IFZO News History


Seeking dissemination instruments and strategies! Deadline 25 September 2019

IFZO PUBLICITY announces an internal competition for the development of innovative dissemination strategies and respective tools, which support the distribution of our research and information results in society. Each IFZO member can submit ideas and concepts on how to share our contents with public by 25 September 2019. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Baltic Sea Region Research pursues new paths in the transfer of research results. Proposals should contain a short description of the instrument and its impact as well as a quick overview on the expected costs (see template). Successful proposals will receive funding for their ideas and will be realized within the concept period of the IFZO. The ministry reserved 15.000 EUR for transfer plans.

Download the form here.

Please send your proposal to: ifzouni-greifswaldde.

Out now: "The Baltic – A History" in Latvian

The Book "The Baltic - A history" by Professor North is now available in Latvian. It is published by Latvijas Universitātes Akadēmiskais apgāds under the title "Baltijas jūras reģiona vēsture.
Tirdzniecība un kultūras".

Head of Digital Humanities at Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris

At the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris (https://dfk-paris.org/en), a non-university research institution of the Max Weber Foundation, the Digital Humanities research field is to be headed as of January 1, 2020. For further information, please contact Ricarda Oeler ( roelerdfk-parisorg ).

IEG Fellowships for Postdocs

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards fellowships for international postdocs in European history, the history of religion, historical theology, or other historical disciplines.

Application deadline: 15 October 2019

For more information click here or visit the IEG's website (https://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships). Please direct your questions concerning the IEG Fellowship Programme to Barbara Müller (fellowship@ieg-mainz.de).

IFZO at CBSE 2019 Gdansk

For more information click here or visit the website of the 13th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe 2019: Baltic Solidarity (http://cbse2019.systemcoffee.pl/).

Call for Applications: IEG Fellowships for Doctoral Students

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards 8–10 fellowships for international doctoral students in European history, the history of religion, historical theology, or other historical disciplines.

Application deadline: 15 August 2019

For more information click here or visit the IEG's website (https://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/studentships/promotion). Please direct your questions concerning the IEG Fellowship Programme to Barbara Müller (fellowshipieg-mainzde).

Guest lecture on “cross-cultural risk governance” – Dr Farid Karimi

Farid Karimi of IFZO Energy cluster will give a guest lecture on “cross-cultural risk governance” at Tilburg University at the Netherlands. In this lecture, he discusses the cultural approach to risk governance and a case study of risk governance of clean energy systems in the Baltic Sea Region (Germany, Finland and Norway).

Time: Monday 13 May 2019

Place: Tilburg Law School, Public Law and Governance department, room DZ003

Course: Comparative Cross-Cultural Public Governance  (code: 630013)

“Deutscher Frühling“ in Estonia

The Viking helmet had no horns! This statement will be remembered by the deputy German ambassador in Estonia, Martin Langer, as he said. The same applies to the fact that the Vikings still provide an important point of referencefor the beginning of maritime history in the North and Baltic Seas as well as Nordic history in general. Cordelia Heß (Greifswald) introduced the role of the Vikings in constructing the Baltic Sea region, using also the example of the Netflix series Norsemen. She also asked what the Vikings could gain from their trips into the Baltic. Hielke van Nieuwenhuize (Greifswald) was able to answer that it was mainly raw materials such as wood and tar, but also furs and grain, which were transported by Hanseatic ships to trading centers in the west, especially England and the Netherlands. Anti Selart (Tartu) added the cultural dimension to trade. Christianization of the Baltic Sea region and numerous cultural relations between the great and small powers characterize the middle and early modern ages. Kerttu Palginõmm (Tartu) illustrated the special form of cultural exchange through luxury products and art, for instance between Estonia and the Netherlands, Sweden or Italy. Western influence was balanced in the 18th and 19th centuries by the rise of Russia to a dominating power in the Baltic Sea region. Karsten Brüggemann (Tallinn) explained the manifold Russian influences on the eastern Baltic rim. Furthermore, this also led to the question of how the Baltic provinces formed small nation states in the 20th century after centuries of foreign rule. At the same time, the history of the Baltic Sea region in the 20th century is characterized by an almost impenetrable division into East and West. Only after the fall of the Iron Curtain allowed a shift in spatial perspectives and the perception of the entire region again. To this day, the different degrees of economic development and the development of different welfare levels within the region dominate regional development discourses. Michael North (Greifswald) recalled some of his several visits to Tallinn in the 1970s and prepared the interactive part of this panel discussion.  The panel was part of the events in the “Deutscher Frühling in Estland” on 15 April 2019. Alexander Drost (Greifswald) presented the panel. We are very grateful for the support by the International Office of the University of Greifswald, and the organization by the Goethe-Institut and especially Mr. Johannes Thimm.

IFZO in Hanoi

"Cooperation and Integration in the Baltic Region and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Perspective"

At the international and interdisciplinary conference "Cooperation and Integration in the Baltic Region and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Perspective" researcher from Vietnam, Japan, Singapore/Cambodia, the Philippines, Sweden and Germany presented their research results on regional security architectures in the Baltic and South China Sea regions.
Political scientiests and historians discussed, among other things, actual security threats in the respective regions, using Russia and China as examples. Furthermore, institutions and institutional structures and their impact on region building and security architecture had been in focus of the discussions. In this context Vietnamese and German colleagues compared the influences of ASEAN, NATO, the Council of Baltic Sea States and the European Union.
Margit Bussmann (Greifswald) presented her research on crisis escalation in the Baltic Sea region based on interstate military conflict situations. In another contribution at an USSH round table, she exemplified the security architecture in the Baltic Sea region between Russia and NATO.
Pham Quang Minh (Hanoi) illustrated the power shifts in Southeast Asia using the example of the rise and fall of world powers and the importance of the EU. His specific Vietnamese perspective on institutions provided a detailed insight into the complex security structure of a region in which several great powers make power political claims.
Bo Peterson (Malmö) provided the specific Swedish discourse on security problems in the Baltic Sea region. He hereby drew not only on Russian military provocations, but also bilateral economic, cultural and historical relations between states in the Baltic Sea region.
The historical dimension of region building and the creation of institutions in the Baltic and South China Sea regions differ to a large extent. While an analysis of the development of borders (Alexander Drost, Greifswald) revealed certain parallels between the 15th and 19th centuries, regional integration, especially in the 20th century, shows great differences. In their presentations, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang and Do Thi Thuy exemplified in particular the role of world powers. Southeast Asia had been much more influenced by diplomatic and power-political relations between China, the USA and Russia than the Baltic region, in which NATO balanced Russia's dominance. Charmaine Willoughby (Manila), among others, examined the role of the major powers in Southeast Asia with regard to the US security strategy in the Indo-Pacific region. This was differently received in Southeast Asian states, depending on their political orientation. Vannartih Chheang (Singapore/Phnom Penh) took up on these different political orientations as well in his research on the diplomacy of the small Southeast Asian states between unilateralism and multilateralism.

The conference was the second of its kind and will publish the results in a special issue. We kindly thank Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Hanoi, the USSH Hanoi and the IFZO Greifswald for organisation and financial support.

PhD position @ ReAct

The project "Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe (ReAct)" is seeking to fill a PhD vacancy by 1 September 2019.
Application deadline is 15 April 2019.

For further information click here.
You can send in your application here.

CfP – "Nordic and Arctic Drama from a Central European Perspective"

The Conference will be at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, 6-8 November 2019. The deadline for paper submissions is 1 May 2019.

For more information click here.

CfP – "WHY (NOT)? THINKING EASTERN EUROPE DIGITALLY: Network Analysis, Data Modeling, Visualization, and Sharing in Historical Research"

The Herder Institute Research Academy Conference 2019 will be at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz-Association in Marburg from 30 September - 01 October.

