Frontiers of Nationalism in Eastern Europe

Episode 306

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This episode examines new perspectives on the study of nationalism through a discussion of emerging themes in the history of Eastern Europe. We talk to two researchers about their ongoing projects concerning the history of nationalism in places that did not necessary fit the mold. Cristian Florea discusses the history of Bukovina, a borderland region that often found itself divided between multi-ethnic empires and during the 20th century, between emergent nation states. Malgorzata Kurjanska offers an introduction to her work on the historical sociology of Eastern Europe and her comparative study of civil society and elite competition multiple regions of former Congress Poland. In addition, we reflect on the value of studying the phenomenon of nationalism in "non-national" geographies and at the would-be margins of Europe.

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Contributor Bios

Cristina Florea is a historian of East-Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, currently working on a book on the contested province of Bukovina, entitled Land of Longing: Bukovina at the Crossroads of Empire. Cristina obtained her PhD in History from Princeton University and is currently a member of the Harvard Academy of Scholars.

Malgorzata Kurjanska is a sociologist who studies how elites and their conflicts shape the representation of social alliances and cleavages within civil society. She received her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.

Chris Gratien holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University's Department of History and is currently an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. His research focuses on the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region from the 1850s until the 1950s.

Maria Blackwood is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University working on the history of Central Asia. Her dissertation examines the establishment of Soviet power in Kazakhstan, looking in particular at the first generation of Kazakhs who joined the Communist Party.

Individual Clips


Episode No. 306
Release Date: 13 March 2017
Recording Location: Harvard University
Audio editing by Chris Gratien
Music: From Excavated Shellac - Franciszek Dukla Wiejska Banda – Nikto to nam; Maria Mordazova and M. Zelenova – Da zadumal malchik zhenitsya;Samuel Pilip, John Karliak, i ich Lemkiwska Orchestra – Lemkiwsky Sztayer, Taneć; Kolomyjka Buczaćka by Ukrainska Orchestra Michala Thomasa; Kozak-Trepak by Ukrainska Orchestra Pawla Humeniuka


Postcard of Czernowitz’s main street, Herrengasse. The street was named after its counterpart in Vienna. Its new name is Ol’ha Kobylians’ka Street, after the Bukovina-born Ukrainian poet, but some locals still refer to it as Herrengasse. Source:
Photograph of the Jewish synagogue in Czernowitz’s city center [cca 1910]. Before World War I, Jews occupied a central position in Czernowitz’s society and economy. This was reflected in the city’s architecture. The Jewish synagogue depicted here was converted into a cinema under Soviet rule – and it remains a cinema today. See picture below.  
The former synagogue. Photo credit: Cristina Florea
The Ukrainian national theater in Chernivtsi – with a statue of the Ukrainian poet Ol’ha Kobylians’ka in front. The theater was built in the late 19th century by a group of Austrian architects and named after the German poet Friedrich Schiller – whose statue once stood in Kobylians’ka’s place. This coming and going of monuments in Bukovina’s capital reflects the province’s complicated history. Photo credit: Cristina Florea
Warszawa, Krakowskie Przedmieście, postcard c1910-1920. Source: US Library of Congress -
The funeral of five victims of the 1861 Warszawa demonstrations (by Aleksander Lesser). Source: Wikimedia -

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YoungHistorian said…
thank you for great podcast. thanks again

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