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„Poetiken der Industrielandschaft: Donbas und Oberschlesien im Vergleich“

Gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Förderlinie "Kleine Fächer - Große Potentiale", 02/2022-01/2026

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Die Industriegebiete standen lange Zeit als Synonym für den zivilisatorischen Aufstieg schlechthin. Bereits im 19. Jahrhundert galten die großen europäischen Montanreviere als Kristallisationskerne der Industriellen Revolution und wurden zu wahren „Lokomotiven der Moderne“ stilisiert. Aus ihrer Stellung als schwerindustriell geprägte Räume heraus, die in den jeweiligen Staaten diejenigen Orte mit dem stärksten Bevölkerungswachstum und einer raschen Siedlungsverdichtung bildeten, entwickelten diese Regionen den individuell artikulierten Anspruch auf den Status von großen europäischen Metropolen, um dann schließlich die schmerzhaften Erfahrungen des Strukturwandels und der damit verbundenen Identitätskrisen und sozialen Spannungen zu teilen – allesamt Entwicklungen, die in den jeweiligen nationalen wie regionalen Kulturen extensiv thematisiert und künstlerisch verarbeitet wurden und werden.

Im Mittelpunkt unseres Forschungsprojekts stehen Oberschlesien und Donbas – zwei altindustrielle osteuropäische Regionen, die sich entsprechend an der deutsch-polnischen und ukrainisch-russischen Kulturgrenze befinden. Der Donbass als eine Region, deren europäische Vergangenheit (als Betätigungsfeld britischer, belgischer und deutscher Unternehmen) erst seit der Unabhängigkeit der Ukraine neu entdeckt und dem Mythos der sowjetischen Industrialisierung gegenübergestellt wurde, trifft im Rahmen unseres Forschungsvorhabens auf Oberschlesien – eine Region, die ihr Selbstbild an die preußische Industrialisierung anlehnt, sich dabei ihrer europäischen Wurzeln rühmt und hierzu auf die Skepsis des polnischen Staates trifft.

In Anlehnung an die Methoden des „kritischen Regionalismus“ definieren wir Donbas und Oberschlesien als transtemporäre und translokale Entitäten, die über keine klaren administrativen oder natürlichen Grenzen verfügen, sondern erst in Literatur und Film – und oft in der nostalgischen Rückschau – an Konturen und Festigkeit gewinnen. Die mediale Repräsentationen dieser Gebiete – und hier in erster Linie durch ihre literarische und kinematographische Darstellungen sind in dieser Hinsicht dauerhaft gültige Referenzpunkte von geradezu enzyklopädischem Wert: Genauso wie „die Karte dem Territorium vorgelagert ist und sie hervorbringt“ (J. Baudrillard), ist das raumbasierte Narrativ der Wahrnehmung einer Region vorgelagert und bestimmt die diskursiven Pfade der Selbst- und Fremdwahrnehmung derjenigen, die sich einer Region zugehörig fühlen. Diese Feststellung ist in besonderem Maße relevant für Frontierlandschaften wie Oberschlesien und Donbas – Grenzregionen mit fließenden, sich überlappenden Zugehörigkeiten und wechselhaften staatspolitischen Loyalitäten, die den fast apodiktisch anmutenden Anspruch von Staaten auf Räume immer wieder hinterfragen.

Unser Projekt untersucht, wie diese literarische und kinematographische Raumkonstruktionen die gedankliche Einordnung von wirtschaftlichen und politischen Transformationsprozessen beeinflussen und wie sie bei der Erprobung neuer Identitätsmuster instrumentalisiert werden. Zur Analyse der narrativen Entwürfe beider Industriereviere (von etwa 1870 bis heute) werden die erprobten Methoden der „raumkritischen Wende“ und der postkolonialen Studien von den neueren Ansätzen des iconic turn sowie der Ökokritik flankiert.  

Das Projekt „Poetiken der Industrielandschaft: Donbas und Oberschlesien im Vergleich“ ist ein Teil des BMBF-geförderten Verbunds “(Un)Disciplined: Pluralizing Ukrainian Studies. Understanding the War in Ukraine” (UNDIPUS), eines Forschungsnetzwerks aus fünf Teilprojekten, vier Disziplinen und drei Standorten – den Universitäten Greifswald, Regensburg und Gießen. Ziel des Verbunds ist die Konsolidierung und Pluralisierung der deutschen Ukrainistik sowie ihre bessere Vernetzung innerhalb der Osteuropaforschung.

Mehr zu UNDIPUS:

https://slawistik.uni-greifswald.de/mitarbeitende/lehrstuhl-fuer-ukrainische-kulturwissenschaft/projekte/

"Poetics of Industrial Landscapes: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective"

For nearly two centuries, industrial regions stood as the embodiment of civilizational progress. The expansive mining zones in Europe were heralded as catalysts of the Industrial Revolution and underwent symbolic metamorphosis into the "engines of modernity." Shaped by the landscapes of heavy industry, these regions witnessed, against the backdrop of their respective nations, a remarkable surge in population growth and urban density. Concurrently, they nurtured a fervent ambition to evolve into prominent European metropolises. Ultimately, they underwent structural transformations accompanied by bouts of identity crises and social tensions. These issues have become and persist as focal points of cultural and artistic endeavors, both on national and regional scales.


Our research centers on two historical industrial regions in Eastern Europe – the Donbas and Upper Silesia – situated along the cultural frontiers of Russia-Ukraine and Germany-Poland, respectively. Following Ukrainian independence, the Donbas' European history, marked by British, Belgian, and German investments, underwent a process of rediscovery, juxtaposed with the legacy of Soviet industrialization. Our project takes a comparative approach to examining the interaction between the Donbas and Upper Silesia – the latter region now embracing its Prussian and German heritage, a stance met with skepticism by the Polish state.


Drawing on the approaches of “critical regionalism”, we define the Donbas and Upper Silesia as translocal and transtemporal entities that do not possess natural or administrative borders. As such, they gain festivity and contours in literature, often characterized by nostalgic retrospection. The media representations of these territories, especially the literary and cinematographic portrayals, are becoming lasting points of reference with encyclopedic value. In a manner akin to Jean Baudrillard's perspective on maps as objects summoning forth pre-existing territories, the spatial narratives serve to shape the collective perceptions of a region. This conclusion is particularly relevant to frontier landscapes like the Donbas and Upper Silesia – borderlands with fluid and overlapping identities and unstable loyalties to the state. 


Our project explores the impact of literary and cinematographic space constructions on the cognitive categorization of economic and political transformations. Additionally, we examine how literary visions are utilized in shaping new collective identity paradigms. Through an analysis of the narrative undertakings within both industrial regions (dating back to 1870), we aim to employ well-established methodologies within cultural studies. These include the "spatial turn," postcolonial studies, as well as newer perspectives such as the "iconic turn" and ecocriticism.


The project “Poetics of Industrial Landscapes: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective” is part of a research alliance funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The alliance “(UN)Disciplined: Pluralizing Ukrainian Studies. Understanding the War in Ukraine” (UNDIPUS) brings together five sub-projects, four disciplines, and three universities: Greifswald, Giessen, and Regensburg. The objective of the alliance is to diversify the field of German Ukrainian studies and improve networking within Eastern European studies.

About UNDIPUS: 

https://slawistik.uni-greifswald.de/mitarbeitende/lehrstuhl-fuer-ukrainische-kulturwissenschaft/projekte/

Informationen/Kontakt
Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko
Institut für Slavistik
Lehrstuhl für Slavische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft
Universität Regensburg
Tel.: +49 (0)941 943-3365
E-Mail: Oleksandr.Zabirko@sprachlit.uni-regensburg.de


Publikationen

Dr. Alina Strzempa
Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko

Cultural Poetics of the Donbas and Upper Silesia: Literary Insights into Industrial and Frontier Societies. In: Journal of Geography, Politics and Society [Special Issue on the Donbas Region]. Journal of Geography, Politics and Society (ug.edu.pl) (forthcoming).

Dr. Alina Strzempa

Warum sollten wir den Donbas und Oberschlesien vergleichen?: zu den theoretischen Hintergründen eines literatur- und kulturwissenschaftlichen Vorhabens | Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts Masaryk University (muni.cz) [Why Should We Compare the Donbas and Upper Silesia? Theoretical Backgrounds of a Literary and Cultural Studies Project]. In: OPERA SLAVICA. Slavistické rozhledy. XXXIII/2023/3, pp. 51-64. 

Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko

The Donbas: A Region and a Myth. In: Gil, Manuel Ferez, Palko, Olena (eds.): Ukraine's Many Faces: Land, People and Culture Revisited. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2023, pp. 331-344. 

Guerra y paz en el Donbás [War and Peace in the Donbas]. In: Gil, Manuel Ferez; Palko, Olena (eds.): Descubriendo Ucrania: Su pueblo, su historia y su cultura. Beccar, Buenos Aires: Poliedro Editorial de la Universidad de San Isidro, 2022, pp. 125-130.

Der Donbass als casus belli [The Donbass as a casus belli]. In: OstBlog Spezial [Online-Angebot des Leibniz-Instituts für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS) zum Russlands Krieg gegen die Ukraine]; https://ukraine2022.ios-regensburg.de/donbass01/ 


Vorträge

Dr. Alina Strzempa
Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko

27.03.2024: "Exploring Athropocene Perspectives on the Donbas and Upper Silesia", UNDIPUS/U-CORE Conference "Ukrainian Studies Across the Borders", University of Luxembourg 

27.03.2023: “After the Collapse of the Soviet Union: Intercultural Literary Negotiations about the Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective”, UNDIPUS Project Workshop “Pluralizing Ukrainian Studies in Times of Turmoil”, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

23.09.2022: „Poetiken der Industrielandschaft. Donbas und Oberschlesien im Vergleich“ (Schwerpunkt: Affektive Landschaften) [“Poetics of Industrial Landscape: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective” (Main focus: affective landscapes)], 14. Deutscher Slavistiktag, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

30.06.2022: „Poetiken der Industrielandschaft. Donbas und Oberschlesien im Vergleich“ [“Poetics of Industrial Landscape: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective”], Vortrag für das Forschungslabor „Geschichte und Sozialanthropologie Südost‐ und Osteuropas“ [Lecture for the Research Laboratory “History and Social Anthropology of Southeast and Eastern Europe”, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Universität Regensburg

07.05.2022: “A Region in Literary Studies: Possible Perspectives on a Research Object”, UNDIPUS Project Kick-Off Workshop, University of Greifswald

Dr. Alina Strzempa

18.11.2023: "Oberschlesische Narrative der Nachkriegszeit als post scriptum zum polnischen 'kleinen Vaterland'" ["Upper Silesian Narratives of the Post-War Period as a Postscript to the Polish 'Small Vaterland'"], Workshop DGO e.V. "Mental maps, hot spots und hot spaces. Literarisches Schreiben als Arbeit am Gedächtnis in Ost- und Ostmitteleuropa [Workshop of the German Society for East European Studies "Mental Maps, Hot Spots and Hot Spaces. Literary Writing as Work on Memory in Eastern and East Central Europe], Universität Leipzig 

19.10.2023: "Literature and Industry: Re-Thinking Regional Literatures by Bringing the Anthropocene to the Donbas and Upper Silesia?", The Anthropocene: from Boundaries to Bonds?, Wrocław Knowledge Hub, Poland

6.07.2023: “Two Old Industrial Borderlands – Two Cultural Memories: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective”, Seventh Annual Meeting of the Memory Studies Association (MSA) “Communities and Change”, Newcastle University, Great Britain

23.03.2023: “Is the War in Ukraine also Challenging for Comparative Cultural Studies?
On the Increasing Intricacy of Comparison between the Donbas and Upper Silesia (since 2014)”, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL)-Workshop#8 “Spatially Related Research Practice in Challenging Environments: Authoritarianism, Conflicts and War”, University of Leipzig

16.11.2022: „Industrie- und Grenzlandgesellschaften: Einblicke in einen kulturpoetischen Vergleich von Donbas und Oberschlesien“ [“Cultural Poetics of the Donbas and Upper Silesia: Literary Insights into Industrial and Frontier Societies”], Vortrag für das Kolloquium des Instituts für Slavistik / Slavische Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft [Lecture for the Colloquium of the Institute for Slavic Studies/Slavic Cultural and Literary Studies], Universität Regensburg

10.06.2022: “Inclusive and Exclusive Practices in Upper Silesia and the Donbas”, Borderlands: 8th World Congress on Polish Studies – The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA), University of Białystok, Poland

Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko

12.12.2023: "From 'New America' to 'New Russia': Exploring Russian Poetic Colonization of the Donba(s)", Conference of the working Group Metamorphoses of Russian Imperialism: "Spatial Dimensions of Russian and Soviet Imperial Ideologies and Practices (1689-2023)", Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland  

17.11.2023: "Der Donbas(s) als Heimat: von der sowjetischen Musterregion zu einem Kriegsschauplatz" ["The Donbas as Homeland: From the Soviet Model Region to a Theater of War"], Workshop DGO e.V. "Mental maps, hot spots und hot spaces. Literarisches Schreiben als Arbeit am Gedächtnis in Ost- und Ostmitteleuropa [Workshop of the German Society for East European Studies "Mental Maps, Hot Spots and Hot Spaces. Literary Writing as Work on Memory in Eastern and East Central Europe], Universität Leipzig 

25.05.2023: „Industrie- und Grenzland-Gesellschaften. Einblicke in einen kulturpoetischen Vergleich von Donbas und Oberschlesien“ [“Cultural Poetics of the Donbas and Upper Silesia: Literary Insights into Industrial and Frontier Societies”], Workshop am SFB 1385 Recht und Literatur: „Potenziale des Komparativen. Vergleichspraktiken im Kontext von Recht und Literatur“ [Workshop at SFB 1385 Law and Literature: “Potentials of the Comparative: Comparative Practices in the Context of Law and Literature”], Universität Münster

05.12.2022: „Mythos Donbas“ [“Myth of the Donbas”], Ukrainian Research in Switzerland (URIS): „Geschichte der Ukraine: Eine Einführung“ [“History of Ukraine: An Introduction”], Universität Basel, die Schweiz

15.11.2023: "The Roaring Twenties: 'The Symphony of the Donbas' by Dziga Vertov".  Vortrag für das Colloquium des Instituts für Slavistik / Slavische Kultur- und Literaturwissenschaft [Lecture for the Colloquium of the Institute of Slavic Studies/Slavic Cultural and Literary Studies], Universität Regensburg 

21.10.2022: “Re-Thinking Ukrainian Donbas in Fiction, Memoirs, and Visual Arts” [„Neuüberlegung des ukrainischen Donbas in Fiktion, Memoiren und bildender Kunst”], Opening Lecture in the DAAD-Seminar, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen/Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

22.05.2022: „Kleine Vera“ (eine Einführung zum Film) [“Little Vera” (an Introduction to the Film)], Filmreihe „Das Melodram im Weltkino“ [Film Series “Melodrama in World Cinema”], Filmhaus Nürnberg

29.04.2022: „Kleine Heimat Sowjetunion: Zum Topos von „malaja rodina” in der sowjetischen Lyrik der Nachkriegszeit“ [“Small Homeland Soviet Union: On the Topos of “malaja rodina” in Soviet Post-War Poetry”], SRIM-Kolloquium, Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, Österreich

04.03.2022: “Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective”, Workshop Transregional Dynamics in Eastern Europe and the Americas: New Empirical Approaches, The Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), University of Leipzig


Media

02.06.2023: Early Career Scholars at the University of Regensburg: Oleksandr Zabirko:
Early Career Scholars at the University of Regensburg: Oleksandr Zabirko - YouTube

20.04.2022: „Donbas(s) im Spiegel der Literatur“, Vortrag im Rahmen des Kolloquiums „Der Ukraine-Krieg als Herausforderung der Wissenschaft“, Osteuropa-Kolleg NRW, Ruhr-Universität Bochum: Neu: Dr. Olexander Zabirko (Universität Regensburg): Donbas(s) im Spiegel der Literatur - YouTube


Aktuelles

Shifting Borders, Fluid Landscapes: Exploring Industrial Regions in Transition

Preliminary Program


September 30, 2024 

5 PM - 5.45 PM

exhibition opening 


5.45 pm – 7.45 pm

podium discussion with (tba) and Zbigniew Rokita


October 1, 2024

9 AM - 10.45 AM

keynote / Andrii Portnov (Frankfurt/Oder)_title_TBA


11 am – 1 pm

Panel 1

Across The Disciplines: Donbas nd Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective 

Chair: TBA

Peter Oliver Loew (Darmstadt): Upper Silesia and Donbas: Century-Spanning Conflicts over Two Industrial Regions 

Vlad Mykhnenko (Oxford): Putting Industrial Regions Research in Its Place: A Geographical Political Economy Perspective

Alina Strzempa (Regensburg): Conceptualizing the Comparative Analysis: Donbas and Upper Silesia in Literary and Cultural Studies



1 PM - 2 PM 

LUNCH BREAK 


 2 PM - 4 PM 

Panel 2

Panel 3

Traditions and Transitions: Questioning Social Formations in the Post-industrial Regions

Identity Crises in Upper Silesia and the Donbas: From Industrial Heritage to Separatism and Beyond

Chair: Alina Strzempa (Regensburg)

Chair: TBA

Wiktoria Tombarkiewicz-Gorzelik (Kraków): Folk Costume and Miner’s Uniform as a Representation of Upper Silesianness – Roots, Transformations, Meanings of the Practice

Alexandr Osipian (Leipzig): Identity Crisis in Old Industrial Region: Historical Legacy of Donbas in Ukraine and Russia, 1991-2024

Monika Glosowitz (Katowice): Memoirs of Women from Upper-Silesian Families as Counter-Archive of De/Industrialisation

Jerzy Gorzelik (Katowice): The Industrial Heritage of Upper Silesia after 1989 as a Factor of Cohesion and Subversion

Olena Syaivo Dmytryk (Cambridge): ‘A Multi-Layered Pie of Contradictions’: Luhans’k ‘Orchid’ Theatre of Provocative Fashion

Kyrylo Tkachenko (München): Separatism, Irredentism, or Something Else? The Shifting Image of the “Exploiting Center” in the Political Debates in the Donbas, 1989-1993


4 PM - 4.30 PM 

coffee break 


4.30 PM - 6.30 PM 

Panel 4

Panel 5

Belonging, Displacement, and Propaganda in the Donbas

Upper Silesian Borderland Narratives

 

 

Chair: Vlad Mykhnenko (Oxford)

Chair: TBA

 

 

Qianrui Hu (London): Evolving Narrative of Self and Belonging among Displaced Ukrainians from ‘Donbas’

Jess Jensen Mitchell (Harvard/Katowice): ‘Still nothing about Silesia’: Regional Family Sagas in Contemporary Polish Writing

Valeria Lazarenko (Berlin): ”Donbas Identity”? Exploring, Anchoring, Unanchoring, and the Quest for Meaning amidst Displacement

Leszek Drong (Katowice): Ghost of Borders Past: Haunted Borderscapes in Contemporary Narratives from Upper Silesia

Jon Roozenbeek (London): The Long-Term Failure of Russian Propaganda

Adam Kubik (Heidelberg): Industry as a Mirror of the Self and the Other in Contemporary Literature of Borderlands: Upper Silesia and South Tyrol


8 PM - 

DINNER 


October 2, 2024

9 AM - 11 AM 

Panel 6

Panel 7

Environmental Footprints: Water, Nuclear, and Coal Legacies Across Europe

Community Dynamics in Industrial Landscapes

 

 

Chair: Olga Plakhotnik (Greifswald) 

Chair: Maria Mayerchyk (Kleve)

 

 

Anna Barcz (Warsaw): Water_ Major River Floods in 19th Century Europe: Literary Sources and a Non-Anthropocentric History of Hydro-Infrastructure

