ANN: Registration for Upcoming Conference on 1989 and "the Nation"

Mark Kettler's picture
November 8, 2019 to November 10, 2019
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Nationalism History / Studies, Political Science, Sociology


Reconsidering the Nation and its Alternatives in Central & Eastern Europe

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana, November 8-10 2019

Conference Website:

The collapse of socialist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 has often been described as an “autumn of nations,” a process of national liberation from unaccountable governments through the exercise of popular will. But during and after 1989, national mobilization also coincided with tectonic international and supranational developments: the collapse of the Soviet empire, the retrenchment of socialist internationalism, the expansion of NATO, and the widening scope of European integration, to name only a few. Moreover, the tacit consensuses around nations’ memberships and democratic objectives apparent in 1989 have since given way to contested, and sometimes alarming, discourses of nationhood. Across Central and Eastern Europe, Islamophobic and anti- immigrant politics have revived intense debates over national belonging. 

On the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, the Nanovic Institute will host an interdisciplinary conference to reconsider the European “nation”, “national identity”, and alternative modes of political mobilization in 1989, its aftermath, and its commemoration.

The Conference Program is detailed below and may also be found at . Any scholars interested in attending the conference may register there on the website. 

Friday Night, November 8, 2019

6:00 p.m.      Film 12:08 East of Bucharest (A fost sau n-a fost?)  
                          Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Alina Haliliuc, Denison University
Film introduction and post-film Q&A session

Saturday, November 9, 2019

9:00  a.m.    Plenary session “I was there” Panel / Roundtable

(Donald R. Keough Seminar Room, 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)

    • Tobias Boes, University of Notre Dame
    • Maurizio Albahari, University of Notre Dame
    • A. James McAdams, University of Notre Dame
    • Martin Kagel, University of Georgia

10:30 a.m.   Break with refreshments
11:00 a.m.   Two Simultaneous Panels 

  • Afterlives of the GDR in German Film  
    (Elizabeth E. Nanovic Seminar Room, 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
    • Commentator: Mark Roche, University of Notre Dame
    • Martin Kagel, University of Georgia
      “Unhappy End: Understanding Silence in Andreas Dresen’s Stilles Land
    • William Collins Donahue, University of Notre Dame
      “Contested Legacies of East German Socialism: Andreas Dresen's Gundermann”
    • Anke Pinkert, University of Illinois
      “Memorial Things: Future Revolution in Karl Marx City/Chemnitz”
  • New National Narratives in Post-Communist Europe 
    (Donald R. Keough Seminar Room, 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
    • Commentator: Heather Stanfiel, University of Notre Dame
    • Volodymyr Sklokin, Ukrainian Catholic University
      “Toward an Intellectual Genealogy of Conservative Turn In Contemporary Poland: A Case of Arcana Magazine”
    • Nicole Burgoyne, University of Chicago
      “November 4th 1989: East Germany’s Cultural Elite Looks Forward to a New Era of German Socialism”
    • Nina Paulovicova, Athabasca University
      “From Nostalgia and Identity Crisis to a ‘Proud Nation.’ The Far Right in Slovakia and its Reconstruction of Nation”

12:30 p.m    Lunch (The Forum, First Floor, Jenkins Nanovic Halls)

1:30 p.m.     Two Simultaneous Panels

  • National Memory and Regional Conflict in Eastern Europe
    (Elizabeth E. Nanovic Seminar Room, 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
  • Commentator: Eugene Gholz, University of Notre Dame
  • Oleh Yaskiv, Ukrainian Catholic University
    “Transformation of the National Cinematography in the Post-Soviet Ukraine and Russia as a Mirror of Future Political Processes”
  • George Soroka, Harvard University
    “To Define and Protect the Nation: Memory Laws in Post-Communist Europe”
  • Tomasz Stepniewski, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
    “1989-2019: Polish ‘Solidarność’ as an Example for Europe at the Time of Russia’s Invasion and Occupation of Ukraine and the Reaction of the West and Central Europe”
  • Nostalgia and Material Culture in Post-Communist Europe
    (Donald R. Keough Seminar Room, 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
    • Commentator: Emily Wang, University of Notre Dame
    • Philipp Schultheiss, University of Marburg
      “Unheard Counter-Memories: The (Des-)integration of Former East German Soldiers into a United Germany”
    • Michaelangelo Giampaoli, University of Illinois at Chicago
      “We Considered Carpi the Outermost Suburb of Berlin”: Pro-Soviet Italian Punk Music and the End of the Millennium”
    • Leah Valtin-Erwin, Indiana University                                                                    “Crossing into the West, Bag in Hand: Plastic Shopping Bags and the Urban Post-Communist Shopper in Romania, Poland, and East Germany, 1980-2000”

3:00 p.m.     Break with refreshments 

3:30 p.m.     Two Simultaneous Panels

  • Narratives of Continuity and Rupture
    (Elizabeth E. Nanovic Seminar Room, 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
    • Commentator: Tobias Boes, University of Notre Dame
    • Jennifer L. Allen, Yale University
      “Ending Myths and the Place of 1989-90 in German History”
    • Mark T. Kettler, University of Notre Dame
      “Where the ‘Special Path’ Leads: Reconsidering Germany’s Contemporary National Narrative”
    • Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Michigan
      “Nation and Socialism in the Age of Neoliberal Globalization: The Fate and Future of Bourgeois Democracy”
  • Electoral Politics and National Identity in Post-Communist Europe”
    (Donald R. Keough Seminar Room, 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
    • Commentator: Karrie J. Koesel, University of Notre Dame
    • Chip Gagnon, Ithaca College
      “Yugoslavia: Change as Continuity in 1989 and After”
    • Dima Kortukov, Indiana University
      “Political Change in Ordered Societies: 1989 Elections and the End of the USSR”

6:00 p.m.     Keynote Address (Auditorium, Eck Visitors Center) 

Grzegorz Ekiert, Harvard University
“The Politics of East Central Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall”

Sunday, November 10, 2019

9:30 a.m.     Crossing Borders and Contesting Identities
(Elizabeth E. Nanovic Seminar Room, 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls)

  • Commentator: Reverend Robert Dowd, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame
  • Patrick Ireland, Illinois Institute of Technology
    “Neither Nationalism nor Statism: Explaining Orthodox Churches’ Responses to Migration in Southeastern Europe”
  • Elena Popa, Indiana University
    “Travelling Nationalism: Romanians in France and the Roma-Romanian Conflation after 1989”
  • John Borneman, Princeton University                                                                               “Germany: The State of the Nation in 2019”

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, with support from the Departments of German & Russian Languages and Literatures, Political Science, Anthropology, and Film, Television, and Theatre.

Contact Info: 

Nanovic Institute for European Studies

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Contact Email: