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CFP: Post-Socialist Memory Cultures in Transition

20-23 September 2023

The project hosts 2nd PoSoCoMeS Conference at Tallinn University Read more ...

2nd PoSoCoMeS Conference
20-23 September 2023, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia

The Post-Socialist and Comparative Memory Studies (PoSoCoMeS) working group is part of the Memory Studies Association. Our goal is to bring together researchers, activists, and practitioners working in and on post-socialist countries. We call for trans-regional comparative studies that connect Eastern Europe and Africa, Latin America and Asia, and result in broad conceptualizations of post-socialist memories.

The keynote speakers are:
● Erica Lehrer (Concordia University, Canada)
● Maria Mälksoo (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
● Andrea Petö (Central European University, Austria)
● Tatiana Zhurzhenko (Centre for East European and International Studies, Germany)
● Joanna Wawrzyniak (University of Warsaw, Poland)

We aim to explore change in post-socialist memory cultures, with a particular focus on Eastern, Central and Southeastern European memory cultures that emerged/are emerging from the tensions and interactions between the transnational, the regional, the national, and the local and are further exasperated by the Russian destructive military invasion of Ukraine.
Possible topics include:
● transnational memory in the post-socialist world: vernacularisation, encapsulation
● tangled relationships between memory and human rights
● politics of memory: key agents and institutions
● the workings of memory in relation to (new) social challenges: climate crisis, migration, social inequality
● regional regimes of memory: post-socialism as a regime of memory, continuities and/or re-formations, memory traffic within post-socialist spaces
● reconfiguration of the borders between communities
● memory and translation: movement of memories across national and regional borders, forms, and templates
● media of memory (film, literature, memorial museums, commemorative practices), remediation
● new forms of digital memorialisation in the post-pandemic era
● post-socialist/post-communist memory culture in relation to the rest of the world: post-socialist comparisons with other parts of the world, which allow for trans-regional comparative studies that connect Eastern Europe and Africa, Latin America and Asia, and result in broad conceptualizations of post-socialist memories
● uses and abuses of memory in contemporary and ongoing conflicts, weaponization of the past, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine

There will be two special streams that focus on the themes of the co-organizing research projects.
● Mnemonic Pluralism and Critical Dialogue in the Museum
Through the concept of mnemonic pluralism, which links memory to the principles of democratic pluralism, this special stream explores the ways museums deal with the complexities of the 20th century and the multiplicity of competing perceptions of the past in changing political and socio-economic contexts. It aims to establish the factors that undermine or support mnemonic pluralism and reflexive, critical engagement with the complexities of the past: how are the politically laden periods represented in exhibitions and related public programs as well as in collecting work? How are dissonance and difference (ethnic, national, generational, gender, class) addressed? How are divergent group-specific, local, national, and transnational mnemonic discourses linked to each other? What is the relationship between the emergence of pluralistic and deliberative curatorial practices and the museum’s positioning in trans/national and local memoryscapes and vis-à-vis societal challenges? How are the choices of curators, designers, and educators related to their backgrounds as members of memory communities
● Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena
This stream focuses on interconnections between local, national, regional, and global memory cultures in post-socialist countries and their transnationalisation. It is particularly interested in aesthetic media of memory, such as literature, art, cinema, and memorial museums/monuments, that circulate globally and bring local memories to global audiences. This stream explores the attempts in these media to make the histories of the Second World War and Socialist regimes known globally. The stream proposes to look at these movements of memory as a process of translation. What memorial forms have been used to make the Eastern European past intelligible in the global arena? How are global memory cultures vernacularised in the region? What is gained and what is lost in this translation?

Formats
This is an in-person conference. We will be able to accommodate only a limited number of online panels.

Paper proposals should include abstracts (no longer than 250 words) and information about the presenter(s) (affiliation and short biography).
Panel and roundtable proposals should include an abstract (no longer than 250 words) and a complete list of max 4 participants, as well as their affiliations, short biographies, and the titles of their papers.
Please mention 1) if you would like to be part of one of the two streams; 2) if you need to present online. Please send your proposals by 1 February 2023 to the following e-mail address: posocomesconference@tlu.ee. The notifications of acceptance will be sent on 15 March 2023.

Cost and financial support
We do not ask for any registration fee, but all participants have to be members of the Memory Studies Association. Exceptions for those in financial need are possible, but you must apply for this exception directly from the Memory Studies Association.
We are working towards securing funds to cover the travel and accommodation costs for our Ukrainian scholars.

Organisers
The 2nd PoSoCoMeS conference will be organized by two major memory studies research projects in Estonia, in collaboration with PoSoCoMes: “Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena”, a European Research Council Grant that has received funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Tallinn University, project leader Eneken Laanes, grant agreement 853385), and “Practices and Challenges of Mnemonic Pluralism in Baltic History Museums”, funded by the Estonian Research Agency (University of Tartu, project leader Ene Kõresaar).

Programme committee:
Local: Eneken Laanes, Ene Kõresaar, Kirsti Jõesalu
PoSoCoMeS: Daria Khlevnyuk, Milica Popovic, Maria Matskevich
Contact:
Eneken Laanes, Tallinn University, elaanes@tlu.ee

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Previous Events

Anita Pluwak leading the Södertörn Univerity Centre for Baltic and East European Studies Reading Seminar

3 October 2022

Website

On Monday 3 October, 13.00-15.00, Dr Anita Pluwak will be leading the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies – CBEES / Södertörn University Reading Seminar, discussing Chapter 5 of Kateřina Lišková’s book “Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945–1989 (2018)”, and Chapter 2 of Agnieszka Kościańska’s book ”Gender, Pleasure, […] Read more ...

On Monday 3 October, 13.00-15.00, Dr Anita Pluwak will be leading the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies – CBEES / Södertörn University Reading Seminar, discussing Chapter 5 of Kateřina Lišková’s book “Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945–1989 (2018)”, and Chapter 2 of Agnieszka Kościańska’s book ”Gender, Pleasure, and Violence: The Construction of Expert Knowledge of Sexuality in Poland (2021)”. (Please note that participation presupposes the reading of the above-mentioned texts.)

More information here: https://www.sh.se/…/2022-10-03-overlooked-project-of…

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Translating Memories Summer School

11-15 July 2022

Translating Memories in Literature, Film, Museums, and Monuments: An Eastern European Memory Studies Summer School Read more ...

Taking place from 11-15 July 2022 in Roosta, Estonia, ‘Translating Memories in Literature, Film, Museums, and Monuments’, the Eastern European Memory Studies Summer School will combine keynote lectures, presentations, and field trips with the opportunity to present your research to a panel of academics and peers.
The ‘Translating Memories’ project focuses on how memorial forms and acts of memory are translated across, between and beyond post-socialist Eastern Europe, as well as how the arts and memory practices can potentially redraw boundaries within and beyond the region. Thus, invited experts studying media including literature, film, museums, and monuments will present on a wide range of forms, receptions, and transformations in the region from 1991 to the present day.
Possible topics include, but are certainly not restricted to, the following:

● the tensions between the local and the global in the production, circulation and reception of various acts of memory
● the aesthetic strategies and narrative and visual tropes employed by acts of memory to translate locally specific cultural and historical events for global audiences
● the intervention of aesthetic media of memory and curatorial practices in the politics of memory in Eastern Europe
● the use of archival materials and the role of archives in literature, films, museums and monuments, as well as the interplay between fact and fiction in remembering the past in these media of memory

We welcome applications from PhD students studying relevant topics in fields across the social sciences and humanities, including (but not limited to) literature, history, film studies, heritage studies, memory studies, and Slavic studies.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Zuzanna Bogumił (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Veronika Pehe (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Kevin M. F. Platt (University of Pennsylvania)
Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska (German Historical Institute Warsaw)
Mitja Velikonja (University of Ljubljana)

Programme
Monday, 11 July
09.30 Optional monument tour to Maarjamäe in Tallinn (meeting at Uus-Sadama 5)
13.00 Departure from Tallinn University to Roosta (meeting at Uus-Sadama 5)
14.00 Visit to the site of Klooga concentration camp
16.00 Arrival in Roosta
16.30-18.00 Keynote: Zuzanna Bogumił, Contested Past Commemorated: On the Postsecular Memory of Soviet Repressions in Russia and Eastern Europe
19.00 Dinner

Tuesday, 12 July
09.30-11.00 Panel 1: Remembering / Forgetting / Omitting 1
11.00-11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Keynote: Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska, Cultural Memory: How It’s Made?
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.30 Panel 2: Remembering / Forgetting / Omitting 2
15.30-16.00 Break
16.00-17.30 Panel 3: Texts, Practices, Identities
19.00 Dinner
Film Night

Wednesday, 13 July
09.30-11.00 Keynote: Kevin Platt, Post-Socialist Post-Colonies and the Ruins of Global History
11.00-11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Panel 4: Human Rights and Difficult Heritage
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00 Field trip to Haapsalu
19.00 Dinner

Thursday, 14 July
9.30-11.00 Panel 5: Visual Rhetoric and Transformation of Meaning
11.00-11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Keynote: Veronika Pehe, The “Wild 1990s” on Film and Television. Remembering the Postsocialist Economic Transformations in Central Europe.
13.00-15.00 Lunch
15.00-16.30 Roundtable: The Future of Memory Studies After the War in Ukraine
Speakers: Zuzanna Bogumił, Margaret Comer, Irina Paert
19.00 Dinner
Film Night

