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Friederike Kind-Kovács Fellow at Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena

Research stay from October 2017 to July 2018 at the College of 20th Century History in Central and Southeastern Europe


Friederike Kind-Kovács, Postdoc at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies and Academic Counselor at the Department of History of Southeast and Eastern Europe at the University of Regensburg, has been a Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena since October 2017. The historian will use her research stay, which will last until the end of July 2018, to exchange ideas with the colleagues of the Friedrich Schiller University research center and pursue her habilitation project "Central Europe's Starving Children: Humanitarian Child Relief in Budapest after WWI".

The Imre Kertész Kolleg sees itself as a place of interdisciplinary and transnational historical research on historical events of the 20th century in East Central and Southeastern Europe. On January 22, 2018, Kind-Kovács will give a talk entitled "Maps, Food Tickets and Handkerchiefs: The Materiality of Child Relief," and provide insight into her habilitation project.

Kind-Kovács addresses the question of how the Hungarian capital Budapest developed into a social urban focal point and, at the same time, a testing ground for international humanitarian aid for children in the period after World War I. It also looks at local and international discourses and day-to-day humanitarian aid practices in order to identify the complex and dynamic -at times extremely difficult- interaction of local and international humanitarian actors. The transnational discourse on the hunger and infirmity of the affected children provides insight into the role of humanitarian aid in international competition for economic, scientific, and moral hegemony.

Kind-Kovács received her doctorate in 2008 at the University of Potsdam. Since 2009, she has been teaching at the University of Regensburg and has been a postdoc at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies since 2013. She is the author of the study "Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain" (CEU Press, 2014), which was awarded the University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies in 2015. In early summer 2017, she had already received a "mobility/short-term scholarship for junior researchers" from the University of Regensburg, which enabled her to spend three months researching at the "Institute of History" of the Academy of Sciences in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.