The casual hiker, walking through the hills of western Slovakia, will be astonished if they walk to the top of Bradlo Hill, 543 metres above sea level, to encounter a large, terraced, stone structure, consisting of a square platform, measuring 93 by 62 metres, supporting a second platform, 45 by 32 metres, on top of which is a pyramidal form, topped by sarcophagus, with 12 metre-tall obelisks on each corner. Its monumental scale and the rusticated nature of the stonework might lead the uninformed visitor to imagine they had stumbled across some ancient temple, except for the lettering around the sarcophagus, which reads: ‘The liberated Czechoslovak nation to a great son / Czechoslovak minister and general Dr. Milan R. Štefánik, 21 July 1880 – 4 May 1919 / He perished in an aircrash on 4 May 1919 near Bratislava / With him [were] the royal Italian sergeant U[mberto] Merlino and private. G[abriel] Aggiunti’ (Veľkému synovi oslobodený národ československý / Čs. minister a generál Dr. Milan R. Štefánik + 21. júla 1880 4. mája 1919 / S ním kráľ. taliansky serg. U. Merlino a Sol. G. Aggiunti / Zahynul pádom lietadla dňa 4. mája 1919 pri Bratislave).
Contemporary Artists and the Contested Past – National Histories, Imperial Memories
The concluding event of our seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at
18.00 CET on 14 December 2021
on Zoom, featuring the artists
Szabolcs KissPál (Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Budapest)
Martin Piaček (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava)
in conversation with
Edit András (Central European University, Vienna)
The Heritage of Austria-Hungary in Interwar Romania – National Histories, Imperial Memories Session 2
Session 2 of our online seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at
18.00 CET on 19 October 2021
on Zoom, featuring papers by
Cosmin Minea (Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zurich)
Gábor Egry (Institute of Political History, Budapest)
Keynote lecture: Nancy Wingfield on The Battle of Zborov, the Czechs, and their Two-Tailed Lion
The keynote lecture of our seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at
18.00 CET on 5 October 2021
Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois University)
Remembering the World War: The Battle of Zborov, the Czechs, and their Two-Tailed Lion
National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe
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.