Constellations of empire: on Habsburg and Ottoman sites of memory
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An eccentric castle perched on a promontory overlooking the sea, the former residence of an equally eccentric emperor. An exhibit in a military museum centered on a car that once conveyed an heir to the throne on a provincial parade that ended in his assassination, the spark that led to a worldwide conflagration. A monument to a military man and icon to nationalism whose history and biography obscure unsettling, less coherent narratives of the past. A partially-crumbling tower on a hill that commemorates a hero in frontier battles long ago, and once marked the southern frontier of an imagined empire. An art pavilion that was once a museum and, prior to that, a mosque that catered to a unique religious community that no longer exists. A locked cemetery that houses more dead members of a religion than those who now live in the sprawling city. These sites, and those like them, are the crucibles for both hegemonic post-imperial memories and the repositories of neglected imperial legacies today. Jeremy’s research project, “Constellations of Empire,” draws together a variety of post-imperial sites of memory and amnesia—monuments, museums, houses of worship, cemeteries, streets and squares, and ruins—to reflect on the contemporary images and possible futures of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires.