Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

1.-2.6.2023, Giessen: "The Grammar of Dictatorships: Past (is) Continuous, Future – Indefinite?"

Workshop of the DAAD Visiting Lectureship “Belarus”


01.06.2023 15:00 bis 02.06.2023 17:30 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)


GiZo-Konferenzraum (Phil. I, E_209)


international participants

Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen


The Grammar of Dictatorships: Past (is) Continuous, Future – Indefinite?

Workshop of the DAAD Visiting Lectureship “Belarus”

June 1-2, 2023

Justus Liebig University Giessen, Phil I E 209

Before 2020 Belarus has been known as True dictatorship in the heart of Europe (Condoleezza Rice, 2005) or The Last Dictatorship in Europe (Andrew Wilson, 2011). Intensive expert debates following the breakdown of the invasion to Ukraine showed the limitations in defining the nature of dictatorships today. Some scholars even announced the semantic default stressing the inability to use the research optics of the 20th century toward the contemporary reality. Russian journalist and author Peter Pomerantsev wrote about Russia as Postmodern Dictatorship.

Dictatorships in Belarus do not rely on solid ideology and mass-scale political mobilization, but they are enough effective to preserve personal power. Based on populist demagogy and sophisticated propaganda they are permanently increasing the level of violence toward political opponents. Inevitably such escalation leads to large-scale terror toward its own people, war with the neighbors, or both. These logics of dictatorships’ ontology produced “2020” in Belarus and the Russian invasion to Ukraine in 2022.

To capture the elusive essence of these dictatorships the workshop will offer a transdisciplinary approach going beyond the borders of pure academic analysis. A combination of efforts by historians, political scientists, political journalists, and writers gathered in one place will provide deep insight into the research topic and examine the past, present, and future of postmodern dictatorships.

PROGRAM JUNE 1-2, 2023

June 1st



Introduction: Thomas Bohn (Giessen)



Panel 1. Inside the hybrid reality of postmodern dictatorships

Chair: Roza Turarbekava (Vilnius)

Discussants: Pavel Slunkin (Warsaw); Victar Shadurski (Wrocław); Julia Cimafiejeva (Zug)



Public Reading of Julia Cimafiejeva and Alhierd Bacharevič

Venue: Rathaus Gießen, Hermann-Levi-Saal


June 2nd



Panel 2. The strategies of counter-cultures: A territory of (un)freedom

Chair: Iryna Ramanava (Giessen)

Discussants: Simon Lewis (Bremen), Tania Arcimovich (Giessen), Alhierd Bacharevič (Zug), Aliaksej Bratachkin (Hagen)



Panel 3. Culture and Language

Chair: Maria Prenner (Giessen)

Discussants: Aliaksei Paluyan (Kassel); Natallia Pazniak (Giessen); Dr. Andrei Zinkevich (Leverkusen)



Conclusion: Pavel Tereshkovich (Vilnius)


Supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Giessen Center for Eastern Europe (GiZo)

Working languages: English, Russian