvious and paradigmatic – one that does not consider "space" per se, but rather its historical classification in the shape of the "region", i.e., the branch of research of meso-regional historical concepts. These have developed from the transnational discussions among Central European historians of the interwar period on "Slavdom" and "Eastern Europe" as well as from debates that crossed blocs during the Cold War, above all in the historical sub-discipline of East European history in German-speaking countries from the 1970s onwards. A striking example of this is the fact that the two German historians who have started the debate on the "return of space" with pertinently entitled works – that is Jürgen Osterhammel5 and Karl Schlögel6 – describe in their recent publications the research design of the historical meso-region as an important approach.7 In doing so, they rely on Jürgen Kocka and Hannes Siegrist, who have referred to this approach in the past.8

    What is a Historical Meso-Region?

    A provisional definition of a meso-regional historical concept could be that it is a historiographical method of transnational comparison with the potential for a middle range theory as well as a research strategy with built-in control mechanisms arising from a solid founding in the sources and comparison. The "historical meso-region" is an investigative framework in the cultural sciences; it is a heuristic artifice that creates non-territorialised meso-regions connected by time that cross the boundaries of state, society, nation and civilization. They provide a working hypothesis for a comparative analysis that aims to identify and delineate specific clusters of structural characteristics over long periods. The various combinations of characteristics, rather than the individual characteristics themselves, are unique and thus cluster-specific. Thus, clusters that cover large areas during a specific epoch can be referred to as historical meso-regions.9 They are "fluctuating zones with fluid borders", which can accordingly be structured into centres and peripheries.10 Here, too, the specific is unimaginable without the surroundings; one historical meso-region can only be understood in the context of others. Correspondingly, relationism and the dependence on relationships complement the internal structure of a historical meso-region.

    "East-Central Europe" as the "Mother of all Historical Meso-Regions"

    Although it has universal applicability, the concept of the historical meso-region was developed in an international discussion of historians in the 1920s and 1930s, first on "Slavdom" and "the Slavs" and then on "Eastern Europe". The leading participants were the Poles Oskar Halecki and Marceli Handelsman and the Czechoslovaks Jaroslav Bidlo and Josef Pfitzner, as well as the German Otto Hoetzsch.11 After the Second World War, Halecki, now an émigré in the , turned his views into a model that covered all of . In his book The Limits and Divisions of European History (1950), he differentiated not only between an "old Europe" based on the ancient world and a "new Europe" beyond the historical boundaries of the , but also between four modern European historical meso-regions with roots in the Middle Ages: , ( and ), and (/).12 His main goal was to mark a cultural boundary between Western, West-Central and East-Central Europe on the one hand, characterized by the Western churches, and on the other hand of Eastern Europe, dominated by the Eastern Church. Simultaneously, he attempted to relativise the dividing line between East-Central and West-Central Europe – a theme he gave greater emphasis in his broad study Borderlands of Western Civilization (1952).13 Halecki's influence shaped the development of research on East European history, which to a certain extent also drew on earlier concepts such as that of (more localised) "historical landscapes" (Geschichtslandschaft)14 and indirectly the (highly ideologised) "culture areas" (Kulturräume).15 The result was the development of meso-regional historical categories of "East-Central Europe", "" or "the ", "" and "Eastern Europe"; the latter was used both to refer to the East Slavic space and as an overarching supracategory.16 The concept of the "historical meso-region" as a framework for a comparative analysis has its roots in interwar East-Central Europe in two senses: on the one hand, in the attempts at self-affirmation by historians of the states created or recreated in 1918 in the "de-imperialised" region now officially referred to as "East-Central Europe" and, on the other hand, in the rise of the German ethnocentric geopolitical doctrine of Kulturbodenforschung in the wake of the post-war settlement. In its specific German context, mesoregional historical concepts in general as well as those of "East-Central Europe" in particular are characterised by the well-known dualism between historical research on Eastern Europe (historische Osteuropaforschung) and the tradition of Ostforschung focusing on German settlements in the East.

