From 2006 to 2012, Anna Georgiev studied Cultural Sciences in a bachelor’s and Intercultural Communication in a master’s programme at the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). Various exchange programmes and working stays abroad brought her to Paris (2005), Sofia (2008), Haifa and Tel Aviv (2011-2013) and finally London (2013-2015). Most recently, she worked as a freelance cultural scientist in Berlin, among others at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures) as a project member involved in designing the intergenerational exhibition „Komme Was Wolle“. She has been employed as a scientific assistant and a doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg in Jena since February 2017.
Jewish Culture in Eastern German Museums (Working Title)
The museumisation of Jewish culture in Eastern Germany was not only influenced by politics and museum policies but also by a particular view on history (Geschichtskultur) in the former GDR. At the first glance, the perception of Jewish culture in GDR museums happened in comparison to the FRG relatively late and museumised synagogues were created mostly after the reunification of Germany.
Nevertheless, approaches to tackle this politically sensitive subject began long before that – shortly after the war Jewish cultural life became a prominent subject in a small regional museum in Gröbzig, present-day Saxony-Anhalt. This was to become the first and only Jewish museum in the country.
Despite the fact that Eastern German museums had contributed to West German exhibitions on Jewish topics through artefact loans from the 1960s, they generally did not yet raise the subject themselves. Only in the late 1970s did the main German historical museum – the Museum für Deutsche Geschichte - focus on the topic and finally, in 1988, the 50th commemoration of the November pogrom lead to a wide range of activities including the inauguration of exhibitions across the country.
So far, these museumisation processes have been discussed only marginally in scientific literature. In terms of a museological perspective, the historical analysis explores the extent to which curators of this day and age continue to be influenced by the museums' former handling of the subject.
material oriented cultural science
Jewish history and culture
„Zwischenstation Jerusalem oder der geheimnisvolle Jacques Barley – Der Reformationsteppich im Israel-Museum“, in: Anna webt Reformation. Ein Teppich und seine Geschichten. Museum Europäischer Kulturen 2017.
„Gedenken nach dem Krieg - Zur Errichtung der ersten OdF-Denkmäler in Berlin.“, in: Gedenkstättenrundbrief 183, 10/2016, pp. 44-50.
„Die ersten OdF-Denkmäler Berlins“, in: Mitgliederrundbrief 75, Aktives Museum, 2016, pp. 14-19.
„Paper Dolls' Houses”. Ausstellungshomepage Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls' House, V&A Museum of Childhood.
(mit Zohar Efron) New Ideals. The Image of the New Woman in Photography. Ausstellungskatalog, Stadtmuseum Haifa, 2015.
„Über Neue Frauen, Neue Juden und die Populärkultur. Selbstbilder deutsch-jüdischer Photograph-Innen”, in: Trumah 22, Zeitschrift der Hochschule für jüdische Studien Heidelberg, 2014.
From 2009 to 2015, Anne-Kathrin Hinz studied Communication Studies and Art History, focusing on image studies and 20th century art. She worked as a student and graduate assistant at the Chair of Art History and at the History of Art Department at the University of Jena. In her master’s thesis titled “Am Bildgrund. Reflexionen über die Konventionen des Bildes in der amerikanischen Kunst nach 1945“ [At the Bottom of the Image. Reflexions on the Conventions of the image in American Art after 1945], Hinz analysed various artistic and theoretical approaches to the perception of an object as an image. Since January 2016, she has been a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944494
Representing History via Abstract Art (working title)
Can abstract art represent history? A systematic investigation of this question has yet to be done. Given the multitude of abstract pieces of art with historical references, it is an even more pressing gap.
The project seeks to fill this perceived necessity. Based on the assumption that abstract art is a specific means of representing history, the study will ask questions about the ways art can represent history. So far, research is shaped by various specific and interdisciplinary discourses, focussing mainly on the question of whether abstract art can represent history or not. However, it has been neglected that processing history via abstract art is a complex process of interaction of aesthetic means with contextual factors such as titling, commenting and its reception.
