Conference Group for Central European History
Spring 2004

Dear Colleagues,

Here is the Spring 2004 Newsletter.  Items of particular interest include the annual report and a special retrospective by the Editor of Central European History, the report of the 2003-2004 Article Prize Committee, the announcement of the competition for the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize to be awarded in January 2005, and guidelines for submitting proposals for panels to be presented at the 2005 AHA meeting.  To go directly to a subject listed in the table of contents, please click on the relevant line below.

Kees Gispen


Report of the Business Meeting in Washington, D.C., 10 January 2004
        Welcome by the President
        Report of the Executive Secretary and Treasurer
        Report of the Editor of Central European History
        Report of the 2003-2004 Prize Committee: Michael Geyer wins the Hans Rosenberg Article Prize; Larry Wolff gets honorable mention
        Report of the Archives Committee
        Report from the German Historical Institute
        Report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
        New Business
               Election of new officers
               H-German proposal regarding the posting of conference-paper abstracts on H-German
Guidelines for submitting panel proposals to the CGCEH-sponsored segment of the AHA program
        2004-2005 Hans Rosenberg Book Prize Competition
        2004 Executive Committee
        Nominations for positions on the Executive Committee
        Join the CGCEH
        Subscriptions to Central European History
        Subscriptions to Austrian History Yearbook
        Contact the editor of the Newsletter

    Business Meeting, Washington, D.C.

January 2004

Welcome and Introductory Remarks by the President
Omni Shoreham Hotel.  Director's Room.  President David Blackbourn chaired the meeting and welcomed the members in attendance.  Blackbourn  invited everyone to participate in the Bierabend (which took place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 in the adjacent Executive room and was the usual lively affair).  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 and gave the following overview.

Budget summary January 2003-January 2004

Balance Forward  January 3, 2003






AHA return of capital invested*





Brill royalties**





Total income





Book prize award January 2003 (Harold Marcuse)





2003 Bierabend and Executive Board meeting 




  Legal fees (filing for tax exempt status)***


  United States Treasure (filing fee tax exempt status)




2003 National Coalition for History dues





2003  Subsidy to CEH





Total expenditures




Net income





Balance forward January  10, 2004





* Investment capital returned by AHA to CGCEH

** Brill Academic Publishers provided the following breakdown: amount includes $5,490.00 advance on royalties for 2004 ($6.00 per subscription) plus $522.00 for additional subscriptions in 2003

*** Legal fees charged by the Oxford, Mississippi law firm, Clayton, O'Donnell, Walsh, PLLC for preparing and filing the application to the IRS for tax exempt status.

The business meeting approved the 2003 financial report. 

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

*In connection with Ken Barkin's retirement as editor of CEH, this agenda item was addressed toward the very the end of the business meeting. 

Publishing record for 2003 (vol. 36):

Number of issues 4
Number of articles 11 + 2 replies
Number of review articles 3
Number of book reviews 89

At the publisher:

vol. 37:1 3 articles, 1 other 18 reviews

Current editorial status (January 2004):

In progress vol. 37:2 (2 articles, 3 other, 22 reviews)
Articles accepted 5
Review articles accepted 0
Articles to be revised 3
Articles at referees 3
Articles rejected in 2003 13
New articles to be read --
Book reviews on hand 89
Book reviews outstanding 111
Book reviews outstanding--retired (1999-2000) 16
Number of subscribers  915

Barkin also announced that (1) Robert Moeller was reappointed to continue serving on the editorial board and (2) Kathleen Canning replaced Atina Grossmann on the journal's editorial board. 

