Lecture Series

The IRTG lecture series is an important corner stone of the teaching programme which firstly allows the interaction between renowned researchers of border and borderland studies in different disciplines and our doctoral students, and secondly provides excellent teaching of leading scientists from international universities to the PhD-students of the graduate programme and the academic public at the University of Greifswald. The lecture series offers also the opportunity for doctoral candidates to present their projects and research results to receive immediate critical responses to their questions, concepts and findings from the academic society. The get-together of senior and junior researchers from all over Europe ensures a lively academic discourse on current developments and innovations in border-related research, both in the lecture hall and afterwards at the dinner table. The international partners in Lund, Tartu and Greifswald share the lectures via video conference and thus ensure not only the full critical mass for the discussions but also the corporate identity of the programme. The lecture series integrates the graduate programme into the academic and wider public of the university and the city of Greifswald by attracting a wide audience beyond the members of the IRTG.

Storyboards: Borderlands

Baltic Borderlands Lecture (Spring 2018)

Merle Weßel (Greifswald): An Unholy Union? Eugenic Feminism in the Nordic Countries, ca. 1890-1940 - Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 18:00 c.t

The interest of first-wave feminists into eugenics was widespread internationally but the Nordic countries showed an especially keen engagement with these ideals. This link between eugenics and feminism is a controversial one, since eugenics is often thought to restrict women's reproductive choices, whereas feminism empowers women's reproductive choices. This lecture looks at the engagement of prominent feminists and feminist organizations with eugenic ideals from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland into debates about female empowerment between 1890 and 1940. Nordic eugenic feminists supported the notion of women as mothers in society and as such defined female civil rights around the concept of motherhood. They argued that women were not only mothers to their own children but were foremost mothers of the nation. As such, the appropriate women needed to contribute their own reproductive function responsibly, preventing degeneration, to the success and survival of the nation, understood in the context of the race struggle and nationalism.


Hörsaal 4 (Rubenowstr. 1, Audimax)

Sayaka Matsumoto (Fukui): The Reception History of Norse Mythology and Saga Literature in Japanese Popular Culture - Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 18:00 c.t.

In this lecture, Dr Matsumoto will introduce a collaborative project and preliminary results on the creation of a database of Old Norse motifs, which appear in Japanese comics. The lecture includes an introduction of the various ways of using the motifs, and a thorough analysis of several examples from comics.


Hörsaal 1 (Rubenowstr. 1, Audimax)

Jeroen Dewulf (Berkeley): Understanding Black Music, Dance and Performance Culture from an Atlantic Perspective: A New Theory on the Origins of New Orleans' Mardi Gras Indians - Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 18 Uhr

This lecture presents a provocatively new interpretation of one of New Orleans’s most enigmatic traditions—the Mardi Gras Indians. By interpreting the tradition in an Atlantic context, Dewulf traces the “black Indians” back to the ancient Kingdom of Kongo and its war dance known as sangamento. Enslaved Kongolese brought the rhythm, dancing moves, and feathered headwear of sangamentos to the Americas in performances that came to be known as “Kongo dances.” By comparing Kongo dances on the African island of São Tomé with those in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Louisiana, Dewulf demonstrates that the dances in New Orleans’s Congo Square were part of a much broader Kongolese performance tradition. He links that to Afro-Catholic mutual-aid societies that honored their elected community leaders or “kings” with Kongo dances. While the public rituals of these brotherhoods originally thrived in the context of Catholic procession culture around Epiphany and Corpus Christi, they transitioned to carnival as a result of growing orthodoxy within the Church.

