Major Themes

Towards a Balanced Historical Knowledge: State and Nation in a Comparative Perspective – Paradigms of Investigation, Narratives, Explications – Part 2
Session code
Date Time
Tuesday, August 23rd / 09.00-12.30
Tomasz Schramm; Jaroslav Pánek; Attila Pók
CK Zamek, Scena Nowa

The recent trend towards globalisation has encouraged historians to consider once again the fundamental question: how did the West rise to a temporary global hegemony? This hegemony is evinced in historiography till now. The main idea of the project is to point out the imbalance in the creation of historical knowledge, which is still dominated by the West European and American ways of studying and presenting the past. The mainstream Western narratives of history will be compared with those of other territories marginalised in world historiography. Our goal is to capture the key historiographical aspects of this issue, tracing the roots of this imbalance in the creation of historical knowledge.
The starting point of this reassessment will be the questioning of the Western approach to European history. Some often overlooked features of East-Central Europe as e.g. the frequent political and social upheavals or the discontinuities of states and nation-building, will be exposed. The history of this part of Europe, which from the West European perspective appears to be chaotic, can become a laboratory for researchers who are working under the changing conditions of the 21st century.
This topic will be expanded to include comparable macro-regions outside Europe that are all similarly in the “periphery”. Namely, while respecting and using the Western tradition as the foundation of our profession, it is also important to stress the significance of the participatory form of knowledge building. It is essential for local communities to show how local knowledge can contribute to the global understanding of the past. The concept of epistemic justice will be used as one of possible frameworks for the process of trying to construct this new historical knowledge.