The dissertation project will investigate works of abstract painting, created in Germany from the 1940s to the 1980s. The analysis will combine aspects of aesthetic visual forms and its historical context, thus enabling the comparison of various abstract strategies of painting, and presenting a new approach to the question how abstract art represents history.
Visual theory focusing on post-1945 art
Theory and history of photography
Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts
Visualising and processing historical events via art
Markenzeichen. Die erste Fotografie der „Minerva mit Helm“, in: Babett Forster (Hrsg.): Wertvoll. Objekte der Kunstvermittlung: Gipsabgüsse, Fotografien, Postkarten, Diapositive, Weimar 2015, pp. 56-62.
Co-author of the article: Zwischen Sein und Schein des Bildes. Die „Jena Bilder“ von Imi Knoebel, in: Babett Forster/Claudia Tittel (Hrsg.): Serielle Materialität. Imi Knoebel und Peter Roehr, Ausst.-Kat, Gera 2013, pp. 30-39.
Nataša Jagdhuhn studied art and art education in Belgrade, Vienna, and Ljubljana from 2003 to 2008. After earning her degree she worked as a freelance journalist with a focus on post-conceptual art, theater, and performance. In 2013 she completed a Master’s degree in “Art in Context” at Berlin University of the Arts. As an artist, curator, art and history communicator she has conceptualized and (co-)organized numerous exhibits. She developed the concept of the educational center at the “AVNOJ” museum in Bosnia and Herzogovina. Since 2015 she has been a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944 491
On the Path to a Performative Museology in Post-Yugoslavian Spaces:
A Comparative Cultural-Historical Analysis of Representations of the Second World War in Commemorative Museums (working title)
This dissertation investigates the representations of the Second World War at memorial sites in the successor states of Yugoslavia. By means of comparative analysis, the phenomenon of museum transformation after the dissolution of Yugoslavia will be discussed using the following state museums as case studies: the “21 October Museum” and the “Kadinja?a” memorial site in Serbia; the “Museum of the Second AVNOJ Session” and the “Kozara” / “Sutjeska” / “Neretva” memorial sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the “Jasenovac” and “Lipa” memorial sites in Croatia.In their manner of presenting the past, museums in the successor states of Yugoslavia show a tendency to view the history of the Second World War through the lens of the more recent wars of the 1990s. In this context, the aim of this comparative study is to document and analyze the process of nationalization of the historical perception of the Second World War in museums in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, their points of divergence and convergence with current trends in memory politics in the rest of Europe, as well as the continuities and discontinuities of museum standards in former Yugoslavia.How has the perception of the Second World War in museums changed since the dissolution of Yugoslavia? Museum transformation will be viewed from a museological (“how”) and historical (“what”) perspective by analyzing two museum practices: exhibits and commemorative ceremonies. The theory of “performative museology” will serve as a methodological tool.The theoretical framework is provided by specialist literature from the areas of museum studies, historiography, performance studies, and cultural studies.
Memory constructs in the successor states of Yugoslavia
Museum transformation in the post-socialist countries of Europe
Museum studies and the “performative turn”
(In collaboration with Vedrana Madžar and Zorka Obreni) „Jüdische Identität im sozialistischen Jugoslawien, 1945-1952“ [Jewish Identity in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945–1952], Online publication of the Geschichtswerkstatt Europa 2012.
