The Rights of the Roma: The Struggle of Citizenship in Postwar Czechoslovakia

Rethinking Modern Europe seminar, Institute of Historical Research in collaboration with the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, hosted by The Wiener Library

Event Information and Booking

30th May, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, 29 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5DP
Celia Donert, University of Liverpool; Michael Stewart, University College London and Becky Taylor, University of East Anglia

Celia Donert’s The Rights of the Roma (Cambridge University Press, 2017) writes Romani struggles for citizenship into the history of human rights in socialist and post-socialist Eastern Europe. Roma often appear as victims in human rights narratives; instead, this book draws on extensive original research in Czech and Slovak archives, sociological and ethnographic studies, and oral histories to foreground Romani activists as advocates for their own rights under socialism. Exploring how Roma responded to the legacies of genocide and the building of socialism, this vivid social and political history also sheds new light on human rights in twentieth-century Czechoslovakia. The post-socialist human rights movement did not spring from the dissident movements of the 1970s, but rather emerged in response to the collapse of socialist citizenship after 1989.

About the speakers:

Celia Donert is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century History at the University of Liverpool. She is leading an AHRC research network exploring the legacies of the Romani genocide in Europe after 1945.

Michael Stewart is Professor of Social Anthropology at UCL and the author of numerous publications on European Roma, including The Gypsy Menace: Populism and the New Anti-Gypsy Politics (Columbia University Press, 2012) and The Time of the Gypsies (Boulder, 1997).

Becky Taylor is Reader in Modern History at the University of East Anglia and Britain’s leading historian of Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers. She is the author of A Minority and the State: Travellers in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Manchester University Press, 2008) and Another Darkness, Another Dawn: A History of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (Reaktion, 2014)

Alex Drace-Francis is an Associate Professor in the Literary and Cultural History of Modern Europe, University of Amsterdam.

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