Friday, 15 July
09.30-11.00 Panel 6: Memories of Socialist Pasts
11.00-11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Keynote: Mitja Velikonja, Yugoslavia after Yugoslavia – Graffiti about Yugoslavia in Post-Yugoslav Urbanscape
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-16.00 Travel to Tallinn
16.00 Graffiti Tour in Tallinn

Panel 1: Remembering / Forgetting / Omitting I
Discussant: Kevin Platt (University of Pennsylvania)
Rezeda Lykkorpi (University of Greifswald), “Königsberg Is Not Forgotten: Exhibiting German Past in Kaliningrad Museums”
Bernadette Ščasná (Tallinn University), “Memories of the Expulsion of Germans in Czech Literature Throughout Generations”
Aleksandra Guja (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), “Contemporary Visual Stereotypes of Jews in Poland and Their Historical Sources”

Panel 2: Remembering / Forgetting / Omitting II
Discussant: Zuzanna Bogumił (Institute of Archeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Alsena Kokalari (European University Institute), “Measuring Memory Museums in Central and Eastern Europe Countries: creating a context-dependent dictionary”
Kristina Zmejauskaite (Dublin City University), “A Walk Through Vilnius Now and Then: Soviet Memory in Public Spaces”
Aleksandra Kumala (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), “Unrecognized Victimhood. Homosexual Prisoners of Nazi Concentration Camps in the Right-Wing Media Narratives in Poland”

Panel 3: Texts, Practices, Identities
Discussant: Mitja Velikonja (University of Ljubljana)
Maria Plichta (University of Amsterdam), ““Fake Fog and Suspicious Doppelgängers: Conspiratorial Narratives around the Smoleńsk Catastrophe”
Carlos Eduardo Lesmes López (Tallinn University), “Documentary Film and the Narrativization of Memory”
Astrid Greve Kristensen (Sorbonne University), “Return and Returnees: Memory Quests”

Panel 4: Human Rights and Difficult Heritage
Discussant: Ene Kõresaar (University of Tartu)
Charley Boerman (Radboud University), “Human Rights as a Shared Past: Remembering the Holodomor Through Global Commemorative Practices”
Diãna Popova (Latvian Academy of Culture, Riga), “How to Interpret Difficult Heritage to Youth Audiences? Challenges and Opportunities for Future Research”
Hanna Aunin (Tallinn University), “Search for Recognition: Empathy Mode of Memory Transmission in In the Crosswind (2014)”

Panel 5: Visual Rhetoric and Transformation of Meaning
Discussant: Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska (German Historical Institute, Warsaw)
Teisi Ligi (Tallinn University), “Performative Cinematic Acts of Form in Baltic New Wave
Documentaries”
Stanislav Menzelevskyi (Indiana University Bloomington), “Chornobyl [In]Visible: Transformation of Social Meaning and Visual Rhetoric”
Aynur Rahmatova (Tallinn University), “Living Ghosts and Children’s Stories: Reading Five Films on the Spanish Civil War”

Panel 6: Memories of Socialist Pasts
Discussant: Veronika Pehe (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Daria Gordeeva (LMU, Munich), “Socialist Past as a Battlefield: How to Analyse Historical Feature Films”
Filip Mitricevic (Indiana University, Bloomington), “We Were Celebrating Pig-Slaughter”: Oral History and the Alternative Spaces Within State Holidays in Socialist Yugoslavia”
Anna Greszta (University of Amsterdam), “Memory, History and Conspiracy in Russo-Ukrainian War”

Format
Invited experts will present keynote lectures on the latest developments in theory and practice in their respective fields, as well as providing students with a variety of case studies to consider. Field trips will provide real-world examples for students to analyze through the lens of what they learn throughout the week. Finally, students will be able to present their research to their peers and instructors, providing valuable presentation experience as well as the opportunity to gain detailed feedback from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary backgrounds. PhD work in progress will be presented in the form of panels of 3 students, who will each give a 15-minute talk that is based on their ongoing research, relevant to the theme of the summer school. Each panel will be chaired by a senior scholar who acts as respondent and kicks off the extensive Q&A. PhD participants are expected to pre-circulate their paper to the other members of their panel and to the organizers at least 3 weeks in advance of the school. They are expected to be in full attendance for the duration of the school.

Practical Information
Organizers
The summer school is part of the project ‘Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena’, which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 853385). For more information see: https://translatingmemories.tlu.ee

Where?
The summer school takes place in Roosta, Estonia: https://www.roosta.ee
The participants are accommodated in shared cottages with limited single room/mezzanine options. The transportation from Tallinn, to and from the location, is organised by the summer school.

When?
Monday 11 July 2022, 9.00 a.m. – Friday 15 July 2022, 6.00 p.m.

Costs
The registration fee for the summer school is €100. A fee waiver may be requested in case of severe financial need. This fee covers a part of accommodation and transportation to Roosta. The rest will be covered by the organisers. Applicants are responsible for the costs of their transportation to and from Tallinn and accommodation in Tallinn (if needed).

Applications
Interested applicants should contact Anita Pluwak, (anitaw@tlu.ee) with a 300-word abstract for a 15-minute paper (including title, your name, and institutional affiliation), a description of your doctoral research project (one paragraph), and a short CV (max. 1 page), as a single Word or PDF document. We still have a couple of free places and we accept application until the places are filled, but not later than 1 April 2022.

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Eneken Laanes speaks at the conference of Estonian Family Therapy Association

3 June 2022

Website

Laanes talks about historical trauma, its cultural emergence and the debates around its generational transfer

Cultural Memory of Past Dictatorships: Narratives of Implication in a Global Perspective

12 April - 20 May 2022

An online seminar series and symposium at the University College Cork co-organised by the project Read more ...

The event comprises both a Seminar Series (12 April; 27 April; 4 May) and a Symposium (19-20 May).
Mode of Delivery: Online
Institution: University College Cork, Ireland

Seminars and Symposium are open to the public and are free of charge. However, it is compulsory to register in advance. Please find below the links to register for each of the seminars and the Symposium. Registrations for the Symposium close on 13 May 2022. Zoom links will be circulated to all registered attendees in advance of the events.

All events will be held on Zoom in the Irish Time Zone

Seminar Series
I) 12 April 2022, 5.00 – 6.00 pm 
Michael Lazzara (University of California, Davis) ¡Desobedientes!: Implicated Subjects, Memory, and Responsibility in Post-Dictatorship Chilean Documentaries
Registration: https://forms.gle/gGyBznfaS7qZwt1aA

II) 27 April 2022, 5.00 – 6.00 pm 
Juliane Prade-Weiss (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) Implication in Commemoration: On Current Interests in Past Complicities
Registration: https://forms.gle/tAi2oyECvGMZ4ixVA 

III) 4 May 2022, 5.00 – 6.00 pm 
David Martin-Jones (University of Glasgow) Remembering Cold War Pasts Across a World of Cinemas
Registration: https://forms.gle/EcgSShUYU7YKDL6E8

Symposium(19 – 20 May 2022)
University College Cork
Registration:  https://forms.gle/upXgJrznTYNAyAxH9

Day 1 – Thursday 19 May 2022

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks 

9:30 – 11:00 Panel 1: Victims, Perpetrators, and Beyond
Bareez Majid (Heidelberg University) Literature and Escape: A Critical Reading of the novel City of White Musicians by the Kurdistani author Bachtyar Ali
Claudia Sandberg (University of Melbourne)The Story of a Tiger in the Bathroom: German-Jewish filmmaker Peter Lilienthal in West German Television of the 1960s 
Esteban Córdoba Arroyo (University of Kitakyushu) Heroism, Messianism and Pentateuchal Remorse: Overcoming the Scheme of Victims and Perpetrators in the Collective Memory of World War 2 in Japanese Cinema (1980-2020)

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 13:00 Panel 2: Re-Imagining Dictators and Perpetrators in Cultural Production
Rachel MagShamhráin (University College Cork) Brother Hitler: The Continuing Allure of Hitler Films in Re/unified Germany
Pooja Sancheti (The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research [IISER] Pune) Curses and Conspiracies: Reading Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Patrick Vierthaler (Kyoto University) Founding Father or Traitor to the Nation? Contested Memories of Syngman Rhee in mid-1990s South Korea
Joanne Pettitt (University of Kent) The Nazi Paradigm: Holocaust Perpetrators in Representations of the British Far-Right

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch 

14:00 – 15:45 Panel 3: Narrative Perspectives on the Grey Zone
Ruth Murphy (University of Cambridge) Mixing metaphors: Primo Levi’s ‘grey zone’ and Maria Lugones’ ‘mestizaje
Lena Seauve (Institute for Latin American Studies [LAI] of the Free University of Berlin) On the Figure of the Bystander in Martin Kohan’s Dos Veces Junio (2002)
Jessica Marino (Carleton University) Mauricio Rosencof’s The Letters that Never Came and Uruguay’s Latest Dictatorial Rule—Framing a Redemptive Narrative of the Past through the Lens of Jewish Heritage
Stefano Bellin (University of Warwick) Being Numerous: Negotiations of Memory and Responsibility in Andrés Trapiello’s Ayer no más

