Working with Wartime Testimonies

Working with Wartime Testimonies: Practical Workshop in Digital Humanities

A workshop jointly organized by the War and Society” research alliance, the “Ukraine in a changing Europe” center of the IMS (Institut mezinárodních studií) at FSV UK, CEFRES and supported by 4EU University Alliance. 

Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague (Friday 24) and FSV UK, U Kříže 8, Praha 5 Jinonice, Room C322 (Saturday 25)
Date: 24.–25. May
Language: English
Organizing committee:

Friday May 24th: CEFRES

17.00 – 17.20 Meet-up and registration

17.20 – 17.30 Welcome from the organizers

17.30 – 18.30 Opening Keynote

  • Natalia Otrishchenko, Lviv Center for Urban History
    “From Euromaidan to Full-Scale Russian Invasion: Archiving Ukrainian Society’s Experiences” (will be live-streamed)

18.30 – 19.45 Panel Discussion: “Europe after the Russian full-scale invasion”

  • Panel: Valeria Korablyova, Charles University, Vladimír Handl, Charles University, Jakub Eberle, Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Chair: Martin Laryš, Charles University

19.45 – 21.00 Reception at CEFRES

Saturday May 25th: Faculty of Social Studies, Charles University, U Kříže 8, 158 00 Praha 5 Jinonice, Room C322

08.45 Meet-up in front of the library at Campus Jinonice

09.00 – 10.00

  • Jiří Kocián PhD, FSV, Charles University
    “Digital Collections of Historical Sources: Users’ and Producers’ Perspectives”

10.15 – 11.15

  • Cecile Boëx, EHEES, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
    “Collecting and Analyzing Wartime Video-Testimonies in Syria. What Can Images Do?”

11.30 – 13.00 Student Presentations (more detailed program for panels will come)

  • Chair: Astrid Greve Kristensen, Sorbonne University

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Practical Workshop and coding in Taguette in the digital database “Voices of Resistance and Hope” with Natalia Otrishchenko, Lviv Centre for Urban History

15.45 – 17.00 Panel Discussion: “Trauma in War Testimony Research”

  • Panel: Natalia Otrishchenko, Lviv Center for Urban History, Cecile Boëx, EHESS, Marija Krgovič, University of Copenhagen
  • Chair: Kateřina Fuksová, Charles University


On February 24, 2022, the lives of the people of Ukraine changed. On that day, Russia started the “special military operation”, a full-scale war against the Ukrainian people. Europe, which mistakenly believed that people had learned the lessons of the horrors of the Second World War, was drawn overnight into the new reality of war. Thousands of refugees began to flow in, bringing with them stories of violence, suffering and loss of loved ones – war refugee testimonies, a genre that should rather not even exist.The workshop „Working with Wartime Testimonies: Practical Workshop in Digital Humanities” focuses on survivor testimonies not only from Ukraine, but from a diverse perspective both temporally and geographically and approaches them from the point of view of digital humanities. To this end, the workshop seeks to showcase the opportunities digital tools offer for preserving and analyzing wartime testimonies. Through practical exercises, keynote lectures, panel discussions, and student presentations, participants will gain insight into utilizing digital tools effectively, enabling them to engage with testimonies in innovative and interdisciplinary ways. During the workshop the participants will explore existing digital archives housing wartime testimonies, especially regarding the ongoing Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but also the archives of Holocaust survivors’ testimonies as well as those who survived the civil war in Yugoslavia. Ethical considerations loom large in this discussion, with the project addressing the sensitive nature of working with wartime testimonies. Participants will explore issues of trauma, consent, and privacy and learn strategies for ethically collecting, preserving, and disseminating testimonies in a way that respects the dignity and agency of those involved while considering their own psychological well-being, too.

‘Post-’. The Past in the Present. CEFRES–CETOBaC Workshop

In 2024, the French Center for Research in Humanities and Social Studies (CEFRES) together with the institution reunited by its Platform – Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences will be CETOBaC’s guest during a one-day workshop.

