James Krapfl (Montreal)
On Monday, 14 January 2019, the Graduate School in co-operation with the Department for the History of Eastern and Southeastern Europe at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität as well as the Collegium Carolinum welcomes James Krapfl, PhD (Montreal) to its public lecture series "Forum" in Munich. Krapfl will give a talk on "From Democratic Awakening to Auto-normalization: The Prague Spring Era from Below".
James Krapfl, PhD is Associate Professor at the McGill University and acts currently as Fellow of the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena. He is a historian of modern European politics and culture, specializing geographically on east central Europe. Thematically he is interested in the cultural history of revolutionary phenomena, the experience of Communist rule in central and eastern Europe, and the transformation of Europe since 1989. These interests come together in his book Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989-1992 (Cornell University Press, 2013), which analyzes grassroots efforts to establish a democratic political culture in Czechoslovakia following the outbreak of revolution in 1989.
The Prague Spring was an important turning point in the development of political culture in Czechoslovakia, both recalling the revolution of 1945-48 and anticipating the revolution of 1989-92. Prof. Krapfl will illuminate the microprocesses of this turning point by examining evidence from a selection of Czech and Slovak districts (okresy) from the beginning of 1968 to the end of 1969. Sources from the districts show how citizens overcame initial trepidation about the “renewal process” in the early spring of 1968, increasingly making it their own as spring turned to summer. They document the innovative ways in which citizens sought to give meaning to such concepts as “democracy,” “humanity,” and “socialism” in their localities, and how the August invasion shifted the terms of popular discourse without dampening it. The sources also reveal the discrete compromises that individuals gradually began making in 1969, and how they rationalized these compromises in a process that can best be described as “auto-normalization.”
The lecture is part of the Graduate School's lecture series "Forum" and the "Oberseminar" of LMU's Chair of East and Southeast European History; it is open to the interested public.
Forum of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
Where: Munich, LMU, Historicum, Amalienstraße 52, Room 402 (Please note: new venue!)
When: Monday, 14.01.2019, 06:00 - 08:00 p.m. cum tempore