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Summer School: The Borders of Friendship. Transnational Tourism between East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia | Call for Applications

Ausschreibende Einrichtung

Museum für Utopie und Alltag, Eisenhüttenstadt


Anthropologie Kulturwissenschaft Geschichtswissenschaft Internationale Beziehungen Sonstige Slawistik


Area Studies Ostmitteleuropa Zeitgeschichte Junge Wissenschaftler:innen Deutsch-polnische Beziehungen Geschichte der Volksrepublik Polen


The Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies will hold its the sixth annual Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies from June 27–July 9, 2022. This program is designed for up to 15 university-level (post-doctoral, doctoral, graduate or advanced undergraduate) researchers interested in Central European studies broadly defined. This year’s summer school will offer graduate level seminars on Central European studies, as well as a week-long excursion along the “borders of friendship” between former East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

The Summer School is designed for academically driven students in the advanced phases of their research (advanced BA, MA, and PhD students, as well as Post-Docs). In previous years, we have had students from four continents and from the best international universities spend six weeks in Frankfurt/Oder and Słubice. This year, we will spend two weeks between Frankfurt Oder, and travel through Poland and Czechia.

The focus of this year’s Summer School is “The Borders of Friendship. Transnational Tourism between East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.” The Borders of Friendship was a transnational project that developed shortly after the Prague Spring. The leaders of East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia moved to liberalize travel regulations to each respective country. They envisioned allowing East bloc citizens the freedom to travel without a visa and without a passport in ways similar to other regions in Europe. The program was vastly more successful than planners envisioned before borders were opened: tens of millions of Poles, East Germans, and Czechoslovaks went abroad. The “Borders of Friendship” was the first project after World War II in the East which brought ordinary people in contact with foreigners at a mass scale. Traveling abroad, these tourists were confronted with uncomfortable pasts and discrimination. At the same time, they enjoyed the “fruits” of really existing socialism, consuming and trading while on family trips to East Berlin, Prague, or Warsaw. All the while, they were negotiating a new identity as modern consumers and members of a transnational society. The summer school is in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum Utopie und Alltag which centers on the ways in which three East bloc societies reacted to the new influx of travelers and consumers.


The Summer School is made up of three main parts: an advanced research seminar in Frankfurt Oder/Eisenhüttenstadt, a week excursion through former East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and specialist lectures.

During the first week, days will be dedicated to reliving the “borders of friendship.” We will travel from Frankfurt Oder to Prague, crossing the border on multiple occasions. Students will learn about the region through colloquia, films, invited regional and international guest lectures, as well as special events. The second week will be focused on Eisenhüttenstadt and Frankfurt Oder, where we will learn about the making and executing of an exhibition, also through compact seminars.


The Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies prides itself on offering a rich program in Central European studies at an affordable price. We are currently in the application process of subsidizing the travel and program. We should know the price at the end of April in any case, the Summer School will be offered at a reduced rate.

  • Summer School Lectures, Seminars: Free of Charge
  • Transportation from Frankfurt Oder to Prague and back: ca. 150 €
  • Accommodation in Słubice (in single rooms), 3-9 July: ca. 120 €
  • Accommodation (in double accommodation) from 27 June-3 July: ca. 150 €
  • Single accommodation on request

The Summer School is funded by the Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung so that up to 15 students can participate at reduced costs.


To apply to the Summer School, please submit an academic CV, cover letter, and a statement of purpose (ca. 1000 words). Be sure to state the reason why you are interested in the subject, your degree level, and the languages that you speak. Please also enroll at and fill out as much information as possible about your academic interests.

All materials should be sent via email to:

Review of applications will begin on May 2, 2022, and will continue until May 13. You will be notified starting May 9, 2022 about your acceptance. If you submit your application later than May 2, then you will be notified shortly thereafter.

If you need a visa to stay in Europe, we can issue a letter of acceptance that should help you apply.

More detailed information here.

Weitere Angaben

Dr. Mark Keck-Szajbel


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