Albanian Identities

Albanian Identities

Myth and History
Edited by Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers and Bernd J. Fischer
Distribution: North America
Publication date: 1/15/2010
Format: paper 256 pages, 1 map
5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 978-0-253-21570-3
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Description

“. . . a pioneering effort in English-language studies on Albania.” —Nicholas C. Pano

Albanian history is permeated by myths and mythical narratives that often serve political purposes, from the depiction of the legendary “founder of the nation,” Skanderbeg, to the exploits of the KLA in the recent Kosovo War. The essays in Albanian Identities, by a multinational, multidisciplinary team of scholars and non-academic specialists, deconstruct prevalent political or historiographical myths about Albania’s past and present, bringing to light the ways in which Albanian myths have served to justify and direct violence, buttress political power, and foster internal cohesion. Albanian Identities demonstrates the power of myths to this day, as they underpin political and social processes in crisis-ridden, post-totalitarian Albania.

Author Bio

Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers is Lecturer and Nash Fellow in Albanian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.

Bernd J. Fischer is Professor of History at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne and author of Albania at War, 1939–1945.

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Table of Contents

Preliminary :


INTRODUCTION

Narratives of Power: Capacities of Myths in Albania Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers

The Nature of Myths: Some Theoretical Aspects George Schöpflin


I. THE HISTORY OF ALBANIAN MYTH PRODUCTION

Invention of a Nationalism: Myth and Amnesia Piro Misha

The Role of Education in the Albanian Identity and its Myths Isa Blumi

Religion and the Politics of 'Albanianism' Ger Dujizings

Myths of Albanian National Identity: Some Key Elements, as Expressed in the Works of Albanian Writers Noel Malcolm


II. MYTHS DURING COMMUNISM IN POLITICS, SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Between the Glory of a Virtual World and the Misery of a Real World Fatos Lubonja

Ismail Kadare's The H-File and The Making of the Homeric Verse: Variations on the Works and Lives of Milman Parry and Albert Lord Galia Valtchinova

Enver Hoxha's Role in the Development of Socialist Albanian Myths M. J. Alex Standish


III. NATIONALIST HISTORIOGRAPHY-OR FRIENDS, FOES AND HEROES

The Myth of Ali Paha and the Bektashis: The Construction of an 'Albanian Betashi National History' Nathalie Clayer

Perceptions and Reality in Twentieth-Century Albanian Military Prowess Bernd J. Fischer

Smoke Without Fire? Albania, SOE and the Communist 'Conspiracy Theory' Roderick Bailey


IV. MYTHS AND CONTESTED BORDERS

'Shkolla Shqipe' and Nationhood: Albanians in Pursuit of Education in the Native Language in Inter-War (1918-41) and Post-Autonomy (1989-98) Kosovo Denisa Kostovicova

The Perception of the Albanians in Greece in the 1830s and '40s: The Role of the Press Elias Skoulidas

North Amerian Albanian Immigration: Narratives on Political Myths Annie Lafontaine

Culture and the Re-Invention of Myths in a Border Area Gilles de Rapper


V. MYTHS OF DEMOCRACY, DEVELOPMENT AND THE FUTURE

Myths and New Forms of Governance in Albania Mariella Pandolfi

Youth NGOs in Albania: Civil Society Development, Local Cultural Constructions of Democracy, and Strategies of Survival at Work Nicola Mai

Conspiracy Theories in Albanian Politics and Media Fabian Schmidtt