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Shore Marci

Period of stay: July 2020-July 2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

  1. What would you consider to be the major benefits of your stay at IWM?

IWM, as ever, is an intellectual vibrant and supportive community. I’m especially grateful to Ludger Hagedorn, with whom I’ve worked closely for years; David Soucek, who fixes all my technical problems and digs up old recordings when I need them; and Lidiia Akryshora and Anita Dick who tirelessly worked on putting together the Chronicle of Belarus, and understood why it mattered. I was very happy Ivan and Clemena’s program could bring Pavel Barkouski from Minsk; and that IWM could host discussions about ongoing events in Belarus (thanks also go to Niki for all the technical arrangements).

And thank you to Anna-Marie, Basia and now Said for feeding us so well!

  1. Was the event programme of the IWM attractive and interesting for you?

Yes. Had I not been teaching at times that overlapped with IWM’s seminar times, I could have happily participated more frequently. It was a very unusual situation this year, as we all know…

  1. Do you have any criticisms of any aspect of the Institute’s program and operations?
    Please include any suggestions for improvement.

More chairs in the courtyard?

  1. Is there anything else you would like to let us know regarding your stay at the IWM?

Katharina Gratz is wonderful; and the library resources at IWM have always been especially helpful for me.

Final Report sheet for departing Fellows

As mentioned in the “Terms of Award” agreement, we would kindly ask you to submit your final report on your activities, travels, talks and accomplishments during your research stay. Please be as specific and concise as possible!

In particular, we may ask you to list books or essays that have been written or worked on at the IWM, that have either been published or accepted for publication or that you wish to submit for publication. Describe briefly the nature of the work and give names of publishers or publications, dates and other relevant facts.

We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a copy of your publication(s) for our library or, if this is not possible, contact our librarian with the publication details. We would also like to ask you to list any prizes or awards you have received or will receive, as well as any scholarships and grants you have received or will receive.


This was, of course, an unusual year. I was not on sabbatical; I taught, from my office at IWM, via zoom, all four of my courses at Yale: a lecture course, European Intellectual History since Nietzsche; a graduate seminar, the Intellectual History of Totalitarianism; a first-year seminar, Truth and Post-Truth; and an advanced undergraduate seminar, The Philosophy of Dissent in Central and Eastern Europe.

I also created and co-curated (with a lot of help from Lidiia Akryshora, Anita Dick, and Ludger Hagedorn and the Ukraine in Europe program) the “Chronicle from Belarus” on the IWM website.

I gave various lectures, interviews and took part in various discussions, panels, conferences in the role of organizer/moderator/discussant. I also co-curated a forum on “The Uses and Disadvantages of Historical Comparisons for Life” with Public Seminar and Eurozine. I’ll paste in the link to my essay introducing the project. During the spring I wrote a long essay as an introduction to a forthcoming, sadly posthumous volume of the Polish philosopher Marcin Król’s pandemic-era writings. An abbreviated version appeared in the IWMPost. (IWM was especially helpful for this project: Marcin was the legendary editor of the samizdat-turned-legal publication Res Publica during the late communist period. And IWM has now-rare copies of Res Publica, which I read in the basement.)

I also continued work on my long book manuscript-in-progress, “Eyeglasses Floating in Space: Central European Encounters that Came about while Searching for Truth.”



“On the Uses and Disadvantages of Historical Comparisons for Life,” Public Seminar (20 October 2020);

On the Uses and Disadvantages of Historical Comparisons for Life

simultaneous publication in Eurozine (28 October 2020):

abridged version, “The History of Violence,” in The Humanist (spring 2021);

“Conversations, before and after Death,” IWM Post 127 (spring/summer 2021): 22-23.

“Chronicle from Belarus,” IWM Post 126 (fall/winter 2020): 16.

“The Price of Freedom: A Transatlantic Conversation,” Eurozine (29 September 2020)

Russian translation: “Цена свободы,» Sapere Aude (14 October 2020), trans. by Inna Berezkina; https://sapere.online/post/cena-svobody

Interview with Aliaksandr Bystryk: “Lukashenka is the abusive husband who beats his wife when she wants to leave. . .”, IWM: Chronicle from Belarus, 13 August 2020.



“To Go to Lviv,” translation from the German of the essay “Nach Lemberg fahren” by Jurko Prochasko, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen “In fremden Städten bleiben” (in memory of Adam Zagajewski),



“Jesteśmy zdolni do prawdziwego spotkania z Drugim,” with Magdalena Brodacka-Dwojak, Konteksty Kultury, 18: 1 (2021).

“The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution,” with Kevin Gledhill, Yale History Podcast, 22 April 2021.

“Historia się nie kończy,” with Łukasz Grzesiczak and Urszula Pieczek, Nowa Europa Wschodnia no. 2 (2021): 7-14.

