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Call for Applications: Regimes of Historicity Project

CAS 20/02/2009

Call for Applications



under the research project


October 2008 – June 2010

Supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, Germany, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Germany and the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, Sweden.

The Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (Bulgaria) announces a Call for Applications for participation in the international project Regimes of Historicity and Discourses of Modernity and Identity, 1900-1945, in East-Central, Southeastern and Northern Europe (see Brief Description below).

General conditions

CAS will award five research fellowships to scholars working in the area of the social sciences and humanities for a period of 9 months (1 October 2009 – 30 June 2010). The programme envisages individual research and participation in two working sessions and one extended colloquium. Non-Bulgarian Fellows can spend in-residence research periods of varying length in Sofia (negotiable in each individual case).

The selected Fellows will receive a monthly fellowship of 750 Euro (including travel allowance and research expenses). The Centre for Advanced Study Sofia provides the academic, organisational and administrative support for the research. All technical and library facilities of the Centre are available to the Fellows.

Deadline for applications: 20 April 2009


• Scholars working in the social sciences and/or the humanities from any country, holders of a doctoral degree or at the final stage of fulfilling the requirements for such a degree;
• Applicants may not be older than 45 years of age at the start of the fellowship period;
• The applicants’ proposals should fall into the thematic area of the project. Please see the Full Research Description enclosed (PDF).

Working language and language skill requirements

The Fellows will work in an international research team, where all discussions, workshops and other events will be in English, as should be the final research paper to be submitted for publication. Only applicants fluent in English (oral and written) will be considered and a certificate or another proof of language proficiency is highly recommended.

The application package must be submitted in English by e-mail to the contact person indicated below and must include:

1. Research proposal (no more than 1500 – 1800 words) including: • a short description of the planned research, • methodology, • contribution to the overall research aims of the Regimes of Historicity project, • general framework of interpretation; • selected bibliography (10-15 works) on the topic.

2. Brief (1 page max.) scientific self-evaluation of the applicant (demonstrating the applicant's potential to go significantly beyond the state of the art, a presentation of the content of the scholarly contributions of the applicant to his/her own research field; the recognition and diffusion that these contributions have received: publications, citations or appropriate equivalents, students/international prizes and awards, institution-building, other);

3. CV and list of publications;

4. Optional: a relevant text (chapter of a dissertation, publication, etc.) of up to 25 pages;

5. Names and contact details of 2 referees.

Selection procedure

The selection will be carried out by the CAS Academic Advisory Council, an international body composed of prominent scholars in the social sciences and the humanities. The final results will be announced in May, 2009 via email to the applicants and on the Centre’s website: www.cas.bg.

Criteria governing the selection

• innovative insights • interdisciplinary approach • comparative approach • relation to the overall thematic framework of the project • important publications on the topic or in a related field.

Detailed information about the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia and the project Regimes of Historicity and Discourses of Modernity and Identity, 1900-1945, in East-Central, Southeastern and Northern Europe is available at www.cas.bg.

Please, email your application package not later than 20th April 2009 to:

Mr Dimiter Dimov
Project Coordinator
Centre for Advanced Study Sofia
70 Neofit Rilski Str.
Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
tel.: + 359 2 9803704 / fax: + 359 2 9803662

Regimes of Historicity and Discourses of Modernity and Identity, 1900-1945, in East-Central, Southeastern and Northern Europe


For the full research description, please see the attached file, or the announcement on the Centre’s homepage at www.cas.bg.

The Regimes of Historicity project focuses on the comparative analysis of the various ideological traditions thematising the connection between modernity and historicity – a connection lying at the core of modern identity-narratives in the post-romantic era (1900-1945) - in three “small-state” regions: East-Central, Southeastern, and Northern Europe. The choice of ideologies as the vantage point of our research involves visions of past and future, of continuity and discontinuity in a wide spectrum of twentieth-century social and political thinking about modernity and identity. Above all, we plan to concentrate on the ways these traditions have been shaped and interpreted by the different branches of the humanities and the newly formed social sciences. This will make it possible to reconsider the usual metaphors rooted in temporal dimensions that are used for non-core Western cultures, such as asynchrony, backwardness, catching-up, whose moral and normative implications have been at the core of modernist and anti-modernist discourses ever since the dawn of the twentieth century. The process of cultural appropriation and mediation will be a central axis of investigation pointing to the complex interplay of local traditions and “imported” ideological packages. Extending two regional comparative paradigms – the long-standing Südostforschung and the more recent Nordic Spaces research – the project undertakes a comparison across historical regions testing for regional peculiarities and common European phenomena. This is also seen as opening up the possibility for formulating heuristic regional typologies, looking at the specific mechanisms of framing modernity in Southeastern, Central and Northern Europe.

As it is known, the entire discussion of regional differences (e.g. between East, West, North, Centre, Southeast, etc.) has been typically framed in terms of temporality – in notions such as backwardness, overtaking, progress and so on. Our reconstruction of the patterns of historicity - of the temporal visions historical actors held of their own contexts – seeks to challenge the centre-periphery backwardness narrative and render a more balanced picture of historical difference. We also see our research as offering an alternative to post-colonial narratives, which focus on the fundamental difference of the European core and the other, in that in our case the whole framework of otherness is relativised and fine-tuned. Comparing the various peripheries to each other could give us a certain insight into the issue of legacies – into the way tradition is framed in a Protestant, Orthodox or Muslim context; or in the long-term impact of competing post-imperial and nation-state models of framing the past. We thus hope to develop a relativised but not necessarily relativist vision of political modernity capable to substantiate the vision of multiple modernities and thus open up the discussion of how imported models and local traditions are related to each other.

The two-year research agenda will be accomplished via four closely interrelated components that allow for the deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the theoretical problems in focus: Senior Fellowship Programme, Junior Fellowship Programme, Extended Colloquia and Guest-Scholar Programme. The Regimes of Historicity Fellows will work on their individual case studies and come together for joint working sessions, colloquia and conferences to discuss each others’ findings in the multidisciplinary and international environment provided by the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia. The core group of 10 junior scholars who will be selected via an open Call for Applications will be supervised by the project convenor Prof. Dr Diana Mishkova and the senior Fellows – researchers with extensive experience in the thematic field.

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