Prof. Dr. Karsten Brüggemann (Tallinn): A Transnational Perspective on the Baltic Wars of Independence


Mo. 29.04.2024 | 17:00 Uhr

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Prof. Dr. Karsten Brüggemann (Tallinn) referiert zum folgenden Thema: 
A Transnational Perspective on the Baltic Wars of Independence, 1918-1920: post-imperial connections and national peculiarities

Moderation: Dr. Kęstutis Kilinskas

The history of the Baltic wars of independence, quite naturally, is a very nationally framed tale. Only rarely do national historiographies look for the neighbor’s fate, and if they do, it serves to enhance the proud trajectory of the own state. However, there are many ways to tell this particular story. A post-imperial perspective would rather stress the dependence of local developments on the dynamics of the Russian civil war, whereas a more transnationally oriented approach can focus on right-wing or left-wing “internationals” fighting or supporting revolution. Geopolitically, the story of the “wars after the war” points at the complex conditions for the establishment of a new world order after the Great War.

In his presentation, Karsten Brüggemann aims for a broader contextualization of the multifaceted developments during the years 1918-1920 on the territories of the Baltic States. Focusing on Latvia and, especially, Estonia, he is going to compare conditions in all three young republics during the turmoil of war, revolution, and imperial dissolution. What seems natural to us today, the emergence of three national states, was a highly contested and, as it seemed back then, very unlikely outcome of these crises.

Karsten Brüggemann is Professor of Estonian and General History at the School of Humanities of Tallinn University. He received his PhD in history from the University of Hamburg in 1999, with a study on the Russian Civil War in the Baltic region. In 2013, he defended his habilitation at the University of Gießen with a study on the perception of the Baltic provinces in Russian imperial culture. Licht und Luft des Imperiums. Legitimations- und Repräsentationsstrategien russischer Herrschaft in den Ostseeprovinzen im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert was published in 2018. Together with colleagues, he has published a history of Tallinn, a history of the Baltic States and edited the three-volume history of the Baltic States: Das Baltikum. Geschichte einer europäischen Region. His main research areas in the field of Baltic/Russian history are: the history of 19th and 20th century, cultural and transnational history, memory and history, the historical dimensions of sport, tourism and music.

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