Transnational History in Central and Eastern Europe: Traditions and Prospects

Open to the Public
Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 4:00pm
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Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 4:00pm to Friday, November 30, 2012 - 5:00pm

The international workshop aims to investigate and critically reassess the rich traditions of transnational history in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the recent attempts to bring transnational historical methodology to the study of the region. While the debates on histoire croisée have tended to focus on Western European, eminently German-French transfers and those between the West and the post-colonial world, attempts to see Eastern and Central Europe as subject of cultural transfer rather than as a historical zone dominated by methodological nationalism have been much more rare. Moreover, it is often overlooked that this region was itself a birthplace of several historiographical traditions with a transnational agenda, some embedded to imperial and post-imperial legacies, some to alternative political and cultural canons, from federalism to pan-Slavism. The study of empires and urban history, which are undergoing a rebirth today, have both attempted to integrate the region into a larger geographical and methodological framework. Recent approaches in global history, the newest research on totalitarianism, communism and fascism as global phenomena, and the studies of the post-1989 transformation have all produced new insights to our understanding of the place of Eastern and Central Europe in a larger world. However, it has rarely been attempted to reflect on the outcomes of these discussions and to link them to the existing local historiographical traditions. 
Our principal goal is then to discuss these fields of historical research in their local context with the guiding question whether the methodological tools of transnational history used in each of them were productive when applied to the region of Central and Eastern Europe and how these tools could be developed further. Therefore, rather than thoroughly mapping our respective fields with comprehensive historiographical overviews we aim at short and thought-provoking position papers (4-5 pages), which will then be discussed in a critical and informal scholarly setting.
The conveners of the workshop are Institute for East European History, University of Vienna (Dr. Markian Prokopovych) and CEU Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Study (Dr. Constantin Iordachi and Dr. Balázs Trencsényi).


Thursday, 29 November
16:00-18:00 Transnational Historiography of Central and Eastern Europe
Chair/Comment: Philipp Ther (UW)

  • Balázs Trencsényi (CEU), Comparative history of Europe from the East Central European perspective
  • Stephan Troebst (GWZO), Transnationalisms in East Central Europe: Catholicism, the Slavic Idea and Agrarianism
  • Susan Zimmermann (CEU), Transnational horizons of Hungarian historiography on women and gender, late 1940s to late 1980s

Friday, 30 November
9:00-10:30 Transnational Dimensions of Social and Economic History

Chair/Comment: Dieter Segert (UW)

  • Uwe Müller (GWZO), Transnational History of the CMEA (Comecon)
  • Philipp Ther (UW), Transformationand transnational convergences

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00- 12:30 Transnational representations in the Eastern Mediterranean: travellers in Arab and Late Ottoman lands
Chair/Comment: Oliver Schmitt (UW)

  • Nadia Al-Bagdadi (CEU), Arab travellers in the Late Ottoman world
  • Sarah Lemmen (UW), Eastern Europe and the Orient: Czech travellers to Cairo, 1900-1938

14:00- 15:00 Urban History in Comparative Perspective
Chair/Comment: Nadia Al-Bagdadi (CEU)

  • Gábor Gyáni (CEU), Tradition and modernity in metropolitan development
  • Markian Prokopovych (UW), Cities of East Central Europe in a network of cultural exchange in the modern period

15:00 Concluding remarks: Wolfgang Schmale (UW)