The article deals with the appropriation of postcolonial studies to look at Central Europe and Galicia. Beginning with the concept of“internal colonialism“, we follow the evolution of postcolonial theory from a basically economy-based concept into a poststructuralist cultural theory, presenting the development and uses of its central concepts, such as Orientalism or othering. Based on some examples, we also highlight its previous appropriation to Central Europe and the political implications it carries in this region.
In this article, the imperial idea and civilising missions in the Habsburg Monarchy, mainly of the nineteenth century, are refracted through the prism of the legacy of enlightened absolutism. The article tries to dispel mythologies about its demise around 1800, and about those who could subscribe to its programme throughout the nineteenth century. It questions templates of national history writing which too unanimously connect the Enlightenment to the origins of the various national revivals of the early nineteenth century, and discusses concrete examples of enlightened absolutism’s civilising impulses, among them law, Roman imperial patriotism, and the Catholic religion.
The article integrates the 18th century vampire discourse with problems and approaches of postcolonial studies on the one hand, and with the Galicia research in historical and cultural studies on the other hand. For this purpose, vampirism and postcolonial studies are defined at first, while the change of the vampirism discourse – passing from the revenant image to the one of bloodsucker – is analysed in the next step. Finally it is shown how the vampire’s character and discourse have been adjusted and narratively transformed in 18th-century travel literature on Galicia
Stefan Żeromski’s historical novel Popioły [Ashes] (1904) is usually interpreted as a narrative about the Napoleonic wars, particularly about Napoleon’s campaign in Spain. The paper argues that the fast-moving war plot conceals the philosophical question to which Żeromski tried to provide an answer: did the Austrian empire represent a superior way of organizing human society, or was the liberty of the Polish “Sarmatian” republic a more appropriate answer to the question of how to live? The issue is indirectly contested by virtually all characters. It comes to a head in the relationship between two seemingly secondary characters, the Austrian tax collector Hibl and the Polish landowner Nardzewski. The former resembles William Faulkner’s Flem Snopes; the latter, the noble families of the Sartorises defeated in the Civil War. Like in Faulkner’s novels, there is an unmistakable suggestion of gloria victis in Żeromski’s opus. Unlike Faulkner, Żeromski brings to bear the issue of white-on-white colonialism in Europe, and the paper’s author suggests that the eighteenth-century seizure of parts of Poland by Europe’s three continental empires was an instance of European colonialism that delayed the development of non-Germanic Central Europe and eventually brought about twentieth-century European wars.
This study follows a postcolonial approach towards Polish and Ruthenian national master narratives in Habsburg Galicia by assuming that Galician historians placed past Polish-Ruthenian relations in a colonial setting and emphasized Ruthenian subalternity. The investigation focuses on one of the most controversial issues in Polish-Ruthenian historiography: the era of Casimir the Great and the incorporation of Red Ruthenia into the Polish Kingdom in the 14th century. The central question is how Galician historians depicted this period in their works and to what extent they interpreted it as the beginning of a hegemonic relationship between Poles and Ruthenians. Which discursive strategies were utilized either to justify a Polish civilizing mission in Red Ruthenia or to refute the necessity of Polish colonial rule in this region?
The article applies postcolonial approaches to economic discourses in regard to Habsburg Galicia at the turn from the 18th to the 19th century, focusing on the reform discourses of the state bureaucracy, the Galician landlords and the Polish national movement with regard to serfdom and agrarian reform. Making use of Said’s concept of “orientalism”, the article’s main section is dedicated to the analysis of how the definition and construction of peasants as social actors influenced reforms of serfdom until it was finally abolished in course of the revolution of 1848. Here, several different simultaneous narratives, as well as varying positions in the course of time can be observed, where cultural differences were overlapping with social cleavages. Thus, a polycentric, but not polyvalent approach of power and rule could help deconstructing or at least questioning binary dichotomies, in the way that hegemony is always dependent on a complex web of political, social and economic relations in a spatial context.