Following the routine part of his report, Barkin offered the following


        When I took over the editorship of CEH the discipline of history was changing rapidly.  Political, diplomatic, and economic history seemed to be fading after a long run, and even the nation state was being challenged as a central focus of research. . Given the increasing interest in gender, r ac e, post colonialism, and memory, I had to consider "whither goeth" CEH.  In part that decision is made for you by the manuscripts that are submitted to the journal.  My own belief is that excellent history can be written based on a variety of theories, and with the employment of a diverse number of methodologies. I also concluded that weak and unconvincing history could equally be based on very different foundations.
     Thus, the main issues for me were: quality and depth of scholarship, how convincing the argument was, and the degree to which the manuscript made a serious contribution to our knowledge of Central Europe . Clear and cogent writing also played a role, 1, then, appointed a Board of Editors that represented different theoretical approaches.  Looking back thirteen years later, I believe my approach has worked fairly well and allowed a graceful transition from one generation to another with a minimum of strife.  Manuscripts ranging from the politics of Franz von Papen to one addressing the question whether men could be moved by emotions (at least in the Romantic Era) have or will be published. Another interesting article was based on oral interviews with women in the former DDR.
        There were two successes during these years worth mentioning. The introduction of book reviews in 1991 has met with very positive responses. Excellent reviewers have been willing to take the time to write critical and analytical reviews. i never counted words or pages. An effort was made to particularly review books in areas such as Medieval Central Europe and the eighteenth century—that is, areas in which we do not get too many submissions.  I hoped this would maintain subscribers who would not find many articles published in their areas of interest.
     Last year, I was informed by Heather Shannon, a graduate student at Rutgers University Library School, that the journal Impact gave its highest quality rating to CEH for the first time. As a result, the influential Magazine for Libraries rated CEH, "the most respected journal in its area," among journals published in English.  Also Ms. Shannon found that CEH was the most cited journal dealing with German-speaking Europe, followed by the Journal of Modern History and the Journal of Contemporary History.  I
f the journal has been a success, much of the praise should go to Ursula Marcum, who sought to meet the highest standards of editing, and almost always did.  She also managed to make many friends among our authors along the way.  The Board of Editors did a splendid job of maintaining the highest standards that CEH has been known for since its founding in 1968. They also got their reports in rapidly so younger authors were assured of a response in two to three months.  Roger Chickering and Kees Gispen helped guide the journal through a rough patch when our publisher, Humanities Press went bankrupt. They were calm and practical while I was experiencing wide emotional swings.
Lastly, although we have published very distinguished authors such as Geoff Eley, Gerald Feldman, Wolfgang Mommsen, Adelheid von Saldern, and Hans-Ulrich Wehler during my years as editor, the majority of authors were either advanced graduate students or assistant professors. The high quality of the manuscripts they have submitted convinces me that the discipline of German history is in very good shape in this country.


David Blackbourn thanked Barkin and turned over the floor to Roger Chickering, who, on behalf of the membership and the executive board, paid tribute to Barkin with the following remarks.

Kenneth Barkin: An Appreciation

        When Thomas Nipperdey died on June 14, 1992 , Gerald Feldman wrote the obituary for Central European HistoryThis document was a fitting symbol of the condition of our journal--both its strengths and weaknesses--as Ken Barkin became its editor.  One distinguished historian's eulogy to another found an appropriate place here, for the journal was widely recognized as a leading forum of international exchange, a link between scholarly communities in Germany and North America.  The obituary appeared, however, in volume twenty-four of CEH, which bore the date December 1991. It thus left the impression that Feldman was a man of extraordinary foresight.
        If the one aspect of this episode reflected the eminence that Douglas Unfug had brought to the journal while he was editor, the other spoke to practical problems that had begun to plague it during the final years of his tenure.  Production had fallen significantly behind schedule.  To those of us on the board of directors of the Conference Group a decade and a half ago, it was clear that maintaining an enterprise like this would entail daunting administrative burdens, which would call in turn for extraordinary determination and organizational skill.  Much was at stake, for the survival of both the journal and the Conference Group appeared to lie in the hands of the scholar who agreed to take on these burdens.
        The rest is history.  The journal's recovery began immediately upon Ken Barkin's arrival in office.  It was in fact an editorial feat that Nipperdey died only six months after the appearance of his obituary.  Within two years the journal was fully up to date, despite the challenges the editor faced in breaking in a new publisher (a challenge that he faced again several years later).  To a significant degree, credit for the achievement belongs to Ursula Marcum, who contributed much of the efficiency, discipline, and good sense that have characterized daily business in the journal's office.  Still, Ken Barkin had the wisdom to hire her; and he has provided masterful editorial guidance and a sense of mission to the whole operation.  As a consequence, Central European History has not only retained the distinguished standing that it enjoyed in the world of historical scholarship.  It has also become a better journal.  The issues have become more thematically cohesive.  The quality of the articles has remained uniformly high, but they have broadened methodologically and now enjoy the company of historiographical essays and comprehensive book reviews.
        As Ken Barkin leaves the editorship, he can look back on extraordinary success.  To Ken Ledford he leaves both a distinguished journal and a record of accomplishment that will be difficult to match.  Let us wish our new editor every success.  To us in the Conference Group, Ken Barkin leaves an achievement for which we must be profoundly grateful.  Thanks in large part to him, our organization is today more alive and healthy than it has ever been before.  In gratitude, let us all wish him well.  


