Calendar of Conferences related to 1956.
CALENDAR OF CONFERENCES
23 - 24 November, 2006 - The Institute for Political Studies, the Polish Library, Paris, International conference "1956 - A European Date" - first day; "1956 - A Breakthrough Year" - second day
25 - 27 October, 2006 - Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Inter-University Scientific Conference "October 1956 Through Our Eyes"
20 - 21 October, 2006 - Warsaw University Library, International scientific conference "Crises of the Communist System, 1953-1981"
4 - 6 October, 2006 - Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin, International conference "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: Context, Effect, Myth"
28 - 29 September, 2006 - Saint Petersburg, International conference "Budapest, '56 and Beyond. History and Memory of the 1st Crisis of Communism"
22 - 23 September, 2006 - Historical Museum, Budapest, International conference "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Soviet Block Countries: Reactions and Repercussions"
21 - 22 September, 2006 - University College, London, Conference "Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution in Central Europe: Commemorating 1956"
22 - 23 June, 2006 - Collegium Historicum, Poznan, Session commemorating the anniversary of the Poznan uprising: "June 1956 Poznan Events: Their Course, and Domestic and International Determinants"
4 - 5 March, 2006 - Indiana University, Bloomington, Symposium "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence: 50th Anniversary Conference"
INFORMATION ON THE CONFERENCES:
23 - 24 November, 2006 - The Institute for Political Studies, Paris,
International conference "1956 - A European Date" (first day), "1956 - A Breakthrough Year" (second day).
Fifty years ago the two Europes, from East to West, were convulsed by a great shock. The events of the era (the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Nikita Khrushchev's speech, the workers' uprising in Poznan, the Polish October and the Soviet intervention in Hungary have been frequently analysed and commemorated as the first schism within the Soviet totalitarian system. There have been few discussions, however, on the links at the European level between the evolution of communism and the political evolution of western democracies. It is certain that there was a link between the Suez crisis and the crushing of the Hungarian insurrection, but the "snowball" effect and the decomposition of communism were less perceptible. The iron curtain of the cold war also cut in two the research and analyses of 1956.Thus the novelty of this conference, dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the events of 1956, lies in establishing links between what took place in the Soviet bloc (erosion of the regime) and the effects in the rest of Europe, with particular regard to its effect on political parties, foreign policy and shifts in public opinion.1956 is therefore a date to be marked as essential in order to see European history in its entirety, and as a result it belongs to its common heritage.
25 - 27 October, 2006 - Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow,
Inter-University Scientific Conference "October 1956 Through Our Eyes".
The Jagiellonian University's Comparative Studies Student Society of the Faculty of Polish Studies, the History Student Society, the Media Studies Student Society and the Film Discussion Club of the Film Studies Society of the Institute of Audio-Visual Arts, as well as the Student Society of the Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities (MISH) invite you to take part in a scientific conference devoted to a reflection on the history, culture, literature, film and media of the October breakthrough. The participants will have an opportunity to examine the issues of the October '56 changes from three thematic perspectives: literature, media and film, and history and culture.
The historical-literary perspective will permit us to analyse issues related to poetry, prose, literary criticism and journal-publishing movement; to pose questions on ways of thinking and acting by young artists, theoreticians and literary historians of the time, often undeservedly forgotten by now; to see which of the processes started at the time proved most creative or illusory.
From the media and film perspective we will examine the phenomenon of breaking with the poetics of Socialist Realism within the framework of the "black series" documentaries; we will re-examine the character of the Polish Film School in Poland and abroad. New research methods will enable us to look at ideology present in radio and television broadcasts of the time.
As for the history and culture perspective, the conference will constitute an attempt at seeing the events through the eyes of their participants, including those who played supporting or background roles, through the eyes of the world of that time, as well as through our own. We will pose questions on the place occupied by tradition and culture, on the known and unknown faces of those days, on the "Hungarian theme", and on what are history's breakthrough moments.
More about the conference: www.uj.edu.pl
20 - 21 October, 2006 - Warsaw University Library,
International scientific conference "Crises of the Communist System, 1953-1981".
In connection with this year's 50th anniversary of the 1956 events in Poland and Hungary, on 20-21 October, 2006, an international scientific conference on "Crises of the Communist System, 1953-1981" will take place in the Conference Hall of the Warsaw University Library.
The goal of the conference is to show the events of 1956 from a wider perspective of other crises of the communist system, starting with the 1953 mass protests in the DDR, and ending with the Polish crisis of the 1980s. The conference also aims to present the state of latest research on the crises of the communist system; to exchange experience and establish close co-operation among institutions and individuals dealing with this subject matter, as well as popularise knowledge on the subject among the European public.
The conference will be accompanied by a documentaries showing on the 1956 crises in Poland and Hungary, and by an exhibition devoted to the "Polish months" (October 1956; March 1968; December 1970, and August 1980).
All the events of the conference (plenary sessions, panel discussions, the exhibition, and the documentary showing) will be open to the public. The deliberations will be in Polish, German and English, with simultaneous interpretation.
The Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Warsaw, Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the Former German Democratic Republic (Germany), and the Foundation for the Research on the SED Dictatorship (Germany). More information...
4 - 6 October, 2006 - Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin,
International conference "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: Context, Effect, Myth".