    Just as Halecki was being read in the new German Federal Republic, his ideas were also beginning to exert a subcutaneous influence on the Soviet bloc. In , Jenő Szűcs,17 Domokos Kosáry18 and Emil Niederhauser19 adopted his concept of "East-Central Europe", while Jerzy Kłoczowski20 and Henryk Samsonowicz21 did the same in . Above all, they sought to identify structural factors that remained influential over a longer period, normally for several centuries. In reference to the Middle Ages, they mentioned Christianisation, the creation of nationes-states, Law, Ashkenazi Jewish settlement and German internal colonisation (Germania Slavica) – the often overlooked Armenians and Roma should be included here. For the early modern period, historians picked out the high percentage of nobles, the potential of the triad diocese-university-court as a metropolis, libertarian corporate societies and "second serfdom". In reference to the 19th century, they chose great power domination and linguistic nationalism, and for the 20th century – a "realm of petty states" (Kleinstaatenwelt), National-Socialist domination and occupation, Soviet hegemony, mass movement of refugees, deportations, expulsions, ethnic cleansing, Holodomor, Holocaust and Porrajmos, Sovietisation, but also ecclesiastical and proletarian opposition, political-intellectual dissent and, ultimately, the epochal turning point of 1989 with its genuinely East-Central European innovations such as the Round Table, the "Velvet Divorce" and the cooperation of the (Poland, Hungary and respectively the and ).22 Most importantly, Szűcs modified Halecki's ideas by combining West-Central and East-Central Europe (somewhat incongruously) into what he again called East-Central Europe (rather than ). His model of the "three historical regions of Europe" – Western, East-Central, and Eastern – remains influential today. Like Halecki, Szűcs used the division between Orthodoxy and Catholicism to separate Eastern Europe (or Russia) from East-Central Europe. However, the Hungarian historian saw an obvious socio-economic and cultural dividing line between the latter and Western Europe; in his view, this cleft exerted an influence from the beginning of the "second serfdom" in the early modern period up to the Cold War.

    "East-Central Europe" quickly received wide acceptance as a meso-regional historical concept in the context of the Cold War, both in a narrower and a broader sense. However, the meso-regional concept of "Southeastern Europe" and the overlapping term "the Balkans" became the subject of fierce debate as a result of the wars arising from the dissolution of . The German historian Holm Sundhaussen disputed Maria Todorova's rejection of a regional concept of "the Balkans" and her "revelation" of it as a an exclusionist stereotype.23 This provoked intense an discussion,24 as a result of which the differences between the positions reduced noticeably: while Sundhaussen continued to speak of the Balkans as a "historical region",25 Todorova offered the compromise formula of "historical legacy". By this she meant the impact by and the , which shape the European territories of these sunken empires up to the present and make them into "historical regions"26quod erat demonstrandum.

    "East-Central Europe" as an Analytical Framework for Research on the History of Art and Literature

    For the discipline of history, the historical meso-region "East-Central Europe" was the starting point for a consideration of meso-regional historical concepts in general. Similarly, in recent research on what the Polish art historian Jan Białostocki's calls "artistic regions",27 increasing attention has centred on a concept of "East-Central Europe" that largely corresponds to the terminology of "East-Central Europe" in history-writing. This drew on and criticised the (highly Germanocentric) concept of "geography of art" (Kunstgeographie) developed in interwar Germany.28 In this vein, the Slovak art historian Jan Bakoš investigated in 1993 "the idea of East-Central Europe as an artistic region" using the example of mediaeval painting and sculpture.29 In 1998, a British conference on "Boundaries in Art" examined the approach of "geography of art" in the East-Central European case.30 The German-Russian art historian Marina Dmitrieva gave a largely positive answer to the question "Is there an East-Central European artistic style?".31 And finally, in 2004 the American art historian Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann demonstrated how innovative and exportable the meso-regional concept of "East-Central Europe" in art history was by applying this approach to and .32

    In addition, the pattern of regionalisation within "East-Central Europe" is also applied in the history of literature, for example in the Hungarian literary scholar István Fried's concept of "Hungarian-Slavic-Austrian literary relationships":33

    Ostmitteleuropa ist eine Kategorie, die eine umfassende synthetische Untersuchung der … Nationalliteraturen nicht durch eine willkürliche Vergleicherei, sondern durch die "Konfrontation" mit den Haupttendenzen der Literaturen ermöglicht … Die behandelte Region ist eine Literaturgruppe der vielfarbigen europäischen Literatur (Literaturen in europäischen Sprachen), die über eine relative Selbständigkeit und von den anderen Regionen abweichende Besonderheiten verfügt.34

    Looking at contemporary Polish and Slovak literature, one encounters a "narrative modelling of cultural spaces of interference" by authors such as Andrzej Stasiuk and Dušan Šimko that is conspicuously similar to the meso-regional historical construct of "East-Central Europe".35 From a typological perspective, political exile, in particular, has vividly brought forth the coherence of East-Central Europe as a literary regional concept.36 The transnational literary impact of the Habsburg monarchy's historical legacy is also still unmistakable.37 The scholarly research on the reception of literary works from abroad also employs the concept of East-Central Europe. It explains, for example, the considerably greater popularity in the region that Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883) traditionally enjoyed in comparison to Lev Tolstoj (1828–1910), Fëdor Dostoevskij (1821–1881) and other representatives of classical Russian literature among Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, and Czech readers using an argument from social history: according to the Hungarian Slavicist Zsuzsa Zöldhelyi-Deák, Turgenev's treatment of aristocratic culture found great affinity among the societies of East-Central Europe whose reading culture and other cultural features preserved the influence of the gentry.38

