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TU Berlin

Inhalt des Dokuments

Ferenc Laczó


Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS)
TU Berlin
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, TEL 3-0
10587 Berlin    


The Metropolis in the Light of “Our National Virtues” – Budapest and Berlin in the Mirror of Discourses of the Inter-War Period

My dissertation aims to explore and analyze the various presentations and major discursive contests over Budapest and Berlin in the inter-war period. It purports to compare the variety of the discourses on these cities and understand how they relate to political ideologies, while focusing on the crystallization of the most widespread ideas and politically dominant conceptions and present them especially in terms of their relation to the respective nations and nationalistic ideas.

The research aims to link three areas of study in the first place, those of political ideologies, nationalistic production of knowledge and the interrelated local/national understandings of metropolis and local modern urban culture.

Though the project owes much to traditions of intellectual history writing and a significant amount of the primary research conducted will be in this vein, analyzing select prose writers, politicians and historians, it also purports to understand the relations between political and cultural ideas and connect the “realm of ideas” to social realities (namely by presenting the political, socioeconomic and cultural differences between these cities and “the rest” of the two countries) and cultural practices (i.e. some of the most important practices of symbolic conversion and several significant uses of urban space that these discourses led to and manifested in will be covered as well). Thereby, simultaneous reflection should become possible on textual evidences of the constructions of difference and other indicators we have of it. The most general horizon of the project is the discussion of modernity and ultimately, the dissertation hopes to contextualize, reflect on and analyze the modern urban phenomena in inter-war Hungary and Germany, as they manifested in these societies and cultures.

Lebenslauf / Curriculum Vitae

bis April 2009 Stipendiat am Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin   DEGREES

Master’s program in “Central European History” at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. Graduated with Distinction. Thesis on “Hungary’s Self-Limiting Opposition: The Impact of Poland, K.O.R. and Solidarity on Hungary in the early 1980s.”

Undergraduate studies at University College Utrecht, the Netherlands. Major in history, with minors in literature and philosophy. Graduated Summa cum Laude.


Review Editor of ECE’s Online Review Database, the website initiative of the international refereed journal East Central Europe/L’Europe du Centre-Est. Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift www.ece.ceu.hu. (The database aims to map the current historiographies of the countries of the East Central European region in English.) I am also the manager of the website (2006+)

Member of the Szabad Változók Egyesület [Free Variables Association], an association of young philosophers and scientists http://wwww.szv.hu (2005+)

Editor of Sic Itur ad Astra: Fiatal Történészek Folyóirata, the Hungarian journal for young historians, originally established at Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem in 1988 (2006- …) www.sicitur.hu (2007+)


Editorial Assistant of East Central Europe/L’Europe du Centre-Est. Eine wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift  (2007)

Student organizer of Graduate Conferences in European History (GRACEH), the joint initiative of the Central European University (Budapest), the European University Institute (Florence) and the Berlin School for Comparative European History (Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas). The first annual conference in the series, GRACEH 2007 was on the theme of New Histories of Politics and took place in Budapest between 18th and 20th of May 2007. Please see: www.hist.ceu.hu/conferences/graceh

Member of the special college (szakkollégium) Erasmus Kollégium and of its research group Társadalmi Terek (Social Spaces) www.erasmuskollegium.hu (2006-2007)

Member of the Research Network 1989, of its Working Group “The Search for Closure: The Dynamics of Communism’s Criminalisation in Europe,” see the proposal at: http://www.cee-socialscience.net/1989/groups/g5.html (2005-2006)

Editor of Eidos, the academic journal of University College Utrecht (2002-2003)

Chief editor of the same college’s student magazine Boomerang (2001-2002)

Section editor of the liberal youth monthly Különvélemény [Dissenting Opinion] (2004)

Contributor of articles to the discussion website www.opina.eu

In sports, former youth tennis champion of Hungary, participant at European Championships, Youth Olympic Days, member of the Hungary’s national tennis team (1993-1997)

Publikationen / Publications


“Mapping the Hungarian Urban Historical Landscape” in East Central Europe/L’Europe du Centre-Est. Eine wissenschaftlich Zeitschrift (in the issue 2006/I-II), pp.311-333.

“Magyar várostörténet” in BUKSZ 2007. ősz

“The Many Moralists and the Few Communists: Approaching Morality and Politics in post-Communist Hungary” in Michal Kopecek, ed., Past in the Making: Historical Revisionism in East Central Europe after 1989 (Budapest: CEU Press 2008).

“ "Kunbélás rapperek Keletre menjetek!" Reflexiók kommunizmusról és a Kelet-, Nyugat- és Európa-referenciákról” [“ “Belakuner rappers, to the East with you!” Reflections on communism and the references East, West and Europe”]  in Máté Zombory (ed.), Térképváltás (Budapest, 2008, forthcoming)

“Egy gyümölcsöző, szimptomatikus kísérlet – A Beszélő Évek sorozat” [“A fruitful and symptomatic experiment – The Beszélő Évek Series”] In Szabad Változók, 3. szám, http://www.szv.hu/cikkek/egy-gyumolcsozo-szimptomatikus-kiserlet

“Emlékek, Tervek, Utópiák – Interjú Sorin Antohival” [“Memories, Blueprints, Utopias – Interview with Sorin Antohi” accessible in English at interviewwithantohi.blogspot.com] In Szabad Változók: 4. szám. http://www.szv.hu/cikkek/interju-sorin-antohival. Conductor and translated of this conversation.

“A tudományos önéletelemzők – Kornai János, Raymond Aron és Eric Hobsbawm értelmiségi önéletrajzai” [“The scientific autoanalysts – The Intellectual Autobiographies of János Kornai, Raymond Aron and Eric Hobsbawm”] in Szabad Változók: 4. szám. http://www.szv.hu/kritika/a-tudomanyos-oneletelemzok


Sorin Antohi, Balázs Trencsényi and Péter Apor (eds.). Narratives Unbound: Historical Studies in Post-Communist Eastern Europe (Budapest: CEU Press, 2007) www.ece.ceu.hu

Iván Zoltán Dénes (ed.). Liberty and the Search for Identity. Liberal Nationalisms and the Legacy of Empires (Budapest: CEU Press, 2006) www.ece.ceu.hu

József Takáts. Modern magyar politikai eszmetörténet (Budapest: Osiris Kiado, 2007) www.ece.ceu.hu

Gergely Romsics. Mítosz és emlékezet: A Habsburg Birodalom felbomlása az osztrák és a magyar politikai elit emlékirat-irodalmában (Budapest: L´Harmattan, 2004) www.ece.ceu.hu

Balázs Trencsényi. A Politika Nyelvei. Eszmetörténeti Tanulmányok (Budapest: Argumentum Kiado, 2007) www.ece.ceu.hu

Sabrina P. Ramet. Thinking about Yugoslavia: Scholarly Debates about the Yugoslav Breakup and the Wars in Bosnia and Kosovo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) www.ece.ceu.hu

Balazs Trencsenyi and Michal Kopeček (eds.) Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770-1945), Texts and Commentaries, Volume I: Late Enlightenment – Emergence of the Modern ‘National Idea’  (Budapest: CEU Press, 2006) www.ece.ceu.hu

Zusatzinformationen / Extras


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