The Micropolitics of Small-Town Life in Eastern Europe

Section 1


March 5-6, 2013
Levis Faculty Center
919 West Illinois Street, Urbana, IL 61801
For parking options please see the Levis Faculty Center Website for available lots:

Contact: Eugene Avrutin

To see the conference schedule please click here

Research in urban history of Eastern Europe – as anywhere else in the world – focuses on cities, namely the metropolis. Yet until the beginning of the twentieth century, small urban communities were the principal habitat of the vast majority of people in Eastern Europe. Surprisingly little is known about the political and social universe of small towns. Without privileging a single national history or question, the symposium examines, on a microscopic scale, power dynamics, values, belief systems, and everyday interactions from the early modern period until the beginning of the twentieth century. From this perspective, we hope to challenge established grand narratives of historical development and organization. The papers explore the mentalities, communal structures and organization, and the functions and dysfunctions of small town life in a comparative framework.

Smalltown art


Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois

Research Group Pathways of Law in Ethno-Religiously Mixed Societies (funded by the German Research Foundation at Leipzig University)


Department of Anthropology

Department of History

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Department of Sociology

European Union Center

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities

Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies

Department of Geography

Spurlock Museum

INTERSECT Initiative Cultures of Law in Global Contexts