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Empty Signs, Historical Imaginaries: The Entangled Nationalization of Names and Naming in a Late Habsburg Borderland

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Volume 27

Austrian and Habsburg Studies

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Empty Signs, Historical Imaginaries

The Entangled Nationalization of Names and Naming in a Late Habsburg Borderland

Ágoston Berecz

350 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-634-0 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (March 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-635-7 eBook

View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“An impressive and stunningly original study that makes a significant contribution to the field, using hitherto entirely unexplored source material.” • Monika Baár, Leiden University

“With Empty Signs, Historical Imaginaries, Berecz raises the methodological bar for future generations of nationalism scholars and commendably trailblazes new paths of inquiry. This is a meticulously researched, tightly argued, and brilliantly executed work on a subject too often neglected.” • Tomasz Kamusella, University of St. Andrews


Set in a multiethnic region of the nineteenth-century Habsburg Empire, this thoroughly interdisciplinary study maps out how the competing Romanian, Hungarian and German nationalization projects dealt with proper names. With particular attention to their function as symbols of national histories, Berecz makes a case for names as ideal guides for understanding historical imaginaries and how they operate socially. In tracing the changing fortunes of nationalization movements and the ways in which their efforts were received by mass constituencies, he provides an innovative and compelling account of the historical utilization, manipulation, and contestation of names.

Ágoston Berecz is Research Fellow at Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies, Budapest.

Subject: History: 18th/19th Century
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


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