Conference Group for Central European History
Spring 2000

Dear Colleagues,

Here is the Spring 2000 Newsletter.  Items of particular interest include the report of the Editor of CEH, the report of the 1999-2000 Article Prize Committee, the announcement of the competition for the book prize to be awarded in January 2001, and the announcement that the Editorship of Central European History will become available in the spring/summer of 2004.  To go directly to a subject listed in the table of contents, please click on the relevant line.

Kees Gispen


Report of the Business Meeting in Chicago, 8 January 2000
        Welcome by the President
        Report of the Executive Secretary and Treasurer
        Report of the Editor of Central European History
        Report of the 1999-2000 Article Prize Committee
        Report of the Nominating Committee
        Archives Committee
        Report from the German Historical Institute
Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
        New Business
              Book Prize Name
        2000-2001 Book Prize and Prize Committee
        2000 Executive Committee
        Nominations for positions on the Executive Committee
        Editorship of Central European History
        CGCEH delegate to Friends of the German Historical Institute
        Subscriptions to CEH
        Contact the editor of the Newsletter

    Business Meeting, Chicago, IL

8 January 2000

Introductory remarks and welcome
President Ronnie Hsia chaired the meeting.  Hsia welcomed all those in attendance and expressed his pleasure at the prospect of turning over his responsibilities to the new president, Mary Jo Maynes, at the end of the business meeting.  Maynes will serve until January 2001.  Hsia invited everyone to participate in the Bierabend (which commenced at 6:00 p.m. in an adjacent room and was heavily attended).  The minutes of last year’s business meeting were approved.

Report of the Executive Secretary and Treasurer
Kees Gispen reported on the Conference Group’s finances. He presented the following overview.

Budget summary January 1999-January 2000

Balance Forward  January 8, 1999       5,107.05
Income AHA interest+ 446.00    
  Humanities Press royalties* 5000.00    
  Total Income   5,446.00  
Expenses 1999 NCC dues 500.00    
  1999 Book Prize (Canning) 750.00    
  1999 Subsidy to CEH 2,500.00    
  1998 Subsidy Transatl. Seminar 1,000.00    
  1999 Subsidy Transatl. Seminar 1,000.00    
  CG advertisement in AHA program 75.00    
  Reimbursement of Executive Secretary expenses 134.24    
  Total expenditures   5,959.24  
Net income       <513.24>
Balance Forward  January 7, 2000       4,593.81


+ The CGCEH maintains an interest-bearing investment/savings account with the AHA.  The balance of this account, as of October 1999, was $19,706.

* HPI/Brill Royalties.  When HPI was taken over by Brill in 1998, an interrpution and change in royalty payments occurred.  Because of Brill's royalty accounting, which takes place in the spring following the year for which royalties are due, the exect amount of royalties owed in a given year becomes known only the following year.  For that reason, Brill pays the CGCEH an advance during the year when royalties are earned, and a final payment when it settles its accounts the following spring.  In 1998, the CG received $3,500.  In 1999, we received, in May, $1,000 for the balance owed to us from 1998; in addition, in November we received $4,000, as an advance for royalties earned in 1999.

Budget Proposal January 2000-January 2001

Balance Forward  January 7, 2000       4,593.815
Projected Income AHA interest 440.00    
  Brill royalties 5,000.00    
  Total projected income   5,440.00  
Projected Expenses Article prize award, January 2000 500.00    
  2000 Bierabend (estimate) 500.00    
  2000 NCC dues 500.00    
  2000 Subsidy to CEH 2,500.00    
  2000  Subsidy Transatl. Seminar 1,000.00    
  2000 Savings at AHA 1,000.00    
  Total projected expenditures   5,000.00  
Projected net income       440.00
Projected balance Forward January 2001       5,033.81

The business meeting voted to approve the executive secretary's report for 1999 and the budget proposal for 2000.

Report of the Editor of Central European History
Ken Barkin presented the following statistical overview.

Publishing record for 1999:

Number of issues 4  (Vol. 32, nos. 1-4)
Number of articles 12
Number of review articles 1
Number of book reviews 70
Other items 2 (Mosse obituary, Newsletter)

At the publisher:

Vol. 33: 1 Articles: 4 Review Articles: 1 Book Reviews: 18 Other: 2 (Newsletter, Obituary)

Current editorial status (January 2000):

In process Vol. 33: 1 (2 articles, 2 review articles, 15 book reviews)
Articles accepted 5
Review articles accepted 2
Articles to be revised 7
Articles at referees 7
Articles pending 1
Articles rejected in 1998 19
Book reviews on hand 60
Book reviews outstanding 160
Number of subscribers 998

Barkin thanked David Sabean, Peter Hayes and Barbara Miller Lane, who have left the board of Central European History after serving a five-year term.  The new board members beginning a five-year term are: Helmut Walser Smith, Jeffrey Herf, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, and Omer Bartov.  Barkin announced that henceforth there will be a maximum length of 65 pages for articles and 45 pages for review articles.  The working relationship between the editorial office and the new publisher, Brill Academic Publishers of Leiden and Boston, is excellent.

