Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

History, Memory and Politics of the Past Project

globeHistory is alive as almost never before in international affairs. War crimes tribunals, truth commissions and other attempts to expose and deal with the past are proliferating. The History, Memory, and Politics of the Past Project will explore how various countries have approached and/or are now dealing with difficult aspects of their past. The Project covers all the regions of the world and different time periods in the recent history. It includes a lecture and film series, conferences, and other related events. The lecture series features speakers from GW, the Washington area, the broader US, and beyond. We often co-sponsor events with the National Security Archive and with the Sigur Center's Project on Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia.

Two of the Institute's faculty members are currently focusing their research in this field. Professor Hope M. Harrison of the History Department is working on a book examining political and popular debates in Germany about how to depict and commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall. She also teaches a master's course, Hist. 251, on the uses and misuses of history in international affairs. Professor Mary Beth Stein of the Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures is researching individual memory and public history at Berlin's Hohenschoenhausen Memorial Museum (the main prison of the former East German secret police, or Stasi).

University Seminars on History, Memory and Politics

In January 2009 , IERES hosted a University Seminar on History, Memory and Politics, "Working with and on Memory in Iraq." Previous events held include"The Bombing of Dresden," "The Problems of Decommunization and Retrospective Justice in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Look," "History, Memory and Politics in Russia: A Multidisciplinary Approach" and "History, Memory and Politics in Germany: A Multidisciplinary Approach." For further information, please contact Professor Hope M. Harrison at

The George Washington University Seminars program was established in 1985 to foster sustained discussion of issues that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries among members of the GW faculty and their distinguished counterparts in universities, research centers, federal agencies, international organizations, and private industries throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The goal of the Seminars is to connect the research and inquiry activities of the academy with the major institutions of society, thereby ensuring a sharing of information. For more information on the University Seminar, please click here.


Tracking Factors of Change in Tajikistan
March 10, 2015 Combating Kremlin Disinformation about Ukraine
April 2, 2015

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Professor Robert Orttung is interviewed by the National Public Radio in an audio clip titled, "'Frozen Conflict' in Ukraine Opens Door for Corruption."

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article for Foreign Policy website about how Russia uses frozen conflicts to destabilize its reform-minded neighbors.

Professor Harris Mylonas discusses the Greek financial crisis in a Voice of America article.

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors op-eds in the Washington Post about Putin's approval ratings and in the Moscow Times about Russian propaganda.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan." He was also interviewed in an original IERES video about his thoughts on the work.

Professor Harris Mylonas was interviewed by Bulgarian newspaper Presa about Greek elections, and he and Akis Georgakellos wrote a report on the elections as well as an analysis of the new government's attempts to re-negotiate Greece's bailout terms. These pieces are part of the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage, and the latter has been mentioned by other Washington Post articles and the German-language Blogumschau news forum.

Professor Marlene Laruelle published a paper in the Russian Analytical Digest on Central Asian nations' reactions to the crisis in Ukraine.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, a visiting scholar at the Institute from 2002-2003, was recently elected president of Croatia.

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed about his new book Patronal Politics on the Scholars' Circle radio show.

Professor Harris Mylonas was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the political situation in Greece.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan."

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed by CNN on Putin's popular support.

Professor Peter Rollberg was interviewed by BuzzFeedNews about Johnson's Russia List, which is published through IERES. The article was reprinted by the Ukrainian service

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article on increasing media censorship in Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's policy-drivers in the Arctic.

Professor Eliot Sorel analyzes recent presidential elections in Romania.

Professor Marlene Laruelle's paper on Russia's policy towards Central Asia published in EUCAM.

Associate Director Cory Welt analyzes the current Georgian political climate in Foreign Policy.

Professor Hope Harrison authors an article in The Washington Post about five myths surrounding the Berlin Wall and another article in The Wilson Quarterly about German perspectives on the fall of the Wall. Read the articles here and here. In addition, a German-language article of hers devoted to the fall of the Wall recently appeared in the Berlin Tagesspiegel, and she was recently filmed in a video created by the US Embassy in Germany where she explains the building and fall of the Berlin Wall.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times about Ukraine's recent elections.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on the Kremlin's international propaganda practices.

Recent Mumbai water conference covered by the Times of India.

Participants in a recent conference Central Asia Program speakers quoted by Al Jazeera on Uyghur affairs.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on Russian nationalism and Eastern Ukraine.

Associate Director Cory Welt was interviewed on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Russia, and U.S. policy. Read the transcripts here and here.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes a policy memo for PONARS on the Kremlin's views on Russia's European identity.

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