Starting on 23 October, 1956, thousands of people gathered in Budapest and other Hungarian cities, demanding free elections, release of political prisoners, abolishment of censorship, and withdrawal of Soviet troops. The events had been encouraged by the "Thaw" following the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and by the Polish workers' protests in Poznan. On 1 November, Prime Minister Imre Nagy joined the protesters, decided to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact, and announced Hungary's neutrality.
The international conference "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: Context, Effect, Myth"
presented latest discoveries connected with the historical importance and perceptions of this key event in Hungary's history. The traditional historical perspective, geared towards politics, was supplemented with a social and cultural point of view. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising, the conference attempted to assess its importance for the European culture of today.
The programme of the conference can be found here: hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de
28 - 29 September, 2006, - Saint Petersburg
International conference "Budapest, '56 and Beyond. History and Memory of the 1st Crisis of Communism".
Even though half a century has passed since those events, memories of the Soviet past and of the Hungarian Uprising still constitute important subjects for academics, and not only for those from the former Soviet block. For the Soviet past is still present in contemporary Russia's relations with Central and Eastern European countries. Therefore, it is a task for researchers, especially Russian ones, to undertake steps towards reinterpretation of past events in order to gain a better understanding of the current situation.
The conference consisted of three parts.
- The first part concentrated on a general analysis of events which took place after Stalin's death: the 1953 Berlin crisis; Khrushchev's secret speech and its reception in the West, as well as its influence on the international communist movement.
- The second part was devoted to the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and Poznan events. Participants discussed reactions of the world, the Soviet Union, and other countries of the Soviet block.
- The last part concentrated on the role of the above events in the historical memory, and their current perception in Central and Eastern European countries.
More about the conference: www.rev.hu
22 - 23 September, 2006, Historical Museum, Budapest,
International conference "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Soviet Block Countries: Reactions and Repercussions".
Objectives and scope
The crisis, which came to light in the Soviet block countries and in the Soviet Union itself after Stalin's death in 1953, reached its deepest point in 1956. Its biggest challenge was the Hungarian Uprising which exploded into an armed conflict in Budapest. The communist government practically fell, and Soviet troops got involved in armed clashes with the Freedom Fighters. Nevertheless, it seems that Moscow restored order rather quickly and without great difficulties.
The conference sought to find answers to the following questions:
- How did the communist regimes and various societies - with a special emphasis on the Hungarian minority in neighbouring countries - react to the crisis (administrative measures, aid to refugees, reprisals etc.)?
- In what sort of context did communist politicians recall "1956 in Budapest", the national communism, mass movements etc. after 1956 (after ten years, or better yet: up to 1989)? How was the revolution viewed and remembered by the people? What kind of moral lessons were drawn, on the one hand, by the Communist leaders with regard to the need for changes and the direction the changes should take, and, on the other hand, by Eastern European societies with respect to the "modus vivendi" of their everyday lives: collaboration, resistance, remembering or forgetting?
More about the conference: www.rev.hu
21 - 22 September, 2006 - University College, London,
Conference "Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution in Central Europe: Commemorating 1956".
The conference examined the history of resistance, rebellion and revolution in Central Europe, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, although with an emphasis on the modern period, on the 1956 Revolution and its legacy.
The countries of Central Europe have historically formed parts of empires and, over the last half-millennium, their episodes of political independence have been usually either short-lived or violently curtailed. Nevertheless, the countries of the region never sat easily within the empires of which they formed parts.
We should not, however, understand the history of rebellion and revolution in Central Europe as being only a story of reaction to foreign and imperial rule. In both Poland and Hungary, there were strong traditions of resistance to government, going back to the Middle Ages, which provided the intellectual and moral underpinning to revolts against authority.
Traditions of resistance, rebellion and revolution in Central Europe rest, therefore, upon more than an inherited geographical position that has made the region the prey of empire. They have, for much of Hungary and Poland's history, been founded instead upon an understanding of politics and constitutions that has viewed these traditions as rights to be practised and, indeed, to be honoured in their undertaking.
More about the conference: www.sseees.ac.uk
22 - 23 June, 2006 - Collegium Historicum, Poznan
Session commemorating the anniversary of the Poznan uprising: "June 1956 Poznan Events: Their Course, and Domestic and International Determinants".
The session is organised by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, the Western Institute in Poznan, and the Poznan City Hall.
The session is divided into three parts: Part I: Poznan, 28 June, 1956;
Part II: Polish and international responses to the June events in Poznan;
Part III: The Poznan Trials.
More about the session: poznan4u.pl
4 - 5 March, 2002 - Indiana University, Bloomington,
Symposium "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence: 50th Anniversary Conference".
The symposium was planned as a commemoration of one of the most significant historical events of the last century as well as a scholarly conference of international importance.
The panellists included, "inter alia": His Excellency András Simonyi, Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary to the US; Gustav Bayerle, Indiana University; István Deák, Columbia University; Béla Király, Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard of Hungary (1956), whose presentation could be viewed on video; Toivo Raun, Indiana University; Péter Kenéz, University of California Santa Cruz; Mark Kramer, Harvard University; David Holloway and Victor McFarland, Stanford University; Günter Bischof, University of New Orleans; Mihály Szegedy-Maszák, Indiana University/ELTE; János Rainer, Eszter Balázs, and Denis Sinor, Indiana University; Andrew Ludanyi, Ohio Northern University; Thomas Cooper, Columbia University.
More about the symposium: www.indiana.edu"The Year 1956" - main page