Date: April 26 2024, 9 am–7 pm CET
Location: CETOBaC, Campus Condorcet, 14 cours des Humanités, Aubervilliers (Bât. recherche Nord, room 0.010)
Language: English, French
Organizers: Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES), Lucie Drechselová (CETOBaC, EHESS), Fabio Giomi (CETOBaC, EHESS)
Partner Institutions: CETOBaC, EHESS / CEFRES


9:00 – 9:15 – Greeting word

09:15 – 09:30 – Introduction

Marc Aymes, Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan, and Central Asian Studies (CNRS / EHESS, CETOBaC)

Mateusz Chmurski, French Center for Research in Social Sciences (CEFRES)

09:30 – 11:00 – ‘Post-’. Thinking the Present Through the Past

Moderator: Emmanuel Szurek (EHESS, CETOBaC)

  • Adrian Brisku (Charles University / Ilia State University), Imperial Political-Economic Legacies in New (Inter)national Economic Order: Albania, Czechoslovakia, and Georgia’s Foreign Trade Discourse and Policy after the Great War
  • Václav Šmidrkal (Czech Academy of Sciences / Charles University), ‘Post-’ and ‘Trans-’: the Legal Status of World War II veterans in Czechia after 1989
  • Jelena Božović (CEFRES / Charles University), Languages in a post-conflict multiethnic society: The interplay of official and unofficial policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina

11:00-11:30 – Break

11:30-13:00 – Memories. Reflecting on the Past in the Present

Moderator: Lucie Drechselová (CETOBaC, EHESS)

  • Marie Černá (Czech Academy of Sciences), The Czechoslovak Prague Spring of 1968 from the point of view of local communist actors
  • Anna Huláková (Charles University), Situated Knowledge, Feminist Frameworks of Analysis and Women’s Representation in the Post-Soviet Central Asia
  • Camille Leprince (EHESS, CETOBaC), La guerre d’Espagne comme représentation de l’escalade de violence en Syrie

13:00-14:30 – Lunch break 

14h30-16h00 – Reflecting on Genocidal and Mass Violence: Yesterday, Today

Moderator: Xavier Bougarel  (CNRS, CETOBaC)

  • Elif Karakaya (Rochester University / CETOBaC), Unfinished Empire: Place and Memory in Post-Ottoman Visual Art
  • Kateřina Králová (Charles University), Holocaust Ruins: Ethnography of Hirsch quarter in Thessaloniki 
  • Özgür Sevgi Goral (Gerda Henkel Stiftung / CETOBaC), Our Wound Runs Deep: Colonial Aphasia and the Memory Field in Turkey

16:30-18:00 – Behind the Scenes of Political Documentaries 

Moderator : Ilshat Saetov (EHESS, CETOBaC)

Screening of Robert Mihály, The Best Corner in the World (2022), 25’, and screening and discussion with the director Sibil Çekmen, On the Trail of Missing Documentaries (in preparation in 2024), 14’.

18:00 – Closing cocktail


The Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan, and Central-Asian Studies (CETOBaC) at the Parisian Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) examines the past and present situations of Turkish speaking people throughout the geographical area of Turkey, the regions that once formed part of the Ottoman Empire, and Central Asia. The Center’s work concerns not only this population group but also their relationships with their neighbors, and social, cultural, and political questions. For certain research questions, the Center extends its reach towards the east to include Iran, Afghanistan, and China, and, to the west, towards Central and Eastern Europe. CETOBaC brings together historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, linguists, and political scientists in 6 research areas: History of the Ottoman Empire; Contemporary Turkey; Balkans in the Contemporary Period; Central Asia and the Caucasus; Languages, Culture and Societies in the Turkish region; Islam and Sufism.
Each year, CETOBaC organizes an annual meeting with a research institution sharing similar scientific interests: these exchanges between researchers and provide a platform for discussing our research on the Balkans, Turkey, the Ottoman Empire and Central Asia in all disciplines.
The 2024 CEFRES-CETOBaC workshop will be structured around three main themes:

  1. Post-Ottoman, post-Habsburg, post-socialist. Thinking the past in the present.
    We will jointly explore the legacies left by the great imperial configurations that had such a profound impact on Central and Eastern European in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular attention will be paid to how these configurations not only influenced social structure, but also organized the field of social sciences. How do we think about the categories of the multiple “post-“? How do we construct them? By looking at the situated production of knowledge, this first section will address through concepts the institutionalization of “cultural areas” in France and Central and Eastern Europe. This section continues in a successful collaboration launched by Lucie Drechselová during her fellowship at CEFRES in September 2023, that resulted in a doctoral workshop entitled “Dynamics of Political Participation: Disciplinary knowledge through the prism of ‘area studies’”.
  2. Memory studies.
    Closely related to the first section, the second part of the day will explore memory studies. memory studies. The aim is to stimulate dialogue on current research devoted to the formation, preservation, transmission, contestation and forgetting of individual and collective memories. We will also address practices of commemoration and interpretation and interpretation of the past, as well as strategies for reconciliation and healing in post-conflict societies. This section will also examine from several angles the recurring theme of “nostalgia” that animates a multiplicity of the contexts in the post-Soviet and post-Ottoman spaces, as well as – to a lesser extent – in former Czechoslovakia.
  3. Social sciences in danger.
    The third part of the day will take the form of a round-table discussion, focusing on the difficulties facing our disciplines, both in France, in Eastern Europe and in Turkey. We will discuss the combined effects of funding cuts and government decisions restricting academic freedom, controlling research subjects, as well as limiting the dissemination of the dissemination of potentially politically disturbing results. This debate will be followed by the screening of a documentary.