Oleksandr Zabirko (Regensburg): The Owner and the Debt: The Symbolic Economy of Miners’ Cult in the Soviet Donbas

Juliane Tomann (Regensburg): Nuclear Heritage in the Making. Negotiating the GDR Uranium Mining Past in the “New Landscape” Park in Ronneburg (Thuringia)

Karolina Pospiszil-Hofmańska (Katowice): Human Waste. People Living on Spoil Heaps in Upper Silesian Literature

Marta Tomczok, Paweł Tomczok (Katowice): Coal Humanities: Assumptions, Perspectives, and Possibilities

Anna Seidel (Berlin): Scooping Oil and Digging Coal. Literary Representations of Workers’ Lives in Teschen Silesia and Eastern Galicia


11 AM – 11.30 AM

COFFEE BREAK 


11.30 AM – 1.30 PM

Panel 8

 

Panel 9

Art and Identity in Post-Industrial Urban Settings

Myths of the Donbas: Creation, Persistence, and Destruction

 

 

Chair: TBA

Chair: Oleksandr Zabirko (Regensburg)

 

 

Clemens Günther (Berlin): Colours of Ostrava – Examining the Colour Schemes of the Historical Past and Present

Mykola Riabchuk (Kyiv): Donbas versus Galicia: Different Modes of Othering and Mythologizing 

Carlos Navarro González (Madrid): Cinema and Audiovisual Art in the Post-Industrial Landscape of Lisbon: Migrant, Working, and Racialized Communities

Roman Dubasevych (Greifswald): King of Petroleum Station: The Birth of a New Ukrainian Man out of the Spirit of Soviet Nostalgia in Serhii Zhadan’s “Voroshylovhrad”

Andrzej Czyżewski (Warsaw): Promised Land – in Search of the City’s Identity (Łódź)

 

Oleksandr Chertenko (Giessen): “Fortress Donbas”: Going Back to a Wild Field? Cultural Accounts of a (Former) Industrial Region after 24.2.2022


1.30 pm – 2.30 pm

LUNCH 


opening of an interdisciplinary centre “ThinkSpace Ukraine”

(sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD)_time_TBA



Call for Applications 

Shifting Borders, Fluid Landscapes: Exploring Industrial Regions in Transition 

Where: University of Regensburg, Germany

When: September 30 – October 2, 2024

Organizer: Dr. Alina Strzempa and Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko (both University of Regensburg)

Founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The dynamism of nineteenth-century Europe elevated technological progress to the status of virtue itself. The expansive mining zones, heralded as catalysts of the Industrial Revolution, became this new, vibrant reality, shaped by imperialism and a confluence of demographic, technical, and economic powers. Over the following two centuries, industrial regions emerged as embodiments of social forces, driven by class loyalties and labour migrations. In border-straddling industrial areas (such as the Donbas or Upper Silesia), the interplay of competing nationalisms and particular forms of national indifference collided with class dynamics and migration patterns. However, structural transformations have since turned industrial regions into murky landscapes full of ruins. Despite occasional revitalized symbolic remnants of the glorious industrial past, these regions now grapple with identity crises stemming from the decline of heavy industry and a transition from once-thriving hubs to realms of uncertainty, where the proximity of the state border remains a potential trigger for armed conflict.

The aim of our conference is to conceptualize the fluid and overlapping identities within Europe’s industrial spaces as well as their shifting loyalties to central governments or nation-states. Additionally, we aim to explore their impact on cognitive, economic, and political shifts and transitions, which have significantly shaped collective paradigms in these regions. Focusing specifically on Cultural and Literary Studies, we seek to capture the vibrancy of industrial borderlands as portrayed in literature, cinema, and the fine arts. However, we explicitly welcome applications from researchers specializing in Anthropology, History, Political Studies, Sociology, Economy, and other related disciplines. Although our attention centres on the Eastern and Central European old industrial borderlands of the Donbas and Upper Silesia, situated along the (cultural) frontiers of Russia-Ukraine and Germany-Poland respectively, we extend an open invitation to all scholars studying European industrial areas and borderlands to partake in a broader comparative dialogue.