15:45 – 16:00 Break 

16:00 – 17:00 Panel 4: Generational Memories of Dictatorships
Mario Panico and Cristina Demaria (University of Bologna) A Perpetrator in the Family: Generational Memory and Accountability in Documentary Filmmaking
Jeanne Devautour Choi (Columbia University) The Hijos Delayed (Re-)Implication in Argentina’s Dictatorial Past
Cara Levey (University College Cork) Diasporizing Memory and Victimhoood: Challenging the ‘exilio dorado’ (Golden Exile) Myth in Tus padres volverán [Your Parents Will Come Back]and Hora Chilena [Chilean Time]
Violeta Ros (University of Zaragoza) The Portrait of Sad old Men. Domestic Ethnographies of Political Violence in Contemporary Spanish Fiction

17:45 – 18:00 Break 

18:00 – 19:00 Keynote Lecture 1
Minna Johanna Niemi (The Arctic University of Norway) Western Readers and African Narratives: Towards Responsible Reading Strategies

Day 2 – Friday 20 May 

9:00 – 10:00 Keynote Lecture 2
Jie-Hyun Lim (Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University, Seoul) Mass Dictatorship: Vernacular Memories of Implicated Subjects and the Dictatorship from Below

10:00 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 12:00 Panel 5: Vectors of Memory of Past Histories of Violence 
Vanessa Tautter (University of Brighton) Negotiating the Nazi Past from an Implicated Position: Emotional Dynamics in Transgenerational Memory Processes in Austria
Arif Subekti, Hervina Nurullita, and Grace Leksana (Malang State University, East Java) Singing the Memories: Local Songs and Indonesia’s Collective Memory of Anti Lefitst Violence
Ethan Xi Hao Eu (National Taiwan University) The Weight of Our Sky: The May 13 Incident in a Young Adult Novel and a Webcomics Series

12:00 – 12:15 Break 

12:15 – 13:45 Panel 6: Curating Implication in the Musealisation of Dictatorships 
Rose Smith (Charles University – University of Groningen)Marcos Dictatorship (Re)Imagined in Museum Design 
Kirsti Jõesalu and Ene Kõresaar (Tartu University) Diversification and Alternative Subjectivities in Estonian Museums: Memory of Soviet Complicity Revisited
Margaret Anderson Comer (Tallinn University)Portrayals of Perpetration, Victimhood, and Implication at Sites of Soviet Repression and Violence in Moscow, Russia

13:45 – 14:45 Lunch 

14:45 – 16:15 Panel 7: Filling the Gaps in Visual Representations of Dictatorships
Lucas Martins Néia (University of São Paulo) The Military Dictatorship in Brazilian TV Fiction: Approaches and Gaps
Pablo Turnes (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation – Free University of Berlin) To Dare Damnation. The problem of Vengeance and its Representation in Comics in Post-Dictatorial Argentina
Eva-Rosa Ferrand Verdejo (CY Cergy Paris University – University of Warwick) The Novísimo Cine Chileno and the Aesthetics of Trauma

16:15 – 16:30 Break

16:30 – 18:00 Panel 8: Looking at the Past, Fighting for the Future
Emanuela Buscemi (University of Monterrey) Memory Activism and Performance in the contemporary Mexican feminist movement
Sharon Hecker and Raffaele Bedarida (The Cooper Union) Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today
Peter B. Kaufman (MIT Open Learning) The Sociology of Knowledge: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

18:00 – 18:15 Break 

18:15 – 19:30 Roundtable Discussion
Michael Lazzara (University of California, Davis)
Juliane Prade-Weiss (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
David Martin-Jones (University of Glasgow)

This Symposium is generously supported by the Irish Research Council, The Centre for Advanced Studies in Languages and Cultures of University College Cork (CASiLaC), and the ERC project ‘Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena’ funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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Translating Memories Online Speaker Series Spring 2022

22 February - 10 May 2022

Featuring Mitja Velikonja, Madina Tlostanova and Simon Weppel Read more ...

Please register here

22 February 2022 16.00 (EET)
Mitja Velikonja, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Poetry after Srebrenica? – A Cultural Reflection on the Yugoslav 1980s

5 April 2022 16.00 (EET)
Madina Tlostanova, Linköping University, Sweden
(De)coloniality of Memory: Intersections of Colonial and Totalitarian Trajectories and Creative Memory Work As a Way To “Re-existence”

10 May 2022 16.00 (EET)
Simon Weppel, University of Cambridge, UK
“Stepping Over the Threshold of Time”: The Rise of Heritage in the Brezhnev-Era Soviet Union

Mitja Velikonja
Poetry after Srebrenica? – A Cultural Reflection on the Yugoslav 1980s

