This article calls for studying German history and culture from the margins, an approach that highlights unexpected mutual influences and entanglements between German and non-German cultures in Europe and beyond and that challenges essentialist understandings of German identity. Moreover, by looking at peripheries of German culture, scholars can break out of the straitjacket of national narratives and rediscover the transnational dimensions inherent in German history. Bukovina, a multiethnic former province of the Habsburg Empire that now spans the border between Ukraine and Romania, is one such place. The article sketches how the German concept of Kultur was first used to legitimize the Habsburg Empire in Bukovina and was later absorbed into a new language of rights in a postimperial age.

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