Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Conference: "Ambivalent Legacies: Memory and Amnesia in Post-Habsburg and Post-Ottoman Cities

Deadline: ASAP 

The conference will take place this week at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Goettingen, Germany. I welcome anyone in the area to join us if you're so inclined, and please feel free to contact me ( or our program administrator, Marina Cziesielsky ( with any questions you may have.

Ambivalent Legacies: Memory and Amnesia in Post-Habsburg and Post-Ottoman Cities

The empires that once defined the political geography of Europe are no more. One cannot meet a Prussian, Romanov, Habsburg, or Ottoman today; these dusty categories of affiliation have ceded to myriad national identities. Yet it would be mistaken to assume that Europe’s bygone empires have become mere relics of history. Imperial pasts continue to inspire nostalgia, identification, pride, anxiety, skepticism, and disdain in the present. The afterlives of empires as objects of memory exceed historical knowledge, precisely because these afterlives shape and recast the present and the future. Simultaneously, present- and future-oriented imperatives accentuate imperial pasts in selective ways, yielding new configurations of post-imperial amnesia as well as memory. Our conference brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars working on post-imperial legacies in relation to a variety of specific cities, including Vienna, Istanbul, Budapest, Sarajevo, Trieste, Thessaloniki, Zagreb, and Belgrade. Our contributors pursue the politics and cultures of memory in relation to two general, interrelated questions: What are the effects of imperial legacies on contemporary cities? and, How do present-day urban processes reshape the forms of post-imperial memory and forgetting?


Day One (Wednesday, April 26th)

9:00-10:30 Greeting, Opening Remarks, Coffee

10:30-12:30 Panel One: Cultivating Pasts

Sotirios Dimitriadis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Rediscovering the Past as Future: The Ottoman Legacy as Part of Public Discourse in Greek Macedonia

Kimberly Hart (SUNY Buffalo State), Istanbul’s Intangible Cultural Heritage as Embodied by Street Animals
Miloš Jovanović (MPI-MMG), Whitewashed Empire: Historical Narrative and Place Marketing in Vienna

Olga Orlić and Anita Sujoldzic (Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb), From Agram to Zagreb: the Austro-Hungarian Legacy in Tourism Discourses of the Croatian Capital

Discussant: Neena Mahadev (MPI-MMG)

12:30-13:20 Lunch (for participants)

14:00-15:30 Keynote (at Lichtenberg Kolleg): Larry Wolff (New York University), Galicia after Galicia: Phantoms and Fantasies of Remembrance

19:00 Dinner (for participants)

Day Two (Thursday, April 27th)

9:00-11:00 Panel Two: Curating Heritage

Giulia Carabelli (MPI-MMG), Coffee Culture in the Shadow of the Empire

Annika Kirbis (MPI-MMG), Weltstadt without Migrants? Navigating Post-Imperial Nostalgia and Transnational Memories in Vienna 

Emily Neumeier (Ohio State University), Mediating Memories of Empire in the Post-Imperial Museum

Zsuzsanna Varga (Central European University), “...With This Artificial Asia We Will Achieve Better Results”: The Turkish Theme Park at the Millennium Exhibition of 1896, Budapest

Discussant: Julia Moses (University of Sheffield and Georg August University of Göttingen, Institute for Sociology)

11:00-11:15 Coffee

11:15-13:15 Panel Three: Mediated Refractions

Srđan Atanasovski (Institute of Musicology SASA, Belgrade), Artists, Amateurs and Bureaucrats at Work: Sonic Inclusion and “Die [Gast]Arbeiter von Wien”

Melinda Harlov-Csortán (Hungarian ICOMOS), Sissi was Hungarian: The Role of the Habsburg Empress in the Urban Formation of Hungarian National Memory in the Capital

Irena Šentevska (University of Arts, Belgrade), Crni Gruja in Belgrade: The Early De-Ottomanization of Serbia in a TV  Sitcom

Jeremy Walton (MPI-MMG), Heroes Without Villains? The Croatian Count, the Repressed Sultan, and the Post-Imperial Fashioning of Nationalism(s)

Discussant: Patrick Eisenlohr (Georg August University of Göttingen, Centre for Modern Indian Studies)

13:15-14:00 Lunch (for participants)

14:00-16:00 Panel Four: Unsettling Histories

Gruia Badescu (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe, University of Rijeka), Cosmopolitan Heritage? Post-War Reconstruction and Imperial Memory in Sarajevo and Beirut

Fatma Müge Göçek (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), An Ottoman Legacy of Violence: The Assassination of Hrant Dink in Kurtuluş, İstanbul on 19 January 2007
Liora Halperin (University of Colorado Boulder), Making Migrant Memory: Jewish Colonists from the Habsburg and Russian Empires in Ottoman Palestine and the Ambivalence of Imperial Legacies”

Piro Rexhepi (MPI-MMG), The Politics of Postcolonial Erasure in Sarajevo

Discussant: Matthias Koenig (MPI-MMG and Georg August University of Göttingen)

16:00-16:15 Coffee

16:15-18:00 Opera Panel: Tatjana Marković (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna), Adam Mestyan (Duke University, USA), and Larry Wolff (New York University).

Moderator: Miloš Jovanović (MPI-MMG)

19:00 Dinner (for participants)

Day Three (Friday, April 28th

9:00-11:30 Panel Five: Contested Materialities

Borut Klabjan (European University Institute / Science and Research Centre Koper), “Relocating Sissi”: The Afterlife of Habsburg Landscape in Trieste

Panagiotis Kontolaimos (National Technical University of Athens - Kaloutsiani Mosque Restoration Project), The So-Called “White Tower” and the City of Thessaloniki: A Piece of Ottoman Heritage Reclaimed

Dunja Resanović (Boğaziçi University, Department of History), From Three Ottoman Gates to Three Serbian Realms of Memory: Urbanistic and Performative Rewriting of Belgrade from 1878 until Today
Behar Sadriu (SOAS, University of London), Shrine Diplomacy: Turkey’s Quest for a Post-Kemalist Identity
Merita Zekovic, Vijećnica – The Chameleon of Sarajevo

Discussant: Michalis Moutselos (MPI-MMG)

11:30-11:45 Coffee

11:45-13:15 Plenary: Amy Mills (University of South Carolina), Making the Urban Afterlife of Empire: Memory and Cultural Geopolitics in Post- WWI Istanbul

13:15-13:45 Lunch (for participants)

13:45-15:00 Roundtable Discussion

19:00 Dinner (for participants)

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