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Your suggestion will be processed as soon as possible. Graeme Mercer Adam was a Scottish born Canadian editor and publisher. Two years later he assumed control of the company which eventually became Adam, Stevenson and Company. He left Canada in apparently frustrated by the state of literary life in Canada but also attracted to the more lucrative industry in New York which was where he died in Not well known as an author, he helped nurture Canadian literature in the latter part of the 19th century through his role as editor and publisher.

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This report is anonymous. Several scholars regularly orbit into and out of our bailiwick, and, in my experience, we work well as a field when we simply accept these open, if ever changing, parameters. We also constitute a relatively new field. When I wrote my dissertation at Columbia University in the s, one either learned German national history, or the history of what was then called Eastern or East-Central Europe, an obvious product of Cold War political divisions.

Very few scholars studied the Habsburg Monarchy, and the few universities that employed these scholars generally hired them to teach in related fields. This was my own experience as well starting in the late s. In the s, all of this changed radically with the simultaneous opening of the archives in the former East bloc states and with the rise of histories that took up transnational topics and modes of analysis.

The study of the Habsburg Monarchy in the nineteenth century benefitted enormously, as American graduate students began to view it as a ready-made site for testing transnational analyses. Somewhat ironically, this development took place just as the US government and subsequently many universities stopped its Cold War support for teaching the necessary research languages for the region. Not all of these studies dealt solely with the nineteenth century, but all of them were clearly rooted in new interpretations of Central European society in that century.

In recent years, the familiar nineteenth century has indeed faded as a period of study—partly, of course, because it less and less constitutes the necessary background that other disciplines require for understanding the contemporary moment. It appears to lack the immediate usefulness and relevance it once held. At the same time, however, the more intellectual and topical reasons for a declining interest in the nineteenth century are less obvious in the case of Habsburg history than they are for German history, to make the comparison with a dominant neighboring field.

There has been considerable overlap between the two fields in terms of presumptions about the nature and character of Habsburg economy and society and their historical development , but we historians of Habsburg Central Europe continue to face a kind of Sonderweg -thinking based specifically on the premise that the historic existence of a complex ethnic mosaic somehow defined this region Eastern Europe as well as the Balkans as separate in its development from that of the rest of Europe.

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This circumstance determined that the region's history would be dominated by the theme of ethnic conflict among rival peoples, each of which sought to gain political expression in a nation-state of its own. Much of the Habsburg scholarship on nineteenth-century issues over the last three decades has focused in one way or another on debunking these powerful ideas, largely by developing new ways to interpret the extreme political nationalism and murderous ethnic violence that characterized the twentieth century in these regions.

If Habsburg historians, like their German history colleagues, have generally succeeded in debunking their own Sonderweg , the fact remains that, unlike the German case, the Sonderweg arguments they face maintain a semisacred status as the primary ideological legitimation for the existence of several contemporary, self-styled nation-states. For this reason, the traditional narrative cannot easily be abandoned or even called into question by governments, their propagandists, or the general public.

This problem is particularly clear from the most superficial examination of today's official commemorations and celebrations of the hundredth anniversary of in most of Habsburg Central Europe. To varying extents, these commemorations reiterate and reinforce highly teleological, traditional state narratives that culminate in the triumphant production of a greater Italy, Romania, or Serbia, or in the creation of the brand new states of Poland and Czechoslovakia today the Czech and Slovak Republics.

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The fact that we are currently experiencing a period of revived populist nationalism, in which several political parties in each of these states compete to outdo each other in their ethnic nationalist commitments, only exaggerates the ongoing and underlying importance of those traditional nationalist narratives. In the related field of museum work, for example, we see increased controversy surrounding public representations of national histories that question the legitimacy of the work of professional historians.


Often the guiltiest parties in this endeavor are professional historians. I make this point to underline the daily political challenges that historians of and in this region consistently face in their everyday work lives. It is, of course, the century where contemporary nationalist ideologues locate their foremothers and forefathers, so to speak. For this very reason, it remains the century to which historians have repeatedly returned to understand better the dynamics of emerging nationalism, politics in civil society, and indifference to nation.

This point suggests a rosier outlook for future interest in the nineteenth century, too, especially as the novelty of those archives that have recently revealed to us more of the Communist past begins to wear off. Graduate students and young scholars may well explore histories of capitalism, empire, the environment, and, of course, migration—all topics of highly contemporary interest—by reengaging with the nineteenth century.

In that sense, history may not simply be moving forward but rather backward as well. If there is a crisis or abandonment of the nineteenth century in our field, it has more to do with a lack of interest in, and just plain ignorance of, the period before The first half of the nineteenth century is ripe for archival investigation.

It is a period about which we know shockingly little, despite the innovative studies of the few scholars who have recently examined or are currently exploring this period. In Habsburg history, the nineteenth century may remain a topic of exploration for today's researchers, but our field suffers as much from geographic challenges as it does from chronological ones. Most of us would acknowledge that we have excellent detailed work on Vienna, Lower Austria, the Bohemian lands, Galicia, and Trieste.

But we have far too little work in more broadly accessible languages e. We know very little about local social life there, and we know very little about how local administrative institutions worked in those regions. This is hardly a question of merely filling some research gaps. Our very understandings of empire, of imperial society, of state-building, but also of civic and cultural life, might change considerably if we had more research situated in examples from these regions.