The deadline for paper submissions is 31 March 2019. 

For more information download the CfP or click here.

CfP – "The Hansa Phenomenon: the Hanseatic Communicative Space"

The conference will be at the Novgorod State University, May 20-21 2019. The deadline for paper submissions is 15 March 2019. Please send your proposals to Valentina Grokhotova (vgrohotovayandexru) or  Marina Bessudnova (magistrmbgmailcom).  

For further information read this.

Out now, the Chinese translation of

Michael North, Kunst und Kommerz im Goldenen Zeitalter: Zur Sozialgeschichte der niederländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, Hangzhou 2018.

Maare Paloheimo won a Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation grant

The Wihuri Foundation will support the establishment of a research group on "Borders and Mobility in the Baltic Sea Region 1500-2000" ("Rajat ja liikkuvuus Itämeren alueella 1500-2000") with 50.000 EUR.

Read more: here.


CFP – "The Global North - Spaces, Connections, and Networks before 1700"

The conference will be at the University of Stockholm, August 12-14 2019. The deadline for paper submissions is 15 December 2018. Please send your proposals to Emmy Atterving (emmy.attervinghistoria.suse) and Kurt Villads Jensen (kurt.villads.jensenhistoria.suse).

For further information read this or visit https://www.historia.su.se/om-oss/nyheter/the-global-north-spaces-connections-and-networks-before-1700-1.407768.

Pia Wojciechowski successfully defended her Dissertation on:

"Familiäre VorGeschichten. Die Prosa von Inga Iwasiów und Joanna Bator vor dem Hintergrund erinnerungskultureller Entwicklungen in Polen nach 1989"

Collapse of Memory – Memory of Collapse

by Alexander Drost, Olga Sasunkevich, Joachim Schiedermair, Barbara Törnquist-Plewa (Eds.)

The attraction of crises keeps going an entire sector of the media industry. Authors, painters, photographers and directors tell fascinating stories about the decline of empires and democracies as much as earthquakes and infectious diseases. Hereby, catastrophe and collapse evolve as a complex construct of experience, interpretation and emotion. The resulting narrative combines analyses of facts about the collapse with a retrospect evaluation, update and confirmation of these facts in the cultural memory of a given society. The random occurrence becomes a memorable event. The contributors of this volume have taken a narratological approach in examining collapse, disaster, catastrophe and how these in turn manifest themselves across different types of media.



New publication (journal article)

Transnational cooperation: a network analysis of town twinning in the Baltic Sea region – Margit Bussmann & Sebastian Nickel

The patterns of cooperation between regions and urban spaces are no longer influenced, to the same extent, by national borders. Political integrative events changed the extent of transborder urban cooperation in the Baltic borderlands, a region that has undergone extensive changes. A social network analysis of cooperative ties in the form of town twinning indicates that the end of the Cold War strongly changed the network of town twinning in this region, whereas the effect of the various EU enlargement rounds seems to be more nuanced.

Find the full article here.

Introducing Anna-Stina Hägglund

Anna-Stina Hägglund is a doctoral student in Nordic History at the Åbo Akademi University. Her research on ’Benefactor communities and Birgittine monasteries in the Baltic Sea region c.1370–c.1470’ focuses on the actors behind the foundation of Birgittine monasteries in the region. The aim is to investigate the role of the Birgittine monasteries from the perspective of local benefactor communities as well as from the perspective of regional politics. During her research stay at Baltic Borderlands she plans to visit archives and libraries in order to find material on the monastery Marienkrone that was located in Stralsund. At the same time, Anna-Stina wants to benefit from the Greifswald and Baltic Borderlands’ research environment. Her approach and topic, furthermore, contributes to studies and discussions at Baltic Borderlands. Welcome Anna-Stina!

CFP – “BALTIC CONNECTIONS: Conference in Social Science History”

The Conference will be at the University of Helsinki, March 22-23 2019. The deadline for paper submissions is 15 November 2018. Please send your proposals to balticsocsciencehistgmailcom.

