A PODCAST ABOUT HISTORY IN THE MAKING

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#038 - GAËLLE FISHER: German Resettlers and Jewish Survivors from Bukovina after 1945
09.09.2021

Before World War II, Bukovina was a region marked by multiconfessional coexistence and ruled by the Habsburg Empire (1774-1918) and then by Romania (1918-1940). Two among Bukovina’s population groups, the Germans and the Askhenazi Jews, left the region as a result of the World War and the Holocaust. Thousands of the former were “resettled” in Germany, while a great number of the latter who had survived the persecutions immigrated to Israel. In this episode, we discuss how both groups maintained a link with their homeland region, how they organized into voluntary associations, and how their destiny became interwoven when negotiating the limits of belonging to the respective national societies.

#037 - PAOLO FONZI: War and Hunger during the Italian Occupation of Greece
21.07.2021

In the spring of 1941, after a brief war ending in an embarrassing retreat for Italy one year earlier, Mussolini's troops supported by Nazi Germany occupied various regions of Greece. In Fascist Italy's vision of a Mediterranean empire, Greece had a pivotal place, but several defeats on other war fronts led to the collapse of Italy's ambitions and the occupation ended in 1943. In this installment, we discuss this World War II occupation through the prism of food scarcity and famine. Despite its brevity, the occupation caused a humanitarian catastrophe, and the question of food supply also complicated the Italian authorities’ control over the territory. The episode focuses on aspects related to gender, ethnic engineering, and violence to illustrate how food shortages shaped the interactions between occupying troops and the local population, but also the hierarchies within the latter.

#036 - CHRISTINE PHILLIOU: Political Opposition from the Ottoman Empire to Republican Turkey
18.06.2020

Refik Halid Karay was a satirical writer whose life can help us rethink the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey. After 1908, Refik Halid opposed the regime established by the Committee of Union and Progress while remaining a staunch believer of constitutionalism and of a multi-confessional imperial polity. This also provoked a conflict between him and the nationalists gathered around Mustafa Kemal in the aftermath of World War I. Shortly after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the government forced hin into exile. Through his biography, we discuss the Turkish notion of muhalefet, which refers to opposition and dissent within the margins of the political system.

#035 - MALTE FUHRMANN: Ottoman Port Cities of the Modern Mediterranean
01.04.2021

At the turn of the twentieth century, Ottoman port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean were sites of vibrant cultural encounters. While infrastructural innovations at docks and quays reshaped the urban waterfront, the inhabitants of Izmir, Istanbul, and Salonica engaged with new forms of entertainment arriving from Europe. Operas, balls, and beerhouses changed the way people mingled and interpreted coexistence and diversity in their urban environment. Migrants from Europe and from the hinterlands of major port cities created an original form of Ottoman Mediterranean modernity. This cosmopolitan urban culture was alluring and festive but also had its discontents, who denounced it as decadent and servile to European imperialism. Exploring the everyday life of late Ottoman port cities reveals an effervescent lapse of time in which notions such as modernity, Europe, empire, and nation could be experienced in manifold ways, before the major conflicts of the twentieth century gave a fatal blow to Mediterranean urban diversity.

#034 - MARTIN REMPE: Being a Musician in Germany, 1850-1960
24.09.2020

A few countries can boast a musical heritage comparable to Germany's. Yet, this tradition was made possible by rank-and-file musicians, whose position in society was far from stable and acknowledged. In this episode, we discuss a history of music in Germany "from below". Applying the triad art, play, and work to music as an unresolved matrix to unpack what is often considered a "creative" category, we link the experience and perceptions of musicians to German political history and the musicians' struggle for recognition. In the second part of the conversation, we approach the gendered dimension of musical professionalisation, the impact of musicians' mobility on "national" traditions, and the challenges posed by new technologies to making a living with music.

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Cover drawing © Clara Delboé