Comparative History in/on Europe: New Approaches to Comparative History in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Open to the Public
Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 2:45pm
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Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 2:45pm to Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 2:45pm

2nd Annual Conference of the OSI-CEU Comparative History Project, Sofia, 17-19 April, 2008

Organized by the History Department and Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, CEU, in collaboration with East-Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre Est. Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift and the Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The writing of history underwent profound changes in the last decades. Historians extended their research to new social categories and areas of inquiry, incorporated meta-theoretical and methodological borrowings from other disciplines, and questioned the main tenets of traditional approaches. Both in Western European historiography and in the post-Communist countries, various attempts were made in the last decade at bridging the gap between national schools historical narratives. New analytical frameworks have been elaborated for approaching regional or European history from a transnational perspective, such as histoire croisée, “shared” or “entangled history” and the history of “transfers” attempting to critically re-evaluate comparative history and to shift the emphasis on multiple levels of connectedness, through interdisciplinary lenses.

The conference took into consideration the challenges and chances new research approaches in comparative history have to meet. Papers delivered re-conceptualized the modern and early modern history of Central and Eastern Europe by employing relational and transnational approaches, as part of a more general effort to re-write continental history from an integrated perspective. The participants addressed the theoretical implications of comparative research for re-thinking Central and Eastern European history or formulate actual research agenda in the field. The contributions placed a greater emphasis on the “shared” and “entangled” history of the peoples in these regions and assessed international influences and transfers. By reconsidering the historical role of empires, regions and national frameworks, these transcended the prevailing narrow national-based historiographic perspective and integrate Central and Eastern Europe into the major themes and trends affecting European history as a whole.

17 April

17:00 Opening
Balázs Trencsényi, Constantin Iordachi and Péter Apor (CEU, Budapest)

17:30 Panel 1
Chair: Diana Mishkova (Center for Advanced Studies, Sofia)
Karl Kaser (University of Graz), “Historical Anthropology: A European Perspective”
Augusta Dimou (Leipzig), “Transfer, Comparison and the Historian´s Handicraft”
Béla Tomka (University of Szeged), “Comparative History in East Central Europe: Reflections on Missed Opportunities”

20:00 Dinner

18 April

10:00 Panel 2: Transnational Perspectives: Deconstructing National Canons
Aleksandar Ignjatovic
(University of Belgrade), “Narrating Architecture, Building the Nation: Kosovo/Kosova and Transylvania/Erdély as Resource of Nationalistic Culture”
Zsombor Tóth (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj), “Tripartite Hungary – A Tripartite History? The Importance of Regional Discourse in Building the National Past: A Case Study”
Vladislav Sotirovic (University of Vilnius), “The Idea of Pan-Slavic Ethnolinguistic Kinship and Reciprocity in Dalmatian and Croatian Literature and Historiography, 1477-1706”

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Panel 3: Transcending the Nation in Historiography

Ivan Kurilla (Volgograd State University), “Writing National and Regional History Textbooks in Russia: Challenges and Possible Solutions”
Oleksandr Zaytsev (Catholic University of Lviv), “Ukrainian Integral Nationalism in Comparative Perspective, 1920s-1930s”
Dimitar Grigorov “Propaganda Images and Popular Perceptions of the Balkan Socialist State and Party Leaders after the Second World War: Tito and Ceacescu”

Coffee break

Valery Yevarouski (Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences, Minsk), “We are the People! The Belorussian Sonderweg (‘Origins’ and Genealogies)
Oleg Zhernokleyev (Pre-Carpathian University, Ivano-Frankivsk), “National Sections of Austrian Social Democracy (1890-1918): The Experience of Comparative Historical Research”
Calin Cotoi (University of Bucharest), “National Identity and the Left: Romania, Bessarabia and the Russian Empire, 1900-1945”
Goran Hutinec (University of Zagreb), “Attitudes towards Territorial and Ethnic Borders and Minorities (1918-1948): A Comparison of Croatian and Hungarian Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes”

19:00 Dinner

19 April

10:00 Panel 4: Empires: A Framework for Entanglements
Ekaterina Boltunova
(Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow), “Imperial City Topography: Moscow and St. Petersburg in the 17th and 18th Centuries and the Perception of Symbolism in Comparative Perspective”
Zenonas Norkus (University of Vilnius), “The Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Retrospection of Comparative Historical Sociology of Empires”
Gabriel Leanca (“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi), “Challenging the National Paradigm in the Study of the Eastern Question: Theoretical and Methodological Aspects
Evelina Razhdavichka (Institute for Balkan Studies, Sofia), “Nineteenth-century Balkan Fairs: Commercial Centres in the Periphery”

