Call for papers: Europe in the 20th century – An Asymmetric Europe

Version française

For its forthcoming participation in the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Poznan, Poland in 2020, the International Association for the Study of Contemporary Europe is organising three conferences on the theme : « Europe in the 20th century – An Asymmetric Europe ».

European history of the twentieth century has been characterised by an alternation between common European projects and a questioning of such projects, often vehemently, through alternative visions. To borrow an expression from an American president, the vicissitudes of the European continent’s history have led to a significant difference between the « Old Europe » and that which took shape at the end of the First World War, referred to either as « Central Europe » for some, « Eastern Europe » for others, even sometimes « East-Central » or « Danubian »  Europe. The divergences between these « two Europes », as Francis Delaisi first pointed out in the inter-war years, are striking and manifest themselves throughout the twentieth century. They are present in the Versailles system, and throughout the Hitlerian project for Europe. They are still present during the Cold War.

The conferences that will take place leading up to the 2020 International Congress of Historical Sciences intend to explore this asymmetry. Have these projects influenced interpretations of European history ? Did they present Europe as a homogeneous entity? Or as a differentiated entity? Which interpretation is most current in Western Europe ? And Eastern Europe ? The idea will be to cross-compare these different currents.

The first conference on this theme will take place in Moscow from 6-8 December 2018. It will be focussed on : « Ideologies during the Second World War».

This conference is organised around several questions. First it is interested in the Hitlerian project for Europe. National-socialist plans were different for West and East Europe. Their application in different European spaces demonstrates this differentiated vision of Europe. Integration in a Nazi Europe was equally variegated (incorporation here, occupation there or satellitisation). Several works exist on these aspects. In the context of this conference we wish to favour a comparative approach, which is often fruitful for historiography if one confronts narratives and interpretations. The different experiences in the East and West offer a wide variety of perspectives.

But it is equally important to question the European projects of the Allies, of governments in exile or resistance movements. There too asymmetry exists and the different contexts lead either to uniform projects or infra-regional projects for the organisation of Europe.

Paper proposals should be sent by the deadline of 8 May 2018 to

John Keiger / Sylvain SchirmannTomaz Schramm

Proposals should include the title of the paper, a summary of the argument in a maximun of 3500 characters. It should be accompanied by a short cv giving career, present occupation and a list of the author’s publications.

Proposals should be written in either French or English.

The selection panel will notify applicants of their success or failure by the end of June 2018.

A second conference will look at the asymmetry of the Versailles system. It will take place in Paris at the Scientific Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences from 20-22 June 2019. A call for papers will go out nearer the date.