Inventing Germanness in the Baltic

Anna Ripatti reports on the “Debating German Heritage: Art History
and Nationalism during the Long 19th Century” seminar, organized earlier this year in Tallinn, where questions touching upon the canon, the concept of cultural heritage, the construction of narratives of national art and the ubiquitous – for the periphery – problem of terminology were discussed. The abstracts of the seminar are available here.

Journal of Art Historiography

Conference report by Anna Ripatti:

Debating German Heritage: Art History and Nationalism during the long 19th Century. Intensive seminar of the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, 27–28 September 2013, Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn.

The Baltic countries have a long and complex history of occupations. A large territory called Old Livonia, that is present-day Estonia and Latvia, was colonized by Germans at the beginning of the thirteenth century. In the nineteenth century, a significant part of the educated elite and the nobility living in the Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire identified themselves as Germans. In 1881, when the first census was organized in Estonia, 5.4% of the inhabitants declared themselves to be native German speakers. The Baltic Germans formed a highly influential, but small, minority not only in Estonia but also in other Baltic provinces.

The two-day symposium organized by Kristina Jõekalda…

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