Regional Seminar on Recent History
Sponsored by the Higher Education Support Programme of the Open Society Institute, Budapest
Convenor: Sorin Antohi
Academic Coordinator: Péter Apor
The primary target of the Regional Seminar in Recent History was the improvement of higher education in the field of 20th century history in Central and Eastern Europe. The seminar series was designed to contribute to this purpose, first of all, by the initiation of new courses and curricula concerning contemporary history in a comparative manner focusing mainly on the region, but taking into consideration the broader European perspective.
For a genuine re-generation of regional higher education of contemporary history it was indispensable to regularly update information on fresh research. The field of recent history is an especially dynamic one that constantly changes following the modifications of research opportunities, the establishment and opening of new corpuses of source material and the high demand from the public sphere for up-to-date knowledge on relevant issues. Therefore, the seminar series initiated a critical discussion of current approaches to and methods in contemporary history, while it also sought to foster new ways of thinking and research.
Its major achievements include a critical survey of pursuing recent history in East-Central Europe consisting of country reports from 10 countries, a collection of essays on dealing with the difficult pasts in the Hungarian cultural periodical Lettre International and an edited volume on the modernization and sovietization of the region.
The seminar series was built on an extensive regional network of partner institutions: University of Sofia, Department of Early Modern and Modern History, Institute for Contemporary History, Prague, ISP PAN, Warsaw, University of Warsaw, Department of 20th Century History, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Political Science, Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Institute of History, Bratislava, Institute for Contemporary History, Ljubljana, State University of Moldova, Chisinau
The Regional Seminar series was the primary contribution of the Central European University to the largest all-European network of contemporary history, EURHIST XX. EURHIST XX was established in Budapest in May 2003 and took further developments in Potsdam in May 2004 in order to identify common bases for the wider European discussion in the major problems of recent history.