Events

Malinowski’s Children: East Central European “Betweenness” and Twentieth-Century Social Science

Past Series, The Disciplines Series, The Disciplines Series: The Idea of Development

Cosponsors
  • East Central European Center, Columbia University
  • Balassi Institute: Hungarian Cultural Center, New York
Notes
  • Image Credit/Caption: London School of Economics Library, reference MALINOWKSI/3/B/18/1

Workshop with pre-circulated papers.
Registration required by Monday, May 12, email [email protected]

This one-day workshop positions Eastern and Central Europe as a critical field for global modern knowledge by looking at the “betweenness” of East Central European intellectuals and their contributions to the history of social science in the twentieth century. Betweenness is here understood in both regional terms—that is, East Central Europe’s historic position as a culturally and developmentally ambiguous periphery of the West—and biographical ones, including experiences of exile, dislocation, and/or statelessness. As an analytic category, betweenness forges transnational histories among regions and countries (such as Israel or India) that based their global position and intellectual production on their liminality.

Such an approach re-illuminates the history of twentieth-century social science in important ways, reflecting James Clifford’s reminder that these disciplines were always part of the very “processes of innovation and structuration” they hoped to investigate. On the one hand, it highlights the seminal role of colonial subjects and stateless exiles like Malinowski and Znaniecki in generating early and influential—albeit highly contested—disciplinary models, suggesting that key narratives of social science history may be best understood from the margins. On the other, it illuminates how East Central and South Eastern Europeans have used their position between “West” and “East,” “civilized” and “savage,” and “first” and “third world” to mediate global regimes of knowledge.

Program

May 16, 2014  Friday

12:45pm - 1:00pm EDT

Welcome and Introductions

1:00pm - 2:45pm EDT

Panel I: Between Civilizations
Chair

István Deák

Seth Low Professor Emeritus of History

Columbia University

"There’s No Place Like Crime: Hanns Gross and the Location of Criminal Science"

Scott Spector

Professor of German, History, and Judaic Studies

University of Michigan

“'The Closest Living Language to Sanskrit'? Lithuanian Between German Linguistics and the Nationalist Press"

Jeremy Lin

PhD Candidate in History

New York University

"The Polish Peasant on the Sugar Plantation: Translation and Displacement in Polish Ethnography from Malinowski to Obrębski"

Katherine Lebow

Research Fellow, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute

Commentary

Andrew Zimmerman

Professor of History and International Affairs

George Washington University

2:45pm - 3:00pm EDT

Break I

3:00pm - 4:45pm EDT

Panel II: Between Worlds
Chair

Deborah Coen

Professor of History and Chair of History of Science and Medicine

Yale University

"Eastern Europe as an Economic World Region: Landau, Kalecki and International Statistics in the Twentieth Century"

Małgorzata Mazurek

Associate Professor of Polish Studies

Columbia University

"The Coming of Communist Post-Industrial Society: Radovan Richta, 'Scientific and Technological Revolution” and Global Futures'"

Vítězslav Sommer

Research Officer

Centre d'études européennes, Sciences Po

"Sociocultural Anthropology and Native Ethnographies from a Hungarian Perspective"

Mihály Sárkány

Senior Honoris Causa of Institute of Ethnology

Research Center for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Commentary

David Engerman

Professor of History

Brandeis University

4:45pm - 5:00pm EDT

Break II

5:00pm - 6:15pm EDT

Roundtable: Betweenness and Social Science

Tal Arbel

Ph.D. Candidate in History of Science

Harvard University

Manu Goswami

Associate Professor of History

New York University

Jan Kubik

Department Chair of Political Science

Rutgers University

Participants
  • Tal Arbel Ph.D. Candidate in History of Science Harvard University
  • Deborah Coen Professor of History and Chair of History of Science and Medicine Yale University
  • István Deák Seth Low Professor Emeritus of History Columbia University
  • David Engerman Professor of History Brandeis University
  • Manu Goswami Associate Professor of History New York University
  • Jan Kubik Department Chair of Political Science Rutgers University
  • Katherine Lebow Research Fellow, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute
  • Jeremy Lin PhD Candidate in History New York University
  • Małgorzata Mazurek Associate Professor of Polish Studies Columbia University
  • Mihály Sárkány Senior Honoris Causa of Institute of Ethnology Research Center for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Vítězslav Sommer Research Officer Centre d'études européennes, Sciences Po
  • Scott Spector Professor of German, History, and Judaic Studies University of Michigan
  • Andrew Zimmerman Professor of History and International Affairs George Washington University