Dr. David Leupold

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Telefon: +49-(0)30-80307-114
Regionaler Schwerpunkt: Südkaukasus, Zentralasien, Türkei
Dr. David Leupold
Dr. David Leupold


Since 2022
Principal investigator (PI) of the individual research project "Relicts of (Another) Future? – The Afterlife of the Socialist City in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus" funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Since 2020
Postdoctoral research fellow in the research unit "Representations of the Past as a Mobilising Force" at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, Germany
2018 - 2019
Manoogian postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer in the University of Michigan Department of Sociology, Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America
2015 - 2016
Project coordinator and organizer of the KOSMOS-funded international workshop "Asylum Seeking 2017" and the ensuing series of lectures, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Academic degrees

2014 - 2018
Ph.D. (summa cum laude), Social Sciences, Berlin Graduate School in Social Sciences (BGSS), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; doctoral thesis: ‘Bridging Memories in a Contested Geography – Eastern Turkey. Western Armenia. Northern Kurdistan’; supervised by Klaus Eder, Silvia v. Steinsdorff and Ronald G. Suny
2011 - 2014
M.A., German-Turkish Masters in Social Sciences, Middle Eastern Technical University Ankara and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; final thesis: ‘Memory, Multilingualism and Mediation. The Case of a Turkophone Armenian Family from Cilicia’
2008 - 2011
B.A., Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies, Otto-Friedrich Universität Bamberg; final thesis: ‘Das Safarnāmeh des Adīb al-Molk über seine Pilgerreise in den osmanischen Provinzen des Irak’
2010 - 2011
Ege University, Izmir (year abroad, part of the B.A.); main focus: Turkey’s neighbourhood policy, Turkish-Kurdish conflict, the emergence of modern Turkey


Memory Wars (English-taught B.A. & M.A. course), University of Michigan, Department of Sociology & History
Politics of Memory in Post-Socialist Europe (English-taught M.A. course), Charles University Prague, Balkan, Eurasian & Central European Studies
2016 - 2017
Turkey and Germany – Making of European Modernity (English-taught M.A. course) Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Department of Social Sciences
Interethnic relations in Europe (English-taught M.A. course), Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Department of Political Science
History of Armenian nationalism (MA specialization; taught together with Ronald G. Suny), Pázmány Péter Catholic University Budapest, Department of History

Selected publications


Life After Future: Unmarginalizing Urbanities from the Former Soviet South (forthcoming)

Embattled Dreamlands: The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish Memory. Routledge, New York / London, 2020

Armenian translation forthcoming: Martnch’vogh hishoghut’yunneri yerkir․ hayer, k’rder, t’urk’er (Yerevan: Heinrich-Böll Foundation).

Peer-reviewed journal articles
Book chapters and further publications

"Between Earthquakes and Mashrabiya: 'Indigenizing' Prefab Housing in Post-Stalinist Kyrgyzstan"periphal histories (2022).

“When the Landscape Talks Back: Uncanny Heritage and the Armenian Spectre in Southeastern Turkey”platformspace (2022).

"Күрд тоолорунда Манкурт кантип өз үнүн кайтарып алды / Как Манкурт вернул вой голос в Курдских горах," немономиф 2, Esimde, Bishkek (2020), p. 15-22.

“Authentische Gewaltgeschichten oder verzerrte Spiegelbilder? - Die türkische und armenischeGeschichtsdeutung von 1915 im Lichte des Nationalmythos”, in Geschichte als Ressource: Politische Dimensionen historischer Authentizität, Klaus Schwarz, Berlin (2017).

“Collectivities beyond National Frontiers –Turkophone Armenians from Cilicia” in Türkei im Spannungsfeld von Kollektivismus und Diversität , vol. 2, Springer, Berlin (2016).

“Genocide Memorialization beyond the Ethno-National Divide: Bridging Memories of Armenians, Kurds and Turks in Van, Mush, and Sasun,” Clark – Digital Commons, Clark University,Worcester, MA (2015, published online).


Félix Krawatzek and Nina Friess' (ed.) Youth and Memory in Europe. Defining the Past, Shaping the Future (2022), CEU book reviews, De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston (2023).

Florian Mühlfried's Unherrschaft und Gegenherrschaft (2022), CEU book reviews, Matthes & Seitz, Berlin (2023).

Annika Törner’s Dersim – Geographie der Erinnerungen: Eine Untersuchung von Narrativen über Verfolgung und Gewalt (2019), Iran and the Caucasus 24:2, Brill Publishers, Berlin / Boston (2020).

Neil Brenner's New urban spaces. Urban theory and the scale question (2019)Jourmal for Eurasian Geography and Economics, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon (2020).

