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Total learning: 15 lessons Time: 1 semester

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Week 2. Entangled Histories in Eastern Europe: Transfers, Emulation, and Conflict in the Early 20th Century

This class will deal – critically and comparatively – with the concept / model of ‘entangled history’ and its possible applications to Eastern Europe. As it was originally devised by French and German academics – and for Western European academic ‘consumption,’ – its effectiveness as an analytical tool for the European ‘East’ will be addressed. Building on the cases of South-Eastern Europe (the ‘Balkans’), Russo-German ‘entanglements’ in the 20th century and the comparative study of violence from a long-term perspective, this class will also focus on some alternative and complementary models, i.e.: trans-national history, history of transfers and the issue of ‘continuity vs. rupture’ in the early 20th century. The readings also dwell on the problem of center-periphery relations, problematizing the concepts as such and attempting to differentiate between various European ‘centers’ and ‘peripheries’ before and during World War I. While the war was undoubtedly an ‘inflection point,’ the changes and transformations occurring between 1905 and 1921/23 were gradual and profound, being accelerated and radicalized by the world conflagration. Setting the stage for the remainder of the course, this class will also show how “Russia’s specific post-1905 domestic convulsions catalytically intersected with the overall European crisis of 1914–24”. (Holquist).

Readings:

  • Daskalov and Mishkova, Entangled Histories of the Balkans, Volume 2, chapter 1 (“Forms without Substance”: Debates on the Transfer of Western Models to the Balkans), 1-97.
  • David-Fox et al., Fascination and Enmity, chapter 1 (Introduction: Entangled Histories in the Age of Extremes), 1-12.
  • Holquist, “Violent Russia, Deadly Marxism?”, Kritika, Volume 4, Nr. 3 (Summer 2003), 627-652.