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Research in urban history of Eastern Europe – as anywhere else in the world – focuses on cities, namely the metropolis. Yet until the beginning of the twentieth century, small urban communities were the principal habitat of the vast majority of people in Eastern Europe. Surprisingly little is known about the political and social universe of small towns. Without privileging a single national history or question, the symposium examines, on a microscopic scale, power dynamics, values, belief systems, and everyday interactions from the early modern period until the beginning of the twentieth century. From this perspective, we hope to challenge established grand narratives of historical development and organization. The papers explore the mentalities, communal structures and organization, and the functions and dysfunctions of small town life in a comparative framework.
For a full list of sponsors and the conference schedule please see the conference website: http://www.reeec.illinois.edu/events/conferences/micropoliticsConf.html