International Summer School: German Heritage in Eastern Europe

Comparing Narratives, Finding New Perspectives

From 5th to 9th August 2019 the international Summer School "German Heritage in Eastern Europe. Comparing Narratives, Finding New Perspectives" took place at the Manor House in Ravila, close to Tallinn. The Summer School, organized in cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, was supported by the Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the Böckler-Mare-Balticum Foundation and the EKA Loovkärg (via EU European Regional Development Fund). For five days, twenty students and PhD candidates from Estonia, Poland, Russia, the USA, Germany and other countries exchanged views and approaches to German heritage in Eastern Europe. The focus was not only on the objects defined as heritage, but also on the narratives and historical processes that accompanied the construction of (national) heritage - and which still shape the discussions about it today. In addition to the large number of different national perspectives and narratives that were discussed and critically scrutinized in this context, the interdisciplinary composition of the Summer School (consisting of art historians, historians, heritage conservators and cultural anthropologists) contributed to a broad professional spectrum. Case studies from the museum and cultural policy fields were discussed, as well as topics from the history of architecture and classical heritage preservation. The discussions were accompanied by proven experts from the fields of art history, history and heritage preservation.

The special location of the Summer School on the former manor house in Ravila not only favoured an intensive working atmosphere, but also served - as a former German-Baltic property - as a practical approach to the topic. The case study 'German Heritage in Estonia' was further deepened during an excursion and two film evenings. Especially the examination of tangible objects and the discussion of the different points of view offered the opportunity to become critically aware of one's own imprints in relation to the topic.

This critical examination of notions of national heritage is gaining importance again, regarding the tendencies towards renationalisation in Europe - in which context supposedly national heritage is often used as an anchor of identity. Against this background, the Summer School offered a week of international exchange, from which new perspectives and networks can emerge, not only personally but also academically.

The organizers would like to thank the sponsors, the BKM and the Böckler-Mare-Baltikum Foundation and all participating scientists for their support and commitment.

Initiators and Organizers

Dr. Stephanie Herold, Kristina Jõekalda

Impulse Lectures and Discussants

Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, Jörg Hackmann, Krista Kodres

Participating Scientists and Specialists

Linda Kaljundi, Oliver Orro, Ulrike Plath, Anneli Randla, Siim Raie, Eva Näripea, Teet Teinemaa, Erik Moora

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