How are we to understand the Yugoslav 1980s today, how are we to write about them, paint them, record or put them into poetry, music or the stage, to sing about them; how are we to value them after the bloody tale of the 1990s? Can we still write poetry on the last Yugoslav decade after what happened in Srebrenica, Vukovar, Ahmići, Sarajevo, and the hundreds other killing fields, or is this too barbaric as well? My presentation analyses the various types of cultural and artistic reflection – i.e. the construction and the perception – upon the 1980s in socialist Yugoslavia as they have developed from its ashes since 1991. As a cultural scientist of post-Yugoslavia – and not as a historian of Yugoslavia –  I will not speak about the historical 1980s but about their contemporary cultural representations; about the artistic construction and deconstruction of that decade; about the way images of the recent past are formed in today’s art and culture. My ambition is not doing historiographical trips from the post-Yugoslav present to the Yugoslav 1980s, but posing culturological questions about how the Yugoslav 1980s are present on the today’s artistic and wider cultural map.
Mitja Velikonja is a Professor for Cultural Studies and head of Center for Cultural and Religious Studies at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Main areas of his research include contemporary Central-European and Balkan political ideologies, subcultures and graffiti culture, collective memory and post-socialist nostalgia. His last monographs are The Chosen Few – Aesthetics and Ideology in Football-Fan Graffiti and Street Art (Doppelhouse Press, 2021), Post-Socialist Political Graffiti in the Balkans and Central Europe (Routledge, 2020, awarded as one of the best achievements of University of Ljubljana in the year 2020, already translated into Serbian and in translation in Slovenian, Macedonian and Albanian), Rock’n’Retro – New Yugoslavism in Contemporary Slovenian Music (Sophia, 2013), Titostalgia – A Study of Nostalgia for Josip Broz (Peace Institute, Ljubljana, 2008), Eurosis – A Critique of the New Eurocentrism (Peace Institute, Ljubljana, 2005) and Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina (TAMU Press, 2003). He is co-author of the book Celestial Yugoslavia: Interaction of Political Mythologies and Popular Culture (2012), and co-editor and co-author of books Post-Yugoslavia – New Cultural and Political Perspectives (2014) and Yugoslavia From A Historical Perspective (2017). For his achievements he received four national and one international award (Erasmus EuroMedia Award by European Society for Education and Communication, 2008). He was a full-time visiting professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (2002 and 2003), at Columbia University in New York (2009 and 2014), at University of Rijeka (2015), at New York Institute in St. Petersburg (2015 and 2016), at Yale University (2020), Fulbright visiting researcher in Philadelphia (2004/2005), and visiting researcher at The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (2012) and at the Remarque Institute of the New York University (2018).

Madina Tlostanova
(De)coloniality of Memory: Intersections of Colonial and Totalitarian Trajectories and Creative Memory Work As a Way To “Re-existence”

Сoloniality of memory is one of the effective and inherently violent instruments of modernity as a repressive onto-epistemic system that effectively controls people through imposing specifically constructed and legitimized collective memory models and historical narratives and excluding or disqualifying all other forms and ways to remember. Ultimately this process may lead to extreme forms of zombification and biopolitical control disciplining and supressing the most personal, affective, and corporeal forms of memory. Societies that went through multiple and entangled experiences of politically, existentially, aesthetically, and epistemically repressive regimes such as apartheid, dictatorship, totalitarianism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other forms of modern/colonial unfreedom, tend to come up with complex and often conflicting responses to the wiped out or severely edited memory syndrome in their post-dependence phases where they are faced with a necessity to reimagine and remake their worlds anew through processes of “re-existence”. The post-Soviet/postcolonial struggles with (de)coloniality of memory are an interesting example of such positionality. In my talk I will focus on several fictional and artistic instances of (de)coloniality of memory coming from the post-Soviet space.
Madina Tlostanova is a decolonial thinker and fiction writer, professor of postcolonial feminisms at Linköping University (Sweden). Her research interests focus on decolonial thought, particularly in its aesthetic, existential and epistemic manifestations, feminisms of the Global South, postsocialist human condition, fiction and art, critical future inquiries and critical interventions into complexity, crisis, and change. Her most recent books include What Does it Mean to be Post-Soviet? Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire (Duke University Press, 2018), A new Political Imagination, Making the Case (co-authored with Tony Fry, Routledge, 2020), Decoloniality of Knowledge, Being and Sensing (Centre of Contemporary Culture Tselinny, Kazakhstan, 2020) and the co-edited volume Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues. Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice (co-edited with Redi Koobak and Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, Routledge, 2021). Currently she is working on an experimental mixed media book “Fictions of Unsettlement”.

