Re-Contextualising East Central European History
Nation, Culture and Minority Groups

Edited by Robert Pyrah and Marius Turda

Legenda (General Series)


6 September 2010  •  178pp

ISBN: 978-1-906540-87-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £80, $110, €95

ISBN: 978-1-351193-43-6 (Taylor & Francis ebook)


Twenty years after the fall of Communism, scholarship on East Central Europe has adopted mainstream western methodologies, but remains preoccupied with a narrow range of themes. Nationalism, identity, fin-de-siècle art and culture, and revisionist historiography dominate the field to the detriment of other subjects. Using a variety of lenses - literary, political, linguistic, medical - the authors address a conspectus of original themes, including Jewish literary life in interwar Romania; the Galician 'Alphabet War'; and Saxon eugenics in Transylvania. These case studies transcend their East Central European context by engaging with conceptually broad questions. This volume additionally contains a comprehensive Introduction and topical Bibliography of use to students and teachers, resulting in one of the most creative collections of studies dealing with East Central Europe to date.

This volume has its roots in an interdisciplinary seminar at the University of Oxford, bringing together emerging and established scholars, with the explicit aim of broadening the study of this region, its history and culture beyond the established paradigms. Robert Pyrah, a Junior Research Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, is a specialist on theatre and cultural politics in the post-Habsburg context; Marius Turda is founder of the International Working Group on the History of Race and Eugenics based at Oxford Brookes University.

Re-Contextualising East Central European History was published with the support of the The Berendel Foundation, and was launched at the Foundation's inaugural conference in Oxford on 9 September 2010.


  • ‘The essays in this collection are original and promise much for the future of scholarship on the region... Important matters are at stake here, including the professional historian’s relationship with the public and the memory industry (booming in East Central Europe), and the extent to which national narratives of heroism and victimhood obscure both the complexity of the past and the histories of minorities and non-national groups.’ — John Paul Newman, Modern Language Review 107.1, January 2012, 261-63 (full text online)
  • ‘A snapshot of the research interests of scholars who are producing genuinely innovative research on topics which have been largely overlooked in the existing English language scholarship... also contains an extensive selected bibliography of the key recent publications on the region that should be an invaluable resource.’ — Thomas A. Lorman, Central Europe 10.1, May 2012, 80-82
  • ‘The essays in this volume demonstrate the growing range and sophistication of Anglophone scholarship on East Central Europe, particularly in their presentation of minority experiences, based on rigorous research in multiple, often lesser-known languages.’ — Nathaniel D. Wood, Austrian History Yearbook 43, 2012, 200-01



Clerical Agency and the Politics of Scriptural Translation: The ‘Canonization’ of the Gagauz Language in Southern Bessarabia
James A. Kapalo


Between Loyalty, Tradition, and Change: The Karlovci Gymnasium in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, 1917–1929
Marija Petrović


‘More Hungarian Hungarians, More Human Humans’: Social and National Discourse on Hungarian Minorities in the Interwar Period
Eric Beckett Weaver


Pursuing the Fascist Promise: The Transylvanian Saxon ‘Self-Help’ from Genesis to Empowerment, 1922–1935
Tudor Georgescu


Nationalizing the Moldavian Csangos: Clericalism and Ethnic Mobilization in World War II Romania and Hungary
R. Chris Davis


‘Writing from Within’: Jewish Romanian Writers on Jewish Life in Interwar Romania
Camelia Crăciun


Ukrainian Galicia at the Crossroads: The ‘Ruthenian Alphabet War’ of 1834
Jan Fellerer


‘Folk-lingerie’ and Other New Traditions: Górale Cultural Entrepreneurialism on the Margins of Poland
Nicolette Makovicky


How to Tell the Story of your Grandparents? Ethical Dilemmas of Postmemory
Maria Bucur


Robert J. W. Evans


Bibliography entry:

Pyrah, Robert, and Marius Turda (eds), Re-Contextualising East Central European History: Nation, Culture and Minority Groups (Legenda, 2010)

First footnote reference: 35 Re-Contextualising East Central European History: Nation, Culture and Minority Groups, ed. by Robert Pyrah and Marius Turda (Legenda, 2010), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Pyrah and Turda, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Pyrah, Robert, and Marius Turda (eds). 2010. Re-Contextualising East Central European History: Nation, Culture and Minority Groups (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Pyrah and Turda 2010: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Pyrah and Turda 2010: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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