Conference Programme

Conference Venue: Birkbeck, Malet Street, MAL 540

Saturday 1 June 2019

Session 1, 11:00-13:00

Making, Breaking and Remaking Ethnicity in Interwar Eastern Europe

Moderator: Professor Julia Richers (University of Bern)

Christopher Wendt (Institute of Political History, Budapest), Formulating Germanness: ‘Minority Making’ among the Banat Swabians from Dualist Hungary to Interwar Romania

Zećir Ramčilović (Institute of National History, Skopje), The Position of Bosniaks in Vardar Macedonia within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia between the  World Wars

Andrea Carteny (Sapienza University, Rome), The Szekler Question in Greater Romania: Blood and Language in the Struggle for National Belonging

Jonna Rock (Humboldt University, Berlin), Negotiating Jewishness in Interwar Yugoslavia


Lunch break, 13:00-14:00


Session 2, 14:00-16:00

Preservation and Consolidation through Language, Education and the Press

Moderator: Dr Bojana Petric (Birkbeck, University of London)

Branko Šuštar (Historical Association of Slovenia and Slovenian School Museum, Ljubljana), From Lessons in German as a National Language to Schooling in a Minority Language. Views on Minority Education in the Yugoslav part of Slovenia, 1918-1941

Anca Filipovici (Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, Cluj-Napoca), National Education and Zionist Dream in Interwar Romania: The Case of the Youth Organisations Straja Țării and Maccabi

Mattias Battis (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), ‘Spreading the Word’ – The Appeal and Provisions of Language and Educational Autonomy for German and Persian Speaking Minorities in the Early Soviet Union

Stephan Stach (Polin: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw), ‘The Polish-Ukrainian Bulletin as a Forum for Debate and an Endeavour to Build Mutual Trust’


Coffee break: 16:00-16:30


Session 3, 16:30-18:30

The Assimilation and Repression of National Minorities

Moderator: Professor Cathie Carmichael (University of East Anglia, Norwich)

Anna Novikov (University of Greifswald), ‘Maurer’s Children’. Nationalization Processes in Interwar Polish Silesia

Oana-Maria Mitu (Lower Danube University, Galati), State versus Minority Identity in an Interwar Nation-Building Project: The Story of German Settlers in Southern Bessarabia under Romanian Rule

Agnieszka Smelkovska (University of California, Berkeley), German Ancestors and Soviet Passports: the Black sea German Community in the Interwar Period

Cristina Stoica (Western University, London, Canada), ‘Romanization’ and the Creation of Zones of Allocation: Romanian Policies Targeting Roma during the Interwar Period


Session 4, 18:45-20:00

Keynote address, Professor Cathie Carmichael (University of East Anglia, Norwich), 

Eastern Hercegovina after the Habsburgs: Trebinje 1918-1941

Venue: Birkbeck, Malet Street, MAL 532


Sunday, 2 June 2019

Session 5, 9:30-10:45

Keynote address, Professor Julia Richers (University of Bern)


Session 6, 11:00-12:30

Minorities as Objects of State Policy

Moderator: Dr Frederick Anscombe (Birkbeck, University of London)

Börries Kuzmany (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), The minority Ministries for Poles, Jews and Russians in the Ukrainian people’s Republic and their Efforts to Establish National-Personal Autonomy

Sebahattin Abdurrahman (Middlesex University, London), Kemalist reforms and their Influence of the Identity Shaping of the Western Thrace Turks

Giuseppe Motta (Sapienza University, Rome), Rejection and Integration in Transylvania. The Magyar response to the Treaty of Trianon


Lunch break, 12:30-13:30


Session 7, 13:30-14:45

Social and Economic Life between the Wars

Moderator: Dr Francis King (University of East Anglia, Norwich)

Katja Wezel (University of Göttingen), ‘United for Economic Revival? Riga’s Baltic Germans and Latvian Nation-Building after WW1

Oliver Panichi (University of Teramo), ‘Give us back our Church’: how to be Catholic and Italian in Yugoslav Dalmatia (1918-1920s)

Klara Volarić (Loughborough University), ‘Our Turks do not Feel Like a National Minority’: Macedonian Turks in Interwar Yugoslavia


Session 8, 15:00-16:30

Contested Identities in the Political and Public Arena

Moderator: Dr Bojan Aleksov (University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

Stefan Guzvica (University of Regensburg), A Legacy Erased: Germans in the Yugoslav Communist Movement

Mart Kuldkepp (University College London), The Political Choices and Outlooks of the Estonian Swedish Minority in Interwar Estonia

Vera Volkmann (Herder-Institute, Marburg), Minorities, Identities and Loyalties: The Case of Interwar Daugavpils (Latvia)


Coffee Break: 16:30-16:50


Session 9, 16:50-18:20

Lived Experiences in a Transnational Context

Moderator: Dr Natalya Chernyshova (University of Winchester)

Keith Harrington (Maynooth University), Different Experiences? Comparing Romanian and Soviet Policies towards their Moldovan Minorities, 1924-1939

Alexandr Voronovici (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), The Comintern and National Minorities in the Contested Borderlands of the Soviet Union’s Western neighbours during the 1920s

Petru Negura (Free International University, Chisinau), Nation-State Building and Primary Schooling of Ethnic Minorities in Romanian Bessarabia and Soviet Transnistria during the Interwar Period


Closing remarks, 18:20-18:45