Winter Academy - Beyond History and Identity: New Perspectives on Aesthetics, Politics, and Society in Eastern Europe, 2–12 Dec 2015, Berlin, Germany

Publish Date: Jun 15, 2015

Deadline: Jul 10, 2015

Event Dates: from Dec 02, 2015 12:00 to Dec 12, 2015 12:00

Organized by:
Forum Transregionale Studien, Max Weber Stiftung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder
Convened by:
Andriy Portnov (ZZF Potsdam/Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), Rory Finnin (University of Cambridge), Susanne Frank (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Ilia Gerasimov (Ab Imperio), Olena Haleta (Ivan Franko Lviv University), Anna Colin Lebedev (Sciences Po Paris), Magdalena Marszalek (Universität Potsdam), and Annette Werberger (Europa-Universität Viadrina)

The “Euromaidan”, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the ongoing war in the Ukrainian-Russian border region of Donbas placed Ukraine, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe at the center of the world’s attention. It also posed new challenges for the interdisciplinary field of East European studies, especially, in light of the continuing strength of the rhetoric of ethnic nationalism and the resort taken to historical explanations of the regional conflicts. Infused with agency, history and identity figure as principle factors in the explanations of the conflict, both in political and academic circles. Yet, we ask whether history and identity bear agency on their own and can be understood and grasped apart from political and economic structural dynamics. In an attempt to overcome simplifying categories and explanations, we ask how much their essentialization obliterates crucial societal transformations, multiple forms of belonging, and trajectories of social change. Rather than simply discussing the role of history and identity, we would like to reflect upon the complexity and ambiguous nature of entanglements in historically grown condensed spaces of multinational (post-)imperial border regions and search for new vocabularies and insights to grasp diverse trajectories of their political and cultural developments.

The Winter Academy will gather up to 21 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars from different countries and academic backgrounds to present and discuss their current research in an international and multi-disciplinary context. The Academy is designed to support scholarly networks and contribute to closer ties among research activities in and outside of Europe. The program will focus on the following themes: 1) aesthetics and politics; 2) fragmentation and violence; and 3) translation and (un)translatability.

The Winter Academy is part of the strategic cooperation between the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland. It is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).

Winter Academy Format
The Winter Academy promotes intensive peer-to-peer debates and encourages new perspectives grown from debates in small discussion groups. Participants take active part in contributing to the program structure and content. They present their individual research, co-design thematic discussion groups and are involved in organization of workshops. While most of the intensive work is conducted in intense small-group atmosphere, the Winter Academy also presents its work to the public through general lectures and open panel discussions.

Conditions and Procedure of Application

Participants receive a stipend covering travel and accommodation. The program targets doctoral and postdoctoral researchers who wish to present their ongoing projects in a comparative perspective in relation to the questions raised above. The researchers' work should be clearly relevant to the themes of the Winter Academy. While the focus of the Winter Academy will be the reconsiderations in East European approaches, comparative perspectives on the relation of fragmentation and violence, aesthetics and politics, translation and (un)translatability from other regions are welcome, transregional
comparative approaches being especially encouraged.

The working language is English. The application should likewise be in English and
consist of:

• a curriculum vitae;
• a three- to five-page outline of the project the applicant is currently working on,
with a brief introductory summary thereof;
• a suggestion of two readings relevant for the Winter Academy that you would like
to discuss with other participants (please provide bibliographical data only, no copies
• the names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no letters
of recommendation required).
SENT BY EMAIL as ONE PDF FILE by July 10th 2015 to

Dr. Botakoz Kassymbekova
Forum Transregionale Studien
Wallotstr. 14
14193 Berlin
T: +49 (0)30 89 001-428
F: +49 (0)30 89 001-440

The Winter Academy is part of the strategic cooperation between the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Foundation – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland. It is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a research organization that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It is dedicated to a research agenda that systematically links disciplinary approaches and the expertise of area studies, by focusing on entanglements and interactions across national, cultural or regional borders. The Forum is supported by the Berlin Senate.

The Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland promotes global research, concentrated around the areas of social sciences, cultural studies, and the humanities. Research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries worldwide with distinctive and independent focal points. Through its globally operating institutes, the Foundation is able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and the host countries or regions of its establishments.

For more information please see:

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