Ulrike Löffler studied history, English language and literature as well as pedagogy in Jena. During her university years, she worked as teaching assistant and student aid in the field of 20th century history. She spent the academic year 2012/2013 at the University of California, Berkeley as Visiting Research Scholar studying the university’s contemporary reactions towards National Socialism. From 2014 to 2016 she was on the academic staff of the chair of Public History in Jena. Since March 2017 she has been a research associate and doctoral candidate at Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
The Pedagogy of Memorial Sites in Germany. An Investigation into Attempts at Teaching about National Socialism since the 1980s (working title)
Social movements are a known characteristic of the 1980s in West Germany. Next to the more prominent ones, there was a lesser known and much smaller grassroots campaign that advocated and fought for the installment of concentration camp memorials throughout the country. Albeit small, the movement was not at all unsuccessful: During the 1980s new memorial sites and exhibitions were set up among others in Flossenbürg, Essen, Neuengamme, Breitenau, Papenburg, Wewelsburg and the existing ones were revised and enlarged as in Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. Since then, the number of memorial sites across Germany has grown continuously, accompanied by the development of memorial site pedagogy (“Gedenkstättenpädagogik”) into a quasi-independent subfield of pedagogy. However, a historical perspective on the pedagogy of memorial sites is still missing. The PhD project aims to fill this research gap with a comprehensive study of the concepts, contents, aims and methods as well as rationales of teaching about National Socialism at German memorial sites since the 1980s. It can, thus, be positioned at the intersecting fields of history, history of education and didactics of history.
In analyzing how the history of National Socialism was presented and taught at memorial sites, it is important to appreciate the role of the individuals involved in that work since their varying backgrounds, priorities, implicit theories, individual motivations and understandings of the broader topic decisively shaped the respective concepts and contributed to their specific rationales. For this reason, the study partly follows an actor-centered perspective.
Cultures of history in Germany and the USA
Didactics of history teaching / Holocaust Education
History of Education
Clara Mansfeld studied Modern and Contemporary History, Economic and Social History and Cultural Anthropology in Freiburg and Basel (CH) from 2006 to 2013. During her studies, she worked as an intern and did freelance work in numerous museums and memorials across Germany and abroad. Furthermore, she was a long time research assistant at the history department of Freiburg University and at FRIAS (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies). From 2013 to 2016, Clara Mansfeld worked at the Buchenwald memorial, first as an academic trainee, then as a research associate, where she was part of a team preparing the new permanent exhibition about the history of the concentration camp Buchenwald (Buchenwald. Ostracism and Violence 1937 to 1945). Since February 2017, she has been a research associate and a doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
The Imaginary Visitor. German Museums and their Public (working title)
Starting point for this project was the observation that the significance museums ascribe to their visitors has changed considerably in the last decades.
The project looks from a historic perspective at the relationship between museum staff/curators and the visitors. This relationship was not problematic as long as there were no extensive differences in the milieu between the two. In a way, the museum staff addressed their exhibitions ›to themselves‹.
Using History Museums as a case study, this project aims to reconstruct the conceptual and institutional conditions that lead to a fundamental change in the practice of increasing attentiveness towards the visitor in West Germany between the 1950s up to the 1990s. To whom did the curators address their exhibitions? What implications did that have for the conveyance of content and knowledge? Who pushed towards more visitor-orientation?
This project does not focus on the visitors but rather on the perception of the visitors that influenced the curators’ work and therefore concepts and designs of the exhibitions. Focusing on a changing audience through the lens of the curator may also help get a historic perspective on the status quo of exhibition and museum projects today and may also reveal possible courses of action for Historic Museum in a changing society.
Museum and Exhibition History
National socialism and the Holocaust
History of West Germany
(with Kornelia Konczal) Tagungsbericht „Regions of Memory. A Comparative Perspective on Eastern Europe“, 26.11.2012–28.11.2012 Warschau.