Finally, Barkin briefly commemorated Jonathan Knudsen, a long-time member and wonderful friend, who passed away, much too soon, in 1999.  (Please see Knudsen's obituary in CEH, vol. 33:1.)

Following the report, President Hsia was very pleased to announce that Kenneth Barkin, whose term as editor expires next year, has agreed to the executive committee's request to accept another, partial term as editor of Central European History, through the spring of 2004.   On behalf of the other members of the Executive Committee and the Conference Group's membership as a whole, Hsia expressed his thanks to Ken Barkin and assistant editor Ursula Marcum for the superb work they have done editing the journal during the past ten years.  The backlog that existed in the early 1990s has been entirely removed.  Under Barkin's leadership the journal has become ever more successful and acquired a reputation for excellence that is amply deserved.  Barkin also presided over the successful transfer of CEH from Humanities Press International to Brill Academic Publishers, which now owns Humanities Press.

Report of the 1999-2000 Article Prize Committee
The next item of business was the report of the article prize committee, which consisted of Thomas Brady, Pieter Judson, and Doris Bergen (chair).   The committee considered articles published in 1997 and 1998.  This year's winner was Karl F. Bahm, for his article, "Beyond the Bourgeoisie: Rethinking Nation, Culture, and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Central Europe," published in the Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 29 (1998): pt. 1, 19-35.  Doris Bergen read the following statement:

"The article prize committee of the Conference Group for Central European History is pleased to announce the winner for 1998: Karl F. Bahm, for 'Beyond the Bourgeoisie: Rethinking Nation, Culture, and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Central Europe,' published in the Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 29 (1998): part 1, 19-35.  Karl F. Bahm is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.  Professor Bahm's title reveals the ambitious scope of this impressive article. In fifteen concise, tightly argued pages, he looks "beyond the bourgeoisie" to consider the lower classes and their role in constructing national identities, specifically in northwestern Bohemia in the late nineteenth century. By shifting the perspective from elites to workers and from macro to micro, Bahm does open up new ways to think about "nation, culture, and modernity in nineteenth-century Central Europe."  Nationalisms, he suggests, are complex and have multiple sources. But even the most cunning national elites cannot invent the nation out of nothing; "real cultural and social factors of identity" like language and ethnicity provide the "preexisting building blocks" necessary for national mobilization.  Viewed in this way, nationalism is not just a trick played by manipulative members of the bourgeoisie intent on supporting their own interests; it is also an expression of "active and autonomous" lower-class engagement. At the turn of our own century, in a time when we alternate between celebrating the end of the nation and decrying the deadly persistence of aggressive nationalisms, Bahm's findings are both timely and unsettling.  Bahm illustrates his points with a case study of a working-class father and son in Bohemia from the 1860s to World War I.  He supplements the written recollections of Wenzel and Heinrich Holek with a range of sources in Czech and German.   Indeed, Bahm's footnotes themselves are a vivid reminder of what might seem to be a paradox in the study of Central Europe:one cannot understand the nationalisms of the region without considering their transnational and international contexts.  At the same time, Bahm's article demonstrates the potential of microhistory and Alltagsgeschichte as vivid, compelling ways to illuminate broad social and political processes.   Sensitivity to nuance and attention to detail on a small scale, Bahm shows, pay off with insights into the big picture, too. Everyone interested in the dynamics of nationalism, whether at the level of class, state, family, or individual, can learn something from Karl Bahm's significant contributionto the study of a phenomenon so central to the history of the last two centuries.

After reading the statement, Bergen invited Bahm to come to the front, where he accepted the prize amid warm applause from those in attendance.

Report of the Nominating Committee
Next on the agenda was the report of the 1999 nominating committee, which consisted of Geoff Eley, Tony LaVopa and Istvan Deak.  President Hsia announced the committee’s nominations, which were approved by voice vote.

Vice-President Elect: David Crew, University of Texas at Austin
Executive Committee (a three-year term): Doris Bergen, University of Notre Dame

The term of service for the above positions commenced on January 9, 2000.

Report of the Archives Committee.
Owing to Alan Steinweis's resignation from his position as chair of the committee, there was no report from the Archives Committee.