Bernhard Forchtner’s Lessons from the Past? Memory, Narrativity and Subjectivity (2016), Journal of Language and Politics, John Benjamins, Amsterdam (2018).

Media articles

"Embattled Dreamlands", New Books Network (18.01.2022)

"Bishkek Cemeteries, Mirror Images of the City", Bishkek Blog (SILK), 4 (2021)

"Dvory, Architecture of Bishkek's Central Yards", Bishkek Blog (SILK), 3 (2021)

"Pathologies of a Fall", coffee with a sociologist (03 April 2021)

"Bergkarabach. Ein politisches Trauma", Süddeutsche Zeitung (22 October, 2020).

"Corona and the Geographical Paradox. Four Temporal Snapshots from Central Asia", Corona Dossier of the Leibniz-ZentrumModerner Orient (15 April, 2020).

"Auf Spurensuche nach der unvollendeten Zukunft «Spontánne Esperanto» und real-praktizierter Internationalismus im frühsowjetischen Zentralasien", Dossier of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (22 March, 2020).

“Wiederholt sich das Schicksal der Armenier in Rojava? Eine Spurensuche in der Osttürkei und Nordsyrien“, Tagesspiegel (28 November, 2019).

An Interview with Florian Mühlfried: The Janus Face of Mistrust”, Europe Now Journal (10 September, 2019).

Erdoğans zweifelhaftes Geschichtsbild”, Tagesspiegel (19 October, 2018).

Rabiz Music as Reverberation of Armenian-Azerbaijani Cohabitation”, Caucasus Edition (18 September, 2018).

Selected Talks

"Relicts of the Future? Life and Afterlife of the Socialist City", opening talk at the workshop Relicts of the Ancien Régime: Socialist and Imperial Legacies & the City, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, September 13-15, 2023.

"Payk’arogh yerazats yerkrner: mrts’akits’ hishoghut’yan k’aghak’akanut’yuny P’vok’r Asiayi yev Arts’akhi mijev | Voyuyushchiye voobrazhayemyye strany: politika konkuriruyushchey pamyati mezhdu Maloy Aziyey i Artsakhom", lecture held at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA – Yerevan, June 21, 2023.

"Laughing Away the War? Dolma Diaries (2022) and the Multivocalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani Memory", paper presented at the workshop Mobile Histories, Activated Memories: Ruins, Mediums, Artefacts, and Archival Repositories, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, March 24, 2023.

"Embattled Dreamlands. The Politics of Contesting Memory between Asia Minor And Karabakh", lecture held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences

March 08, 2023.

“Relicts of (Another) Future? Genesis and Afterlife of the Microdistrict (Mikroraion) at the Foot of Tian Shan”, lecture held at the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg "Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, December 14, 2022.

“Materialized Futurities? The Afterlife of the Socialist City in the former Soviet South”, paper accepted to the panel Public materialities: alternative histories and national attachments at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Seattle, WA), November 9-13, 2022 [invited speaker].

“Eradicating Housing Precarity as a Translocal Project: Walkability, Spatial Justice, and Urbanity in Red Central Asia”, paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (Chicago, IL, United States of America), November 10-13, 2022.

"Yerevan’s Unfinished Future?: The ‘Ancien Materiality’ of Late-Soviet Urban Planning in Armenia’s Capital Today," paper accepted to the international conference The Soviet Experience in Armenia and Its Legacy, Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan (Dearborn, MI, United States of America), November 13-15, 2022.

“Experimental Methods for Academic Outreach”, pre-conference workshop held at the RSA Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Conference, Leipzig, September 13, 2022.

“Beyond neutrality: Dialogic reflections on the aspect of positionality in contemporary area studies”, roundtable discussion together with Ulrike Ziemer (Winchester) and Elisa Satjukow (Moderation, Leipzig) at 29. Tagung Junger Osteuropa-Expert*innen (JOE), Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena (Jena, Germany), July 1-3, 2022.

 “Building the '15-Minute City' in the Steppe? Walkability, Polycentrality and ‘Mikroraionization’ in Red Bishkek”, paper presented at the 9th International Urban Geographies Of Post-Communist States Conference, Eötvös-Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary), June 27-29, 2022.

 “Back to the (Cosmic) Future?: Life and Afterlife of a Soviet Planetarium In Kyrgyzstan”, paper delivered at the Sixth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies, Tartu University (Tartu, Estonia), June 12-14, 2022.

“The-thing-that-shouldn’t-be-there-but-is-there: Armenian Remains (Ermeniden kalma) and the Uncanny Side of Heritage”, paper delivered at the Keyman Conference Sites of Memory, Sites of Loss: Politics of Archeology and Heritage in Turkey and Post-Ottoman Lands, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, United States of America), June 3-4, 2022.

"Fly me to Hiroshima … or the Moon – Historiography as a Subversive Technology" lecture delivered at the international conference "Historians, Disputed Ownership of History and Ethnic Conflict in the South Caucasus", UCLA (Los Angeles, CA), January 21.

"Alternative Guide to Bishkek", chair of panel,  21st CESS Annual Conference (Ohio, USA/Online), October 14, 2021.

"Embattled Dreamlands. A History of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict", Roundtable discussion with Ronald G. Suny and Melanie S. Tanielian organized by AGBU Lebanon and Lepsiushaus Potsdam (Lebanon/Online), May 4, 2021.

"Caught up in the past? The weaponisation of history in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan", lecture at the Körber History Forum, May 19, 2021.

"Embattled Dreamlands. The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish Memory," book talk organized at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin, Germany), November 23, 2020.

"Wohnen und Leben in zentralasiatischen Städten," Novastan panel discussion with Phillip Schröder, Mariya Petrova and Kishimjan Osmonova. November 20, 2020.

"Internationalist Activism under the Hammer and Sickle: The Czechoslovak Industrial Commune "Interhelpo" in Soviet Kyrgyzstan," lecture held within the series  Central Eurasian Studies and Translocality. A Debate Unfolding at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin, Germany, November 2, 2020.

"Yerevan’s Unfinished Future? : The ‘Ancien Materiality’ of Late-Soviet Urban Planning in Armenia’s Capital Today," paper accepted to the international conference The Soviet Experience in Armenia and Its Legacy, Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan (Dearborn, MI, United States of America), November 13-15, 2020 [invited speaker; cancelled due to COVID-19].

"Visualizing Bishkek," project presentation together with Lilit Dabagian at the American University of Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), May 28, 2020.

"Remainders of an Unfinished Future: The ‘Ancien Materiality’ of Socialist Urban Planning in the Present-Day Caucasus and Central Asia," paper delivered at the interdisciplinary conference (Post)Socialism as a Global Resource, UCA Berkeley (Berkeley, CA, United States of America), May 1-2, 2020.

"Embattled Dreamlands. The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish Memory," book talk organized at the Northwestern University, Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Programme (Chicago, IL, United States of America), April 14, 2020 [invited speaker; cancelled due to COVID-19].

"Pathologies of a Fall:The Life of Late-Ottoman Armenians between National Dreams and Imperial Nightmares," paper delivered at the Eleventh Annual International Graduate Student Workshop, Medicine, Madness, and Maladies of the Mind in Armenian Studies Past and Present, Armenian Studies Programme, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America), April 10-11, 2020.

"Embattled Dreamlands. The Politics of Contesting Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish Memory," book talk organized at the University of Michigan, Armenian Studies Programme (Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America), April 09, 2020 [invited speaker; cancelled due to COVID-19].

"Activism under the Hammer and Sickle: Young Internationalists from Czechoslovakia in Soviet Central Asia (1925-43)," keynote at the Workshop “Youngsters' Livelihoods and Movements in Peripheralised Regions”, Friedrich Schiller-Universität Jena (Jena, Germany) February 27-28, 2020.

“Eastern Turkey as a ‘Mnemonic Cell of Resistance’?: Local Memory Culture and the Armenian Other,” paper presented at the 5th annual European symposium on Turkey (Vienna, Austria), 30 November, 2019.

“Post-Soviet Societies and the ‘Revenge of the Past’?: The Case of Armenia,“ paper presented the conference Memory, Transformation and Transitional Justice, OSCE Academy (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), 23 October, 2019.

“Ancien Materiality: Renegotiating The Monumental Landscape In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, paper presented at the 8th International Urban Geographies Of Post-Communist States Conference, University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia), 26 September, 2019.

“Bottom-Up Internationalism: The Life and Afterlife of the Industrial Cooperative Interhelpo in Kyrgyzstan,” paper presented at the Fourth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies, University of Tartu (Tartu, Estonia), 8 June, 2019.

“Relicts Of (Another) Future?: Afterlife of the ‘Soviet City’ in the Caucasus and Central Asia,” paper presented at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (Leipzig, Germany), 3 June, 2019.

“Southeastern Turkey as a ‘Mnemonic Cell of Resistance’ ?: Vehicles of Local Memory and the Armenian Genocide (1915-1916),” paper presented at the international conference We Will Live After Babylon. Armenische und jüdische Existenzerfahrung zwischen. Vertreibung, Exil und Vernichtung, European Institute of Jewish Music (Hannover, Germany), 25 February, 2019.

“Bridging Memories in a Contested Geography: Eastern Turkey. Western Armenia. Northern Kurdistan”, ASP annual public lecture, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, United States), 23 January, 2019.

“Hafıza ve Nisyan: Hatırlayamadıklarımız,” talk held (in Turkish) at the Anka Cultural Center (Van, Turkey), 10 December, 2018.

“Amboghjatsnelov antsayly. Haykakan, turkakan yev krdakan badumnery,” talk held (in Armenian) at the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Yerevan, Armenia), December, 2017.

“Fatally-Tied Together – The Kurds, the Armenian Genocide and the Question of Perpetrator- and Victimhood,” paper presented at the Workshop in Armenian and Turkish Studies (WATS), spearheaded by the University of Michigan (Potsdam, Germany), 17 September, 2017.

“The Lake Van region in oral history accounts from Armenia and Turkey”, paper presented at the Hrant Dink Conference The Social, Cultural and Economic History of Van and the Region (Istanbul, Turkey), 11 November, 2016.

“From Adana to Yerevan via Beirut”, paper presented at the conference Migrations, Refugees and Global Justice – Comparative Perspectives in Societies of Migration, University of California and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Berlin, Germany), September 8, 2016.

“Vehicles of Local Memory and Remembering Beyond the State: Insights from the Kurdish and Armenian case”, lecture at the Shoah Foundation (Los Angeles, USA), 15 February, 2016.

“Van & Bitlis between Western Armenia and Northern Kurdistan – Collective Memory between National Myth and Multi-Collectivity”, paper presented at the International Graduate Conference on Armenian Studies, University of California (Los Angeles, USA), 12 February, 2016.

“Genocide Memorialization beyond the Ethno-National Divide: Bridging Memories of Armenians, Kurds and Turks in Van, Mush, and Sasun”, paper presented at the Conference Holocaust and Genocide, Clark University (Worcester, USA), 10 April, 2015.

“Iraq at the crossroads of Iranian-Ottoman history - the intellectual encounter of Adib ul-Mulk and Reshid Pasha Gozluklu“, paper accepted for the Symposia Iranica, Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK), invited.

“1915 im Narrativ einer turkophonen, armenischen Familie aus Kilikien“, paper presented (in German) at the Leibniz-workshop Lokale Geschichte(n), (Macht-)Politik und die Suche nach historischer Authentizität (Center of Modern Oriental Studies Berlin, Germany), February 27, 2015.

"Turkophone, Armenian Cilician and Ottoman officer? - A question of loyalty, atrocity and the Great War"; paper presented at the international history conference Not all quiet on the Ottoman fronts - neglected perspectives of a global war, 1914 - 1918 (Istanbul, Turkey), April 10, 2014.

Consulting work

  • Implementation of the scientific training "The Challenge of Memory Studies in Post-Socialist Societies" for staff members of the Yerevan State University.
  • Design and implementation of a six weeks historical-didactical walking tour program (27 May – 22 June) in collaboration with Lilit Dabagian; NIDID Berlin and Heinrich Böll Foundation, Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Design and implementation of urban memory workshop "Visualizing Yerevan" (31 August - 4 September); NIDID Berlin and Heinrich Böll Foundation, Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Design and implementation of EUSTORY HISTORY CAMPUS workshop "#30PostSovietYears: Phantom Pasts or Everyday Present?" (August 12 - October 2) and creation of multimedia zine, in collaboration with Lilit Dabagian.
  • Oral History workshop on multigenerational memory in Central Asia; University of Central Asia, Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
  • Curriculum and design of the M.A. Programme in the Department of Armenian Studies, Pázmány Péter Catholic University Budapest and Armenia State Pedagogical University Yerevan


Interview given to Dr. Anoush Suny on behalf of the Keyman Podcast in Turkish Studies, October 26, 2020 (Chicago, United States of America).

Interviewed given to Leon Aslanov on behalf of Caucasustalks, September 5, 2020 (London, United Kingdom).

Interviewed given to Hrant Gadarigian on behalf of Hetq, August 13, 2020 (Yerevan, Armenia).

Interviewed given to Lilit Dabagian on behalf of NIDID, March 23, 2020 (Berlin, Germany).

Awards and scholarships

CESS Book Award – Central Eurasian Studies Society
2018 - 2019
Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellowship of the University of Michigan
2015 - 2017
Hansen Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
2014 - 2015
Erasmus Mundus Predoctoral Field Mobility
2011 - 2013
Humboldt Excellence Fellowship


  • German: native speaker
  • English: near-native fluency (C2)
  • Turkish: near-native fluency (C2)
  • Russian: fluent (C1)
  • Farsi/Dari/Tajik (Persian): fluent (C1)
  • Armenian: advanced (B2)
  • Kurdish (Kurmanji): intermediate (B1)
  • Arabic (Levantine dialect): basic (A2)
  • Kyrgyz: basic (A2)
  • Spanish: basic (A2)
  • Ottoman Paleography: reading knowledge
  • Azerbaijani: reading knowledge