Alumni Fellow

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel: +49 (0)203 379-5241
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: gajdosova@spam


Jaroslava Gajdošová joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Postdoc Fellow. She conducted her research in Research Unit 2 “Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Cooperation” from September 2013 to August 2014.

Research Project at the Centre

Transitional Justice and Collective Memory between Impunity and Oblivion: Cultural Translation of Global Justice in Czech and East German Postcommunist Transition

Jaroslava’s research project studies phenomenon of justice in a period of postcommunist transition. It focuses on lapses in memory, misinterpretations of past events and miscomprehensions of recent injustices and on how they have produced distorted images of totalitarian past and misinformed its political and cultural reiterations.

Transitional justice begins to take place at a paradoxical moment when a society is caught up between two seemingly dissimilar traumas—one that results from a society’s recent experience with authoritarian regime and the other one that results from a loss of that regime. In postcommunist societies, this dyadic structure of trauma has reverberated in their future trajectories and, among other factors, it facilitated, hindered, or distorted outcomes of reparatory justice. Implementation of transitional justice and molding of collective memory about communism were co-dependent variables that facilitated postcommunist subject’s understanding of a changing social world. Vis-à-vis postcommunist subject, both variables simultaneously operated as structuring and structured structures that organized “categories of perception and schemata of classification” of a rapidly transforming social reality (Bourdieu, 1989:20).  Collective memory and transitional justice operated as structuring structures when they determined which memories about former regime’s injustices will be retained and how these injustices will be classified, interpreted, understood, and punished. In these processes, postcommunist subject (habitus) acted within its positions in the relations of power. In postcommunist societies, power relations were reshaped and sustained on local levels where they informed local authorities’ understanding of transitional justice and those cognitive schemata further shaped local policies and practice of justice. Local practices often blurred a line between just and unjust by rendering injustices of communist regime relative, untraceable, remote or unintelligible.

This research explores cultural contexts of Czech and post-GDR societies in which transitional justice took place and similarities and differences in its outcomes. The research will examine culturally specific understandings of reparatory justice and distinction between justice and injustices, which have resounded in collective memory and in cultural goods through which that memory is sustained. Locus of this research lies in an empirical study of literary and cinematic narratives in the Czech Republic, which have shaped society’s memory of communism and its past injustices and these outcomes will be compared with narrated and practiced memory that has permeated a post-GDR society.

Research Interests

  • Posttotalitarian Societies and Democracy
  • Collective Identity and Memory
  • Social Condition, Habitus, Gender
  • Critical Theory and Phenomenology

Current Projects

  • Transitional Justice and Collective Memory between Impunity and Oblivion: Cultural Translation of Global Justice in Czech and East German Postcommunist Transition
  • Democracy and Power - series of articles co-authored with Jeffrey Goldfarb, New School for Social Research (upcoming)
  • "Reiterating the Trauma: Politics of Memory in the German literary Field" (book manuscript)


since 09/2011 New York University in Prague
Department of Sociology
since 09/2010 Anglo-American University, Prague
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Assistant Professor
05/2009-06/2009 Freie Universität Berlin
Institute for Eastern Europe
Dissertation Research
04/2007-05/2007 Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
Institute of Political Sciences
Dissertation Research
09/2003-01/2010 New School for Social Research, New York
Ph.D. Programme in Sociology
Dissertation Title: "Literary Field as a Question of Collective Identity: the German Case"


Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2010): Literary Field as a Question of Collective Identity: the German Case, UMI: Proquest LLC

Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2008): Literary Field and the Question of Method – Revisited, in: Qualitative Sociology Review, Vol. 4 (2): 83-105

Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2007): Social Mnemonics of Style: A Comparative Study of Günter Grass’ Novella Crabwalk and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in: Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, Vol. 7 (4):  1-16

Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2006): Beyond the German Narrative of Guilt: Two Perspectives, in: New German Review, University of California, Berkeley, Vol. 20 (2006): 120-135

Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2005): Literary Style and Literary Doxa from Perspectives of Bourdieu and Husserl, in: Re/Fusing Structures: A Sociological Journal, New School for Social Research, Vol. 12: 23-37

Gajdošová, Jaroslava (2005): Collective Identities and European Integration, in: TCDS Bulletin, spring Vol. 3: 42-60

Teaching Responsibilities

NYU Prague, Sociology Program:

  • Gender in Transition in the Czech Republic
  • Memory and Identity in Postcommunist Transition

Anglo-American University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Introduction to Sociological Theories
  • Qualitative Sociological Methods
  • Surveillant Societies
  • Art and Ideology 1933-1989
  • Culture, Identity and Film
  • Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Advisor and Committee Member, WASC Accreditation Committee at AAU (Anglo-American University)
  • Advisor and Committee Member, Curriculum Committee at AAU

Seminars and Conferences

  • “Praxis of Art and Memory: Field Theory Revisited”, Paper presented at “Artistic Practices”, European Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sociology of the Arts Conference, Vienna, 2012
  • “Multiple Narratives of Identity in German Collective Memory”, Paper presented at “Philosophy and Social Sciences Conference” at the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Villa Lanna, Prague, 2008
  • “Die Gruppe 48 and the Politics of Style: Literary Construction of German Collective Memory”, Paper presented at the workshop series on “Deliberative Politics”, University of Greifswald, Institute of Political Science, 2006
  • “Literary Mnemonics of Günter Grass and the German Collective Memory”, Paper presented at “Art of Comparison Conference”, European Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Rotterdam, 2004
  • “Literary Style and Literary Doxa from Perspectives of Bourdieu and Husserl”, Paper presented at TCDS Conference, New School for Social Research, New York, 2004


  • ESA (European Sociological Association)
  • ASA (American Sociological Association)


  • Alfred Schutz Memorial Award in Philosophy and Sociology, New School for Social Research
  • Dissertation Fellowship, The New School
  • Presidential Fellowship, The New School

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Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

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