Identities In-Between: The Ethno-national under Scrutiny

25/02/2016 @ Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH

Drawn from the fascinating experience of East-Central European pluralism, Oxford Brookes University’s Marius Turda together with University of Oxford’s Jan Fellerer and Robert Pyrah tackle the often politically-charged theme of identity against the backdrop of a momentous re-examination of the classical notions of statehood and national identity as well as the complicated dialectics of majority and minority in a globalized world.

The panel is organized jointly by the Romanian Cultural Institute, Austrian Cultural Forum, Polish Cultural Institute, University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.


Marius Turda is Director of Centre for Medical Humanities at Oxford Brookes and former Director of the Cantemir Institute at the University of Oxford. He is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Galton Institute. His current areas of research are racism and race, history of eugenics, theories of ethnic specificity and national character, and ethnic utopias, with a special reference to East-Central Europe. Recent publications include: 'Ideea de superioritate naţională în Imperiul Austro-Ungar' (2016), 'The History of Eugenics in East-Central Europe, 1900-1945: Texts and Commentaries' (2015), and 'Eugenics and Nation in Early 20th Century Hungary' (2014).

Robert Pyrah, of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford, is a historian specialising in post-Habsburg identity politics in East-Central Europe from 1918, with special emphasis on Austria, Poland and Ukraine. He jointly runs the research project 'Sub-Cultures as Integrative Forces in East-Central Europe, 1900-present', which explores phenomena that fall outside traditional nation-building projects. He was previously CEELBAS Postdoctoral Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford (2007-2011) and a Senior Fellow at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow, Poland (2012). His publications include 'Recontextualising East-Central European History. Nation, Culture and Minority Groups' (2010); 'From Borderland and Bloodlands to Heartland? Recent Western Historiography of Ukraine' (2014) and a monograph, 'The Burgtheater and Austrian Identity' (2007).

After a few years at the Department of Slavonic Philology at the University of Basel (Switzerland), Jan Fellerer took up the post of University Lecturer in non-Russian Slavonic Languages at the University of Oxford, Wolfson College (UK). His main research interests lie in the fields of Polish, Czech and Ukrainian linguistics and philology with special reference to the modern period from the 18th century to the present day. He has published widely on Slavonic syntax, aspects of the history of Polish, Czech and Ukrainian discourse analysis, language contact and historical sociolinguistics, including a book on multilingualism in 19th-century Galicia and an edited volume on discourses of resistance in the late Habsburg Monarchy. His current work focuses on Polish and Slavonic grammar, and on linguistic identity-formation in multilingual East Central European cities at the beginning of the 20th century.


When: 25 February 2016, 7pm
Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH

Free entry but please book your seat on Eventbrite


In the press: Central and Eastern European London Review, 2 March 2016