    Risks and Side-Effects of Meso-Regional Historical Concepts

    How do the advantages and risks of employing concepts of this type weigh up? The risks lie in the spreading of such meso-regional historical concepts in political space that denote both  one of these concepts as well as simultaneously another category of space – space of action, experienced space (Erfahrungsraum) or imagined space – or in the misunderstandings that must arise as a result. A striking example for the confusion of such concepts on different semantic levels is the title of the two editions of Paul Magocsi's authoritative and profound historical atlas of East-Central Europe: whereas the first edition was called Historical Atlas of East Central Europe (1993) the second appeared under the title Historical Atlas of Central Europe (2002); both, however, contained the same selection of maps, showing the area from to and from to . Magocsi justified this with a non-scholarly, since political argument:

    It has ... become clear since 1989 that the articulate elements in many countries of the region consider eastern or even east-central to carry a negative connotation and prefer to be considered part of Central Europe ... If Central Europe responds to the preference of the populations of the countries in question, this would seem to lend even greater credence to the terminological choice.39

    In order to avoid the dilemma of multiple connotations, the Polish-British art historian Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius turned to a radical measure: she avoids using the term "East-Central Europe" when referring to this art-historical frame of reference as it is tainted by multiple meanings and a high degree of politicisation. Instead, she applies a term taken from contemporary literature – the word "Slaka"40 in Malcolm Bradbury's novel Rates of Exchange (1983). She uses this term to amalgamate the characteristics of three communist societies – Poland, and . Her "Slaka" is a post-communist art-historical meso-region coinciding with the historians' meso-regional concept of East-Central Europe.

    Alongside regionalisations, which refer to political geography, mental maps can also intrude upon meso-regional historical concepts. In this vein, Holm Sundhaussen warned against the "intermixture of mental map and historical region".41 On the other hand, the German historian of Russia Frithjof Benjamin Schenk has set out five potential benefits from meso-regional historical concepts that reveal the possible uses and insights to be gained for the historian's business. According to Schenk, these are:

    1. overcoming the limitations of national history through transnational comparison;
    2. the dynamism and flexibility of such concepts over time;
    3. the approach's clinically pure character and its comparative and analytical framework free of contamination by historical "reality";
    4. its immanent self-critical reference to the self-fulfilling prophecy of concepts of region;
    5. its applicability to Europe as a whole, i.e. that implicit historical region which is so often seen as set in stone.42

    The second point, the factor of "time", requires further explanation, or indeed expansion, because here there is a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Despite the concentration on the specific and structural references to space by the different meso-regional historical concepts, one cannot ignore their chronological nature and thus the dimension of time. The historian Wolfgang Schmale therefore suggested to incorporate Reinhart Koselleck's model of "layers of time" (Zeitschichten) and adopted, in doing so, Norman Davies's concept of a "tidal Europe"43 – a Europe whose form and content from the ancient world to the present has been pulsating, becoming sometimes larger, sometimes smaller. Using the example of nation-building processes in East-Central Europe, Maria Todorova has demonstrated that the use of a longue durée time frame relativises the differentia specifica of the historical regions under study when compared to the "genuine" Europe, i.e. "Western Europe", even if it does not remove them entirely.44 The non-simultaneity of the simultaneous is not necessarily non-simultaneous when it refers to a period in time in the sense of a historical process or an epoch instead of a point in time. This seems to be a particularly promising dimension for a future approach to meso-regional historical concepts – to undertake an intra-, but above all an inter-regional comparison not, as in the past, primarily synchronically but diachronically, along parameters such as modernisation or state-building and nation-building, but also others that are less well-tested, such as legal culture, political culture, industrialisation and urbanisation.

    The "Historical Meso-Region": A (Sub-)Disciplinary Breakthrough?

    It is obvious that "Europe", too, is an implicit historical macro-region which requires critical reflection.45 The German historian of Russia Manfred Hildermeier has pointed out that "European" is not a measure of value but a relation, that the opposite of "European" is not "un-European" but rather "".46 At the same time, a study of the sub-regions of Europe's East, above all of Northeastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and Russia, would bring considerable benefits as all these border on other historical meso-regions beyond "Europe" like "" and the "" as well as the "" and the "". One can therefore agree with Jürgen Kocka who perceives "East-Central Europe as a challenge for a comparative history of Europe";47 this is true for both the historical meso-region of East-Central Europe as well as in general for the approach of meso-regional historical concepts. Thus, the restriction of the analytical framework of the "historical meso-region" to a single historical sub-discipline has recently weakened; this approach is becoming increasingly attractive for historians outside the field of East European history. E.g., Jürgen Osterhammel, the leading German global historian, in a survey of seven historiographical "models of Europe", presented a "model of cultural spaces" that incorporated a "model of historical regions" – with explicit reference to Halecki and Szűcs.48 Similarly, the cultural historian Hannes Siegrist talks of "historical spaces" as the central object of study for comparative history – alongside "cultures", "societies" and "paths of development".49 The Swiss social anthropologist Christian Giordano has recently applied the analytical framework of the "historical meso-region" in the perspective of his own discipline to all of Europe, including , Western and .50 And the sociologist Johan P. Arnason, who is especially interested in the comparison of civilizations, has placed the increasing interest in meso-regional historical concepts in the context of the debate on the "unique course" (Sonderweg) of European history.51