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In terms of larger studies of empire, imperial institutions, and popular relations to empire, our work is far too skewed toward Cisleithania. This is largely because of language issues. I have recently suggested at a number of conferences that we also treat Hungary as an empire, though as a different kind of empire from its Cisleithanian counterpart, and that we recognize more fully that loud assertions about Hungary's nation-state status, or about its notorious late nineteenth-century Hungarianization policies, are claims that do not fully reflect reality on the ground.

For the field of Habsburg Central Europe, several worrying questions regarding the funding of projects and especially the filling of university positions in Austria and the other successor states should concern North American scholars. As elsewhere in the world, the funding situation for historical projects in Central Europe is clearly worsening. Furthermore, some Austrian universities, in a misguided attempt to expand their transnational and global offerings, now regularly seek to replace historians of the region with historians doing work in other fields and geographic regions.

If professors at Austrian universities do not promote the serious study of an interregional Habsburg history, then who will do so? History departments in the other successor states suffer from a different problem, which they share with other self-styled nation states: a concentration on the retrospective legitimation of the nation. Their departments tend to focus on national stories and to avoid the study of imperial networks, connections, and common institutions that characterized the broader history of the region in the nineteenth century.

Certainly, some of these departments in the Czech and Slovak Republics, in Croatia, in Hungary, and in Slovenia have produced outstanding historians of the larger region or empire—but too often as the product of a coincidence of interests rather than of intention. The solution is to promote a greater understanding of the ways that regional or even national histories are embedded within larger imperial, European, or global histories. Regional history does not have to be overly provincial in character if it is practiced with an eye to different levels and scales of analysis.

But I have too often heard the assertion in Austria that hiring historians of Austria not to mention its imperial past will only narrow the perspectives of scholars. In considering possible ways to revive or sustain interest in the nineteenth century, I wonder whether the problem of diminished interest might not afford us opportunities to abandon or to rethink traditional and possibly outmoded ways of thinking about periodization and chronology.

Might it not be a positive development that, instead of seeing the nineteenth century simply as the century of change that produced the modern twentieth-century world, we see it as much in terms of its links to early modern worlds, and that we therefore configure the chronology differently?

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Indeed, we might want to think of a nineteenth century that profits from the ways early modernists have formulated categories such as globalization and state-building. In sum, diminished levels of interest in Europe's nineteenth century may offer us significant opportunities to change how we define our subject and to rethink the very significance of our fields and of how they relate to others. Finally, as mentioned earlier, today's graduate students are already reexamining in new and critical ways many of the classic themes we associate with the nineteenth century.

Topics long associated with political, social, economic, and cultural history such as welfare, labor, state-building, gender, family life, education, civic life, and many others remain at the center of our endeavors, but they are framed much differently, of course.

My department of twelve professors at the European University Institute in Florence only trains doctoral students in early modern and modern European history. At the same time, we are committed to a global understanding of Europe from the fifteenth century to the present, which means that our students often explore European topics in places as diverse as far-flung as Latin America, East Asia, and East Africa.

Several of us advise dissertations focused on the nineteenth century or the period around Our students who write on the nineteenth century seek to reframe our understanding of issues ranging from citizenship and personal identification under the Napoleonic occupations outside of France, to transnational studies of revolutionary Together, they appear to be uncovering a remarkable range of unknown histories that should change our understandings of the nineteenth century throughout Europe. A lexander M.

I thank Michael David-Fox and Peter Holquist for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. The Western historiography of Russia in the nineteenth century presents a mixed but mostly encouraging picture. The end of the Cold War led to quantitative shrinking but also to an exciting reorientation that produced high-quality scholarship capable of reframing our understanding of Russian, European, and even global history. After a brief discussion of periodization, I will offer a quantitative survey of the challenges that the American and West European scholarship has faced, and then summarize some major historiographic trends that show its continued vitality.

The nineteenth century in Russia is not a unified era. It has no clear starting point: historians often use the imperial successions of , , or to mark its beginning, but none of these really marks a historic break. A watershed was reached in , when the Great Reforms were launched with the abolition of serfdom. Much like the Prussian reforms of the Napoleonic era, the Great Reforms aimed to modernize the socioeconomic system while preserving the old political order. This ushered in the turbulent late imperial period, which came to a close with either the outbreak of World War I, or the fall of the monarchy, or the October Revolution.

The pre-Reform era has long played second fiddle, and its recent quantitative shrinking has been gradual. By contrast, the late imperial field has experienced acute boom-and-bust phases. Let me begin with a look at the field's evolution on a purely quantitative level. One way to do this is to count dissertations and books. For dissertations, I went to the ProQuest online database and did a search for doctoral dissertations that were defended since , and that were on the subject of Russian history or had the words Russia , Russian , or Soviet in the title.

I then reviewed each item to decide which ones to include. I had to make many judgment calls, and no doubt I missed some titles. My numbers are only approximations; what matters are the trend lines. Our field's central question, until recently, was how imperial Russia became the Soviet Union. Historians until the early s mostly approached this problem from the prerevolutionary side. The decade — produced 47 dissertations on the pre-Reform era the century before , on the late imperial period, and 55 on the early Soviet period defined here as — Why this emphasis on the imperial era?

The published sources were good and readily accessible, and the Soviet archives were relatively open for research on these topics. The context of Cold War international politics created an interest in what caused revolutions to happen.

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From the late s, the field shifted in a modern direction.