Cultural Semantics of the Black Sea Region

This project directed its research towards the Black Sea region as a site of negotiations between a plurality of cultural, religious, and symbolic practices. The goal was to investigate those spatially inflected topics that are also occupied by symbolic, imaginary, and affective meanings and look at their origins in various cultural traditions, especially during the time of the Ottoman and Russian empires. In contrast to Western Europe with its predominantly Roman heritage, the lingering traces of ancient codes in the Black Sea region were not so easily erased by the shifting imperial forces and ensuing attempts to overwrite certain meanings.

On this basis, the project Crimean Tatar and Russian Perspectives on the Spatial Semantics of Crimea (Sebastian Cwiklinski) explored how Crimean Tatars and Russians have related to the peninsula since the Russian conquest of Crimea in 1783 and which cultural, historical, and spatial classifications they emphasize: Which continuities are claimed and which relationships are established? Which historical traditions are lent prominence, which are neglected? Which places, figures, or historical events are charged with particular symbolic and/or affective meaning? Of special interest is the fact that today the Crimean Tatars no longer exclusively live on the Crimean Peninsula, but are spread across various regions of the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania) as well as Central Asia. There they have developed their own politically and affectively loaded views towards the Crimean Peninsula. Russian perspectives on Crimea are not only evident in administrative practices, but also in works of fiction, where one finds imperial characterizations of the region as well as the transfiguration of the peninsula into a place many desire to control. The subject matter of this comparative study were the historiographical, journalistic, and literary texts by Crimean Tatars and Russians, in which the Crimean Peninsula is portrayed in historical and cultural contexts. These objects of analysis had been complemented by works from the performing arts (especially films). The aim of the project was to present in detail the historical and cultural conditioning behind various views on Crimea.

Program funding through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 2014–2016
Associate Researcher(s): Sebastian Cwiklinski, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein


03 Dec 2015 · 11.15 am

Sebastian Cwiklinski: The Islamists' View of the Balkans on the Eve of and During the First World War

Istanbul University, Avrasya Enstitüsü Salon (Türkei)

read more
05 Dec 2014 – 06 Dec 2014

»Imperiale Emotionen«. Zur Konzeptualisierung ost-westlicher Affektkulturen angesichts der Ukraine-Krise

ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Et., Seminarraum 303

read more
27 May 2014 – 29 May 2014

Sebastian Cwiklinski: Das Khanat der Krim in der ukrainischen Forschung

Förderale Universität Kasan, Kremljovskaja Ul., Kasan 420008 (Russ. Förderation)

read more
14 Mar 2014 – 15 Mar 2014

Sebastian Cwiklinski: Diplomatie des Khanats der Krim in der russischen, polnischen, ukrainischen, türkischen und krimtatarischen Geschichtsschreibung

Institut für Geschichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften der Republik Tatarstan, 420111 Kasan, Baumanstr. 20

read more