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
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 and public sphere – alongside ‘nation’ and ‘the return to Europe’ – as part of a vocabulary used to legitimize the new system. This has been codified, too, with the terms ‘totalitarianism’ and ‘totalitarian’ being integrated into new laws and appearing in the names of state-funded institutions. Finally, in the new millennium, new meanings – half-derogatory, half-ironic – have emerged. The term has been adopted, for instance, by some civil rights organizations as a label for criticizing the mass surveillance of citizens as practiced by both state and commercial entities (i.e. ‘chip totalitarianism’). In the international arena the term is used increasingly to criticize the global spread of religious fundamentalisms; and in the form of ‘inverted totalitarianism’ it is regularly directed at the ‘managed democracies’ at home.This planned conference aims to investigate the roots, meanings, and political cycles of the concept of totalitarianism, one of the most contested intellectual concepts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Please find the programme here.
Tagung "Denkmalschutz im Staatssozialismus"
Datum: 29.-30. Juni 2016
Ort: Schloss Weesenstein
Veranstalter: Imre Kertész Kolleg, Stiftung Ettersberg, Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen gGmbH, Stiftung Thüringer Schlösser und Gärten
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 ist ein ebenso ergiebiges, wie bisher nicht systematisch erforschtes Themenfeld. Baudenkmäler sollen fruchtbar gemacht werden, indem sie nach mehr als nach ihrer bloßen Baugeschichte befragt werden. Vielmehr werden sie im Rahmen der Tagung in erster Linie als historische Orte begriffen: als Schauplätze für Handlungen und Verhandlungen, deren Bedeutung und Implikationen weit über die Objektgeschichte hinausweisen.
Das Programm finden Sie als PDF-Dokument hier: Denkmalschutz im Staatssozialismus
Workshop: Transforming the Museum. An Exploration
Date: May 27-28, 2016
Venue: JEWISH MUSEUM BERLIN, Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
Organizers: Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, Europäisches Kolleg Jena and Jüdisches Museum Berlin
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. 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 communication of historical museums/ or exhibitions. By focusing on the impact of new media and ways of staging the past, we want to take a closer look at how historical knowledge is conveyed in today's museums practice.
The program of the Workshop can be viewed here: Transforming the Museum. An Exploration
Workshop "The Museum Boom and Beyond: Concepts and Methods in Analyzing Cultures of History in Poland"
Date: April 28 and 29, 2016
Venue: Seminar room Accouchierhaus (Jenergasse 8)
Organizers: Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena and Europäisches Kolleg Jena – Representing the 20th Century
The study of cultures of history and museums in Poland has become increasingly interdisciplinary and diverse over the past few years. The twentieth century is particularly prominent in these studies, especially with regard to the social and political upheavals following the World Wars and the further developments after 1989. In terms of space, new research has tended to focus on the cities and regions of contemporary Poland, but Poland in its pre-1945 borders could be included as well. Thematically, the scholarship has been quite varied, focusing on memorial sites and museums, for instance, or on the ways in which specific historical events are represented in different media. A variety of approaches have been used in the investigation of these cultures of history while maintaining methodological diversity and multidisciplinarity as a rule.
With the interest in cultures of history in Poland increasing, it is time to address this field of study by looking at current scholarship, whether recently completed, in progress or projected. This workshop thus aims to bring together German, Polish and international scholars for a comparative conversation on their findings, lines of inquiry and arguments, resulting in a preliminary overview of the most recent research on cultures of history in and about Poland. Alongside discussions of the subjects and themes of this research, questions of methodology will be the main focus of the workshop. Can we identify specific priorities or tendencies in the methodological diversity of approaches to cultures of history that have come to dominate the practical analysis of the field? In engaging these issues collectively, we will also explore possibilities for advancing scholarship on cultures of history in and about Poland.
The program of the Workshop can be viewed here: The Museum Boom & Beyond: Concepts and Methods in Analyzing Cultures of History in Poland
The number of participants is limited. Should you be interested in attending the workshop, then please write an e-mail to Juliane Tomann: juliane.tomann(at)uni-jena(dot)de.