Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

Border Community? Problems of Identification with the Region of Polish and German Inhabitants along the River Odra after 1945

  • Prof. UAM, PhD. Beata Halicka, halicka@europa-uni.de, Polish-German Research Institute, Collegium Polonicum in Słubice
  • Dr. Marta Bąkiewicz, Polish-German Research Institute, Collegium Polonicum in Słubice
  • Prof. Dr. Ing. Paul Zalewski, Professorship for Protection of Cultural Property, European University Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Prof. Dr. hab. Jan M. Piskorski, Prof. Dr. hab. Jörg Hackmann, Dr. Paul Migdalski, Institute of History and International Relations, University of Szczecin
  • Prof. UZ, PhD. Maria Zielinska, Institute of Sociology, University of Zielona Góra
  • Dr. Ira Spieker, Institute of History and Ethnology of Saxony (Institut für Geschichte und sächsische Volkskunde e.V.), Dresden
  • Prof. Dr. hab. Ulrike Nagel, Institute of Sociology, University of Magdeburg
Brandenburg Ministry of Sciences, Research and Cultural Affairs
April 2014 - March 2015
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The border along the rivers Odra and Neisse has existed for nearly seventy years. As a result of forced migration, significant changes in the social structure occurred on both sides of the Odra after 1945. The newly emerging border society had to face rapid and profound political, social and cultural changes and eventually was separated by a partly impermeable boundary. However, it was not a barrier that hindered people from social networking and cultural exchange. The aim of the project is to examine how cross-neighborly relations finally developed and how they affected the identity building of communities within the region on both sides of the Odra. A decisive question will be: Which factors affect the process of forming/creating identity and how is identity constructed?

The project brings together scientists in the fields of cultural studies, history and sociology in order to provide answers to these and further questions. This interdisciplinary approach may also serve as a methodological model for border studies focusing on other regions (for example studies on the Polish-Ukrainian, the Polish-Russian, the German-Czech, and also the US-Mexican or South-North Korean border regions). While this project is meant to prepare an application for research funding, it will also lay the foundations for an interdisciplinary research group uniting scientists from the EUV and the UAM, all working in the framework of several sub-projects. This research group is based at the Polish-German Research Institute under the roof of the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice. A conference and various workshops in cooperation with our project partners are projected in 2014.