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Beyond 1989: Childhood and Youth in Times of Political Transformation in the 20th Century
Internationale Konferenz

Organisatoren: Dr. habil. Friederike Kind-Kovács, PD. Dr. Machteld Venken
05.06.2019 bis 07.06.2019
Institute of Advanced Studies at the Central European University, Budapest

Beschreibung der Veranstaltung

In the past years not only in Germany the so-called “Children of the Transition” have come to raise the question of how 1989 and its aftermath affected children’s lives in the past and how their memories still shape their individual and collective biographies up to today. This new perspective on the years of post-socialist transformation allows for examining the historical moment of “1989” not primarily as a political rupture but rather as a social transformation which altered the (everyday) lives of the young. But how unique was the post-communist transformation in terms of its short- and long-term impact on children’s lives, when compared to other political watersheds of the 20th century? And in what way does the history of childhood contribute to a better understanding of the social implications of political transformations, both for the concerned societies in the past and their remembrance up to today? Departing from these reflections, this international conference, co-organized by the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at the TU Dresden and the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University in Budapest, aims to shed light on a series of political transformations in the twentieth century and their impact on ideas and everyday realities of childhood and youth. Welcoming scholars from Lithuania, Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Romania, Germany, the United States, Poland, France, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Finland and Estonia, this conference explores “ordinary” and “extraordinary” childhoods facing the major political ruptures of the twentieth century. Exploring how children and adolescents lived through and experienced periods of abrupt political change, this conference proposes to uncover the lasting impact of historical caesuras on historical subjects.


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Fotografie von vor einem abgerissen Haus sitzenden Kindern

SLUB/Deutsche Fotothek, Gerhard Weber: Kinder 1989