Prague and Its Myths

Prague and Its Myths

Date: 5 April, 2024
Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague
Language: English and French

Sponsor institutions

  • CEFRES (Centre français de recherche en sciences sociales)
  • Institute of Sociological Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University
  • The Institute for Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Scientific and organising committee

  • Mateusz Chmurski
  • Michèle Baussant
  • Alessandro Testa


  • Jean Boutan, Eur’ORBEM, CNRS-Sorbonne Université
  • Tomáš Bubík, Palacky University Olomouc
  • Stanislav Holubec, Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Michèle Baussant, ISP CNRS-Paris Nanterre-ENS/CEFRES
  • Richard Müller, Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Marco PASI, University of Amsterdam
  • Jiří Pelán, FF Charles University
  • Alessandro Testa, FSV Charles University


10.00: Introduction

10.15-11.15: Magical Prague

Marco PASI (University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities), Prague: The City of Magic and Occultism
Alessandro TESTA (Charles University, ISS FSV UK/CEFRES), Praga Magica: The Late Modern Evolutions of a Cultural Myth

11.15-11.30: break 

11.45-12.45: Religious Prague

Tomáš BUBíK (Palacký University Olomouc, KSAKA FF UPol), Religious’ Prague : Scenes from selected Public Spaces (a Cemetery, a Square, a Museum)
Michèle BAUSSANT (Institut des sciences sociales du politique, ISP CNRS-Paris Nanterre-ENS/CEFRES), Une Prague des ? Entre renaissance de l’héritage juif et recréation d’une vie cultu(r)elle

12.45-13.00: Discussion

13.00- 14.30: Lunch break

14.30-16.00: Modern Prague

Jean BOUTAN (Cultures d’Europe orientale, balkanique et médiane, Eur’ORBEM, CNRS-Sorbonne Université), Libuše reine de Cacanie: la postérité d’un mythe d’un autre temps après 1918
Richard MÜLLER (Czech Academy of Sciences, ÚČL AVČR), Kafka, Simmel, and Writing the Metropolitan Mind
Stanislav HOLUBEC (Czech Academy of Sciences, HIÚ AVČR), The Myth of Working Class Prague: Between Communist Sacralization and Postcommunist Forgetting

16.00-16.15: Final discussion 


The workshop will explore the various declensions of the idea of Prague in modern and late modern times, with a focus on literature, social practices, religious phenomena, and heritage-making processes. These motifs or tropes are hereby defined as “myths”, borrowing from forms of both high and popular culture. They refer to specific images and traces of the contrasting and multifaceted pasts of Prague and its history. In particular, the city’s religious and esoteric heritage and its multicultural and ‘hinternational’ background, to use Urzidil’s phrase, now find renewed value as symbols of a shared Czech identity and history, with some places dignified as places of memory (“lieux de mémoire”) and others ignored or silenced (“lieux de l’oubli”), and their historical meanings partly recast.

Some of these myths provide an important platform for mass tourism, too, which, somewhat paradoxically, revives Jewish sites, but also other religious or legendary places as romanticised or “Disneyfied” spaces, consumed and partly disconnected from the living environments of memory.

The workshop aims to revisit these mythified pasts and their revival in Prague, with a particular focus on:

  • The myth of “Praga magica” the mystic city
  • The myth of Prague the “Traumreich” (Kafka, Meyrink, Ajvaz, Kubin, Crawford, etc.)
  • The myth of Prague the Jewish city
  • The myth of Prague the city of confrontation between Catholicism and its dissidents
  • The myth of Prague the multicultural and cosmopolitan city
  • The myth of Prague as a literary trope
  • The myth of Prague the post-communist city of mass tourism

What cultural trends have led to the valorisation of a mystical and esoteric past in a country that claims to be the most atheist in Europe? Or of a Jewish past in a place where there are very few Jews? Or of a cosmopolitanism that was partly eradicated after the Second World War? Using Ripellino’s renowned book Praga Magica, which was published 50 years ago, at the peak of the Soviet-imposed normalizace, as a starting point, we intend to revisit the often ambivalent social and cultural dynamics and transformations of Prague as reflected in literature, art, identity politics, old and new forms of religiosity and spirituality, and heritage making. We intend to explore these aspects and dynamics against the backdrop of the city’s communist past and neoliberal present.

