Reflections. Preface

It is with great pleasure that I present to you these six papers, delivered at the IWM’s Junior Visiting Fellows conference on June 8, 2005. The papers were developed during a six-month fellowship granted to researchers whose areas of expertise are as diverse as the subject matters:

The first paper is by Astrid Swenson, a doctoral candidate in History at Cambridge University. In her paper, Swenson, who has long studied the historic preservation movements in 19 th-century France, Germany and Britain, examines how collaboration and competition at the world’s fairs, both domestically and internationally, helped give rise to each nation’s cultural heritage.

Next is Emilia Palonen, who recently received her doctorate in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex. In her paper, Palonen looks at the speeches of Gábor Demszky, the mayor of Budapest since 1990. Palonen shows how Demszky invokes the image of 19 th-century Budapest as a way of articulating his political values.

Emily Rohrbach, a doctoral candidate in English Literature at Boston University considers Jane Austen as a historiographer. Within Northanger Abbey, long considered one of Austen’s most light-hearted novels, Rohrbach finds a serious critique of the way 18th-century British historians construed the past.

The first three papers address ways in which people interpret their society’s history. In this next paper, Asli Baykal, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at Boston University who conducted fieldwork in Uzbekistan in 2002 and 2003, describes the present breakdown of the Uzbek state’s relations with Uzbek society, a situation that she suggests is likely to deteriorate further in the future.

Greg Charak, a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, identifies a very different kind of breakdown: the split between analytic and Continental philosophy that occurred before the Second World War. Charak’s paper outlines some ways in which this split, which he says is accompanied by a disjunction between “the positive” and “the primordial,” can be reconciled.

My own contribution looks at some of the ways in which governments in some European states are using international legal mechanisms to censor expression uttered outside their borders. I recently received a Master’s degree in journalism from Boston University, and I am currently working as an online journalist.

I am tempted to try to identify a single theme that unifies this collection, but it is doubtful that one exists. To encapsulate such diversity under a single rubric would result in a statement so specific that it would include only a slim cross-section of each contributor’s efforts, or one so general that it would be empty of meaning. To the extent that parallels exist between these papers, they are ones best discerned and articulated by, you, the reader.

This is not to say, however, that the papers were produced in isolation. Far from it: the spring 2005 Junior Visiting Fellows constituted a close-knit group, one that discussed in depth all of the subjects presented in this volume. We did so more formally, at the junior fellow’s individual presentations throughout the semester; and causally, over lunch at the Institute and in cafés around the city. I would not be surprised if all of the papers reflect in some way the input of everyone in our group. At the very least, it is true for my own work.

An astute reader may notice that the bibliographic formats are inconsistent from paper to paper. This is intentional. The contributors to this journal hail from different disciplines, each with its own citation guidelines, and I have opted to preserve these as they are. As this is a digital publication, however, I have added hyperlinks where appropriate. Please note that the only purpose of external links is to provide more information. Links to commercial book sites may not lead to the same edition used by the contributor, and they should not at all be interpreted as an attempt to persuade the reader to purchase anything.

Finally, I would like to thank Emily Rohrbach for her efforts in organizing the conference, and Janos Kovacs for overseeing and participating throughout the day. I also wish to extend my gratitude to Klaus Nellen for his helping to coordinate the publication of this journal, and to David Soucek for doing the technical work to put it in its final form.


IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XIX
© 2006 by the author
Readers may redistribute this article to other individuals for noncommercial use, provided that the text and this note remain intact. This article may not be reprinted or redistributed for commercial use without prior written permission from the author. If you have any questions about permissions, please contact Klaus Nellen at IWM.
Preferred citation: O’Carroll, Eoin. 2006. Preface. In Reflections, ed. E. O’Carroll, Vienna: IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. 19.