Katharina Meyer studied social sciences and sociology in Hanover and Frankfurt am Main from 2008 to 2015 with a specialization on (psychoanalytical) social psychology, microsociology, and forms of discrimination. She wrote her Master’s thesis on “The Effects of National Socialism on the National Identification of Youth in Germany.” Since 2015 she has been a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena. She also chairs the Society for Psychoanalytical Socialpsychology (GfpS) and is active as a member of Humanity in Action.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944 491
On the Historicization of National Socialism from the Perspective of Youth in Germany (working title)
The perception and reappraisal of Nazism by later generations has been marked by a variety of changes since the transition to the so-called “fourth generation.” This transition entails an unbridgeable gap between the new generation and the events themselves while at the same time having a formative influence on the social conditions in which the debate takes place, as well as bringing new demands and needs with regard to the history of Nazism. The dying-off of the generation that lived through or played an active role in National Socialism makes it necessary to consider the consequences of an increasing personal distance to the actual events and to address the relevance of family members in the historical perception of today’s young people. It is also important to take into account that the family backgrounds of German youth are not homogeneous. Their ancestors were not just perpetrators, bystanders, or victims of Nazism, but may have been on the side of the Allies or occupied nations, or perhaps have no biographical connection to National Socialism at all. Linked to this is the question of the present-day educational environment for history. Many school students have preconceived notions or images – from relatives, friends, or the media – before the topic is even discussed in school. A further factor is the medialization of the Holocaust, especially by way of feature films and the representations of National Socialism in the media.Hence, changes in the way Nazism is being dealt with can be attributed to diverse influences not limited to its historicization, its becoming a part of cultural memory, and the death of contemporary witnesses. In this context, the project investigates the significance of Nazism to young people as well as their approaches to it. The investigation is qualitative in nature, taking the form of group discussions, interviews, and observations.
Anti-Semitism and racism
Gender und queer Studies
National Socialism and its mechanisms of transmission
Daniel Schuch studied history, political science, and sociology at Dresden University of Technology from 2008-2012. He completed his master’s degree in History and Politics of the 20th Century at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in summer 2015. Since 2014, he has been a student assistant at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, and the Chair for History in Media and the Public. In his master’s thesis, he analyzed the conflicting historical and political interpretations of the Kosovo war in the journal “konkret”. Since January 2016, he has been a research associate and doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944494
The Transformation of Testimony. From David Boders Interviews with Displaced Persons to the institutionalised Holocaust Testimonies (working title)
How are the complex experiences and memories of the persecution and destruction of the Jews transformed into tellable stories? What does it mean to be a witness of the Holocaust at different times?
The Phd project examines the influence of socio-cultural factors on the presentation and reinterpretation of the stories of survival based on interviews with survivors of the Holocaust. The starting point are the 130 interviews conducted by the psychologist David P. Boder in summer 1946 with the so-called Displaced Persons (DPs) in Western Europe. I will be comparing the retelling of these stories on the basis of a selection of audio-interviews of the Boder-Archive, video-interviews with the same persons conducted in the 1990s of the Visual History Archive and of the Oral History Department of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2003-2006. The analysis takes place over a period of 60 years and examines the consistency and the changes in the biographical narratives.
The aim of the comparative, diachronic analysis is to identify the impact on the individual stories of the institutionalisation and the professionalization of the Holocaust Testimonies since the 1970s. The transformation of the narrated life-stories is interpreted in the framework of changing cultures of history and the discourse on testimony and survival.
This dissertation also aims to make clear the extent to which these oral accounts affected the so called Holocaust Education since the dictum of the “death” of the contemporary witnesses.
