This project aims to analyze how Eastern European émigrés affected the local communities in the Low Countries they joined and what influence they had on social movements, civil society and community values. It does not look at migrant communities in isolation from each other, but also analyzes contacts and exchanges between immigrant circles from diverse languages and nationalities. By bringing these aspects into focus we aim to generate a more subtle understanding of the emergence of a European culture of inclusivity and civil activism. We argue that this culture is not a strictly Western invention, but rather the result of a series of interactions between Eastern and Western European movements and institutions. In emphasizing these aspects of migration history, this project aims to question both the dominant Western narrative that claims to be democratizing the East, and the politically expedient, populist views in Eastern Europe which attempt to estrange the culture of civil society as extra-national and culturally alien. The project will reveal to what extent and in what sense Eastern European networks of émigré communities, often keeping contacts with non-conformist and dissident circles living under authoritarian regimes in their countries of origins, can be considered important factors in creating contemporary Europe. The project is to be developed in two main stages: a pilot project will deal with Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Polish émigré communities in the Low Countries. It will create vital instruments for further research by setting up a DH infrastructure taking the Low Countries as a test case. The second stage, which will expand research for other Eastern European émigré communities and to Western Europe in a broader sense, will require a wider collaboration.
- You will be part of a dynamic and international group of historians and other scholars doing historical research.
- You will be responsible for the data collection and curation of the project for the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands). To this end, you will discover, collect and analyze source material (archives, publications, interviews) and participate in the development of a digital research infrastructure.
- You will take an active role in the dissemination of the data and research results, both within the network of partners and towards the broader public, by publishing articles and giving presentations.
- You will contribute, together with the team members, to the development of derivative projects and applications.
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