Following Chickering's comments, Blackbourn presented Barkin with an antique pewter flagon as a token of the Conference Group's deep appreciation for his energy, vision, and grace as editor of Central European History.


Report of the 2003-2004 Hans Rosenberg Article Prize Committee

The next item of business was the report of the Hans Rosenberg prize committee, which this year consisted of Belinda Davis (chair), Karl Bahm, and Mary Lindemann.  The prize for the best article in Central European history published in 2001 or 2002 was awarded to Michael Geyer for his article, “Insurrectionary Warfare: The German Debate about a Levee en Masse in October 1918.”  The committee singled out for honorary mention Larry Wolff's article, “Dynastic Conservatism and Poetic Violence in Fin-de-Siècle Cracow.”  Committee Chair Belinda Davis read the prize committee's award statement and congratulated Larry Wolff in person.  Michael Geyer was not present.  The text of the Committee's award letter follows.

January 10, 2004

 The prize committee found Michael Geyer's article, “Insurrectionary Warfare: The German Debate about a Levee en Masse in October 1918” (Journal of Modern History 73 [September 2001]: 459-527), challenging and provocative in all the best senses.  Based on remarkably broad and deep primary research, the piece also very effectively engages existing scholarship to challenge our understanding of perceived German options in October 1918, and how these stand to rewrite the history of World War I, the interwar years, and even of World War II.  We were particularly impressed by the versatility and creativity of the methodological approach.  We were excited by the deft and successful blending of micro- and macro- approaches and of less conventional techniques to confront what might be considered a "traditional" historiographical question.  At the same time, the painstaking and detailed exhumation of relevant info rmation and processes buttresses the audacious argument Geyer advances.  His conclusions force a reconsideration of several dimensions of German history.  Though the piece is unusually lengthy for a journal article, the committee was convinced of the importance of the wealth of detail needed to build such an argument; the piece's passion, as well as wit and eloquence, also carries the reader along.  This is an article that clearly matters, and reminds us how much historical scholarship, and ideas more generally, can matter.

 The committee also found Larry Wolff's article, “Dynastic Conservatism and Poetic Violence in Fin-de-Siècle Cracow” (American Historical Review 106, 3), extremely important.  Beyond other recent work on "multiple modernities," including conservative modernity, Wolff's article pushes us to rethink the nature of modern identity.  We liked the article's explicit engagement with Carl Schorske's work, extending, and subtly challenging those seminal writings, and found the attempt to delineate a "negotiated cultural accommodation between Cracow conservatism and fin-de-siecle modernism" important to consider.  Wolff's article offers a whole range of theoretical revisions of existing understandings of the nature of fin-de-siecle modernity and its crisis, as well as of the nature of the Habsburg state and its constituent parts, and of the character of the political conflicts between liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism.

The Prize Committee:
 Karl Bahm
Belinda Davis (Chair)
Mary Lindemann

Report of the Archives Committee
David Barclay, chair of the Archives Committee, submitted the following report, which was read by Kees Gispen

This year’s report will be quite brief.  We have received no reports in the last year of serious problems regarding access to materials in North American or Central European archives.  Archives in Central Europe seem to be functioning relatively smoothly, although, like all other publicly funded institutions these days, they are threatened by the budget-cutting axe.  To be sure, the situation is not as acute as it is in the United States , where state and local archives constantly have to contend with the real possibility that they will be closed and their collections dispersed.  Still, vigilance is essential. 

Some Central European archives are continuing their efforts to make their collections more readily accessible; and their Web sites, which will be immensely helpful to overseas scholars planning research trips, are steadily improving.   Thus, for example, the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin now offers a first-rate site at 

 Of course, the Birthler-Behörde has long maintained an excellent Web site at  As usual, the past year witnessed its share of controversies concerning the Birthler-Behörde; for example, many CGCEH members will have followed the discussions in the late summer and early fall concerning the writer Günter Wallraff.  In November it was reported (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18 November 2003) that about 15 employees of the Birthler-Behörde have begun the arduous task of “pasting” together about 16,000 sacks of Stasi documents that had been shredded in 1989-90.  Happily, the Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionsanlagen and the Lufthansa Systems Group have developed a sorting and scanning system that will dramatically accelerate the process of reassembling the 600 million paper shreds contained in the sacks.  If the Bundestag provides the necessary funding, the process can be completed in five years.  The shredded documents mostly date from the 1970s and 1980s and contain sensitive information regarding both Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter and targets of Stasi surveillance.   

CGCEH members are urged to contact David Barclay, Chair of the Archives Committee, with suggestions, comments, additions, and observations (

David E. Barclay
Kalamazoo College

Report from the German Historical Institute in Washington
There was no report from the GHI in Washington.  However, detailed information is available at:

Roger Chickering on behalf of Friends of the German Historical Institute announced the 2003 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize winners: 

Chad Carl Bryant (University of California, Berkeley) 
 "Making the Czechs German: Nationality and Nazi Rule in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 1939-1945" 


Jeffrey T. Zalar (Georgetown University) 
"Knowledge and Nationalism in Imperial Germany: A Cultural History of the Association of St. Charles Borromeo, 1890-1914"

Report from the Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Gary Cohen, President of the SAHH, presented a brief report on the state of our sister organization.  He reminded those present of language in the CGCEH by-laws, which calls for representation on the executive board of a representative from the SAHH.  The new representative is Ron Smelser. 

Cohen also announced the winner of the R. John Rath Article Prize for the best essay published in the Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 23 (2003).  The prize was awarded to Cathleen M. Giustino, Associate Professor of History at Auburn University, for "Municipal Activism in Late-Nineteenth-Century Prague: The House Numbered 207-V and Ghetto Clearance," pp. 247-78.  

In its Laudatio the jury (William E. Wright, Gerald Stourzh, and Karl F. Bahm) noted that, 

        "Professor Giustino focuses on an area of the city of Prague––the former Prague ghetto––to examine and illuminate the processes and problems of the quickening activities of growth and reform in the cities of the Habsburg Monarchy. She has skillfully mined a rich, wide range of sources: municipal records; reports of officials; correspondences of private parties; and periodical publications, inter alia. From these she has composed a strikingly lively depiction of the conditions of the poor and the modestly situated, the conduct of building and health officials in pursuing programs of betterment for the city, the relation of these programs to the notions of economic liberalism, the growing sense of municipal self-consciousness and desire for recognition, and, finally, the troubling tensions of ethnic differences and anti-Semitism. Further, she brilliantly relates the microcosm of the Judenstadt in Prague to the larger city and to the macrocosm of the municipalities in the Monarchy.
        In sum, Professor Giustino's article is a masterful demonstration of a historian's ability to infuse the life and immediacy of the particular, a small portion of Prague, into an overall understanding of the whole, the burgeoning municipal activism of Central Europe. Hers is a work of such value to the community of scholars as to merit the R. John Rath Prize for the year 2003.

New Business

Election of New Officers
The nominating committee proposed Ron Smelser (University of Utah) for the position of Vice-President elect and Suzanne Marchand (Louisiana State University) for a three-year term as at-large member of the executive board.  Both nominees were approved unanimously and commenced their terms of service at the end of the business meeting.

H-German Proposal Regarding the Posting of Conference-Paper Abstracts on H-German
In early December, the Executive Secretary and other members of the Executive Board received a proposal from H-German moderator and co-editor Susan Boettcher to expand H-German's coverage of conferences by including in its postings reports on CGCEH-sponsored or co-sponsored papers and sessions at the annual AHA meeting.  Following a round of email consultation, a majority of the Executive Board gave its provisional and tentative blessing to the proposal for this year's conference (January 2004).   The Executive Board is of the opinion, however, that it lacks the authority either to grant or to withhold permission concerning H-German's (or, for that matter, anyone else's) reporting on sessions.  The Executive Board therefore endorses H-German's proposal in principle, with the proviso that it urges H-German to obtain session organizers' and individual panelists' approval for the reports in question.  The Business Meeting voted to endorse the Executive Board's position.

The business meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.  David Blackbourn invited everyone present to the Bierabend, which commenced immediately in an adjoining room .


Guidelines for Submitting Panel Proposals to the CGCEH-Sponsored Segment of the AHA Program

AHA panel organizers whose proposals were rejected by the AHA program committee but who would like their proposals to be reconsidered for solo-sponsorship by the CGCEH are encouraged to submit copies of their AHA proposals to the CGCEH's executive secretary.  Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 21, 2004.  To facilitate evaluation by the executive board, organizers are asked to submit their proposals and supporting documentation in electronic format as early as possible.  The decisions of the Executive Board will be announced no later than June 2. 

Hans Rosenberg Book  Prize Competition

In January 2005 the Conference Group will award its biennial Hans Rosenberg prize of $750 for the best book in Central European history.  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 2002 or 2003, 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 George Williamson of the University of Alabama. Nomination deadline: June 30, 2004. 

David M. Luebke Harold Marcuse George S. Williamson
Department of History Department of History Department of History
University of Oregon University of California University of Alabama
Eugene, OR 97403-1288 Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9410 Box 870212
voice: 541-346-4802 voice: 805-893-2991 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0212
fax: 541-346-4895 fax: 805-893-8795 voice: 205-348-7100
email: email: fax: 205-348-0670

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

2004 Executive Committee

The members of the Conference Group’s 2004 executive committee are:
President: Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri, Columbia
Vice-President: Roger Chickering, Georgetown University
Vice-President Elect: Ron Smelser, University of Utah
Immediate Past President: David Blackbourn, Harvard University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2005): Dagmar Herzog, Michigan State University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2006): Kevin Repp, Yale University
At-Large Member (exp. January 2007): Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University 
Editor of Central European History, Kenneth Barkin, University of California, Riverside
Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Kees Gispen, University of Mississippi

2004 Nominations Committee

The Conference Group’s 2003 nominating committee is made up of the executive committee.  The committee has nominated Isabel Hull (Cornell University) for the position of Vice-President-elect and Richard Wetzell (German Historical Institute in Washington) for a three-year term on the executive committee.  Nominations will be voted on at the January 2005 business meeting.  Members are invited to submit additional nominations to the Executive Secretary.

Membership of the Conference Group

Interested scholars and individuals may join the Conference Group by acquiring an individual subscription to Central European History.  The price of an individual subscription in 2004 is $55.00.  Please contact the publisher's Boston office.

Subscriptions to Central European History

The publisher of CEH is Brill Academic Publishers. Brill may be contacted at the following addresses:

Editorial & Marketing
Brill Academic Publishers Inc.
112 Water Street, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02109
Tel: 1-617-263-2323
Fax: 1-617-263-2324
Office hours: 08.30 hrs to 17.00 hrs.

Ordering & Customer Services
Brill Academic Publishers
P.O. Box 605
Herndon, VA 20172
Tel: 1-800-337-9255 (toll free, USA and Canada only)
Tel: 1-703-661-1500
Fax: 1-703-661-1501

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:

Subscriptions to Austrian History Yearbook

Berghahn Books is pleased to announce the following special offer to all CGCEH members: Subscribe now to the AUSTRIAN HISTORY YEARBOOK (Vol. 33/2002 or Vol. 34/2003, 1 issue p.a.) and receive $2.00 off the individual subscription rate of $35.00. For further information, please visit, or contact us at

Contact the Executive Secretary

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

Kees Gispen
Department of History
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Telephone: 662-915-7148
FAX: 662-915-7033

This document was last updated 03/23/04