“Neexistuje nic jako konec historii, každá loď se může potopit,” with Andrea Procházková, Respekt (12 December 2020);

“The Wind from the East: What We Can Learn from Women’s Activism in Eastern Europe” (in Polish, commentary to the conference by the same title), with Olga Czerny-Grimm, Kongres Kobiet w Brukseli, 6 December 2020.

“Ostra krytyka nie wyklucza elegancji,” with Waldemar Rapior, Czas Kultury (6 August 2020).



“Phenomenology in East-Central Europe,” Intellectual History in East Central Europe Summer School July 2021: Intellectual History in Transition, 16 July 2021.

“The Unwrinkling of Time,” Democracy and Diversity Graduate Summer Institute, Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, The New School, 11 July 2021.

Ostranenie, or the Epistemological Advantages—and Disadvantages—of Marginality,” for the panel titled Benefits and Burdens of the Invisible Suitcase: Writing Contemporary History as an Outsider, Association for the Study of Nationalities Annual World Convention, 7 May 2021.

“The Unwrinkling of Time: How Historicity Inflects a Flattened Present,” New School Memory Studies Group conference “Suspended Present: Downloading the Past and Gaming the Future in a Time of Pandemic,” 23 April 2021.

“The Maidan, Philosophy and Social Movements,” New University in Exile Consortium Scholar’s Seminar, New School for Social Research, 12 March 2020.

“A short history of post-truth, or the Uses and Disadvantages of Replacing God,” Exercising Modernity, Pilecki Institute, 12 February 2021.

“Resistance Movements in Global Politics: The Case of the Ukrainian Revolution,” IB Global Politics, Dhirubhai Ambani International School Mumbai, 8 December 2020

“Writing about People and their Ideas,” European University Institute Intellectual History Working Group, 7 December 2020.

“Writing Biography,” seminar with graduate students from The Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, 3 December 2020.



Series on Belarus at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna: 25 May 2021, “The Hijack: Europe, Belarus, and the Abduction of Roman Protasevich,” with Viktoras Bachmetjevas, Fiona Hill, Francois Heisbourg, Ivan Krastev, Martin Malek, Sławomir Sierakowski,  and Timothy Snyder;  30 June 2021, “Im Innern der Tyrannei: Belarus, oder die Macht und Ohnmacht staatlichen Terrors” with Felix Ackermann, Jurko Prochasko, Ludger Hagedorn, Olga Shparaga, and Anna Schor-Tschudnowskaja; 1 July 2021, “Inside Tyranny: Belarus and the Power and Non-power of State Terror” with Aliaksei Kazharsky, Maryia Rohava, Aliaksei Kazharski, Radoslaw Sikorski, Nataliya Gumenyuk, Hanna Komar, and Timothy Snyder

“Conditional Memory: Some Remarks on the Future and Alternative Histories in Memory Research,” discussant for paper by Justyna Tabaszewska, Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 21 June 2021.

“Moral Values and Civil Society: Philosophical and Political Views of Krzysztof Michalski and Marek Siemek,” discussant for paper by Jakub Nikodem, Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 21 June 2021.

“Café Europa Revisited: How to Survive Post-Communism,” interlocutor for talk with Slavenka Drakulić, Yale University, Macmillan Center, 6 May 2021.

“The End of Communism as a Generational Phenomenon?” with Matthias Neumann, Mikhail Anipkin and Félix Krawatzek, Zentrum für Osteuropa-und internationale Studium (ZOiS), 20 April 2021.

“In Memory of the Festival Age,” discussant for paper by Yuri Andrukovych, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 19 April 2021.

“The Last Time I Saw Them,” with Eric Marcus, Efrén C. Olivares, and Timothy Snyder, Cutline, CPTV, 21 February 2021.

“Whose Story? Which sacrifice? On the Story of Jephthah’s Daughter,” discussant for paper by Kateřina Koci, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 8 February 2021.

“Kraina schorowanej wyobraźni,” with Przemysław Czapliński, Piotr Augustyniak and Bartosz Szydłowski, Teatr w Krakowie, 22 January 2021

“Jewish Encounters in the Coffee House,” with Shachar Pinsker and Edward Serotta, Taube Jewish Heritage Tours, 13 January 2021

“Borderlands and the Central Europe of the 21st c.,” discussant for paper by Magdalena Brodacka, Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conference, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 17 December 2020.

“Belarusian Protests: In Search of Democracy, or the Restructuring of State Institutes,” discussant for paper by Pavel Barkouski, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 7 December 2020.

“Is Trumpism Fascism” (“či je trumpizmus fašizmom – kedy sa ho treba začať báť”), with Michal Havran, Central European Forum (Bratislava), 17 November 2020.

“Narrating Lives: Understanding Women’s Choices under Communism and Nazism,” (chair, discussant), Association for Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Annual Convention, 5 November 2020.

“Historical Traumas in Global Contexts” (discussant), The Other Europe: Changes and Challenges since 1989, Yale University, 12 September 2020