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