How do local transition histories change our perspective on 20th century history?
Closing conference of the ERC-project NEPOSTRANS: ‘Negotiating post-imperial transitions: from remobilisation to nation-state consolidation: A comparative study of local and regional transitions in post-Habsburg East and Central Europe’.
Department of History, European University Institute, Florence
Thursday 09 November 2023 10.00 – 18.00
Friday 10 November 2023 10.00 – 18.00
Sala del Consiglio/ Villa Salviati Castle
Via Bolognese 156 – 50139 Florence, Italy
Please REGISTER HERE in order to get a seat or the ZOOM link.
The conference aims at summarising the conclusions of the ERC NEPOSTRANS project with a view towards its potential historiographic consequences. The project is a comparative study of local histories of transition at the end of the Great War, focusing on the successor states of the Habsburg Monarchy. Its key themes are state, elites and their challengers, ethnicity, and local discourses. At this conference, together with presenting the most important conclusions, we intend to test possible historiographic “revisions” of modern East and Central European history based on our findings.
- Key theoretical elements of the project are comparisons of intercrossings (Zimmerman and Werner) and the generalisations drawn from case studies by building typologies of transitions. While the first one attempts to give “depth” to the analysis and to extend it chronologically backwards and forward from the end of the First World War, the second serves to horizontally extend its conclusions. Thus, it is not only the specific findings of the case studies that need testing, but how they can be generalised. Instead of simply exposing the conclusions to criticism, we want to ask how much and in what form local studies of transition could help to rethink the existing narratives (regional, national, global, etc.) of the period and the history of East and Central Europe in general.
The conference is structured around two-paper panels that address the key themes and offer local case studies (Northern Tyrol, North-Eastern Istria, Prekmurje, Kolomiya, Southern Moravia and Northern Lower Austria, Northeastern Bohemia, Baia Mare, Southern Banat and the surroundings of Budapest), with responses by invited commentators. The papers/presentations aim to make clear how the findings challenge existing historical conceptualisations, and how the local cases are situated within their national contexts (i.e., what they tell us about transition and the respective country in general). We strive to not simply differentiate the local perspective’s difference from the more general one, but to also reflect on what kind of commonalities we have discovered that were so far obscured. Commentators will reflect on the broader regional significance of the conclusions, but they are also invited to consider how the project’s approach is related to other alternative conceptualisations of history that circumvent or challenge the conventional, mostly national histories of the region.
November 9, 2023
10:00 Panel 1 – State
- Gábor Egry: Post-imperal nation states: a new universal state-form?
- Károly Ignácz: Budapest and its suburbs: the metropole under differentiated rule
- Discussants: Máté Rigó, Peter Becker
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Panel 2 – Elites
- Ségoléne Plyer: Elites of Danubian Europe at local level: the value of local focus for historical knowledge of the region between 1914 and 1925
- Anikó-Borbála Izsák: Change and continuity among the economic elite of Baia Mare in the 1920s
- Discussants: Wolfgang Göderle, Balázs Ablonczy
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Panel 3 – Ethnicity
- Christopher Wendt: To Ethnicity, and Beyond: Identifications in Post-Imperial Transition
- Ivan Jelicic: The post-imperial strikes back? On identifications in postwar Fiume and Liburnia
- Discussants: Jana Osterkamp, Börries Kuzmany
18:00 End of the day
November 10, 2023
10:30 Panel 4 – Discourses
- Cody J. Inglis: Reading Time and Power against the Grain: Local Discourses of Transition in Post-Habsburg East Central Europe, 1918–1929
- Elisabeth Haid-Lener: Competing narratives: Eastern Galicia in Transition
- Discussants: Heidi Hein-Kirchner, Marco Bresciani
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Panel 5 – A Local history of East Central Europe?
- Gábor Egry: From local to general: a new imperial history?
- Discussants: Dominique Reill, Pieter M. Judson, Holly Case
16:00 Closing of the conference
16:30 End of conference
Gábor Egry (Institute of Political History, Budapest)