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In an essay entitled “Some Europes in Their History,” J. G. A. Pocock describes a sixteenth-century map of Europe composed in the figure of "a crowned woman, whose head was the Iberian Peninsula and whose heart was situated at Prague." What is striking about this map, Pocock observes, is how its authors push “the Baltic as far East and the Black Sea as far North as they dare, hoping to bring them close enough to each other to justify the description of Europe as a continent.” Though it is no more than a peninsula or extension of Asia, the European subcontinent continues to this day to map itself as an autonomous territory demarcated by what Étienne Balibar has called a “great Wall of Europe.” As a geographic and cultural copula linking the subcontinent of Europe to Asia, Turkey has always been a volatile element of this fantasy, in the figure of the “terrible Turk” produced by Europeans consolidating for themselves a European identity. With the nineteenth-century integration of the Ottoman Empire into the geopolitical network of capitalist modernity, a reciprocal dynamic of identity formation began to take shape on the other side of Europe's “great Wall,” with a fantasy of “Europe” taking center stage in the consolidation of a new Turkish identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Modernism
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781139005289
ISBN (Print)9780521199414
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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