Between the Times Summer School 11-15 July 2022


DATES: 11-15 JULY 2022

The course outlines, discusses, and evaluates the methods for studying intellectual history transnationally. It focuses on the inter-relationship between political, cultural, and intellectual history, and the transference and re-signification of ideas. We ask how best to study the circulation of knowledge, and the reasons for integration, rejection – or ignorance of – certain lines of thought transnationally. We also look at how disciplines like philosophy, semiotics, politics, literary studies, translation studies, etc. can provide tools for intellectual historians. The course addresses general methodological issues and compares the insights of different approaches, yet is also strongly based on historical case studies and tailored to students’ on-going research.

The course gives the students the opportunity to present their own study projects and problems, and to receive feedback in seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and through essay evaluation. The course also strongly promotes and encourages informal communication and exploration of ideas among the participants.

The course is organised in cooperation with the project “Between the Times – Embattled Temporalities and Political Imagination in Inter-War Europe,” based at the School of Humanities.

Course instructors are intellectual historians, cultural historians, literary theorists and philosophers, whose research specializes on conceptual history (e.g. history of concepts of “sovereignty”, “progress”, “revolution”, “violence”, “West”), history of 20th century political thought (e.g. in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, France, Jewish thought, liberalism and its critics), study of processes of intellectual transfer (e.g. reception and translation studies, emigre studies), political ideologies in European modernisms and avant-gardes, and comparative European intellectual history, among other themes.


– All teachers are innovative researchers, internationally recognised in their respective fields.

– Besides providing general lectures and seminars, the course aims to address each student’s particular research work in proposing methodological options and best practice.

–  The course promotes informal communication and exploration of ideas, making time for topically related tours and get-togethers.


Keynotes: Assoc. Prof. Eva Piirimäe, Prof. Georgios Varouxakis

Other teaching/supervising academic staff:

Dr. Tommaso Giordani

Prof. Liisi Keedus

Dr. Henry Mead

Dr. Piret Peiker




PhD students and dedicated MA students whose postgraduate research focuses on, or draws upon intellectual history.

Minimum bachelor’s degree; knowledge of the English language B2 level or above.

Together with the application, please send your CV and a short (100 words) motivation letter, describing your research project and how you expect it would benefit from this course. The deadline is 1May 2022.

Group size: maximum 15 students. Participants will be selected based on their CV and motivation letter.


Upon full participation and completion of course work students will be awarded 6 ECTS points and a certificate of completion.

In order to complete the course, student needs to:
– Actively participate in discussions
–  Do a presentation
– Complete a final essay related to student’s work in progress (3000-5000 words)


50 EUR.

Course participants are provided free Tallinn University Dormitory double room accommodation for up to 10 nights.


Piret Peiker on ‘European Constitutional Imaginaries in Estonia’

9 December 2021, DrPiret Peiker participated in the international seminar “In Search of European Constitutional Imaginaries in Estonia, held at the University of Tartu. Dr. Peiker’s paper was entitled “Postcolonial Constitutional Thinking in Europe: The Phenomenon of the Law on Cultural Autonomyfor National Minorities in Estonia (1925). The seminar was organised at the initiative of the ERC project “IMAGINE. European Constitutional ImaginariesUtopias, Ideologies and the Other”, based at the University of Copenhagen. The seminar’s purpose was to promote cross-fertilisation between specialists in constitutional law, political theory, intellectual history and cultural analysis, leading to joint publications.

Liisi Keedus on Karl Barth at ‘European Crisis and Reorientation’, Copenhagen 28 October 2021

On Thursday 28 October 2021, Prof. Liisi Keedus delivered a paper at the ‘European Crisis and Reorientation’ workshop, entitled ‘“A snake biting its own tail”: Karl Barth’s critique of political modernity in its Weimar contexts.’

See link here for details of the paper and the event, an open international workshop on Karl Barth’s Der Römerbrief in the cultural and intellectual context of post-WW1 Europe, held at the University of Copenhagen 27-30 October 2021.


Ideas in Revolution / Revolution in Images: film screening of Danton (1983)

8 October 2021, 18:00

SuperNova Cinema (N-406), Tallinn University

We are happy to invite you to the Open Philosophy Seminar dedicated to representations of the Revolution and its ideas!

