European Encounters: Intellectual Exchange and the Rethinking of Europe (1918-1945)


European Encounters
Intellectual Exchange and the Rethinking of Europe (1918-1945)
An international and interdisciplinary Conference, 27- 28 january 2011

European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam in cooperation
with the Huizinga Institute for Cultural History

Interwar Europe had a lively intellectual scene that crossed national boundaries.
Writers and artists met in the framework of avant-garde movements, at literary
conferences and at cultural gatherings. Academics travelled across Europe, searching
for academic exchange and for academic safe havens in troubled times. Cities like
Berlin, Paris and Moscow were the focal points of European encounters, harboring
eager young artists, established intellectuals and lost emigrés and exiles.
In the aftermath of the Great War these intellectuals started rethinking
European civilization. The shaping of ideas about the ‘renewal’ of Europe was
strongly connected with the emergence of transnational contacts among writers, artists
and academics. They exchanged ideas, but also found inspiration across national
borders. For example, writers turned to Russian literature to revitalize lost European
values. Others were inspired by the Habsburg Count Coudenhove-Kalergi to shed
national skins and to strive for European federal solutions. Catholic inclined
intellectuals advocated neocorporatism as coined by Salazar or Mussolini. Left wing
intellectuals attempted to combine soviet style socialism with French artistic traditions.
This conference aims to investigate thoughts about Europe as the outcome of
transnational intellectual encounters between 1914 and 1945. We invite papers that
explore the ideas itself, as well as the intellectual networks and personal contacts
among writers and artists.
We especially encourage submissions on:
* Avant-garde networks
* The city as a meetingplace of intellectuals
* (Pan-)European projects
* Transnational political movements
* Psychoanalyst cercles
* International cooperation in science
* The Esperanto movement
* The concept of intellectual exchange
Duration papers: 20 minutes
Papers will be published after the conference.
The organizing committee:
Carlos Reijnen
Marleen Rensen
European Studies Department
University of Amsterdam
Spuistraat 134
1012 VB Amsterdam

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