Imperial Subjects. Patterns of Identification and Self-Perception in the Continental Empires of Eastern Europe

Schenk, Frithjof Benjamin and Aust, Martin. (2020) Imperial Subjects. Patterns of Identification and Self-Perception in the Continental Empires of Eastern Europe. Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 68 (2). pp. 256-269.

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This contribution seeks to enrich the study of imperial histories by investigating the autobiographical practices of imperial subjects. The English word “subject” has two meanings that come to bear here. On the one hand, it refers to an inhabitant of an empire whose personal and civic rights are restricted - in contrast to the “citizen” (citoyen/grazhdanin/Bürger) of the (ideal-typical) modern nation state. On the other hand, the term is associated with the idea of a person who is conscious of his/her own “self ” (or who is searching for his/her own “I”), whose self-image is formed through autobiographical practices and expressed in texts such as diaries or memoirs. The authors of the autobiographical texts we are interested in can be described as “imperial subjects” in this double sense. On the one hand, they were subjects of one of the three polyethnic and multi-confessional empires in Eastern Europe and, on the other, they reflected on their life or “self ” in ego-documents, or tried to express themselves in these texts. This approach was developed in a research project on the Romanov, Habsburg and Ottoman empires in the late 19th and early 20th century. In addition to the theoretical concept, this text outlines exemplary results from case studies on the Russian Empire, which focus on the autobiographical practices of noblewomen and jurists.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Bereich Osteuropäische Geschichte > Osteuropäische Geschichte (Schenk)
UniBasel Contributors:Schenk, Frithjof Benjamin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Franz Steiner
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:09 Jun 2021 15:48
Deposited On:09 Jun 2021 15:48

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