IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 811: CEU 25, IV: Ethnic Identities in South-Eastern Europe, 9th-15th Centuries

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Organiser:Daniel Ziemann, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Moderator/Chair:Francesco Dall'Aglio, Department of Medieval History of Bulgaria, Institute for Historical Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Paper 811-aShifting Identities in the Late Medieval Balkans: The Case of Albania and Bosnia
(Language: English)
Panos Sophoulis, Department for Slavic Studies, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Slavic, Political Thought
Paper 811-bIdentities on the Move: The Problem of Ethnicity in the Second Bulgarian Empire and Its Neighbours in the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Daniel Ziemann, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Mentalities, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy

‘Ethnic identity’ has been one of the topics that have been quite popular during the last decades. While Central and Western Europe have been in the focus of the research on ethnic identity in the Middle Ages, including its constructivity, fluidity, and changeability, as well as the limits and pitfalls of the concept itself, South-Eastern Europe has been less in the focus of this research trend. Starting from the formation of political entities, like the Bulgarian Empire, Serbia, the Hungarian Kingdom etc., processes of identity building have been quite important and at the same time difficult to study for historians, as ethnicity is a highly loaded concept with political implications. As political borders in the early and high Middle Ages shifted more or less constantly, we see processes of identity building concerning social as well as ethnic or cultural groups that seem to play a significant role in the region. However, the construction of groups and group identity is, of course, not limited to ethnic ones as religious, economic and other criteria might have had an even greater impact on the course of events than what we would subsume under the notion of ethnicity. Since the source material is limited and some historical and archaeological studies still tend to use traditional ethnic concepts, it might be promising to have a fresh look at these problems that takes the most recent conceptual developments into account.