Simon Weppel
“Stepping Over the Threshold of Time”: The Rise of Heritage in the Brezhnev-Era Soviet Union
In this paper, I will demonstrate what I argue is the development of a ‘heritage temporality’ in the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union. On the basis of a discourse analysis of visitor guidebooks, tourist brochures, and newspaper articles relating to three Lenin museums, I trace a shift in how past, present, and future are discussed in late Soviet society.
Until the mid-1960s, these highly ideologically charged sites emphasise their educational and agitational purpose, describing themselves as ‘sources of inspiration’ for the builders of communism. In the late 1960s and 1970s, however, a gradual change takes place: guidebooks invoke the future ever more rarely, instead inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the historic surroundings of days gone by. Increasingly, the museums favour the restoration and preservation of an idealised past over the continuation of their erstwhile future-oriented discourses.
My paper will theorise this phenomenon and place it into the wider cultural and historical context of the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union, drawing on Reinhart Koselleck’s dichotomy of the ‘space of experience’ and ‘horizon of expectation’ in order to investigate the preconditions for the rise of heritage as a cultural phenomenon – both in the Soviet Union and globally.
Simon Weppel is a PhD Candidate and Cambridge Trust Scholar at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge. He holds a BA from the Free University Berlin, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and has spent time at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and SciencesPo, Paris. His doctoral project studies the development of heritage preservation in the later Soviet Union.


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Translating Memories Speaker Series: Simon Weppel

10 May 2022

"Stepping Over the Threshold of Time”: The Rise of Heritage in the Brezhnev-Era Soviet Union Read more ...

Simon Weppel, University of Cambridge, UK
“Stepping Over the Threshold of Time”: The Rise of Heritage in the Brezhnev-Era Soviet Union
10 May 2022 16.00 (EET)

Simon Weppel
“Stepping Over the Threshold of Time”: The Rise of Heritage in the Brezhnev-Era Soviet Union
In this paper, I will demonstrate what I argue is the development of a ‘heritage temporality’ in the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union. On the basis of a discourse analysis of visitor guidebooks, tourist brochures, and newspaper articles relating to three Lenin museums, I trace a shift in how past, present, and future are discussed in late Soviet society.
Until the mid-1960s, these highly ideologically charged sites emphasise their educational and agitational purpose, describing themselves as ‘sources of inspiration’ for the builders of communism. In the late 1960s and 1970s, however, a gradual change takes place: guidebooks invoke the future ever more rarely, instead inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the historic surroundings of days gone by. Increasingly, the museums favour the restoration and preservation of an idealised past over the continuation of their erstwhile future-oriented discourses.
My paper will theorise this phenomenon and place it into the wider cultural and historical context of the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union, drawing on Reinhart Koselleck’s dichotomy of the ‘space of experience’ and ‘horizon of expectation’ in order to investigate the preconditions for the rise of heritage as a cultural phenomenon – both in the Soviet Union and globally.


Simon Weppel is a PhD Candidate and Cambridge Trust Scholar at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge. He holds a BA from the Free University Berlin, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and has spent time at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and SciencesPo, Paris. His doctoral project studies the development of heritage preservation in the later Soviet Union.

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Mnemonic Migration: Transcultural Transmission, Translation and Circulation of Memory Across and Into Contemporary Europe

27-29 April 2022

A conference at the University of Copenhagen co-organised by the project Read more ...

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Programme
Wednesday, 27 April
14.00-14.15 Opening
14.15-16.15 Panel 1: Memory, Migration, Materiality
Chair: Eneken Laanes
Asmaa Hassaneen: From Royal Copenhagen to Kitsch Coffee Cups Wealth and Poverty in the Travelling Memories of Palestinian Immigrants in Selected Texts and Interviews
John Greaney: Samuel Beckett, Mnemonic Migration, and the Location of Cultural Memory
Thomas van de Putte: From Travelling to Travelled Memory
Hanna Meretoja: Past Worlds as Spaces of Possibility: Agency and its Limits in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Heimsuchung (Visitation)
16.15-16.45 Break
16.45-18.15 Panel 2: Reader Positions and Mnemonic Migration
Chair: Barbara Tönquist-Plewa
Hannah Teichler: Remembering Forced Labour Migration: Recombinant Selves in Anglophone Literature
Jessica Ortner: The Puzzled Reader: Gabs of Indeterminacy in Bosnian War memory
Kaisa Kaakinen: Mediation of Local Memories to Heterogeneous Readerships – The Case of Aleksandar Hemon’s The Lazarus Project
Pérez Baquero: Remembering Conflict and Exile Beyond the National Frame: Max Aub’s Depiction of the Spanish Civil War From a Transnational Gaze

