See Next Archive (2013-2014)

Please see below for archived 2013-2014 events.

SPEAKING IN MAPS: TOWARDS A SPATIAL PROSOPOGRAPHY OF EAST CENTRAL EUROPE’S MODERN GEOGRAPHERS

Steven Seegel, Associate Professor of History, University of Northern Colorado

“Speaking in Maps:  Towards a Spatial Prosopography of East Central Europe’s Modern Geographers”

Abstract

This presentation previews the methodology of my current project, Map Wars.  It is a microstudy of modern European and U.S. history, looking at constructions of subjecthood from the global and postcolonial vantages of uncertain frontiers.  Using geographers’ personal diaries and letters, I look at political geography, forms of transnational cultural transfer, and visual modes of borrowing and mimesis.  The project examines the U.S. geographer Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950) together with the entangled lives and deaths of five geographers in East Central Europe – Albrecht Penck (1858-1945) of Germany, Eugeniusz Romer (1871-1954) of Poland, Stepan Rudnyts’kyi (1877-1937) of Ukraine, Count Pál Teleki (1879-1941) of Hungary, and Arkadz Smolich (1891-1938) of Belarus. I pay careful attention to the histories of imperialism and nationalism, since these geographers assimilated to 20th-century states after emerging from 19th-century Europe’s multiethnic dynastic empires. For the SEE NEXT seminar, I will introduce a new historical approach of spatial prosopography, which combines recent scholarship on feminist human geography, transnational histoire croisée, mental maps, and the new imperial history.

Steven Seegel, Associate Professor of History, University of Northern Colorado, the author of books on the history of modern East European geography, geopolitics, and critical cartography (Ukraine under Western Eyes (Harvard University Press, 2011); Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2012)). His current project, Map Wars, is a microstudy of the entangled modern lives and transnational careers of six geographers across East Central Europe, from the 1870s to the 1950s.

Date(s): Wednesday, 10/16 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 10/16 9:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 South Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-6354

AB IMPERIO WORKSHOP SERIES

The SEE NEXT working group session for November will take place November 19 from 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM in the Institute for the Humanities.  These panels are day two of the conference “When Postcolonial Meets Postimperial:  Cross-Disciplinary Workshops Across the Atlantic.”

Conference sessions on November 18 will take place in 1501 University Hall.

Conference sessions on November 19 will take place in the Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan, lower level Stevenson Hall.

Schedule for November 18 and November 19:

Monday, November 18
(1501 University Hall, 601 S. Morgan St.)

10:00−12:00, Panel 1. The Archaeology of Imperial Crossroads and Post-imperial Expressions

Krishan Kumar (University Professor, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia)

How Do We Think About the Impact of Empire in the Metropoles of Former Imperial Societies?”

Colleen McQuillen (Associate Professor, Slavic & Baltic Department, UIC)

“Street Art vs. Protest Action: The Rise of Graffiti and the Fall of a Subculture in Post-Soviet Russia”

Ab Imperio discussant: Alexander Semyonov (Professor, Dean, Faculty of History, National Research University−Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia)

12:30−2:30, Panel 2. The Scandal of the Imperial Encounter

Keely Stauter-Halsted (Professor and Stefan and Lucy Hejna Family Chair in the History of Poland, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago)

“Prostitution as a Violation of National Purity”

Ilya Gerasimov (Executive Editor, Ab Imperio)

“Diversity is Not a Vice: A Secret Story of a Patriarchal Metropolis”

Ab Imperio discussant: Alexander Semyonov (Professor, Dean, Faculty of History, National Research University−Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia)

2:30- 3:30 Lunch Break

3:30−5:30, Panel 3. The Mental Mapping of Spaces beyond the Empire−Nation Opposition: Regionalism

Rama Sundari Mantena (Associate Professor of History, University

of Illinois at Chicago)

Sites of Political Modernity: Regionalism and Public Life in Colonial India”

Sergey Glebov (Assistant Professor, History Department, Smith College and Amherst College)

“In Search of a Modern Site: Siberian Regionalists between the Imperial and the National”

Ab Imperio discussant: Alexander Semyonov (Professor, Dean, Faculty of History, National Research University−Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia)

Tuesday, November 19:

(Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan)

