Summer School on 20th Century History


Post-Conflict Constellations: Institutionalization of Knowledge and Memory in Central and Southeastern Europe

The connection of the analysis of conflicts and post-conflict developments with the study of transnational networks surmounting boundaries of conflict only at a first superficial glance seem to contradict each other. Firstly, transnational research of contacts, transfers and entanglements acknowledges the systematical importance of aspects of demarcations and analyzing such phenomena in conflicts or in situations after conflicts. The establishment of such an approach focusing on Europe and war is recently in process.

Secondly, for the region here in focus, the simultaneity of processes of entanglements and disentanglements, of delineations and transfers is a crucial feature for Central and Southeastern Europe. Particularly since the beginning of the 19th century in the process of gradual change from imperial to national state orders, as well as in in the quest for new models of societal order in the 20th century this was characteristic for both regions.

Both aspects (knowledge and memory) are closely interrelated: knowledge is regularly institutionalized in form of learned societies, academies, research institutes and universities. These institutions play a crucial role in the establishment of institutions of remembrance. The first mentioned are not the exclusive protagonists in such processes of remembrances, but often the actors within both spheres are identical: in many cases it has become visible, how members of learned societies and academics influence processes of remembrance. It should be pointed out that here the dimension of oblivion or suppression of remembrance is of similar importance.