The centre aims to study the relationship between the modern history of South-East Europe and the long imperial past of the region, and to use this approach as an alternative to the prevailing models which are based on oppositions: Europe versus the Balkans and the West versus Islam. Through this we expect to arrive at a nuanced understanding of the many roads in modernity in Europe. The focus is on the changes of identity, self-representation and affiliation in the light of the huge systemic pressure triggered by the interaction between external influences and local and regional practice from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present day. This is studied on different levels from the state to local communities, along with changes in art, literature and religious practice.
The centre is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation.