Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century

Keely Stauter-Halsted: Borders and Bordering in Interwar East-Central Europe

Please join us for the talk by

Keely Stauter-Halsted (University of Illinois at Chicago) 

Time: 25 January 2022, 3 p.m. CET  

Venue: Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University (Smetanovo nábřeží 6, room 212) 

Also online (via Zoom): 

Borders and Bordering in Interwar East-Central Europe: Refugees and the Shaping of Modern Citizenship

Recent scholarship has reminded us that national attachments among post-imperial populations remained fluid for some time after the establishment of new states in East-Central Europe. In the Polish Second Republic, three years of nearly constant warfare following the Great War helped sharpen definitions of citizenship and belonging. But postwar Polish society also constructed national subjectivities away from the military front through constant evaluations of “people on the move.” This presentation assesses the ways mobility became criminalized in postwar Poland and “people out of place” turned into ethnic “others.” The paper considers how the decisions of individual bureaucrats and the informal practices of civilians, especially with regard to the mobile population of returnees and refugees, helped shape definitions of citizenship and national identity in non-violent ways within the new Polish Republic. In the end, I propose a dynamic process of citizenship formation, in which the multiple voices of the state are in dialogue with local communities to shape an evolving sense of insiders and outsiders, friends and enemies.  

Refugees in Current Research

The talk is organized by the ERC-funded project Unlikely refuge? as part of a series of invited lectures on the history and presence of refugees.

Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University