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Panel 5: Social History: Towards a Supra-national History?
Andrei Emilciuc
(State University of Moldova, Chisinau), “The Statute of Porto Franco in Eastern and Southeastern Europe in the 19th Century: Historiographic Aspects”
Ates Uslu (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & Budapest-ELTE), “19th Century Opera as a Matter of Comparative History”
Ivo Goldstein (University of Zagreb), Zagreb in the Interwar Period: A Comparison of Centres and Peripheries
Liesbeth van de Grieth (University of Utrecht), “Transitional Politics: Political Reconstruction in the Soviet Zone of Occupation and Romania, 1944 – 1949”

Coffee break

16:30 Panel 6: Teaching the Comparative History of Eastern Europe
Christopher Karadjov
(University of California, Long Beach), “Teaching about Transitional Media: Importing Western Press Concepts into Eastern European Borderlands”
Dmitrii Sidorov (University of California, Long Beach), “Visualizing Eastern Europe and Russia in North American World Regional Geography Textbooks: Teaching as Engaging”
Vlatka Velcic (University of California, Long Beach), “Translating Eastern European Balkanization through Literature: Are American Students Ready for ‘Other’ Diversity?”

18:00 Concluding Panel: Strategic Planning

20:00 Dinner


List of Participants:
  • Péter Apor, Research Fellow, Pasts Inc., Center for Historical Studies, CEU
  • Ekaterina Boltunova, Associate Professor, Russian Anthropological School, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow
  • Calin Cotoi, Lecturer, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest
  • Ilona Dénes, PhD Candidate, History Department, CEU
  • Augusta Dimou, Institute of Slavic Studies, University of Leipzig
  • Andrei Emilciuc, PhD Candidate, State University of Moldova, Chisinau
  • Ivo Goldstein, Professor, Department of History, University of Zagreb
  • Goran Hutinec, Research Assistant, Department of History, University of Zagreb
  • Aleksandar Ignjatovic, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Theory of Art and Architecture, University of Belgrade
  • Constantin Iordachi, Assistant Professor, History Department, CEU
  • Christopher Karadjov, Department of Journalism, University of California, Long Beach
  • Karl Kaser, Full Professor, Department for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz
  • Ivan Kurilla, Professor, Department of Area Studies and International Relations, Department of Contemporary History and World Politics, Volgograd State University
  • Gabriel Leanca, Teaching Assistant, Department of Modern History, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi
  • Uku Lember, PhD Candidate, History Department, CEU
  • Diana Mishkova, Director, Center for Advanced Studies, Sofia
  • Zenonas Norkus, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Vilnius
  • Claudiu Oancea, PhD Candidate, University of Bucharest
  • Mihai Olaru, PhD Candidate, History Department, CEU
  • Evelina Razhdavichka, Institute for Balkan Studies, Sofia
  • Marina Sakalova, Director, MA in the Comparative History of Northeastern Europe, European Humanities University, Minsk
  • Dmitrii Sidorov, Department of Geography, University of California, Long Beach
  • Vladislav Sotirovic, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science,University of Vilnius and Mykolas Romeris University
  • Irena Stefoska, Research Assistant, Institute of National History, Skopje
  • Svetlana Suveica, Senior Lecturer, State University of Moldova, Chisinau
  • Béla Tomka, Associate Professor, Department of Contemporary History,University of Szeged
  • Zsombor Tóth, Senior Lecturer, Hungarian Literature Department, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj
  • Balázs Trencsényi, Assistant Professor, History Department, CEU
  • Ates Uslu, PhD Candidate, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & Budapest-ELTE
  • Liesbeth van de Grift, PhD Candidate, University of Utrecht
  • Vlatka Velcic, Department of Comparative World Literature and Classics, University of California, Long Beach
  • Valery Yevarouski, Head, Department of Belarusian Philosophical, Social and Political Thought, Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences,
  • Minsk
  • Oleksandr Zaytsev, Head, Department of Modern History of Ukraine, Catholic University of Lviv
  • Oleg Zhernokleyev, Head, Department of World History, Pre-Carpathian University, Ivano-Frankivsk