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Alternative Muslim Modernities: Bosnian Intellectuals in the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires

  • Leyla Amzi-Erdogdular (a1)
Abstract

The Habsburg takeover of Ottoman Bosnia Herzegovina (1878–1918) is conventionally considered the entry of this province into the European realm and the onset of its modernization. Treating the transition from one empire to another not as a radical break, but as in many respects continuity, reveals that the imperial context provided for the existence of overlapping affiliations that shaped the means by which modernity was mediated and embodied in the local experience. Drawing on Bosnian and Ottoman sources, this article analyzes Bosnian intellectuals’ conceptions of their particular Muslim modernity in a European context. It comparatively evaluates the ways in which they integrated the modernist discourse that developed in the Ottoman Empire and the broader Muslim world, and how they also contributed to that discourse. I show that their concern with modernity was not abstract but rather focused on concrete solutions that the Muslim modernists developed to challenges in transforming their societies. I argue that we must incorporate Islamic intellectual history, and cross-regional exchanges within it, to understand southeastern Europe's past and present, and that studies of Europe and the Middle East need to look beyond geohistorical and disciplinary divisions.

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Corresponding author
la2142@columbia.edu; la420@rutgers.edu
References
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Comparative Studies in Society and History
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