EHRI Fellow Raul Cârstocea: Feedback and Networking
by Raul Cârstocea
In the period of the 5th to the 30th September 2016 I held an EHRI Fellowship at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, under the supervision of Dr. Karel Berkhoff. This was the first part of a combined research stay that also includes a two weeks period at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.
Anti-Semitism in interwar Romania
During my fellowship I worked on the project “From the Radical Fringe to the Mainstream: Anti-Semitic Representations in the Interwar Romanian Press, 1923-1941.” The project aims to create a database of annotated sources documenting the proliferation - from marginal newspapers issued by radical right parties and organisations to mainstream newspapers and journals of widespread circulation - and radicalisation, across time, of anti-Semitism in interwar Romania. While the source material had already been collected before the fellowship, I sought to use this period to familiarise myself with the latest developments in digital infrastructures, as well to devise a potential plan for the development of the database. As such, the stay at NIOD was useful for me not primarily in terms of access to resources (although the section of the library dealing with Romania and Central and Eastern Europe proved useful), but in terms of discussing and obtaining feedback on my research plans and design.
In this respect, the supervision of Dr. Karel Berkhoff was very productive, as were the meetings he kindly arranged with other NIOD and EHRI staff members relevant to my research. In addition to learning more about EHRI from the people involved in the project, the fruitful discussions which I had with NIOD staff members have helped to clarify the research questions I plan to apply to my material, as well as crystallise my thoughts on the potential design of the database – and of the possibilities for integrating it within EHRI, e.g. by having a pilot project published on the EHRI document blog.
Another important aspect of my stay at NIOD was networking – in the course of my stay I familiarised myself with some of the research carried out by NIOD staff members and identified common interests that could potentially lead to the development of future collaborative projects. Given the short duration of EHRI fellowships, I feel I made the most of the time I had available. The only possible suggestion I would have is that in some cases, based on the mutual agreement of the fellow and her or his supervisor and, of course, different institutional procedures at EHRI partner organisations, perhaps an informal in-house presentation of the fellow’s work could be arranged. I believe this could help disseminate the fellow’s research to a larger audience, as well as contribute to receiving feedback from staff members at the host institution.
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