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.