The Interwar Histories Working Group seeks to explore political, social, and intellectual landscapes of twentieth-century interwar Europe (and beyond) by attending to the moments of ruptures and discontinuities that were characteristic of the era. Dissemination of conflicting ideologies and proliferation of numerous social movements, as well as the collapse of political liberalism and the consequent dissolution of parliamentary regimes, prompted mass political mobilisation. Political upheavals, symptomatic for the historical conjuncture on the whole continent, expressed a permanent struggle between political extremes. By the 1930s, political turbulence, aggravated by the economic crisis and the social unrest, reached the state of the ‘global civil war’.
The purpose of this working group is to engage in a critical dialogue between the past and the present by problematising crucial aspects of the interwar history in a transnational context. What characterises historical remembrance of these turbulent years? What are the challenges to understanding the period? How could this understanding contribute to historical knowledge? Apart from reflecting on historical events and (de)constructing respective historical narratives, the group discusses relevant theoretical frameworks, representations and discourses on Europe between the wars. While primarily based on textual research and existing historiography, the group also looks to feature films and documentaries, literary works and artworks to offer a cross-disciplinary approach to historical discussion.
The faculty liaison for this working group is Prof. Pieter M. Judson.