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In Between Worlds: Trans-Cultural Histories of Central and Eastern Europe, 1400–1800

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Despite the recent upsurge in the study of pre-modern art and culture in central and eastern Europe, historical events and objects from this part of the world are still largely ignored outside the region. This one-day workshop seeks to redress the relative unfamiliarity with the cultural histories of these lands by proposing that their geographic peripherality can act not only as a source of marginalisation, but also as a lens through which to introduce central and eastern Europe to the wider narratives of cultural history. Engaging with east-central Europe’s cultural heterogeneity and geographic liminality, participants will examine the region’s entanglement with the Ottoman Empire, Muscovy, western Europe, and beyond. But can positioning central and eastern Europe as a trans-cultural space secure for it a place in dominant historical narratives? Can historians of this region develop new methodological and theoretical approaches that might be of interest also to other scholars? And, above all, can central and eastern Europe ever become mainstream?


ProgrammePart 1|Presentations

CEU, Nádor utca 9, Gellner Room




Introduction by Tomasz Grusiecki (Central European University)

11:00–12:30|Chair Katalin Szende (Central European University)

Robert Maniura (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘The Holy Cross Chapel in Wawel Cathedral and the Art of the Wider Europe’

Olenka Pevny (University of Cambridge), 'Confessional Fluidity and Visual Culture in Early 17th-Century Kyiv'


Lunch (not provided)

14:00–15:30|Chair Robyn Radway (Central European University)

Katie Jakobiec (Worcester College, University of Oxford), ‘Soils, Resources, and Other Earthly Delights’

Wendy Bracewell (School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London), ‘The Republic of Letters and Cross-Cultural Debates about Travel’



Part 2|Workshop

CEU, Nádor utca 13, Room 301


Group conversation, ‘Can Early Modern Central and Eastern Europe Have a Global History?’

  • Short presentations by:

Aleksandra Koutny-Jones (Independent Scholar), 'The Role of Patronage in Polish-Lithuanian Visual Cultures of Death’

and Günhan Börekçi (Central European University), ‘Ottoman Studies and Global History’

  • Followed by discussion of three pre-circulated texts (e-mail for the link to readings)

Image credit: Willem Blaeu, Totius Europae nova et exacta tabula...​,​Amsterdam, 1669​, detail. Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France.