This dissertation is a study that engages with four major fields of study, as they are currently constituted: World Literature, Eastern European Literature, Postcolonial Studies, and World Cinema. More specifically, it is concerned with the Southeastern European historical novel about the Ottoman Empire and film narratives of the post- 1989 period. I argue that historical narratives continue to play a central role in shaping contemporary nationalisms. Analyzing the role of the Ottoman Empire in the region's socio-political and religious makeup, my dissertation develops new analyses of frontier narratives of Southeastern Europe as texts that narrate the nation vis-?-vis imperial conflicts. This dissertation adopts a periphery-centered approach to literary and film studies and shows that historical focus on imperial centers has allowed for little consideration of frontier narratives. I broaden the scope of World Literature, World Cinema, and Postcolonial Studies by shifting the direction of analysis to imperial frontiers, which have been relegated to the margins of history and of literary and cinematic canons. By critically examining the Ottoman Empire as a colonial force, my research adds breadth to postcolonial studies and advances the discipline into nontraditional lines of inquiry. This dissertation is inherently focused on ethnic and transnational literatures and film that are underrepresented and under-distributed. By taking the case of Southeastern European literature and film, I argue that we need to rethink what constitutes regional and transnational literature and film by confronting the limitations of World Literature and Cinema, and of Postcolonial Studies.
- Griffin, Robert Associate Professor