Presentation Title

A Survey of Early Estonian History and the Emergence of Estonian Nationalism: 1200-1900

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented April 1, 2017

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

1-4-2017 11:45 AM

End Date

1-4-2017 12:00 PM

Abstract

Estonia is the only country where Estonian is the official language and it is a country rich in folklore. After forcible Christianization in the thirteenth century former tribespeople became the peasant class and had to endure the political and social hierarchies and changes made by foreign rulers and elites. During nationalism in the nineteenth century, Estonians managed to move from their lower class position and began imagining themselves as belonging to a single national identity. While most of this is true, the ancientness of Estonians is wound tightly in the romanticized history created by Estonian nationalists. Through interdisciplinary theo­ry this paper draws on several disciplines, especially sociology and history, to provide a cohesive understanding regarding the several power, social and religious structures and the ways in which they changed and influenced the lives of Estonians over several centuries. Than the focus shifts to explain how Estonians overcame their lower class ethos, inherent in centuries of servitude, by connecting to the abstract concept of nationalism as it was presented by Estonian nationalists. Essentially, Estonian nationalists employed familiar vernacular culture which allowed for the unique integration of imagining a past that arguably did not exist while simultaneously invoking memories of belonging to that honourable past.

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Advisor

Annie St. John-Stark

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Apr 1st, 11:45 AM Apr 1st, 12:00 PM

A Survey of Early Estonian History and the Emergence of Estonian Nationalism: 1200-1900

IB 1015

Estonia is the only country where Estonian is the official language and it is a country rich in folklore. After forcible Christianization in the thirteenth century former tribespeople became the peasant class and had to endure the political and social hierarchies and changes made by foreign rulers and elites. During nationalism in the nineteenth century, Estonians managed to move from their lower class position and began imagining themselves as belonging to a single national identity. While most of this is true, the ancientness of Estonians is wound tightly in the romanticized history created by Estonian nationalists. Through interdisciplinary theo­ry this paper draws on several disciplines, especially sociology and history, to provide a cohesive understanding regarding the several power, social and religious structures and the ways in which they changed and influenced the lives of Estonians over several centuries. Than the focus shifts to explain how Estonians overcame their lower class ethos, inherent in centuries of servitude, by connecting to the abstract concept of nationalism as it was presented by Estonian nationalists. Essentially, Estonian nationalists employed familiar vernacular culture which allowed for the unique integration of imagining a past that arguably did not exist while simultaneously invoking memories of belonging to that honourable past.