New Approaches to Comparative History
in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe Europe
Second Annual Conference, Comparative History Project, History Department, Central European University,
Sponsored by the Higher Education Support Program
17-19 April, 2008, Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, Bulgaria
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
During the last two decades, various attempts were made in historiography to go “beyond the national” and to bridge the gap between various national historical narratives. New analytical frameworks have been elaborated for approaching regional or European history from cross-national or transnational perspectives, 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.
In post-Communist Europe, trans-national comparative history is a scholarly, civic, and even political “urgency:” topics such as historical regions, empires and their legacies, contested borders and borderlands, to name but a few, need to be studied from a pan-European integrated perspective, approaching innovatively the abundant empirical material.
In order to address some of these issues, the History Department at CEU (http://www.hist.ceu.hu/) has initiated the three-year CEU-OSI Comparative History Project. The project seeks to place the teaching of, and research in, comparative history and the newly emerging trans-national approaches firmly on the agenda and into the curriculum, by building a stream/grouping of courses within a set of target departments in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe. It aims at concomitantly transferring modern approaches into academic teaching in these regions, while at the same time introducing local research traditions into European academic circulation.
The Comparative History Project was launched by a major international conference in Budapest, 9-11 November 2006, entitled “The State of the Art in Comparative History”. The focus of the conference was to “map” comparative history research in/on Europe (mainly taking German, French, and British examples) - from its various regions to its diverse ‘holistic’ variable geometries -, and to examine the methodological-theoretical underpinnings of empirical work.
In continuation of the agenda set at the first conference, the second annual conference aims at exploring the challenges new research approaches in comparative history have to meet in our region. To this end, applications are invited for papers that re-conceptualize the modern and early modern history of Central, Southeastern 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. Proposals are also expected to address the theoretical implications of comparative research for re-thinking regional history. By reconsidering the historical role of empires, regions, international influences and transfers, they should attempt to transcend the prevailing narrow national-based historiographical perspective and integrate Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe into the major themes and trends affecting European history as a whole. Participants will have the opportunity to be introduced to and integrated into the research projects launched by Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies (www.pasts.ceu.hu), the academic journal East-Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre Est. Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift (www.ece.ceu.hu), and the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (www.cas.bg).
Proposed papers should fall into the following thematic categories:
Theories and methodologies of comparative and transnational history and their application in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe
Challenges to re-writing national histories after 1989
Regional perspectives in the history of early modern and modern political thought and intellectual currents: Humanism, Baroque, Romanticisms, Modernisms, etc.
Reassessing center-periphery relations in a longue durée perspective
Cultural transfer and imperial legacies
Projects and processes of modernization: similarities, differences and “Sonderweg” theories
Comparing dictatorships in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe
Travel, accommodation, catering and visa costs for selected candidates from non-EU countries, as well as from Romania and Bulgaria, will be fully covered by the organizers. Participants who are citizens of other countries are kindly asked to cover their travel expenses, and they will be assisted in finding appropriate accommodation at modest prices.
Péter Apor, Constantin Iordachi, Balázs Trencsényi
Application packages have to include a 500 words resume and a CV of the applicant and must reach the organizers by 31 January 2008.
Applications and inquiries should be addressed to Dr Péter Apor,
Central European University, Nádor u. 11. 1050, Budapest, Hungary
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)