Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Pace University / NYC

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Columbia University
Imperial Population Politics and Refugee Aid in the Balkans, 1875-1878

My dissertation studies the creation, care for, and repatriation of late nineteenth-century refugees from Ottoman Bosnia to develop a history of imperial refugee policy and to rethink the nationally-based narratives that dominate the European historiography of the refugee. I argue that the Balkans saw two divergent models of refugee management. Incipient nation-states separated populations and exploited refugee crises to further their nation-building projects, while empires sought to limit mobility and maintain the integrity of existing multi-ethnic societies. Working with Habsburg and Ottoman documents, local sources, journalism and memoirs, I examine the nature of late imperial co-operation and refugee aid policy. My work develops a history of state-run refugee aid programs and the processes of resettlement and return that could only happen within the context of imperial co-operation and increasingly centralized state control of populations. By looking at the flight of refugees from Bosnia during 1875-1878 in the light of a simultaneous refugee crisis in Bulgaria, I argue that faced with national mobilization, empires sought to develop a logic and practice of humanitarianism that could counter pan-Slavist and nationalist movements.