10:00−12:00, Panel 4: Postcolonial and Postimperial Entanglements of Nationalisms and Universalisms

Marina Mogilner (Edward and Marianna Thaden Chair in Rus­sian and East European Intellectual History, Associate Profes­sor of History, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago)

“The Postimperial Jewish Nation: City as a Temptation and City as a Threat in Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Zionist Bildung”

 Liliana Riga (Program Director, MSc in Global Social Change Sociology, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh)

“Remaking Empire: Institutional Templates, Practices, and Universalisms”

Ab Imperio discussant: Alexander Semyonov (Professor, Dean, Faculty of History, National Research University−Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia)

12:30−2:30, Panel 5

Moderated Discussion: When Exactly Does Postcolonial End and Postimperial Begin?

Moderator: Alexander Semyonov (Professor, Dean, Faculty of History, National Research University−Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg)

Date(s): Monday, 11/18 10:00 AM to Tuesday, 11/19 2:30 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 S Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-6354

SUBALTERNATION: ON POSTCOLONIAL HISTORIES OF SOCIALISM

Serguei Oushakine, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Anthropology, Princeton University

The talk follows closely public debates associated with three historical locations in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. One is the Khatyn’ memorial built near Minsk in the 1960s to commemorate the victims of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). Another one is the killing site Kuropaty. Discovered in 1988, Kuropaty hides bodies of people executed in 1937-1941. The final site is an amusement park, Stalin’s Line, built near the capital in 2005. Intense public discussions about the history and significance of these locations have had a considerable impact on the process of national identification in Belarus.

By analyzing these debates, I suggest that this practice of historical iterability allows us to perceive postsocialism not only as an operation of dismantling the key configurations that have been produced by seven decades of Soviet way of life, but also as a form of an intense postcolonial investment in these structures, conventions, and forms; an investment that makes the very critique of these historical forms and their originary narratives possible.

By linking postsocialism and postcolonialism, I want to draw attention to issues and dynamics of a process that has been somewhat overshadowed by discourses of the nation-building in newly independent countries.  The debates associated with the three historical sites will help to reveal a trend that appears to be common for many post-Soviet countries, namely, an uneasy process of a retroactive creation of the colonial subjectivity. Placeholders of sorts, these three locations demonstrate that reclaiming a place is often indistinguishable from being beholden by this place.

Serguei Oushakine, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Anthropology, Princeton University. In his book, The patriotism of Despair: Nation, War, and Loss in Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009), he trace the importance of experienced or imagined traumas for creating postsocialist identities and meanings. His other publications reflect his interest in the cultural representations of identities that emerge at the intersection of gender, nation, and law. His new areas of research focus on postcolonial authoritarianism in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, the practices of late Soviet consumption, the political mobilization of popular culture in Soviet Russia, and socialist nostalgia.

Date(s): Thursday, 1/16 6:00 PM to Thursday, 1/16 9:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 S Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-6354

 

UNLIKELY COLD WAR ENCOUNTERS: THE BULGARIAN CULTURAL OPENING OF THE 1970S FROM A TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Theodora Dragostinova is an Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University. Her work focuses on nation-building, refugee movements, and minority politics in Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Balkans. She is the author of Between Two Motherland: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria (Cornell University Press, 2011). Her most recent research, tentatively entitled “Communist Extravaganza: National Commemorations and Cultural Diplomacy in Late Socialist Bulgaria,” explores the global Cold War through a transnational examination of Bulgarian cultural policies during late socialism in a variety of geographical and ideological contexts. This work combines archival research with oral history interviews, continuing Professor Dragostinova’s earlier commitment to interdisciplinary research.

