Seminars

In the course of the semester, each Visiting and Junior Visiting Fellow presents her/his research project in the Fellows’ Seminar. For the fellows, the seminars provide an opportunity to reflect on their current work and to get feedback from the Institute’s academic community. The Junior Visiting Fellows discuss their final results at the Junior Fellows’ Conference at the end of each semester. The outcomes of these conferences are published online on the IWM’s website.

May 2017

17
May
2017

From Little Russia to Ukraine

The idea of Ukraine as a European nation was first formulated in the late 18th century within the Russian Empire. But to become a modern nation, Ukrainians had not only to secede from the Russian Empire, but also to break away from Poland, which, despite its loss of independence in the partitions (1772-1795), remained the dominant …
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16
May
2017

Grabbed by the Pussy

Despite the moral justifications voiced by medical professionals, obstetrics was and still is designed in a biopolitically driven fashion that conquers its subjects hospitalization,discipline regimes and a variety of legal ties. This condition is rooted in the three centuries of history of obstetrics in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and has a lot to do with the …
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08
May
2017

Heine’s Pantheism

Heinrich Heine’s pantheism brought together identification with sensual antiquity, irreverence toward institutional religion, an original outlook on German philosophy, and a radically modern literary sensibility. In the wake of the “pantheism controversy” of 1785-9, like several of his predecessors, Heine identified Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy with pantheism in the sense of God as nature, the “absolute” …
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April 2017

27
Apr
2017

Hopes and Fears for the Internet

The internet as a social phenomenon is interpreted and exploited in different ways, from an empowering technology to a source of new threats to privacy. It is seen by researchers as a technology with many stakeholders. Plenty of people are engaged with it in one way or another, but no one completely understand its nature. The contemporary internet …
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20
Apr
2017

What’s ‘New’ About the ‘New Authoritarians’?

The autocrat of the mid-20th century was a strict and demanding father out to shape you into an ideal. He wanted you to modernize, learn self-discipline and, above all, self-sacrifice. Today’s authoritarians, by contrast, expect very little of their “children.” They do not seek to transform their subjects or mould them into an ideal. What happened? …
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March 2017

08
Mar
2017

The Transnational and the Local

In my paper, I am going to discuss some findings of my current research project, entitled “Transnational Nationalism,” which studies transnational exchanges among various radical right-wing/nationalist groups maintaining distinct, and at times mutually exclusive, aims and interests. Focusing on both nationalist groups’ cooperation across Europe and their engagement “on the ground,” my paper seeks to …
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February 2017

22
Feb
2017

The Moral Atmosphere in Eastern Europe

The curious contrast between the conflation of anti-market feelings and anti-welfare passion, a hatred for egalitarian-redistributive policies and a comparable hatred for a reduction of state regulation: what does it mean for the ideological character of the region in the near future? ‘Welfare state for the white middle class’ and for no one else? A …
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13
Feb
2017

The Future of Russianness in Post-Maidan Ukraine

While Russia annexed Crimea and supported separatists in Donbas under the pretext of protecting Russian-speakers from the new “fascist” government in Kyiv, it was actually pro-Ukrainian mobilization in the large Russian-speaking cities of the east and south that prevented Ukraine from disintegrating further. Three years after the Maidan, what is the future of the Russian …
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January 2017

18
Jan
2017

From Theresienstadt to Santa Teresa

How does literature of our time confronts the ultimate traumas of Modernity and Postmodernity, those things that deny any expression, that occur in bleak spaces before the words and beyond the words? This parallel reading of Austerlitz (2001), Sebald’s last novel, and 2666, Bolano’s posthumously published grand narrative (2004), will trace the ways in which …
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16
Jan
2017

“Heroes Do Not Die?”

The Maidan and the war in the Donbas are reshaping the symbolic landscape of large industrial cities in the southeast of Ukraine. The example of Dnipropetrovsk recently being renamed Dnipro illustrates these current developments, which are not limited to “decommunisation”. We see the removal of Soviet monuments and the renaming of streets, but also the …
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