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Habilitationen, Dissertationen

Professuren Ostmitteleuropa

Professur Bömelburg

Professur Haslinger

Professur Osteuropa

Professur Bohn

Dr. Corinne Geering

 Kontakt: corinne.geering(at)



Seit 10/2013

Stipendiatin am International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen


Masterstudium in World Arts am Center for Cultural Studies, Slavische Sprach-, Literaturwissenschaften und Kulturphilosophie an den Universitäten Bern und Fribourg


Regierungs- und interuniversitäres Stipendium für zwei Auslandsemester an der Karlsuniversität Prag


Bachelorstudium in Philosophie, Theaterwissenschaft und Slavistischer Literaturwissenschaft an den Universitäten Zürich, Bern und Prag



  • Kulturerbe und Erinnerungskulturen
  • Geschichte des Denkmalschutzes und der Denkmalpflege
  • Kulturpolitik der Sowjetunion
  • Politische Transformation in Ost- und Mitteleuropa, Schwerpunkt Russland
  • Theorien des Transnationalismus


Building a Common Past: World Heritage in Russia under Transformation, 19652000

In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the World Heritage Convention, which acknowledged the universal value of certain sites as “heritage of mankind as a whole”. Ever since its launch, this claim of universality has been criticised for imposing a Eurocentric interpretation of heritage on the rest of the world. Both UNESCO in its “Global Strategy” (1994) and heritage scholars have addressed the global imbalance of inscriptions along the North-South divide and discussed alternative notions of heritage. The post-socialist states are relatively underrepresented in these discussions, even though the territory of the Soviet Union remained blank on the World Heritage map until the end of the Cold War. In addition, the evaluation of the notion of culture in the international organisation during the late 1980s coincided with a fundamental transformation of the public sphere in the Soviet Union and the socialist states. The reforms of perestroika were thus situated in the context of a global transformation in the understanding of heritage, one that sought to steer away from Eurocentric and static notions of culture. Against this background, this dissertation traces the Soviet discourse of world heritage and shows not only the aspirations, interlinkages, divergences but also the misunderstandings in the internationalisation of heritage conservation in Russia. Ultimately, it analyses how the Soviet discourse, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, was re-evaluated and re-integrated into a new international setting as UNESCO World Heritage.


The dissertation focuses on the period from the foundation of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPIiK) in 1965 to the ratification of the World Heritage Convention by the Soviet Union in 1988 and to the inclusion of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Russian Federation throughout the 1990s. Drawing on primary material from archives in the Russian Federation and of international organisations, the dissertation examines how interests at the local, national and international levels were negotiated while shaping the Russian cultural heritage that was to be presented to the world. The Soviet Union and its Republics had adopted laws on the protection of cultural heritage and established muzei-zapovedniki (museum-reserves), while also partaking in the international programmes of UNESCO and other organisations. These reserves were perceived by Soviet experts as integral parts of mirovoe kul’turnoe nasledie consistent with Marxism-Leninism. They belonged to the emerging discursive formation of world heritage in the post-war world, which, however, was subject to considerable fragmentation. Thus, what notions of universalism and the world lie at the basis of publications, state programmes and international initiatives on world heritage needs to be closely investigated. This also entails questioning how these ideas related to the on-going conflicts and competition between East and West in the Cold War as well as to decolonisation and cultural policy’s increasing emancipation from Western ideals. Furthermore, critical reflection is needed as to whether the desires and attempts for overcoming such imbalances did not, in the end, reinforce the already existing geopolitical power structures within these programmes.

Daria Starikashkina

Research interests:                

History of World War Two

  • Holocaust studies
  • Soviet studies
  • Jewish studies
  • Memory studies
  • Trauma studies
  • Identity studies 


Daria Starikashkina. Representation of Catastrophe: Memory in Art vs. Art of Memory// International Journal for Cultural Research. — 2016. - № 3 (24): 122-130.


My dissertation examines a number of previously unexplored issues about the Jewish identity that was formed in the besieged space of Leningrad between 1941 and 1944. This identity was shaped at the interface of their survival of two historical catastrophes: the siege of Leningrad and the Holocaust. Although the Nazi genocide of the Jews never directly took place in Leningrad, parts of the Jewish population were exterminated on the occupied territories around the encircled city, which played a significant symbolic role in the Jews’ experience of the siege.

My study begins by exploring the identity of the Leningrad Jews before the start of the siege, and how various aspects of ethnic and Soviet supra-ethnic identities were intertwined.  It  pays special attention to examining anti-Semitic sentiment in Leningrad. It attempts to trace the development of such an atmosphere in the interwar period and investigate how state repression on the part of the Soviet government exacerbated ethnic tensions and anti-Semitic sentiment in Leningrad. By relying on identity formation theory, which pays equal attention to internal and external influences on identity, this study demonstrates the role of anti-Semitic discourse in the process of identity building.

The study investigates the structure of this Jewish identity and the main trends in its distinctive transformation during the siege. It goes beyond isolated individual stories by examining a number of texts, including memoirs, diaries and interviews. It analyzes not only the circumstances of the siege as a result of the encirclement of the city, but also the Soviet government's policy of security control with regard to the city’s population. It situates the siege experience in the broader context of the war and its inherent anti-Semitism, which played a significant role in the experience of the Jews in the siege.  The study explores the policy of security control in the city, which affected the entire population, but specifically targeted the Jews. By relying on the concept of imagined communities, this paper aims to investigate the emerging Jewish identity in Leningrad, which was based on reflection on their status during the war.  Siege identity was made up of the need to overcome existential and physical suffering, as well as to make the world anew. For this reason, the siege experience should be seen as a constructive force as well as a destructive one. For the Jews in Leningrad, this also meant reconfiguring their understanding of their extreme form of being, faced with the threat of total annihilation. Taking into account the crisis of representation – that is the limitations of the language available for describing such a traumatic experience –, this research includes an analysis of blockade poems by Pavel Zaltsman and Gennady Gore. My analysis of their experience, which is expressed through alternative poetic discourse, opens up the possibility of studying additional modes of representing trauma, as well as ways in which Leningrad Jews morally resisted anti-Semitism and symbolic death.

Lennart Petrikowski

Professur Südosteuropa