For further information please read this.

Introducing the DHI Warsaw office in Vilnius

Gintarė Malinauskaitė talks about show trials in Soviet Lithuania

Gintarė Malinauskaitė presented her current research project at the IRTG lecture series.

In Lithuania, after the independence in 1990, majority of the individuals convicted of war crimes and collaboration with the enemy in the Soviet war crimes trials have been perceived as victims of the Soviet legal system. The aim of this paper is through the analysis of the trial process, which took place in Klaipėda in the year of 1964, to newly evaluate the war crimes trials related to the Holocaust in Soviet Lithuania and their political dimensions in the Soviet Union, West Germany, and the United States in the context of the Cold War. This trial process could be also closely related with the Ulm Einsatzkommando trial in 1958 which was held in West Germany. 

The war crimes trial in Klaipėda was also one of the most medalized trials in Soviet Lithuania; it was covered in national and regional media as well as presented through a documentary film “Unfinished Page of a Diary”. In the Soviet Union, during the Cold War Years, such trials played an important propagandistic role against the Western countries. These were also the proclamations of the Lithuanian exile in the United States, who claimed that the Soviet Union, using this war crimes trial wanted to present them as war criminals, to deteriorate their moral image in the eyes of the Western countries and to take away their legitimacy of fighting for the Lithuanian independence. In this trial case, some of the accused criminals lived in the USA, therefore, an extradition was required by the Soviet authorities.

In this paper, I also argue that this Soviet judicial process could be perceived as an alternative arena exposing the Holocaust and its memories in Soviet Lithuania, presenting a contradictory perspective of remembering the war in contrast to the official Soviet politics of memory. In the trial, around seventy victims and witnesses testified, including Lithuanian Jews who survived the Holocaust.

– by Gintarė Malinauskaitė

Baltic Borderlands at GrIStuF

On Monday, 18th June 2018, Dr. Alexander Drost gave an input lecture Borders Beyond Territoriality: Concepts, Practices, Stories at 9th Greifswald International Students Festival according to the motto "Beyond Borders - Where are Your Limits".

For further information about GrIStuF check out: https://www.students-festival.de/

Harvard Fellowship for Postdoc Marta Grzechnik

Baltic Borderlands’ postdoc-alumni Dr Marta Grzechnik won the German Kennedy Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies for her new research project on „Colonialism on the margins: Polish colonial plans in the interwar period.” Marta will be at Harvard from 1 September 2018 until 30 June 2019.

Congratulations Marta and all best!

Dr. Mart Laanemäe, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia in Berlin, visits the University of Greifswald and talks about "The Estonian EU Presidency" (Friday, 24th November 2017), Fotos: Till Junker, Pressestelle der Universität Greifswald

Singapore & Spain

King Felipe of Spain appreciates research on de Coutre and his life in the Southeast Asian sea region
by Prof. Peter Borschberg who compiled his book on Jaques de Coutre at "Baltic Borderlands" in Greifswald.

Book launch "Reformatio Baltica"

06th December 2017, 18:00, Krupp Kolleg

IRTG member Prof. Dr Heinrich Assel and Anselm Steiger (Hamburg) are presenting this volume with contributions by IRTG members Prof. Dr Michael North, Prof. Dr Riho Altnurme and Prof. Dr Jens E. Olesen. In the volume „Reformatio Baltica. Kulturwirkungen der Reformation in den Metropolen des Ostseeraums“ (The cultural impact of the Reformation in the urban centers of the Baltic Sea Region) researchers from the Baltic Sea Region examine the politically, economically, and culturally most important cities in the Baltic Sea Region from the 16th to the 18th century.