    The assertion by Kocka quoted above proves that things have come full circle: the universalist research design of historical meso-regions that was extrapolated from the East European path of development in the interwar period has – three quarters of a century later – arrived in the discipline of "general" history and other humanities. In the light of the continuing multifaceted impact of the epochal year 1989, it is conceivable that the trend of applying meso-regional historical concepts together with the new interest in time and place will sooner or later result in a "regional turn" in social sciences and the humanities.

    Stefan Troebst, Leipzig



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    Miggelbrink, Judith: Die (Un-)Ordnung des Raumes: Bemerkungen zum Wandel geographischer Raumkonzepte im ausgehenden 20. Jahrhundert, in: Alexander C. T. Geppert et al. (eds.): Ortsgespräche: Raum und Kommunikation im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Bielefeld 2005, pp. 79–105.

    Möbius, Friedrich: Von der Kunstgeographie zur kunstwissenschaftlichen Territorienforschung, in: idem (ed.): Regionale, nationale und internationale Kunstprozesse, Jena 1983, pp. 21–42.

    Morawiec, Małgorzata: Oskar Halecki (1891–1973), in: Heinz Duchhardt et al. (eds.): Europa-Historiker: Ein biographisches Handbuch, Göttingen 2006, pp. 215–239.

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    idem: Für Volk und deutschen Osten: Der Historiker Hermann Aubin und die deutsche Ostforschung, Düsseldorf 2005.

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    Müller, Michael G.: European History: a façon de parler?, in: European Review of History 10 (2003), pp. 409–414.

    idem: Wo und wann war Europa? Überlegungen zu einem Konzept von europäischer Geschichte, in: Comparativ 14 (2004), pp. 72–82.

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    idem: Welcome to Slaka: Does Eastern (Central) European Art Exist?, in: Third Text 18 (2004), pp. 25–40.

    Neubauer, John / Török, Borbála Zsuzsanna (eds.): The Exile and Return of Writers from East-Central Europe: A Compendium, Berlin et al. 2009.

    Niederhauser, Emil: A History of Eastern Europe since the Middle Ages, Boulder et al. 2003.

    idem: Kelet-Európa története, Budapest 2001.

    idem: A történetírás törtenéte Kelet-Euroópában, Budapest 1995.

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    Osterhammel, Jürgen: Europamodelle und imperiale Kontexte, in: Journal of Modern European History 2 (2004), pp. 157–181.

    idem: Raumbeziehungen: Internationale Geschichte, Geopolitik und historische Geographie, in: Wilfried Loth et al. (eds.): Internationale Geschichte: Themen, Ergebnisse, Ansichten, München 2000, pp. 287–308.

    idem: Raumerfassung und Universalgeschichte, in: idem: Geschichtswissenschaft jenseits des Nationalstaats: Studien zu Beziehungsgeschichte und Zivilisationsvergleich, Göttingen 2001, pp. 151–169.

    idem: Die Wiederkehr des Raumes: Geopolitik, Geohistorie, in: Neue politische Literatur 43 (1998), pp. 374–397.

    Pieper, Paul: Kunstgeographie: Versuch einer Grundlegung, Berlin 1936.

    Pók, Attila: Die historischen Räume Europas, in: Ferenc Glatz et al. (eds.): Die kleinen Nationen Europas: Studien, Budapest 1997, pp. 109–118.

    Raßloff, Ute: Zur narrativen Modellierung kultureller Interferenzräume: Nichtlineares Erzählen bei Dušan Šimko, Ladislav Ballek, Andrzej Stasiuk und Olga Tokarczyk, in: Alfrun Kliems et al. (eds.): Sinnstiftung durch Narration in Ost-Mittel-Europa: Geschichte – Literatur – Film, Leipzig 2005, pp. 177–213.

    Rhode, Gotthold: Die Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas als ganzes und in seinen Teilen als Problem und Aufgabe, in: Johann-Gottfried-Herder-Forschungsrat (eds.): Probleme der Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Marburg 1975, pp. 35–43.

    Rolshoven, Johanna: Von der Kulturraum- zur Raumkulturforschung: Theoretische Herausforderungen an eine Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaft des Alltags, in: Zeitschrift für Volkskunde 99 (2003), pp. 189–213.

    Roth, Harald (ed.): Studienhandbuch Östliches Europa: Geschichte Ostmittel- und Südosteuropas, Cologne et al. 1999, vol. 1.

    Samsonowicz, Henryk: La tripartition de l'espace européen, in: Hélène Ahrweiler (ed.): Les Européens, Paris 2000, pp. 229–238.

