Europe and the East: Self and Other in the History of the European Idea

Europe and the East: Self and Other in the History of the European Idea

Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe
University of East Anglia
United Kingdom
Vom - Bis
14.06.2017 - 16.06.2017
Florian Greiner, Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte, Universität Augsburg

Throughout the centuries, Europe has constantly defined and imagined itself in opposition to or in conjunction with the East. From Montesquieu and Boulanger’s Oriental despotism to Marx’s Asiatic mode of production and twentieth-century fears of Soviet aggression, intellectuals, writers, and politicians have conceived of Europe as the place of liberty and progress in opposition to ‘its’ East. Edward Said (with a stronger focus on the Arab world), Maria Todorova (concentrating on the Balkans), and Larry Wolff, to name some of the most important scholars in the field, have investigated such othering processes and demonstrated their importance for notions of (Western) European superiority and dominance. As highlighted by Norman Davies with reference to Eastern Europe, such ideological creations and clichéd attitudes continued into the twentieth century, when during the Cold War Europe was once more identified with the free and ostensibly more advanced western half of the Continent.

To some extent, such notions have persisted beyond the fall of the Iron Curtain. Indeed, despite the Eastern enlargement of the European Union and increased exchange and interdependency, there still seems to be a lack of mutual understanding, preventing a true (re-)integration of Europe after decades of politico-ideological and socio-economic division. Even more recent histories of European thought and identity almost completely ignore Eastern European contributions and perspectives of intellectuals such as Comenius, Mickiewicz, Kossuth, Danilevsky, Masaryk, or Konrád. Moreover, in spite of the growing influence of Asian nations and the recent ‘Easternisation’ (Gideon Rachman) of international politics and trade, such an exclusively Western- or Euro-centric reading also still predominates our understanding of global history, and has only recently been challenged again by Peter Frankopan.

It is the aim of this international and inderdisciplinary conference, organised by the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe (University of East Anglia), to bring the ‘East’ back in, i.e. to shed light on its role and significance, as a geopolitical and geo-cultural notion, in defining discourses and images of Europe from the seventeenth century onwards.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Council Chamber

12.00-1.00 Registration and Lunch Buffet

1.00-1.30 Welcome

1.30-2.45 Panel 1: Theory, Historiography, and Religion (Chair: Rolf Petri)

Gavin Murray-Miller (Cardiff) ‘Outremer Europe: From Imperial Peripheries to a Global European History’

Ofri Ilany (Tel Aviv) ‘“Pilgrimages to the East”: The Bible and German Longing to the East’

Peter Pichler (Graz) ‘A “Handmade” Historiographical Myth: The “East” and Eastern Europe in the Historiography of European Integration, 1968 to the Present’

2.45-3.15 Coffee Break

3.15-4.30 Panel 2: Italian and French Perspectives I (Chair: Matthew D’Auria)

Silvio Berardi (Rome) ‘The Perception of Eastern Europe in the Idea of Europe of Carlo Catteneo’

Fernanda Gallo (Lugano) ‘Is the East the only “Orient” in Europe? The City between the “Orientalization” of Southern Italy and the “East” in Carlo Cattaneo’s Political Thought’

Matteo A. Napolitano (Rome) ‘The Perception of Eastern Europe in the Thought and the Political Project of Niccolò Tommaseo’

4.30-4.45 Short Break

4.45-5.35 Panel 3: Italian and French Perspectives II (Chair: Fernanda Gallo)

Sara Sermini (Lugano) ‘In the Russian Mirror: Italian Travelogues from Russia/USSR’

Amotz Giladi (Paris) ‘The French Celtic League and the Idea of a “Celtic-Slavic Race”, 1911-1914’

5.35-6.00 Short Break

Arts Building, 2.02

6.00-7.00 Keynote Lecture
Patrick Pasture (Leuven) ‘Europe's Many Easts: Why One Orient is not the Other’

8.00 Conference Dinner – The Last Wine Bar, 76 St George’s Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Enterprise Centre, 1.06

9.00-10.15 Panel 4: South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans I (Chair: Cathie Carmichael)

Rolf Petri (Venice) ‘Balkanism or Orientalism? Region-building in Southeast Europe’

