People

Prof Eneken Laanes

Professor of Comparative Literature

Eneken’s research interests cut across cultural memory studies, comparative literature, translation studies and post-socialist memory cultures in Eastern Europe. Her research is situated at the intersection of various artistic media such as literature, film and art. She is the project leader of Translating Memories and is working on a book project about the concept of the translation of memories in former East Germany, Poland, and the Baltic States and Russia.

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Hanna Aunin

Doctoral Researcher

Hanna’s research focuses on memory, film and the concept of gaze. She is interested in how the act of seeing and being seen is culturally, socially and historically determined. The aim of her research is to explore the functions and manifestations of the gaze in Baltic films about the Soviet past and World War II, and how the gaze affects the spectators’ cinematic experience, the ways of seeing and remembering.

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Dr Margaret Comer

Postdoctoral Researcher

Margaret’s research focuses on the heritage of mass repression, Soviet and post-Soviet memorialization and heritagization, contested memory, and group identity. She is specifically interested in how post-repression societies variously portray suffering, loss, perpetration, and victimhood at sites associated with mass violence. The overarching goal is to analyze how the heritage of past violence can be instrumentalized in order to avoid reckoning with past violence and, further, how this heritage can be weaponized in order to further contemporary violence.

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Dr Anita Pluwak

Postdoctoral Researcher

Anita’s research focuses on cultural change and conflict in post-socialist societies, especially in relation to contested artworks and memories, and shifting perceptions of democratic publics. In this project, she investigates recent Polish controversies over cultural production and the impact that differing interpretations of the past have on public arts conflicts today. Among the cases she explores are debates surrounding popular crime novels’ usage of post-socialist conspiracy theories, incl. belief in plots driven by the former communist establishment and the “stolen” transition that has become a key marker of political division in present-day Poland.

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Dr Diana Popa

Postdoctoral Researcher

Diana’s main research interests lie in the relation between films and socio-historical contexts, film style and aesthetics, European cinema, in particular Romanian and Hungarian contemporary cinemas, and Slow Cinema. In this project Diana looks at how post-2000 historical films from Romania and Hungary contribute to translating beyond national boundaries and across generations their local histories of the Second World War and the communist authoritarian past. She is interested in analysing how films as an aesthetic media of memory may illuminate tensions between the local and the global in transmitting the Eastern European past.

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Dr Johanna Ross

Affiliated Researcher (Postdoctoral level)

Johanna’s research interests include Soviet Estonian literature and women’s writing, canon building and reception studies. She has studied mostly novels of the 1960s–1970s and their reception. Her recent work includes research on late Soviet Estonian girls’ novellas and everyday literature, as well as on Soviet-era literary criticism in general.

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Bernadette Ščasná

Doctoral Researcher

Bernadette studies the relationship between fact and fiction in different representations of the Socialist regime and the Holocaust in Czech and Slovak literature and film. She will be also looking at how these representations contribute to shaping the contemporary collective memory.

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Advisory board

Prof. Violeta Davoliūtė

Institute of International Relations and Political Science,
Vilnius University; Lithuanian Institute of History;
Lithuanian Cultural Research Institute

Prof. Kevin Platt

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Humanities, Russian and Eastern European Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. Ann Rigney

Comparative Literature,
Utrecht University

Prof. Anna Reading

Culture and Creative Industries,
King’s College London

Prof. Michael Rothberg

English and Comparative Literature,
1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Prof. Anja Tippner

Slavic Literatures,
Hamburg University

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