East Central Europe in the 20th Century. Roundtable on the State of the Art of Historical Studies

Date: 11th to 12th of May 2012

Location: Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Coorganized by Pasts Inc., Center for Historical Studies located at the Central European University in Budapest (http://pasts.ceu.hu/) and Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena (http://www.imre-kertesz-kolleg.uni-jena.de/), East Central Europe in the 20th Century. Roundtable on the State of the Art of Historical Studies is meant to serve two interrelated purposes. First, it is called to foster reflection and dialogue on the state of the art and potential future direction of historical research dealing with East Central Europe in the 20th century. Therefore, a select cohort of mostly young experts are invited to share their scholarly insights and personal experiences and leading historians of the middle generation are kindly asked to serve as commentators.

Second, the roundtable is organized to acquaint German and internationally oriented East Central European scholars (who often work, next to their mother tongues, primarily in English) with each other. Based on the perception that these two scholarly communities exist in parallel with too little interaction between them, the roundtable is supposed to serve as the starting point for more sustained engagement, provide a forum where a new kind of network can be established and joint projects might be launched.

Specific subjects shall be discussed in individual panels ranging from alternative approaches to the study of the region and the variety of the regional problématique as it is conceived in various localities through diverging and conflicting national interpretations to the study of dictatorships and their rememberance to the challenge of integrating major non-national actors and themes into mainstream historiography (please see below). Individual presentations shall last no longer than fifteen to twenty minutes and will be followed by comments and discussions.

Our roundtable shall draw on in-depth studies of recent historiography published in volumes such as Narratives Unbound: Historical Studies in Post-Communist Eastern Europe edited by Sorin Antohi, Balázs Trencsényi, Péter Apor and (Re)Writing History: Historiography in Southeast Europe after Socialism edited by Ulf Brunnbauer as well as on all-European projects on modern historiography such as the volumes in the Writing the Nation series edited by Stefan Berger, Christoph Conrad and Guy P. Marchal.

Accommodation costs, diner on the 11th of May and catering during the event will be covered by the organizers. While travel expenses could partially be covered as well, participants are encouraged to seek refunds for their travel expenses to and from Budapest at their home institutions.


List of Invited Speakers:

Péter Apor, Błażej Brzostek, Holly Case, Roumen Daskalov, Maria Falina, Margit Feischmidt, Andrea Feldman, Sabina Ferhadbegović, Andrej Findor, Paul Gradvohl, Bogdan Iacob, Constantin Iordachi, Ines Koeltzsch, Pavel Kolář, Michal Kopeček, René Küpper, Ferenc Laczó, James Mark, Ovidiu Pecican, Vladimir Petrović, Joachim von Puttkamer, Balázs Trencsényi, Martin Zückert

List of Invited Commentators:

Włodzimierz Borodziej, Ulf Brunnbauer, Peter Haslinger, László Kontler, Diana Mishkova, Martin Schulze Wessel

Structure of the event

11th of May 2012

13:00 Introductory Words. Balázs Trencsényi and Ferenc Laczó

13:15 Panel One. Comparative, Transnational and Entangled Approaches to East Central Europe in the 20th Century

Commentator: Peter Haslinger

Joachim von Puttkamer  / East Central Europe in the 20th Century in Comparative Perspective

Holly Case / Transnational Approaches to East Central Europein the 20th Century

Balázs Trencsényi / The Challenge of Studying the Political Thought of EastCentral Europe: Between European Embeddedness and National Autarcy


15:15 Break

15:30 Panel Two and Three. The Regional Problématique in Various National Contexts

Commentators: Diana Mishkova and Martin Schulze Wessel

Pavel Kolář / On Czech regional conceptualizations

Błażej Brzostek / On Polish regional conceptualizations

Péter Apor  / On Hungarian regional conceptualizations

Andrej Findor / On Slovakian regional conceptualizations

17:00 -17:15 Break

Roumen Daskalov / On Bulgarian regional conceptualizations

Petr Gradvohl / On French regional conceptualizations

Andrea Feldman / On regional conceptualization in the post-Yugoslav space

Till 18:45, Diner at 19:30

12th of May 2012

10:00-12:00 Panel Four. Dealing with Conflicting National Interpretations

Commentator: Włodzimierz Borodziej

René Küpper and Michal Kopeček / Czech-German

Vladimir Petrović and Sabina Ferhadbegović / Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian

Ovidiu Pecican / Hungarian-Romanian


12:00-13:30 Lunch Break

13:30-15:30 Panel Five. The Dual Dictatorial Legacy of the 20th Century: Current Uses and the Challenge of Historicization

Commentator: Ulf Brunnbauer

Bogdan Iacob / New Trends in the Study of Communism

James Mark / Studying the Memory of Communism

Constantin Iordachi / New Trends in the Study of Fascism

Margit Feischmidt / Studying Contemporary Right-Wing Extremism


16:00-17:00 Panel Five. Integrating Non-National Phenomena and Non-Mainstream Historical Actors

Commentator: László Kontler

Maria Falina and Martin Zückert on the Historical Study of Religion

Ines Koeltzsch and Ferenc Laczó on Jewish History

(Potentially additional presentations on Gender, Migration, Muslims and/or the Roma)

17:00-17:30 Final Discussion and Closing Remarks