Book Launch, 06th December 2017, 18:00, Krupp Kolleg

Recently published:

M. North, Zwischen Hafen und Horizont. Weltgeschichte der Meere and J. W. I. Lee/M. North (eds.), Globalizing Borderlands Studies in Europe and North America

Alexander Drost, Musicology Baltic Sea region

Teemu Korpijärvi, Water acting as a border between the natural and supernatural worlds in the frontier zones of the Early and High Middle Ages, in: Rajat - Borders, Boundaries, Frontiers (2016).

2016 | Globalizing Borderlands Studies

Press release of "Globalizing Borderlands Studies in Europe and North America" edited by Michael North and John W.I. Lee.
The case studies by international scholars present ancient and modern border concepts, ranging from religious conflicts to medieval frontiers to petty trade. This edition is part of the Borderlands and Transcultural Studies Series and aims to stimulate a nuanced dialogue addressing the concepts and processes of borderlands.
Further informations on the University's homepage and in the press release of University of Nebraska Press.

Successfully defended Dissertations

Stefan Striegler successfully defended his Dissertation on:

"Von der kognitiven zur physischen Karte. Raumwahrnehmung und Orientierung im Ostseeraum (10. bis 16. Jahrhundert)"

Manja Olschowski successfully defended her Dissertation on:

"Das grenzüberschreitende wirtschaftliche Handeln der Zisterzienserklöster im südlichen Ostseeraum vom 12. bis zum ausgehenden 16. Jahrhundert"

Tatsiana Astrouskaya successfully defended her Dissertation on:

„Between Dissent and Conformity, Between Uncensored and Official. The Intelligentsia, Samizdat, and Nonconformist Discourses in the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (1968-1988)”.

What is the Market Potential of Multilingualism?

Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, University of Bristol,

Globalization, the Internet and an era of mass travel have combined to produce a world with a language mix on a huge scale. What is the effect of this multilingualism on society, organizations and individuals? What are the economic benefits and drawbacks? Should we invest in language skills? Should there be interventionist policies, and if so, at what level? Should there be a lingua mundi? This talk takes an objective look at this emotionally charged area, in a time of rapid global change.

4th July 2017, Rubenowstrasse 1, Audimax HS 4


Lectures: Baltic Borderlands Summer Lectures 2017

Migration and Patterns. Bordering on the Move

Start of the Baltic Borderlands Winter Lectures 2016/2017 with Sven Ristau:
Economic integration and debordering processes in the Baltic Sea Region. The development of Steam Shipping in the 19th century (Hörsaal 4, Audimax)


4th October 2016

Award Ceremony, Book Award by the Foundation for Marine History

Award winning book by Baltic Borderlands researcher:

Michael North received the award of the Foundation for the Advancement of Marine History for his book "Zwischen Hafen und Horizont. Weltgeschichte der Meere" (From Harbor to Horizon. A World History of the Seas). The award ceremony took place in the ambassy of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Berlin.

University's press release


Honorary Doctor of Tartu University

The Speaker of the IRTG Baltic Borderlands, Professor Dr Michael North, received the honorary doctorate from the University of Tartu for his outstanding research of the Baltic Sea Region and his long-lasting cooperation with researchers at the University of Tartu in Estonia. “The most obvious and – for Tartu – the most awarding example of this [cooperation] is the collaborative international and interdisciplinary PhD programme “Baltic Borderlands: Shifting Boundaries of Mind and Culture in the Borderlands of the Baltic Sea Region” […].”
Statement of the University of Tartu (Estonian and English)

Article in the newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung


University’s “Family-Friendly Institution 2014”

The University of Greifswald awarded the certificate “Family-Friendly Institution” to the IRTG Baltic Borderlands. The IRTG guarantees exemplarily the compatibility of research and family life.

Article in the newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung 


Second Phase of the IRTG Baltic Borderlands (2014-2018)

The DFG (German Research Foundation) extends the funding period of the IRTG Baltic Borderlands. The evaluation of the first phase (2010-2014) was successful.

Article in the newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung 


Dr. Alexander Drost
Bahnhofstr. 51
D-17487 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 (0)3834 420-3341/-3309
Fax: +49 (0)3834 420-3333