Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Violeta Davoliūtė

September 2018 - February 2019

Violeta Davoliūtė is Professor at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Cultural Research Institute. Recently, she was Visiting Professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (2016) and an Associate Research Scholar at Yale (2015-2016). Professor Davoliūtė completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and has been the principal or co-investigator for several national and European research grants. Focused on the politics of memory, national identity and historical trauma, she has published a monograph, The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War (Routledge, 2013), co-edited three volumes, and several articles in journals like Osteuropa, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, Ethnologie française, the Journal of Baltic Studies, Ab Imperio, among others.

Research Project at the Kolleg

The successive occupations of East Central Europe during WWII by advancing and retreating German and Soviet forces were marked not only by unprecedented death and destruction, mass displacement and genocide, but also by massive and sustained propaganda campaigns. In the weeks and months leading to war, the Nazis flooded the region with messages blaming "Jewish Bolsheviks" for atrocities committed by the Soviets in order to disorient and divide the population. And as the Red Army pushed German forces back in 1944-45, the Soviets sought to mobilize the same population by inciting hatred the enemy through similar techniques of atrocity propaganda. In Lithuania, Germany's capitulation in May 1945 brought little respite, as the imposition of Soviet institutions against armed resistance called for a significant intensification of propaganda and ideological work. The threefold objective of this project is to analyze a) the techniques and themes of propaganda used to mobilize the population during WWII by the occupational regimes in Lithuania, b) the manipulation of public memory through Soviet cultural policy during the postwar period, and c) the ways in which the tropes and themes of Nazi and Soviet propaganda have become woven into the fabric of the Lithuanian memory of war.

Main Areas of Research

  • cultural and intellectual history
  • politics of memory, nationalism
  • trauma, population displacement


The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War. London: Routledge, 2013, 212 pp. BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies.

Edited volumes

with Tomas Balkelis, eds. Narratives of Identity and Displacement in Soviet Deportation Memoirs from the Baltic States. Budapest: CEU Press, 2018.

with Tomas Balkelis, eds. Populations Displacement in 20th Century Lithuania: Experiences, Identities, Legacies. Amsterdam: Brill, 2016.

with Tomas Balkelis, eds. Maps of Memory: Trauma, Identity and Exile in Deportation Memoirs from the Baltic States. Vilnius: LLTI, 2012.


“Pluralisierung unter Schmerzen: Litauens Umgang mit der Vergangenheit,” Osteuropa 6 (2018): 91-100.

with Lina Kaminskaitė-Jančorienė, “Sovietizacija ir kinas: lytis, tapatybė, ideologija filme „Marytė“ (1947),” Politologia 18.2 (2018): 34-64.

“L’imbrication des experiences historiques. La mémoire de la déportation des Juifs lituaniens par les Soviétiques,” Ethnologie française 2 (2018): 209-224.

with Tomas Balkelis, “Legislated History in Post-Communist Lithuania,” The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945 (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018): 121-136.

“A ‘Forgotten’ History of Soviet Deportation: The Case of Lithuanian Jews.” In Population Displacement in Lithuania in the 20th century: Experiences, Identities and Legacies. Volume 43. On the Boundary of Two Worlds ISSN: 1570-7121 Amsterdam: Brill, 2016, 167-194.

with Dovile Budryte, “Entangled History, History Education, and Affective Communities in Lithuania,” Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking Toward the Future, edited by Cynthia M. Horne and Lavinia Stan (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018): 323-344.

"Heroes, Villains and Matters of State: The Partisan and Popular Memory in Lithuania Today," Cultures of History Forum (17 November 2017).

“Sovietization and the Cinema in the Western Borderlands: Insurgency, Narrative, and Emancipation in Marytė (1947)” (with Lina Kaminskaitė-Jančorienė). Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 3 (2016): 391-408. ISSN 0021-4019.

“The Sovietization of Lithuania after WWII, Transculturation and the Lettered City.” Journal of Baltic Studies. Special Issue on Post-Colonialism in the Baltic States 47.1 (2016).  

“Multidirectional memory and the deportation of Lithuanian Jews.” Ethnicity Studies 2 (2015): 131–150. ISSN: 1822-1041.

“Representations of Historical Trauma in the Cinema of Late Twentieth Century France and Lithuania.” In Novikova, Irina, ed. Memory, Identity, Culture. Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2015, 175-190. ISBN 978-9934-18-029-3. ISSN 2501-0379.

"Post-war Reconstruction and the Imperial Sublime in Vilnius during Late Stalinism." Ab Imperio 2014.1 (2014): 176-203.  DOI: 10.1353/imp.2014.0019