CfP: National Minorities in the Soviet bloc after 1945

Lithuanian Institute of History (Vilnius)National Minorities in the Soviet bloc after 1945

Deadline: February 28th, 2014

The Lithuanian Institute of History (Vilnius), the Herder-Institut (Marburg) and the Nordost-Institut (IKGN e.V., Lüneburg) invite young researchers to participate in the international conference National Minorities in the Soviet bloc after 1945 to be held in Vilnius on October 22-24, 2014.

A great deal of attention has been paid in the past to how Soviet ethno-federalism was formed and functioned. Many so-called post-revisionist historians (T. Martin, R. Sunny, Y. Slezkin and others) have been central in this trend. They asked questions such as how ”the centre” encouraged the formation of non-Russian national identities on the periphery of the Soviet Union, what the impact of this policy was in 1920s, and why this policy was abandoned.

There has been less interest with regard to nationality policy in the last decade of Stalinism and the post-Stalinist period. Until recently, little research has been done on relations between “centre” and “republics”, between titular nations and minorities, the so-called process of Russification etc in this period. One more aspect which will be addressed in the conference will be how the outcome of WWII affected the situation of different minority national groups (Germans in Latvia and Estonia; Poles in Lithuania, Belarus or Ukraine, etc.). These questions are relevant not only to the Soviet Union but also to other countries in the Soviet Bloc and will be addressed in the conference.

The three organising institutions, the Lithuanian Institute of History (Vilnius), the Herder-Institut (Marburg), the Nordost-Institut (IKGN e.V., Lüneburg), invite up to 15 young scholars (up to the age of 35) from various disciplines to discuss their projects.

The organisers of the upcoming conference cordially invite young scholars to present and discuss their case studies. Possible papers could include, for example, topics like:

–       Soviet policy in regard to ethnic minorities during and after Stalinism

–  Poles in Lithuania, Lithuanians in Poland etc. and their representations and interdependencies

–       Russification in the periphery of the Soviet Union

–       The Sorbs in the GDR

–       Ethnic minorities in ‘Soviet’ literature

–       Minorities and dissident movements

Any proposal in these and other themes relevant to the topic of the conference is highly welcome. Keynote speakers from the region and other European countries will provide an introduction to the topic. Individual papers should be 25 minutes long with 20 minutes for discussion. The working language will be English.

Travel costs (only within Europe) as well as accommodation will be paid for by the organisers.

Proposals of 300 words or less with a short biography of the presenter and their area of research should be submitted by February 28th, 2014 to

Dr. Heidi Hein-Kircher

Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung – Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Gisonenweg 5-7

D 35037 Marburg


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