Imperial myths between nationalism and communism: appropriations of imperial legacies in the north-eastern adriatic during the early cold war

2013-09-25T12:48:33Z (GMT) by Sabina Mihelj
In contemporary scholarly discussions, political uses of imperial pasts are typically associated with the rise of modern nation-states and nationalist principles of identity formation. Although clearly important, this approach can lead us to neglect the appropriations of imperial myths based on other types of ideological frameworks. In communist Eastern Europe, official representations of the past followed the imperatives of a historicalmaterialist vision of history, which, at least in its initial form, necessitated a rejection of both imperialism and nationalism. It is therefore reasonable to expect that communist appropriations of imperial legacies were significantly different from those found in Western Europe at the time. This article examines these different uses of imperial pasts – informed by either communismor nationalismor both – by focusing on the competing perceptions of imperial history and heritage at the Italo-Yugoslav border during the early Cold War.