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Members of the Graduate School at ASEEES 2018 annual convention

Professors, postdocs and Ph.D. candidates present their research at the "Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies" conference


The annual convention of the "Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies" (ASEEES) was held in Chicago from November 9 to 12, 2017. Several professors, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies from Munich and Regensburg presented their research there. The convention is one of the most important international forums for East European Studies, Slavic Studies and Eurasian Studies. The 2017 theme of the conference was "Transgressions" and refers in particular to issues of border transgression in social, cultural and territorial terms.

Ana-Teodora Kurkina, doctoral student of the Graduate School in Regensburg, delivered a lecture on the opening day entitled "Anti-Imperial Biographies? Emigration and Biographical Narratives of the Bulgarian Public Actors in the Middle of the 19th Century", outlining the interim results of her dissertation. The session "Exile Politics and Empire in 19th-20th Century South-Eastern Europe" was chaired by Prof. Dr. Björn Hansen, Professor of Slavic Philology at the University of Regensburg and Principal Investigator of the Graduate School. The discussant was Prof. Dr. Árpád von Klimó from the Catholic University of America and Honorary Research Associate of the Graduate School.

Also on the first day, Prof. Dr. Riccardo Nicolosi, Professor of Slavic Literature and member of the Graduate School in Munich, presented in the session "Bio-Medical Narratives", chaired by Prof. Dr. Marina B. Mogilner (Chicago). The title of his presentation was "Dueling with Arguments: The Ambivalence of Darwin's Rhetoric in Chekhov's 'The Duel'", in which Nicolosi examined how Chekhov's argument oscillates between humanistic and eugenic ideas.

On Friday morning, November 10, Regensburg doctoral student Kathleen Beger spoke in the session "Experiences in Soviet Residential Childcare Institutions: Reality, Imagination, and Representation". In her presentation, entitled "Showcasing Internationalism in the Soviet Pioneer Camp 'Artek'", she explored the tensions between the official understanding of internationality and the respective expectations of young participants in the Soviet pioneer camp "Artek" on the Crimean peninsula.

Afterwards Helena Holzberger, doctoral student in Munich, presented in the session "Orientalism in Soviet Studies Reframed". Her presentation, "Melons, Mosques, and Modernization: Dealing with Orientalism in Late Tsarist and Early Soviet Photography" examined the photographic staging of a "Soviet Orient". Prof. Dr. Maria Todorova from the University of Illinois at Urbana Campaign and also a Honorary Research Associate of the Graduate School was the session’s chair.

Also on the second day, Munich postdoctoral fellow, Nina Weller, contributed to the session on literature "After Memory: Rethinking Representations of World War II in Contemporary Eastern European Literatures" through her presentation on "Rethinking the Concept of 'Postmemory' in Regard to the Eastern European (Russian / Polish) Case". Dr. Matthias Schwartz from the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin, a partner institution of the Graduate School, was the discussant.

Lastly on Friday, Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer, speaker of the Graduate School in Regensburg, participated in the panel discussion "Trangressing Stalin, Testing Liberal Democracy: Patterns of Alternative Modernization in Eastern Europe".

Two Regensburg members of the Graduate School spoke on Saturday in the session "Discourses on Corruption Between the Two World Wars: Yugoslavia and Mexico in Comparison". Prof. Dr. Klaus Buchenau, Professor of Southeast and East European History, presented "'All who have plundered people and state Should be shot': Debates on Corruption in Interwar Yugoslavia" alongside Prof. Dr. Björn Hansen, Professor for Slavic Liguistics at the University Regensburg and Principal Investigator of the Graduate School, who presented "The Language of CORRUPTION: The Newspaper Coverage of the 'Našice affair' in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1934/35)".

Also on Saturday, Dr. Jana Osterkamp, head of the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group, presented "Ordering Diversity. Concepts of Federalism in the Habsburg Monarchy and its Successor States”, participating in the roundtable discussion "The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867: Origins, Impact, Legacy ". Discussion partners were Prof. Dr. Pieter M. Judson from the European University Institute in Florence; Prof. dr. Jeremy R. King of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA; Joachim von Puttkamer from Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena; and Prof. Dr. Paul A. Hanebrink of Rutgers State University of New Jersey.

Lastly on Saturday, Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer chaired another discussion panel titled "The Legacy and Relevance of Dissent and Cultural Opposition in East Central Europe Today".

On Sunday, Prof. Dr. Alexander Libman, Professor of Social Sciences and East European Studies and member of the Graduate School in Munich. contributed to the session "New Drivers of Economic Growth for Russia's Regions" with his presentation "A Centralist Approach to Regional Development: The Case of the Russian Ministry of the Far East".

Helena Holzberger and Prof. Dr. Riccardo Nicolosi used this opportunity to give presentations in other institutions. For instance, on November 7, Nicolosi spoke at the University of Illinois, Chicago on "Counterfactual history in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia" and, on November 15, Holzberger gave a presentation at the Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburg titled "Photographing Russia's Orient: Local and Colonial Images in Central Asia, 1890-1940".