Professor Peter Haslinger

Curriculum Vitae

Peter Haslinger has been the director of the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe and Professor of Eastern European History at Justus Liebig University in Giessen and at the interdisciplinary Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies (GiZo) since April 2007. He is co-editor of the Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung and was until recently the speaker of Section A of the Leibniz Association. Prior to being appointed director of the Herder Institute, Haslinger was acting professor at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the University of Regensburg (2006-2007) and guest professor at the universities of Vienna and Salzburg (2005-2006). He was a research associate and head of the library at the Collegium Carolinum in Munich from 2001 to 2007. He worked as a researcher in the collaborative research centre on 'Identities and Alterities' at the University of Freiburg from 1997 to 2001. Peter Haslinger began his career as a researcher at the University of Vienna and as head of the Budapest section of the Austrian Institute of East and Southeast European Studies.

Research project at the Kolleg

This book project focuses on expert cultures in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in the context of developments in the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918, the interwar period, and World War II. 'Expert cultures' are defined here as individual scholars as well as institutional clusters of experts to whom politicians and the general public believed they could turn for advice on solving current problems. This status depended on the nature of the political system, socio-economic problems, national and international academic prestige, and cultural codes and roles, which were all subject to dynamic change in the first half of the twentieth century in East Central Europe.The project is primarily concerned with persons who, either parallel or subsequent to an academic career, played an active role as public intellectuals and soon found themselves in positions with special political, administrative or institutional responsibilities (particularly in the context of consolidating independent nation states). The second focus of the project is space. Wars, shifting borders, the issue of minorities, and economic recessions prompted experts in and outside the region to engage intensively with questions of space and forms of applied research that sometimes took quite problematic directions and resulted in notorious spatial planning projects during the Second World War. For this reason, I do not just correlate concepts in terms of their content, but also try to examine the logics of their reception, the extent of their influence, the strategies pursued through them, and above all the respective understanding of politics, science, and society that informed these concepts. I also address factors that facilitated or prevented spatial concepts becoming acknowledged in the political and academic spheres. The project thus casts light on the intersection of the academic world, state power, media and sections of the public sphere, and it aims to reveal lines of development and typologies that were specific to an epoch and common to many countries in East Central Europe.

Main areas of research

  • History of East Central Europe, in particular the Bohemian lands, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria since 1848
  • History of discourse and knowledge hierarchies
  • Nationalism, regionalism, the issue of minorities, and forced migration
  • The spatial turn and the history of cartography
  • Research into identity, interculturalism and loyalties
  • Memory and museum studies 

Positions and Memberships

  • Speaker of the Leibniz Graduate School on "History, Knowledge, Media in East Central Europe - Geschichte, Wissen, Medien in Ostmitteleuropa"
  • Second coordinator of the LOEWE research focus on "Cultural Techniques and their Medialization - Kulturtechniken und ihre Medialisierung"
  • Member of the board of directors of the Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies (GiZo)
  • Principal investigator and member of the board of directors of the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at Justus Liebig University, Giessen
  • Member of the "Research on identity in classical studies - Identitätsforschung in den Altertumswissenschaften" think tank in the key topic group on identities in the Topoi cluster of excellence (Berlin)
  • Member of the international advisory board of the Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin 
  • Member of the executive board of the Association of Historians of Eastern Europe (VOH)
  • Deputy Chair of the advisory board of the Georg Eckert Institute, Braunschweig
  • Academic advisor at the Institute for Danube-Swabian history and Regional Studies, Tübingen
  • Academic advisor at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies (LMU Munich and University of Regensburg) 
  • Member of the board of trustees of the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe at the University of Leipzig