Maria Alessia Rossi (Art and Archaeology) and Alice Isabella Sullivan (University of Michigan) have launched the website for their initiative Mapping Eastern Europe in the 13th–17th Centuries. A Rapid Response Magic Grant from the Humanities Council enabled the initial and developing phases from July to December 2020. Users can now access three historical overviews, 27 art historical case studies, 21 short notices about ongoing projects, and 39 book reviews about the art and history of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains, and further north into early modern Russia.
Authored by early career and senior scholars, this innovative content invites engagement from wider audiences. For example, each case study could spark comparisons to traditionally studied objects and monuments, offering perspectives that might enhance or challenge existing interpretations. Teachers could assign their students exploratory projects focusing on a theme, a medium, a location, or a historiographic issue that the book reviews may illuminate. By spotlighting interdisciplinary work, the short notices invite collaboration from others.
Beginning in 2021, Rossi and Sullivan plan to add content every six months, thus regularly making new research available, while building connections among active researchers and audiences around the world. Upcoming features like short videos will increase the accessibility and appeal of the material, especially within classrooms. Hopefully, Mapping Eastern Europe will grow over the coming years for the benefit of students, teachers, scholars, and the broader public.