Central Europe (Cent Eur )

Publisher: University of London. School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Centre for the Study of Central Europe, Maney Publishing


Central Europe publishes original research articles on the history, languages, literature, political culture, music, arts and society of those lands once part of the Habsburg Monarchy and Poland-Lithuania from the Middle Ages to the present. It also publishes discussion papers, marginalia, book, archive, exhibition, music and film reviews. Central Europe has been established as a refereed journal to foster the worldwide study of the area and to provide a forum for the academic discussion of Central European life and institutions. From time to time an issue will be devoted to a particular theme, based on a selection of papers presented at an international conference or seminar series.

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  • Website
    Central Europe website
  • Other titles
    Central Europe (Leeds, England: Online)
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Maney Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo for STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) journals
    • 2 years embargo for HSS (humanities and social science) journals
  • Conditions
    • Authors' pre-print on author's personal website or institutional website, or institutional repository, or subject-based repository
    • Author's post-print on institutional repository, or subject-based repository
    • Must link to publisher version with DOI
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with citation
    • On a non-profit server
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article assesses the potential for memory of communism to become part of the EU’s memory culture by comparing three contrasting case studies: the Baltic states, Hungary, and Germany. It argues that, rather than the emergence of a western European memory culture that is challenged by a uniform eastern memory culture within the EU, as some commentators have claimed, the different positions of EU member states tend to be conditioned by a range of domestic and international factors. In terms of the promotion of the memory of communism within the EU, these factors can vary significantly from state to state, demonstrating the continued dominance of the national frame in the mobilization of historical memory.
    Central Europe 05/2014; 12(1):99-114.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to explore the remaking of national identity in post-communist Poland through the analysis of urban spaces, and, in particular, two controversial monuments that were erected under communism and survive to this day in two Polish cities. By systematically tracing the trajectory of the contested monuments, from their inception through their changing symbolism to their disputed legacies, this article will pose important questions not only about the development of cultural memory and of Polish civic society, but also the role of various agents involved in these processes. The article will examine the interaction between the official and local ‘politics of memory’ and individual initiatives centred on these monuments in an attempt to unravel the intricacies of Poland’s de-communization and nation-building following the fall of communism.
    Central Europe 11/2013;
  • Central Europe 11/2011; 9(2):142-149.
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    ABSTRACT: Amongst historians of early modern Europe, the relation between confession and nation has been largely neglected, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world. The dominant discourse on nationhood, in contrast, was established by historians of modern history such as Elie Kedourie, Ernest Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm, Benedict Anderson, and Miroslav Hroch. This article evaluates the contributions of two historiographical debates to the study of early modern Central Europe, which were conducted in parallel, from the 1980s, but have not been assessed in context. It argues for the necessity to combine the perspectives of 'confessionalization', developed by early modernists, with the focus of nationalism, championed by students of the nineteenth and twentieth century, in order to achieve a full understanding of the region.
    Central Europe 04/2011; 9(1):2-17.
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    ABSTRACT: In 1884 the prominent nation-builder Jonas Basanavičius declared that castle mounds and literature were the only appropriate elements from which to build the Lithuanian nation. Basanavičius's view, this article suggests, had a lasting influence on the public uses of history in twentieth-century Lithuania. The study explores the construction of two iconic images of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai Castle and the 'Palace of Sovereigns' in Vilnius. Built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Trakai Castle was once the seat of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, but fell into neglect before its reconstruction in the 1960s. Dating back to the thirteenth century, the Palace in Vilnius deteriorated during the eighteenth century, was dismantled at the beginning of the nineteenth, and has been completely rebuilt since 2000. It is striking that the reconstructions of castles were the largest state investments in culture in both the Soviet and post-Soviet regimes. The reconstruction of Trakai Castle was criticized on economic and ideological grounds by Nikita Khrushchev. The rebuilding of the Palace polarized Lithuanian intellectuals. The presentation compares the intellectual, social, and political rationales which underpinned the two projects and explores the changes and continuities in the uses of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under the Soviet and post-Soviet regimes.
    Central Europe 10/2010; 8(2):181-203.
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    ABSTRACT: This article analyses how changes in Russian nationality policy after the 1830–31 Uprising in Poland and Lithuania led to the initiative of an historical project that sought to prove the Russian nature of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It focuses on the tender organized by the Ministry of Education in the 1830s for the publication of a history textbook, which was to form the canon of Russian interpretations of the history of the Grand Duchy. The most important creator of this narrative was Nikolai Ustrialov. According to Ustrialov, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was just as much a Russian state as the Grand Duchy of Moscow, with the sole caveat that the tiny Lithuanian nation had played a part in creating it. Territorial rivalry between these two states was a mere 'family quarrel' over which dynasty would prevail. The supremacy of the Lithuanian dynasty did not mean the victory of an alien power since the Lithuanian princes were closely related to Russian princes and moreover, a considerable number of them belonged to the Eastern (Orthodox) Church. Russians could regard therefore them as their own. The last part of this article is devoted to the changes in nationality policy after the 1863–64 Uprising and the requirement for a new interpretation of the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
    Central Europe 10/2010; 8(2):146-157.
