Course Content

Total learning: 15 lessons Time: 1 semester

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Week 7. Bukovina in the Russian-Romanian-Austrian “Triangle:” A Borderland Divided, or the Uncertain Politics of Ethnicity during War and Occupation

This class will examine the case of the war’s impact on another Austrian province situated in the Triplex Confinium between Russia, Romania, and Austria-Hungary: Bukovina. Like Galicia (and Bessarabia), a creation of the imperial imagination and boundary-making, Bukovina shared many of the same dilemmas of multi-ethnicity as the two imperial provinces discussed previously, while also displaying some peculiar features. Building on an explicit comparison with the two cases analyzed previously, the class will examine the patterns of ethnic mobilization peculiar to wartime Bukovina while attempting to describe and problematize the character of the Russian occupation policies and the response of the Austrian authorities. Shifting loyalties, ethnic hierarchies, and mutually subversive imperial policies will be at the forefront of the discussion. For example, we will assess and endeavor to explain the differences between Russian occupation policies in Galicia and Bukovina (notably, the more lenient policy of the Russian authorities toward the Romanian population, as opposed to the repressions against the Ukrainian movement). The class will also look at the increasingly repressive strategies of the Austrian authorities and the ensuing shift in group loyalties, while paying particular attention to the impact of the mutually subversive propaganda war on this borderland.


  • Bakhturina, Okrainy Rossiiskoi Imperii, chapter III, part 1, 140-156.
  • Holquist, “The Role of Personality in the First (1914 – 1915) Russian Occupation of Galicia and Bukovina”, in: Jonathan Dekel-Chen, David Gaunt, Natan M. Meir, and Israel Bartal, eds. Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History, 52-73.
  • *Zapolovs’kyi, Bukovyna v ostannii viini Avstro-Uhorshchyny, chapters 2.2., 43-56, and 4.4., 141-165 (on the Russian occupation of the area and Russia’s policies)