The Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna), Center for Urban History of East-Central Europe (Lviv), and Ukrainian Institute (Kyiv) invite paper proposals for a conference to be held in Vienna on 4-7 December 2019.

This multidisciplinary conference, which concludes the "Cultural Year Austria-Ukraine 2019", seeks to explore the contemporary and historical dynamics that have shaped Austria, Ukraine, and the space between and around them, through the lens of circulation and motion.

Ukraine has been described as a "laboratory of transnational history," widening our perspectives on Ukrainian history by embedding Ukraine within a broader European space.  This conference is intended to build on this notion, expanding our framework to encompass a region that once was governed by the Habsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman empires. By looking more broadly at a region that today is divided among nation states within and outside the borders of the EU – from Poland to Albania, from Italy to Turkey, from Russia to Romania, and indeed from Ukraine to Austria – we gain new insight into the crucial themes that have shaped the modern history of the region, of Europe, and of the world.

Recognizing the ever-changing, fluid, dynamic nature of the space under consideration, this conference focuses on motion, circulation, and interaction, whether across time or at a particular moment. We seek to provide a venue to look at people who moved within, out of, and into the region, interrogating the forces that drove them and the consequences of their movement; to examine the flow of ideas that were articulated and set in motion there and resonated in lived experience both within the region and beyond it; and to ask how the circulation of material objects, goods, and resources impacted societies and the environment, shaping relations and hierarchies between places and people.

We invite scholars to propose contributions that explore questions related to the concept of circulation and motion in the region broadly defined (for the purposes of this conference) as "between Kyiv and Vienna" by looking at thematics that include but are not limited to:

  • People: professionalization and criminalization of mobility: labor, services, legal frameworks, and technology; (in)visibility of movement and travel: hierarchies and representations, personal agency and encounters; 
  • Ideas: knowledge, science, scholarship and the transnational and international flow of ideas; intellectual and cultural experiments: texts, artefacts, artworks, artists, production; 
  • Objects: discovery, distribution, management and exploitation of goods, resources, and capital; living from and living with the environment: practices of recognition and use, environmental and technological advances and failures.

For more details, including an expanded programmatic statement and further suggested themes, please see