The archives committee consists of:
David Barclay, Kalamazoo College
John Connelly, University of California at Berkeley
Carole Fink, Ohio State University
Geoffrey Giles, University of Florida (ex officio)
Gerhard Weinberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The executive committee is hoping to find a new chair of the committee soon.

Report from the German Historical Institute in Washington
Ronnie Hsia welcomed Christoph Mauch, Interim Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington. Mauch spoke briefly about the work of the GHI.  He expressed his gratitude for the Conference Group's financial support and co-sponsorship of the Transatlantic Seminar and made a plea for continued support in the future.  The Executive Committee has recommended continuing the annual subsidy to the Transatlantic Seminar, albeit at a reduced rate beginning in 2001.  Mauch expressed his gratitude for this expression of support.  Mauch also mentioned that the search for a new permanent director of the GHI is continuing.

Report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History.
There was no report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History.  It was reported that the new secretary of the organization is Gary Cohen, University of Oklahoma.

New Business

Book Prize Name
The only item of new business was discussion of naming the book prize.   Konrad Jarausch spoke briefly about the benefits of naming the Conference Group's bookprize.  A named prize will address the problem of anonymity, give the prize greater visibility and raise its overall standing in the profession.  The business meeting approved the executive board's recommendation to generate proposals for a book prize name, to be voted on at the next business meeting.

The business meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m.  Incoming president M.J. Maynes began her official duties by inviting the audience to the Bierabend next door.


Book Prize Competition

In January 2001 the Conference Group will award its biennial prize of $750 for the best book in Central European history published during 1998 and 1999.  Central European history is understood to include all German-speaking countries as well as areas previously included within the Habsburg monarchy.  This year the prize competition is open to books published in 1998 or 1999, in English, by permanent residents of North America. The Conference Group discourages submissions of reprints, second editions, multi-authored anthologies, and document publications.  Letters of nomination for the prize may be submitted by authors, publishers, or others and should be addressed to the chair of the book prize committee, Professor Helmut. W. Smith, Department of History, P.O. Box 1802, Sta. B., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, email:   Professor Smith requests that books be sent to his home address: 2006 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212. Nomination deadline: June 30, 2000. 

Three copies of each book nominated should be submitted: one to the committee chair, and one each to the other two members of the prize committee, Professor Eric Weitz, Department of History, University of Minnesota, 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0406, email: and Professor James V. H. Melton, Department of History, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, email:  Books should be postmarked no later than June 30, 2000.

For further information, please contact the executive secretary of the Conference Group, Prof. Kees Gispen, Department of History, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, email:, telephone: 661-915-7148, fax: 662-915-7033.

Editorship of Central European History

The editorship of Central European History will become vacant in the spring of 2004, when Ken Barkin, the current editor, will retire.  Individuals interested in the position of editor of Central European History after it becomes vacant are encouraged to contact any member of the executive committee or the executive secretary and treasurer.

2000 Executive Committee

The members of the Conference Group’s 2000 executive committee are:
President: Mary Jo Maynes, University of Minnesota
Vice-President: Konrad Jarausch, University of North Carolina and University of Potsdam
Vice-President Elect: David Crew, University of Texas at Austin
Immediate Past President: Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, New York University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2001): Mary Lindemann, Carnegie-Mellon University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2002): Pieter Judson, Swarthmore College
At-Large Member (exp. January 2003): Doris Bergen, University of Notre Dame
Editor of Central European History, Kenneth Barkin, University of California, Riverside
Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Kees Gispen, University of Mississippi

2000 Nominations Committee

The Conference Group’s 2000 nominating committee is made up of the executive committee.

The Committee has nominated David Blackbourn, Harvard University, for the position of Vice-President Elect and Peter Black, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for a three-year term on the executive committee.  Nominations will be voted on at the January 2001 business meeting.  Roger Chickering has agreed to serve as the Conference Group's delegate to Friends of the German Historical Institute in Washington.   His responsibilities commenced immediately.

Subscriptions to Central European History

Institutions or members of the Conference Group who are subscribers to CEH but have not been billed or received their subscriptions are urged to contact the publisher immediately.  The publisher's address is:
Humanities Press
c/o Brill Academic Publishers
112 Water Street, Suite 400
Boston MA 02109 USA
Tel. 1-800-962-4406 or 1-877-999-7575 (toll free)
Fax 617-263-2324

Subscribers outside North America, please contact:
Brill Academic Publishers
P.O. Box 9000
2300 PA Leiden
The Netherlands 
Phone: +31-71-535-3566 
Fax: +31-71-531-7532 

Brill is located on the web at:

Readers who would like to post information of interest to other members of the Conference Group should contact the executive secretary:

Kees Gispen
Department of History
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Telephone: 601-232-7148
FAX: 601-232-7033

This document was last updated 05/15/00