Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena


The Kolleg regularly organizes conferences and workshops. Our focal point of the year is the Annual Conference, usually held in Jena, which assembles a large group of international scholars. Smaller workshops and scholarly conferences organised jointly with partner institutions are held both in Jena and elsewhere. As a matter of course, the Kolleg and its community are present at international gatherings such as ASEEES conventions or the Deutsche Historikertag.

→ Current program

Annual Conference 2017

Eastern Europe Facing the Shoah - A History of Engagement, 1941 - 2016

08. - 09. June 2017
Venue: Rosensäle of the Friedrich Schiller University

Conceived and implemented by Germans, the Shoah took place in occupied Central and Eastern Europe. During and after the war, the daunting task for all German occupied countries was to engage with what the Germans had set in motion and were implementing. In recent years, public debate on these complex issues has been increasingly polarized: histories of participation have been juxtaposed with histories of saving Jews and both have been regarded as statements on national character. Engagement with...

Workshop: Stepping Back in Time. Living History and other Performative Approaches to History in East-Central and Southeastern Europe

The workshop is organised in cooperation with the German Historical Institute Warsaw (Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau/ DHI).

23. - 24. February 2017
Venue: German Historical Institute Warsaw

Action, experience and emotion are the focus when it comes to performativity. In cultural studies, the performative turn has shifted the focus away from texts and structures to inquiries into actions performed and the bodily experiences involved in creating collective meaning. In the field of history terms such as “living history,” “doing history” and "reenactment” have been established to characterize the experiential component of various practices of reviving, restaging and appropriating...

Workshop: Heritage Studies and Socialism: Transnational Perspectives on Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe

organised by Dr Eszter Gantner, Corinne Geering M.A., Dr Paul Vickers

23. - 25. November 2016
Venue: GCSC, Alter Steinbacher Weg 38, 35392 Giessen

The Allure of Totalitarianism. The Roots, Meanings, and Political Cycles of a Concept in Central and Eastern Europe

International Conference and Workshop Jena, 6–8 October 2016

06. - 08. October 2016

venue: “Internationales Centrum ‚Haus auf der Mauer‘“, lecture room, Johannisplatz 26, Jena

The term ‘totalitarianism’ has experienced a remarkable comeback in political, historical, and social science discourses of the last half century. Having served as a key concept in the dissident critique of state socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, the term took on new life after 1989, losing its associations with the opposition and becoming widespread in the media...

"Denkmalschutz im Staatssozialismus"

29. - 30. June 2016
Venue: Castle Weesenstein, Saxony

Das Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, die Stiftung Ettersberg, die Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen gGmbH und die Stiftung Thüringer Schlösser und Gärten führen vom 29. Juni bis zum 30. Juni 2016 eine gemeinsame Tagung durch, die erstmals Grundlagen der Geschichte des Denkmalschutzes und des Umgangs mit historischen Baudenkmälern im Staatssozialismus nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in europäischer Perspektive beleuchten wird. Die Rolle und Funktion von historischen Baudenkmälern im Sozialismus...

Annual Conference 2016

People(s) on the Move. Refugees and Immigration Regimes in Central and Eastern Europe During the 20th Century

09. - 10. June 2016
Venue: Rosensäle of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

At the end of the 20th century, societies in Central and Eastern Europe tend to conceive of themselves as ethnically homogeneous and ethnic diversity to be addressed as a question of national minorities. Whereas historical research has addressed the issues of forced migration, overseas emigration and political exile, the experiences of immigration and of coping with large numbers of refugees and its potential challenge to notions of national homogeneity have received little attention. The...

Workshop: Transforming the Museum. An Exploration

During the last decades, the role of the museum has changed substantially. Former displays of objects and pictures are challenged by alternative ways of representing and staging the past.

