Herder Institute Research Academy

Outlook and Insights

It is nearly two years since the Herder Institute Research Academy (HIRA) has been launched and the new strategy of the career development for young researchers at the Herder Institute took its shape. Bringing together (Art) History of East Central Europe and Digital Humanities HIRA quickly became an integral part of the Institute’s scientific infrastructure. On this occasion, we would like to offer a few insights into our recent activities.   

While working on individual research projects, we simultaneously seek for scientific collaboration both within the Herder Institute and outside it. HIRA has been embedded into the Academic Forum yet simultaneously we take part in other inter-departmental digital initiatives and projects such as Data Management Working Group, FoKO, Semantic4Art&Architecture, Polesia as “a Landscape of Intervention”, Copernico, and others. Furthermore, we pay particular attention to the networking with our partners among them the Centre for the Study of Culture and the Сenter for East European Studies (both the University of Giessen) as well as the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO, Leipzig) and the University of Wroclaw (Poland).  

Herder Institute Research Academy Colloquia

An essential part of our work is the quarterly colloquia, were doctoral and post-doctoral HIRA members meet. The latest meeting “Digital Knowledge Systems: Theory and Praxis” was devoted to the methodological and practical challenges of digital change such as the creation of data models and linked data, the use of classification systems, authority files and data management.

HIRA Kolloquium
Participants of the HIRA Colloquium, January 2020

Herder Institute Research Academy Conference

The use of information technologies in the (art) history of East Central Europe was also a cross-cutting theme of the HIRA bi-annual conference “Why (Not)? Thinking Eastern Europe Digitally: Network Analysis, Data Modeling, Visualization, and Sharing in Historical Research,” which Herder Institute hosted last fall (2019). The conference aimed to consider new digital tools and techniques and simultaneously reflect critically on their applicability in East European Studies. We were delighted to give an impetus to the fruitful exchange of ideas among the researcher and practitioners coming from across Europe (Via HSozKult the full report can be read and downloaded).

We are enthusiastic about keeping the discussion ongoing, e.g. at the 10th ICCEES World Congress at the Concordia University in Montréal in August 2020. With a panel entitled “Informational Methods and Technologies for Transdisciplinary Area Studies: History of Central and Eastern Europe Digitally Re-Considered” we would like to discuss the dialog between the national cultures of knowledge in the Digital Age. Do check our blog report for the results and impressions in September 2020.

Due to the family reasons or career developments the constellation of HIRA member changes, but we are glad to welcome new extern members who enrich the thematic scope and bring fresh ideas. We consider this little anniversary as a fine occasion to express gratitude as well as the hope for future cooperation, networking, and exiting research projects.

Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Svetlana Boltovska, Ksenia Stanicka-Brzezicka

Our recent publications:

Astrouskaya, Tatsiana: Cultural Dissent in Soviet Belarus. Intelligentsia, Samizdat and Nonconformist Discourses (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2019) https://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/Cultural_Dissent_in_Soviet_Belarus_(1968%E2%80%931988)/title_5852.ahtml

Boltovska, Svetlana: Local Identities in Ukrainian Polesia and their Transformation under the (Post-) Soviet Nuclear Economy, [in:] Modernity in the Marshlands. Interventions and Transformations at the European Periphery from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century, Ed. by Anna Veronika Wendland, Diana Siebert & Thomas M. Bohn. Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung / Journal of East Central European History, 68 (2019). Marburg: Verlag Herder Institut, p. 445-475,
https://www.zfo-online.de/index.php/zfo/issue/view/351

Stanicka-Brzezicka, Ksenia (together with Emilia Kłoda): Digital History Goes East. A Database Description of Cultural Heritage Assets: “Project Monuments and Artworks in East Central Europe Research Infrastructure”, [in:] Visual Resources. An International Journal on Images and their Uses. Special Issue: Digital Art History, Ed. By Murtha Baca, Anne Helmreich and Melissa Gill, Vol. 35, No. 1-2 (2019), p. 88-104. DOI:10.1080/01973762.2018.1553443

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