This paper examines the logic and execution of the Bulgarian cultural offensive abroad, carried out from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s under the leadership of Ludmila Zhivkova, the eccentric minister of culture and daughter of the communist leader Todor Zhivkov. Interrogating the dynamics of cultural exchange with the West, the Soviet bloc, and, partially, the non-aligned world, the paper explores the unexpected encounters among the cultural agents and other representatives of communist Bulgaria, their official hosts, private admirer or ardent detractors of various ideological orientations, and members of the Bulgarian diaspora of different generations. By adopting a transnational approach to the cultural Cold War, understood as a multipolar rather than a bipolar political confrontation, this research seeks to unearth the changing logic of cultural diplomacy during the détente. While ideological factors continued to inform the way official Bulgarian policies were articulated, the combination between a new generation of intellectual elites and the language of human rights provided unexpected opportunities for both supporters and opponents of the communist bloc to compete on the international scene for the hearts and minds of various audiences. In the constantly changing context of the détente, it was not always clear who the winner was in these cultural duels, as unlikely alliances formed around issues of historical heritage, cultural commonality, and national legitimacy, undermining expectations of straightforward ideological uniformity. Combining a top-down approach (mostly based on archives and memoirs) with a bottom-up methodology (inspired by oral histories and ethnographic observation), this paper reveals what sorts of unexpected cultural encounters occurred, during the Cold War, when people supposed to be living on different planets found themselves in the same cultural space.

Date(s): Wednesday, 2/26 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 2/26 8:00 PM
Campus Address: 1501 University Hall
Address: 601 South Morgan
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu/
Phone: (312) 996-6352

UNLIKELY COLD WAR ENCOUNTERS: THE BULGARIAN CULTURAL OPENING OF THE 1970S FROM A TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Theodora Dragostinova is an Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University. Her work focuses on nation-building, refugee movements, and minority politics in Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Balkans. She is the author of Between Two Motherland: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria (Cornell University Press, 2011). Her most recent research, tentatively entitled “Communist Extravaganza: National Commemorations and Cultural Diplomacy in Late Socialist Bulgaria,” explores the global Cold War through a transnational examination of Bulgarian cultural policies during late socialism in a variety of geographical and ideological contexts. This work combines archival research with oral history interviews, continuing Professor Dragostinova’s earlier commitment to interdisciplinary research.

This paper examines the logic and execution of the Bulgarian cultural offensive abroad, carried out from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s under the leadership of Ludmila Zhivkova, the eccentric minister of culture and daughter of the communist leader Todor Zhivkov. Interrogating the dynamics of cultural exchange with the West, the Soviet bloc, and, partially, the non-aligned world, the paper explores the unexpected encounters among the cultural agents and other representatives of communist Bulgaria, their official hosts, private admirer or ardent detractors of various ideological orientations, and members of the Bulgarian diaspora of different generations. By adopting a transnational approach to the cultural Cold War, understood as a multipolar rather than a bipolar political confrontation, this research seeks to unearth the changing logic of cultural diplomacy during the détente. While ideological factors continued to inform the way official Bulgarian policies were articulated, the combination between a new generation of intellectual elites and the language of human rights provided unexpected opportunities for both supporters and opponents of the communist bloc to compete on the international scene for the hearts and minds of various audiences. In the constantly changing context of the détente, it was not always clear who the winner was in these cultural duels, as unlikely alliances formed around issues of historical heritage, cultural commonality, and national legitimacy, undermining expectations of straightforward ideological uniformity. Combining a top-down approach (mostly based on archives and memoirs) with a bottom-up methodology (inspired by oral histories and ethnographic observation), this paper reveals what sorts of unexpected cultural encounters occurred, during the Cold War, when people supposed to be living on different planets found themselves in the same cultural space.

Date(s): Wednesday, 2/26 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 2/26 8:00 PM
Campus Address: 1501 University Hall
Address: 601 South Morgan
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu/
Phone: (312) 996-6352

CANCELLED: SEE NEXT WORKING GROUP: YAROSLAV HRYTSAK

CANCELLED

Yaroslav Hrytsak, Professor of history, L’viv Catholic University and director of the Peter Jacyk Program for Studies of Modern Ukrainian History and Society (University of Alberta – Ivan Franko Lviv National University – Ukrainian Catholic University). He is a leading specialist in the modern history of Eastern Europe, modern intellectual history of the region, nationalism and historical memory. Hrytsak is the author of numerous publications, including Narysy istortiji Ukrainy: Formuvannia Modernoji Ukrajinskoji Natsiji [Essays in Ukrainian History: the Making of a Modern Ukrainian Nation] (Kyiv, 1996 in Ukrainian; Polish translation in 2000), which received the Przeglad Wschodni award for the best foreign book on East European history in 1998. He also wrote, among other titles, History of Ukraine (in Polish, 2000) and Prorok u svoyiy vitchyzni: Ivan Franko i yoho spil’nota [Prophet in his Fatherland: Ivan Franko and His Community] (Krytyka, 2006), which was awarded the Antonovych Prize and the “Best Book in Ukraine” from the leading Ukrainian magazineКореспондент [Correspondent].

