Call for contributions to the new WWW site
CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN CURRENT HISTORY
The Eichstaett Institute for Central and East European Studies (ZIMOS) in Bavaria, Germany, announces the launch of the new German and English web project ZEITHISTORISCHE STREITFRAGEN - CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN CURRENT HISTORY at
This website is designed as a forum of public comment and critique on how to adequately interpret, conceptualise and evaluate selected topics in contemporary international affairs from a historical and comparative perspective. As shown in the four sample contributions available until now, we hope to develop this site into a platform where historians, political scientists and other academics take issue with misleading use of established historical concepts, and with inadequate cross-cultural or diachronic comparisons.
In general, an argumentation employing historical analogies, and, by itself, the travelling of generic concepts across civilizations or historic periods, in both political publicism and scholarly analysis, are to be welcomed. However, sometimes the heuristic value of cross-cultural comparison and historic-analogical thinking is diminished when, for instance, reasonably well-defined concepts are extensively stretched in order to (mis)fit substantively different cases, or in order to (mis)interpret essentially dissimilar situations.
We invite historians, political scientists and other scholars to send us their reactions to recent publications in major periodicals or on influential web sites, whether scholarly or journalistic. Please, have a look on the current texts on our site and see whether you might be able to contribute a similarly short, yet substantive comment that effectively discloses an obvious mistake in recent historical-analogical and cross-cultural thinking.
While we welcome contributions from academics from all scholarly schools, we will only publish contributions that we regard as balanced, in tone, and analytic, in substance. We will aim to keep "politics" and "ideology" out – as far, of course, as that is possible, at all.
We are particularly interested in contributions on the use and misuse of such basic classificatory terms as "fascism," "totalitarianism," "authoritarianism," "democracy" as well as similarly broadly used and fundamental notions in historical and political interpretation. While definitions of such concepts were never and will never be final, universally accepted and truly comprehensive, we still think that the usage, application and understanding of such notions can and should be improved. And we think that such an improvement can be beneficial for both scholarly and public discourse, for academia and society, at large.
Your comment should be in German or English as well as not less than 500 and no more than 1,500 words long. Its formal style should follow the format of the previous contributions on the site. Your text's analytic and linguistic quality should be such that it can be published without further editing.
Please, send your contribution as a Word or RTF attachment to andreas.umland[at]ku-eichstaett.de.
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