In the successor states of the Habsburg Empire, official narratives of history tended to downplay the imperial context and highlight the continuous, distinct history of the nation. Nevertheless, while 1918 was undoubtedly a watershed moment, it did not suddenly obliterate the shared past. The built and artistic heritage of the Empire was still present and had to be dealt with, whether through appropriation, destruction, or reinterpretation. The nationalities of the former Empire were in constant interaction with each other, whether politically allied or opposed, and they still lived together in multiethnic territories such as Slovakia or Transylvania. Commemorations and representations of the national past were conceived with an eye on the ‘others’. Remembrance was polyphonic, with different groups forming their own narratives, even if these were not always officially recognised.
The seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories will examine how visual culture in interwar central Europe engaged with the shared imperial past. It will feature papers on topics ranging from the postwar fate of pre-1918 public monuments and built heritage to representations of the past in film, and from commemorations of war to idealised depictions of rural life.
The events will take place on Zoom, every fortnight starting on 21 September 2021 and concluding on 14 December 2021. The sessions will begin at 18.00 CET.
The seminars are free to attend, but you need to register. Click here for the registration form.
Registered participants will receive a Zoom link before each event. If you are having problems with the registration or the link, please email Jana Hájková at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The individual sessions will be announced separately via Facebook/Twitter and our website. The papers will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel a few days after each event.
21 September 2021 – Remembering the Empire
Robert Dassanowsky (University of Colorado)
A Persistence of Vision: Re-Presenting Vienna’s Imperial Forum after 1917
Béla Rásky (Wiesenthal Institute, Vienna)
Remembering and Forgetting the Habsburg Empire in Austria and Hungary, 1918–2000: A Comparison
Moderator: Nóra Veszprémi (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)
5 October 2021 – Keynote Lecture
Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois University)
Remembering the World War: The Battle of Zborov, the Czechs, and their Two-Tailed Lion
19 October 2021 – The Heritage of Austria-Hungary in Interwar Romania
Cosmin Minea (New Europe College, Bucharest)
Restorations and Revival of Historical Monuments in Interwar Romania
Gábor Egry (Institute of Political History, Budapest)
Mysteries from the Firefighter Storeroom: Public Art, Nationalizing State(s) and Local Identities in Post-WWI Transylvania
Moderator: Marta Filipová (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)
2 November 2021 – Commemorations of War
Michal Cáp (Charles University, Prague) and Vojtěch Kessler (Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
The Austro-Prussian War between Czech Historiography, Historical Consciousness and Local Commemorations
Kamil Ruszała (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)
Imperial Monuments in Postimperial Space: WW1 Military Cemeteries in West Galicia
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska (Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) and Izabela Mrzygłód (University of Warsaw)
“The one who is a million…”: The Figure of the Unknown Soldier in Poland and Czechoslovakia during the Interwar Period
Moderator: Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois University)
16 November – Preserving and TRansforming the Past in Interwar Italy
Klaus Tragbar (University of Innsbruck)
The Station and the Landscape: Two (Different) Buildings by Angiolo Mazzoni
Jelena Barić (Independent researcher, Opatija)
The Remains of the Imperial Past in Italian Territory in the Interwar Period: Opatija’s Tourist Infrastructure during Italian Governance
Moderator: Matthew Rampley (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)
30 November – Memories of the Landscape and its People
Heidi Cook (Truman State University, Kirksville)
Maksimilijan Vanka’s So That Our Fields May Be Fertile from Habsburg Empire to Croatian Nation
Bohdan Shumylovych (Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv)
Three Films from the Three Hills: Interwar Polish and Soviet Cinematic Imagination about the Carpathian Mountains
Nóra Veszprémi (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)
From Transylvania to London via the Great Plains: Nostalgia and Radicalism in György (George) Buday’s Images of Folk Traditions
Moderator: Julia Secklehner (Masaryk University, Brno – CRAACE)
14 December – Contemporary Artists and the Contested Past
Szabolcs KissPál (University of Fine Arts, Budapest)
Martin Piaček (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava)
in conversation with
Edit András (Central European University, Vienna)
This series of events is organised as part of a project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 786314).