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Violence, Population Politics, and Total War in the East European Borderlands (1914-1920)

The radically transformative character of World War I cannot be overstated. The scale and character of the violence unleashed in 1914 was unprecedented not only in terms of military operations, but also in the social and political sphere. Recent historiography has increasingly turned to the Eastern European dimension of the war, highlighting the topics of imperial collapse, widespread social disruption, radical population politics and de-colonization as the major consequences of the conflict. The project focuses on these processes of (geo)political, social, ethno-national, and cultural transformation in order to provide a synthetic view on the history of the East European borderlands in wartime. The main goal of this project is to apply and transfer these trends in recent historiography to the case of the Russian-Romanian borderlands, from a comparative, regional and European perspective. The methodology of the project is indebted to the fields of empire studies, comparative and entangled history, discourse analysis, and symbolic geography, coupled with an explicit emphasis on the link between modernity, mass mobilization and violence that defined the transition from the imperial to the post-imperial order. The intended outcome of this project will be a PhD-level university course, to be taught within my home university’s doctoral program.

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