Memory Politics Team

Team Lead at the University of Victoria, Canada

Dr. Oliver Schmidtke is director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. He is a UVic European Studies Scholar and a former Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics in the Departments of History and Political Science at the University of Victoria. He received his PhD from the European University Institute (EUI, Florence) in 1995. He then worked at Humboldt University Berlin (1995-1998) and held a J.F. Kennedy post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Since 1999 he has been at the University of Victoria. During this time he was a research fellow at the University of Bonn, a Fernand Braudel Senior Scholar at the EUI (2007) and Marie Curie Fellow at Hamburg University (2011). Oliver is author or editor of fourteen books and has published over 80 articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes. Over the last 10 years he has been a driving force in promoting European and EU Studies at UVic and in Canada: From 2005 to 2008 he was the Director of European Studies at UVic and from 2004-2006 he served as the president of the European Community Studies Association Canada. In addition, he was the Domain Leader for Metropolis BC (2008-2012) and the leader of the Canada-wide research group for the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue project (2007-2013) organizing comparative transatlantic research in the fields of migration and citizenship studies.

Academic Coordinators at European Universities

Dr. Beata Halicka is a professor of contemporary history at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She lectured at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) between 2006 and 2014 and was a visiting professor at the universities in Calgary (2014), Chicago (2015) und in 2016 in El Paso (USA). She is author or editor of eight books and has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes. For the study Polish Wild West. Forced Migration and Cultural Appropriation in the Polish-German Borderlands, 1945-1948 she received the Identities Prize 2016 for the best historical book in Poland.  Her recent book Life in the Borderlands: Z. Anthony Kruszewski – A Biography has been published by Polish Academy of Science in 2019. Her research interests include nationalism, forced migrations, constructions of identities in border regions, collective memory, German-Polish relations, Polish diaspora in the world. More information on her website.

Dr. Ildikó Barna is Associate Professor of Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Social Sciences in Budapest where she also serves as a Head of the Department of Social Research Methodology. She received a PhD in Sociology from ELTE in 2009. Dr Barna has written a number of publications, including Political Justice in Budapest after World War II, co-authored with Andrea Pető (CEU Press, 2015). Her presentations include: “Hungarian Postwar Justice through the People’s Tribunal of Budapest: Quantitative Research on Archival Data,” at The Holocaust in Eastern Europe in the Records of the International Tracing Service Digital Archive in 2014 at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., and “Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Rehabilitation Path of Hungarian Jewish Displaced Children Within a Digital Humanities Framework Using the ITS Digital Archive”, Life in the Aftermath – Displaced Children and Child Survivors on the Move. New Approaches in Education and Research Conference. Dachau, in 2016. In the Fall of 2015, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC where she conducted research on her project, “Analysing Hungarian Jewish Displaced Persons using the International Tracing Service (ITS) Archive: An Interdisciplinary Approach.”

Dr. Birte Wassenberg is Professor in Contemporary History at the Institute for Political Studies (IEP) of the University of Strasbourg and member of the Research Institute for History Raymond Poidevin at the UMR Dynamiques européennes. She holds a Jean Monnet Chair and is director of the Master in International Relations. From 1993 to 2006 she was responsible for cross-border cooperation at the Région Alsace. She teaches on International Relations, Border studies, regionalism, the history of European Integration and Franco-German Relations. She is also a former student from the College of Europe, promotion Charles IV, (1992-1993).

Assistants to the Academic Coordinators at European Universities

Scholars in Canada

Matt James studies the politics of reparation and transitional justice and also has expertise in the fields of Canadian politics, constitutionalism, and social movement studies. He is the author of Misrecognized Materialists: Social Movements in Canadian Constitutional Politics (University of British Columbia Press) and has published on reparation, memory, and political apology in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Citizenship Studies, Human Rights Review, and International Journal of Transitional Justice. He also produced for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada a major research report on truth commissions, victims, and perpetrators around the world.

Students under his supervision have received significant honours, including the Fulbright Scholarship and the SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He is able to supervise students working on collective memory, transitional justice, reparations, political apologies, social movement politics, hatred and responses to hatred, and Canadian constitutionalism and citizenship.

Research Interests: truth commission reports, apologies, social accountability, community responses to acts of hate, and political critique of contemporary mainstream anti-hate discourses.

Project Management and Collaborators – University of Victoria