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.

November 2017

05
Nov
2017

The Tyranny of Greece over Germany

Alex Soros reconsiders the brilliant yet largely overlooked 1935 book by Eliza Marian Butler, The Tyranny of Greece over Germany. Butler analyzes the obsession of German enlightenment and Romantic writers and poets with Greek art as the highest possible standard. Starting with the account of the classical antique statue Laocoön by J. J. Winckelmann, the …
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October 2017

16
Oct
2017

Mute Avant-garde

Throughout the 1920s, the Ukrainian film production industry was one of the largest in Europe, and the liberal policies of VUFKU (the All-Ukrainian Film Administration, which was in charge of the film industry) helped entice not only specialists from Germany and Turkey, but also Russian film directors who had already fallen out of favor at …
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September 2017

11
Sep
2017

“For example!”

A conversation on the relationship of text and photography, and the representations of war and history in an Ukrainian city. Yevgenia Belorusets is an artist and writer who lives and works in Kiev and Berlin. She is a founder of  Prostory, a Ukrainian journal for literature, art and politics, and has been a member of the …
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June 2017

21
Jun
2017

The Socialist University

In Eastern Europe postwar changes paved the way for the building of a socialistic university, something seen as one of many possible solutions to a rising need for university reform and education for the working classes. My research does not only address how we think about a particular university, or even universities in general in …
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07
Jun
2017

The Olympic Games in Personalistic Authoritarian Regimes

In this seminar,  Elena Trubina problematizes the attempts of international sports bodies like the IOC and FIFA to prompt emerging economies to compete for hosting global sporting events. Her intervention in the debates on mega-events in non-Western countries, which to date have focused primarily on events held in South America, highlights the lack of theoretical …
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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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