Where time and space are consumed, but only coffee is found on the bill
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Giulia Carabelli’s project interrogated how memories of the Habsburg Empire reverberate in the present of cities that were key to imperial expansion: Vienna, Budapest, Trieste, and Sarajevo. She developed this comparative research conducting participant observation in one of the most popular spaces inherited from the Habsburgs: the Viennese coffeehouse. Her aim is to discuss how material and intangible legacies of empire are apprehended in the cafe to form relationships with the imperial past that shape urban identities, the sense of belonging to history, and contemporary political discourses. In particular, she is interested in how burgeoning nationalist narratives and practices are energized by the historical reverberation of imperialism, and she traces the connections between the preservation of the coffeehouse as heritage, the celebration of empire, and nationalist discourses in these cities.