ANN: Presentation from Timothy Olin on “Austrianism, Regionalism, Nationalism: Identity Construction on the Habsburg Frontier”, ÖAW-INZ, Vienna, June 4th, 2018
Invitation to the presentation of Timothy Olin on
“Austrianism, Regionalism, Nationalism: Identity Construction on the Habsburg Frontier”
WHEN: 5 pm on June 4th, 2018
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institut for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research
1020 Vienna (Austria)
When German-speaking colonists arrived in the Banat of Temesvár and southern Hungary in the eighteenth century, ethnicity was often less of a defining factor than religion. The onset of the “Age of Nationalism” in the nineteenth century changed the status quo and forced these German-speakers to navigate the increasingly complex ethno-political situation created by the rise of nations. In response, leading Germans based their collective identity on ideas of industriousness and progress, attempting to offset their numerical inferiority (vis-à-vis Romanians and Serbs) and political impotence (vis-à-vis the Hungarians) and to justify their presence in the region. This response laid the groundwork for an enduring regional identity that demarcated them both from the surrounding ethnic groups and from Germans in other parts of Europe. The rise of National Socialism in Germany challenged this regional identity. While some Banaters sought to retain a unique sense of community connected to the region, others sought to more closely connect Germans both in and out of Germany proper, an effort supported by the Reich’s propaganda machine. After the war, and continuing to this day, there has been a rebirth of the regional identity, even as the region has lost most of its German-speaking population. Through this developmental arc, we can see various strategies undertaken by a regional minority in an effort to maintain group cohesion and identity.
Tim Olin is an Assistant Professor of History at Central College in Iowa. He was awarded his Ph.D. in history from Purdue in August, 2015. Based on archival research in Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia, his dissertation, “Expanding Europe: German Borderland Colonization in the Banat of Temesvár, 1716-1847,” explored issues of migration, assimilation, and inter-ethnic relations on the Habsburg frontier. The manuscript received a “Distinguished Dissertation Award” from Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts and the biennial “Dissertation Prize for 2016” from the Center for Austrian Studies. His article, “Cultivating an Orderly Society: Physical and Mental Landscapes on the Habsburg’s Southern Frontiers” was published in the Austrian History Yearbook in 2017. Most recently, his article, “’Flüchtlinge’ oder ‘Auswanderer’? Migration aus dem Osmanischen Reich in das Banat im 18. Jahrhundert” was published in Aufnahmeland Österreich. Über den Umgang mit Massenflucht seit dem 18. Jahrhundert.
Since 2016 he serves voluntarily on the Michigan based H-Net moderator board of the HABSBURG Discussion Network.