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Guest Speakers

Andreas Ludwig

Andreas Ludwig is a historian based at the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. His fields of research are material and consumer culture, museums and collecting, and the history of everyday life. He received his PhD from the Technical University Berlin and worked for the Berlin History Workshop, and directed the Documentation Center of Everyday Culture in the GDR. He also studies post-World War II New Towns with an emphasis on Eisenhüttenstadt. His current research project concerns "Collecting the Contemporary in History Museums (19th/20th centuries)." Ludwig teaches museology at the Viadrina University and is co-editor of the the journal "WerkstattGeschichte". He is the author, amongst other works in German, of “Representations of the Everyday and the Making of Memory: GDR History and Museums,” in: David Clarke, Ute Wölfel (eds.): 20 Years After: Remembering the German Democratic Republic, Palgrave MacMillan 2011

Elżbieta Opiłowska

Elżbieta Opiłowska is assistant professor at the Insitute of Sociology at the University of Wrocław; since 2015 – Head of the Center for Regional and Borderlands Studies/University of Wrocław. Her main research interests are: European border regions, collective memory and German-Polish relations. She recently published: Regionalism in a Unitary State. Regional Identity in Polish Border Regions, in: Europe of Regions: Obsolete or Obstinate?, L'Europe en formation, No 379, Spring. 2016; Good governance at local level. The EGTC as a tool for cross-border cooperation, in: Grzeszczak, R. (ed.), Challenges of good governace in the European Union, Nomos: Baden Baden 2016, pp. 311-330; A Microcosm of the European Integration? The German-Polish Border Regions in Transformation, Nomos, Baden-Baden 2015 (ed. with Jochen Roose).

Volodymyr Sklokin

Volodymyr Sklokin is associate professor in the Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) and co-editor of the historical website He received his PhD from the Vasyl Karazin National University (Kharkiv) in 2010. His dissertation examined the social and cultural consequences of the abolition of the autonomy of Sloboda Ukraine by the Russian government in the second half of the 18th cent. He held fellowships at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the University of Cambridge, the Institute for Humane Sciences in Vienna, and Harvard University. His research interests include theory and history of historiography, modern intellectual history, social and public history. He is now preparing a book on the rethinking of the social role of history in the post-Communist Poland and Ukraine.

Brian Porter-Szűcs

Brian Porter-Szűcs is an Arthur Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan, where he has worked since 1994. He is the author of Poland and the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom (Wiley Blackwell, 2014), Faith and Fatherland: Catholicism, Modernity, and Poland (Oxford University Press, 2010), and When Nationalism Began to Hate: Imagining Modern Politics in 19th Century Poland (Oxford University Press, 2000), which was translated into Polish as Gdy nacjonalizm zaczął nienawidzić: Wyobrażenia nowoczesnej polityki w dziewiętnastowiecznej Polsce (Pogranicze, 2011). Together with Bruce Berglund he co-edited Christianity and Modernity in East-Central Europe (Central European University Press, 2010). Porter-Szűcs was the recipient of the Amicus Polonae award in 2000, and his publications have been recognized with numerous prizes, including the Budka award from the Kościuszko Foundation (1999), the Oskar Halecki award from the Polish Institute for Arts and Sciences in America (2000), and the Kulczycki prize from the Association for Slavic and East European Studies (2012). His research has been supported by grants from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Fulbright Association, the United States Institute for Peace, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. Porter-Szűcs grew up in Mercer, Pennsylvania, got his undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and received his doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nigel Swain

Nigel Swain was educated at Watford Boys’ Grammar School and Churchill College, Cambridge. Following his recent retirement, he is currently Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of History of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool. He has taught Twentieth Century European History, with a particular emphasis on Eastern Europe and on Hungary. His research has mainly been on the rural economy and society of these countries, but he has also written on politics, especially those of 1989. In the 1990s, was the holder of major awards from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the European Commission to investigate post-socialist developments in the Eastern European countryside. He is author of (among others works): (with Geoffrey Swain) Eastern Europe since 1945 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2017 forthcoming); Hungary: The Rise and Fall of Feasible Socialism (London: Verso, 1992); Collective Farms which Work?, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); and Green Barons, Force-of-Circumstance Entrepreneurs, Impotent Mayors: Rural Change in the Early Years of Post-Socialist Capitalist Democracy (Budapest-New York: Central European University Press, 2013).

Patryk Wasiak

Patryk Wasiak is an independent researcher based in Lublin. He holds MA titles in sociology and art history (Warsaw University) and a PhD in cultural studies (Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities). His dissertation focused on transnational contacts of visual artists within the Soviet bloc. A former fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation, the Center for Contemporary History Potsdam, the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, he is currently completing research his second book, which focuses on consumer electronics and social identities of Poles during the period of system transition around 1989.