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    ABSTRACT: This article provides an overview of the ways in which the image of the medieval Grand Duchy of Lithuania, intended to awaken the national pride and contribute to the building of the national identity, was constructed by artistic means in the Republic of Lithuania during the 1920s and 1930s. It contains a brief discussion on the genesis of the image of the Grand Duchy, including the selection of appropriate historical heroes and events, and the main aspects of their interpretation. The article analyses some of the most striking and influential examples of the image of medieval Lithuania, such as the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the death of Grand Duke Vytautas the Great in 1930 and art works created for that purpose, the decoration of public buildings (for example, the Museum of War and the Officers' Club in Kaunas, and Lithuania's pavilion in the New York World Fair of 1939). It also looks briefly at the dissemination of the image of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in popular culture. The article also touches on isolated efforts by a number of intellectuals to warn of the dangers inherent in the extreme glorification of the past. The image of the medieval Grand Duchy of Lithuania, created in interwar Lithuania, was preserved during the period of Soviet occupation. After the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1990, this image had a significant influence on the mentality and culture of Lithuanian society at the turn of the millennium. In this respect the situation in Lithuania could be treated as a case study, for a similar relation to the past can be encountered in other European post-Communist countries faced with the problem of creating a new identity.
    Central Europe 10/2010; 8(2):158-180.
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    ABSTRACT: In 1784 King Stanisław August Poniatowski undertook a splendid progress across the south-western parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The official account of the journey prompts the reflection that even in this linguistically and confessionally mixed part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the precedence over other confessions of the Catholic Church of both rites, Latin and Ruthenian, was axiomatic. By the mid-eighteenth century, about five-sixths of the Commonwealth's population, the vast majority of the noble citizenry, and the entire legislature were Catholic. However, Catholics of the Latin rite constituted only about half of the population. Most Catholics of the Ruthenian rite (Uniates) were in only nominal obedience to Rome; they were the object of a struggle for the allegiance and salvation of souls, conducted between an advancing Catholic Church and a retreating Orthodox Church. The fault line between Eastern and Western Christendom ran through both the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; Orthodoxy retained strongholds in both parts of the Commonwealth. However, the position of the 'Latin' Church was, in most ways, significantly weaker in the Grand Duchy, where the majority of the inhabitants were Uniates. Adapting recent mutations in 'confessionalization theory', this paper first reviews the confessional balance, and the privileges, structures, educational institutions, and missionary work of the Catholic Church (of both rites) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the second half of the eighteenth century. It then asks how the dramatic events of Stanisław August's reign (1764–95) affected Catholic supremacy. These changes included the enforced removal of the Catholic monopoly of the legislature in 1768, the impact of the first partition of the Commonwealth in 1772, the Orthodox revivals under Bishops Georgii Konisskii and Viktor Sadkovskii, as well as the formulation of new policies intended to promote loyalty to the Commonwealth and social cohesion during the Four Years' Sejm (1788–92). It concludes that the partial 'deconfessionalization' of the polity had (or might have had) a proportionately greater impact on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania than on the Polish Crown.
    Central Europe 10/2010; 8(2):123-145.
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    ABSTRACT: Völkerpsychologie or 'folk psychology' has a bad reputation amongst historians. It is either viewed as a pseudo-science not worth studying in detail, or considered a 'failure' since, in contrast to sociology, psychology, and anthropology, it never established itself as an independent discipline at university level. This article argues that Völkerpsychologie as developed by Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal was an important current in nineteenth-century German thought. While it was riddled with conceptual and methodological problems and received harsh criticism from academic reviewers, it contributed to the establishing of the social sciences since key concepts of folk psychology were appropriated by scholars such as Georg Simmel and Franz Boas. The article summarizes the main features of Lazarus and Steinthal's Völkerpsychologie, discusses its reception in Germany and abroad, and shows how arguments originally developed for folk psychology were used by Lazarus to reject antisemitism in the 1870s and 1880s. It concludes that Lazarus and Steinthal's Völkerpsychologie epitomized the mentality of nineteenth-century liberals with its belief in science, progress, and the nation, which was reinforced by their experience of Jewish emancipation.
