Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

From Paris to St. Petersburg and From Kovno to New York. A Cultural History of Transnational Mobility in East Central Europe

  • Dr. Jan Musekamp,
  • Prof. em. Dr. Karl Schlögel
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber
  • Prof. Dr. Timothy Parsons, Washington University in St. Louis/USA
  • Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin; Forschungsverbund „Phantomgrenzen"
European University Viadrina; Research stays sponsored by: VolkswagenStiftung; Max Weber Stiftung
2008 - 2014

The long nineteenth century was a time of radical changes in all spheres of society. The revolution in transport and communication would eventually cumulate in the development of a European railroad system. My research project is a cultural history of mobility in East Central Europe. I am focusing on the Eastern Railroad (Ostbahn) as an excellent example of the emergence of international transportation networks prior to the First World War: The first train running from Berlin reached Königsberg (Kaliningrad) in 1857. Four years later the Ostbahn was connected to the Russian net. Henceforth, the railroad transported travelers and goods from Paris to St. Petersburg and vice versa. In contrast to previous research in the field of mobility history, focusing mainly on national history, this project analyzes the impact of the railroad on the development of international networks. My project examines the role of infrastructures in different fields of society and economics. Research is scarce, notably when it comes to Central and Eastern Europe, on how the cross-border movement of passengers and goods impacted the exchange of ideas and the development of auto and heterostereotypes. This is especially true for the interdisciplinary and transnational approaches that are drawn from social and cultural history and that I have chosen to apply in my project.

Projektbeschreibung auf Deutsch