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Regular version of the site

Alexandra Kolesnik participated in the workshop at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

On 12–14 November, Alexandra Kolesnik participated in the workshop "Historical and Cultural Narratives. Rivalries and Entanglements in Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine and Belarus)" at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. Scholars from Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus discussed issues concerning the construction and presentation of historical and cultural narratives.


Historical and cultural narratives create intelligible stories from complicated realities and divergent developments. Those narratives are effective on various levels, from everyday cultures to literary texts, influencing collective images of the own and the other as well as processes of communication. Especially in times of change, of war and of crises they provide useful and simplified explanations, thus producing mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion.

Historical and cultural narratives, however, never originate from nothing – they have their own history and exist in rivalry to and in close entanglement with competing narratives. The analyses of these rival narratives, of its foundations and relationships can help to explain conflicts, misunderstandings and polarizations and, finally, lead to a dialogical relationship between the own and the other.

The starting point was the question on how historical and cultural narratives determine the interpretation of the own and the other culture. On 13 November the international workshop with young scholars from the fields of history and literary studies worked on their projects which were presented on 14 November, to the other participants of the workshops as well as to an academic public. Alexandra Kolesnik worked in the group "History II" with Alexander Makhov (HSE Moscow), Daria Khlevnyuk (SUNY Stony Brook, New York), Elizaveta Zhdankova (European University, St. Petersburg), Andrii Liubarets (Institute for History of Ukraine, National Academy of Science, Kiev) (mentor Dr. Florian Peters). She presented a paper titled "Rethinking Soviet History of the 1980s through Musical Past: Cultural Memory and Historical Narratives".