A – Minorities, national belonging, and state-building

Historical narrative and process of marginalization

Event Details

  • Date

    Thursday, 25 June - 15:30 – 17:30

  • Venue
    tba
  • Theme
    A – Minorities, national belonging, and state-building
Chair
  • Forrest Kilimnik (Leipzig University)
Panelists
  • Cecilia Biaggi (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Hülya Tuncor (Justus Liebig University Gießen)
  • Sanna Ryynänen (University of Jyväskylä, Department of Language and Communication Studies)
  • Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez (Leipzig University, Institute of American Studies)
  • Forrest Kilimnik (Leipzig University)

Papers

  • Cecilia Biaggi
    A comparison of historical narratives in Northern Ireland and South Tyrol

    A comparison of historical narratives in Northern Ireland and South Tyrol

    This paper will investigate how distorted historical narratives were promoted to justify the exclusion of ethnic minorities within contested territories in the early twentieth century. The selected case studies will be compared to highlight common patterns in the exclusion of minorities whose sources for cultural differentiation varied (i.e. religion in the case of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, and language in the case of German-speaking South Tyroleans). The comparison will reveal how in both cases historical narratives depicted the ruling majorities with characters typical of colonial élites and minorities with traits associated with the colonised.
  • Hülya Tuncor
    The Eichmann trial in the Turkish print media of the 1960s: A contextualization of reporting against the background of Turkish minority policy

    The Eichmann trial in the Turkish print media of the 1960s: A contextualization of reporting against the background of Turkish minority policy

    The protection of minorities in Turkey, as laid down in the Treaty of Lausanne, which was defined according to religious affiliation and thus excluded Kurds and Alevis, granted Armenians, Greeks and Jews special minority rights. These minority rights, however, were by no means seen by Turkish Jews as special protection, but as marginalization. For in the newly emerging Turkish republic, which was characterized by its process of turcification in the course of establishing its own nation state, which stood in clear contrast to the lived ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, the protection of minorities imposed by the Treaty of Lausanne stigmatized. As a result of the Treaty the political leadership saw those three mentioned different groups in context and repeatedly questioned their "loyalty" to the newly founded Turkish state. This led not only to direct discrimination and violence against Turkish Jews, as in the „Thrace Incidents“ of 1934, but also to riots against Jews and Armenians, as in September 1955 in Istanbul and Izmir, which were primarily directed against Greeks. For the period of my investigation (1960-1962), another factor to be considered is the founding of the State of Israel and the associated waves of emigration of Turkish Jews. Against this socio-political background, I look at the reception of the Eichmann trial in the Turkish print media of the 1960s. Considering that the public produced by print media contributes to the consolidation of a transnational memory culture through the acquisition of information at national level, this abstract deals with the question of how information on the Holocaust and within this context on genocide and human rights in general are transmitted via national newspapers and therefore transformed within the process of translation, historical contextualisation and self-positioning for a national set of readers. This process is demonstrated using the example of the reception of the Eichmann trial – one of the major media events of the 20th century - in the Turkish print media of the 1960s. The coverage in the Turkish print media is particularly interesting considering the diversity of the Turkish society and the genocide of Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century. Given that numerous journalists from all over the world were attending the trial at the beginning and that the international media was reporting the trial via newspaper, radio and television and therefore reached a global audience, my paper concentrates on two major aspects which were essential for the acquisition of information at national level. The newspapers Cumhuriyet and Şalom are examined by comparison for the following central points: 1.) The translation of key terms into the Turkish language: What vocabulary was used? Which words were translated and in what way? Which new words were created? Which key terms, which appear again and again, played a central role in the reporting? Were the translations similar for different Turkish newspapers?; 2.) The emphasis or rather the omission of historical key events: Which events were highlighted? How were they framed? What kind of historical context did they create? What parallels were drawn? Did they build up a connection to Turkey’s minority policy? How were the historical key events reflected in the daily newspaper regarding the history of the Armenian genocide under Ottoman rule?
  • Sanna Ryynänen
    Bad for any good reason: Jews in the Finnish press before the Second World War

    Bad for any good reason: Jews in the Finnish press before the Second World War

    The number of Jews has always been very small in Finland. The amount reached its peak under the Second World War, even then being only about 2 000. Yet, the idea of the “invasion of the Jews and Jewish capital,” familiar from the European media, spread also in Finland. The intimidation could not have been successful without a prior, strongly negative image of the Jews. In my presentation I will look at how the Finnish press represented the Jews before the WWII. The study shows that Jews were always depicted in a negative manner – only the reasons for the antipathy varied.
  • Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez
    „More of the pioneer spirit“: Black spatialization processes in the Age of US Imperialism

    „More of the pioneer spirit“: Black spatialization processes in the Age of US Imperialism

    US expansionism at the end of the 19th century presented African Americans with a dilemma: should they support their nation in its endeavor to control territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean, or should they resist these imperialist ventures that were directed against nonwhite people in other parts of the globe? The paper explores some of the debates and reasonings concerning this question, focusing in particular on the way the new territories – Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba – were spatialized. As African American intellectuals and writers tried to assess what the new „posessions“ might mean in terms of black people’s prospects and opportunities within the US, they developed imaginary geographies that framed these territories as spaces promising liberation from the oppressive realities of US racism. In doing so, the paper argues, some of them voiced ideas replicating national colonialist discourses and notions of civilizational hierarchies. The paper addresses these contradictions in the context of the difficult situation of African Americans in the Jim Crow era, using pamphlets, newspaper articles and literary texts as primary material.
  • Forrest Kilimnik
    Minority map & timeline of Europe: Multirelational histories

    Minority map & timeline of Europe: Multirelational histories

    A large percentage of the literature and sources in the field of minority studies remain in printed formats, which limits both accessibility and the ability to integrate visualization as well as interactive and comparative features when presenting data. The Minority Map and Timeline of Europe (MMTE) – a digital tool for the dissemination of knowledge about communities across the larger European space (including 52 countries) – seeks to address these issues and to allow the user to not only examine uniform information but also to explore and understand connections and developments by exploring data according to individual interests. Presenting the community/country timeline section (still in its pilot phase), this paper demonstrates how the MMTE tool allows the user to visualize, compare, and filter events/histories of different communities and countries to understand relationships both within and across state borders. Through the comparative structure of the timelines, the MMTE can be used to reveal the shifting positions of minority-hood and majority-hood over time and space as well as the community and state effects on creating, shaping, and influencing such political, cultural, and economic standing. Accordingly, the tool contributes to old and new debates around definitions of “minority” and “majority”, including the embodied normative perspectives.

Abstract

Abstract will follow shortly