Oliver Jens Schmitt was born in 1973 in Basel. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Munich in 2000. He was a member of the Swiss Institute in Rome and associate professor at the University of Munich. In 2003, he became a regular professor for History of East and Southeast Europe at the University of Munich. In the academic year 2004/05 he had the received the fellowship of the Swiss National Fund and lectured at the University of Bern. Since March 2005, he has been professor for History of Eastern Europe at the University of Vienna. His research focuses, among other, on “Nationalism from below” / Target groups for ethnicizing strategies and their response to forced identity changes of the 19th and early 20th centuries; the Venetian cultural region in South East Europe (ca. 1000- 1797); sociocultural homogenization and hybridization in the Mediterranean (from late 15th to 20th centuries); historical research of Albania (including Albanian areas of settlement in Kosovo and Macedonia).