The nineteenth century saw the proliferation of questions: the Eastern, social, Jewish, Polish, and worker questions were discussed--along with many others--in representative bodies, at treaty negotiations, and in the daily press. Over the course of the next century, questions would be conglomerated into still bigger ones, like the European, nationality, social, and agrarian questions; even as they fractured into countless smaller ones, like the Macedonian and Schleswig-Holstein questions; and made their way into various fields of human endeavor (there was a cotton, oyster, and even a sugar question). What brought about the "age of questions," and what does its trajectory reveal about European history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
Holly Case is a historian of modern Europe whose work focuses on the relationship between foreign policy, social policy, science, and literature in the European state system of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her first book, Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during WWII, was published in May 2009. The book shows how the struggle for mastery among Europe’s Great Powers was affected by the perspectives of small states. She is currently at work on a history of the “Age of Questions” (the Eastern, Jewish, Polish, woman, and worker questions, etc.) spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book sets out to explain when and why people started thinking in terms of “questions,” and how it altered their sense of political possibility. She has also begun writing a history of the role of consuls and consular reform in transforming the international system over the course of the last two centuries. Case has written on European history, literature, politics and ideas for various magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, The Chronicle Review, Aeon, The Nation,Dissent, The Times Literary Supplement, Eurozine, and Boston Review, and is a regular columnist for 3 Quarks Daily.