The collapse of the Soviet Union, and growing trends of digitalization and online access, made archival materials in Baltic and some other post-Soviet states more accessible than they have ever been. This availability of archival materials opened new prospects for the research of East European Jewish history. Many of the historical questions and phenomena, that before the early 1990s were mostly analyzed basing on periodicals, memoirs and other published sources, can now be easily addressed through rich archival record.
Our conference aims to explore the ways in which the broadening archival horizons complemented, complicated, or challenged the historical representation of the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe. We would like to examine this question through the prism of the microhistorical approach that, in the context of new archivally-based historical representation, has a twofold advantage. Besides laying the ground for historical representation of grassroot phenomena – behavior, impressions, emotions, life environment, childhood, education and so on, the microhistorical approach formulates a methodological framework for combining outlooks focusing on well-documented cases, with broader conceptualization.
Accordingly, we are interested in contributions discussing how thoroughly documented micro-scale analysis allows to re-examine and modify macro-scale narratives and paradigms. This also involves social and economic-historical approaches as well as questions of new challenges to the historiography.
We anticipate convening at Vilnius University scholars working on the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe from the Early Modern period until WWII. All papers will be pre-circulated.
The projected dates of the conference are July 4-5, 2022. We will be able to offer partial funding for travelling expenses.
Ruth Leiserowitz (German Historical Institute in Warsaw)
Darius Staliunas (Lithuanian Institute of History)
Jurgita Verbickienė (Vilnius University)
Alex Valdman (Tel Aviv University)