Hörsaal 4 (Rubenowstr. 1, Audimax)



Simon Lewis (Berlin): Belarus as Borderland – Nationhood, Memory and Cosmopolitanism - Tuesday, 12 June 2018,18:00 c.t

The early-twentieth century Belarusian philosopher Ihnat Abdziralovich (pseudonym of Ihnat Kancheuski, 1896-1923) was among the first intellectuals to conceptualize the history of the country as that of a borderland between civilizations. The territory we now know as Belarus has been an arena in which several ideologies – including nationalist, socialist and regionalist, and articulated in different languages, including Belarusian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and Yiddish – have clashed and interacted. Narratives of identity, memory and community, have therefore always been situated in a polyphonic arena, where different voices contend for primacy. Belarusian-language memory discourses have engaged, often creatively and subversively, with the powerful claims about Belarus that have been propounded by Polish and Russian writing, rather than evolving according to a nationally specific and linear logic. Despite numerous attempts to confine Belarusian cultural memory within national limits, including (somewhat paradoxically) by dominating empires, creative impulses have reached out to past legacies of diversity and to global currents of memory and identity. By maintaining a sustained focus on Belarus as an object of memory, my analysis will demonstrate that transculturality is a well-rooted feature of East European nationhood. It is not only Belarusian history that is inherently varied and cosmopolitan; so is Belarusian memory.


Hörsaal 4 (Rubenowstr. 1, Audimax)

Benjamin Steiner (München): Wer baut das Empire? Überlegungen zu einer materiellen Verflechtungsgeschichte des französischen Kolonialraums - Friday,15 June 2018, 10:00 c.t.

Der Vortrag diskutiert die Möglichkeit einer Verflechtungsgeschichte des französischen Kolonialraums in der Frühen Neuzeit anhand seiner materiellen Hinterlassenschaften. Dabei soll die Aufmerksamkeit nicht so sehr auf die Existenz möglicher imperialer Ideen oder kolonialer Pläne im Mutterland gerichtet werden. Vielmehr sollen Bauprojekte an den sogenannten Peripherien in den Blick genommen werden, um über das verwendete Material, die angewandten Techniken sowie die unterschiedlichen beteiligten Akteure - von französischen Karriere-Ingenieuren bis hin zu afrikanischen Sklavenarbeitern - eine andere Perspektive jenseits des Zentrums in den Alltag eines kolonialen Begegnungsraums zu gewinnen. Die Beantwortung der Frage, wer das Empire baute, soll Möglichkeiten der historischen Erzählung jenseits der Konzentration auf europäische Akteure und Institutionen und mögliche Wege für eine Geschichte aus globaler Perspektive aufzeigen.


Hörsaal 1 (Rubenowstraße 1, Audimax)

Ramon Loik (Tallinn): Border-Security in the Baltic States: Transnational Challenges and Cooperation Developments - Tuesday, 26 June 2018,18:00 c.t.

The Baltic States as transit countries share cross–border security worries and responsibility to guard the North–East hub of Schengen area. The main transnational challenges, including cross–border organized crime trends and characteristics of illegal migration, as well as other significant border–related internal security and law enforcement issues will be highlighted. Considering integrity of external border, the main cooperation developments and Baltic States’ contribution to corresponding EU activities will be discussed.


Hörsaal 4 (Rubenowstr. 1, Audimax)

Beyond the Line: The Social, the Digital, the Cultural

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Winter 2017)

Intensive Workshops

Brown Bag-Lectures

Migration and Patterns: Bordering on the Move

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2017)

From Witch to Craft / From Ship to Art: New Baltic Borderlands Research

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Winter 2016/2017)

Between the Lines: Borders, Symbolism, Systems

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2016)

Bordering Culture(s): Drawing Borders between Prosperity and Crisis (Spring 2015)

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2015)

Across A Region: When Borders Matter

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Winter 2014/2015)

States, Stories, Agents and Perspectives - Bordering Spaces

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2014)

"Transgressing Imagination": Wenn Raum sich jedesmal neu erfindet...

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Winter 2013/2014)

Mobility, Culture, History: Junctions in the Borderland

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2013)

Meer kulturelle Erinnerung

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2012)

Borders: Insight Sessions

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2011)

Borders: Imagined Spaces

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Winter 2010/2011)

Borders: Beyond Territoriality

Baltic Borderlands Lectures (Spring 2010)