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From the German-speaking point of view: Unholy Empire, Balkanism, and the culture circle particularism of Albanian studies

Abstract : In this paper, I aim to contribute to the debate about hegemonic relations between the West European ''core'' and southeast European ''margins,'' by showing the links between mutually challenged and engendered quasi-anthropological traditions in the totalitarian projects of nation-building and empire-building. New aspects of a continuous resonance will be addressed between a politically instrumentalized Albanian tradition of ''folk'' or people's culture studies (kultura popullore) and a German-speaking tradition of Volks-and Völkerkunde grounded in Herderean Romanticism and the imperial ambitions of the nineteenth century. In the course of discussion the successive German traditions of National-Socialist Volkskunde and Communist East German Ethnographie, until the revised tradition of Europäische Ethnologie in the 1990s, are shown to operate from a historicist tradition rather than from a critical tradition as a reflexive successor to former Volkskunde. In the course of this discussion, I will pay particular attention to contextualizing the historical and current production of knowledge by the German and Austrian ''West'' on a Balkan and Albanian culture, which is reduced to its archaic or pre-modern ''traditions'' and its specific or antiquated ''mentalities.''
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Albert Doja. From the German-speaking point of view: Unholy Empire, Balkanism, and the culture circle particularism of Albanian studies. Critique of Anthropology, SAGE Publications, 2014, 34 (3), pp.290-326. ⟨10.1177/0308275X14531834⟩. ⟨halshs-01133422⟩

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