More details to be posted soon.

Date(s): Wednesday, 3/19 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 3/19 9:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 S Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-635

SEE NEXT WORKING GROUP: IN THE SHADOW OF MEN: WOMEN HISTORIANS IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

Abstract


In the Shadow of Men: Women historians in the Russian Empire

While during the last 25 years the history of women historians in Western Europe and the United States and their contributions to historiography have been widely researched, women historians in the Russian Empire have been totally ignored. In my lecture I will present 50 women, born between 1804 and 1884, who can be identified as historians (in a wide sense), in order to outline their collective biography (family background, fathers, brothers and husbands, education, occupations, political activities). These women of different ethnic origin made significant contributions to historical studies, particularly in the fields of social history and Alltagsgeschichte, which are widely forgotten today.

Andreas Kappeler served as Professor of East European History at the University of Cologne and later at the University of Vienna where he remained until his retirement in 2011. There he was the director of the Institute for Eastern European History. Professor Kappeler is the executive editor of the Journal of East European History and serves on the editorial board of several international journals. In addition, he serves as a reviewer of international research projects. He is the author of, among other books, The Russian Empire: A Multi-Ethnic History. Routledge, 2001; “Great Russians” and “Little Russians”: Russian-Ukrainian Relations and Perceptions in Historical Perspective. University of Washington, Washington 2003; Russland und die Ukraine. Verflochtene Biographien und Geschichten. Böhlau, Wien/Köln/Weimar 2012; Die Kosaken. Geschichte und Legenden. Beck, München 2013.

Date(s): Wednesday, 4/16 6:00 PM to Wednesday, 4/16 9:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 S Morgan St
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-6354

TWO UKRAINES” AND “THE EUROREVOLUTION

Andrii Portnov

Guest Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin
Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin

Abstract:  The metaphor of ‘two Ukraines’ (“pro-Russian vs pro-Western” or “Soviet vs nationalistic”) often serves as a description of the “deeply divided” country and its electoral geography. Ourdays it also pretends to explain the phenomenon of the Euromaidan or the outcome of the Crimean ‘referendum’. In my talk I would like to focus on the analysis of the cultural construction and political functioning of ‘two Ukraines’ scheme in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish public spaces. Questions to be discussed: Why a ‘nationalizing state’ paradigm does not capture the complexity of post-Soviet Ukraine`s politics of memory and identity? How to distinguish between the Russian speakers and the Russians in Ukraine and how to emancipate the complex social reality of Ukraine from the pressure of normative and essentializing schemes? Could a careful analysis of the internal heterogeneity of Ukraine help us to reconceptualize the way we think about national identity and memory in Eastern and Central Europe?

ANDRII PORTNOV wrote his Ph.D. dissertation about the Ukrainian emigration in inter-war Poland and defended it in 2005 in Lviv. In the years 2006-2010, he worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Ukraina Modern, a journal in humanities. In January 2012, he co-founded Historians.in.ua, an intellectual web portal and since then has been one of its editors. In the years 2007-2011, he lectured or conducted research at the Universities of Cambridge, Helsinki, and Vilnius as well as Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam and Centre for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies (CERCEC) in Paris. From 2012 – Guest Professor at the Humboldt University, Berlin and Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin.

His publications are devoted to intellectual history, historiography, and memory studies in Eastern and Central Europe. The author of five books, including The Histories for Domestic Use: The Polish-Russian-Ukrainian Triangle of Memory(Kyiv, 2013), Historians and Their Histories: The Faces and Images of Ukrainian Historiography in the 20th century (Kyiv, 2011), Ukrainian Exercises with History(Moscow, 2010). His most recent English language publication is: “Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Ukraine” (1991-2010), in: Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe, ed. by Uilleam Backer, Alexandr Etkind, and Julie Fedor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Date(s): Tuesday, 4/22 6:30 PM to Tuesday, 4/22 8:30 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
Address: 701 South Morgan Street
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Contact: Linda Vavra
Email: huminst@uic.edu
Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
Phone: 312-996-6354