Transnational Biographies. Destinies at the Crossroads throughout the XX Century
Ravaged by two World Wars, consumed by totalitarian ideologies and regimes, and frozen for almost fifty years within a geopolitical tension between two worldwide military blocks, the XX century was the scene of fluctuating borders and volatile existences. Forged on the ruins of the former empires, nations were subsequently dismantled by wars, and (eventually) built again. Individuals were born in one country, lived their lives in another, and died in yet another one, sometimes even without ever leaving their hometown. Far more impressive is the phenomenon of cross border migration generated by all these hazards and misfortunes of the previous century. Individuals flew to escape political repression, ethnic resentment, race hatred, and/or confession antagonisms. Others sought adventure, the illusions of a better society and a nondiscriminatory world, and were driven by the idea of a decisive and inevitable revolution. Existences became thus intricate and intertwined with the different political, cultural, and social milieus it interacted with. Moreover, the various, cross-border, and transnational contexts in which the biographies evolved altered and influenced existences, while also being subject to permanent (re)constructions and manipulation. All these evolutions transformed the individual’s identity and molded their inner self towards internationalization, adjusting their existence to a life that transcended citizenship, race, ethnicity, confession, and borders.
This call for papers seeks methodological and case-study perspectives on XX century biographies, interpreted within a framework of cross-national/transnational connections, surpassing the nation-centered apprehension of history. The contributions should acknowledge and interpret destinies and existences as subjected to transnational spaces and structures, while considering actors as non-state (or multi-state) entities. Moreover, we seek contributions that surpass the “center-periphery” paradigm, focusing on a “horizontal” approach, while also reversing the spotlight from diplomatic and political history towards the social and cultural dimension of it.
Editors welcome contributions from different fields of research: history, political science, cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, gender studies or any other related areas of interest.
Topics may address (but are not limited to) the following aspects:
- methodological issues of reconstructing biographies
- politicization of ordinary lives due to historical contexts
- biographies at the intersection of micro and macro-history
- border shifting and the question of citizenship
- gendered subjectivity
- reconstruction and reinterpretations of the self within different ideological paradigms
- Comintern and formal/informal networks it had generated
- destinies of professional revolutionaries
- Eurocommunism and transnationalism
- Scientific and cultural exchanges across the Iron Curtain
Contributors are kindly asked to write abstracts (English, French or German) that do not exceed 500 words.
Deadline: 2nd of May 2020.
You may submit your proposals at:
Selected authors will be notified by the 10th of May 2020.
The deadline for the final draft of the paper is the 1st of September 2020.
The academic journal History of Communism in Europe is edited by The Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile. It is a journal open to all inquiries that have the objectivity, complexity and sophistication required by any research on the issue of communism, as well as on the different aspects of totalitarianisms of 20th Century Europe. These scholarly investigations must remain an interdisciplinary enterprise, in which raw data and refined concepts help us understand the subtle dynamics of any given phenomenon.