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Hanna Horn

Born in Minsk, Belarus, she obtained her specialist degree in literary writing at the The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute (Moscow, Russia). Apart from her academic work, she writes prose, poetry and critical essays on contemporary literature and art.

University of Greifswald

IRTG Baltic Peripeties
Anklamer Str. 20
17489 Greifswald

Room: 0.12
+49 3834 420 3587
ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0948-6070

Chair of Ukrainian Cultural Studies

Life Writing ByNet: (Auto-)biographical Motives in Digital Dictatorship

The present PhD project analyses life writing on ByNet (Belarusian sector of the Internet) both as literary fact and historical document. Before and after the announcement of the presidential election’s rigged results in 2020 the civil movement took over a wide range of social groups in Belarus. The most massive protests in the history of the country’s independency were almost immediately followed by the unprecedented volume of state violence.

One of the repressions’ dimensions is the surveillance online, limitation of the Internet access and politically motivated administrative and criminal cases, based on (re)posts, likes and messages online. Nonetheless, no social networking sites are completely blocked in the country, which makes them a valuable and fruitful source of Belarusian reality’s documentation.

The central aim of the research is to trace the historical development of Internet auto/biographical writing in the given context, to establish its key motives and features, and to identify the determining factors for its formation. It also aims to investigate the variations of digital subjectivity, (self-)censorship and their interconnectedness to autobiographical pact. For the moment, I rely on two main methods of non-commercial digital archiving: web scraping and counter-archiving. I follow the four-stage methodology proposed by A. Morrison: Explore and Engage; Categorise; Select; and Interpret. Event-based and autobiographical traditions of web archiving (R. Rogers) are considered to be primary regimes in this project.

At the moment, I’m focused on the life writing motifs and strategies of four authors: A. Bacharevič, M. Martysievič, D. Strocev and T. Zamirovskaya. Differences in their literary approaches, types of social media chronicles, different countries of residence and different preferred languages of writing (Belarusian, Russian or English) make the given selection productive.

  • Pecha-Kucha Night with young researchers, ZOiS Annual Conference Paradigms in Times of War: Unpacking Research and Policy Challenges, Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien (ZOiS), Berlin, November 16-17, 2023.
  • Workshop A Short History of Digital Publics at War, FernUniversität Hagen, Berlin Campus, May 2-3, 2023.

University studies and degrees

  • Since April 2024
  • Doctoral Researcher at the International Research Training Group “Baltic Peripeties. Narratives of Reformations, Revolutions and Catastrophes” at the University of Greifswald.
  • Since January 2024
  • Visiting researcher at FernUniversität Hagen, Faculty of Cultural and Social Sciences, Public History.
  • 2017 – 2022
  • Specialist degree in Literary Writing, The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute.