Intersecting Histories: Exploring Interdisciplinary Perspectives onFriendship

Central European University Budapest, Quantum Room І 23–24 November 2023
What do we talk about when we talk about friendship? The workshop aims to provide a
variety of answers to the said question from the humanities and social sciences
perspective. It brings together a group of established scholars and early career
researchers who will explore recent trends in the slowly but surely emerging field of
friendship studies and demonstrate their findings on examples from 19th and 20th century
European history as well as contemporary society.
The workshop touches upon topics such as narrating one’s self through sociability,
creating patterns of communal belonging or contesting these same patterns, and
through friendship, finding possibilities for alternative identifications. On the other hand,
the event also showcases the meaning of friendship narratives for interstate relations and
conflict resolution. By highlighting various meanings this ambiguous concept can
undertake, the ambition of this academic gathering is not only to bring to light current
research but also to challenge the boundaries of the framework and open new
possibilities for further explorations.
For logistic/administrative queries, please contact

Day 1: Thursday, 23 November 2023

10:00-10:30 Registration

10:30-10:45 Opening remarks

10:45-11:00 Participants self-introduction

11:00-13:00 Panel 1: Concepts and Frameworks
Chair: Marsha Siefert (CEU PU, Democracy Institute)

Jana Bacevic (Durham University): Friendship as Theory

Arthur Duhé (Université Lyon 3): Revolutionary Images: Friends and Brothers in the
Nineteenth Century

Stefano Pisu (University of Cagliari): Almost Friends Across the Iron Curtain? Some Concepts
(and Facts) about Italian-Soviet Cultural Friendship in Cold War Era


13:00-14:00 Lunch Break

14:00-16:00 Panel 2: Cold War Impressions
Chair: Stefano Pisu (University of Cagliari)

Marsha Siefert (CEU PU, Democracy Institute): Co-Producing “Friendship” through Formal
and Informal Transnational Cinematic Relations during the Cold War

Pia Koivunen (University of Turku): Friends in Theory, Friends in Practice? The Varying
Meanings of Friendship in the Context of the World Youth Festivals

Maja Lukanc (Institute for Contemporary History, Ljubljana): Friendship Narratives in Motion:
Polish-Yugoslav Transnational Encounters, 1956–1968


16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-18:30 Panel 3: Gender, Emotions and Everyday Life
Chair: Zsófia Lóránd (Research Center for the History of Transformations , University of Vienna)

Anna Theresa Leyrer (University of Basel): Neither Couple nor Collective. Female Friends,
Counting / on the other Around 1900

Phil Leask (University College London): Holding Ourselves Together: German Women’s Letters
over Fifty Years

Benno Gammerl (European University Institute): Freundschaft. Popularity and Dismissal of a
Term in Twentieth-Century German Queer Politics

Day 2: Friday, 24 November 2023

10:30-11:00 Opening informal gathering

11:00-13:00 Panel 4: Internationalism and Social Reality
Chair: Ágnes Katalin Kelemen (CEU Democracy Institute)

Szabolcs László (Institute of History, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest):
Transnational Network as Affective Community: Hungarian and American Music Educators
and the Kodály Method (1960s-70s)

Zsófia Lóránd (Research Center for the History of Transformations, University of Vienna):
Female Friendships and Socialist Internationalism in the Wake of WWII in Eastern and Central

Izabella Agárdi (Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg): Friendships but Not Friends: Power,
Intimacy, Work and Monotony in Everyday Life in State Socialist Hungary


13:00-14:00 Lunch Break

14:00-16:00 Panel 5: Collectivity, War, Reconciliation
Chair: Jana Bacevic (Durham University)

Tanja Zimmermann (University of Leipzig): Yugoslav Exhibitions of Naive Artists: The Value of
Collectivity in the First and the Second Yugoslavia

Zala Pavšič (CEU Democracy Institute): Friendship at War: Examples from the Disintegration
of Yugoslavia

Ivana Stepanović (Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg): New Frontiers of Peacebuilding in
Former Yugoslavia: Algorithmic Friendships and Digital Commodification of Reconciliation

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-18:00 Concluding Roundtable: Why research Friendship?
Chair: Zala Pavšič (CEU Democracy Institute)

Jana Bacevic (Durham University)

Phil Leask (University College London)

Pia Koivunen (University of Turku)

Yuri van Hoef (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

19:00 Concluding event

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