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7752CfP: Share/Entangled Histories: Comparative Perspectives on Hungary and Romania, Cluj, 12-14.9.2008

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  • Anders Blomqvist
    Jun 2, 2008
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      Shared/Entangled Histories:
      Comparative Perspectives on Hungary and Romania

      Research Project organized by the History Department and Pasts, Inc.
      Center for Historical Studies, Central European University and CBEES –
      Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University College,
      Rationale of the project:

      The collapse of communist regimes in East-Central Europe has
      inaugurated sweeping economic and socio-political changes, marked by the
      conversion of state economies into market economies, political
      liberalization and democratization, and integration into European and
      Euro-Atlantic security and political organizations. These changes have
      also affected the pattern of interstate relations in the region. Countries
      in East-Central Europe are today linked by a dense network of
      inter-governmental agreements, which have worked for changing the nature
      of interstate relations by fostering cooperation rather than conflict.
      The relationship between Romania and Hungary is illustrative in this
      respect, having undergone a spectacular evolution in the last two decades,
      from intense diplomatic conflict to collaboration and politico-military
      partnership. Stimulated by the process of European integration, the
      political elites from the two countries have fostered political and
      economic interdependence. Nevertheless, promoted mainly at the level of
      political elites in the two countries and fulfilled under the decisive
      influence of the international community, the Romanian-Hungarian
      reconciliation needs to be supplemented with, and consolidated by, a real
      and continuous dialogue and change of images at the level of cultural
      production or public opinion in the two countries.
      Addressing the problem of lack of intensive mutual collaboration and
      communication between Romanian and Hungarian intellectuals, the current
      project aims at bringing together scholars from the two countries focusing
      on the Romanian-Hungarian bilateral relations and shared/entangled history
      in the united Europe. As the success of the post-1945 Òhistorical
      reconciliationÓ between France and Germany after WWII shows, the way of
      overcoming the conflicting legacies inherent in the mutually traumatic
      perceptions of the others is to create a multi-layered framework of
      intercultural dialogue and exchange, involving different groups and
      widening the channels of interaction.
      The current project aims at fostering new research on the shared
      history of Hungary and Romania by employing relational and transnational
      approaches, as part of a more general effort to rewrite continental
      history from an integrated perspective. East-Central European countries
      share a common historical past that goes far back in time to enduring
      medieval and early modern imperial legacies. After 1945, they experienced
      similar strategies of communist modernization, and a forceful integration
      into a common military and economic block. Post-communist countries in the
      region are now facing similar socio-political challenges. Despite these
      similarities, scholars in the region continue to focus on their ‘own’
      national histories, and have relatively limited knowledge of—or openness
      toward—the historical experience of their neighbors.
      Participants to the project are encouraged to relate to a broader
      historical discourse that transcends national lines of reference, by
      integrating new regional, continental, or global perspectives, in the
      light of recent trends in comparative, entangled, transnational, and
      regional history. A transnational and regional(ist) reconceptualization of
      the history of East-Central Europe would have a refreshing impact on the
      writing of European history as well. Currently, European history writing
      is in a process of transformation, moving away from its concentration on
      the historical experience of Western Europe and toward considering the
      history of ‘peripheral’ areas. Countries in East-Central Europe can
      actively contribute to enhancing the plurality of historical and cultural
      experiences defying ÒEuropeannessÓ and European values, by promoting a
      more integrative perspective.

      Call for papers for an international conference in Cluj, September 12-14,

      The project will open with an international conference that will take
      place in Cluj on September 12-14, 2008, organized in collaboration with
      the Department of Political, Administrative and Communicational Sciences,
      and the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Babeº-Bolyai University,
      Cluj. We are inviting applications from scholars working on projects with
      an intercultural and/or comparative edge related to Hungary and Romania in
      a (Central) European context, interested in developing a long-term
      framework of cooperation. We also welcome applications dealing with
      similar cases of overlapping histories in Europe (French-German,
      Greek-Turkish, Polish-Ukrainian, Czech-German, etc.) to be grouped in
      introductory thematic panels.
      Proposed papers should fall into the following thematic categories:
      1. Dynamism of nation-formation. Looking at the complex process of
      nation-formation, components and regional actors, and challenges to the
      ÒnationalizationÓ of society in the Romanian and Hungarian contexts.
      2. 'Canonization' of national cultures. Historical consciousness,
      national and multicultural canons - with a special emphasis on historical
      textbooks, national historiography, and literary canon-building.
      3. Historical myths and representations. Cult of heroes, the image
      of the other, the heuristics of the historiographical approach
      concentrating on historical myths and imagology.
      4. Overlapping spaces and historical memories. Political
      instrumentalization of collective memory, lieux de mŽmoire, the paradigm
      of ’national heritage’ in a transnational context.
      5. Shared spaces and everyday life. Anthropology of intercultural
      communication and community-building - practices of everyday life,
      performances of Òethnicity,Ó migration, mixing of languages and cultures,
      multiethnic urban subcultures, etc.
      6. Economic interaction, nationalism, and challenges. Ethnic
      economics, economic nationalism, state intervention, everyday economic
      experiences, the Europeanization and transnationalization of economic
      7. Political thought and practice. Citizenship and civic loyalty in
      multiethnic political frameworks, minorities and majorities in the media -
      representing cultural and political otherness; comparative political
      thought - local contextualizations of European ideological traditions,
      regionalization, and transnational cooperation in the EU; the Òrole of the
      outsiderÓ - the relationship of the countries in the hands of great power
      politics and international organizations.
      The language of the conference is English. The proceedings of the
      conference will be published in a thematic volume, as well as in the
      peer-reviewed journal East-Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre Est. Eine
      wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift. Drawing on the experience of the
      conference, we hope to consolidate a transnational academic network
      dealing with shared/entangled histories in Central Europe.
      Travel, accommodation, and other related costs for selected candidates
      will be fully covered by the organizers. The project is supported by the
      Baltic and East European Graduate School, Sšdertšrns hšgskola (University
      College) Sweden, the CEU-OSI Comparative History Project, and by Pasts,
      Inc. Center for Historical Studies, CEU.


      Anders Blomqvist, PhD candidate in History, Sšdertšrn University College
      Constantin Iordachi, Associate Professor, History Department, CEU,
      Balazs Trencsenyi, Assistant Professor, History Department, CEU, Budapest
      We welcome applications for thematic panels or individual papers.
      Application for individual papers should include a 500 word resume and a
      CV of the applicant and must reach the organizers by June 30, 2008. Each
      panel proposal should include a short description of the thematic focus,
      as well as the 500 word resume and CV of the proposed participant.
      Applications and inquiries should send to: hu-ro-comp@...
      Best regards,

      Anders Blomqvist

      PhD student in History
      Baltic and East European Graduate School
      Södertörns högskola (University College)
      Address: 141 89 Huddinge. Sweden
      Room PC 234
      Mobile +46 (0)70 731 63 40
      Phone. +46 (0)8 608 49 52
      Fax. +46 8 608 43 60