Studies of Eastern Europe has been habitually grounded in dominant occidental-centric narratives and theories which conceive the region as for long isolated and sealed-off from other world regions, as captured in a subordinate geopolitical position, and as latecomer in modern history. This seminar develops an alternative perspective by looking at Eastern Europe as a globally connected region which emerges from actors’ actions. We will follow the multiple ways in which Eastern European societies were and are positioning themselves in and towards global processes. Our focus is on different fields in which Eastern Europeans have been interacting and influencing the global sphere, as well as they have been influenced, including economic entanglements, participation in international law and global governance, interactions in the cultural and educational domains, as well as in the area of environmental policies and climate change. We concentrate on the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
We will accordingly introduce actor-based approaches and heuristic tools from transregional studies, which give insights into transfers between regions, the formation and transformations of regions by these interactions as well as region-transcending processes. That way participants will not only learn to see Eastern Europe as a global region but will acquire skills and tools for studying other regions’ connectedness.
Please note that in all sessions on the one hand selected secondary readings will be discussed (which will be available on moodle and which all participants are expected to read) while on the other hand, lecturers will present material from their own studies and share reflections on how to get a grip on the Eastern Europe as a globally connected regions in regard to their field of expertise. This is due to the fact that research seminar also serves to prepare the writing of textbook “Eastern Europe – Global Area” in which all lecturer take part in.
- The participants prepare for discussions during the weekly sessions based on selected readings which will be made available in moodle.
- They will write a book report on one of the books that are on the reading list, of about 2000 words (including footnoting), to be submitted at the end of the term.