Camilo Erlichman presents, together with Pablo del Hierro and Ferenc Laczó, reflections on “Reconceptualization and Renewal: On Writing Contemporary European History Today”. He is Assistant Professor at the Department of History, Maastricht University, where he heads the interdisciplinary research cluster on Democracy in Europe: Past and Present. Prior to joining Maastricht, he was Assistant Professor at Leiden University, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Amsterdam, and held visiting fellowships at Cologne, Bochum, and Oxford. His doctoral thesis on the British occupation of Germany won the British International History Group (BIHG) Thesis Prize. He works on the comparative and transnational political and social history of twentieth-century Europe and is currently running collaborative projects on the history of conceptions of social justice in twentieth-century Europe and on the history of gender and race in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Recent books include: Camilo Erlichman and Christopher Knowles (eds.), Transforming Occupation in the Western Zones of Germany: Politics, Everyday Life and Social Interactions, 1945-1955 (Bloomsbury, 2018).
Maciej Górny offers his thoughts on “The Fiction of Unity” in European Historiy. He is Deputy Director of the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History Polish Academy of Sciences. Between 2014 and 2019 he was editor-in-chief of Acta Poloniae Historica. His research interests are East Central Europe in the 19th and 20th century, history of historiography, discourses on race and the First World War. His latest publications include Science Embattled: Eastern European Intellectuals and the Great War (Paderborn 2019) and Vaterlandszeichner. Geografen und Grenzen im Zwischenkriegseuropa (Osnabrück 2019). Together with Włodzimierz Borodziej he authors a synthesis of World War I history in East Central Europe soon to be published in English translation.
Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir, Professor of women’s and gender history at the University of Iceland, asks “Which Europe belongs to Europe?”. Her published works concern women’s and gender history, biography, correspondence, and historiography. Recent works in English are: The unforeseeable narrative. Epistolary lives in nineteenth-century Iceland, in: The Palgrave Handbook of Auto/Biography (2020); Beyond the Centre: women in nineteenth-century Iceland and the grand narratives of European women’s and gender history, in:Women’s History Review 27/2 (2018); Gendering Icelandic Historiography,in:Nordic Historical Review/Revue d’Histoire Nordique 20 (2015); ‘Do Not Let Anyone See This Ugly Scrawling’: Literacy Practices and the Women’s Household at Hallfreðarstaðir 1817–1829, in: Life Writing 12/3 (2015). She is a co-editor of the anthology, Biography, Gender and History: Nordic Perspectives (2016) in which she also writes the chapter A Biography of Her Own.The Historical Narrative and Sigríður Pálsdóttir. Her latest book is Konur sem kjósa (2020), a co-authored work in Icelandic about the history of women voters in Iceland.
Pablo del Hierro presents, together with Camilo Erlichman and Ferenc Laczó, reflections on “Reconceptualization and Renewal: On Writing Contemporary European History Today”. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of History, Maastricht University. He obtained his Doctorate in the European University Institute. He specializes in international relations during the Cold War, with special emphasis on the Mediterranean area, and political history in the twentieth century, focusing on right wing movements and neo-fascism. Recent publications include: Pablo del Hierro (2021) “The End of the Affair: The International Dispute over the Deportation of Degrelle from Spain to Belgium, 1945–1946” in The International History Review, 1-20. Pablo del Hierro and Matteo Albanese, Transnational Fascism in the Twentieth Century. Spain, Italy and the Global Neo-Fascist Network, London: Bloomsbury, 2016. Pablo del Hierro, Spanish-Italian Relations and the Influence of the Major Powers 1943-1957, London, Palgrave, 2015.
Sandrine Kott develops a new perspective on “European Internationalism”. She is a full professor of Modern European History at the University of Geneva and visiting professor at New York University. She has widely published on the history of labor and social protection in France and Germany since the end of the nineteenth century as well as on power relations in countries of real socialism, in particular the German Democratic Republic. She has developed the transnational and global dimensions of each of her fields of expertise by taking advantage of the archives and resources of international organizations and particularly of the International Labor Organization. Among her last publications: Organiser le monde. Une autre histoire de la guerre froide, Paris, Le Seuil, 2021 ; (ed. with Kiran Patel), Nazism across Borders. The Social Policies of the Third Reich and their Global Appeal, Oxford University Press, 2018; (ed. with Michel Christian and Ondrej Matejka), Planning in Cold War Europe. Competition, Cooperation, circulation (1950s-1970s), Oldenburg, De Gruyter, 2018; Sozialstaat und Gesellschaft. Das deutsche Kaiserreich in Europa, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2014.
Ferenc Laczó presents, together with Pablo del Hierro and Camilo Erlichman, reflections on “Reconceptualization and Renewal: On Writing Contemporary European History Today”. He is a political and intellectual historian and an assistant professor with tenure at the Department of History, Maastricht University. He has studied and held fellowships in Berlin, Bielefeld, Budapest, Los Angeles, Utrecht, Vienna and Washington, DC. He received his PhD from the Central European University in Budapest in 2011. Prior to Maastricht University, he was employed at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena and acted as guest lecturer at the University of Basel. He is the author of several books, including Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide. An Intellectual History, 1929-1948 (Brill, 2016) and co-editor, most recently, (with Włodzimierz Borodziej and Joachim von Puttkamer) of The Routledge History Handbook of Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. Volume 3: Intellectual Horizons (London: Routledge, 2020) and (with Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič) of The Legacy of Division. East and West after 1989 (Budapest-Vienna: CEU Press-Eurozine, 2020). His writings have appeared in twelve languages and been reviewed in more than thirty publications.
Xosé Manoel Núñez Seixas develops an argument “On weak and strong nation-building. European national histories seen from their margins”. He is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. He obtained his PhD from the European University Institute (Florence), and between 2012 and 2017, he also taught at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Núñez Seixas specializes in 19th and 20th century national and regional identities in Spain and Europe, in such publications as Entre Ginebra y Berlín. La cuestión de las minorías nacionales y la política internacional en Europa (1914-1939) (2001) or Movimientos nacionalistas en Europa. Siglo XX (1998, 2nd. ed. 2004). He has published several volumes in the field of Iberian Studies and focuses on questions of state and substate nationalism, political organization, and democracy in the Iberian Peninsula. He has also adopted comparative approaches to these historical, nationalist issues and has worked on Iberian exiles: O soño da Galiza ideal. Estudos sobre exiliados e emigrantes galegos (2016), Metaphors of Spain. Representations of Spanish national identity in the twentieth century (2017, co-edited with J. Moreno) and Patriotas transnacionales. Estudios sobre nacionalismos y transferencias culturales en el siglo XX (2019).
Giovanni Orsina opens EuropeDebate’s second round with a contribution on “Europeripheralism”. He is professor of Contemporary History and dean of the School of Government at LUISS University, Rome. He is a founding member and currently the vice-president of the Association for Political History. His research interests concern the political history of Italy and Europe in the twentieth century, with a focus on liberalism and democracy. Among his latest publications: La democrazia del narcisismo. Breve storia dell’antipolitica (2018); Il berlusconismo nella storia d’Italia (2013; English translation, 2014; French translation, 2018); Political Enemies in Republican Italy (2017, edited with Marco Gervasoni); European Political Cultures and the European Integration Process (2015, edited with Lucia Bonfreschi and Antonio Varsori).
Dubravka Stojanović discusses “The Yugoslav experience as a lesson and alarm”. She is a professor at the History Department, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbia. She teaches contemporary European history and global history. Her field of interest and research are processes of modernization and Europaization in South East Europe, history of ideas, processes s of democratization in Serbia, history of urbanization, history of Belgrade, social history, relation history-memory, presentations of history in history textbooks. She had published nine books on those issues. In 2004 she had received the prestigious Belgrade City Award for Social Sciences for the book Srbija i demokratija 1903-1914. In 2011 she had received Peace Prize from Belgrade Center for Peace and Democracy for her engagement in reconciliation process through history teaching in South East Europe. In 2012 she had received the price Winning of Freedom for women engaged in human rights activism. She has received the French decoration Chevalier de l’ Ordre national du Merite.
