Dr James Koranyi
(email at email@example.com)
I am a cultural historian of east-central Europe. I look at the ways in which transnational and spatial history offer us particular lenses to rethink modern European history by shifting the focus to east-central Europe. My work covers the German minorities of east-central Europe, memory cultures, and travel writing in the Carpathians.
My first project was on Romanian Germans in modern Europe (Exodus: Romanian Germans in Modern Europe). I explored the narratives that Germans from Romania constructed of themselves over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Their stories chart the turbulent twentieth century as they experienced most major developments in European history: the restructuring of Europe after the First World War, the rise of fascism, the Second World War, communism, and migration during and after the Cold War. I am currently working with the IKGS (Munich) and the Arbeitskreis für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde on a project on the radicalisation of Romanian Germans in the 1930s, as well as project with Cristian Cercel (Bochum) on transnational Germans.
My work and teaching covers memory cultures throughout east-central Europe and asks questions about memory construction and transmission. I am also keen to push against the boundaries of east-west divisions in memory studies scholarship. German minorities in east-central Europe and sites of memory in the 'Habsburg world' play a key part in rethinking memory boundaries.
I am writing a book with Bernhard Struck (St Andrews), Modern Europe: A Transnational History, in which we introduce a series of vignettes that plot a transnational European history that radically decentres modern European history. Foregrounding east-central Europe as well as global connections, Modern Europe charts a European history in three discreet episodes: 1760s-1850s, 1860s-1960s, and beyond the 1960s.
My new project explores the discovery of the Carpathian Mountains, 1860-1914. From the 1860s, travellers, ethnographers, medics, and other ‘middle-class sceptics’ set out to discover the Carpathians. Over the next half century until the First World War they left behind a tapestry of writing, documentation, reports, visual material, correspondence and other traces. My project examines this confluence of a European interest in the Carpathian uplands that takes us away from the straightjacket of postcolonial readings of travel writing.
I jointly edited a special issue of National Identities with Tricia Cusack on 'The Making of Landscape in Modernity'. I am currently working with Emily Hanscam (Durham) on a project investigating the uses of ancient pasts in east-central Europe. Our first workshop, Digging Politics: The Ancient Past and Political Present, took place in Durham in June 2019.
I welcome research students who want to work on minorities, memory, travel, or other aspects of transnational/spatial history. My geographic is broadly-speaking the 'Habsburg world', Romania, as well as German-speaking world, but research supervision is not limited to that.
I currently supervise, either as first or co-supervisor:
Department of History
- East-central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
- Memory cultures
- Minorities in east-central Europe
- Spatial and transnational history
Indicators of Esteem
- Koranyi, James & Struck, Bernhard (Accepted). Modern Europe: A Transnational History. Bloomsbury.
Chapter in book
- Koranyi, James (2019). Nazi Divisions: A Romanian-German ‘Historians’ Dispute’ at the End of the Cold War. In Preview this Book Identities In-Between in East-Central Europe. Fellerer, Jan Pyrah, Robert & Turda, Marius Routledge.
- Koranyi, James & Struck, Bernhard (2017). Space: Empires, Nations and Borders. In The Routledge History of East Central Europe from 1700 to the Present. Livezeanu, Irina & von Klimo, Arpad Routledge.
- Koranyi, James (2015). The Thirteen Martyrs of Arad: A Monumental Hungarian History. In Sites of Imperial Memory: Commemorating Colonial Rule in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Müller, Frank Lorenz & Geppert, Dominik Manchester: Manchester University Press. 53-69.
- Koranyi, James & Wittlinger, Ruth (2011). ‘From Diaspora to Diaspora: The Case of Transylvanian Saxons in Romania and Germany’. In Diaspora and Citizenship. Sutherland, Claire & Barabantseva, Elena Routledge.
- Koranyi, James & Cusack, T. (2014). Introduction. The making of landscape in modernity. National Identities 16(3): 191-195.
- Koranyi, James (2014). Voyages of Socialist Discovery: German-German Exchanges between the GDR and Romania. Slavonic and East European Review 92(3): 479-506.
- Koranyi, James (2011). ‘Reinventing the Banat: Cosmopolitanism as a German Cultural Export’. German Politics and Society 29(3): 97-114.
- Koranyi, James & Wittlinger, Ruth (2011). From Diaspora to Diaspora: The Case of Transylvanian Saxons in Romania and Germany. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 17(1): 96-115.
- Koranyi, James (2010). ‘The Narrative of Lost Utopias: The Saxon and Anglo-Saxon Edens’. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Working Paper Series 227.
- Koranyi, James (2009). ‘Byzantium 330-1453: A Commentary on Europe’. Transylvanian Review 18(3): 98-105.