The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in European memory and historiography. Conference panel at the 3rd International Congress of Polish History

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in European memory and historiography. Conference panel at the 3rd International Congress of Polish History

Organisers of the Congress: Polish Historical Society, Krakow Branch Institute of History, Jagiellonian University in Krakow; Institute of History and Archiving, Pedagogical University in Krakow; Organisers of the panel: Dr Gregor Feindt (Leibniz Institute European History, Mainz / University of Bremen), Dr Marcin Jarząbek (Jagiellonian University in Krakow)
Jagiellonian University
Vom - Bis
11.10.2017 - 14.10.2017
Jarząbek, Marcin/ Feindt, Gregor

The Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita) has found no place in the heart of European culture or politics, and lacks representation in European memory and historiography. However, the Rzeczpospolita appears in manifold historical narratives as an important second-line component, thus revealing the manifold relations of the country with other European spaces. This panel at the International Congress of Polish History aims at reevaluating that (non)existence of the Commonwealth in thinking about the past from a European perspective and, therefore, shedding new light on such concealed references to Poland-Lithuania.
The 3rd International Congress of Polish History Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. History. Heritage. Memory will take place in October 2017 in Krakow and brings together scholars from all over the world discussing current research problems and opportunities in the Early Modern history of Central Eastern Europe. We would like to invite scholars working on European collective memories, memory policies, and historiographies to contribute to the planned panel The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the European cultural memory and historiography and engage in a vivid debate about mnemonic and historiographic representations of Early-Modern Poland-Lithuania in Europe.
In order to study the place of Early Modern Poland-Lithuania in European memory, we will begin with a critical evaluation of how memory is framed as European, of the rules and mechanisms of such interpretations, and their core narratives. Our main focus will lie on case studies and example of how the Early Modern Rzeczpospolita is placed in such European frames.
We are inviting papers that discuss different perspectives on both the European past and the past of the Rzeczpospolita. This may include memory figurations from the Early Modern period until today and is not restricted to any specific geographical space or social groups of remembrance. Topics could take up one or more of the following problems, but are not strictly limited to these:

- Positioning the Rzeczpospolita on the mental maps of European memory, relations to other European spaces
- Historiographical representations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and their changes over time: national historiographies in Western Europe and the general European context
- Usages of the past, or, the place of Early Modern history of Central-Eastern Europe in policies of EU institutions
- Scale of the presence and absence of the Polish-Lithuanian state in European cultural memory
- Academic scholarship on Early Modern Central-Eastern Europe and cultural memory clichés: mutual influences and barriers
- What is the Rzeczpospolita, or, how did Early Modern contemporaries understand the reality of history and how did they integrate the Rzeczpospolita into their cognitive frameworks?
- The Rzeczpospolita in the mnemonic representation of wars and battles, i.e. with Sweden, the Ottoman empire, Russia, or in battles such as Vienna 1683
- Remembering political concepts and institutions of the Rzeczpospolita (i.e. liberty, noble nation, parliamentarism, liberum veto, anarchy, religious tolerance etc. ) and placing them in Europe intellectual traditions/developments
- “Rzeczpospolita as the granary of Europe”, and other visions of Early Modern European economy in cultural memory and historiography
- Between European cultural unity and Sarmatian specificity: remembering the cultural life of the Commonwealth and relating it to the present

Please send abstracts of the proposed papers (300-500 words) to Marcin Jarząbek,, and Gregor Feindt,, before June 12th, 2016. The programme for the panel will be announced by the end of June 2016.

Attending the conference will be free of charge. The organisers will provide accommodation for all contributors to the panel. Depending on the Congress’s final budget support for travel expenses may be available.



Dr Gregor Feindt
Leibniz Institute of European History
Alte Universiätstraße 19
55116 Mainz

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