Efi Avdela offers her thoughts on “The Quest for a (Utopian?) European History”. She is Professor Emerita of Contemporary History at the Department of History & Archaeology of the University of Crete. Her research interests concern the social and cultural history of the twentieth century, with emphasis on gender, feminism, crime, violence and criminal justice, youth, sexuality and voluntary associations. She has coordinated several collective research projects. Among her latest publications are, with Kostis Gotsinas, Despo Kritsotaki and Dimitra Vassiliadou, From Virginity to Orgams: Marriage and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Greek, in: Journal of Family History (2020), 1-19; When Juvenile Delinquency became an International Post-War Concern. The United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Place of Greece, Vienna 2019; with Thomas Gallant, Nikolaos Papadogiannis, Leda Papastefanaki &Polymeris Voglis, The social history of modern Greece: a roundtable, in: Social History, 43/1 (2018), 105-125; «Νέοι εν κινδύνω». Επιτήρηση, αναμόρφωση και δικαιοσύνη ανηλίκων μετά τον πόλεμο [‘Youth in danger.’ Surveillance, reformation and juvenile justice after the war], Athens 2013.
Martin Conway develops an argument about “The Crisis of European History”. He is Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Oxford, and is a fellow of Balliol College. He has published a number of books on aspects of the history of mid-twentieth-century Europe, including: Collaboration in Belgium. Léon Degrelle and the Rexist Movement 1940–44, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993; The Sorrows of Belgium. Liberation and Political Reconstruction 1944-47, Oxford University Press, 2012. His most recent books are: Ed. with Pieter Lagrou and Henry Rousso, Europe’s Postwar Periods – 1989, 1945, 1918, Bloomsbury, 2019; Western Europe’s Democratic Age 1945-68, Princeton University Press, 2020.
Pepijn Corduwener presents ideas for the future of European history in his contribution: “Fostering a Transnational Dialogue About Contemporary Challenges: A Research Note on Writing European History Today”. He is an Assistant Professor at the History Department of Utrecht University. He is interested in the study of ideas and practices of democracy and studies this topic both from a historical and contemporary perspective. In The Problem of Democracy in Postwar Europe, Routledge, 2017, and related articles in among others the Historical Journal, he studied the establishment of a consensus on the direction of postwar democratic reforms. The dissertation on which the monograph was based was awarded the highly prestigious Dissertation Prize of the Erasmus Foundation (guarantor King William Alexander of the Netherlands). Additionally, he published several articles on the relationship between democracy and populism, both from a historical perspective (Contemporary European History) and a political science angle (European Political Science); and co-edited a volume, 1989 and the West. Western Europe since the end of the Cold War on post-1989 Western European history, Routledge, 2019.
Laura Downs contributes a perspective on doing European history shaped by her experiences in the most European of Historical Institutes, the EUI Florence. She is Professor in the Department of History and Civilization at the EUI, where she holds the chair in the History of Gender and Sexuality, and Directrice d’études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of Manufacturing Inequality: Gender division in the French and British metalworking industries, 1914-1939 (Ithaca & London, 1995), which won the Pinckney Prize for the best book in French History written by a North American; Childhood in the Promised Land: Working-class movements and the colonies de vacances in France, 1880-1960 (Durham & London, 2002); Writing Gender History (3rd edition, revised and expanded, forthcoming, London, 2020); Histoire des colonies de vacances de 1880 à nos jours (Paris, 2009); and, with Stéphane Gerson, Why France? American Historians Reflect on their Enduring Fascination (Ithaca & London, 2006). In March 2020, she received an ERC Advanced Grant for her project “Social Politics in European Borderlands, 1870s-1990s: A Comparative and Transnational Study” (SOCIOBORD).
Pasi Ihalainen analyses “European History as a Nationalist and Post-Nationalist Project”. He is Professor of Comparative European History at the Department of History and Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He has also worked as a visiting professor at the Universities of Uppsala, Freiburg, Gothenburg and Leiden. He has published widely on the history of political discourse, nationalism, democracy and parliamentarism since the eighteenth century, applying comparative and transnational perspectives. He is currently working on the conceptual history of internationalisms and on the history of the concept of ‘politician’ and is preparing a study combining distant and close reading to analyse parliamentary speaking in several European countries. ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5468-4829
Jitka Malečková provides a new perspective “On the Margins of European History”. She is a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Charles University in Prague. She specializes in modern Ottoman history and 19th-century East Central Europe, gender and nationalism, terrorism, and relations between Europe and the Ottoman Empire and has published extensively on these subjects. Her recent publications include a book in Czech on Ottoman travel accounts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, From Istanbul to the End of the World (Z Istanbulu až na konec světa: osmanské cestopisy z přelomu 19. a 20. století, with Petr Kučera, Prague: Academia, 2019). In her new book, “The Turk” in the Czech Imagination (1870s-1923), Leiden: Brill, she examines Czechs’ views of the Turks in the last half century of the existence of the Ottoman Empire.
Alexander M. Semyonov discusses “Provincializing Europe, De-centering Europe, Hybridizing Europe”. He is Professor of History, Chair of the Department of History, and Director of the Centre for Historical Research at the HSE University in St. Petersburg where he teaches Russian and Soviet history, as well as global and comparative history of empires. He is part of the Joint Doctoral Program “Global History of Empires” (University of Turin and HSE University). Semyonov is a co-founder and co-editor of Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post Soviet Space and co-editor with Ronald Suny of a book series “Imperial Transformations” (Routledge). He edited and authored: New Imperial History of the Post-Soviet Space (Kazan: Center for the Study of Empire and Nationalism, 2004), in Russian; Empire Speaks Out: Languages of Rationalization and Self-Description in the Russian Empire, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2009; New Imperial History of Northern Eurasia, 2 vols., Kazan: Ab Imperio, 2017, in Russian; Russian Liberalism in Imperial Context, Matthew Fitzpatrick, ed., Liberal Imperialism, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Sonja Levsen is a Research Fellow at the University of Freiburg. Her research focuses on 19th and 20th century Europe in transnational and comparative perspectives. She is particularly interested in the intersection of the history of democracy with fields such as the history of sexuality, education, youth and violence. Among her recent publications are: Authority and Democracy in Postwar France and West Germany (1945-1968), in: Journal of Modern History 89/4 (2017), pp. 812-850; Autorität und Demokratie. Eine Kulturgeschichte des Erziehungswandels in Westdeutschland und Frankreich, 1945-1975, Göttingen 2019; Sexualität und Politik um 1968. Eine transnationale Geschichte?, in: Journal of Modern European History 17/1 (2019), pp. 98-115; Wo liegt die Bundesrepublik? Vergleichende Perspektiven auf die westdeutsche Geschichte (ed. with C. Torp), Göttingen 2016.
Jörg Requate is Professor of the History of Western Europe at the University of Kassel. His fields of research mainly concern the European history of the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the history of the media and the public sphere, the history of justice and the development of democracy as well as the history of political violence and terrorism. Among his most important publications: Journalismus als Beruf. Die Entstehung des Journalistenberufs im 19. Jahrhundert Deutschland im internationalen Vergleich, Göttingen 1995; Frankreich nach 1945, Göttingen 2011; (Ed. with Martin Schulze Wessel ) Europäische Öffentlichkeit. Transnationale Kommunikation seit dem 18. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt a.M. 2002; (Ed. with K. Weinhauer and H.-G. Haupt), Terrorismus und Innere Sicherheit in der Bundesrepublik der 1970er Jahre, Frankfurt a.M. 2006.