Early Stage Researcher Lisa Haberkern, member of the European Union’s Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Children born of war – past, present and future project,” was seconded to the University of Leipzig in Germany form the 10th July to 31st August. She spend the time working at the department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, with Heide Glaesmer, vice head of the department and the networks chief of training, Marie Kaiser, the networks internal ethics advisor and fellow ESRs Saskia Mitreuter and Sophie Roupetz.
Goal of the stay was to further the knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts of trauma and traumatic experiences and different models used in researching transgenerationality in order to implement the question of a possible inheritance of traumata or rather their consequences in her project. Researching the Upper Silesian family memory with an emphasis on the early post WWII-period, Lisa will use this knowledge and enhanced understanding in analysing life story and multi-generational group interviews.
Taking the psychologist point of view into account while doing historical research on sensitive issues is a measure taken in order to avoid the application of borrowed concepts and terms that in the case of trauma, are often used rather arbitrarily. This is expected to have a positive effect on the informants participating in an Oral History study, whose life stories are an important part of the project, as well as demonstrating the positive effects of interdisciplinary collaboration in research.