Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Vjosa Bilalli

PhD student 

funded by the German Research Foundation
Research Training Group 1412: Cultural Orientations and Institutional/Structural Order in South Eastern Europe

Mail vjosa.bilalli(at)uni-jena(dot)de

Vjosa Bilalli has been a PhD student in the German Research Foundation’s Research Training Group 1412 “Cultural orientations and institutional order in Southeastern Europe” and a tutor for Albanian at the Institute for Slavic Studies at Jena’s Friedrich Schiller University since 2012. She completed her BA in management and German language and literature at the University of Prishtina (RKS) from 2004 to 2011 and also holds a master’s degree in twentieth-century history and politics from Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Research project

Working title:The Albanian Experience of Communism. Remembrance and the Construction of Memory
Everyday life in socialist societies is often understood as a sphere beyond the grasp of the regime. The private sphere is seen as a place to which people could retreat and live a ‘normal’ life without having to simulate any more. This interpretation tends to overlook the repressive character of the regime.
Against this background, in recent years research into the history of everyday life has centred on the question of how the population came to terms with the regime. From this perspective the private sphere is no longer understood to have been beyond the regime, but in fact permeated by it. This leads us to investigate processes of negotiation between the regime and the population. 
My PhD project seeks to contribute to the history of experience by casting light on the specific Albanian experience of communism. In this project it is not my aim to simply reconstruct everyday life in socialist Albania, but rather to examine the ways in which these specific experiences are dealt with today.

Main areas of research

  • The history of Albania in the twentieth century
  • Economic history and the history of everyday life under communism