The Richard von Weizsäcker Visiting Fellowship

Anette Schlimm

Professor Anette Schlimm

Anette Schlimm is a historian specialising in contemporary rural history, social engineering, and governance practices. Her current research project delves into the evolution of rural development concepts since the 1960s. Dr Schlimm serves as a researcher at the University of Heidelberg and holds the position of Privatdozentin at LMU Munich. For the academic year 2023-2024, she is the Richard von Weizsaecker Fellow at the European Studies Centre. Her most recent book is on governmental practices in rural Europe between 1850 and 1945: „Regieren in Dörfern. Ländlichkeit, Staat und Selbstverwaltung, 1850-1945“, published by Böhlau Verlag, Cologne, in 2023.

The Richard von Weizsäcker Annual Lecture

Rural Europe as a Challenge for Contemporary History

Tuesday, 14 November 2023 – 5:00pm

Anette Schlimm (Weizsacker Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Chair: Paul Betts (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

Abstract: The historiography of contemporary Europe has predominantly centered around urban and metropolitan experiences. Meanwhile, rural regions, their inhabitants, and village life have often been depicted as hindrances to modernization or as manifestations of backwardness. With the decline of modernization theory’s prominence in contemporary history, the emphasis on urban cultures has only intensified. In this regard, I propose a paradigm shift in our approach to contemporary European history, advocating for a greater focus on rural spaces. By doing so, we can more comprehensively examine the intricate web of transformations, encompassing cultural, technological, economic, spatial, and other dimensions, and explore how local, regional, national, and transnational actors have orchestrated and influenced these profound changes. This shift in perspective necessitates methodological flexibility and a heightened awareness of the multitude of actors and arenas involved in shaping these developments.