Dr. Heidi Hein-Kircher
The development of modern societies is in most cases connected with urbanization. The latter has often been interpreted as an essential part of modernization and been contrasted to the traditional rural life. And yet, the urban-rural divide has not remained uncontested. On the one hand, city and countryside are interdependent. The urban markets are an important factor in rural live, just as the cities depend on agricultural production in order to survive. On the other hand, migration from the villages to the cities created new connections between urban and rural life. Also, processes of industrialization can have their counterpart in the development of agriculture industries. Therefore, in many cases it seems more adequate to speak of blurred boundaries between the city and the countryside.
The workshop aims at providing a more differentiated picture of the relation between urban and rural developments in Eastern Europe in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. First of all, it provides a platform to discuss a wide range of social, cultural and economic interpretations of what is “urban”, what is “rural” in this region. Hereby, we are also interested in papers on the concepts and representations of the city and the countryside that shaped the public discourse as well as the state politics. Simultaneously, the workshop is also open to research on negative concepts of urbanization and assessments of idealized ruralization. Finally, we are interested in case studies dealing with modes of relations and interaction between the city and the countryside. These investigations can cover a big range of topics and methodological approaches, including research on the impact on infrastructure, migration, social relations or economic developments.
The three organising institutions, the Institute of Lithuanian History (Vilnius), the Herder-Institut (Marburg), the Nordost-Institut (IKGN e.V., Lüneburg), invite up to 15 young scholars (up to the age of 35) from various disciplines to discuss their projects.
Any proposal in these and other themes relevant to the topic of the conference is highly welcome. Keynote speakers from the region and other European countries will provide an introduction to the topic. Individual papers should be max. 25 minutes long with 20 minutes for discussion. The working language will be English.
Travel costs (only within Europe) as well as accommodation will be paid by the organisers.
Proposals of 300 words or less with a short biography of the presenter and their area of research should be submitted in a word document by January 31st, 2016 to: