Post-Doctoral Grant: German Historical Institute (Moscow)

February 28th, 2013

The German Historical Institute in Moscow, in partnership with the international project 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, is funding a six-month post-doctoral grant to facilitate writing encyclopedic entries for the section “The Russian Empire in the First World War.”

The fellowship is set to start on 1 June 2013.

The grantee will be in charge of researching and writing 50-60 short encyclopedic entries in English, each between 250-1,250 words.  Applicants must have earned a Ph.D. in History, have very good English language skills (spoken and written) and demonstrated knowledge of early twentieth century Russian history, preferably of the First World War. The grantee will receive 1.300 euro per month.  To apply, please email your application, including a cover letter, C.V., and a list of publications to the Director of the German Historical Institute in Moscow, Professor Dr. Nikolaus Katzer (nikolaus.katzer[at] by 15 April 2013.

Please include the keyword “Grant for 1914-1918 online” in your application.

New international project on WWI

March 7th, 2012

Over the course of three years, the international joint research project 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War is developing an English-language virtual reference work on the First World War. Planned to be released in 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, the online encyclopedia will be the result of an international collaborative project to make available a multi-perspective, public-access knowledge base on the First World War. To visit the site-in-progress follow the link above.

WWI Historical/Archivist Research Positions (Free University of Berlin)

February 14th, 2012

As part of the European Commission (7th Framework Programme for Research) project “Collaborative European Digital / Archival Research Infrastructure” (CENDARI) the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute (Prof. Dr. Oliver Janz) at the Free University of Berlin will be recruiting two two-year researcher positions. Appointment of candidates to this position is dependent upon final receipt of the funding from the funding agency.

Both full-time positions are open to those possessing a doctoral degree in history and excellent language skills. For complete information, click here [opens in .pdf]

SHORT DEADLINE for receipt of applications: 27 February 2012.

Reinforcing the ranks

January 18th, 2012

RGWR is pleased to announce the addition of several new members to its project team. Drs. Heather Perry (Associate Professor of History University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Wolfram Dornik (Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on the Consequences of War, Graz, Austria), and Veronika Wendland (Lecturer in History at Justus-Liebig-Universitat in Giessen, Germany and the Herder Institute for Eastern Central European History in Marburg, Germany) have joined the Borderlands editorial board. In addition, Mag. Dr. Hannes Leidinger (Professor of History, University of Austria) has recently agreed to lend his expertise to the project as a member of the RGWR Advisory Committee.

“Little People and Big Wars in Russian History” (Call for Papers)

November 25th, 2011

Call for Papers  Объявление о приеме заявок (файл в формате pdf)

St. Petersburg Colloquium in Russian History

“Little People and Big Wars in Russian History, mid-19th-mid-20th Centuries”

17-20 June 2013

The St. Petersburg Colloquium in Russian History is an established conference series that takes place every 2-3 years and involves historians from Russia, the U.S.A., and Western Europe. The goal of the 2013 Colloquium is to probe new approaches to the study of individuals and society in wartime Russia.

War has been closely linked to high politics throughout Russian history. Tsars and Party leaders, generals and marshals decided when, how, and against whom to wage war. But how did those who carried the main burden of warfare, regular soldiers and civilians, experience war?

We will try to depart from traditional military history and will focus on ordinary people, rather than on great battles or the games of grand diplomacy. In so doing, our concept of “little people” will remain broad rather than a neatly delineable social category.

Thus questions of violence, masculinity, religion, ethnicity, and medicine move to the fore. How did military technological advances—from trench warfare to air bombardments—impact soldiers’ emotions? What was the role of propaganda and of the new mass media? How did gender roles and stereotypes change in connection not only with the growing importance of rear and “home front” in the 20th century, but also with sexual violence and the mass phenomenon of male disability? What can we say about the influence of military priests, rabbis, and imams on the mental universe of soldiers, on their perception of fighting and death?

The chronological boundaries of the conference encompass the period from roughly the beginning of the Crimean War until the end of the Second World War.

Tentative panels:

1. War and the social imaginary

– Historical memory and the ideology of war.
– The role of propaganda, from kopeck literature to agitational flyers and radio broadcasts. Literature and mass media. War correspondents from Leo Tolstoi to Ilya Ehrenburg.
– Military symbols and rituals from send-offs (provody) to the bestowal of medals. Music, marches, and movement. Drill. Military folklore. Symbolic representations of the enemy.
– Religion as a factor impacting inter-soldier relations, attitudes toward war, fighting, death, etc. The role of military priests, rabbis, and imams.

2. The Individual Perception of War

– The war experience in letters, diaries, and memoirs, in poetry and novels, in music, photography, and the visual arts.
– Emotions. Soldierly fear as a key problem for soldiers, officers, and experts (tacticians, psychiatrists, and psychologists). The role of rumors and their emotional impact during battle. How did military theory configure the ideal emotional make-up of the soldier? Concepts of bravery and cowardice.
– Perceptions of space—from the expanses of the Russian landscape, which formed an influential stereotype from Napoleon to Hitler, to smaller spaces, such as the trenches.
– The impact of military technologies on soldiers’ and civilians’ experience of war.

3. Wartime Everyday Life

– Training: physical and mental preparation for the fact that soldiers during war become subjects and objects of violence.
– Links between practices of violence and the revolutionary movement in war. Sexual violence. Ethnic violence (e.g. pogroms). World War Two and the Holocaust.
– The everyday in times of war. The blurring of boundaries between soldiers and civilians.
– Epidemics in peacetime and wartime. Ethno-medical stereotypes (self-mutilation as a “Jewish disease”). Disability and the psychomedical consequences of war. The Red Cross and voluntary associations, Sisters of Mercy, etc.
– Conscription and the medical state of the nation, demographic history.
– Deviant behavior. Military psychiatry.

4. War and Identity

– Ethnic identity and interethnic wartime relations. The perception of the ethnic factor among generals, the officer corps, and, in Soviet times, among commissars. Ethnic cleansing during the First World War.
– Gender. Masculinity and war. Male and female warriors. Soldiers’ wives (soldatki). Gendered representations of the nation, from the Empress during World War One to Rodina-mat’ in World War Two.

We are looking for papers based on original archival and ethnographic research from specialists in history, literary studies, cultural anthropology, sociology, the history of science, religious history, film and media studies, and visual studies. We very much welcome interdisciplinary approaches. We will not consider published materials or texts currently under consideration for publication.

Organizational Information

The Colloquium, organized by the St. Petersburg Institute for History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, will take place 17-20 June 2013. We will pay for travel and accommodation in St. Petersburg.

Please send your abstracts to Abstracts must contain your email address, your affiliation, a tentative title for your paper, and a short (no longer than 500 words) précis of this paper.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 June 2012. We will inform you of the selection of participants by 30 September 2012.

Invited paper-givers should submit an electronic version of their paper no longer than 40,000 signs (including spaces and notes) by 1 March 2013. Papers will be pre-circulated and not read at the colloquium. At the colloquium each participant has 5-10 minutes to present the main ideas of her or his paper. There will be a comment on each panel, followed by discussion.

Conference language: Russian.

After the Colloquium authors are expected to revise their papers for publication. We plan a publication of the volume of papers and the comments and discussions in 2013.

Co-chairs of the Organizing Committee:

Nikolai Mikhailov, St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences (

Jan Plamper, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin (