Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River

Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River


Edited by Marijeta Bozovic & Matthew D. Miller

Series: Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History
ISBN: 9781618114877 (hardcover)
Pages: 380 pp.; 26 illus. 
Publication Date: April 2016

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From the German Black Forest to the Romanian and Ukrainian shores where it flows into the Black Sea, Europe’s second longest river connects ten countries, while its watershed covers four more. The Danube serves as an artery of a culturally diverse geographic region, frustrating attempts to divide Europe from non-Europe, and facilitating the flow of economic and cultural forms of international exchange. Yet the river has attracted surprisingly little scholarly attention, and what exists too often privileges single disciplinary or national perspectives. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the river and its cultural imaginaries, the anthology Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River remedies this neglect and explores the river as a site of transcultural engagement in the New Europe.

Contributors: Katherine Arens, Micaela Baranello, Marijeta Bozovic, Robert Dassanowsky, Dragan Kujundžić, Jessie Labov, Robert Lemon, Amanda Lerner, Tomislav Longinović, Juliana Maxim, Matthew D. Miller, Robert Nemes, Tanya Richardson, Karl Solibakke, Jennifer Stob, Henry Sussman

Marijeta Bozovic is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, a specialist in Russian and Balkan literature and culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the author of Nabokov’s Canon: From Onegin to Ada (forthcoming with Northwestern University Press, 2016). Her research interests include poetry, avant-gardes, diasporas and transnational culture, translation and adaptation across media.

Matthew D. Miller is Assistant Professor of German at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, specializing in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, theater, film, and critical and aesthetic theory. His book project Mauer, Migration, Maps: The German Epic in the Cold War focuses on works by Peter Weiss, Uwe Johnson, and Alexander Kluge. 


If one considers the book as an entangled narrative fabric … it transforms into the forum set forth by the editors: to meet and to merge, to enter into a critical dialogue, and to combine many perspectives and disciplines into one book. As a whole, Watersheds goes beyond national perspectives and disciplines. It is more unifying than separating, more inclusive than exclusive. This book not only gives a more transnational direction to this interdisciplinary field of study, but it also opens new ways of looking at a range of authors and works that are not included. … After the Soviet Union dissolved and the central European states were incorporated into the European Union, the tension between inclusion and exclusion perhaps seemed to be resolved for a brief moment; East and West seemed to be closer to each other. But after multiple terrorist attacks, the refugee crisis, the Brexit vote, and recent elections, the notion of Danubia possesses an even stronger resonance, which suggests a tolerance of difference in a time when it appears that many new borders are dividing Europe. This emerging atmosphere of exclusion makes Watersheds an important contribution to scholarship of the Danube; it is a valuable book for everyone who can image a world without borders to read.
— Christiane Fischer, Rutgers University, German Studies Review, Vol. 41 No. 3

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

River Futures
Marijeta Bozovic and Matthew D. Miller

Chapter 1
Danube Limes: The Limits of the Geographic-Cultural Imaginary
Katherine Arens

Chapter 2
Taking the Waters: The Danube’s Reception in Austrian and Central/Eastern European Cinema History
Robert Dassanowsky

Chapter 3
Viennese Blood: Assimilation and Exclusion in Viennese Popular Music
Micaela Baranello

Chapter 4
Caught in the Effluvial Draft: The Fluid Sources of the Folktale
Henry Sussman

Chapter 5
New York on the Danube: The Transatlantic Transference of Habsburg Ethnology and Autocracy in Kafka’s Amerika: The Missing Person
Robert Lemon

Chapter 6
Private Looking and Collective Memory in The Danube Exodus (1998)
Jennifer Stob

Chapter 7
Jelinek and the Roma: A Danubian Tragedy
Karl Ivan Solibakke

Chapter 8
Ravaged Empire: Water and Power in Prewar Hungary
Robert Nemes

Chapter 9
Cold Days in the Cold War on the Hungarian-Serbian Border
Jessie Labov

Chapter 10
Allergic Reactions: Danube and the Ex-centric Imaginary of Europe
Tomislav Z. Longinović

Chapter 11
Against the Stream: The Danube, the Video, and the Nonbiodegradables of Europe
Dragan Kujundžić

Chapter 12
Deconstructing Claims to (Jewish) Victimhood
Amanda Lerner

Chapter 13
Modernization’s Undercurrents: The Folk in Postwar Socialist Romanian Architecture
Juliana Maxim

Chapter 14
Where the Water Sheds: Disputed Deposits at the Ends of the Danube
Tanya Richardson

Notes on Watersheds and Its Contributors