Exploring the Saxon-Bohemian Borderlands: Caitlin E. Murdock

Dealing with the history of Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Caitlin E. Murdock is one of the leading international experts on the history of the German and Czech-speaking lands in this period. Holding, among others, a Ph.D. from Stanford University, she is Professor of History at the California State University in Long Beach, California.

Martin Munke: Dear Professor Murdock, thank you very much for your willingness to answer some questions on your research on Saxony. A first one: What are the special points of interests in your research on the history of the region?

Caitlin E. Murdock: My first book project focused on the Saxon-Bohemian borderlands from the Reichsgründung to the Second World War. I was interested in exploring the ways in which regional dynamics shaped national identity, migration and demographic change, citizenship and the emergence of modern states on both sides of the border. Saxony’s rich industrial and trade history as well as the state’s distinct identity within the German Empire made it an especially interesting place to explore such borderland issues. The book was published in 2010 as “Changing Places. Society, Culture, and Territory in the Saxon-Bohemian Borderlands”.

Saxon-Bohemian border region near Joachimsthal/Jáchymov, 1914 (SLUB/Deutsche Fotothek, Lizenz: Freier Zugang – Rechte vorbehalten)