Course goals

The seminar complements the general overview of historiography with a detailed discussion of historical debates, which applied the general paradigms of European or world history to the specific problems of Central Europe or more broadly speaking East-Central Europe. At the same time, the course also aims to show that the relationship between these larger patterns of historical research and regional historiography is far more complex than a “one-way traffic”: there are also several cases in which the specific interpretations of the history of this region gave rise to the formulation of a more general historical or theoretical problem. Combining readings from various subfields of historical studies (political history, social history, historical anthropology, cultural history, intellectual history), the course provides an insight into some of the national historiographical traditions, and also into using a trans-national approach to the study of the region. The seminar consist of general introductions to the individual subfields (provided sometimes with the cooperation of an invited colleague from Medieval Studies or History Depts. specialized in the particular issue), and the regular discussion of the assigned readings. The reading list also contains an indicative list of recommended literature. The students will be familiarized with these topics and obtain an overview of the different approaches of the history of our region.