Call for Papers - Historical and Virtual Borders: Perspectives from Poland

In 1918, with the dissolution and/or essential weakening of the three empires responsible for the partitions of Poland-Lithuania in the late 18th century (Habsburg Monarchy, Prussia/German Empire, Russian Empire), the constitution of a new Polish state and its borders became a central topic in political discussions. In the meanwhile, inner borders, constituted during the „nation without state“-period of the 19th century on Polish territory, continued to have their effects. Hence, the emerging state was characterized by borders not just towards the former partitioning empires, but also by invisible inner borders (ethnic, religious, economic). Furthermore, since the year 1918 and its events constituted a significant border by itself, emerging Poland was additionally confronted with issues of chronological (memories of different generations) and functional (relation between politics and historiography) demarcation.

Recently Michael G. Müller and Kai Struve used the metaphor of the fragmented republic to characterize interwar-Poland. The panel will pick up the picture of fragmentation and use it to examine the question whether and to which extent changing, moving, and shifting borders, be they visible or invisible, be they historical or virtual, are an integrated part of Polish history; the focus will be on the years around 1918. The papers should consider at least one of the following questions:

  • In which sense and to which extent did the borders between the Empires continue their effects in Poland after 1918?
  • In which sense and to which extent did the borders of the new Polish state interfere with entities and circumstances before 1918?
  • Which role did history/historians play in the constitution of the Polish borders?

Please send your abstract to christoph.augustynowicz@univie.ac.at until September 22nd and do not forget to submit it online until September 30th