Conference: “Minority science” in the short 20th century: Imagining science from the margins of academia. 30 March – 1 April 2023, Prague

Datum konání: 
30. 3. 2023, 0:00 - 1. 4. 2023, 0:00


Conference of the project Lumina Quaeruntur project “Images of science” in Czechoslovakia 1918-1945-1968


Masaryk Institute and Archive of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, Gabčíkova 2362/10, Praha 8, 182 00 & zoom. Registration for zoom


20th century is characterised by manifold processes of redrawing social, cultural, and geographic boundaries – from the fall of empires, to the end of the Soviet Union. Scholars were involved in these redrawings in manifold roles. They could be facilitators of change but also those affected by it. In our conference we will look at those scholars who were located at the margins of the academia, but also became members of minorities due to expulsion or change of political borders. Cultural historians have accentuated that being an “other” can allow a more distant and critical perception of one’s surrounding society, a thesis which we want to investigate closer by looking at scholars and scientists and their imaginations of, and relation to, respective “mainstreams.” By connecting epistemic and social othering and marginalisation we do not want to blur boundaries between them, but on the contrary, investigate how the boundaries between “social” and “epistemic” are drawn and how these entities are interrelated, and thus to uncover how (academic) power relations are entangled with those in the society at large.


Thursday, March 30

15:30-16:00 Registration and Introduction

16:00-19:00 Session I
Chair: Galina Babak

  • Oksana Blashkiv: Slavic Studies and/or “minority science”: the case of Dmytro Čyževsky 
  • Ekaterina Shashlova: Migrants and new knowledge. Franco-German cultural transfer between the world wars
  • Maria Silina: Museum practitioners in exile and the creation of Russian-centred narratives in the Soviet Union
  • Patrick Flack: Roman Jakobson: between Russian Emigration and International Science
  • 19:00 Reception & short presentation of projects Images of Science & Global Academies


Friday, March 31

9:00-12:00 Session II
Chair: Tomáš Gecko

  • Natalia Aleksiun: Jewish Physicians and Minority Medicine in the Second Polish Republic
  • Lara Bonneau: “general Science of art” (die allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft), Emil Utitz, a German-speaking Czech philosopher (1883-1956)
  • Florian Ruttner: “Religious affiliation: Dissident”. Josef Doppler and the Margins of Academia
  • Laurens Schlicht: Franziska Baumgarten on Gender Identity, the Values of Science, and the Social Role of Psychology, ca. 1920–1950

13:30-15:00 Session III
Chair: Joris Vandendriessche

  • Maria Pirogovskaya: Multiple Minority and the Metropolitan Science: One Controversy about Tibetan Studies under Stalin
  • Filip Herza: Researching Ruthenia: Science on the Margins – Marginals in Science
  • Michael Wedekind: Interwar Minority Scholarship in South Tyrol

15:30-17:30 Session IV
Chair: Jan Surman

  • Kai Johann Willms: Polish-Jewish Sociologists in Interwar Poland and in American Exile
  • Friedrich Pollack: Empowerment and suppression. Sorbian historiography and the institutionalisation of Sorbian Studies in the GDR
  • Göktuğ İpek: Being a Leftist Academician in New “Democratic” Turkey After The WWII


Saturday, April 1

9:00-12:00 Session V
Chair: Michaela Šmidrkalová

  • Slava Gerovitch: Playing the System: Soviet Mathematicians’ Strategies of Circumvention
  • Irina Antoshchuk: Russian-speaking computer scientists in the UK as immigrant minority: revealing unexpected advantages and disadvantages
  • Elisa Satjukow: At the Margins of History: The German Sonderweg of East and Southeast European Studies after the End of the Cold War
  • Tina Magazzini: Romani studies between academic power relations and EU funding: methodological field notes


Call for Papers (PDF)