Trans-European Diasporas: Migration, Minorities, and Diasporic Experience in East Central Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean 500-1800

January, 2012 to December, 2013
Hungarian Scholarship Board Office

Our project will focus on the diasporic communities between East/Central Europe on the one hand and the Eastern Mediterranean on the other—the two regions with strong historical connections that have nevertheless been obscured by the modern concepts of „east“ and „west“ as well as linguistic and disciplinary boundaries.

We will explore questions such as: how did (the same) diasporic groups (for instance Roman soldiers, Jewish or Morisco refugees, Venetian or Florentine merchant groups) interact with their host societies in such different places as Constantinople, Buda and Cairo? How did diasporic experience contribute to the processes of cultural mediation and exchange between the two regions under study? How did diasporic communities negotiate legal regimes and extra-territorial rights in various East/Central European and Eastern Mediterranean contexts? Did the trade routes match the identifiable lines of communication among and within diasporic communities, as well as between them and the homeland or host society? How did different local concepts of identity and belonging inform the trans-regional diasporic experience of communities under study?