    Schenk, Frithjof Benjamin: The Historical Regions of Europe – Real or Invented? Some Remarks on Historical Comparison and Mental Mapping, in: idem (ed.): Beyond the Nation: Writing European History Today, Saint Petersburg 2004, pp. 15–24.

    idem: Der spatial turn und die Osteuropäische Geschichte, in: Themenportal Europäische Geschichte, 2006, online: http://www.europa.clio-online.de/2006/Article=167 [02/03/2012].

    Schlögel, Karl: Kartenlesen, Augenarbeit: Über die Fälligkeit des spatial turn in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften, in: Heinz Dieter Kittsteiner (ed.): Was sind Kulturwissenschaften? 13 Antworten, Munich 2004, pp. 261–283.

    idem: Kartenlesen, Raumdenken: Von einer Erneuerung der Geschichtsschreibung, in: Merkur 56 (2002), pp. 308–318.

    idem: Die kulturelle Geographie des östlichen Europa, in: Timm Beichelt et al. (eds.): Europa-Studien: Eine Einführung, Wiesbaden 2006, pp. 125–144.

    idem: Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit: Über Zivilisationsgeschichte und Geopolitik, Munich 2003.

    [idem:] Über Räume und Register der Geschichtsschreibung: Ein Gespräch mit Karl Schlögel, in: Zeithistorische Forschungen 1 (2004), pp. 396–413, online: http://www.zeithistorische-forschungen.de/16126041-Interview-Schloegel-3-2004 [02/03/2012].

    idem: Die Wiederkehr des Raumes: Die Konkretwerdung der Welt nach dem Verschwinden der Systeme, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 139 (1999), supplement "Bilder und Zeiten", pp. I–II.

    Schmale, Wolfgang: Die Europäizität Ostmitteleuropas, in: Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte 4 (2003), pp. 189–214.

    Schramm, Gottfried: Polen – Böhmen – Ungarn: Übernationale Gemeinsamkeiten in der politischen Kultur des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, in: Przegląd Historyczny 76 (1985), pp. 417–437.

    idem: Ein Rundgespräch über "Ostmitteleuropa": Vom sinnvollen Umgang mit einem Konzept für unsere Zunft, in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 48 (2000), pp. 119–122.

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    Stöber, Georg / Kreutzmann, Hermann: Zum Gebrauchswert von "Kulturräumen", in: Reinhard Zeilinger (ed.): Geopolitik: Zur Ideologiekritik politischer Raumkonzepte, Vienna 2001 (Kritische Geographie 14), pp. 214–230.

    Strohmeyer, Arno: Historische Komparatistik und die Konstruktion von Geschichtsregionen: der Vergleich als Methode der historischen Europaforschung, in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte und Kultur Südosteuropas 1 (1999), pp. 39–55.

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    idem: Europa balcanica: Der Balkan als historischer Raum Europas, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 25 (1999), pp. 626–653.

    idem: Südosteuropa und Balkan: Begriffe, Grenzen, Merkmale, in: Uwe Hinrichs (ed.): Handbuch der Südosteuropa-Linguistik, Wiesbaden 1999, pp. 27–47.

    idem: Was ist Südosteuropa und warum beschäftigen wir uns (nicht) damit?, in: Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen 42, 5–6 (2002), pp. 92–105.

    idem: Die Wiederentdeckung des Raums: Über Nutzen und Nachteil von Geschichtsregionen, in: Konrad Clewing et al. (eds.): Südosteuropa: Von vormoderner Vielfalt und nationalstaatlicher Vereinigung, München 2005, pp. 13–33.

    Szűcs, Jenő: The Three Historical Regions of Europe: An Outline, in: Acta Historica: Revue de l'Academie des Sciences de Hongrie 29 (1983), pp. 131–184 (German edition: Die drei historischen Regionen Europas, Frankfurt am Main 1999).

    Ther, Philipp: Von Ostmitteleuropa nach Zentraleuropa: Kulturgeschichte als Area Studies, in: Themenportal Europäische Geschichte, 2006, URL: http://www.europa.clio-online.de/2006/Article=170 [02/03/2012].

    Todorova, Maria: Der Balkan als Analysekategorie: Grenzen, Raum, Zeit, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 28 (2002), pp. 470–492 (English edition: The Balkans as Category of Analysis: Border, Space, Time, in: Gerald Stourzh (ed.): Annäherungen an eine europäische Geschichtsschreibung, Vienna 2002, pp. 57–83).

    idem.: The Balkans: From Invention to Discovery, in: Slavic Review 53 (1994), pp. 453–482.

    idem: Historische Vermächtnisse als Analysekategorie: Der Fall Südosteuropa, in: Karl Kaser et al. (eds.): Europa und die Grenzen im Kopf, Klagenfurt et al. 2003, pp. 227–252.

    idem: Imagining the Balkans, Oxford 1997 (German edition: Die Erfindung des Balkans: Europas bequemes Vorurteil, Darmstadt 1999).

    idem: Spacing Europe: What is a Historical Region?, in: East Central Europe: L'Europe du Centre-Est: Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift 32, 1–2 (2005), pp. 59–78.

    idem: The Trap of Backwardness: Modernity, Temporality, and the Study of Eastern European Nationalism, in: Slavic Review 64 (2005), pp. 140–164 (German edition: Die Kategorie Zeit in der Geschichtsschreibung über das östliche Europa: Aus dem Amerikanischen von Stefan Troebst, Leipzig 2007).

    Torke, Hans-Joachim: Was ist Osteuropa? Zu einer Historiker-Debatte zwischen den Weltkriegen und danach, in: Holm Sundhaussen et al. (eds.): Was ist Osteuropa? 1. Colloquium des Osteuropa-Instituts, Berlin 1998, pp. 23–28.

    Troebst, Stefan / Schulze Wessel, Martin / Ohliger, Rainer: Chancen und Risiken eines Schwerpunktprogramms zur geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Ostmitteleuropaforschung, in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 50 (2002), pp. 438–447.

    Troebst, Stefan: Editorial zum Themenschwerpunkt "Zur Europäizität des östlichen Europa", in: Themenportal Europäische Geschichte, 2006, URL: http://www.europa.clio-online.de/2006/Article=174 [02/03/2012].

    idem (ed.): Geschichtsregionen: Concept and Critique, Basingstoke 2004 (Special Issue European Review of History 10, 2 [2003]).

    idem: Le Monde méditerranéen – Südosteuropa – Black Sea World: Geschichtsregionen im Süden Europas, in: Frithjof Benjamin Schenk et al. (eds.): Der Süden Europas – Strukturraum, Wahrnehmungsraum, Handlungsraum, Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 49–73.

    idem: Nordosteuropa: Geschichtsregion mit Zukunft, in: Scandia: Tidskrift för historisk forskning 65, 2 (1999), pp. 153–168.

    idem: Ostmitteleuropa – Region und Epoche, in: Stefan Samerski (ed.): Die Renaissance der Nationalpatrone: Erinnerungskulturen in Ostmitteleuropa im 20./21. Jahrhundert, Cologne et al. 2007, pp. 10–26.

    idem: Schwarzmeerwelt: Eine geschichtsregionale Konzeption, in: Südosteuropa-Mitteilungen 46, 5–6 (2006), pp. 92–102.

    idem: What's in a Historical Region? A Teutonic Perspective, in: European Review of History 10 (2003), pp. 173–188.

    idem: Klaus Zernack als Nordosteuropahistoriker, in: Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 50, 4 (2001), pp. 572–586.

    Wandycz, Piotr S.: East European History and Its Meaning: The Halecki-Bidlo-Handelsman Debate, in: Jonás Pál et al. (eds.): Király Béla emlékkőnyv: Háború és társadalom: War and Society: Guerre et société: Krieg und Gesellschaft, Budapest 1992, pp. 308–321.

    idem: The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present, London et al. 1992 (2. ed. 2001).

    Weigel, Sigrid: Zum "topographical turn": Kartographie, Topographie und Raumkonzepte in den Kulturwissenschaften, in: KulturPoetik 2, 2 (2002), pp. 151–165.

    Woldan, Alois: Der Österreich-Mythos in der polnischen Literatur, Vienna 1996.

    Zernack, Klaus: An den östlichen Grenzen Ostmitteleuropas, in: Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 58 (2001), pp. 323–333.

    idem: Osteuropa: Eine Einführung in seine Geschichte, Munich 1977.

    Zöldhelyi-Deák, Zsuzsa: Gondolatok Turgenyev fogadtatásának néhány párhuzamáról Magyarországon és az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia szláv népeinél (19. század), in: Tamás Krausz et al. (eds.): Életürk Kelet-Európa: Tanulmányok Niederhauser Emil 80. születélmapjára, Budapest 2003, pp. 291–296.

    idem: Rol' nemeckogo posredničestva v vengerskoj recepcii russkoj literatury (XIX vek), Munich 2004, pp. 25–102.


