Why were so many societies reforged in the decades from 1850 until 1880? This was a question Charles S. Maier asked in his famous article “Consigning the Twentieth Century to History: Alternative Narratives for the Modern Era”. In that paper he attempted to explicate a more globally valid periodization for a book on the history of the twentieth century. This seminar plans on contributing to the above-mentioned question by focusing on one quite relevant aspect of this time of a far reaching global transformation: the “Great Eastern Crisis” of the 1870s. Thinking about a “new order for the Orient” occupied the policies of all major Great Powers of that time. It would deeply affect the history of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Near East – with repercussions far into the twentieth century.  In fact, the “Oriental question” somehow seems to have remained on the agenda up until now. In this seminar we will, on the one hand, discuss the history of the “Great Eastern Crisis” within different macro-perspectives. On the other hand, we will also try to reconstruct how developments in a variety of local contexts far in the periphery of the Ottoman Empire became of such key importance to trigger a “global political crisis” – which highly furthered processes towards new understandings about “territoriality” (in the region and beyond)

Semester: SuTerm 2022