Our research inquiries are twofold. On the one hand, we approach industrial regions as spaces particularly influenced by the juxtaposition of modernization and globalization. This kind of exploration transcends the traditional focus on the dominance of extractivism and includes the examination of the region’s evolution towards other forms of economic activity or a lack thereof. Our goal is to adopt an ecocritical lens within the context of the Anthropocene, evaluating the environmental dimensions of this transformation. On the other hand, we investigate the emergence of trans-border, pragmatic, nationally indifferent (non-national) collective identities, as well as tendencies toward irredentism, separatism, and, ultimately, violence and wars. These focal points promise to shed light on the social and historical complexities inherent to these regions.

Thus, the list of research questions includes – but is not limited to – the following:

  • Poetics and cultural representations of industrial landscapes
  • Space and landscape conceptualizations in literature, cinema, and fine arts
  • Structural shifts and transitions in industrial areas
  • (Old) industrial borderlands as a framework for ecocritical thinking and manifestations of the Anthropocene
  • (Old) industrial borderlands between the industrial and information societies
  • Borderland identities against the backdrop of heavy industry
  • Separatism and irredentism in industrial borderlands in diachronic and synchronic perspectives
  • Working man’s ethos and its aesthetic shifts
  • Gender aspects of (de-)industrialization
  • Social and political violence
  • Economic and political path-dependency of the (old) industrial regions
  • Critical regionalism in industrial areas
  • Memory studies focusing on industrial regions
  • Elements of coloniality in industrial areas
  • Othering, exclusion, and inclusion of industrial areas in imperial and national contexts

The conference is a part of the collaborative project “UNDIPUS – (Un)disciplined: Pluralizing Ukrainian Studies – Understanding the War in Ukraine” supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (subproject: “Poetics of Industrial Landscape: The Donbas and Upper Silesia in Comparative Perspective”).

Additionally, the organizers plan to publish a post-conference open-access edited volume featuring extended versions of selected papers.

To join the conference, please submit your application by February 29, 2024. The application should include your name, a short biographical note (up to 150 words), and a concise abstract of your presentation (up to 500 words). Send your application to Dr. Alina Strzempa (Alina.Strzempa@ur.de) or Dr. Oleksandr Zabirko (Oleksandr.Zabirko@ur.de). Alternatively, you may submit a panel proposal comprising three paper presentations (in this case, your proposal should include abstracts and short bios for all papers in the panel). Notification of acceptance will be sent to applicants by March 20, 2024. The organizers will be able to cover a certain amount of the travel and accommodation expenses of contributors. Please specify in your application if you require financial support.

The conference language is English.

UNDIPUS-Workshop in Regensburg 

(scroll down for English version)

Am Leibniz-Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung finden am 5. und 6. Oktober 2023 zwei öffentliche Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des UNDIPUS-Workshops statt:

Eine Diskussion (in englischer und bei Bedarf in deutscher Sprache) über die Rolle der Identitätsvorstellungen im Konflikt in der Ukraine (eine empfohlene Grundlage für die Diskussion ist das Buch "Killing in the Name of Identity" von Vamik D. Volkan, Pitschstone Publishing, 2006): 5. Oktober, 15:00 Uhr, IOS, Landshuter Str. 4, Raum 017, 

Eine Filmvorführung (mit englischen Untertiteln) gefolgt von einer Diskussion: "Atlantis" (2019) von Valentyn Vasyanovych: 6. Oktober, 17:00 Uhr, IOS Landshuter Str. 4, Raum 017. 

At the Leibniz Institute for East- and Southeast European Studies two public events will take place on October 5 and 6, 2023, as part of the UNDIPUS workshop:

A discussion on the role of identity concepts in the Ukraine conflict (recommended reading: "Killing in the Name of Identity" by Vamik D. Volkan, Pitschstone Publishing, 2006): October 5, 3 pm, IOS, Landshuter Str. 4, room 017, 

A film screening (English subtitles) followed by a discussion: "Atlantis" (2019) by Valentyn Vasyanovych: October 6, 5 pm, IOS, Landshuter Str. 4, room 017. 



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