Life at the Centre

New online seminar : Essential to Society? Franco-German and European Perspectives on the Social Repercussions of the Crisis

May 19 12:00

Essential to Society? Franco-German and European Perspectives on the Social  Repercussions of the Crisis

We are living through an unprecedented global health crisis. COVID-19 and the ensuing   state of affairs have profoundly unsettled our social structures, affecting not only our mental and societal well-being, but also the state of our political and financial frameworks. It has retraced new boundaries between private and public life and intensified the presence of technology in our daily lives. It has compelled us to reconsider our relation to the sciences and the environment. In recent months politicians, researchers and the media offered attempts, ranging from apocalyptic prophecies to ecological utopias, to imagine what the world could look like once the crisis subsides. Yet not only the future, but also the current repercussions of the crisis on diverse facets of our society must urgently be reflected upon.

It is in this context that the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, a Franco-German centre for research in the social sciences and humanities with a special focus on Europe’s transformations and position in a global world, seeks to open the discussion to the wider public by launching an online seminar. This discussion series will bring together researchers from a wide range of fields, such as history, philosophy, sociology, political sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, public health and ecology, in order to consider the effects of the pandemic on our society in medias res. We believe the past can assist us in understanding whether the present crisis consists of an exceptional event or an extended transmutation, whether it may strengthen or disrupt our social structures and political organisations, and whether or not it will lead to a genuine revaluation of what is considered "relevant" or "essential" to society. The analysis of society by social sciences and the humanities in times of crisis may permit us, then, not only to take stock of that which transpires, but also to tackle imminent social transformations.

Contact : noa.levin@cmb.hu-berlin.de


First webseminar :

ONLINE - Balázs Trencsényi - Regional Contexts of a Global Crisis: The Politics of COVID-19 in East Central Europe

25. Mai | 10:00

While the scholarly debate has been focusing on the previously unfathomed controlling mechanisms and technologies emerging in the context of the global crisis management, one should not forget about the functioning of more „conventional” institutions and mechanisms of power such as federal and municipal administrations, parliaments, courts, etc. Seeking to generate further discussion, this position paper seeks to give a short overview of the politics of COVID-19 in East Central Europe, with a special focus on Hungary, where some of the most contested measures were implemented as a reaction to the pandemic.

Balázs Trencsényi is a Professor at the History Department of Central European University, Budapest, and co-director of Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies. His main field of interest is the his­tory of modern political thought in East Central Europe. Between 2008 and 2013, he was Principal Investigator of the European Research Council project, “Negotiating Modernity”: History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe. Among others, he is the author of the monograph, The Politics of ‘National Character’: A Study in Interwar East European Thought (Routledge, 2012); co-author of AHistory of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe. Vols. I-II (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016, 2018); as well as co-editor of Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1775–1945), vols. I–II, IV(Budapest: CEU Press, 2006–7, 2014); European Regions and Boundaries: A Conceptual History (New York: Berghahn, 2017); and Brave New Hungary: Mapping the "System of National Cooperation” (Lexington: Rowman and Littlefield, 2019).

Discussion with Marc Lazar (Sciences Po Paris) and Leyla Dakhli (CMB / ERC DREAM).

Via Zoom.

Inscription by : anmeldung@cmb.hu-berlin.de