Holocaust and NS research
Memory cultures in Germany, Israel and USA
audiovisual history presentation
(with Dorothea Warneck/ Tobias Haberkorn/ Saskia Pörtig/ Paul Schütrumpf) (Post-) jugoslawische Geschichtskultur: Ein Blick durch das Schlüsselloch, in: Lehrstuhl für Geschichte in Medien und Öffentlichkeit
Anja Thiele studied modern German literature, art history, philosophy, and communications in Erfurt and Jena from 2007 to 2014. She worked as a freelance journalist throughout her studies. In Jena she also worked as a research assistant at the Theater Studies program under Prof. Nina Birkner. Her Master’s thesis on Elfriede Jelinek was awarded a prize for outstanding academic achievement by the Philosophical Faculty of Jena University. Since 2015 she has been a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944 493
Representations of the Shoah in East German Literature (working title)
This dissertation plans to investigate how the persecution and extermination of the Jews under Nazism was dealt with in literary fiction under the restrictive historical and cultural policies of the GDR. Starting from the theoretical assumption that literature, as part of historical culture, always interacts with society and contributes to the construction of a historical consciousness, the aim is to answer two different questions. The first question is to what extent political and social constraints influenced the literary discourse on the Holocaust in the GDR. The second question is to what extent the works in question themselves, by their genuine literary reflectiveness and powers of articulation, affirmed and co-created or subverted the official historical policy of the GDR with its institutionalized narrative of legitimation (antifascism, communist resistance).
The body of texts under consideration includes works of fiction by Jewish survivors as well as by non-Jewish writers from the entire forty years of the GDR’s existence. Key texts, e.g., by Jurek Becker, Rolf Schneider, Peter Edel and Christoph Hein, will be categorized and contrasted with Bruno Apitz’s Nackt unter Wölfen [Naked Among Wolves], the discourse-setting standard work of East German Holocaust literature. The research project is a desideratum, as no extensive monograph has been published on the topic to date.
Literature, art, and social theory
Gender-based literary criticism
The transmission of literature through museums
Drama and theater of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
„Welch Wort in die Kälte gerufen“ – eine Lyrikanthologie über die Shoah im Kontext der DDR-Erinnerungskultur, in: Medaon – Magazin für jüdisches Leben in Forschung und Bildung, 10 (2016), 19, S. 1–15.
Die Aura in der (Literatur-)Vermittlung. Die Inszenierung einer Faust-Ausgabe in der Ausstellung Lebensfluten – Tatensturm im Goethe-Nationalmuseum, in: Britta Hochkirchen/Elke Kollar (eds.): Zwischen Materialität und Ereignis. Literaturvermittlung in Ausstellungen, Museen und Archiven, Bielefeld 2015, pp. 137-154.
Die eigene Stimme. Eine Reportage über die Autorin Claudia Grehn, in: Theaterhaus Jena – ‚My heart will go on‘. Dokumentation eines Flüchtlingsprojekts. Insert zu Theater der Zeit (2012), vol. 5, pp. 24-25.
Alexander Walther studied in Jena from 2008 to 2014 to become a secondary-school teacher of history and English and worked at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena for many years as a student and research assistant. His thesis dealt with the memories of former Yugoslavian civil-war refugees in Germany.
Telefon: +49 (0)3641 944 494
The Shoah in the DDR: Representation and Remembrance Beyond State Policy (working title)
The project investigates the varied forms of depicting the Holocaust in the GDR. Starting with the rather monolithic view prevailing in the literature that the annihilation of European Jewry was given scant attention under socialism, this project uses a decidedly cultural-history approach to link disparate fields that were previously dealt with separately or overlooked entirely. The Shoah was indeed scarcely addressed in the official memorial policies of the GDR – and then as a footnote to the Second World War – and did not find meaningful expression in the state’s antifascist discourse either, which is precisely why there were numerous attempts outside this hegemonic discourse to commemorate these events and raise awareness of them.
In taking a cultural-history perspective, the project seeks to link in a comprehensive overview the work of various protagonists of a specialist, scholarly, religious, literary, journalistic, artistic, or willfully private nature. The dichotomy between the predominant lack of state remembrance and the marginalization of non-state remembrance necessitates an interdisciplinary approach in dealing with Holocaust remembrance in the GDR. At present, the project plans to investigate early memorial stones explicitly referring to Jewish victims, as well as translations of non-fiction books (e.g., publications of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw) and documentary films. In addition, three individual protagonists who approached the topic in different areas – Martin Riesenburger in his church sermons, Heinz Knobloch in his newspaper columns, and Rudolf Hirsch in his court reporting – will likewise be considered. Using the approaches of memorial history and the history of everyday life, these testimonies and their authors will be investigated in their respective contexts.
