Researching in the Carpathians

Researching in the Carpathians

25. 03. 2022

CfP, Prague, 13-14 October 2022

Researching (in) the Carpathians

Science and Politics in the Carpathians, ca. 1848-1939.

Prague, Czech Academy of Sciences, October 13-14, 2022.

The Carpathians form a long-stretched mountain arc that historically separated different regions and states in Eastern and Central Europe. As a peripheral border region, distinctive by its multi-ethnic character, the Carpathians presented a challenging area both for the imperial Austria-Hungary and its interwar successor states. Already since the early 19th century, individual parts of the mountain range and its populations had been put onto mental maps of different, often competing agents, claiming the region part of their imagined national territories. The Carpathians thus rightly turned out to be a stimulating space to research EastCentral-European nationalisms in the last decades. Our workshop aims at continuing these discussions, while opening new research questions and avenues for scientific collaboration. We want to address two issues in particular:

Even though in the last years, the research on Carpathians went by and large transnational, there is still little discussion between scholars working on the history of the Galician/PolishUkrainian side and the Hungarian/Czechoslovak Carpathians. The first goal of the workshop hence is to start discussions between respective scholars and encourage more comparative, transnational and transregional research in the field. Secondly, we are suggesting histories of knowledge production in the region as an approach which is suitable to inspire transdisciplinary discussions and as a convenient meeting point for scholars working on different subregions of the Carpathians. Science presents a quintessentially transnational endeavour, which was, nevertheless, marked also by political struggles and contest, esp. in border regions claimed by different states and/or nation movements. At the same time, the fields of science and knowledge-production open the way to connect / confront the issue of nationalism with that of governance and modernization and thus enrich the existing literature on the region.

In line with these considerations, we are welcoming contributions that would focus on knowledge-production in/about the Carpathians while addressing its political dimensions, esp. links to different nation- and state-building projects, resp. modernization projects/civilizing missions undertaken in the region. We are particularly interested in papers that consider transnational connections and/or attempt at cross-regional comparisons. The workshop also aims at interdisciplinary discussions. Scholars of all disciplinary backgrounds are kindly welcomed.

Presentations may address following issues:

  • Institutions and infrastructures of science and knowledge-production in the region
  • Individual scientific projects, expeditions, publications
  • Scientific collaborations across the region (transnational and transregional research projects, international congresses)
  • Knowledge production as part of governance
  • Popular science (local scholarly societies, reading halls)
  • Presentation of science to the public (exhibitions, museums)
  • Science and development of modern industries (tourism, exploitation of natural resources)
  • Other transdisciplinary approaches to knowledge on the Carpathians

Abstract submission:

Submit a max. 300 words abstract and a short bio note by May 15 to both and

Notification about accepted papers by the end of May.

Participants will be provided with accommodation in Prague during the workshop. The travel costs of international participants can be reimbursed up to 120€.

There is no conference fee. The workshop is jointly organized by the Institute of Ethnology, the Institute of History and the Institute of the Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Lumina quaeruntur project "'Images of science' in Czechoslovakia 1918-1945-1968," Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Conference venue: Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 (Ústav pro českou literaturu).

Filip Herza, Martin Rohde, Michal Vašíček