Ideology as Narrative Worldmaking: Subjects and Space in Roman and Serbian Lands after 1204
Ideology as Narrative Worldmaking: Subjects and Space in Roman and Serbian Lands after 1204

Book Project by Milan Vukašinović, University of Uppsala


Ideology is the most often used non-defined concept in Byzantine and Serbian Medieval studies. This book conceives it as performative narrative discourse, as stories that made active social subjects and the space they lived in. It examines the period of the half-century after the Crusaders’ conquest and colonization of Byzantine territories. It reconciles modern theoretical considerations and the interpretation of medieval texts. The author reads the narratives from Nicaea, Epiros, and Serbia in texts ranging from imperial orations and hagiographies, to monastic donations and juridical opinions, not as representations of events, but as active social practices that created the world. Using the notions of how individuals become subjects and produce space, the study proposes ways in which specific emperors, bishops, monks, and peasants interacted as storytellers, heroes, and social agents. It argues for diversified social and political agencies and marginalizes standard narratives of Byzantine fragmentation and Serbian independence.

Further Reading

Vukašinović, Milan. “Doing and Telling Administration and Diplomacy: Speech Acts in the 13th-Century Balkans.” In Trends and Turning Points: Constructing the Late Antique and Byzantine World, edited by Matthew Kinloch and Alex MacFarlane, 83–97. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Vukašinović, Milan. “Letters and Space: Function and Models of Epistolary Nodes in Serbian Hagiography.” In Storytelling in Byzantium: Narratological Approaches to Byzantine Texts and Images, edited by Ingela Nilsson, Charis Messis, and Margaret Mullett,53–70. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018.

Vukašinović, Milan. “Напрсло огледало - Формирање идеалног владара у Епиру и Никеји у првој половини 13. века” [“A Cracked Mirror? – Forming the Ideal Ruler in Epirus and Nicaea in the First Half of the 13th Century”]. Zbornik radova vizantološkog instituta 52 (2015): 313–339.