The author asks about the applicability of postcolonial criticism to the study of the culture of Central and Eastern Europe, especially Galicia. She presents the voices of Polish and Ukrainian proponents of this method, as well as those who are sceptical about the possibility of adapting it to the analysis of Central European culture. She indicates the factors which complicate transferring the theory of postcolonial studies to the Habsburg monarchy and the peoples living there, and defines the conditions that should be taken into account for the use of postcolonial theory to be persuasive. She presents the benefits of postcolonial criticism as applied to the analysis of literature created in Galicia, noting the hegemonic historiography contained in the literature and the narrative forms establishing the hierarchy of cultures, and protecting the value and superiority of one’s own culture – a phenomenon that has not been investigated.
This article analyzes the heuristic value of the possible application of postcolonial approaches to nineteenth-century Habsburg Galicia. It critically reviews some contemporary usages of “postcolonial” in Ukrainian historiography, and political and literary criticism. The article finds original postcolonial historical approaches to be of great heuristic value, especially for practitioners of social history. Using “postcolonial” tools, historical research may yield new insights into the history of nineteenth-century Galicia
Following the 19th-century language debates on the language of science and higher education, this paper follows three Polish texts from the middle of the century dealing with the Galician school and university system. These dispositives of language discourse, defined here as an outcome of the transformations at the nexus of hegemony, linguistic theories and the remainders of the Republic of Letters ideology, are analysed concerning the positioning of the Polish language as confronted with German and Ruthenian/Ukrainian, as well as the political implications resulting from the perceived misbalance. Given the political context of Habsburg neoabsolutism’s hierarchical understanding of languages and its application, the authors deal with both deconstructing the underlying ideology concerning German, and sustain it regarding Ruthenian
This paper offers a postcolonial analysis of Ivan Franko’s attack on the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz, published as Ein Dichter des Verrathes (A Poet of Treason) in May 1897. Using Gayatri Spivak’s postcolonial notion of subalternity, Ivan Franko’s essay is interpreted as an opportunity for Ukrainian (subaltern) culture in Galicia to gain its own voice in opposition to Polish cultural dominance. As a result of this strategy, Franko deliberately wrote his essay in German and published it in Vienna, the political centre of the Habsburg Monarchy.
This paper focuses on Jews as subjects in the struggle for women’s emancipation in Habsburg Galicia from a (post)colonial perspective. The Polish feminist and writer Maria Janion proposed the thesis that Poland should be perceived as a colonizing and colonial country in terms of its eastern neighbours, and also in relation to its Jewish population. She argues that this relationship, after Said’s postcolonial theory, can be also described in gender constructions. Janion’s theoretical construct serves as a prism to examine the relationship between Polish and Jewish women in the associations of women within the women’s movement; the perception of the female Jews from the perspective of Polish feminists; and the Jewish national movement at the beginning of the 20th Century in Austrian Galicia from the women’s historical perspective. Following Janion’s thesis, on the one hand the way Polish feminists acting in Galicia focused Jews in the medial course should be clarified, as should the extent to which growing antisemitism led to changes in the women’s associations. On the other hand, light needs to be shed on the relationship of the Zionists to the Jewish Women’s associations on the basis of discursive inscriptions within the Galician Jewish national press, reflecting the changes in Jewish women’s associations.
Progress was an ideological concept in the political movements of the 19th century. This article asks how the women’s movements argued withthe concept of progress in a region which had been considered as backward since its establishment as the Habsburg part of partitioned Poland. The analysis focuses on how the political movements in 19th-century Galicia took advantage of the topoi of backwardness and progress, using them as rhetorical elements. Examples are taken from the Ukrainian women’s movement and women’s politics in the Zionist movement.
The article presents the problem of colonial and postcolonial discourse in relation to Eastern Galicia. It discusses the forms of cultural domination existing throughout history in the region and draws attention to their conscious “playing” by successive rulers of this territory, consequently leading to the formation of memory conflicts.