Marxism and Medieval Studies

Marxist Historiography in East Central Europe


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This volume is a unique publication as it examines the Marxist attitudes in East Central European historiography and archaeology for the first time, with an emphasis on the co-existence of Marxist and other methodologies between the 1950s and 1970s in the local historiographies in question. Its approach is to distinguish between pseudo-Marxism as an ideological tool on the one hand, and Marxism in the form of historical materialism as a way to interpret the medieval world on the other.

Contributors are: Florin Curta, Piotr Guzowski, Adam Hudek, Tereza Johanidesová, Jitka Komendová, Jiří Macháček, Andrzej Marzec, Martin Nodl, Attila Pók, David Radek, Tadeusz Paweł Rutkowski, Iurie Stamati, Rafał Stobiecki, Gábor Thoroczkay, Przemysław Wiszewski, Piotr Węcowski, Martin Wihoda, and Dušan Zupka.

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Martin Nodl, Ph.D. (2011), is a research associate professor at the Centre for Medieval Studies Academy of Sciences CR, Prague. He is the author of six monographs, including Das Kuttenberger Dekret von 1409 (2017), Średniowiecze w nas (2020), and Praha 15. století. Konfliktní společenství (2023).

Piotr Węcowski, Ph.D. (2004), is a professor at the University of Warsaw. He has published three monographs and many articles on medieval history and history of historiography, including The Origins of Poland in the Historical Memory of the Late Middle Ages (Cracow 2014).

Dušan Zupka, Ph.D. (2009), is an associate professor at Comenius University in Bratislava. He has published monographs, journal articles and edited volumes on power, ritual and war in medieval East Central Europe, including Rulership in Medieval East Central Europe (Brill, 2021).
Publisher’s Note
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Martin Nodl, Piotr Węcowski and Dušan Zupka

2 An Introduction to Marxist Historiography in Poland
Rafał Stobiecki

3 Polish Medievalists in the Face of Stalinism (1948–1955)
Tadeusz Paweł Rutkowski

4 Hungarian Medievalists under the Spell of Marxism
Attila Pók

5 On the Genesis of Marxist Iconology: Some Observations on the Ambitious Methodological Endeavours of Czech Medieval Art History
Tereza Johanidesová

6 Marxism and the Cultural History of Medieval Rus’: The Concept of a Russian Pre-Renaissance
Jitka Komendová

7 František Graus: From Marxist Dogmas to the Concept of the Living and Dead Past
Martin Wihoda

8 Between Science and Politics, between History and Archaeology: The Department for Studies on the Origins of the Polish State (1948/1949–1953)
Piotr Węcowski

9 Medieval Knight Clans in Marxist Historiographical Criticism in the 1950s
Andrzej Marzec

10 How Did the Czech Hussites Become a Current Problem in the History of Socialist Poland?
  Ewa Maleczyńska: Between Professional and Party Historian
Przemysław Wiszewski

11 Hussitism as an Early Bourgeois Revolution
Martin Nodl

12 Between Nationalism and Marxism: Silesian Princes of the Late Middle Ages through the Lens of Post-war Polish Historiography
David Radek

13 Peasants, Rents, and Money in Marxist Works on German Law-Based Colonization
Piotr Guzowski

14 Great Moravia in Slovak Marxist Historiography
Adam Hudek

15 Marxists, Pseudo-Marxists and Neo-Marxists in Czech Archaeology
Jiří Macháček

16 Marxism in Medieval Archaeology: A Woman’s Touch
Florin Curta

17 Marxist Historical Theory in the Research of the Árpádian Period in Hungary (1000–1301)
Gábor Thoroczkay

18 The Marxist Paradigm and Early Romanian Medieval Archaeology from the “Era of Great Achievements”
Iurie Stamati

19 Conclusion: Is Marxism Alive and Inspiring in Contemporary East Central European Medieval Studies?
Martin Nodl, Piotr Węcowski and Dušan Zupka

This volume is particularly relevant for students and researchers interested in 20th century historiography, history of ideas, Marxist historiography and the history of East Central Europe in the Middle Ages.
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