Focus themes

Annual focal themes structure EUTIM’s research for a given year. These themes consists of differing approaches to the broader subject of “European Times”—“Comparative Histories of Science in the 20th Century” (2020/21), “Small Literatures and Neighborhood” (2021/22), and “Internationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism” (2022/23). Each theme will be discussed at a yearly conference.

Small Literatures and Neighborhood

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Alexander Wöll

In the 19th and 20th centuries, “small literatures” represented special social, temporal and aesthetic mechanisms of interaction in Eastern and Central Europe and, therefore, they are the 2022 annual focus of EUTIM’s project, “Small Literatures and Neighbourhood”.

In our annual focus, we want to investigate the role that small literatures played and continue to play in social processes and debates within their communicative space, and the influence modernisation paradigms have on small literatures and their reflections. We also intend to look at the entanglements between big and small literatures, and key actors and their roles in the entanglement process.


Internationalism vs. Cosmopolitism

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Annette Werberger

Within the research focus of the EUTIM project in 2023, internationalism and cosmopolitanism – a Latin and a Greek word that signify going beyond separate communities or settled individuals – will form the starting point for an investigation of asynchronous globalization processes in European countries before and after 1989. In exploring these concepts, we will look into their historical genesis and different cultural manifestations.


Within the research focus, reactions to the effects and tempos of globalization in East and West will be studied. We will examine more closely temporal thrusts of internationalist and cosmopolitan developments in East and West, especially in the interwar period and with regard to the seminal events of 19681968 in East and West, where cosmopolitan and internationalist arguments became intertwined.

Compared History of Science in the 20th Century

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Andrii Portnov

Our project’s thematic focus for the first year is the history of science and the humanities with special attention paid to non-simultaneity and complex entanglements of producing knowledge in the ‘East’ and ‘West’; the relevance of who proposes certain conceptual ideas, as well as where and in what languages.

Another issue is the role that ascribed and self-ascribed ‘backwardness’ played for the (inter)national recognition of theoretical suggestions. Furthermore, the project considers the notion of ‘theories from the East’ and the ways that ‘Western’ conceptual frameworks were domesticized in Central and Eastern Europe.