Central European Trieste: Presnitz in the piazza, Sissi in the Square
This talk will explore the history of Trieste with a focus on how the city and surrounding provinces in Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia reflect the transnational and multi-ethnic history of the region at the crossroads of the Italian, South Slav, and Germanic worlds. Through the lens of urban culture including local foodways, architecture, entertainment, and political display, the talk will explore the nostalgia for empire as well as the memory of Italian irredentism and Fascist nationalism, Cold War conflicts over "Slavic" (Slovene or Croatian) identity, and bitter resistance to Nazi German occupation (associated with Austro-Germanism) culture. Hametz will explain the ways in which these memories have played a fundamental role in the reconstruction of the city's culture and reputation in the post-1989 period.
Maura Hametz is a Professor of History at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Her research explores the history of Trieste and the northeastern Adriatic regions since the late nineteenth century with emphasis on the intersections of politics, culture, economy, law, religion, gender, and ethnic and national identity. Her most recent study In the Name of Italy (Fordham U. Press, 2012) explores nationalist naming in the Adriatic and the judicial system and justice in Fascist Italy.