Learning about (Post)Socialist Space: Concepts and Media of the Geographical Education in Former Socialist Countries

Sofia Gavrilova, Philipp Meyer, Jana Moser (all SFB 1199 & IfL Leipzig) & Steffi Marung (SFB 1199 & Leipzig University)

The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL Leipzig) together with the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1199) “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” is hosting an interdisciplinary workshop dedicated to the system of geographical education in former socialist countries.

We are interested to explore the way geographical and spatial knowledge about post-socialist countries and the other parts of the world was (and is) constructed in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries and how it has been integrated in educational systems over the last century. We aim to capture a wide means of educations – from school education (textbooks, images, photography, maps and atlases) to public education (museums, media, art and state propaganda). We also seek to analyze the system of education on spatial knowledge itself by approaching various institutions, policies and actors, the knowledge transfer between (post)- Soviet countries and Eastern Europe, and the implementation and appropriation of the knowledge and ideas.

We are interested to explore transregional knowledge, and to understand what knowledge about the world was considered to be important for school and public education. We are also seeking to explore how this knowledge was contested or questioned on the backdrop of the processes of decolonization and distancing from Soviet legacy. We are aiming to capture the diverse landscape of the spatial education concepts and policies to answer whether we can talk about socialist spatial language, or sovietization of the spatial knowledge and their visual representations in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics.

You can find the program of the workshop here.