Residues of the Past: (De)constructing urban histories. Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Erkner, 24.07.2023 – 27.07.2023

The focus of the summer school is to examine how historical strata have been understood, constructed, and interpreted in different European cities from the post-war period to the present day.

Residues of the Past: (De)constructing urban histories

On the one hand, the participants will learn how historic buildings were integrated into the post-war reconstruction plans on both sides of the „Iron Curtain“. On the other hand, we will discuss how historical authenticity has been established in the preservation of monuments and what might have been overlooked in the process. Finally, participants will discuss how people (individually and in groups) remember and what this means for our understanding of the past. The students should also investigate how digital methods can help to understand today’s memory landscapes.

The summer school’s goal is to support young scholars and help them establish their own academic networks. There will be an opportunity for some students to present their own projects and receive feedback.

We look forward to seeing you in July!


– Deadline for application: 16.04.2023
– M.A. students and PhD students in their initial stage
– Disciplinary backgrounds: History, Memory Studies, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Urban Studies, Geography, Architecture and Urban Planning, Cultural Studies, broader Humanities and Social Sciences
– The applicants should provide a one-page CV and a letter of motivation (max. 500 words), that includes information on the applicant’s scholarly background, interests, and career goals
– Please indicate if you have strong preference for Thurs. 27.07.2023 (Seeing the past from the present): memory studies or digital humanities
– Optionally, please send abstract (max. 300 words) of a proposed presentation
– The Summer School is unable to provide computers, therefore if students wish to participate in the Group 2 (“Digital insights into memory landscapes”) need to bring their own laptops with the QGIS software (open access) installed
– Fees: 75,00 Euro which covers accommodation (in Berlin), and board (breakfasts and lunches at the IRS). Cost of travel and dinners is not covered
– A limited number of students will be invited to participate free of charge with a refund for the travel expenses (max. 250,00 Euro). Please mention in the motivation letter why you would need such a support
– Application should be submitted as one text document (.doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf) until 16.04.2023 to the e-mail-address: summerschool2023@leibniz-irs.de


Monday 24.07.2023

Summer School Opening

14:30–14:00 Registration

15:00–15:30 Opening of the summer school

15:30–17:00 Keynote lecture

Tuesday 25.07.2023

Burden of the past? History and historical structures in the post-war Europe

09:30–11:00 Carmen Enss (Uni Bamberg): German Federal Republic

11:15–12:45 Birgit Knauer (TU Wien): Austria

14:15–15:45 Laura Demeter (Uni Bamberg): Romania

16:00–17:30 Piotr Kisiel (IRS): Poland

Wednesday 26.07.2023

Historic values and their deconstruction

09:30–11:00 Laura Demeter (Uni Bamberg): Heritage Maps and Registers

11:15–12:45 Gruia Bădescu (Uni Konstanz): Difficult heritage

14:15–15:45 Aleksandra Szczepan (Jagiellonian University): Do maps tell the truth?

16:00–17:30 Student presentations

Thursday 27.07.2023

Seeing the past from the present

10:00–16:00 Workshops
Group 1: Human memory and its limitations
Dr. Katarzyna Zawadzka (SWPS University) & Sarah Brumm (Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation)

Group 2: Digital insights into memory landscapes
Carol Ludwig (GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Seraphim Alvanides (GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Nicolás Mariné (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

16:00–17:00 Final discussion and summery of the summer school


Dr Piotr Kisiel
E-Mail: summerschool2023@leibniz-irs.de