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Jana Vinga Martins

Research associate

Short Biography

Jana Vinga Martins studied History and Political Science for a bachelor’s degree at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and the University of Regensburg from 2014 to 2018. In her bachelor studies she focused on 19th century social history. In her master’s programme European Societies in Transformation at the University of Regensburg, her main research interests were contemporary history in a comparative perspective and public history. She combined her thesis on differences in culture of remembrance in Japan and Germany with a semester abroad at Kwansei Gakuin University (Nishinomiya, Japan) in 2021. From 2018 to 2022, she worked as a student research assistant at the Chair of Economic and Social History of Prof. Mark Spoerer as part of the editorial team of the Journal of Social and Economic History and completed several internships. Since June 2022, Jana Vinga Martins holds the position of research assistant at the Junior Professorship of Public History at the University of Regensburg. Since 2023, she is an associate member of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, and since April 2023, she serves as the doctoral researcher representative for the Graduate School.


  • Methods to analyse historical exhibitions in museums
  • National and European historical perceptions and narratives
  • Politics of memory and Culture of Remembrance (Europe, Asia)
  • History in the digital world

PhD project

Working Title:

Exhibiting Europe: European Perspectives in National History Museums


In the context of the European unification process, the question of forming a European identity frequently arises. Wolfgang Schmale postulates that concepts of Europe are largely constructed at the national level, thus inherently differing significantly, making the development of a common European identity questionable.

Given that history plays a crucial role in the construction of identities, it is noteworthy that European history museums are trending towards presenting history not as isolated stories of individual countries or cities, but increasingly from overarching perspectives. This study addresses how "Europe" is constructed in these narratives, thus engaging with questions central to European Studies and research on European identity.

Museums are seen here as spaces of dialogue where European attributes are negotiated and constructed. The focus is explicitly on national museums, as these institutions aim to present the history of a country in a (supposedly) neutral and comprehensive manner to a broad audience. By analyzing the permanent exhibitions of national museums in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, the study examines the complexity of the concept of Europe within national museum contexts: What notions of Europe are conveyed in these museums? How are these notions intertwined with national histories, and with what intentions?

The foundation of this research is an interdisciplinary approach that combines historical and cultural semiotic methods. This approach allows for a comprehensive investigation of the multimodal presentation of history in museums. The methodological framework is supplemented by expert interviews and the analysis of media reports to gain a thorough understanding of the intentions, interpretations, and public receptions.

This research approach offers new perspectives on the role of history museums in shaping concepts of Europe and provides valuable insights into the complex interrelations between national and European narratives. The findings of this study highlight the role of national cultural institutions and contribute to a deeper understanding of the construction of Europe.


Vinga Martins, Jana / Michael Zimmermann (2023): Stasi-Unterlagen-Archiv Außenstelle Erfurt, in: Roman Smoloz / Martina Köglmeier (ed.): Archivkurs des Jahres 2023. Archivalische Zeugnisse für den Volksaufstand in der DDR 1953, pp. 9–13.

Vinga Martins, Jana / Michael Zimmermann (2023): Die rechtlichen Grundlagen zur Nutzung von Stasi-Unterlagen, in: Roman Smoloz / Martina Köglmeier (ed.): Archivkurs des Jahres 2023. Archivalische Zeugnisse für den Volksaufstand in der DDR 1953, pp. 31–34.

Vinga Martins, Jana / Martina Köglmeier (2022): „Point Alpha“ – Eine Gedenkstätte zum Anfassen zwischen Rasdorf und Geisa, in: Roman Smoloz / Martina Köglmeier (ed.): Archivkurs des Jahres 2022. Archivalische Zeugnisse für die innerdeutsche Grenze 1952 und 1962, pp. 26–30.

Vinga Martins, Jana / Maria Seigner (2018): Das West-Institut in Posen, in: Roman Smoloz (ed.): Archivkurs des Jahres 2018. Deutsch-polnische Wissenschaftsbegegnungen in Posen, pp. 17–19.

Vinga Martins, Jana / Maria Seigner (2018): Das Posener Residenzschloss, in: Roman Smoloz (ed.): Archivkurs des Jahres 2018. Deutsch-polnische Wissenschaftsbegegnungen in Posen, pp. 35–37.

  1. Fakultät für Philosophie, Kunst-, Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaften
  2. Institut für Geschichte

Professorship for Public History

Jana Vinga Martins

Universität Regensburg
Sedanstraße 1, SE01
93055 Regensburg
Telefon 0941 943 7681