The significance of the French Revolution goes far beyond its practical political consequences: ideas of radical change born in that tumultuous decade have gained shape and weight, survived the trials of application – or were disqualified by them – and continue to haunt the imagination of historians, philosophers, politicians, and writers. The (re)conceptualization of the French Revolution is an ongoing practice: new meanings are assigned to it, old ones are contested, and through this process the preoccupations of its many interpreters are revealed.

Stanisława Przybyszewska’s Sprawa Dantona (1929) is one of the most compelling dramatic works on the topic produced in the twentieth century, largely unknown until the seventies; Andrzej Wajda’s film Danton (1983), adapted from the aforementioned play, is considered to be a gripping testament of the political situation in Europe at that moment. Both authors took the revolutionary ideas and shaped them in accordance with their respective visions of history and of the present day.

A film screening of Danton will be followed by a seminar discussion of what we do with ideas of the Revolution and how they are put to work. French revolutionary actors themselves were already adapting the teachings of the Enlightenment; Przybyszewska and Wajda, in their turn, looked back at this process from a historical distance that was both an advantage and an impediment, and used the channels at hand, textual and visual, to convey what they saw there. What do we in 2021, watching a 1983 film about the events of 1794, itself an adaptation of the 1929 play, make of all that? How do we consume the ideas of the French Revolution today and what does that historical event itself mean to us?

The discussants:

Dr hab. Monika Świerkosz (Jagiellonian University)

Dr Diana Popa (Tallinn University)

Ksenia Shmydkaya (Tallinn University)

NB! Registration to the event is obligatory. Please, fill in the form:

Stanisława Przybyszewska Workshop (1.10.21)

Revisiting Stanisława Przybyszewska: a 120th Anniversary Workshop 

October 2021 will mark the 120th anniversary of Stanisława Przybyszewska’s birth. One of the most original writers of interwar Poland, she remains on the margins of public consciousness, her works drastically underexplored and little read even in her birth country – and worldwide she is rarely recognised as more than a footnote in discussions of Andrzej Wajda’s film Danton or as the “victim of history” from Hilary Mantel’s 2017 Reith lecture.

The aim of this online-workshop is to initiate the change: to draw the attention of Anglophone academia to Stanisława Przybyszewska’s work. First, we want to put Przybyszewska’s name on the intellectual map of the interwar period by facilitating an international dialogue regarding her legacy. Second, we propose to open a discussion on the relevance of her ideas for the present day.

Speakers and papers:

  • Dr hab. Monika Świerkosz (Jagiellonian University) / “On the edge. Stanisława Przybyszewska and her posthuman metamorphoses”
  • Dr. Dagmara Binkowska (Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences) / “The price of career, the price of being yourself. Women and their life choices in prosaic oeuvre of Stanisława Przybyszewska”
  • Dr hab. Marion Brandt (University of Gdańsk) / “Stanisława Przybyszewska’s inspirations from German literature”
  • Ksenia Shmydkaya (Tallinn University) / “Utopian writing, utopian reading: Stanisława Przybyszewska’s future-from-the-past”

The workshop will take place on Zoom, on 1st October 2021, from 13.00 (CET) / 14.00 (EET) to 17.00 (CET) / 18.00 (EET). In order to get access to the event, we kindly ask you to fill in the form:

Lecture by Piret Peiker at the Public Service University, Budapest, 16.03.21

As an invited guest speaker, Piret Peiker gave an electronic lecture and seminar for the research group on Politics and Governement at the Public Service University, Budapest, Hungary 16.03.2021.

The paper was entitled ‘Building a Postcolonial State: The Case of the Law on Cultural Autonomy for Ethnic Minorities, Passed in the Estonian Parliament 1925’.

The lecture introduced the historical underpinnings, political imagination and topical debates that shaped the crafting and eventual passing of the law. Drawing upon that, the seminar discussion also focused on the methodology of the approach, and emphasised the relevance of the insights of intellectual history, entangled history, and postcolonial studies for politics and governance in the present world. The seminar was chaired by Prof. Ferenc Hörcher.


Tallinn University Summer School in Transnational Intellectual History

Tallinn University has announced its summer school in Transnational Intellectual History, to run between 23-27 July 2021. The course will be run by members of the ERC Between the Times project.

Transnational Intellectual History: Comparative Methods

Assoc. Prof. Eva Piirimäe
Prof. Georgios Varouxakis

Other teaching/supervising academic staff:
Dr. Tommaso Giordani
Prof. Liisi Keedus
Dr. Henry Mead
Dr. Piret Peiker

Deadline for Applications: 30 April 2021.