The twentieth century in Europe was a time marked by displacement, war, and exile. This workshop seeks to investigate the complex of prolonged, possibly indefinite exile, and the collection of print, visual, and symbolic material abroad reminiscent of the collectors’ “home.” We understand home as the place that had to be abandoned and to which the respective collector(s) could not return to for the foreseeable future due to political, legal, and economic reasons or because it no longer existed in the state it had been left.
The organizers welcome studies on the history, motivations and goals, collecting and organizing strategies as well as the material content of archival collections in exile in the twentieth century, which sought to represent and preserve a certain idea of their places of origin. Although the regional focus lies on Europe, comparative approaches and comparable topics will be duly considered. Research should pursue – but is not limited to – the following questions:
Who gathered, supported, managed, and organized the collection, and to what ends? Did collectors aspire to preserve a presumably “authentic” image of their supposedly lost home that ran counter to official dogma? How did exiled collectors represent and communicate their ideas of home? Who could gain access and who was interested in these collections? Were these collections made available for research and if so, when and why? What happened to such collections in cases where political changes made a return theoretically and practically possible again?
We encourage scholars, researchers, and professionals from related fields to please submit abstracts of 500 words by October 4, 2015. Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision by October 20. Papers may be delivered in English or German. Presenters are kindly asked to submit an English-language abstract of 2-3 pages, 1.5-space, by January 30th, 2016 for distribution among all participants. Accommodation will be provided. Full and partial travel grants will be made available based on need. The pursuit of external funding is strongly encouraged.
This workshop, February 23-24, 2016, is organized by the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, in cooperation with the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich.