(Re)Thinking the University from, in, and beyond (Post-)Socialist Europe


    Dr. Elisa Satjukow, Leipzig University ( and Dr. Friedrich Cain, University of Vienna ( in cooperation with the Research Platform “Transformations and Eastern Europe” (University of Vienna), the Center for Transdisciplinary Historical-Cultural Studies (University of Vienna), the Southeast Europe Association, and The University of New Europe.

    => Further information, a programme etc. will be published here in early August 2023.



    Wednesday, September 27, 2023
    18:00–19:30 Public Roundtable Universities at War
    in coop. with The University of New Europe and the Research Plattform Transformations and Eastern Europe
    Alte Kapelle, Campus of the University of Vienna
    (Spitalgasse 2/4, Hof 2.8, 1090 Vienna)

    The roundtable will provide a panorama of case studies analysing how universities have been implicated and affected by wars and conflicts from the Second World War and the Cold War. It will conclude with a reflection on the way academic communities are affected by Russia’s war against Ukraine. They have also been sites of conflicts such as gender wars. This panel concentrates on European academic institutions as sites, agents, collaborators, resisters, as well as victims of military conflicts from the Second World War to Russia’s War against Ukraine.

    Chair: Philipp Schmädeke (Science at Risk, Berlin)
    Discussants: Alexander Etkind (CEU), Andrea Pető (CEU), Dina Gusejnova (LSE)
    Mykola Makhortykh (Univ. Bern), Kirstine Arentoft Kristensen (Univ. of Vienna)

    After the roundtable discussion we invite for an informal reception.

    Thursday, 28 September 2023
    10:00–10:30 Introduction

    Elisa Satjukow (Leipzig Univ.), Friedrich Cain (Univ. of Vienna)

    10:30–12:00 Panel 1: Universities during WW II and Repercussions
    Chair: tba.
    Comment: Anna Echterhölter (Univ. of Vienna)
    Olena Dobosh (SoftServe, L’viv): The Impact of Territorial Shifts and Political Censorship on University Place Memory. A Comparative Study of L’viv, Wroclaw, and Vilnius Universities
    Friedrich Cain (Univ. of Vienna): University Projects in Occupied Poland, 1939–1945
    Dina Gusejnova (LSE): Internment Universities During the Second World War

    12:00–13:30 Lunch Break

    13:30–15:30 Panel 2: From Late Socialism into the 1990ies
    Chair: Julia Anna Tyll-Schranz (Univ. of Vienna)
    Comment: Claudia Kraft (Univ. of Vienna)
    Vedran Duančić (Univ. of Klagenfurt): What’s the Point of Higher Education in Late Self-Managerial Socialism? A Collective Autobiography of Yugoslav Universities
    Irina Antoshchuk (Univ. of Amsterdam): Late Soviet Universities: Embeddedness in Scientific Networks and Its Effects
    Axel Kahl (Univ. of Potsdam): The Transformation of East German Higher Education in the 1980/90s Potsdam in Comparative Perspectives
    Mitchell Ash (Univ. of Vienna): “As in the West, so on Earth”? Theses (or Remarks) on the Transformations of Higher Education in Eastern Germany after Unification

    16:00–18:00 Panel 3: New Projects between Democracy and Privatisation
    Chair: Dorine Schellens (Leiden Univ.)
    Comment: Miranda Jakiša (Univ. of Vienna)
    Elisa Satjukow (Univ. Leipzig): (Re)making Postsocialist Academia – The Case of CEU
    Matei Gheboianu (Univ. of Bucharest): The Private Higher Education System in Romania after 1989. The Case of the “Spiru Haret“ University
    Andrei Ilyin (Moscow): Founding New Universities in the “New” Russia in the 1990s: Innovation and Continuity with Soviet and International Legacies
    Filip Balunović (Univ. of Belgrade): “Subversive Film Festival” and “Open University”: The Importance of Non-Institutional Education for Critical Consciousness in Former Yugoslavia – the Case of the Open University Sarajevo

    19:00 Joint Dinner

    Friday, 29 September 2023
    9:00-11:00 Panel 4: Backlash: Neoliberalisms, Conservatisms, Authoritarianisms

    Chair: Rebekka Pflug (Univ. of Vienna)
    Comment: Jan Surman (Masaryk Inst. and Archives, Prague)
    Iuliia Gataulina (Tampere Univ.): De/re/composing Authoritarian-Neoliberal Assemblages: Ethnography of Russian Universities and Beyond
    Pavjo Gjini (Graz Univ.): The Autonomy between the University and Neoliberalism: The Case of Albania
    Ádám Havas (Univ. of Barcelona) / Ágoston Fáber (Budapest): The Rise of Heteronomous Academia on the EU’s Borderlands
    Ingrid Verebes (ELTE, Budapest): The Rise and Institutionalization of Family Science in Hungary

    11:30-13:30 Panel 5: Re-Conceptualisations: (New) University Practices
    Chair: Jan C. Behrends (Europ. Univ. Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder)
    Comment: Ellen Rutten (Univ. of Amsterdam)
    Alla Morozova (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): A Pedagogy of Equity and Cooperation among Dissenting Educators of post-Soviet Russia: Revisiting the ideas of Alexander Bogdanov and Paulo Freire in Contemporary Pedagogical Practices – the Case of the Free University Moscow
    Victoria Pardini (Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.): The Case of DOXA in Critiquing Academic Freedom at Russian Universities
    Nikola Lero (Univ. of Sheffield): From a college dropout to a Fulbright Scholar: Memories of Academic Charlatanism and Academic Failure in post-war Bosnia
    Lidia Yatluk (Univ. of Groningen): Military Censorship in Russian Universities

    13:30-14:00 Closing Comments

    Supported by    

    Vienna University
    Leipzig University
    UNE – The University of the New Europe
    Southeast Europe Association


    The roundtable on Wednesday (27 Sept. 2023) is open to the public.
    Guest participation on Thursday and Friday (28 and 29 Sept. 2023) is possible, but due to limited room capacity we ask to register in advance. Please contact



    Vom 27.09.2023
    bis 29.09.2023

    Ort: Faculty Center for Transdisciplinary Historical and Cultural Studies, Kolingasse 14–16, 1090 Vienna, SR 6 (1st floor)


    In Kooperation mit: 

    Universität Leipzig, Universität Wien, University of New Europe