CfA Transregional Academy “After Violence: The (Im-)Possibility of Understanding and Remembering", 10–17 June 2019, “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Dnipro

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Summer Program
June 10, 2019 to June 17, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Anthropology, Political History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe (Forum Transregionale Studien), “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Center for Governance and Culture in Europe/University St. Gallen, German Historical Institute Warsaw, European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder, and the Centre for Applied Anthropology (Kyiv) invite doctoral and postdoctoral scholars to apply for the Transregional Academy “After Violence: The (Im-)Possibility of Understanding and Remembering”.



Our Transregional Academy will address issues related to the understanding

and remembering of traumatic experiences of physical and symbolic violence

that occurred during the 20th and 21st centuries. This violence was prolonged

by the erasure of memory, through silence, oblivion, fear, indifference, and manipulation

of the public consciousness. The Academy will consider problems of

representation and the silencing of traumas in various kinds of narrative texts

(memories, fiction, journalistic texts, historiography, cinema, graphic arts, paintings,

monuments and other symbolic structures). The Transregional Academy

will predominantly focus on Ukraine, which became one of the main battlefields

of the 20th century, profoundly affected by revolutions, the two world wars, and

the Holocaust. Ukraine now represents a space of both military and symbolic

conflict. The Academy additionally wants to explore studies covering the wider

Eastern-European region, seeking original and productive comparisons with

similar phenomena beyond Ukraine. Researchers engaged in interdisciplinary

work in the humanities and social sciences are highly welcomed.

The Transregional Academy aims to reflect upon the following themes, among

others, in discussion:


Experiencing and witnessing traumatic events

What are the limits of reasoning a continued traumatic experience and how can

we approach the moral dimension of such a mental act? Is it possible to create

intellectual distance and, at the same time, maintain moral sensitivity to ongoing

violence, when it has already become entrenched in everyday practices, and

when the language of hatred has become a completely “natural” expression?

How can the logic behind decisions of those people that are recruited to commit

violence and kill their own compatriots, neighbors, or even friends and relatives,

be explained (but not excused)? How could victims be perpetrators at the same

time? What can we learn from analyzing the strategies of perpetrators to rationalize

and self-justify their behavior? What traps could someone encounter from

trying to comprehend the actions of a perpetrator?


Living and dealing with memories of a traumatic past

What kind of experiences and memories could be provoked despite or because

of silencing the trauma? How did preserving and disseminating the knowledge

about “unsanctioned” and unspoken traumatic experiences during Soviet era

function? What are the long-lasting effects of living in a society of victims and

perpetrators without any public reflection on the violence that once took place?


Commemoration, practices of forgetting and/or forgiving, and discourses

beyond them

Do commemorative practices bring us closer or further away from a deeper understanding

of violence? Is it possible to recall knowledge and experiences of

violence one did not suffer from? What kind of experience cannot be covered

by commemorative practices? How can commemoration become a self-negating

practice? How can the process of forgiving contribute to reconciliation?


Interacting with the City

The Transregional Academy will be held in Dnipro (Ekaterinoslav-Dnipropetrovsk),

Ukraine, where Cossack, Polish, and Russian imperial traditions compete

with respect to the city’s origins. The city holds a special character from its

closed status after the Second World War due to its production facilities for

rocket missiles.

The Academy will not only include lectures and discussions on the participants’

projects, but also organize anthropological fieldwork in various urban areas.

This part of the Transregional Academy is aimed to encourage reflection on the

possible reasons behind the exclusion of certain actors and traditions from the

urban collective memory. It also aims to direct participants to thinking of how

the past becomes a concern of the present through the planning and opening of

different memorial sites.

The Transregional Academy will gather 18-20 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars

from various social sciences and humanities disciplines (including, but not

exclusive to, history, literature, social anthropology, social psychology, sociology

and political sciences) whose studies relate to the Academy’s above-mentioned

topic(s) and questions.

Our Transregional Academy will take place at the “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute

for Holocaust Studies and the Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in

Ukraine”, located at the Menorah Dnipro Multifunctional Center.


Steering Committee: Iuliia Buyskykh (Kyiv), Susi K. Frank (Berlin), Andrii

Portnov (Frankfurt/Oder), Ulrich Schmid (St. Gallen), Igor Shchupak (Dnipro),

Viktoriia Serhiienko (Kyiv), Denys Shatalov (Dnipro), Annette Werberger



Scholars to be Invited to Give Guest Lectures: Korine Amacher (University of

Geneva), Jan C. Behrends (Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) Potsdam), Serhii

Plokhy (Harvard University), Miloš Řeznik (German Historical Insitute Warsaw),

Carmen Scheide (University of Bern), Alexander Woll (University of Potsdam).


Academy language: English (successful applicants are expected to be intermediate

in Ukrainian or Russian).


How to Apply

The Transregional Academy is targeted at doctoral and postdoctoral researchers

wishing to present their current projects that concentrate on the themes relevant

to the questions raised above. Although the Transregional Academy focuses on

Ukraine and Eastern Europe, comparative perspectives on the above-mentioned

issues from other regions are highly welcomed.

— A CV (max. 3 pages);

— A three- to five-page outline of the project the applicant is currently working

on, with a brief introductory summary thereof;

— A sample of an academic writing (in any language);

— The names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no

letters of recommendation required).


The application should be written in English and sent via email as one pdf file to


Please specify the topic of the Academy: “After Violence” in the subject line of

the e-mail.


Deadline for applications is 14 January 2019. Those who send their applications

after the deadline will not be considered. Notifications of acceptance will be sent

by mid-February 2019.


For more information, please visit:


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