Balázs Ablonczy (Budapest) ‘An Orientalism à la hongroise? Birth, Reign, Fall and Resurrection of Hungarian Turanism’

Samuel Foster (Norwich) ‘Imagining Arcadia: The South Slav Peasant in Western European Imaginary Geography before 1914’

10.15-10.45 Coffee Break

10.45-12.00 Panel 5: South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans II (Chair: Mark Thompson)

Nicolas Pitsos (Paris) ‘Greece’s Perceived Dualism between the West and the East from Insiders and Outsiders during the Eastern Question’

Valentina Pricopie (Bucharest) ‘A Monographic Challenge of the European Idea in Interwar Romania’

Lucio Valent (Milan) ‘Our Brothers in a Divided Europe: La Civiltà cattolica and the Communist Yugoslavia the Early Years of the Cold War (1945-1958)’

12.00-1.00 Lunch Break

Arts Building, 2.03

1.00-2.30 Panel 6: Poland (Chair: Jan Vermeiren)

Paul Hulsenboom (Nijmegen) ‘A Land of Plenty: The Varied Dutch Views of Poland (1600-1650)’

Jarred Warren (New York) ‘Polish Romantic Intellectuals and Social Networks in Rome around 1830’

Anna Marta Dworak (Rzeszow) ‘The Problem of the Eastern Border of Europe in the Awareness of Polish Society under the Partitions (1830-1864)’

Estelle Bunout (Nancy) ‘Polish and German Expertise on Eastern Europe: From a Science of the Enemy to a Discourse of Reconciliation?’

2.30-3.00 Short Break

3.00-4.15 Panel 7: Russia and Ukraine (Chair: Matthias Neumann)

Olga Kazakova (Orel) ‘The Russian Empire: The Boundaries and the Limits of the Europeanization’

Olena Palko (Norwich) ‘Europe in the Theory of Russian Eurasianism (Evraziistvo)’

Borislav Chernev (Exeter) ‘Reinventing Eastern Europe: Evolving German and Habsburg Views of Russia’s Western Borderlands during the Great War’

4.15-5.00 Coffee Break

5.00-5.50 Panel 8: The Middle East (Chair: Florian Greiner)

Elisa Bianco (Como) ‘Facing Byzantium in the West: Reading and Misreading the Byzantine Empire in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century France’

Giuseppe Foscari (Salerno) ‘Venice and the Ottoman Empire at the End of the Eighteenth Century: Business and Social Behaviours’

5.50-6.05 Short break

6.05-6.55 Panel 9: Visual Approaches (Chair: Peter Pichler)

Michael Wintle (Amsterdam) ‘Imagining Asia: European Constructions of the Asian East around the Time of the First World War’

Marion Romberg (Vienna) ‘Imagining the East in South German parish churches in the 18th century

8.00 Dinner – The Spice Lounge, 8-10 Wensum St, Norwich, NR3 1HR

Friday, 16 June 2017

Arts Building, 2.03

9.00-10.15 Panel 10: Asia and the Far East (Chair: Francis King)

Sinkwan Cheng (London) ‘The Semantics of “Right” in Pre-Capitalist Europe: Deconstructing the Geopolitics of “Europe versus China”’

Ulrich Brandenburg (Zurich) ‘“Who is for Russia, Who is for Japan?” Competing Notions of Europe in Austro-Hungarian Commentaries about the Russo-Japanese War’

Nadine Willems (Norwich) ‘Redefining Progress: Alternative Geographies in Early Twentieth-Century Japan’

10.15-10.45 Coffee Break

10.45-12.00 Panel 11: The Cold War Period (Chair: Mark Hewitson)

Florian Greiner (Augsburg) ‘Away from the “East”, and Back to “Europe”? Mitteleuropa as a (Trans)National Idea in East-Central Europe in the 1980s’

Marzia Maccaferri (London) ‘The East and the Rest: British Leftwing Intellectuals’ Refashioning of the European Idea at the End of the Cold War’

Lorenzo Meli (Milan) ‘“Fixing the Rift”: The European Community and the East between Culture and Diplomacy’

12.00-12.30 Conclusion

12.30-1.30 Lunch Buffet


Florian Greiner

Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte
Universität Augsburg

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