Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Zdeněk Nebřenský

Fellow Zdeněk Nebřenský

April 2013 - September 2013
Mail znebrensky(at)gmail(dot)com

Zdeněk Nebřenský came to the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena as a fellow in April 2013. From 2008 to 2012 he was a junior lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities at Charles University in Prague. He was awarded his PhD at the same university in June 2012 with a comparative study on the everyday life of Czech, Slovak, and Polish young people after Stalinism. Before completing his PhD, he was a doctoral fellow at the Berlin School of Comparative European History from 2006 to 2008. In addition to research fellowships at Comenius University in Bratislava and the University of Warsaw, he was awarded the visiting fellowship of the Czech-German Fund for the Future at Humboldt University Berlin in the 2004/2005 academic year. Zdeněk Nebřenský studied modern Czech history, general and comparative History, social and economic history, and social and cultural anthropology at Charles University in Prague and the University of Leipzig.

Research project at the Kolleg

The Young Intelligentsia’s World of Meaning: Intimacy, Equality, and Difference in Czechoslovakia and Poland, 1956–1968
At the Kolleg, Zdeněk Nebřenský is working on his book project, a comparative social and cultural history of the post-war generation in East Central Europe. The project is mainly concerned with the everyday life of students in Prague, Bratislava, and Warsaw after Stalinism. Based on an analysis of official and media discourses in Czech, Polish, and Slovak, it examines ideas and practices that represented an alternative to the existing order. The project investigates the role played by these ideas and practices in the transformation of authority in East Central Europe in the second half of the twentieth century and asks how they prepared the ground for the societal upheavals of 1968. The first chapter focuses on socialist intimacy, i.e. the party’s politicisation of youth sexuality, student marriage, and the housing troubles of young families. The second chapter deals with the work placement of higher education graduates. Paradoxically, the allocation of work in accordance with central planning generated inequalities at local level and it restricted the labour and social mobility of young people. The third chapter focuses on the changing role of student clubs and their impact on the generational and cultural differentiation of socialist youth in the public sphere.

Main areas of research

  • Comparative and transnational history of modern Central Europe
  • Social history, cultural history, and the history of everyday life under state socialism
  • History of modern historiography   

Positions and Memberships

  • Member of the Centre for the Study of Popular Culture, Prague


Die „Weltoffenheit“ der tschechoslowakischen und polnischen Jugend 1956-1968, in:  Agnes Arndt, Joachim C. Häberlen, Christiane Reinecke (Hrsg.) Kulturtransfer aus Ostmitteleuropa als Herausforderung für die Zeitgeschichte Europas, Vergleichen, Verflechten, Verwirren? Europäische Geschichtsschreibung zwischen Theorie und Praxis. Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011, pp. 140-168.

Early Voices of Dissent: Czechoslovakian Student Opposition at the Beginning of 1960s, in: Martin Klimke, Jacco Pekelder, Joachim Scharloth  (Hrsg.), Between Prague Spring and French May: Opposition and Revolt in Europe, 1960-1980. New York – Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2011, pp. 32-48.

Die Repräsentationen studentischer Klubs in zentraleuropäischen Städten: Prag, Warschau und Bratislava in den 1960er Jahren. Documenta Pragensia XXX, 2011, pp. 459- 488.

Revoluční kultura, reprezentace nového člověka a proměny panství v poúnorovém Československu a sovětském Rusku [Revolutionary Culture, Representations of New Man and Transformations of Authority in the Post-February Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Russia after 1917], Jiří Kocian, Markéta Devátá (Hrsg.), Únor 1948 v Československu: nástup komunistické totality a proměny společnosti, Praha, Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR, 2012, pp. 261-269.

Představy československé mládeže o západoevropské levici před rokem 1968 [Visions of the Czechoslovak Youth about Western European Left before 1968], Martin Franc, Stanislav Holubec (Hrsg.), Mladí, levice a rok 1968, Praha, Společnost pro evropský dialog, 2009, pp. 53-69.


Gesellschaft in der europäischen Integration seit den 1950er Jahren: Migration, Konsum, Sozialpolitik, Repräsentationen edited by Arnd Bauerkämper, Harmut Kaelble (Stuttgart: Steiner, 2012), in Soudobé dějiny (forthcoming)

Fashioning socialism: clothing, politics, and consumer culture in East Germany, by Judd Stitziel, (Oxford – New York, Berg, 2005), in A2 – kulturní týdeník č. 35, 2007.