Call for Papers: Bukovina and Bukovinians after the Second World War: (Re)shaping and (re)thinking a region after genocide and ‘ethnic unmixing’

16.11.2015 (15:05)

International Workshop at University of Augsburg in cooperation with the Institut für Kultur und Geschichte Südosteuropas and the University of Klagenfurt

September 14-15, 2016 the international Workshop "Bukovina and Bukovinians after the Second World War: (Re)shaping and (re)thinking a region after genocide and ‘ethnic unmixing’" will take place at the Bukowina-Institut at the University of Augsburg; it is organized in cooperation with our partner the Institut für Kultur und Geschichte Südosteuropas (IGKS) at the LMU Munich and with the University of Klagenfurt.

The historical region of Bukovina disappeared definitively from the map of Europe as a result of the Second World War. Politics of expansion, ‘ethnic unmixing’ and genocide marked the end of its existence as an independent political, geographical and social unit. This also put an end to its renowned ethnic and cultural diversity. Yet today, Bukovina is still widely referred to as a multi-ethnic – if not ‘multi-cultural’ – region. In particular, it is known as the site of the German-Jewish symbiosis embodied by a range of famous German-speaking Jewish writers and the Viennese lookalike city of Czernowitz (Ukrainian Chernivtsi, Russian Chernovtsy and Romanian Cernăuți). In many ways, therefore, Bukovina and Bukovinians did not disappear after 1945. Those who left rebuilt their lives elsewhere; those who stayed adapted to new circumstances; the place itself continued to exist and change under the impact of Sovietization and the effects of late and post-communism. Its present-day perception is the result of what can be described as a complex Aneignungsgeschichte: the way in which Bukovina was reshaped and rethought both in its historical location and abroad where it was remembered and re-enacted.

The region’s distinct and multifaceted “afterlife” (Marianne Hirsch/ Leo Spitzer) deserves to be explored. The aim of this workshop is to investigate the postwar histories of ‘Bukovina’ and ‘Bukovinians’ in all of their political, cultural and geographical diversity. It seeks to embed the history of the region and its (former) inhabitants in the larger web of post-war social, political and cultural relations and developments. This event will therefore focus on the experiences of self-identifying Bukovinians (Bukovina Romanians, Ukrainians, Jews, Germans and Poles among others) in their respective postwar contexts (e.g. West Germany, Austria, Israel, USA etc.) as well as developments on the ground in Romania and Ukraine (in the Soviet Union and after independence). In so doing, it will shed light on the different ways in which Bukovina has served to refract historical meaning among and beyond those with a direct connection to the region.

We are interested in receiving proposals from different national and academic perspectives. Young academics are particularly encouraged to submit proposals. Discussions of comparative and transnational approaches are especially welcome (e.g. comparisons of Bukovina and Bukovinians with others cases and regions). Case studies and more general investigations should be based on original archival, empirical or field research.


Participants will be expected to deliver 20-minute papers; the language of the conference is English and German. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) and brief biographical information (approx. 150 words including information about passive and active language competencies) via email to and by 15th December 2015.

We are currently applying for funding to cover the cost of travel and accommodation. However at this stage, funding cannot be guaranteed and we encourage participants to seek at least partial support from their home institutions. Participants from countries with disadvantageous exchange rates will be guaranteed full assistance. For those who wish to be considered for publication, full versions of papers will be due by 1st January 2017. After peer review, a selection of the papers will be published in an edited conference volume or a special issue of an international journal.