      1. ^ Arnason, Introduction 2005, p. 387.
      2. ^ Döring / Thielemann, Spatial Turn 2008; Bachmann-Medick, Spatial Turn 2006; Middell, Die konstruktivistische Wende 2005; Weigel, Zum "topographical turn" 2002.
      3. ^ For example, see Schlögel, Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit 2003; [Schlögel], Über Räume und Register 2004.
      4. ^ Geppert / Jensen / Weinhold, Verräumlichung 2005, p. 18 ("The "sexy label" of space conceals much and thus alleviates a bad conscience regarding methodology, theory and, today, epistemology. A closer look reveals that it is often old wine in new skins – or, to be more precise, an empirically orientated neo-positivism whose assorted variations were long thought happily overcome", transl. by C.G.). See also Schenk, Der spatial turn 2006.
      5. ^ Osterhammel, Die Wiederkehr des Raumes 1998. See also idem, Raumbeziehungen 2000; idem, Raumerfassung und Universalgeschichte 2001.
      6. ^ Schlögel, Die Wiederkehr des Raumes 1999. See also idem, Kartenlesen, Raumdenken 2002; idem, Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit 2003; idem, Kartenlesen, Augenarbeit 2004.
      7. ^ Osterhammel, Europamodelle 2004, pp. 167–168; Schlögel, Die kulturelle Geographie 2006, pp. 126, 131.
      8. ^ Kocka, Das östliche Mitteleuropa 2000; Siegrist, Perspektiven 2003.
      9. ^ See Strohmeyer, Historische Komparatistik 1999; Troebst, What's in a Historical Region? 2003; Giordano, Interdependente Vielfalt 2003; Schenk, The Historical Regions 2004; Sundhaussen, Die Wiederentdeckung des Raums 2005; Todorova, Spacing Europe 2005.
      10. ^ Strohmeyer, Historische Komparatistik 1999, p. 47.
      11. ^ Wandycz, East European History 1992; Torke, Was ist Osteuropa? 1998; Zernack, Osteuropa 1977, pp. 20–30, 88–92.
      12. ^ Halecki, The Limits and Divisions 1950, pp. 105–141. On Haleck and his work see Morawiec, Oskar Halecki 2006; Bömelburg, Zwischen imperialer Geschichte 2007.
      13. ^ Halecki, Borderlands 2000.
      14. ^ Faber, Was ist eine Geschichtslandschaft? 1968; idem, Geschichtslandschaft 1979; Meier, Abgegrenzt oder offen? 2005. See also Irsigler, Raumkonzepte 1987.
      15. ^ For more on this, see the key texts in Aubin, Grundlagen 1965. For Aubin's place in the spectrum of ideology and academic politics, see Mühle, Für Volk und deutschen Osten 2005. For geographers, the term "cultural areas" has now been decontaminated. See Ehlers, Kulturkreise 1996; Stöber / Kreutzmann, Zum Gebrauchswert von "Kulturräumen" 2001; Miggelbrink, Die (Un-)Ordnung des Raumes 2005; Jordan, Großgliederung Europas 2005. For an equally ideology-free use of the term "cultural area" in ethnology, see Lederman, Globalization 1998; Rolshoven, Von der Kulturraum- zur Raumkulturforschung 2003.
      16. ^ Cf. the relevant chapters in Roth, Studienhandbuch 1999, and the critical echo in Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 49 (2000), pp. 242–262, as well as Adanır et. al., Traditionen und Perspektiven 1996; Kappeler, Osteuropäische Geschichte 2001; Goehrke / Haumann, Osteuropa und Osteuropäische Geschichte 2004; Troebst, Geschichtsregionen 2003; idem, Nordosteuropa 1999; idem, Schwarzmeerwelt 2006; idem, Le Monde méditerranéen 2007. Involved in this were, above all, Klaus Zernack (Zernack, Osteuropa, pp. 31–66, 92–108; see also Troebst, Zernack 2001), but also Werner Conze, Gottfried Schramm, Gotthold Rhode, Mathias Bernath et. al. (See Conze, Ostmitteleuropa 1992; Schramm, Polen – Böhmen – Ungarn 1985; Rhode, Die Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas 1975; Bernath, Südosteuropäische Geschichte 1970).
      17. ^ Szűcs, The Three Historical Regions 1983. For more on this, see Pók, Die historischen Räume Europas 1997; Landsteiner, Europas innere Grenzen 1993; Janowski, Why Bother About Historical Regions? 2005.
      18. ^ Kosáry, The Idea of a Comparative History 1988.
      19. ^ Niederhauser, Kelet-Európa története 2001; idem, A History of Eastern Europe 2003; idem, A történetírás törtenéte Kelet-Euroópában 1995.
      20. ^ Kłoczowski, Historia Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej 2000. See also idem, East Central Europe 1995, and, for the émigré Polish perspective, Wandycz, The Price of Freedom 1992. On more recent Polish research, see Essen, Das östliche Mitteleuropa 2003; Sosnowska, Zrozumieć zacofanie 2004.
      21. ^ Samsonowicz, La tripartition de l'espace européen 2000.
