Black Sea Symposium: Looking back on 12 years of targeted research support from VolkswagenStiftung at the New Europe College

Event: Symposium

Location: NEC conference hall

11 June 2022, 9.30-15.30 (Bucharest time)

In 2010, the New Europe College started, with funding from the VolkswagenStiftung and academic support from the Wissen­schafts­kolleg zu Berlin, a fellowship program called Black Sea Link (BSL) for scholars from Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as from other countries around the Black Sea. Young researchers in the humanities and social sciences were invited to NEC for a stay of one or two terms, during which they had the opportunity to work on projects of their choice. In the course of the next five years, 34 scholars took advantage of this opportunity, enlarging and diversifying the community of NEC fellows, turning NEC into a lively and stimulating academic platform for scholars from West and East, North and South. Annual workshops were organized on topics relevant to the history and the present, problems and prospects of the Black Sea region, bringing together young specialists and renowned experts on the questions addressed.

In 2015, the VolkswagenStiftung generously granted a prolongation and extension of the program: The new Pontica Magna (PoM) fellowships were offered also to Turkish scholars and to media professionals, writers and artists from the Black Sea region, enriching even more the NEC community. An additional, highly ap­preci­at­ed element of Pontica Magna was the opportunity for alumnae and alumni of both Black Sea fellow­ship programs to apply for short ‘freshen-up’ stays at NEC. By this module, channels of communication and academic cooperation were created and oiled within the wide network of researchers that NEC has built. In the past six years, 43 new PoM fellows and 20 PoM returning fellows have lived and worked at the institute in Bucharest and have contributed to establishing NEC as a radiating and respected center for research in the histories, cultures and societies of the wider Black Sea area.

As the PoM program comes to an end in summer 2022, we wish to bring together those who were involved in the course of the years, to take a look back and reflect on what has been achieved.



     Opening remarks

10:00  Discussion with Black Sea Link / Pontica Magna Alumni
Panel 1, moderated by Constantin Ardeleanu (NEC):
Fellowships and Research Promotion: What are the relevant and efficient elements for early career scholars?

11:30  Discussion with Black Sea Link / Pontica Magna Alumni
Panel 2, moderated by Hanna Denecke (VolkswagenStiftung):
Characteristics of Academia in Black Sea Countries, and What are the Specific Needs?

14:30  Discussion with Black Sea Link / Pontica Magna Alumni
Panel 3, moderated by Annabella Hüfler-Fick (VolkswagenStiftung):
Bringing together Artists and Scholars – Motivations, Challenges, Benefits?