Darja Klingenberg: Other Memories between Conformism, Resilience and Melancholy: Marginalized Memory Among Middle-Class Russian-Speaking Jewish Migrants in a German Post- Migrant Society

The project focuses on marginalized memories – particularly on the adapted, altered and silenced stories of Russian-speaking Jewish migrants in a German post-migrant society. I am interested in the structures and dynamics of placing, modifying or silencing difficult or traumatic experiences within processes of upward social mobility among middle-class minorities. The project draws upon an in-depth analysis of biographical narratives. Building on the concept of marginalized middle classes, I discuss the difficulties of articulating migratory and Soviet biographies, stories of mortification, discrimination and trauma within migrant middle-class positions, and the transformation and transmission of Soviet and Eastern European histories through migration.

Darja Klingenberg is a post-doctoral researcher at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Her academic expertise lies in the fields of migration studies and Russian-speaking migration, particularly in post-Soviet Jewish migration to Germany, feminist theory, gender studies, and intersectional approaches to social inequality, sociology of dwelling, food studies and sociology of humor. Her dissertation, “Dwelling after Migration: Materialism, Hope and Melancholia of Russian Speaking Migrant Middle Classes”, proposes a new lens of analysis for migration studies through the processes and practices of dwelling and settling in migration. Through this, she sheds new light on the often-overlooked migrations of Russian speakers to Germany and the experiences and hidden injuries of migrant middle classes. Her post-doctoral project further investigates the social position and strategies towards the politics of memory of ‘unobtrusive’ migrant populations and the contradictions of model minorities in Germany. She is currently based in Hamburg with a Research Scholarship from the Volkswagen Stiftung.

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