Historical Studies: Disciplines and Discourses. An International Conference on the History and Theory of Historical Studies

Open to the Public
Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 9:00am
Add to Calendar
Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 9:00am to Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 3:00pm

Fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time to assess the state of the art in the history and theory of historiography: Eastern Europe has replaced Communist tyranny with democracy, and much of it has joined the European Union; the Cold War and its associated ideological, cognitive, epistemological, symbolic geographical, geopolitical, metaphysical grand narratives are subsiding; new histories are being made, experienced, and written. Half a generation after 1989, while busy distancing the twentieth century, we need to reconsider theories, methods, paradigms, topics, canons, vulgates, clichés, and maybe even some of the basics of our trade.

Less than one year before the 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences (Sydney, July 3-9, 2005), various particular and general visions of these basics ought to be examined in a global perspective. To do so, a major international conference is convened in Budapest, at Central European University (CEU: www.ceu.hu). The conference was initiated and is hosted by CEU's Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies (www.pasts.ceu.hu). Four related events will be integrated with the conference: (a) the first Jan Comenius Lectures on the Humanities, delivered by Hayden White from October 15th to October 19th; (b) the third meeting of the Regional Seminar on Recent History, devoted to the preparation of a collective volume on the historiography of Eastern Europe's recent pasts (October 20); (c) a day of activities devoted to the discussion of "History Textbooks in the Public Sphere" (scholarly panel, opening of a textbook exhibition, public debate, concert) in the framework of the Day of French-German Friendship; (d) a workshop on "Representations of the Past: National Histories in Europe", part of a larger research project funded by the European Science Foundation.
The conference, funded mainly by Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, is endorsed by the International Committee for Historical Sciences, and by the International Commission for the Theory and History of Historiography. On the basis of the proceedings, a series of collective volumes will be published in 2005 with CEU Press.

Sorin Antohi
(Central European University, Budapest)
Jürgen Kocka (Freie Universität Berlin/Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung/International Committee for Historical Sciences)
Chris Lorenz (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
Jörn Rüsen (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen)
Richard T. Vann (Wesleyan University/ International Commission for the Theory and History of Historiography)
Hayden White (Stanford University)

Conference Program


Thursday, October 21, 2004

9:00-9:50 Opening Session
Chair: Sorin Antohi
Welcome: Yehuda Elkana, Richard T. Vann
Keynote Address: On the State of the Art in the Theory and History of Historiography, delivered by Georg G. Iggers

10:00-12:00 Panel One: History Textbooks in the Public Sphere
Chair and Discussant: Jörn Rüsen
Etienne François: Entangled History as Challenge: the Project of a French-German Common History Textbook
Attila Pók: Scapegoats Old and New: Some Remarks on the Politics of Teaching History in Post-Communist Hungary
Razvan Pârâianu: The History Textbooks Controversy in Romania. Four Years On
Hanna Schissler: Textbooks as Collective Memory and Social Project

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break

15:00-16:00 Opening of the Textbook Exhibition. Organized by Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, in cooperation with the Georg-Eckert-Institut für internationale Schulbuchforschung, and the Romanian Institute of Recent History. Sponsored by Pasts, Inc., the French and German Embassies. Opening address by Sorin Antohi (in French), greetings by representatives of the Georg-Eckert-Institut, Goethe-Institut Budapest (in German), Institut Français de Budapest (in French). (Monument Building, First Floor, Exhibition Hall)

Reception to follow

16:00-19:00 Panel Two: Historical Studies: From Epistemology and Ideology to Ontology
Chair and Discussant: Jean-Claude Robert

  • Alun Munslow: History, Narrative, and Truth
  • Ewa Domanska: Sincerity and the Discourse about the Past
  • Michael Bentley: Chronism: A Doctrine about Authenticity in Historical Studies
  • Bo Stråth: A European Teleology
  • Johann Tempelhoff: Environmental History and Sustainable Cultural Dynamics

Parallel Activity

16:30-18:30 Public Debate: History Textbooks in the Public Sphere.
From Bilateralisms to European Multilateralism (Institut Français, Fo u. 17)
Moderator: Gábor Klaniczay
Participants: Jörn Rüsen, Etienne François, Christiane Kohser-Spohn, Sándor Köles, Attila Pók, Gerhardt Seewann, Philippe Joutard

19:30 Concert, in cooperation with the Franz Liszt Music Academy. Followed by a reception offered by the French Embassy and the German Embassy (Goethe-Institut Budapest, Andrássy út 24).


