Call for Papers for 10th Annual Graduate Conference in European History

CEU’s Department of History, in cooperation with the European University Institute and the University of Vienna, will host the 10th Graduate Conference in European History (GRACEH) in Budapest April 21-23, 2016. The theme of the conference is Resilience, Restoration, Revival: The Endurance of Structures from Early Modern Times to the Present.

Historians have long been intrigued by apparently revolutionary events, often interpreting them as ruptures instituting wholly new societies. The French Revolution has been the source of ongoing inspiration for such an approach, with modernity itself often seen as emerging from that revolutionary break.

Others have contested this understanding of social change and have highlighted the resilience of seemingly timeworn, dying structures in periods of change, which may undergo varying degrees of restoration and revival. In this perspective, ruptures are rather merely a point, often overrated and unhelpfully distracting, in the long, gradual process of structural change. Scholars highlighting radical change in a short period of time thus risk neglecting the resilience and adaptability of underlying structures. A swarm of revisionist scholarship arguing against sharp discontinuities has consequently stressed resilience, restoration and revival of structures supposedly swept away by upheavals. Indeed, the very notion of revolution has been rendered problematic.

This raises a number of questions. Why are social structures able to withstand substantial change over time? What criteria do we bring to bear to assess the capacity of structures for resilience, restoration and revival? Which structures exhibit greater resilience and adaptability than others and why? If structures have such staying power, why have historians focused so much of their attention to ruptures?

The 10th annual GRACEH aim is to bring together postgraduate students and early career researchers to discuss the role of Resilience, Restoration and Revival in history, and to establish a dialogue between historians and scholars from related disciplines of early modern, modern and contemporary Europe.

Applications are encouraged on topics including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • change and where it does, or does not happen;

  • transitions between social orders;

  • the issue of compatibility between “old” and “new” structures in society;

  • resilience and restoration in religion, politics, and culture;

  • agencies promoting change/conservation

  • discourses on change and resilience in history;

  • methodological and theoretical approaches to continuity and rupture as categories of analysis.

Paper abstracts of up to 300 words and a brief biography with full contact details (email, telephone, postal address) should be sent to graceh2016@ceu.edu by February 1. Participants will receive a notification of acceptance by the end of February. Papers should be submitted by April 1 so they can be pre-circulated to commentators in a timely fashion.

Financial assistance for participation in the conference will be available upon request for accepted speakers who do not have access to institutional support.

For more information, see https://graceh2016.wordpress.com/