Remembrance and representation of the Shoah
Yugoslavian and post-Yugoslavian history
Cultures of history in Germany, East-Central and Southeastern Europe
(with Christian Jänsch) Kulmhof/ Chełmno nad Nerem, in: Jörg Ganzenmüller/
Raphael Utz (Hrsg.): Orte der Shoah in Polen. Gedenkstätten zwischen
Mahnmal und Museum, Wien/Köln/Weimar 2016, S. 67-98.
(with Christian Jänsch) Zur Würde von Menschen an Orten
nationalsozialistischer Massenverbrechen, in: Jörg Ganzenmüller/ Raphael
Utz (Hrsg.): Orte der Shoah in Polen. Gedenkstätten zwischen Mahnmal und
Museum, Wien/Köln/Weimar 2016, S. 329-348.
Tagungsbericht "25 Jahre Aufarbeitung der Geschichte der sowjetischen
Speziallager", 25.06.2015 - 27.06.2015 Weimar, in: H-Soz-Kult,
From 2009 to 2016, Markus Wegewitz studied History and Political Science in Halle, Jena and Amsterdam. He wrote his M.A. thesis „Die »Nacht und Nebel«-Gefangenen als geschichtspolitische Akteure in den Niederlanden, 1945–1995“ („»Nacht und Nebel« prisoners and the Politics of History in the Netherlands, 1945–1995”) during a research term in the Netherlands at the Duitsland Institute and the Institute voor Oorlogs-, Holocaust- en Genocidestudies (NIOD). He worked as a research assistant at the Chair for Media and Public History of the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and as a freelancer in the ERC-Project “Securing Europe, Fighting its Enemies, 1815–1914”. Apart from that, he is a member of the working group for German-Dutch history. Since 2017, he has been working as a scientific assistant and a doctoral student at the Europäisches Kolleg in Jena.
Nicolaas Rost. The History of National Socialism Reflected in a Political Biography. (Working title)
This dissertation project explores the political life of the writer and survivor of the Dachau concentration camp Nicolaas Rost (1896–1967). Apart from Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and both German states, Rost worked both before and after 1945 as an intellectual intermediary and promoted the ideas of German literature. The question of how Rost’s work was linked to the debates about the European dimensions of National Socialism should be answered especially against the background of his involvement with the associations of the victims of National Socialism and the broad spectrum of his activities in educational work.
However, the project is not to be understood as a typical biography, but as a problem-oriented contextualisation. The various forms of national politics of history, the network of German exile literature, and the development of the forms and narratives of remembering Nazi crimes are to be taken into consideration in equal measure.
As a project with strong links to literary studies and exile research, this dissertation can call on a broad spectrum of sources. Rost’s work as a journalist, his translations, independent publications and correspondence have all left their mark in many European archives.
European contemporary history
Politics of history
Organisations of the survivors of National Socialism
Occupied societies in the Second World War
Verschleppt bei Nacht und Nebel. Widerstand und Öffentlichkeit in der politischen Justiz des Nationalsozialismus [Taken at Night in Fog. Resistance. The Resistance and the Public in the Politicised Justice of National Socialism] , in: Erinnern! Aufgabe, Chance, Herausforderung 1 (2014), pp. 48–60.
Der kulturlose Kontinent. Von der Persistenz eines deutschen Ressentiments [The Continent without Culture. About the Persistence of a German Ressentiment] , in: Studentische Fachzeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft Jena 1.1 (2015), pp. 11–18.
Tagungsbericht: Probing the Limits of Categorization. The ‚Bystander‘ in Holocaust History, Amsterdam, 24.09.2015 – 26.09.2015“, in: H-Soz-Kult (12.11.2015)