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Lecture Series: Amerika-Auswanderung und (ost)europäische „Diasporen” vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Ulf Brunnbauer)

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In the second lecture of the "Special Relations Revisited" series ScienceCampus board member Ulf Brunnbauer explores (East-)European migration to the US before the First World War. His lecture on Monday, November 9, will be in German.

Amerika-Auswanderung und (ost)europäische „Diasporen” vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg

Am 22. März 1908 wurde zum ersten Mal ein orthodoxer Gottesdienst in albanischer Sprache abgehalten – in New York. Der Pope, der damit den ersten Schritt zur Schaffung einer eigenständigen albanisch-orthodoxen Kirche setzte, war Fan Noli – ein umtriebiger Aktivist der albanischen Sache in den USA zu einer Zeit, als es noch keinen albanischen Staat gab. 1922 wurde er schließlich Außenminister des jungen albanischen Staates, 1924 für kurze Zeit zum Regierungschef – bis er den Machtkampf gegen die einheimischen Machtgruppen verlor und Ende 1924 das Land wieder verlassen musste.

Fan Noli ist nicht der einzige Repräsentant von Emigrantengemeinschaften aus Ost- und Südosteuropa in Nordamerika, der die Freiheiten Amerikas für die Agitation für die nationale Befreiung jenseits des Atlantiks nutze. In diesem Vortrag werde ich auf die oft überraschenden Querverbindungen zwischen Emigrantencommunities in den USA und osteuropäischen Nationalismen eingehen und auch die Reaktion von Staaten wie Österreich-Ungarn diskutieren, die darob nicht begeistert waren.

Emigration to the USA and (East) European “Diasporas” before the First World War

On 22 March 1908, an Orthodox Mass was held in Albanian for the first time. And not in Albania, but in New York. The priest, whose actions were the first step towards the creation of an independent Albanian-Orthodox Church, was Fan Noli. He was a dynamic US-based activist who supported the Albanian national cause at a time when there was no Albanian state. He went on to be appointed Foreign Minister of the young Albanian state in 1922, while also serving as Prime Minister for short period in 1924. He lost out in a power struggle with rival native groups and was forced to leave the country at the end of the year.

But Fan Noli was not the only representative of émigré communities from East and Southeastern Europe based in North America who drew on American Freedoms to campaign for national sovereignty and emancipation across the Atlantic. This lecture explores the often surprising entanglements between émigré communities (or “diasporas”) in the USA and East European nationalisms. I also consider the reactions of states including Austria-Hungary, which were not entirely enthusiastic about such efforts.

Ulf Brunnbauer has been Professor for the History of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the University of Regensburg since 2008. He defended his Habilitation at Berlin Free University and gained his PhD from the University of Graz. He is Director ofthe Leibniz Institute for East and South-East European Studies (IOS) and Co-Director of the Graduate School for East and South-East European Studies. His research focuses on migration, social history, and nations and nationalism.

When?  Monday, 9 November 2020, 18:15

Where?  Online via Zoom, https://uni-regensburg.zoom.us/j/85892790976, Meeting ID: 858 9279 0976

The lecture series "Special Relations Revisited: Europa und die USA seit dem 19. Jahrhundert" investigates how transatlantic relations have changed over the past 200 years. It is organized together with CITAS. Find the full programm here.

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