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Title: City of Dreams, Land of Longing: Czernowitz and Bukovina at the Crossroads of Empires
Authors: Florea, Cristina
Advisors: Kotkin, Stephen
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: East-Central Europe
Habsburg Empire
Subjects: History
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores how places were imagined and how they shaped culture and politics in late 19th- and 20th-century East-Central Europe through the story of Czernowitz and Bukovina. The narrative follows them and their residents as they shifted from the Habsburg Empire to the Russian Empire, Greater Romania, the Nazi Empire, the Soviet Union, and independent Ukraine over the course of one century. The dissertation asks how Bukovina’s peripheral position shaped the ambitions and policies of the different states that laid claim to it. Moreover, it examines how the competing, overlapping, and frequently changing practices of multiple states influenced how locals imagined their place in the world. This study brings new answers to old questions in the field of East-Central European history, such as nationalism and violence. It argues that nationalism cannot be understood except as a manifestation of changes in the relationship between people and places in an increasingly mobile world. Nationalists in Bukovina mobilized largely in response to the rise in emigration, which spurred troubling questions about culture, territory, and identity. By foregrounding the problem of “place,” this dissertation also shows that violence in East-Central Europe was part of a larger process of imperial rivalry. Moreover, by highlighting the competitive dimension to the interaction between powers in the region, this study complements the narrative of violence that prevails in the field with a story of state-building, cultural reform, and mutual influences between antagonists. It stresses that East-Central Europeans did not live outside states but were transformed by every interaction with them. Nationalists, for one, took advantage of imperial competition and the Great Powers exploited nationalism in return. The feelings of homelessness and loss, and the obsession with roots and territory that plagued so many East-Central Europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries did not remain confined to this region. By bringing these connections into focus, this dissertation seeks to re-insert East-Central Europe into its larger European and global context.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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