27. - 28. May 2016
Venue: Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin

The use of media and visitor participation challenges the educational aspect that museums once offered. Conveying historical knowledge and stimulating a cognitive process of perception are being replaced by a more emotional museum experience: instead of dealing with historical facts, museums have become 'historical theme parks'. The central aim of the workshop is to discuss these developments on its historical backgrounds and develop further perspectives on roles and functions/ways of...

Annual Conference 2015

Into the Open. 1990 – The First Year of Transition

11. - 12. June 2015
Venue: Rosensäle of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

The conference aims to explore the manifold aspects and reactions to a world in rapid transition. Case studies from the fields of politics, economics, intellectual currents and everyday life will discuss the attempts to cope with unexpected challenges and to shape events. Rather than continuing the ongoing debate on why communism failed and rather than taking the ensuing attempts at democracy for granted, the conference aims to develop an historical approach to the foundations of our...

Annual Conference 2014

State Repression in Socialist Central and Eastern Europe. Comparative Approaches

12. - 13. June 2014
Venue: University of Warsaw and Dom Spotkań z Historią, Warsaw

The conference assembles international experts and discusses forms of political repression, oppression and surveillance in the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. The focus is on comparing local and systemic features of state repression, its dimensions and intensity across Central and Eastern Europe and on state repression as social practice. In cooperation with the Historical Institute of Warsaw University and the History Meeting House (DSH), the Kolleg is delighted to present Borys Lankosz,...

Annual Conference 2013

Catastrophe and Utopia Central and Eastern European Intellectual Horizons 1933 to 1958

13. - 15. June 2013
Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences Széchenyi István tér 9, 1051 Budapest

The conference Catastrophe and Utopia will study the historical experiences, intellectual agendas, sustained reflections and utopian visions of Central and Eastern European intellectuals in the years between 1933 and 1958. Central and Eastern Europe was the central stage of the most catastrophic events during this quarter of a century, experiencing the rise and spread of Nazism, the Second World War and the Holocaust as well as the establishment of Stalinist regimes, political terror and extreme...

Conference Poster Annual Conference 2013

Fachtagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO)

Religion Kirchen und Staatsgewalt in Mittel- und Osteuropa

06. - 07. December 2012
Venue: Europäische Akademie Berlin, Bismarckallee 46/48, 14193 Berlin

Diese Tagung thematisiert die Beziehung zwischen Kirchen und Staatsgewalt in Mittel- und Osteuropa. Damit ist ein Doppeltes gemeint: Zum einen die staatliche Gewalt, die gegen Kirchen ausgeübt wurde, seit sozialistische Regime an die Macht kamen; in der Regel zunächst blutige Verfolgung und Unterdrückung, dann die Entwicklung eines modus vivendi, der in den verschiedenen Staaten ganz unterschiedlich war. Zum anderen ist die staatliche Macht gemeint; hier ist wiederum zu unterscheiden zwischen...

Workshop: From Reconstructing to Reviving the Past?

Trends and Developments in Exhibiting 20th Century History

04. - 05. October 2012
Venue: Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, Rynek Główny 25, 31-008 Kraków

In cooperation with the Museum Fabryka Schindlera in Cracow (Hosting Museum)

The central aim of the first workshop in Cracow is to reconstruct and to discuss fundamental developments in historical museums and the presentation of history in exhibitions both in Western and East Central Europe. Our underlying assumption is that there are more things in common than would be visible at first glance. The challenge to rescue exhibitions and museums from their existence as temples of the fine arts or...

Toward a New Moral World Order

Menschenrechtspolitik und Völkerrecht seit 1945

Ein Symposium des Jena Center Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts und des Imre Kertész Kollgs Jena

28. - 30. June 2012
Venue: Altes Schloss Dornburg bei Jena

Lange Zeit beschränkte sich das Interessen der Historiker am Thema Menschenrechte auf ideengeschichtliche Aspekte. Seit kurzem aber mehren sich empirische Studien über die Rolle internationaler Organisationen, die Herausbildung globaler Menschenrechtsdiskurse und die Interventionen zivilgesellschaftlicher Akteure. Und inzwischen ist die Frage nach einem historisch tragfähigen Begriff von den Menschenrechten ebenso umstritten wie die nach ihrer Genese und Periodisierung: war mit dem Aufkommen des...

Annual Conference 2012

in cooperation with the Charles University Prague

16. - 15. June 2012
Venue: Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Národní 3 117 20 Praha 1

The aim of the conference is to analyze the relationship between modernization, communication and integration. We want to discuss different aspects of these phenomena in four chronologically structured sections (before 1914, 1918-1939, 1945-1989 and after 1989). The subject of our analysis is Central and Eastern Europe including the western part of Russia. The conference will focus on important changes and key developments in everyday life of four generations. These changes will be discussed in...

conference poster Annual Conference 2012

Workshop: East Central Europe in the 20th Century

Roundtable on the State of the Art of Historical Studies

11. - 12. May 2012
Venue: Central European University Budapest

In cooperation with Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies at the Central European University

East Central Europe in the 20th Century. Roundtable on the State of the Art of Historical Studies is meant to serve two interrelated purposes. First, it is called to foster reflection and dialogue on the state of the art and potential future direction of historical research dealing with East Central Europe in the 20th century. Therefore, a number of scholars with substantial contributions to the...

Workshop: Legacies of Violence

Eastern Europe´s First World War

13. - 14. April 2012
Venue: Villa Rosenthal, Mälzerstraße 11// 07743 Jena

The workshop is dedicated to Eastern and Central Eastern Europe as a region and the First World War as central event, including its immediate preludes and aftermaths. Within that framework, it focuses on the tradition of violent rule, behavior and thought.

Section One (A World in Transition) discusses the impact of the reign and the downfall of Empires on the one hand, the rise of national movements on the other hand on the formation of regional and trans-regional conflicts. Section Two...

Workshop: Approaches to Postmodernity from the East

The Generation of Zygmunt Bauman and Ágnes Heller

20. - 22. October 2011
Venue: Rosensäle der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Fürstengraben 27

Gemeinsam mit der ungarischen Philosophin Ágnes Heller und dem polnischen Soziologen Zygmunt Bauman begibt sich der von Lutz Niethammer initiierte und konzipierte Workshop an drei Tagen auf die Suche nach einer Generation, deren genuin osteuropäische Erfahrungen zu einem eigenen Weg postmodernen Denkens geführt haben.
Die Grundfrage nach dem Verhältnis von erfahrungsgeschichtlichen Voraussetzungen und philosophischem und sozialtheoretischem Denken will der Workshop anhand biographischer...

Opening conference 2011

Europe’s East in the 20th Century. Cultural-historical Challenges for the Present

08. - 09. July 2011
Venue: Rosensäel of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

The Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena held its first official conference on 08 & 09 July, 2011.Adam Michnik was the keynote speaker, introducing the public to the topic with his speech on the heritage of dictatorships. On the second day Jiří Menzel opened the conference with a presentation on East Central European filmmaking with special emphasis on ironic approaches towards the 20th century.



Workshop: Visualisierung des Umnruchs

Eine Kooperationsveranstaltung zwischen dem Imre Kertész Kolleg und dem DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1412 "Kulturelle Orientierungen und Gesellschaftliches Ordnungsstrukturen in Südosteuropa"

02. - 03. June 2011
Venue: Vertretung des Freistaates Thüringen beim Bund Mohrenstraße 64, 10117 Berlin

Mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte sind seit dem politischen Umbruch im Jahre 1989 vergangen, der das Ende der kommunistischen Herrschaft im östlichen Europa bedeutete. Anlässlich des Jubiläums im Jahr 2009 wurden die jeweiligen nationalen wie auch die internationale Öffentlichkeit auf unterschiedliche Art und Weise mit den Ereignissen von 1989 durch eine wahre Flut an Bildern aus der Umbruchzeit konfrontiert, wie z.B. zum Fall der Berliner Mauer. Diese Reaktivierungen der geschichtlichen Ereignisse über...