Dr. Matthias Schwartz

Deputy director of the ZfL, head of the program area World Literature and of the project World Fiction, Post/Socialist. Eastern European Literatures and Cultures


  • Scholarly responsible for the interdisciplinary cooperation "The Short Life of Soviet Yiddish Literature" (2020-2023)
  • Deputy Professor at the Institute for East European Studies and Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin (2019/2020)
  • Head of the ZfL project Affective Realism. Contemporary Eastern European Literatures (2017–2019 )
  • Deputy Professor for East Slavic Literatures and Cultures at the Institute for Slavic Studies at the University of Potsdam (2017/2018)
  • Head of the ZfL project East-Western Cultures of Affect (2014–2016 )
  • Researcher, Institute for East European Studies and Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin/ Germany (2004–2014)
  • Research Associate for the ZfL project The European Subject and the ‘Homo Sovieticus’, Centre for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin (ZfL)/ Germany (2012–2013)
  • Deputy Junior Professor for West Slavic Literatures (Polish Studies), Department for Slavic Studies/ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/ Germany (2010–2012)
  • Research Fellow at the Department for Slavic Studies/ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/ Germany (2001–2004)
  • Editor and Author of the Russian Journal for Culture and Politics Zerkalo Zagadok, Berlin/ Germany (1995–2002)

Research Interests

  • International Conference ‘Firsthand Time.’ Documentary Aesthetics in the Long 1960s (co-organizer) / ZfL Berlin, Germany (2020)
  • Workshop History goes Pop? On the Popularization of the Past in Eastern European Cultures (co-organizer) / Viadrina University Frankfurt Oder, Germany (2019)
  • International Conference The Stalingrad Myth. Russian-German Comparative Perspectives (co-organizer) / ZfL Berlin, Germany (2019)
  • Symposium Shalamov. Readings (co-organizer)/ ZfL Berlin, Germany (2016)
  • International Conference After Memory. Conflicting Claims to World War II in Contemporary Eastern European Literatures (co-organizer)/ ZfL Berlin, Germany (2015)
  • Workshop Imperial Emotions. On the Conceptualisation of East-Western Cultures of Affect (co-organizer)/ ZfL Berlin, Germany (2014)
  • International Conference Blackbox Youth. New Perspectives on East-European Youth Cultures (co-organizer)/ FU Berlin, Germany (2012)
  • International Workshop Gagarin as a Memory Figure and Archive Body (co-organizer)/ German-Russian Museum Karlshorst, Germany (2011)
  • Lecture series Eastern European Cultures in a Multipolar World (co-organizer)/ Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Germany (2011)


English publications only. For publications in German and other languages see the German entry

  • After Memory. World War II in Contemporary Eastern European Literatures (Media and Cultural Memory / Medien und kulturelle Erinnerung 29), Berlin 2021 (co-edited with Nina Weller and Heike Winkel).
  • Obsessed with the Past: On the Topicality of the Historical Novel in Eastern Europe Today, in: Ibid., pp. 429-454.
  • Servants of the People. Populism, Nationalism, State-Building, and Virtual Reality in Contemporary Ukraine, in: Telos. Cricital Theory of the Contemporary 195 (2021), pp. 65-81.
  • A New Poetics of Science: On the Establishment of “Scientific‐Fictional Literature” in the Soviet Union, in: The Russian Review 79:3 (2020), pp. 415-431.
  • Factory of the Future. On M. Il’in’s “Scientific-Fictional Literature”, in: Russian Literature 103–105 (2019), pp. 259–281.
  • Eastern European Youth Cultures in a Global Context. New York 2016 (co-edited with Heike Winkel).
  • Archeologies of a Past Future. Science Fiction Films from Communist Eastern Europe, in: Rainer Rother, Annika Schaefer (Hg.): Future Imperfect. Science – Fiction – Film, Berlin 2017, pp. 96-117.
  • Utopia Going Underground. On Lukyanenko’s and Gluckhovskii’s Literary Refigurations of Postsocialist Belongings between Loyalty and Dissidence to the State, in: The Russian Review 75 (2016), pp. 589-603.
  • Everything Feels Bad. Figurations of the Self in Contemporary Eastern European Literatures, in: Matthias Schwartz, Heike Winkel (eds): Eastern European Youth Cultures in a Global Context, New York 2016, pp. 145-160.
  • Observing the Imperial Gaze: On Peter Fleischmann's 'Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein', in: Science Fiction Film and Television 8:2 (2015) (Special Issue 'Filming the Strugatzskiis', eds. Miureann Maguire and Andrei Rogatchevski), pp. 219-232.
  • How “Nauchnaya fantastika” Was Made: The Debates About the Genre of Science Fiction from NEP to High Stalinism, in: Slavic Review, 2 (2013), pp. 224-246.
  • A Dream Come True. Close Encounters with Outer Space in Soviet Popular Scientific Journals of the 1950s and 1960s, in: Scheide, Carmen; Richers, Julia; Rüthers, Monica; Maurer, Eva. (eds.): Soviet Space Culture. Cosmic Enthusiam in Socialist Societies, New York 2011, pp. 232-250.
  • Guests from Outer Space: Occult Aspects of Soviet Science Fiction, in: Menzel, Birgit; Hagemeister, Michael; Rosenthal, Bernice Glatzer (eds.): The New Age of Russia. Occult Esoteric Dimensions, München 2011, pp. 209-235