On January 8-10, 2024, the third in person meeting of the entire Spectral Recycling Team took place. This time, we met in Warsaw. On Monday, we discussed our plans for the new year. Since we plan to continue our field and archival work this year, it was crucial to make some plans in advance. We had a chance to follow with our analyses, especially what “post-German” can mean in the context of post-displacement regions of Czechia, Poland and Slovakia. In the evening, we decided to see the illumination on the Royal Route, which refers to the Christmas decorations popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Such a way to make some more conversation on the meaning of things in Central European pasts!
The next day was an opportunity to present preliminary research results to a wider audience. The presentation took place during an open seminar of the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies of the Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. It had a hybrid form. Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, Karina Hoření and Michal Korhel together gave a presentation entitled “Introduction to Ghost-Hunting. Spectral Objects, Recycling Strategies and Human-Nonhuman Relationships in Post-Displacement Regions of Czechia, Poland and Slovakia”. In the presentation, each of the theoretical concepts we work on was presented on the basis of one case study from each studied region. Thus, we talked about Czech ghosts, Polish recycling strategies and the role of non-human actors in the resettlement in Slovakia. Questions for the Team members concerned, among others: the layers of recycling that we investigate, whether we meet friendly or unfriendly ghosts, what emotions accompany the people we interview, what challenges we face and whether we have already had first successes and failures, regarding the original assumptions.
The meeting was followed by a workshop with dr hab. Dobrochna Kałwa, from the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw. Our conversation focused on oral history as the basis for conducting interviews (more information about our last workshop you can find here). This topic is constantly present in our considerations and we are planning further meetings with ethnologists and historians concerning that matter.
Wednesday we spent on summarizing three days of meetings and planning the new year. It was also an opportunity to determine how we want to follow with the knowledge acquired during workshops on using the MAXQDA program (more about our training here). We also had the opportunity to reflect on the current method of collecting materials, both field and archival.
We are looking forward to new challenges and promise to share with you our discoveries, successes, but also the difficulties we encounter. We encourage you to follow our website and Facebook profile (link).