Friday, October 22, 2004

9:00-11:00 Panel Three: History, Philosophy, Social Science, Science
Chair and Discussant: Yehuda Elkana

  • Matti Peltonen: Investigating the Borders of History Theory: Max Weber's and Michel Foucault's Central Historical Concepts as Examples of Excluded Methodologies of the 20th Century Historical Thinking
  • Zenonas Norkus: Troubles with Mechanisms: Some Problems of the 'Mechanismic Turn' in Historical Sociology and Social History
  • Oliver Kozlarek: Modernity and the Narrative Appropriation of Values: The Case of Latin American Philosophy
  • Jack Zammito: Historicism and Naturalism: Bridging the Epistemologies of the 'Two Cultures'

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:30 Panel Four: History, Fiction , Irony
Chair and Discussant: Hayden White

  • Rik Peters: Noli giudicare! Croce and White on Irony
  • Herman Paul: Deliver Us From Irony: Challenges and Limitations of Hayden White's Redemptive Strategy
  • Kalle Pihlainen: Committed Writing: History, Biography, and Poststructuralism
  • Jasmina Lukic: Post-Communist Historiographic Metafiction

13:30-15:00 Lunch Break

15:00-18:15 Panel Five: Historical Studies in Post-1989 Eastern Europe
Chair and Discusant: Sorin Antohi

  • Daniela Koleva: Historical Studies in Bulgaria: Between Academic Standards and Political Agendas
  • Michal Kopecek and Pavel Kolar: A Difficult Quest for New Paradigms: Czech Historiography after 1989
  • Péter Apor and Balázs Trencsényi: Fine-tuning the Polyphonic Past: Hungarian Historical Writing in the 1990s
  • Maciej Górny: Historical Studies in Poland in the 1990s
  • Cristina Petrescu and Dragos Petrescu: Mastering vs. Coming to Terms with the Past. A Critical Analysis of the Post-Communist Romanian Historiography
  • Zora Hlavickova: Slovakian Historiography in the 1990s
  • Bogdan Murgescu: Practical Dilemmas of Historians in Post-1989 Eastern Europe


Saturday, October 23, 2004

9:00-11:30 Panel Six: History, Memory, Trauma, and Culture
Chair and Discussant: Ewa Domanska

  • Keith Jenkins: On History, Historians, and Silence
  • Klas-Göran Karlsson: On How to Analyse Historical Consciousness
  • Moshe Idel: The Emergence of the 'Historical Jew'
  • István Rév: The Return of the Unsuppressed
  • Eelco Runia: Representation, Replication, Reproduction
  • Wulf Kansteiner: From Victim to Perpetrator Trauma: A Critique of the Cultural Trauma Metaphor

11:30-11:50 Coffee Break

11:50-13:30 Panel Seven: Comparative History (Related to the Workshop on Representations on the Past: The Writing of National Histories: Narrating National Histories, sponsored by the European Science Foundation).
Chair: Chris Lorenz

  • Gita Deneckere, Thomas Welskopp: 'Class' in Grand Narratives of National Historiography
  • James Kennedy: Nation and Religion in European Historiography
  • Ulrich Wyrwa: Jewish Historiography in Europe as Transnational Historiography
  • Discussant: Christoph Conrad

13:30-15:00 Lunch Break

15:00-18:00 Panel Eight: From World History to Global History
Chair and Discussant: Johann Tempelhoff

  • Donald R. Kelley: History at the Millennium
  • Chen Xin: The Rebirth of Historiography and Discourse Selecting: Western Thought and the Track of Chinese Historiography in the Past Twenty-five Years
  • Thomas H. C. Lee: Recent Developments in Historical Thinking in Taiwan and China
  • Bonnie Smith: Scenes from Women's Historical Reading
  • Carol Gluck: After the Shipwreck: New Horizons in History-writing
  • Daniel Woolf: Globalizing the History of Historiography: Problems, Challenges, Opportunities

18:15 Jazz Concert with Johnny Raducanu (piano) and Harry Tavitian (piano and other instruments, vocal)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

9:00-11:00 Panel Nine: Medieval Historiographies and Their Legacies
Chair and Discussant: János Bak

  • Gábor Klaniczay: Deciphering Palimpsests and Reconstituting Sites of Memory. Medieval Studies beyond the Methodological Debates of the Past Decades
  • Sarah Foot: Narrative and Representation in Recent Medieval Historiography
  • Masayuki Sato: The Realm of Historiography in the East Asian Culture
  • Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis: Changing Mental Maps: Byzantium, the Balkans and the Borders of Europe

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:45 Panel Ten: Historical Studies Today: From the (Ethno-) National to the Regional and the Global
Chair and Discussant: László Kontler

  • Jörn Rüsen : Ethnocentrism in Present-day Historical Writing
  • Aziz al-Azmeh: Postmodern Neo-Romanticism and Historical Categorisation
  • Halil Berktay: Nationalism in Turkish Historiography
  • Estevão de Rezende Martins: European Paradigms/Models in Latin American Historiography
  • Jean-Claude Robert: The Trend Towards Globalization of History and International Perspective : Structural and Conjunctural Aspects

13:45-14:15 Closing Session
Chair: Sorin Antohi