Ancient Kings – Contemporary Politics

Ancient Kings – Contemporary Politics. Medievalism in Central and Eastern Europe

A workshop organized and supported by CEFRES, in collaboration with the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO).

Convenors : Olga Kalashnikova (CEU / CEFRES), Jan Kremer  (PedF UK, CEFRES associate)

Date : March 20, 2024
Location  : CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, 110 00 Prague 1, and online. To register
Language : English
Contacts : Olga Kalashnikova,; Jan Kremer,


9:00 – 9:10 Greeting word by Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES) and Václav Žůrek (GWZO Prague)

9:10 – 9:20 Introduction by the organizers (Jan Kremer, Olga Kalashnikova)

9:30 – 10:20 Keynote lecture: Dina Khapaeva, Political Neomedievalism in Putin’s Russia and Beyond

10:20 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 11:50 First Session

Cordelia Heß, Are Vikings Still a Thing? Popular and Far Right Use of the Nordic Middle Ages

Christoph Dartmann, Uses of the Middle Ages by the German ‘Alt Right’ in the 21st c.

Karin Reichenbach, Popular Paganism and Malicious Medievalism. Early Medieval Reenactment as Part of Radical Right-Wing Subculture in Central Europe

11:50 – 12:00 Coffee break

12:00 – 13:20 Second Session

Ferenc Kanyó, Pseudohistorical Theories about Medieval Hungary in the Services of the goverment

Tatyjana Szafonova, The Hungarian Big Kurultaj: Diplomatic Negotiations amid Medieval Reenactments

Gábor Klaniczay, Orbán Descendant of Attila? The Theory of Hun-Hungarian Kinship Reloaded

13:20 – 14:00 Lunch break

14:00 – 15:00 Third Session

Martin Šorm, “New Neutral”? Political Medievalism in Contemporary Czechia

Matej Harvát, Great-Moravian Tradition as an Anti-Progressive Banal Medievalism in Slovak Contemporary Public Discourse

15:00 – 15:20 Coffee break

15:20 – 16:40 Fourth Session

Cristian-Nicolae Gaspar, In the Long Shadow of National Communism: Traditions of Officially-sponsored Political Medievalism in Romania

Gustavs Strenga, Is There no Contemporary Political Medievalism in the Baltics? Baltic Medieval Legacy between Oblivion, Consumerism and Geopolitics

Nikita Bogachev, Neo-medievalism, Fantasy Literature, and Chronopolitics in Modern Russia

16:40 – 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 Conclusion


Continue reading Ancient Kings – Contemporary Politics

Workshop: Care of the habitat

Care of the Habitat. Between Infrastructure Maintenance and Attention to Living Beings

Location: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague
Date: 19–20 October 2023
Language: English

Organized by :


Scientific Committee :
Chloé Mondémé (Triangle, CNRS / CEFRES)
Petr Gibas (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences / CEFRES)
Mateusz Chmurski (CEFRES)
Ange Pottin (University of Vienna / CEFRES)

Please see the program here below and download the program here.

Continue reading Workshop: Care of the habitat

In the interstices of European citizenship (2)

In the interstices of European citizenship. The transnational political mobilization of intra-European migrants in the European Union. II.

The multidisciplinary research workshop is organised in partnership between the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin and CEFRES in Prague. It aims to bring together specialists in migration, European citizenship and transnational political practices to discuss the question of the ordinary relations of intra-European migrants to the policies of diaspora implemented, according to very different modalities, by their country of origin.

Session 2 (22.06.2022): CEFRES, Na Florenci 3 – Prague

When: Wednesday 22nd June, 14:30–18:30
Where: CEFRES Library, Prague & online on Zoom
Language: English
Organised by:
 Prague                                                                                                                     Cédric Pellen (University of Strasbourg/Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin)

You can download the updated program here.
See the description & program below.

Continue reading In the interstices of European citizenship (2)