Georgi Verbeeck, born in Brecht, Belgium, in 1961. Ph.D. from KU Leuven. Professor of German History, KU Leuven and Associate Professor of Modern History, Maastricht University.
Fellow (1 September 2012 – 31 January 2013)
TERRORSCAPES. TRANSNATIONAL MEMORY OF TOTALITARIAN TERROR AND GENOCIDE IN POST-WAR EUROPE
My NIAS Fellowship was part of a broader theme group “Terrorscapes. Transnational Memory of Totalitarian Rule, Terror and Mass Violence in Postwar Europe”, coordinated by Rob van der Laarse and myself. “Terrorscapes” was set up as a truly transdisciplinary and transnational research project aiming at a critical analysis of places and times of twentieth-century terror and mass violence in Europe, and the ways how they are presented, interpreted and represented. What we sought to understand was what happened as well as how the space-times of memory have been collectively remembered, instrumentalized and/or forgotten. Special attention was given to the so called spatial turn in the historical and cultural studies: through geographical spaces and scales, material culture and landscapes, mediated ‘scapes’, national and regional heritage claims, and transcultural processes the multi-facetted reality of our collective memory is analyzed and critically discussed. My own role and contribution to the theme group was twofold: I acted as coordinator of the group (together with Rob van der Laarse) and I embarked on a personal project in which I wanted to elaborate on a historical, historiographical and political-theoretical analysis of the totalitarianism paradigm in post-1989 Europe.