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Nina Weller Succeeds in the BMBF Tender "Small Subjects - Great Potentials"

Former postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate School acquires her own postdoctoral position


Dr. Nina Weller, a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate School in Munich from November 2015 to April 2018, has successfully acquired her own postdoctoral position in the funding program "Small Subjects - Great Potentials" [Kleine Fächer – Große Potenziale] of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). For the next three years, Weller will conduct research on a project called "Past of the Present: Historical Images, Fiction and Remembrance in Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian Culture" at the Chair of Eastern European Literature (Prof. Dr. Annette Werberger) of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder).

In this project, Weller uses literature, film and graphic novels from the 1990s to the 2000s to investigate artistic adaptations of the Second World War in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Against the background of memory-political controversies and the pluralized cultures of remembrance in Eastern Europe, she asks how artistic forms of expression are used to deal with the meta-narrative of the "Great Patriotic War", with national myths of history and Western European memory discourses. Her main point of interest is the relationship of historical images, memory and fiction in the tension of Soviet heritage and national search for identity. Through which motivations does the coexistence and competition of the cultures of remembrance express themselves? Which memory-cultural mediation function do the different forms of narration and representation have in the transcription, mythization, depreciation or reappropriation of the past? How is memory staged, how is history fictionalized, how is the imaginary presence of the past in the present reflected? The aim is to work out the parallels and differences that manifest themselves in popular cultural reactions to the institutionalized politics of history as well as in the alternative portrayals of war and violence. By doing so, the project aims to increase the visibility of the small subject of Eastern European studies (in particular Belarussian studies and Ukrainian studies).

Dr. Nina Weller was a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies between November 2015 and April 2018 as well as a lecturer at the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. In 2014 she received her doctorate at the Institute for Comparative Literature of the Freie Universität Berlin. Previously, she was a research associate at the University of Potsdam and the Freie Universität Berlin and worked as a literary agent and lecturer.

"Small Subjects - Great Potentials" is a highly competitive program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, highly praised and appreciated among German univerisities and abraod. It promotes young scientists in the so-called small subjects of the humanities and social sciences, which are an important component within the spectrum of university subjects.