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The CMC concern itself with communication and transfers as an outgrowth of its comparative perspective and long-term analyses. The project aims to pursuit research on the transfers of narratives within the global public, and localize and categorize these transfers into origins, transmissions, and re-interpretations. On the one hand, we reconstruct the narratives’ origin in local discourses, from which they may emerge into transregional, multi-layered communication processes that influences the global public. On the other hand, narratives are seen as outcomes of global interactions and networks that create or structure local discourses. The historical and social context addresses macro-level research. Additionally, we pay special attention to its implementations at the individual level (biographies, experiences, memories). Hence, we consider an eclectic approach towards the need for and circulation of narratives, in order to develop systematic communication strategies that give momentum for policy reflection or social empowerment.

One project deals with the transfer of Southeast European narratives about ‘Kossovo’ into the U.S. public by Serbian migrant communities during World War One. One has to acknowledge that Kosovo has never only been a geographic region, but also has different communication spaces with a variety of meanings. For the groups of Serbian immigrants in the U.S., the concept of Kosovo entailed not only memories of their country of origin, but also narratives that structured their livelihoods, their beliefs, and their actions across the ocean, at the same time. It informed the migrants not only of the(ir) Serbian medieval past, but also of their duties: To fight for and take back a territory called ‘Kossovo’, wherever they may be. The results of this project show how organized migrant groups translated their history and historiography into suitable narratives that shaped the US public image about Serbia to gain support from the US government for the purpose of founding a Yugoslavian state in 1918.

The project operates at the crossroads of transdisciplinary approaches, namely micro-history and transnational history, as well as media, communication, and memory studies.

CMC Staff

Eva Tamara Asboth (PI, Contact)

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