Seminar of the Imre Kertész Kolleg

The weekly research seminar supports discussion of the fellows´ research projects and other projects in the Kolleg´s main research areas. In addition to fellows and research staff members, the Kolleg regularly invites external guests to participate in these seminars.

On Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Am Planetarium 7, seminar room

23 April 2018

Friederike Kind-Kovács: Maps, Food Tickets and Handkerchiefs: The Materiality of Child Relief

NEW FELLOW PUBLICATION: Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism

(c) Routledge, 2018
(c) Routledge, 2018

Edited by Agnieszka Mrozik & Stanislav Holubec

Routledge Studies in Cultural History
Routledge, 2018
286 pages, 1 b/w illustration
ISBN: 978-1138-5422-66

Every political movement creates its own historical memory. The communist movement, though originally oriented towards the future, was no exception: The theory of human history constitutes a substantial part of Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s writings, and the movement inspired by them very soon developed its own strong historical identity, combining the Marxist theory of history with the movement’s victorious milestones such as the October Revolution and later the Great Patriotic War, which served as communist legitimization myths throughout almost the entire twentieth century.During the Stalinist period, however, the movement´s history became ... more.

New Publication: Die disziplinierte Diktatur - Stalinismus und Justiz in der sowjetischen Provinz, 1938 bis 1956

(c) Böhlau Verlag 2018
(c) Böhlau Verlag 2018

Immo Rebitschek

Beiträge zur Geschichte Osteuropas, Bd. 51
Böhlau: Vienna, Cologne, Weimar 2018
ISBN: 978-3-412-51127-2
Price: 65,00 €

Soviet prosecutors became famous in the show trials of the 1930s, yet these officials played their main role aside from the big stage. Prosecutors were investigating and prosecuting millions of non-political offenses. At the same time, they had to combat arbitrary practices within the Soviet state apparatus. Soviet prosecutors had the duty to enforce legal norms and the professional ambition to bind the Stalinist dictatorship to its own rules. Based on a case study from the regional state prosecutor’s office in the Molotov region, the book analyzes the conflicts that arose from the prosecutors’ professional ambitions. It explains how this institution, after the end of the Great Terror, started to challenge the Secret Police’s claim for power. The procuracy and its methods gradually became a major tool for the purpose of repression, and later the key figure for the reforms after Stalin’s death.

You can find more information on the publishing house or place your order here.

An inter-October Revolution: Poland in 1956–1957

© Znak Horyzont

Jerzy Kochanowski

Znak Horyzont, 2017
448 pages
ISBN: 978-83-240-4208-1
Price: 59,90 zł

On 1 January 1957, the well-known man-of-letters Jerzy Zawieyski posed the question, 'What is going to happen and how will it play out?' He added, 'What Poland witnessed in the last year was not stabilisation. On the contrary: everything remains uncertain, complex and conflict-imbued. Yet, one thing is certain: our former way of life will not be reinstated. Some irreversible damage has been done.' Indeed, the totalitarian characteristics of Stalinism contributed to the fast pace and vast extent of the transition in 1956-7 which affected and involved virtually every social, professional and ethnic group. The scope, intensity and variety of social activity and (self-)mobilisation is ostensibly comparable to the period immediately following the Second World War or even the early days of the transition that occurred after 1989.

Read more about the book

Call for Papers

Workshop: Commodification of History: The Past as Source of Entertainment and Commerce

Prague, 15/16 September 2018

In a globalizing world, references to the past as a way of identity formation have become more and more important. Even though the "production" of history is the major field of academic historiography, the past is addressed in many popular contexts that are consumed and appropriated by immense numbers of people. Though the forms in which history is brought to life differ widely, most of them have one feature in common: they promise the distribution of knowledge via entertainment and this is what makes them so popular.
The question how exactly history has been used in commercial settings, how the past is being transformed into history with a special commercial interest has so far been under researched. The workshop will pick up on this and tackle questions of commodification in an interdisciplinary approach and will aim at a more nuanced and in depth analysis of processes and practices of commodification.
The workshop will include both discussion panels and a fieldtrip to a site of commodified history in Prague to provide participants with hands-on experience. If you wish to take part in this workshop please send a short abstract of max 200 words and a short CV to Dr Juliane Tomann (Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena) and Dr Vojtech Ripka (Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism (ÚSTR), Prague) by 15 April, 2018.

Please find the complete CfP here.


Workshop: Rescue of Jews during the Holocaust in European Memory

Place: Berlin
Venue: Center for Historical Research Berlin of the Polish Academy of Science
Organizers: Dr. Zofia Wóycicka (Center for Historical Research Berlin of the Polish Academy of Science), Dr. Raphael Utz (Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena), German Resistance Memorial Center
Dates: June 27th-29th, 2018
Application deadline: March 18th, 2018

Please find the complete CALL FOR PAPERS here as a pdf file.

Geheime Kommunikationsräume? Die Staatssicherheit an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

[Translate to English:] © Campus Verlag

Katharina Lenski

Campus Verlag GmbH, 2017
618 Seiten
ISBN-13: 9783593507804
Preis 45,00 Euro

Die Staatssicherheit agierte in der DDR nach 1961, wie Katharina Lenski in ihrer Studie zeigen kann, weniger als Geheimpolizei, sondern vielmehr als Geheimbürokratie. Die Studie beleuchtet das enge Zusammenwirken von Universität und Staatssicherheit, aber auch das Hineinwachsen des Wissenschaftsmilieus in einen Geheimhaltungsraum, der von Feindbildern und von Mauern des Schweigens durchkreuzt war. In diesem dysfunktionalen Kommunikationsraum setzte sich Geheimhaltung als Schlüsselkompetenz durch. Das Buch liefert neue Einsichten zur Wissens- und Organisationsgeschichte im Staatssozialismus und lädt ein, zentrale Fragen des 20. Jahrhunderts neu zu denken.

Call for Papers


Transcending the Nostalgic: Deindustrialised Landscapes across Europe

download as pdf file

In the current political atmosphere of Western society there has been a desire to re-establish industrial and manufacturing entities within their countries (The Economist 2013). In the UK, the outcome of the Brexit referendum showed how successful had been the appeal to ‘take back control’ as way to shelter against global change. The image of the closed-down mine or empty factory was displayed prominently within these discussions. Further representations of deindustrialisation in different media and contents have contributed to constructing and reproducing a discourse whose ideological undertones, far from confining it to the realm of symbolic nostalgia, are having profound and differentiated effects.


Scholarly interest in processes of deindustrialization has, so far, been mainly concerned with specific sites like abandoned mines or former industrialized territories transformed into post-industrial spaces. Furthermore...more