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Workshop - Dealing with the past, creating the future Politics of history in Eastern Europe

Venue: Instytut Europy Środkowo Wschodniej, ul. Niecała 5, 20-080 Lublin
Period: September 2-5, 2014
Application deadline: August 17, 2014



The Institute of Political Sciences and International Affairs (Catholic University of Lublin) and the Institute of East-Central Europe in Lublin (IESW) have the pleasure to invite you to the workshop: Dealing with the past, creating the future - Politics of history in Eastern Europe.

Aim of the workshop

The main goal of the workshop is to provide knowledge on shaping present and projecting the future by interpretation of history in Poland and the neighboring countries. Secondly, the event will provide participants insights on the creation of historical consciousness in the contemporary political discourse of Poland. Thirdly, students will gain know-how for identifying and diagnosing manipulation and instrumental use of politics of memory.  
The workshop will serve as a platform to present historical turning points as well as the most controversial issues that have shaped contemporary political history of East-Central Europe. A special emphasis will be placed on relations of Poland with its neighbors, although other questions will be raised such as Russian historically-explained claims, the politics of memory in the South-Eastern Europe and, more generally, which tools of political communication and mobilization must be taken into consideration. An additional value of the workshop will stem from comparison of various perspectives on similar historical experiences.
Therefore, participants of the workshop will be able to learn new analytical skills, extend their knowledge about current history-related politics of Central and Eastern Europe, widen their field research experience and gain some professional contacts with researchers and scholars dealing with these topics.

Program description

Contemporary politics increasingly relates to and uses historical public memory, the revival of ethnic- and religious based identities, as well as increasing meaning of history in legitimization of political and economic claims. In fact politics of memory become one of the leading factors in international relations. The recent intervention of Russia in Crimea or the persistent dispute over the Macedonian name are good illustration of this. Current dynamics of international relations suggest that history (and its interpretation) has been not limited to the past, but, paradoxically, that it indicates directions in which the future will develop. Subsequently the question arises: should we look at the present through the prism of history or contrariwise? 


Thematic workshops for graduate (MA & PhD) students, journalists, researchers and professionals interested in the use of history in the contemporary politics of Central and Eastern Europe. 

Topics of seminars

Introductory module:
-    Instruments of political communications in Poland
-    Oral history as a tool in politics of history in Central and Eastern Europe
-    Prisoners of history – the Balkans case

Poland and its neighbours:
-    Shaping common past in Polish-Ukrainian relations
-    Interpretation of history in Russian-Polish-German relations
-    Shaping common past in Polish - Belarussian relations

Russia in Finnish consciousness:
-    The use of the Great Patriotic War concept in Russian discourses
-    Polish and Finnish experience of Russia compared

Each of the modes will have a comparative approach. By presenting various, often contradictory interpretations of some historical fact, contributors will provide participants with varying explanations of the political claims underpinning such presentations and understandings of history.  

ECTS points: the workshop program and the relevant workload provides equivalent of 3,5 ECTS


180 Euro (accommodation 3 half-pensions + coffee breaks); for persons having their own accommodation in Lublin – 40 Euros
Organizers DO NOT cover the travel and insurance related expenses.


Information & contacts

Dr Jan Mus

Dr Agnieszka Zaremba


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