|Der Krieg ist wie Giftmüll im Fluss||Other||Raphaela Edelbauer, Milena Michiko Flašar, Karl-Markus Gauß, Sabine Gruber, Maja Haderlap, Tanja Maljartschuk, Barbi Markovic, Doron Rabinovici, Christoph Ransmayr, Robert Schindel, Ferdinand Schmalz, Franz Schuh||
Speakers: Raphaela Edelbauer, Milena Michiko Flašar, Karl-Markus Gauß, Sabine Gruber, Maja Haderlap, Tanja Maljartschuk, Barbi Markovic, Doron Rabinovici, Christoph Ransmayr, Robert Schindel, Ferdinand Schmalz, Franz Schuh
|War in Ukraine and Universal Values||Panels and Discussions||Philipp BlomSerhii PlokhiiTimothy Snyder||
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, launching a full-scale war of aggression. This war is the product of imperialism rooted in historical fantasy, intended to deny Ukraine the fundamental right to exist. It is enabled by the Putin regime’s longstanding assault on the very notion of truth. While Ukrainians are left to defend their country, what is at stake goes far beyond the borders of Ukraine.
|The Declaration of Universal Human Rights at Seventy-Five||Seminars and Colloquia||Adam SitzeLudger HagedornMartin Krygier||
In December 2023, the Declaration of Universal Human Rights (UDHR) will turn seventy-five. This talk anticipates that anniversary by considering the contributions made to the UDHR by the Chinese scholar-diplomat Peng Chun Chang (1892-1957). After discussing Chang’s involvement in the drafting of the UNDR’s Article 1, and in particular its reference to “conscience,” it will ask how, if at all, Chang’s contributions might oblige us to rethink longstanding criticisms of the UDHR’s claim to universality.
|No End to History||Lecture||Katherine YoungerSerhii Plokhii||
Thirty years ago, the world lived through one of the most optimistic moments of the 20th century. Communism—and the Soviet Union with it—had collapsed, the Cold War had come to an end, and democracy was on the rise around the globe. We are now in probably the grimmest moment since the start of the 21st century. The Cold War is making its way back, hot war has returned to the geographic center of Europe, and democracy is facing the most profound challenges since the end of World War II. Nowhere were the expectations for the arrival of a new era so high, and nowhere did they crash with such tragic consequences, as in the former Soviet space. Looking back, we see that 1991 did not mark the end of history, either as the ideological evolution of humankind or as a scholarly discipline that has documented the lengthy and painful disintegration of most of the world’s empires. What we see today is the continuing process of the disintegration of the USSR, complete with efforts to establish spheres of influence, border disputes, and open warfare. We also see Russia’s return to the international scene as it attempts to claim the role of not only a regional but also a global power, akin to the role played by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In this lecture Serhii Plokhii will discuss the developments of the last thirty years in the lands that once belonged to the USSR, bringing history in to explain the most recent developments in the region.
|The Conundrum of Trafficking and Statelessness in West Bengal||Seminars and Colloquia||Ayşe ÇağlarPaula Banerjee||
Statelessness is a problem that has been plaguing states, human rights activists, the UNHCR and other international organizations and the vulnerable and displaced population groups of the world. Statelessness does not respect borders; it robs the stateless of their rights and dignity, rights over their bodies and dignity of life. It deprives them of the ability to protest rampant exploitations. It also robs the states of its human face. Stateless men, women and children become insecure because they can be displaced any time that the state or the majority community so desires. Even states are unable to fathom what to do with stateless people, where to return them if need be. The Rohingya women in Bengal jails are a case in point.
|Maria Winowska and the Search for a Modern (but Illiberal) Central and Eastern Europe||Cancelled||Katherine YoungerPiotr Kosicki||
The years of the pandemic have witnessed a veritable renaissance of big-picture thinking about the trajectories of Central and Eastern Europe – in particular, about what modernization and modernity have meant for the region. Surprisingly, however, few of these historical accounts break free of classic heuristic assumptions: that liberal modernity was the inevitable endpoint of the region’s modernization (what Holmes and Krastev have decried as mimicry of the West) and that the national community, with the nation-state as its telos, is the most organic unit of analysis through which to approach the region.
|Telling History: On Creating the Polish History Museum and its Exhibitions||Seminars and Colloquia||Dariusz StolaLudger HagedornRobert Kostro||
“Storytelling museum” is a concept which arrived in the museum theory in the 1990s as a part of a broader phenomenon in discourse and practice called the new museology. Among the most important features of that concept was the use of new media and scenography in order to create continuity of a historical narrative. Storytelling is connected with an extensive use of electronically processed iconography and media to construct powerful simulacra appealing both to minds and emotions of visitors. That makes a history museum a powerful instrument of interpreting history and influencing audiences. Therefore, museum professionals are situated between the fields that are ascribed to history as a science and memory as a social and political phenomenon. In his talk, Robert Kostro would like to speak about intellectual and practical challenges that are connected with creating the narrative of the exhibitions in Polish History Museum. He will also place the practice of the historical museology of today in the context of different approaches to storytelling in the past.
|Reverse Perspective, the Politics of Space, and Contemporary Art Practice||Panels and Discussions||Clemena AntonovaTomáš GlancWim Goes, Volkmar Mühleis||
“Reverse perspective,” the theory of space in the medieval icon developed in Russia in the 1920s, is seen as an element of a political and philosophical project, which aims to “turn around” the Western paradigm of art and knowledge. The Russian icon becomes the alternative model to Renaissance perspectivism and the Enlightenment project of modernity.
|Diktatur des Heimischen. Zur Phänomenologie einer „radikalen Politik“ in Polen||Lecture||Andrzej GniazdowskiLudger Hagedorn||
Die Politik der polnischen Regierung, die nach Ansicht vieler seit 2015 gegen Regeln der konstitutionellen Demokratie verstößt, wird häufig als ein Beispiel für den sich global durchsetzenden Populismus bzw. als „Verlockung des Autoritären“ (Applebaum 2021) interpretiert. Daneben finden sich Erklärungsmuster, welche die gegenwärtigen Tendenzen in Polen stärker lokal als Erbe einer spezifisch mittel-osteuropäischen, eher ethnisch als politisch konnotierten Idee der Nation begreifen. Als Versuch, über beide Ansätze hinauszugehen, analysierte der Vortrag von Andrzej Gniazdowski diese Tendenzen in einem sowohl historisch als auch theoretisch breiteren Kontext.
|Framing (State) Fragility||Seminars and Colloquia||Keith KrauseSebastian Haug||
The concept of “state failure,” launched in the early 1990s, and its current incarnation as "state fragility," rapidly became an accepted way to frame interventionary policies and practices of major multilateral actors such as the World Bank and the OECD. This talk will trace the genesis and evolution of the state fragility discourse, focusing on the way in which different organizations and actors have shaped the concept to their particular interests. The interaction of expert knowledge-creation and data with multilateral security and development policies also highlights how certain forms of "knowing the world" have been privileged in the constitution of this field of global public policy. The implications of these indicators for security governance and development assistance policies have been profound, in the Global South and beyond.