Seminar of the Imre Kertész Kolleg

The weekly research seminar supports discussion of the fellows´ research projects and other projects in the Kolleg´s main research areas. In addition to fellows and research staff members, the Kolleg regularly invites external guests to participate in these seminars.

On Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Am Planetarium 7, seminar room

18 June 2018

Tomas Balkelis: Vilnius in 1918-1919: A Frontier City in War, Nation-Making and Revolution

Annual Conference 2018

Jena, 14 - 15 June, 2018

Revolution from Within. Experts, Managers and Technocrats in the Long Transformation of 1989

"The expression of truth is losing its ethical impact and becoming no more than a historical fact that arouses interest but not enthusiasm. And the experts are better informed and are able to quote facts more accurately than the dissidents" wrote Jiřina Šiklová, a Czech dissident sociologist, in January 1990. Already a few months earlier she had predicted that it would be the professionals and experts from the „grey zone“ between official Party structures and dissident circles, who would necessarily play a major role in rebuilding of the political and economic life after the democratic revolution. Her words were prophetic, yet the „revolution of experts“ remained, for long, in the shadow of the great anti-totalitarian master narrative of 1989 that has dominated historical imaginary both in East and West.

It is this aspect not only of the 1989 revolutions, but of the entire “long transformation” lasting at least from the 1970s until the early 2000s that is at the heart of the conference. Its main aim is to historicize today’s academic as well as political discussions concerning the alleged neo-liberal hegemony which replaced the state socialist regimes after their collapse.

Please find more information, as well as the conference programme under annual conference 2018.

Journal of Modern European History, Vol. 16|2018/2

Resistance and Collaboration Transnational 1936-1945

With a focus on collaboration and resistance against Fascism/Nazism in the 190s and 1940s, this special issue addresses a topic that has drawn a lot of scholarly attention, but is most commonly discussed in nation-centric debates. Within those debates, collaboration is often considered a betrayal of national ideals while resistance is seen to affirm them. Both resistance and collaboration, however, had transnational dimensions which reflected the international reach of communism and fascism and the destruction of many nation-states in the wartime period. Collectively, the essays in this special issue indicate new ways of approaching the complex topics of resistance and collaboration in the age of the Second World War. Without suggesting that this is the only way of thinking about both subjects, we hope that these approaches will further enrich what has become a much more open-ended discussion about some of the most contested aspects of that war.

More information can be found in the section Further Announcements

 

Call for Papers for the 2. Conference of the Jean Monnet Network “Applied European Contemporary History”

The Public in Public and Applied History

Venue and Dates: Wrocław University (Poland), March 6th to March 8th 2019

The deadline for submission is September 15th 2018.

Public history is often defined as history for the public, by the public, with the public, about the public or in the public sphere. Even though the public is an essential element of public and applied history, theoretical debates on how "the public" is conceptualized are scarce. Theoretical reflections within the field are mostly confined to analyses of how history is being presented in the public sphere or focus on the underlying historical narratives and the "products" generated by public historians. This conference will tackle the apparent void in the theoretical discourse and focus on the public: its characteristics, role and position as well as on opportunities and challenges it poses to public history and applied history and to public historians. Thus, the conference aims at fostering a debate on the theoretical backgrounds of public history combined with, and informed by, case studies.

Please find the complete Call for Papers in our section further announcements.

NEW FELLOW PUBLICATION: Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism

(c) Routledge, 2018
(c) Routledge, 2018

Edited by Agnieszka Mrozik & Stanislav Holubec

Routledge Studies in Cultural History
Routledge, 2018
286 pages, 1 b/w illustration
ISBN: 978-1138-5422-66

Every political movement creates its own historical memory. The communist movement, though originally oriented towards the future, was no exception: The theory of human history constitutes a substantial part of Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s writings, and the movement inspired by them very soon developed its own strong historical identity, combining the Marxist theory of history with the movement’s victorious milestones such as the October Revolution and later the Great Patriotic War, which served as communist legitimization myths throughout almost the entire twentieth century.During the Stalinist period, however, the movement´s history became ... more.

NEW FELLOW PUBLICATION: Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style

© Cambridge University Press

Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945-1989

Kateřina Lišková

Cambridge University Pres, 2018
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-108-42469-1
Price: € 87,53

This is the first account of sexual liberation in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Kateřina Lišková reveals how, in the case of Czechoslovakia, important aspects of sexuality were already liberated during the 1950s - abortion was legalized, homosexuality decriminalized, the female orgasm came into experts' focus - and all that was underscored by an emphasis on gender equality. However, with the coming of Normalization, gender discourses reversed and women were to aspire to be caring mothers and docile wives. Good sex was to cement a lasting marriage and family. In contrast to the usual Western accounts highlighting the importance of social movements to sexual and gender freedom, here we discover, through the analysis of rich archival sources covering forty years of state socialism in Czechoslovakia, how experts, including sexologists, demographers, and psychologists, advised the state on population development, marriage and the family to shape the most intimate aspects of people's lives.

Further information can be found in the section Publications of Fellows

New Publication: Die disziplinierte Diktatur - Stalinismus und Justiz in der sowjetischen Provinz, 1938 bis 1956

(c) Böhlau Verlag 2018
(c) Böhlau Verlag 2018

Immo Rebitschek

Beiträge zur Geschichte Osteuropas, Bd. 51
Böhlau: Vienna, Cologne, Weimar 2018
ISBN: 978-3-412-51127-2
Price: 65,00 €

Soviet prosecutors became famous in the show trials of the 1930s, yet these officials played their main role aside from the big stage. Prosecutors were investigating and prosecuting millions of non-political offenses. At the same time, they had to combat arbitrary practices within the Soviet state apparatus. Soviet prosecutors had the duty to enforce legal norms and the professional ambition to bind the Stalinist dictatorship to its own rules. Based on a case study from the regional state prosecutor’s office in the Molotov region, the book analyzes the conflicts that arose from the prosecutors’ professional ambitions. It explains how this institution, after the end of the Great Terror, started to challenge the Secret Police’s claim for power. The procuracy and its methods gradually became a major tool for the purpose of repression, and later the key figure for the reforms after Stalin’s death.

You can find more information on the publishing house or place your order here.

An inter-October Revolution: Poland in 1956–1957

© Znak Horyzont

Jerzy Kochanowski

Znak Horyzont, 2017
448 pages
ISBN: 978-83-240-4208-1
Price: 59,90 zł

On 1 January 1957, the well-known man-of-letters Jerzy Zawieyski posed the question, 'What is going to happen and how will it play out?' He added, 'What Poland witnessed in the last year was not stabilisation. On the contrary: everything remains uncertain, complex and conflict-imbued. Yet, one thing is certain: our former way of life will not be reinstated. Some irreversible damage has been done.' Indeed, the totalitarian characteristics of Stalinism contributed to the fast pace and vast extent of the transition in 1956-7 which affected and involved virtually every social, professional and ethnic group. The scope, intensity and variety of social activity and (self-)mobilisation is ostensibly comparable to the period immediately following the Second World War or even the early days of the transition that occurred after 1989.

Read more about the book