First RECET History and Social Science Festival "Transformations of Freedom", 21.-24.06.2022
Organiser: Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET), University of Vienna.

Event timing: All times are in the Central European Time (CET) format.

Please use this form to register for the ONLINE broadcast. If you would like to attend in person, no registration is needed and entrance is free.

There is ONE Zoom link for the whole event. For statistical purposes, we ask you below to indicate the sessions you would like to attend.

Location: Festival tent, Campus of the University of Vienna („Altes AKH“), Hof 1

“Freedom” is a key term of our time. The revolutions of 1989 marked the alleged triumph of the “free world”. The European Union is founded on “four freedoms.” And also the much discussed (and much criticized) neoliberalism carries freedom in its name. There is economic freedom and political freedom, individual and collective freedom, freedom of speech, of the arts and of scholarship.

Freedom thus has many dimensions. Yet freedom is also ambivalent. During the Covid-crisis it has to be balanced against other public goods like health and security.  “Liberté” and “égalité” do not necessarily go together: in Eastern Europe, the experience of freedom since 1989 has also been an experience of growing inequality. Chinese-style authoritarian capitalism demonstrates that economic and political freedom are not mutually constitutive. And in Europe, too, political freedom is under threat by anti-democratic tendencies.

In this first RECET Social Science and History Festival, high-profile voices from academia, politics, civil society, the arts and culture will discuss these multiple dimensions and contradictions of freedom and its many transformations over the past years and decades. These lectures, debates, and panel discussions will be accompanied by an attractive cultural program.


Tuesday, 21.06.2022

15:00-15:30: Opening
Prof. Sebastian Schütze (des. Rektor), Dr. Eva Nowotny (Universitätsrat), Prof. Philipp Ther (RECET)

15:30-17:00: What Unfreedom Can Teach us about Freedom
Prof. Christoph Möllers (HU Berlin), Moderation: Prof. Claudia Kraft (Universität Wien)
The event will take place in German

17:00-18:30: The Great Exodus: On (Un-)Freedom in Putin’s Russia
Dr. Irina Scherbakowa (Memorial), Moderation: Irena Remestwenski (RECET)
The event will take place in German

Followed by a reception with music by Andrej Prozorov (Ukraine)


Wednesday, 22.06.2022

14:30-16:15: Freedom in Times of “Big Tech” and “Big Data”
Roundtable discussion with Dr. Janina Loh (Stabsstelle Ethik, Liebenau-Stiftung), Sarah Kriesche (Ö1), Ole Nymoen (independent journalist, Jena), Prof. em. Hannes Werthner (TU Wien), Moderation: Dr. Magdalena Baran-Szołtys (RECET)
The event will take place in German

16:30-18:00: The Freedom to be Mobile: Borders and Border Controls in the 21st Century
Prof. Steffen Mau (HU Berlin), Moderation: Prof. Dorothee Bohle (University of Vienna)
The event will take place in German

18:30-20:00: Freedom of Literature. Literature of Freedom
Reading and discussion with Kateryna Babkina (writer, Ukraine), Sylwia Chutnik (writer, Poland), Nils Strunk (actor at Burgtheater, Vienna), and texts by Serhij Zhadan (writer, Ukraine), Moderation: Dr. Magdalena Baran-Szołtys (RECET)
The discussion will take place in English. German and English translations will be available for all texts read.

20:15: Movie Screening: “Ukrainian Sheriffs” (original with English subtitles)
with a video greeting by director Roman Bondarchuk (Ukraine)


Thursday, 23.06.2022

14:30-16:15: China and the Chinese People’s Search for Freedom during the 20th Century
Roundtable discussion with Dr. Federico Pachetti (Corvinus University Budapest), Dr. Amanda Zhang (St. Andrew’s University), Yitong Qiu (London School of Economics), Moderation: Prof. Sabrina Habich-Sobiegalla (FU Berlin)

16:30-18:00: Against the World: Anti-Globalism and “Freedom” in Interwar Europe
Prof. Tara Zahra (University of Chicago), Moderation: Prof. Peter Becker (University of Vienna)

19:00-21:00: Concert: Isama Zing (Slovakia)


Friday, 24.06.2022

14:30-16:15: Illiberal Economies? On Economic Freedom in Poland and Hungary
Discussion with Prof. Júlia Kiraly (former vice president of the Hungarian National Bank) and Prof. Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (former president of the Polish Central Bank and Mayor of Warsaw), Moderation: Dr. Lars Fredrik Stöcker (RECET)

16:30-18:15: Freedom and Unfreedom of Movement: Perspectives on Migration and Transformation
Roundtable discussion with Natalia Gebert (Foundation "Open House"), Prof. Manuela Bojadžijev (HU Berlin), Prof. Jannis Panagiotidis (RECET), Moderation: Dr. Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu (RECET)

18:30: Movie Screening: „The Other Side of Everything“ (Original with English subtitles)
With a discussion with director Mila Turajilic (Serbia), Moderation: Dr. Anna Calori (RECET)

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