Ideas, Culture and Society
Central Europe broadly encompasses not only Germany and Austria-or the German-speaking parts of the continent-but also the Slavic and Hungarian areas of East Central Europe. Our view comprises the great historical empires (Holy Roman, Habsburg, and German), their peoples, and successor states; and faculty offer courses of related interest in French, British, Ottoman, and Russian history.
There is no single thematic focus to the Central Europe concentration, but current faculty strengths lie in modern intellectual history; Jewish culture and society; the study of individual and collective identities; modernism, science, and popular culture in Germany; and science, discovery, and identity in the Holy Roman Empire.
Each of these specializations is anchored in the study of intellectual, cultural, and social interactions-in the particular ways in which people, individually or collectively, apprehended and experienced their worlds. While attentive to pressures of the state and the pulls of empire, our research often goes beyond political processes and social structures to investigate cultural interactions and experiences, that is, the production of meaning in societies.
Hillel J. Kieval