History in Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders of the Balkans

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9780691086972: History in Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders of the Balkans
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In the decade after World War II, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians were displaced from the border zone between Italy and Yugoslavia known as the Julian March. History in Exile reveals the subtle yet fascinating contemporary repercussions of this often overlooked yet contentious episode of European history. Pamela Ballinger asks: What happens to historical memory and cultural identity when state borders undergo radical transformation? She explores displacement from both the viewpoints of the exiles and those who stayed behind. Yugoslavia's breakup and Italy's political transformation in the early 1990s, she writes, allowed these people to bring their histories to the public eye after nearly half a century.


Examining the political and cultural contexts in which this understanding of historical consciousness has been formed, Ballinger undertakes the most extensive fieldwork ever done on this subject--not only around Trieste, where most of the exiles settled, but on the Istrian Peninsula (Croatia and Slovenia), where those who stayed behind still live. Complementing this with meticulous archival research, she examines two sharply contrasting models of historical identity yielded by the "Istrian exodus": those who left typically envision Istria as a "pure" Italian land stolen by the Slavs, whereas those who remained view it as ethnically and linguistically "hybrid." We learn, for example, how members of the same family, living a short distance apart and speaking the same language, came to develop a radically different understanding of their group identities. Setting her analysis in engaging, jargon-free prose, Ballinger concludes that these ostensibly very different identities in fact share a startling degree of conceptual logic.

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"This is a wonderful book, beautifully written and painstakingly researched. Pamela Ballinger has crafted a work that will stand on its own for years to come. Her prose is lively, at times lyrical, and conveys the rich complexity of identity, memory, and loss in contemporary contexts marked by the traumatic legacy of violence. The interplay between literary sources, social science literature, popular cultural registers, and personal accounts, is delightful while sharp and analytically clear."--Donald Carter, Johns Hopkins University

"This is a richly rendered narrative ethnography that brilliantly interleaves the fraught stories of people living across the shifting borders of Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its most significant contribution lies in how it creates a distinctive space for ethnographic inquiry whereby the monumental historical and cultural transformations that have unfolded across the Julian March are manifest as intimate human struggles. Ballinger achieves this with intellectual rigor, candor, and humanity."--Douglas R. Holmes, University of Otago, New Zealand

"History in Exile is a significant contribution to our understanding of a little-known chapter in the development of Balkan identities in relation to Western Europe. Ballinger's meticulous research and her ability to maintain a balanced distance from all the parties concerned will make this work a major addition to the literature. The writing is fluent and engaging, is unincumbered by unnecessary jargon, and conveys complex situations with lucidity and empathy."--Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

About the Author:

Pamela Ballinger is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the decade after World War II, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians were displaced from the border zone between Italy and Yugoslavia known as the Julian March. History in Exile reveals the subtle yet fascinating contemporary repercussions of this often overlooked yet contentious episode of European history. Pamela Ballinger asks: What happens to historical memory and cultural identity when state borders undergo radical transformation? She explores displacement from both the viewpoints of the exiles and those who stayed behind. Yugoslavia's breakup and Italy's political transformation in the early 1990s, she writes, allowed these people to bring their histories to the public eye after nearly half a century. Examining the political and cultural contexts in which this understanding of historical consciousness has been formed, Ballinger undertakes the most extensive fieldwork ever done on this subject--not only around Trieste, where most of the exiles settled, but on the Istrian Peninsula (Croatia and Slovenia), where those who stayed behind still live.Complementing this with meticulous archival research, she examines two sharply contrasting models of historical identity yielded by the "Istrian exodus": those who left typically envision Istria as a "pure" Italian land stolen by the Slavs, whereas those who remained view it as ethnically and linguistically "hybrid." We learn, for example, how members of the same family, living a short distance apart and speaking the same language, came to develop a radically different understanding of their group identities. Setting her analysis in engaging, jargon-free prose, Ballinger concludes that these ostensibly very different identities in fact share a startling degree of conceptual logic. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691086972

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the decade after World War II, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians were displaced from the border zone between Italy and Yugoslavia known as the Julian March. History in Exile reveals the subtle yet fascinating contemporary repercussions of this often overlooked yet contentious episode of European history. Pamela Ballinger asks: What happens to historical memory and cultural identity when state borders undergo radical transformation? She explores displacement from both the viewpoints of the exiles and those who stayed behind. Yugoslavia's breakup and Italy's political transformation in the early 1990s, she writes, allowed these people to bring their histories to the public eye after nearly half a century. Examining the political and cultural contexts in which this understanding of historical consciousness has been formed, Ballinger undertakes the most extensive fieldwork ever done on this subject--not only around Trieste, where most of the exiles settled, but on the Istrian Peninsula (Croatia and Slovenia), where those who stayed behind still live.Complementing this with meticulous archival research, she examines two sharply contrasting models of historical identity yielded by the "Istrian exodus": those who left typically envision Istria as a "pure" Italian land stolen by the Slavs, whereas those who remained view it as ethnically and linguistically "hybrid." We learn, for example, how members of the same family, living a short distance apart and speaking the same language, came to develop a radically different understanding of their group identities. Setting her analysis in engaging, jargon-free prose, Ballinger concludes that these ostensibly very different identities in fact share a startling degree of conceptual logic. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691086972

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the decade after World War II, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians were displaced from the border zone between Italy and Yugoslavia known as the Julian March. History in Exile reveals the subtle yet fascinating contemporary repercussions of this often overlooked yet contentious episode of European history. Pamela Ballinger asks: What happens to historical memory and cultural identity when state borders undergo radical transformation? She explores displacement from both the viewpoints of the exiles and those who stayed behind. Yugoslavia's breakup and Italy's political transformation in the early 1990s, she writes, allowed these people to bring their histories to the public eye after nearly half a century. Examining the political and cultural contexts in which this understanding of historical consciousness has been formed, Ballinger undertakes the most extensive fieldwork ever done on this subject--not only around Trieste, where most of the exiles settled, but on the Istrian Peninsula (Croatia and Slovenia), where those who stayed behind still live.Complementing this with meticulous archival research, she examines two sharply contrasting models of historical identity yielded by the "Istrian exodus": those who left typically envision Istria as a "pure" Italian land stolen by the Slavs, whereas those who remained view it as ethnically and linguistically "hybrid." We learn, for example, how members of the same family, living a short distance apart and speaking the same language, came to develop a radically different understanding of their group identities. Setting her analysis in engaging, jargon-free prose, Ballinger concludes that these ostensibly very different identities in fact share a startling degree of conceptual logic. Seller Inventory # BTE9780691086972

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