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Project Team


A Transnational Setting for Estonian History: Transcultural Entanglements, International Organisations and Transborder Migrations (16th – 21st Centuries)
The main objective of this project is to introduce a transnational setting for Estonian history. We propose an alternative perspective to detach Estonian historiography from its conventional frame, the history of a national project. In using transnational historical phenomena from the 16th-21st centuries as case studies we propose an innovative analytical frame to explore the historical roots of Estonian European identity. We presume that non-national actors, such as religious communities, imperial networks, global organisations and transborder migrants played a crucial role in this context. Methodologically we build on the hypothesis that multi-ethnic empires, especially on their peripheries, are characterised by contact zones characterised by transnational currents and transcultural transfers. We want thus to keep up with international discourses in the field of historiography and to integrate Estonian history writing into the growing international network of transnational history.


Karsten Brüggemann
Magnus Ilmjärv
Aivar Jürgenson
Inna Jürjo
Aivar Põldvee


The Making of Livonia: Actors, Institutions and Networks in the Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region
The main objective of the project is to analyse the establishment of new social, political, religious, cultural and economic institutions in Livonia from the 12th to 17th centuries, their local adaptation and widespread integration into different international networks, as well as the emergence of new actors inside of these institutions. But on a deeper level the goal is more ambitious: to study the foundation of an increasingly complex and heterogeneous society on the medieval Baltic frontier – ‘the making of Livonia’. Methodologically, the project consolidates a new research agenda that combines three rather independently developed fields: historical studies, visual culture studies and material culture studies. Our intent is also to carry out this research on two levels: historical level and mnemohistorical level, on the level of our actual knowledge of the past (medieval and early modern Livonia), and on the level of reception history of the previous representations of this past.


Anu Mänd
Juhan Kreem
Marika Mägi
Erki Russow
Marek Tamm


Queer life-world in late Soviet Estonia (1960-80s)

This postdoctoral project aims at filling a large research gap by studying LGBT history of Soviet Union after Stalin (1953-1991) in the Estonian example. The study aims to analyse communicative networks and identification patterns among queer people through extensive oral history research. Queer history of post-Stalinist Soviet Union is generally understudied; contemporary Estonia offers good empirical materials and moderately tolerant academic environment for completing such a task. The project will promote democratization of civic society and offer important and interesting results to wider public. Academically, the study will contribute to better understanding of late soviet individualisation processes and personal identification patterns with large social categories (such as Soviet state, ethnicity, and profession); it will also help to explore methodological issues with applying Western queer theory in the Eastern European context.



Uku Lember




Storms - Climate Extremes in estonia and their Impact on Society

The project focuses on tempestuous weather and storms that have often been associated with other environmental utterances. Scientists have put forward an opinion that the weather turbulence of the last 150 years has significantly increased (Jaagus et al. 2015). Do written sources provide us with the same information? If so, what strategies have societies implemented in order to prevent potentially negative consequences? The idea of the project is to bind together data provided both by hard and soft science (history and culture) on weather extremes making the results available for use as a supplement for EuroClimHist database kept and updated on a regular basis at the University of Bern.


Ulrike Plath