The Balkans Uncovered: Toward <i>Historie Croisée</i> of Modernism

Sanja Bahun

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195338904
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Balkans Uncovered: Toward Historie Croisée of Modernism

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  • Literature
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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Balkan modernisms boast rich aesthetic production—varied in intentions, diverse in the forms, shapes, and modes of execution, and of unequal degrees of impact on regional and international literature and arts. This article aims to introduce this multicolored production and to offer a perspective on the methodological implications of investigating under-documented modernist sites. One specific property of the modernist locale under discussion, namely, its indeterminate geographical and conceptual mapping, is quintessential for this purpose. The discussion opens this inquiry by delineating the space-construct of the Balkans. It suggests the inclusion of the reflexive and dynamic methodological framework of histoire croisée in the “tool kit” for the discussion of global modernisms. Such a move supports the recalculation of geotemporal boundaries of modernism and evaluation of such paradoxically framed practices as Micić's “modernist barbarianism,” and enables responsible revision of the principles and methods guiding the research activity.

Keywords: Balkans; barbarians; global modernism; Balkan modernism; conceptual mapping; modernist barbarianism

Article.  10475 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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