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WechselWirkungen

Austria-Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Western Balkans, 1878–1918

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Edited By Clemens Ruthner, Diana Reynolds Cordileone, Ursula Reber and Raymond Detrez

What can post/colonial studies and their approaches contribute to our understanding of the Austro-Hungarian ( k.u.k.) occupation and administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1878 to 1914?
This anthology presents some possible answers to this research question which goes back to a workshop held at the University of Antwerp in 2005. Later more researchers were invited from the small international circle of established and emerging experts to contribute to this new perspective on the imperial intermezzo of Bosnia-Herzegovina (which is usually overshadowed by the two World Wars and the Yugoslav Succession Wars of the 1990s). Alternative readings of both Austrian and Bosnian history, literature, and culture are meant to serve as a third way, as it were, bypassing the discursive fallacies of Habsburg nostalgia and nationalist self-victimization.
As a result, the essays of this interdisciplinary volume (collected and available in print for the first time) focus on the impact the Austro-Hungarian presence has had on Bosnia-Herzegovina and vice versa. They consider both the contemporary imperialist setting as well as the expansionist desire of the Habsburg Monarchy directed southward. Exploring the double meaning of the German title WechselWirkungen, the authors consider the consequences of occupation, colonization and annexation as a paradigm shift affecting both sides: not only intervention and interaction at a political, economic, social, cultural, and religious level, but also imposed hegemony along with cultural transfer and hybridity. Finally, the imperial gaze at the Balkan region outside of the Habsburg territories is included in the form of three exemplary case studies on Albania and Montenegro.
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Artistic or Political Manifestation? Organized Music-Making in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian Period: Bojan Bujić

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Artistic or Political Manifestation?

Organized Music-Making in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian Period

BOJAN BUJIĆ (MAGDALEN COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD)

In 1878, at the point of Austria’s entry into Bosnia, Johannes Brahms was composing his Violin Concerto, Wagner completed the text for Parsifal, Tchaikovsky completed Evgeny Onegin and Arnold Schönberg was a four-year-old boy in the Viennese quarter of Leopoldstadt. European music was in the phase of late Romanticism and the composers increasingly sought to use their music as a vehicle for intense emotions, framing them within highly individualized personal musical languages.1 This was, as it were, the top end of the scale. At the bottom end stood several regions on the Balkan Peninsula, hitherto within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Their independence from the Ottoman Empire, achieved in the mid-nineteenth century, ushered into these areas new forms of cultural activity among which music-making according to the Central European model was a significant innovation. Bulgaria and Serbia quickly showed some considerable advances in the organization of musical institutions and of music-making. Whereas musical activity in those countries formed a part of broader cultural and economic aspirations motivated from ›within‹, the arrival of the Austrian military bands in Bosnia was a sudden event – rather than representing the aspirations of the local bourgeoisie, Central European music appeared to the local population as a component of the new regime. This point of arrival became an event clearly fixed in time in the consciousness of all the...

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