Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Culture, Meaning, Orientation

This study group encompassed projects based in the humanities but also those from political science and visual studies. Topics ranged from the political engagement and horizons of exiled women in the early years of West Germany, images of the USA and Russia in the Weimar Republic, Czechoslovakia and its successor states, the culture of remembrance around the Second World War and the Yugoslav wars, a biographical study of Isaak Nachmann Steinberg, through to the institution of the president in the Russian Federation and soviet cartoons. Our meetings have been an opportunity for the discussion of texts relating to fundamental conceptional questions relevant to the groups’ projects. Remembrance in regional, national and transnational contexts, the current and developing status of biographical research, imagology and visual culture have all formed the basis of our discussions. Common to all these is the cultural production of meaning and orientation.

The discussion surrounding biographical research is only at first glance at odds with the representations of collective culture dealt with in other topics. Biographical research is increasingly bound up with the analysis of collective phenomena and can be examined as a society’s mechanism of self-realisation.

This study group served as a forum for methodological and conceptional reflection and discussion. Linking theoretical discussion to the projects of the group members proved a fruitful way of working in our first meeting of 2014 when we discussed the doctoral project about images of Russia and America in the Weimar Republic, Czechoslovakia and its successor states.

This study group was originally named "Commemoratrive Culture and Mental Maps".

Former group leaders:

Former members and projects:

  • Katharina Anna Aubele, M.A.
    The Commitment of Displaced Women in the Early Years of the Federal Republic of Germany within Religious Institutions, Refugee Organizations and Politics
  • Dr. Mykola Borovyk
    (Un)expected Enemies: Local Collaborators in the Jewish Survivors Memory About the Holocaust in Ukraine
  • Fabian Burkhardt, M.A.
    The President and Power Sharing in the Russian Federation - an institution in flux
  • David Franz, M.A.
    The USA and the USSR in the Modern Discourses of the Weimar Republic
  • Dr. Tobias Grill
    Isaak Nachman Steinberg: Fighting for Socialism and Jewry. A global biography
  • Dr. Ekaterina Makhotina
    Remembrance discourses on World War II in Lithuania's museums, memorials and monuments of 1944-2010
  • Julia Kling, M.A.
    Of fighters and victims among the post-war heroes. International Veterans' Associations, the Cold War and European Past Policy on the Example of Yugoslavia (1945-1971)
  • Jacqueline Nießer, Dipl-Kulturwiss.
    Transnationally dealing with the past in the post-Yugoslav context: The “Coalition for RECOM"
  • Henriette Reisner, M.A.
    Early Soviet Animation as reflected on the Aesthetical and Political Debates
  • Dr. Jasper Trautsch
    Remapping the Euro-Atlantic World and Imagining ‚the West’: The Spatial Reordering of Europe and North America, 1945-1957
  • Darina Volf, M.A.
    The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP): East-West Cooperation despite System Competition (1970s)