Giving Refugee Researchers a New Academic Home

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Fellows and mentors of the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile at last year’s Wi
Fellows and mentors of the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile at last year’s Winter School. - This year, the CBA is focusing on the historical and current situation of researchers in exile. © University of Bonn/ Volker Lannert all images in original size .

CBA hosts winter school welcoming representative from Herder Institute and Nobel Peace Laureate

For its second winter school, the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile (CBA) will be joined by researchers from various departments to examine the situation facing researchers in exile in the past and present. The academy’s fellows-all refugee researchers from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus-will present their research projects, while a number of experts have been invited to give lectures. The speakers will include Jürgen Warmbrunn from the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg and Irina Shcherbakova, co-founder of the human rights organization Memorial, which was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

The second CBA winter school will examine the social, political, cultural and academic dimensions of the current situation facing academics in exile from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The researchers invited to take part will also explore people’s experiences of exile sparked by conflicts outside Eastern Europe and will place their findings in a historical context. The winter school gives the CBA’s fellows the chance to contribute their own experiences to working groups and panel discussions, reflect with their colleagues on ideas of what an academy in exile should ideally be and ponder what the future might hold for research in exile.

"As well as an academic home, we also want to give the refugee researchers space to consider their own experience as researchers in exile, not least in the sense of entangled history, for example," explains Professor Birgit Ulrike Münch, Vice Rector for International Affairs at the University of Bonn. "I’m delighted that we’ll be shining a light on this highly topical issue at our four-day winter school in the company of some illustrious experts, including the Nobel Peace Laureate and Memorial co-founder Irina Shcherbakova."

Public lectures
The general public are invited to attend the opening event and two lectures at the winter school on Monday, January 22, 2024:
  • 9:30 am to 11 am: Public Opening-Welcome and Introduction (Rector Professor Michael Hoch, Professor Birgit Ulrike Munch, Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn) (arrival and registration at 9 am)
  • 11:30 am to 12:30 pm: Keynote Lecture and Discussion-Professor Werner Gephart and Daria Vystavkina: "Science in Exile: Some Ambivalences of a Stranger in Society"
  • 4:15 pm to 5:45 pm: Public Lecture and Discussion-Jürgen Warmbrunn (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe-Institute of the Leibniz Association): "From the Baltic Sea to the Marburg Castle Hill-Baltic Exile Collections in the Herder Institute as both Academic Resources and Places of Memory"


Both lectures will be given in the Universitätsforum in Bonn at Heussallee 18-24. The conference will be held in English.

About the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile
The CBA was set up by the Universities of Bonn and Cologne in summer 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It aims to offer refugee researchers an academic home and help them to continue their research in exile. This year’s winter school will take place on two days each in Bonn and Cologne. More information is available at https://www.cologne-bonn-aca­demy-in-ex­ile.de/en.