Representations of the Past. The Writing of National Histories in Europe

Description: "The project will bring together the histories of Western and Eastern Europe in a concerted attempt to bridge the historiographical divide fostered by the Cold War division of the continent. Methodologically, the project unites cultural transfer and comparative approaches, which are the most appropriate means for exploring the complex relationship between national historiographies and national historical cultures in Europe. The last decade has witnessed an acceleration of projects involving comparative and cultural transfer approaches. Now is the time to bring those diverse attempts together in a Europe-wide research programme.”


Editor: [Programme Chair] Stefan Berger

Distributor: Universität Leipzig, DE

Das Europa der Diktatur - Wirtschaftskontrolle und Recht / Europe under Dictatorship - Economic Control and Law

Description: "The short twentieth century (E. Hobsbawm), which began with the outbreak of the First World War and ended in the nineties with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and its power block, brought about in Europe (much more than in North America) a fundamental breach with the economic and value system of individualistic liberalism, both as it had been conceived at a theoretical level and as it was anchored in social reality, albeit with results which differed from country to country. In view of a widely held conviction of the injustice of the economically liberal model of society, a broadly based opposition already existed at the end of the 19th century. The spectrum of this opposition ranged from a reactionary, socio-romantic idealisation of the old pre-industrial society, to radical conceptions of modern industrial solidarity. The common denominator of this heterogeneous rejection of economic liberalism, apart from a general search for a post-individual, anti-capitalistic value system, can be isolated in the objective of setting the politics of "intervention", "control", "command", "organisation" and "planning" at the very centre of society and thus of abolishing the self-dynamic of an "unjust" and "irresponsible" economic system."


Editor: [Coordination] Bender, Gerd; Kiesow, Rainer Maria

Distributor: Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte: Frankfurt am Main, DE

The Writings of Contemporary History Today

Description : This seminar will compare the perspectives of contemporary history in different intellectual, scientific, and linguistic contexts. Whatever one calls it – “histoire du temps présent” or ”histoire immédiate” (instant history), “Neueste geschichte” or “Zeitgeschichte”, “historia del presente”, “historia actual” or “historia vivida” or simply contemporary history – this is the only part of historiography which constantly provokes conflicts about its definition, its boundaries, even its legitimacy, disputes which doesn’t occur, at least not with the same intensity, for ancient, medieval or modern history. The series intends to understand the diverse ways to define contemporary history, but overall to analyze the real practices, the research topics, the cultural contexts into which historians all over the world try to understand today their “own” time”.