Cultural Conquests, 1500-2000
Prague, September 2003
CULTURAL CONQUESTS 1500-2000 AN INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM PRAGUE, 11.9. - 14.9. 2003 organised by The Seminar of Comparative and General History at Charles University in Prague and The European Urban History group at the Universities of Northumbria and Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) Conquerors of all kinds have made not only political and economic demands on the defeated, but have repeatedly also attempted to impose new cultures on them, and such attempts to impose a new cultural order were felt nowhere more keenly than in the towns and cities where intellectuals, academics, publicists and other members of the political, social and cultural elites were required to conform. We are interested in the motives for the imposition of a new cultural order, the ways in which citizens resisted or collaborated with the victors or occupying forces, and the ways in which the direct experience of war or civil conflict and military occupation were reflected in urban cultures. The geographical and chronological focus of the conference will be Europe between c.1500 and the present. The following are examples of potential themes which papers might address: Religious Conquests The forcible conversion of citizens to a new faith or confession in the wake of religious conflicts, from, say, the christianisation of Europe and the reconquest of Spain to the forced conversions of imperial Russia. Revolutionary Order The attempts to re-invent cultures in the wake of revolution, e.g. the London of the Commonwealth, urban America in the eighteenth century, Paris, Petrograd. Annexation and Nation-Building The cultural consequences, successful or otherwise of defeat, annexation and incorporation into a hitherto foreign state, e.g. the Christian cities of the Balkans in the Ottoman empire, the divergent experiences of (e.g.) Krakow and Warsaw in eighteenth/nineteenth -century Poland, Strasbourg between France and Germany. This theme might include papers which examine the imposition of national standards in language, customs and cultural tastes, and the competition between national and local/regional in cultural expression. (E.g. the tension between Catalan and Spanish culture). Occupation Culture and everyday life under a foreign power. Papers might look at military occupation and its impact on the civilian population; or compare attempts to annihilate some forms of cultural expression entirely (including, for example, dialect or local languages) while accommodating others within a broader 'imperial' conformity such as that of fascist Europe under the Nazi new order. Cold-War Cultures The impact of the indirect cultural hegemony of a superpower on the development of European cities during the Cold War. Papers might consider general developments such as the Americanisation of western Europe and resistance to it, or the attempts to align national cultural traditions in eastern Europe with the cultural and political assumptions of Soviet communism. Other suggestions are welcome. We anticipate that there will be no more than around forty participants at the colloquium. Papers will be 25 minutes and grouped in sessions to allow time for discussion. The language of the colloquium will be English. Please send a short abstract [c.200 words] of your proposal to Dr Tim Kirk, School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1, UK: e-mail: T.B.Kirk@ncl.ac.uk The colloquium will be hosted by the Institute of World History at Charles University in Prague (Dr Lud'a Klusáková). Registration Fee (colloquium and refreshments 11,12,13 September): 50 Euros (full), 20 Euros (postgraduates etc). Accommodation will be available at reasonable cost in University Residences.