Marija Snieckute MA
Nation-Building in Imperial Borderlands: The Case of Lithuania
University of Amsterdam
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. Joep Leerssen, Prof. dr. Luiza Bialasiewicz
Aanstelling: vanaf mei 2017
The research project is cultural, transnational historical study of Lithuanian nationalism and Lithuanian national identity in the 19th c. Particularly, it will study the cultural construction of the Lithuanian national language as the key “ingredient” of the Lithuanian national identity, by way of three research questions: How was Lithuanian made into a national language? How was the Lithuanian national identity, with the language as its core element, constructed? What trans-national (e.g., Baltic, European, cross-imperial) identities were articulated in the process?
Due to its importance and impact, the focus will be on the published work of intellectuals (Lithuanian and others) who significantly contributed to Lithuanian nationalism and reflected on the ideas of nation and language. The analysis will highlight cultural transfers in the transnational networks of ideas and intellectual centres, identify the changes in the key nationalist concepts in use, delineate linguistic ideologies at work, and spell out articulations of the Lithuanian ethnotype. The project will chart the emergence of the Lithuanian nation-state on the map of Europe out of the activities mostly carried out in the Russian and German Empires. As a result, I expect not only to provide a rich cultural historical account of Lithuanian nationalism, but also to enrich the understanding of the formations of the European identities in the 19th century and reveal the dynamics of identity politics in Europe’s multi-ethnic borderlands.