My name is Anton Cebalo and it would be nice if some of you knew something about me for the sake of this blog. I am a 22-year-old college graduate in history. My main focus is Eastern Europe, looking at how ideology and myths have been reconstructed in narratives over time. Eastern Europe is especially appropriate to consider in this regard since it is the intersection point between three spaces which each have their own cultural underpinnings — Slavs (particularly Orthodox Christianity and some Catholics), the West, and the Near East (more generally, Islam). All of these three respective histories cross in Eastern Europe and, although they might not always be discussed in this way today, these are the roots of historical difference. They have, naturally, morphed into much different forces today. This is made more complicated by the history of Communism in the region. Therefore, making sense of post-Communist Eastern Europe involves reaching far back into history for answers since many of these ideological currents were resurrected, if they were ever truly gone, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Aside from narratives and symbols, I’m concerned with how Eastern Europe was established as a separate geopolitical space as well, with Germany (and formerly Austria-Hungary) acting as the passageway and divider between Western and Eastern Europe. The history of communism also interests me more generally along with world systems theory: specifically, looking at global history, with all its many particulars, and how these pieces come together to form the current (capitalist) totality. Naturally, this brings me to understand history largely via structures and material forces. This is not to say individual histories don’t interest me, of course — they are useful for history-writing as long as they are told relationally, but should not be an end-all when describing history.
However, my interests encompass many other fields in the humanities, many of which are also discussed on this blog (including questions on just what is history, which is not easy to answer). What I write about is broad because the history of narratives, and of ideas, is also broad. Many of the pieces on this site are thus exercises in historical writing, and they may cover many different periods in world history to demonstrate certain historical concepts that I want to underscore as important. At the very least, consider this a blog about ideology, struggle, and historiography, with an open focus on Eastern Europe and communism/post-communism.
As for a little about myself: My first real interest was music which I can say I was emotionally invested in by 4th grade thanks to my father. This still remains a large part of my life, but from my interest in music came other things. Sophomore year of high school I first began to delving into philosophy and politics. From there came the other humanities — and I had then begun to realize that I couldn’t have one without the other. History, for me, encompasses all of these fields. And I have a hard time “specializing” in, for example, economics or sociology. The way I view it, there are three main subjects, excluding the physical sciences: political economy, history, and art. Personally, I study them together, and history is all three despite being a category unto itself.
As for my family history, my parents immigrated to the United States from ex-Yugoslavia. I am the first generation son of Croatian parents who left during the 1980s. My mother is from the rural village of Lumbarda while my father grew up in the city of Split. Luckily, no one in my immediate family was injured or killed during the violent collapse of the country during the 1990s. Part of my personal studies is reconstructing the greater Yugoslav narrative which is surprisingly (or not) still neglected in the ex-Yugo states.
I am going to end this here, but if you do want to chat (about anything really) or are interested in contacting me for whatever reason, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Google+ page here.
P.S. This blog is a collection of my ideas as they progressed over time. I will generally not delete old posts, but my opinions are, naturally, subject to change — and my prior opinions should not be taken as wholly indicative of my current thoughts, although they follow me still. Everything is subject to constant change and refinement, so I welcome your comments. Feel free to share your thoughts.