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Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies 2017 “Remembering Communism”

The Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies (ZIP) will hold its the fourth annual Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies from June 5 - July 14, 2017. This program is designed for up to 20 university-level (post-doctoral, doctoral, graduate or advanced undergraduate) researchers interested in Polish/German studies broadly defined. In addition to providing the equivalent of one academic year of language instruction, the summer school also offers graduate level seminars on Polish studies (in English and in Polish) by the academic staff of a renowned university.

The Summer School is designed for academically driven students in the advanced phases of their research (advanced BA, MA, and PhD students, as well as Post-Docs). In previous years, we have had students from four continents and from the best international universities spend six weeks in Frankfurt/Oder and Słubice.

Thanks to the generous support of the Wende Museum, the Summer School will be offered free of charge to up to 20 students.

The focus of this year’s Summer School is “Remembering Communism.” This Summer School focuses on different aspects of everyday life and society in our region, and shows how East Central Europe dealt with the collapse of communism. From retroactive justice to “Ostalgie,” we will explore how East Central Europe not only overcame communism, but also the ways in which each country specifically remembers communism. The ways in which societies remember communism—from physical destruction of relics to hesitant (or not-so-hesitant) preservation of buildings, monuments, but also bureaucrats and the intelligentsia—reveals how complicated and complex the process is. It must be highlighted that this is an ongoing project: Frankfurt Oder and Słubice—with their monument to Karl Marx, a renovated Jewish cemetery, and commemoration of Poles deported to Siberia—is an ideal location to gauge the process of change. The Summer School focuses primarily on history, but the scope ranges from economics to anthropology. It is an attempt to explain the ways culture changed after the Iron Curtain fell, and our understanding of the legacy of communism in a plethora of societies.

The Summer School is made up of four main parts: language instruction, advanced research seminars, excursions, and a publication.

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