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WORKSHOP CALL FOR PAPERS Postwar as Revolution? Rethinking Power in Eastern Europe after World War II

Postwar as Revolution? Rethinking Power in Eastern Europe after World War II
April 3-5, 2014

In his 1944 Christmas broadcast, Edvard Beneš of Czechoslovakia proclaimed that the Second World War had unleashed a powerful political and social revolution in Europe. Over the past decade, researchers have gained unprecedented access to new archival sources to help us reexamine this claim. This workshop invites advanced doctoral students and junior scholars to present original research and new methodological approaches to the post-war era, broadly defined. Working together in a congenial setting alongside invited experts, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the political, social and economic upheavals that shook eastern Europe in the wake of retreating armies.

Specifically, we propose the following questions: Who or what shaped political and economic advancements after foreign occupation? How did local revolutionaries, political parties, workers, and peasants experience this era and effect social change? What influence did regional government structures (such as national committees and other local authorities), urban reconstruction, the nationalization of property and industry, and new patterns of social mobility have on the states and societies of the “people’s democracies” from the immediate postwar era onward? And, finally, how do studies focused on “national roads to communism” shape our understanding of the region throughout the second half of the twentieth century? Of particular interest are papers that explore the lasting impact of events, decisions and structures from the 1940s on the region in the Stalinist, post-Stalinist and late-communist periods.

Thanks to generous funding from the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at the University of California, Berkeley; the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) at Stanford University; the History Departments at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University’s Vice Provost Office for Graduate Education and Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, this small, intensive workshop will assemble ten participants and four senior scholars with expertise on modern eastern Europe to present original research, comment on individual papers and discuss the region during this era more generally. Invited participants will have the opportunity to discuss their submitted paper in individual meetings with at least two senior scholars. This workshop will convene at the University of California, Berkeley from April 3-5, 2014.

Those interested in applying should submit a brief CV as well as a paper title and 500-word abstract by October 1, 2013. We welcome paper proposals from ABDs, postdoctoral researchers and untenured professors in all specializations. Projects should examine at least one of the following countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, or Yugoslavia.

Comparative projects are strongly encouraged. Invitations to the workshop will be issued by October 15, 2013.  Papers (up to 25 pages in length) will be distributed to all participants one month before the event.  As this workshop will be interactive, we ask that all participants commit to reading the sent papers and arrive at Berkeley ready for discussion.

Stipends for travel expenses are available, although the workshop organizers encourage participants to apply for funding from their home universities to defray travel costs. All lodging and meals for the duration of the workshop will be covered.

Questions and/or applications can be sent to the co-organizers Sarah Cramsey (ABD in History, Univ. of California, Berkeley) and Molly Pucci (ABD in History, Stanford University) at the address:


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