Group leaders: Prof. Dr. Martin Schulze Wessel, Prof. Dr. Christoph K. Neumann, Dr. Jana Osterkamp

Land Empires dominated Eastern and South Eastern Europe until 1917-18, but their impact exceeds far beyond this caesura in political, economic and cultural terms. This study group explores the relationships between spatial orders as well as different forms of knowledge and practices in action [Handlungspraktiken]. Which identities were formed in the centers, peripheries and at the borders of empires? What negotiation processes took place between centers and sub-centers as well as how did power constitute in the center and in hybrid spaces? Which cross-border transfer processes connected the empires of Eastern Europe and beyond with other larger regions in Southeast Asia, North America and Europe? The study group is interested in the modern empires from a transregional perspective.

The empires throughout Eastern Europe collectively form a history of permanent reform that has, far too long, been misunderstood as a mere history of crisis and decline. Comparative perspectives between empires and nation states shall not be contrasted. Instead, national, (neo-)imperial forms and logics of governance as a reciprocal relationship will be examined. Analyzing the multiple ways in which national and (neo-)imperial forms as well as semantics can be entangled with each other is a key challenge for the study group.

The twentieth century in the former Habsburg lands can be told as a post history of imperial rule. The Russian Empire, on the other hand, was followed by the establishment of a new imperial rule with the founding of the Soviet Union. The study group therefore also investigates the specific relationships of center and periphery that developed in Soviet territory. Another question concerns the post-Soviet neo-imperial discourses that are so efficacious in contemporary Russia.


Authoritarian regimes in quest of global legitimacy. Understanding the nexus between Russia's domestic and international legitimation
Boris Ganichev, M.A.
Das russländische Zollwesen als imperiales Scharnier zwischen Zentrum, Peripherie und Bevölkerung
Der Gemeindebesitz der Donkosaken. Entstehung und Entwicklung bis 1835
Helena Holzberger, M.A.
Zentralasien im fotografischen Modernitätsdiskurs. Bilderwelten von Usbekistan unter russischer und sowjetischer Herrschaft mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Entwicklung usbekischer Fotografie
"Na Moskve net carja". Das samozvanstvo als kulturelles Gedächtnis in der Geschichte Russlands
Ruslan Mitrofanov, M.A.
The Institutionalization of Psychiatry in the Russian Empire: the Case of the Kazan District Hospital as a Transnational Study
Demokratie repräsentieren? Politische Praktiken und Sprachen russländischer Räte- und Stadtdumendelegierten in Revolution und Bürgerkrieg, 1917-1919
Yuguang Zhou, M.A.
Sino-Yugoslav relations 1975-1990: How China viewed Yugoslavia differently from other Eastern European States

Former Members:

Dr. Mykola Borovyk

Fabian Burkhardt, M.A.

Gerhard Grüßhaber, M.A.

Henner Kropp, M.A.

Björn Lemke, M.A.

Dr. Arnošt Štanzel

Max Trecker, M.A.

Dr. Martin Zückert