Ambivalent Legacies: Memory and Amnesia in Post-Habsburg and
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
26-28 April 2017
Deadline : 1 December 2016
The empires that once defined the political geography of Europe are no more.
One cannot meet a Prussian, Romanov, Habsburg, or Ottoman today; these dusty
categories of affiliation have ceded to myriad national identities. Yet it
would be mistaken to assume that Europe’s bygone empires have become mere
relics of history. Imperial pasts continue to inspire nostalgia,
identification, pride, anxiety, skepticism, and disdain in the present. The
afterlives of empires as objects of memory exceed historical knowledge,
precisely because these afterlives shape and recast the present and the
Simultaneously, present- and future-oriented imperatives accentuate imperial
pasts in selective ways, yielding new configurations of post-imperial amnesia
as well as memory.
Our conference, “Ambivalent Legacies: Memory and Amnesia in Post-Habsburg and
Post-Ottoman Cities,” aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of
scholars working on post-imperial legacies, especially in relation to eight
specific cities: Vienna, Istanbul, Budapest, Sarajevo, Trieste, Thessaloniki,
Zagreb, and Belgrade. We seek contributions from historians, sociologists,
anthropologists, geographers, and scholars of comparative literature and
architecture—among others—that pursue the politics and cultures of memory
in one or more of our eight cities. Paper proposals should speak to two
general, interrelated questions:
What are the effects of imperial legacies on contemporary cities?
and How do present-day urban processes reshape the forms of post-imperial
memory and forgetting?
The conference will convene at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of
Religious and Ethnic Diversity from April 26th to 28th, 2017. Conference
participants will be provided with lodging and will be reimbursed for their
travel. Please send abstracts of 250 words, along with a brief academic
biography, to Marina Cziesielsky at Cziesielsky@mmg.mpg.de by December 1st,