About the Conference
The conference of the project group "Transnational Contemporary History" at the GWZO Leipzig aims at approaching the history of the first half of the 20th century in East Central Europe from a transnational perspective. Taking traditional national historical narratives, these decades appear to be a period of nationalization and deglobalization, which holds true for the region. (Nation)states such as Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia were (re)established after the monarchies of the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, and Romanovs fell apart. Wilsonian idealism, promoting national self-determination, gained a fertile ground in East Central Europe. As a by-product of the "principle of nationality", national minorities started to play an increasing role in the region's inner and outer relations. Not least, the 1930s were dominated by the Great Depression as well as autarkic economic policies and nationalist ideologies of many regimes. In an ex-post perspective, these "national" lines of development are made more prominent with the knowledge following World War II, resulting in all processes during this period to be reduced to a history of "inter-war". In this reduction, however, other aspects of social development are marginalized by this dominant perspective: the continuities across the apparent historical breaks of 1914/18 or 1939/45, the openness of the moment felt by contemporaries after World War I, and the sense of the beginning of a "New Europe" in a "New World" after the break-up of the empires. A transnational perspective may help to see the region and the period in another light.
Our conference focuses on the multiple changes of conditions under which people migrated; enterprises gained new markets; cultural exchange was revived; and territorialization processes were globalized. In the League of Nations, many specialists, organizations, and state institutions from the region took part in the formation of new supra-, inter- and transnational organizations; and the global interconnectedness of social and economic arrangements became apparent with the worldwide economic crisis. Processes of nationalization and globalization were not exclusive to each other but highly intertwined, as can be seen, for example, with the global regulation of the national minority issue - a problem that had been produced by the nationalization of states.
In an attempt to grasp these transnational and global dimensions of East Central European history, we have developed five dimensions that we have already applied to the region's late imperial history up to the First World War: economy, culture, international organizations, territorialization, and migration.
Proposals should fit into one of these sections. Papers combining comparisons with the study of mutual entanglements and operating with a narrative framework larger than a single country are especially welcome. We are also interested in contributions addressing methodological issues of writing a transnational history of East Central Europe.
We invite papers including but not limited to the following aspects:
- continuities and shifts in the engagement in international organizations around World War I and in its aftermath, analysing also the role of the war (in terms of actors, agendas, resources, recognition, etc.);
- founding of locally/regionally based IOs as well as the holding of international congress as strategies for international engagement;
- participation in and distancing from the League of Nations and other large-scale IOs of the time;
- emerging networks and contacts in the context of the engagement in IOs, particularly with extra-European actors.
During the first half of 20th century, conditions for cross-border migrations changed in fundamental ways: the reshaping of borders, the Russian Revolution, and the rising National Socialism fostered in very different ways the claim to an unambiguity of belonging, which created a "nation of the stateless" with its new forms of transnational existence. The refugee crisis created the demand for international regulatory agencies that eventually facilitated transnational existence. Economies in the old and the new states depended on migration even more than before, which resulted in a juridification of migration where every national measure had transnational repercussions on other states and on migrant groups. The duty of care claimed by the sending states promoted the establishment of care agencies destined "to keep migrants national", which offered new opportunities for transnational practices. Nationalization processes thus did not end migration, while internationalization initiatives failed to fill the social, administrative, and juridical gaps left by the former. Both, however, led to an expansion of transnational phenomena either in migrant strategies or in national efforts of administration.
We invite all possible perspectives, including those on state actors, agencies, as well as individual migrants or migrant groups, that elaborate on:
- transnational aspects of seemingly national and bilateral phenomena, such as migration controls and citizenship regimes;
- transnational aspects of migration strategies and patterns;
- new forms of transnationality linked to the new forms of support, care, and control by the nation states as well as religious and political agencies.
In this section of the conference, we aim to bring together contributions that place the spatial dimension of social interaction at the focal point. In traditional narratives, imperial forms of the organization of space in East Central Europe appear to have been abruptly replaced by national ones in 1918. Doubting that this change was so sudden, we would like to discuss whether, or to what degree, imperial forms of governance persisted within the emerging nation states. Beyond the state level, we would like to uncover and identify the interaction between economic elites and their established ways of organizing space according to their needs and interests, on the one hand, and the reorganization of political space along the criteria of national territorialization, on the other. The same question can be raised for the cultural sphere, where transnational frameworks had to be replaced by spatial frames fitting the discourse of nation state building without being automatically functional. Thus, we invite papers that discuss how far-reaching was the turn from the imperial to the national and to what extent this transformation was caused by internal as well as by global factors.
Proposals of ca. 500 words should be sent to Prof. Dr. Frank Hadler and Dr. Katja Naumann before 30 July 2015 by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The decision about the selection of the contributions will be announced by the end of September 2015.
|Kontakt:||Prof. Dr. Frank Hadler
Dr. Katja Naumann
|Klassifikation:||Regionaler Schwerpunkt: Regional übergreifend, Mittel-/Osteuropa
Epochale Zuordnung: 20. Jahrhundert
Thematischer Schwerpunkt: Transnationale Geschichte, Welt- und Globalgeschichte
|URL zur Zitation