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Post-Ottoman Topologies: The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State

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Volume 8

Studies in Social Analysis

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Post-Ottoman Topologies

The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State

Edited by Nicolas Argenti

155 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-239-7 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (April 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-240-3 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (April 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-241-0 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This outstanding collection shows us that even after imperial borders disappear, the legacy of empire lives on in the intimate spaces of affect, emotion, gesture, and memory. The focus on the “post-Ottoman” is a challenge to definitions of the postcolonial that limit it to Western European empires. This makes the book essential reading not only in Middle Eastern and Balkan Studies but also for scholars who wish to think more broadly about imperial half-lives.” • Rebecca Bryant, Utrecht University

“This highly original volume studies the post-Ottoman condition in terms of how time is experienced socially, cosmologically, and experientially. It will be a crucial reference not only for studies of post-Ottoman geographies, but also for the comparative and conceptual anthropology of temporality.” • Yael Navaro, University of Cambridge


How are historians and social scientists to understand the emergence, the multiplicity, and the mutability of collective memories of the Ottoman Empire in the political formations that succeeded it? With contributions focussing on several of the nation-states whose peoples once were united under the aegis of Ottoman suzerainty, this volume proposes new theoretical approaches to the experience and transmission of the past through time. Developing the concept of topology, contributors explore collective memories of Ottoman identity and post-Ottoman state formation in a contemporary epoch that, echoing late modernity, we might term “late nationalism”.

Nicolas Argenti is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University. He is the author of The Intestines of the State: Youth, Violence, and Belated Histories in the Cameroon Grassfields (2007) and coeditor of several collections, including (with Katharina Schramm) Remembering Violence: Anthropological Perspectives on Intergenerational Transmission (2010).

Subject: Sociology Anthropology (General) Memory Studies
Area: Southern Europe Middle East & Israel


Introduction: The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State
Nicolas Argenti

Chapter 1. Fossilized Futures: Topologies and Topographies of Crisis Experience in Central Greece
Daniel M. Knight

Chapter 2. Prayer as a History: Of Witnesses, Martyrs, and Plural Pasts in Post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina
David Henig

Chapter 3. Surviving Hrant Dink: Carnal Mourning under the Specter of Senselessness
Alice von Bieberstein

Chapter 4. The Material Life of War at the Greek Border
Laurie Kain Hart

Chapter 5. (Re)sounding Histories: On the Temporalities of the Media Event
Penelope Papailias

Chapter 6. Between Dreams and Traces: Memory, Temporality, and the Production of Sainthood in Lesbos
Séverine Rey

Chapter 7. “Eyes Shut, Muted Voices”: Narrating and Temporalizing the Post-Civil War Era through a Monument
Dimitra Gefou-Madianou

Chapter 8. Uncanny History: Temporal Topology in the Post-Ottoman World
Charles Stewart


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