CfA: Summer School "Residues of the Past: (De)constructing urban histories" (24-27.07.2023)

Piotr Kisiel Announcement
Subject Fields
Urban History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Historic Preservation, Digital Humanities, European History / Studies

The focus of the summer school is to examine how historical strata have been understood, constructed, and interpreted in different European cities from the post-war period to the present day. On the one hand, the participants will learn how historic buildings were integrated into the post-war reconstruction plans on both sides of the "Iron Curtain". On the other hand, we will discuss how historical authenticity has been established in the preservation of monuments and what might have been overlooked in the process. Finally, participants will discuss how people (individually and in groups) remember and what this means for our understanding of the past. The students should also investigate how digital methods can help to understand today's memory landscapes.

The summer school’s goal is to support young scholars and help them establish their own academic networks. There will be an opportunity for some students to present their own projects and receive feedback.


We look forward to seeing you in July!


The summer school is organized by the Research Area Contemporary History and Archive of the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) in cooperation with the Centre for Heritage Conservation Studies and Technologies (KDWT) of the Bamberg University, with the financial support from the Federal Minister of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) and the Leibniz Research Alliance „Value of the Past“.




  • Deadline for application: 16.04.2023.
  • M.A. students and PhD students in their initial stage.
  • Disciplinary backgrounds: History, Memory Studies, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Urban Studies, Geography, Architecture and Urban Planning, Cultural Studies, broader Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • The applicants should provide a one-page CV and a letter of motivation (max. 500 words), that includes information on the applicant’s scholarly background, interests, and career goals.
  • Please indicate if you have strong preference for Thurs. 27.07.2023 (Seeing the past from the present): memory studies or digital humanities.
  • Optionally, please send abstract (max. 300 words) of a proposed presentation.
  • The Summer School is unable to provide computers, therefore if students wish to participate in the Group 2 (“Digital insights into memory landscapes”) need to bring their own laptops with the QGIS software (open access) installed.
  • Fees: €75,00 which covers accommodation (in Berlin), and board (breakfasts and lunches at the IRS). Cost of travel and dinners is not covered.
  • A limited of students will be invited to participate free of charge with a refund for the travel expenses (max. €250,00). Please mention in the motivation letter why you would need such a support.
  • Application should be submitted as one text document (.doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf) until 16.04.2023 to the e-mail-address:


Tentative programme

Mon. 24.07.2023 Summer School Opening

14:30 – 14:00 Registration

15:00 – 15:30 Opening of the summer school

15:30 – 17:00 Keynote lecture


Tue. 25.07.2023 Burden of the past? History and historical structures in the post-war Europe

09:30 – 11:00 Carmen Enss (Uni Bamberg): German Federal Republic

11:15 – 12:45 Birgit Knauer (TU Wien): Austria

14:15 – 15:45 Laura Demeter (Uni Bamberg): Romania

16:00 – 17:30 Piotr Kisiel (IRS): Poland


Wed. 26.07.2023 Historic values and their deconstruction

09:30 – 11:00 Laura Demeter (Uni Bamberg): Heritage Maps and Registers

11:15 – 12:45 Gruia Bădescu (Uni Konstanz): Difficult heritage

14:15 – 15:45 Aleksandra Szczepan (Jagiellonian University): Do maps tell the truth?

16:00 – 17:30 Student presentations


Thur. 27.07.2023 Seeing the past from the present

10:00 – 16:00 Workshops

Group 1: Human memory and its limitations

Dr. Katarzyna Zawadzka (SWPS University) & Sarah Brumm (Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation)


Group 2: Digital insights into memory landscapes

Carol Ludwig (GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Seraphim Alvanides (GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Nicolás Mariné (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)


16:00 – 17:00 Final discussion and summery of the summer school



Contact Information

Dr Piotr Kisiel

Contemporary History and Archive, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS),

Flakenstraße 29-31, 15537 Erkner, Germany

Contact Email