Dr Balázs Trencsényi holds two MA degrees in Philosophy and Nationalism Studies from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and Central European University, Budapest. In 2004, he PhD degree from CEU, with a dissertation devoted to Discourses of Nationhood in Early Modern Europe. He has been guest-lecturer at the Balkans Summer University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (2000), Head Tutor at Erasmus College Budapest (since 2003), and Assistant Professor at the Department of History, CEU (since 2004), teaching MA courses in Political Modernity, Political Languages, Nation-Building, and National Awakening, and PhD seminars.
Dr Trencsényi has an impressive research-activity history. He has been granted a NUFFIC Scholarship at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam (1995-1996); an Open Society Institute Visiting Fellowship at King's College, Cambridge, (1999-2000); a Junior Visiting Fellowship at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen Vienna (2002), and at Collegium Budapest (2005), an Andrew W. Mellon-Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2003).
Dr Trencsényi has been a research associate of the historical research institute Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies at CEU (since 2003) and has functioned as its co-director since 2006. Heis an Associate Editor of the periodical East Central Europe/L'Europe du Centre-Est (since 2005)and co-editor of the Hungarian cultural periodical 2000 (since 2003). He is an initiator and coordinator of the project The Intellectual History of Patriotism and the Legacy of Composite States in ast-Central Europe, supported by the research Board of CEU.
Dr Trencsényi has been closely related to CAS Sofia, for the last eight years. He is a founding member of the research group on Regional Identity Discourses in Central and Southeast Europe (1775-1945), supported by the Prince Bernhard Foundation (The Netherlands), and hosted by CAS Sofia (2001-2004); and has been awarded a CAS Associate Fellowship the NEXUS Project, research on modern Central and Southeast-European intellectual history (2001-2002). In he period of 2004-2005, he was Project Fellow at CAS, studying the Romanian debate on the national character in the nineteenth century.
Project outlineThe project, supported by the European Research Council Starting Independent Researcher Grant, seeks to map the history of East Central European political thought from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. Paying attention to both the intra- and extra-regional interferences, and breaking the essentialist duality of Western “core” and Eastern “periphery”, it is meant to contribute to the emergence of a truly European perspective of intellectual history.
The principal aim of the Project is a synthetic volume on the history of modern political thought in East Central Europe. It is not meant to be compartmentalized according to national sub-chapters but based on a diachronic analysis especially sensitive to transnational discursive phenomena, and being equally open to supra-national and sub-national (regional) frameworks, where different national projects were interacting.
The project entails the task of “redescription” and conceptual transfer, i.e. finding a trans-culturally acceptable set of analytical categories, as well as new knowledge-production – answering questions about the basic components of European political thought, formulated on the basis of a regional and trans-regional comparative analysis. It also necessitates the “trading” of concepts: both in the direction of inserting specific historical experiences and analytical categories into European circulation, and also testing the value of the interpretative models linked to such notions as “populism”.
The project thus aims neither at a compendium of case-studies nor at a deductive Area Studies-type of approach that tends to eliminate differences to forge a general narrative. What it seeks to produce instead is a cross-cultural “synthesis”– the work of a compact team of multi-national composition, skilled in comparative research and drawing on the recent upsurge of transnational historiography. By shifting the reference point of historical thinking from the “West” to the cross-European experience with a special emphasis on East Central Europe, in other words, the project seeks to rethink the history of the “negotiation of political modernity,” moving from “moral ethnocentrism” and oversimplification towards a more encompassing notion of what constitutes the European intellectual heritage.
project outlineVol. II of the Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Eastern Europe (1770 - 1945) texts and commentaries is edited by Assoc. Prof. Balázs Trencsényi.
67 texts, including hymns, manifestos, articles or extracts from lengthy studies examplify the relation between Romanticism and the national movements in the cultural space ranging from Poland to the Ottoman Empire. The Romantic discourse provided a key for a growing number of activists to 're-imagine' their national community, reaching beyond the traditional frameworks of identification (such as the 'political nation', regional patriotism, or Christian universalism). The collection focuses on the interplay of Romantic culture discourses and the shaping of national ideology throughout the 19th century, tracing the patterns of cultural transfer with Western Europe as well as the mimetic competition of national ideologies within the region.