Jacqueline Nießer

Researcher / Institute for Applied History and PhD Candidate at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, University of Regensburg

  • Former activities:

    In 2006, I ran a project for the association “transkultura e.V.” located on the German-Polish border that pursuit a creative and individual approach towards dealing with the expulsion of Germans from the former Eastern German territories and of Poles from the former Eastern Polish land, now in Ukraine. The project trained German and Polish students in intercultural communication skills, translation practices and the history of the expulsions during the Second World War. The students then facilitated dialogue between Poles and Germans across the border. Since 2007, I have been focussing on memory in Southeast Europe (SEE). First, I was working as Program Coordinator of a Leadership Programme for people from SEE. Since 2010, I have resumed academic work with a PhD in Regensburg. Since 2012, I am doing my PhD in the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg. In parallel, I’m linked with the Institute for applied history in Frankfurt/Oder where the concept of « applied history » is my key interest.

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:

    My activities are currently purely academic with writing my PhD on dealing with the past in post Yugoslavia. That means also speaking publicly, like in a public lecture in June 2015 in Munich about “Dealing with the past in Bosnia and Hercegovina”, or at the ASEEES Convention in Philadelphia, USA in November 2015 about «A Truth Commission that dispenses with the Truth? The ‘Regional Commission for Establishing Facts on the Yugoslav Wars’». I also contributed to a blog on memory cultures with an article about the concept of «Multidirectional Memory»:

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:

    My work in this field is at the moment confined to investigating questions like: How to overcome the victims’ role while all current emphasis in public discourse is on victims? If memory activism strives for the strengthening of historical consciousness, how does this relate concretely to the democratization of societies? Does the present imperative to deal with the past foreclose or contribute to envisioning the future?

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    I am interested in questions of dealing with the past, both as an academic, and as citizen. I believe that Europe must unite as well in its perceptions on history and that there is still a long way to go. Since my Cultural Studies at the European University in Frankfurt (Oder), I have been fascinated by questions of memory. Then, I became intrigued by the complex and challenging questions of dealing with the past in the Western Balkans. With regard to the workshop, I’m eager to get to know the approaches of other organizations on dealing with the past and their assessment of impact on their societies. I’m particularly interested in sounding out the possibilities of future cooperation on the issue. I have spent my childhood in the former German Democratic Republic and in a family with almost no stories. After school, I have lived in France, Poland, Bosnia and Hercegovina and now I am living in Bavaria (where my grandfather originated from). I believe a big urge for being interested in memory issues derives from identity issues, so here I am.