The present volume brings together a broad range of analyses focused on the process of identity-making in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Identity is defined primarily in sociocultural and literary terms, but a number of articles also emphasise the political implications of the changing definitions of East-European identity in the current globalised world. The work follows in the footsteps of the project sponsored by the ICLA, entitled History of The Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe: Junctures and Disjunctures in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Benjamins 2004–2010). This partial continuity is an advantage for the discussion undertaken in this volume, which can build on earlier analyses, taking them in new directions.
The authors make a successful effort to build and justify theoretically and practically a cross-cultural regional history. Their essays place cultural phenomena in a broad sociocultural and political context, analysing issues of identity, politics of ethnicity, and cross-cultural interaction. The book fills an important gap in the treatment of East-Central literature and comparative study.
The volume ‘New Imagined Communities’, Identity Making in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, edited by Libuša Vajdová and Róbert Gáfrik, is the proceedings from the international conference ‘New Imagined Communities’: Identity Build-up in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe organised by Institute of World Literature of Slovak Academy of Science (Ústav svetovej literatúry SAV), Bratislava, and ICLA Research Committee on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and held on 14–15 May 2009, in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The conference was attended by twenty-one scholars from all over Europe, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, who gathered to share the results of their recent research. The volume is a selection from the papers presented at the conference.