Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Friederike Kind-Kovács

October 2017 - July 2018
Mail: Friederike.Kind-Kovacs@mailbox.tu-dresden.de

Friederike Kind-Kovacs is since 2009 assistant professor at the department of Southeast- and East European History at the University of Regensburg and member of the Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies (Regensburg University/LMU Munich). She gained in 2008 her Ph.D. in Contemporary History from Potsdam University (Center for Contemporary History Research), which was co-supervised at the Central European University in Budapest. She graduated in 2002 from St. Andrews University (UK) in Modern History. Her current research engages with the social history of childhood, poverty and humanitarianism in the aftermath of WWI. She is the author of Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (CEU Press, 2014), a monograph for which she won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies, awarded by The Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies in 2015.

Research project at the Kolleg

The historical book takes one of Central Europe's major urban spaces, the capital city Budapest and its children in need, to reconstruct how, in the aftermath of WWI, this social hotspot turned into a core 'laboratory' of transnational humanitarian intervention. The projected volume treats the case of Budapest's needy children as a particularly telling testing ground of how Western humanitarianism behaved towards one of the Allies' former enemy countries in Central Europe. It starts off by examining the emergence and professionalization of the vernacular Hungarian child welfare system prior to and during WWI. It then elaborates how the city's children were affected by the social consequences of the war and the imperial dissolution, by showcasing the children's abrupt displacement, impoverishment, social decline, physical distress and famine. The book explores next how Budapest's children as iconic victims of the war's aftermath, and particularly the visual representation of their harmed physical constitution, were used to trigger humanitarian sentiments throughout the United States and Western Europe. Examining discourses and everyday practices of relief, the book will bring out the dynamic interplay between local Hungarian child welfare organizations and international humanitarian organizations that were active in Hungary. Here much can be learnt from the discourse over children's famine and food relief: it shows us clearly how the provision of food relief played its part in the struggle for post-war economic, scientific and moral supremacy. Combining an extensive body of Hungarian sources with a great diversity of written and visual sources from international archives allows for a genuinely transnational perspective. Sources have been gathered from at least a dozen Hungarian and the international archives of the Save the Children Union, the ICRC and the League of Nations in Geneva, the Save the Children Fund in Birmingham, the Rockefeller Foundation and the JDC in New York, the ARA in Stanford, the ARC in Washington, and the National Archives in Vienna, London and Washington. On this basis, the book sheds light on the ambivalent repercussions of relief on local societies and transatlantic power relation.

Main areas of research

  • Cultural and social history of Central Europe
  • Social history of childhood, poverty and social welfare
  • History of hunger, food and health
  • Philanthropy and humanitarianism
  • Borders, displacement and migration
  • Transnational cultural and media history of the cold war

Positions and memberships

  • Member of the Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg/Munich.
  • Member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) and the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth (SHCY).
  • 'Co-Investigator' in the Leverhulme Trust International Network Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History, Bristol University. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/research/global-radio-history/people/ (2016-2019).
  • 'Co-Investigator' in the Leverhulme Trust International Network Hunger Draws the Map: Blockade and Food Shortages in Europe, 1914-1922, Oxford University. http://greatwar.history.ox.ac.uk/?page_id=2202 (2015-2018).

Monographs

Friederike Kind-Kovács, Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (New York/Budapest: Central European University Press, 2014). Winner of the 2015 University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies auf der ASEEES.

Edited volumes

Friederike Kind-Kovács, Heike Karge und Sara Bernasconi, eds., From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File: Public Health in Eastern Europe, (New York/ Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017). (forthcoming 10/17)

Friederike Kind-Kovács und Jessie Labov, eds., paperback version of Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015).

Friederike Kind-Kovács und Jessie Labov, eds., Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013).

Articles

Friederike Kind-Kovács, 'The Politics of Food Aid: American Child Feeding in Budapest after the Great War', New Perspectives, Spring 2018. (forthcoming).

Friederike Kind-Kovács, 'Transatlantic Humanitarianism: Jewish Child Relief in post-WWI Budapest', in From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File, edited by Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovács und Sara Bernasconi (New York, Budapest: CEU Press). (forthcoming).

Friederike Kind-Kovács, Heike Karge and Sara Bernasconi, 'From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File: Public Health in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Introduction', in From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File, (edited byHeike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovács und Sara Bernasconi). New York, Budapest: CEU Press 2017, 7-30. (forthcoming).

Friederike Kind-Kovács, 'Compassion for the Distant Other: Children's Hunger and Humanitarian Relief in Budapest in the Aftermath of WWI' in Rescuing the Vulnerable: Poverty, Welfare and Social Ties in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Europe, edited by Beate Althammer, Lutz Raphael und Tamara Stazic-Wendt (New York: Berghahn Books 2016), 129-159.

Friederike Kind-Kovács, 'The Great War, the Child's Body and the American Red Cross', European Review of History 23, no. 1-2, (2016): 33-62.

Friederike Kind-Kovács, 'Memories of Ethnic Cleansing and the local Iron Curtain in the Czech-German Borderlands', Nationalities Papers 42, no. 2, (2014): 199-222.

Friederike Kind-Kovács, '"Voices, letters, literature through the Iron Curtain": Exiles and the (trans-)mission of radio in the Cold War', Cold War History 13, no.2, (2013): 193-220.

Reviews

rewiew of Nikolaos Papadogiannis, Militant around the Clock? Left-Wing Youth Politics, Leisure, and Sexuality in Post-Dictatorship Greece, 1974-1981. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015) in Slavic Review, 76, no. 2, (2017): 534-535. http://doi.org/10.1017/slr.2017.113 

rewiew of Ann Komaromi, Uncensored: Samizdat Novels and The Quest for Autonomy in Soviet Dissidence (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press 2015) in Russian Review 75 (July 2016): 511-512.

collective book review "Cold War Broadcasting," H-Soz-u-Kult 01.10.2013, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2013-4-001

review of Daniel Laqua, ed., Internationalism reconfigured: 
transnational ideas and movements between the world wars (London u.a.: Tauris, 2011) in Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 52 (2012)].

review of Julia Obertreis and Anke Stefan, eds., Erinnerungen nach der Wende: Oral History und (Post)Sozialistische Gesellschaften (Essen: Klartext 2009), in Südost-Forschungen 68 (2009), p. 714-718.

The full list of publications can be found here: http://www.uni-regensburg.de/philosophie-kunst-geschichte-gesellschaft/geschichte-suedost-osteuropa/mitarbeiter/kind/ und http://www.gs-oses.de/Dr._Friederike_Kind-Kovacs.html