    Central Europe 04/2010; 8(1):1-19.
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    ABSTRACT: The article analyses the concepts of national specificity and the national past in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary; focusing on debates in the inter-war period. It seeks to discern the common features, as well as the considerable divergence, between the local versions of this characterological discourse, while also placing them into a wider European cultural context. It concentrates on the use of history and the category of historicity, which became an important question in the inter-war period as nineteenth-century evolutionary narratives encountered challenges. To explain the differences between the characterologies, it goes beyond a monocausal scheme. It provides a contextual analysis of the symbolic resources and available ideological references that were used for creating these discourses in the respective countries. In the light of the three case studies, it also seeks to contribute to discussions of the problem of modernism and anti-modernism in twentieth-century political thought.
    Central Europe 04/2010; 8(1):20-47.
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    Central Europe 11/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: In 1899, the Haschhof Agricultural Colony was established on a hilltop as a satellite of the Provincial Insane Asylum at Kierling-Gugging near Klosterneuburg. At the Haschhof, patients and nurses lived in adapted buildings from a previously existing agricultural estate until a striking villa, designed by the architect Erich Gschöpf, opened in 1902. Using as a starting point the descriptions of the colony in the press as well as original photographs, this essay asks how contemporaries understood the Haschhof, and how psychiatrists wished it to be received and understood. It explores for the first time the history of the colony at the Haschhof and contextualizes its carefully conceived architecture, picturesque rural setting, paternalism, and agricultural work within larger psychiatric and cultural discourses. It is argued that the villa's architecture, as well as elements in the presentation and reception of both Kierling-Gugging and the Haschhof colony as a whole, contained allusions to contemporary German and Austrian Lebensreform. Although heterogeneous and often divergent in their ideologies and manifestations, late nineteenth-century Lebensreform movements and some of the more progressive reform impulses within Austria's Irrenpflege shared an idealistic belief in the curative potential of the land and labour. Yet, despite some strong superficial similarities between the two phenomena, on a deeper structural level, the Irrenkolonie and Lebensreform were fundamentally different. The Irrenkolonie operated from the top down, and embodied the vision of its founders and designers, which was then imposed on a passive, working-class, population. The Lebensreform settlements, on the other hand, were co-operative movements based on the equal participation of all its members, who were almost always middle class.
    Central Europe 11/2009;
  • Central Europe 11/2009; 7(2):150-160.
  • Central Europe 11/2009; 7(2):110-124.
  • Central Europe 11/2009; 7(2):95-109.
  • Central Europe 05/2009; 7(1):56-66.
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    ABSTRACT: The history of Czernovitz, chief city and former capital of Bukovina, has long been veiled in a mythology based largely on romanticized accounts. In order to understand the background to this city's rich literary production better, we have evaluated the German-language press which flourished in Czernovitz during the interwar period, when the city remained an enclave of German-language culture, highly intellectual, and predominantly Jewish, long after Bukovina itself came under Romanian rule in 1918. In this article, we challenge the romantic mythology of Czernovitz, stressing the city's function as a modern space of communication rather than a location of memory. Our research is based on press articles, contextualizing archival material and testimonies of contemporaries born between 1908 and 1936. Its underlying conceptual framework is Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the field of cultural production.
    Central Europe 04/2009; 7(1):30-55.
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    ABSTRACT: Though largely overlooked in the scholarly literature, a fair few British mid-nineteenth-century travellers produced travelogues from their visits to Bohemia. Their descriptions of political and national conditions in the country allow for a reconstruction of prevalent British attitudes to Bohemia, its history, and population, and for some conclusions regarding trends in how the visitors experienced national conditions there. From the outset, all writers brought with them a rather solid knowledge of older Bohemian history in particular, and a very consistent framework for interpreting this, marked by anti-Catholicism, dislike of the Habsburgs, and sympathy for the Czechs as noble, if ultimately tragically defeated defenders of religious and political freedom. Historically, the existence of a Czech nation in Bohemia was thus taken for granted, but until the 1840s few travellers reported actually having met Czechs, or to have noticed the presence of two different nationalities in Bohemia. Only the revolution of 1848–49 brought accounts that held nationality to be a potent political force. Also, although all authors noticed the Czech linguistic and racial belonging to the larger family of Slavs, we find few generalizing stereotypes about Slavs, and no signs of any stigmatizing, semi-orientalist ascriptions of otherness to the Czechs, or to Bohemia. The travelogues uniformly describe Bohemia as belonging to German Central Europe, and only after 1848 do we meet the first associations of Czechs with Eastern Europe.
    Central Europe 04/2009; 7(1):3-29.
  • Central Europe 11/2008; 6(2):85-90.