      22. ^ On the meso-regional historical concept of "East-Central Europe", see Jaworski, Ostmitteleuropa 1991; Hadler, Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas 1998; Bahlcke, Ostmitteleuropa 1999; Zernack, An den östlichen Grenzen 2001; Eberhard, Ostmitteleuropa als historische Strukturregion 2003; Schmale, Die Europäizität Ostmitteleuropas 2003; Mühle, East Central Europe as a Concept 2005; Arnason, Introduction 2005; Troebst, Ostmitteleuropa 2007. For the state of the debate within the sub-discipline of East European History, see Schramm, Ein Rundgespräch über "Ostmitteleuropa" 2000; Troebst / Schulze Wessel / Ohliger: Chancen und Risiken 2002; Troebst, Zur Europäizität 2006.
      23. ^ Todorova, The Balkans 1994; idem, Imagining the Balkans 1997.
      24. ^ Sundhaussen, Europa balcanica 1999; Todorova, Der Balkan als Analysekategorie 2002; Sundhaussen, Der Balkan 2003. In addition, see Kaser, Südosteuropäische Geschichte 2002; Müller, Southeastern Europe 2003.
      25. ^ Sundhaussen, Der Balkan 2003. See also idem, Südosteuropa und Balkan 1999; idem, Was ist Südosteuropa 2002.
      26. ^ Todorova, Historische Vermächtnisse 2003. See also idem, Spacing Europe 2005.
      27. ^ Białostocki, The Baltic Area 1976. See also idem, The Art of the Renaissance in Eastern Europe 1976.
      28. ^ Gerstenberg, Ideen zu einer Kunstgeographie Europas 1923; Pieper, Kunstgeographie 1936; Hausherr, Kunstgeographie 1970; Möbius, Von der Kunstgeographie 1983.
      29. ^ Bakoš, The Idea of East Central Europe 1993.
      30. ^ Murawska-Muthesius, Borders in Art 2000.
      31. ^ Dmitrieva-Einhorn, Gibt es eine Kunstlandschaft Ostmitteleuropa? 2004. See also Labuda, Zum kunsthistorischen Diskurs über Ostmitteleuropa 1993.
      32. ^ DaCosta Kaufmann, Toward a Geography of Art 2004. See also idem, Court, Cloister & City 1995; idem, Die Geschichte der Kunst Ostmitteleuropas 2004; idem, (Ost-)Mitteleuropa als Kunstgeschichtsregion 2007.
      33. ^ Fried, Ostmitteleuropäische Studien 1994; idem: East Central Europe 1997. In addition, see Cornis-Pope / Neubauer, History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe 2004. At the same time, the historians of literature have developed the concept of "Central Europe", for example Konstantinović / Rinner, Eine Literaturgeschichte Mitteleuropas 2001.
      34. ^ Fried, Ostmitteleuropäische Studien 1994, p. 59 ("East-Central Europe is a category that enables a comprehensive, synthetic investigation of … national literatures, not through arbitrary comparison, but through the "confrontation" with the main directions of literatures …. The region under investigation is a literary group of the multi-coloured European literature (literature in European languages) that possess a relative level of independence and characteristics that differentiate it from other regions", transl. by C.G.).
      35. ^ Raßloff, Zur narrativen Modellierung kultureller Interferenzräume 2005. For a more recent literary example, see Stasiuk, Jadąc do Babadag 2004.
      36. ^ Behring et. al., Grundbegriffe und Autoren ostmitteleuropäischer Exilliteraturen 2004; Neubauer / Török (eds.), The Exile and Return of Writers from East-Central Europe 2009.
      37. ^ Freise, Der Zerfall der Habsburgermonarchie 2002; Woldan, Der Österreich-Mythos 1996.
      38. ^ Zöldhelyi-Deák, Gondolatok Turgenyev 2003; idem, Rol' nemeckogo posredničestva 2004.
      39. ^ Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe 2002, p. xiii. As early as 1990, the political scientist Charles Gati prepared the way for this inversion with the dictum "Eastern Europe is now East-Central Europe". (Gati, East-Central Europe 1990, p. 129).
      40. ^ Murawska-Muthesius, Welcome to Slaka 2004. On further, primarily literary, pseudonyms for East-Central Europe or subregions such as "Ruritania", "Herzoslovakia" or "Pottsylvania", see Orlinski, Ex oriente horror 2006, pp. 144–150.
      41. ^ Sundhaussen, Die Wiederentdeckung des Raums 2005, p. 30. See also ibid., pp. 24, 31.
      42. ^ Schenk, The Historical Regions of Europe 2004, p. 23f.
      43. ^ Schmale, Die Europäizität Ostmitteleuropas 2003, p. 196. See also Koselleck, Zeitschichten 2000; Davies, Europe 1996, p. 9.
      44. ^ Todorova, The Trap of Backwardness 2005.
      45. ^ Cf. Müller, European History 2003; idem, Wo und wann war Europa? 2004.
      46. ^ Hildermeier, Wo liegt Osteuropa 2005, p. 349.
      47. ^ Kocka, Das östliche Mitteleuropa 2000, pp. 159–174.
      48. ^ Osterhammel, Europamodelle 2004, pp. 167–168.
      49. ^ Siegrist, Perspektiven 2003, p. 310.
      50. ^ Giordano, Interdependente Vielfalt 2003.
      51. ^ Arnason, Introduction 2005, p. 387.

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