Off white

Central and Eastern Europe and the global history of race

Editors:
Catherine Baker
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Bogdan C. Iacob
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Anikó Imre
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James Mark
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Central and Eastern Europe has long been seen in the West as an ‘off white’ European periphery. Yet its nationalist movements have worked towards a full belonging in a white Europe, or have claimed themselves to be superior defenders of the white West. This volume demonstrates the centrality of white supremacy for over two centuries in the region’s nation-building, social hierarchies, ethnic homogenisation, and global interconnections. Such insight applies not only to the newly established states of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century founded at the heights of global colonialism, but also to the region’s Communist polities, which publicly professed their rejection of such racial politics. More broadly, we analyse the role that white peripheries play in the maintenance of a global racial order – including the question of why the region inspires contemporary radical nationalism around the world. The collection comprises studies of national self-determination, geographic exploration, migration, and diplomacy; of cultural representation in literature, film, the media industries, exhibitions, art, dress, and music; of intellectual and academic discourses; as well as explorations of the many forms of banal nationalism, including everyday artefacts and language. The volume underlines the potential for resistance in the region too by theorising its marginality and identifying solidarities with racialised minorities and the Global South. Central and Eastern Europe has long been removed from global histories of race. This is an original alternative history that explores and challenges long-held claims about the region’s racial innocence.

Introduction
Introduction
Chapter 1: Wilson’s white world
Chapter 1: Wilson’s white world
Chapter 3: Not quite white
Chapter 3: Not quite white
Chapter 4: Racial thinking among Czech anthropologists
Chapter 4: Racial thinking among Czech anthropologists
Chapter 5: ‘Hungarian Indians’
Chapter 5: ‘Hungarian Indians’
Chapter 6: Peripheral whiteness and racial belonging and non-belonging
Chapter 6: Peripheral whiteness and racial belonging and non-belonging
Chapter 7: The aesthetics of alternation and the returns of race
Chapter 7: The aesthetics of alternation and the returns of race
Chapter 8: Retailored for a Soviet spectator
Chapter 8: Retailored for a Soviet spectator
Chapter 9: ‘With the help of the great Russian people’
Chapter 9: ‘With the help of the great Russian people’
Chapter 10: The whiteness of ‘Christian Europe’
Chapter 10: The whiteness of ‘Christian Europe’
Chapter 11: Alien at home, white overseas
Chapter 11: Alien at home, white overseas
Chapter 13: In pursuit of Western modernity
Chapter 13: In pursuit of Western modernity
Chapter 14: The ‘perpetual foreigner’ in Serbia
Chapter 14: The ‘perpetual foreigner’ in Serbia
Chapter 15: Re-routing Eastern European whiteness
Chapter 15: Re-routing Eastern European whiteness
Chapter 16: Through the Balkans to Christchurch
Chapter 16: Through the Balkans to Christchurch
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