Dynamic relationships between collective identity, nationalism, and collective memory; the political use of the past in the present, and, on politics of representation.
East-Central Europe, Silesia
Johana completed her doctoral research at the University of Oxford in 2018 with a thesis entitled Silesian Identity: The Interplay of Memory, History and Borders, in which she provided an ethnographic account of contemporary Opavian Silesian identity (or identities) and its negations. She investigated how Silesian identity is being negotiated by various social actors in and between the town of Opava, inhabited by ‘Císaráci’, and the neighbouring area of Hlučín, inhabited by ‘Prajzáci’. The competing representations of Silesian-ness and competing reconstructions of the past were analysed through Gerd Baumann’s theoretical framework of ‘dominant v. demotic discourse’ and Sharon Macdonald’s notion of ‘difficult heritage’.
In the academic year 2017-18, Johana was a Mellon-Sawyer Postgraduate Fellow, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Within this post, and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, she co-organised Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series throughout the academic year. The Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation Seminar Series were held jointly at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. A publication based on the Seminar Series named On Commemoration (eds. Gilbert at al., Oxford: Peter Lang) is forthcoming.