Welcome to the Transformative Podcast, which takes the year 1989 as a starting point to think about social, economic,
and cultural transformations in the wake of deep historical caesuras on a European and global scale.

This podcast is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
and is available on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyAmazon Music/AudibleListenNotesPodBean

We thank Radio ORANGE for lifting us off with our podcasting efforts through their public training program.

For questions and comments on this podcast, please contact the podcast producer Irena Remestwenski
at irena.remestwenski(at)univie.ac.at.

Episode 33: Past and Present: Migration, Crisis and Public History in Poland


With the unfolding crisis at the Polish-Belarussian border, and the Russian war against Ukraine, Polish society, public opinion and policy-makers have been confronted with critical challenges of migration and displacement. This is a new stage in Poland's rich history of migration, which until recently was dominated by large outflows and limited inflows. In this episode, Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu talks to prof. Dariusz Stola (Polish Academy of Sciences) in order to unpack the historical entanglements of migration, Jewish history, minority studies, and contemporary public history in Poland.
Dariusz Stola is a historian and professor at the Institute for Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. He has researched Poland's political and social history in the twentieth century, particularly Polish-Jewish relations, international migrations and the communist regime, as well as the memory of these pasts. He has authored numerous articles and six books. In 2014-2019 he was the director of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Episode 32: Sexologists in Socialist Czechoslovakia


Experts enjoyed a great deal of authority in state socialist Eastern Europe - but some experts were more equal than others. In this episode of the Transformative Podcast, sociologist Kateřina Lišková charts the changing ways in which medical experts held “the ear of the state” throughout the socialist period, and analyzes what they did with their room to maneuver. Focusing on the work of sexologists in particular, Lišková tells host Rosamund Johnston (RECET) what sex and home life can ultimately reveal about the political priorities of socialism.

Kateřina Lišková is a researcher at the Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, where she heads a project investigating expertise in authoritarian societies called ExpertTURN. She is the author of Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945-1989, which was published with Cambridge University Press in 2018 and won the Barbara Heldt Prize. This book has been adapted into a series of short, critically-acclaimed documentaries for Czech Television called Kronika orgasmu [Orgasm Chronicle] (2022), in which Lišková features as an expert.

Episode 31: Churches in Ukraine

16:49 – 01.02.2023

Part of Ukraine's ongoing struggle for independence from Russia is the establishment of a Ukrainian Orthodox church independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. Already before the full-scale Russian invasion of 24 February 2022, this resulted in a fragmented church landscape, which in the wake of the invasion has become ever more politicized. In this episode, historian Yuliya Yurchuk (Södertörn University) will discuss the origins and implications of this complex situation, as well as the role that the different Ukrainian churches have played in the process of nation-building.

Yuliya Yurchuk is a Senior Lecturer of History at Södertörn University, Sweden. She specializes in memory studies, history of religion, history of knowledge, and the study of nationalism in East European countries. She is the author of the book Reordering of Meaningful Worlds: Memory of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Post-Soviet Ukraine (Acta 2014) and one of the editors of “Memory and Religion from a Postsecular Perspective” (Routledge, 2022, co-edited with Zuzanna Bogumil).  Her articles have appeared in Memory Studies, Nationalities Papers, Europe-Asia Studies, Nordisk Østforum, Baltic Worlds, Ukraina Moderna, etc. In 2022 Yurchuk was granted funding by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies for her research project "From Sweden with Love: Circulation and interpretation of Ellen Key’s ideas about sexuality, love, motherhood, and education in the late Russian Empire and the early Soviet Union (1890-1930s)". She will be working on the project from 2023 to 2026.

Episode 30: Dialectics of (Im)Mobility: Historical Transformations Through the Lens of Movement

17:38 – 12.01.2023

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced governments across the world to rethink (free) movement of peoples and things, and to revise mobility regimes in the face of new constraints. This is not a new phenomenon, argues Steffi Marung (University of Leipzig)  in this episode of the Transformative Podcast.  To a certain extent, each moment of major socio-economic or political transformation in the 20th century has been also characterised by a change in our understanding of, and attitudes towards, mobility. In conversation with Anna Calori (RECET), Dr. Marung reflects on how we can better understand historical transformations and caesuras by looking at mobilities.

Dr. Steffi Marung is director of the Global and European Studies Institute of Leipzig University. Currently, her research addresses socialist mobilities of activists and experts from Eastern Europe and the Global South during the 20th century, while she works on a book project investigating Soviet African Studies during the Cold War. Together with James Mark and Artemy Kalinovsky, she has co-authored and co-edited the volume Alternative Globalizations: Encounters between the Eastern Bloc and the Postcolonial World (Indiana University Press, 2020).

Episode 29: Guns and Globalisation

16:01 – 14.12.2022

If arms exports often rely on production processes and transportation networks spanning multiple countries, then their regulation has historically taken place at the level of the state. In this episode of the Transformative Podcast, Ned Richardson-Little (University of Erfurt) discusses this paradox and its effects on different groups involved in the arms trade with Rosamund Johnston (RECET). He also reflects on why it makes little sense to view the officially-sanctioned and “illicit” arms trades through separate lenses, and on how historians might take morality into account when writing about global arms sales.

Ned Richardson-Little is a Freigeist Fellow at the University of Erfurt. He leads a team investigating “The Other Global Germany: Deviant Globalization and Transnational Criminality in the 20th Century,” in which he is researching the export and regulation of arms and narcotics. Richardson-Little has a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the author of The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge University Press 2020).