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Colonialism without Colonies: The Civilizing Missions in the Habsburg Empire

  • Werner TeleskoEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT)

Abstract

This article seeks to shed light on a prominent multicultural empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It explores the impact of various cultural missions in the Habsburg Monarchy on exemplary problem areas such as the protection of cultural monuments and the depictions of Austrian national history. This central question will be examined from the perspective of art history and of post-colonial studies. During the late nineteenth century, questions about Habsburg “civilizing missions” were high on the agenda in different spheres of life. As a result, it is possible to detect on the one hand a variety of phenomena and ethnographic peculiarities in the territories of the Habsburg Monarchy, and on the other to note how the multifold processes of centralization (i.e. Austria as an unitified state-nation) and regionalization (multi-racial and multi-language identities in the Habsburg crown lands) existed side-by-side. Three sections—Habsburg post-colonial, inner colonization, and encyclopaedic projects to map ethnic and cultural heritage—examine the very specific circumstances of a multicultural empire that existed without colonies and questions the extent to which it is permissible to even speak of cultural missions in the Habsburg Monarchy.

Keywords

Nineteenth Century Austrian State Folk Song Crown Land Petty Bourgeoisie 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for History of Art and Musicology (IKM)Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria

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