Thursday, 28 April
9.30-11.30 Panel 3: Representation and Circulation of Bosnian War Memories
Chair: Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi
Aigi Heero: Remembering Višegrad: Memories of Childhood and War in Saša Stanišić’s Novel How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone
Dina Abazovic: Where You Come From Under Pressure: Two Novels About the Bosnian War
Fedja Wierød Borčak ”The Value of Returning Memories: How Memory Accounts by Bosnian-Herzegovinian Émigré Writers are Received in Bosna and Herzegovina”
Tea Sindbæk Andersen: Transmitting Bosnian war memories into the Danish and British public: circulation and reception of literature of the Bosnian war
11.30-12.00 Break
12.00-13.00 Keynote: Astrid Erll: Deep Histories of Mnemonic Migration: An Odyssey
13.00-14.00 Panel 4: Multidirectional Memory, Connection, Remediation
Chair: Jessica Ortner
Colin Davis: The Circulation of Memory From Buchenwald to Stalinism and the Bosnian Genocide: Semprun, Goethe and Carola Neher
Unni Langås: Two Stops on the Itinerary of Anne Frank’s Diary
Biljana Markovic: Odyssean Memory and the Refugee Crises, Tracing Transcultural and Transtemporal Mnemonic Relationality in Poetry
Silvia Riva: Camp Antechambers and Dress Rehearsals: Memories of “Minor” Genocides of the Twentieth Century in Contemporary French-Language Fiction
16.00-16.30 Break
16.30-18.30 Panel 5: Post-Socialist Memory in New Contexts
Chair: Tine Rosen
Eneken Laanes: Katja Petrowskaja’s Translational Poetics of Memory
Anja Tippner “People Would Close Their Eyes to Think Back to a Past and Tell Untruths About It Until They Were True”: Literature After Memory Studies and Migratory Aesthetics
Anita Pluwak: Red Princess, Black Widow and Other Stories: Popular Reception of Political (Auto)biographies from Postsocialist Poland
Jan Schwarz The Historical Novel as World Literature of Memory in Contemporary Europe: Olga Tokarczuk’s Kiegi Jakubowe (The Books of Jacob, 2014)

Friday, 29 April
9.30-11.30 Panel 6: Translation and Circulation
Chair: Fedja Wierød Borčak
Mónika Dánél: Shared Memories – Remediation as Accented Reading
Una Tanović: On Prosthetic Memories and Phantom Limbs: Self-Translation and Pseudotranslation in Bekim Sejranović’s Tvoj sin Huckleberry Finn/Din sønn, Huckleberry Finn (2015) and Alen Mešković’s Ukulele jam (2011)
Stijn Vervaet: Translating Memories of the Bosnian War: Translingual Writers as Memory Brokers
Jakob Lothe:Variants of Memory and Narrative in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day
11.30-12.00 Break
12.00-13.00 Keynote: Rebecca Walkowitz: Additional Languages: The Translated Fiction of Lahiri and Luiselli
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-16.00 Panel 7 Iceland-Ireland: Memory, Literature, Culture on the Atlantic Periphery
Chair: Tea Sindbæk Andersen
Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir: Iceland – Ireland: Transnational Memories of Crises in Álfrún Gunnlaugsdóttir’s Siglingin um síkin and Conor O’Callaghan’s Nothing on Earth
Ásta Kristín Benediktsdóttir: The Past That Never Was: Sjón and Jamie O’Neill’s Queer Historical Fiction
Fionnuala Dillane: Crimes on the Atlantic Periphery: Irish and Icelandic Writings From the Edge
16.00-17.00 Closing Round Table

Keynotes:
Astrid Erll (Goethe University Frankfurt / The Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform)
Deep Histories of Mnemonic Migration: An Odyssey
The migration of people and of mnemonic mediations is not just a phenomenon of our present age, but it has its own deep (and largely unexplored) histories. My lecture addresses this longue durée of mnemonic migration, using as an example the Homeric odyssey – both an origin narrative and perpetual medium of travelling memory.
Old narratives such as the odyssey pose a variety of challenges to memory studies: How can we find ways to trace their narrative agency and afterlives across thousands of years, multiple languages and cultures, minds and media?
As we are now living in an age of conspiracy myths, rampant populism, and Putin’s war, I chose to focus not so much on the rich repertoire of cosmopolitan memories that were enabled by and articulated with the odyssey (from James Joyce’s Ulysses to current discourses about refugees). Instead, I will discuss the logic of propaganda, fake news, biased and damaging usages of ‘odyssean memory’. My examples range all the way from medieval slander to Holocaust denial, ‘memory abuse in translation’, and present-day identitarianism. At the heart of my lecture is therefore the pressing question: What makes some kinds of mnemonic migration ‘constructive’ and ‘productive’ and others ‘false’ and ‘abusive’? And how can we describe the formative role of longue durée memory in such processes?
Astrid Erll is Professor of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Goethe-University Frankfurt. She has worked on German, British, South Asian, American, and South African literatures and media cultures. Her research interests include literary history (focus on 19th-21st centuries), media history (focus on film and photography), English and comparative literature, cultural theory, media theory, narratology, transcultural studies and – last not least – memory studies.
Astrid Erll is general editor of the book series Media and Cultural Memory (with A. Nünning, De Gruyter, since 2004) and co-editor of A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies (with A. Nünning, 2010) and Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory (with A. Rigney, 2009). More recently, she published with Ann Rigney Audiovisual Memory and the (Re)Making of Europe(Image & Narrative, 2017) and Cultural Memory after the Transnational Turn (Memory Studies, 2018). She is author of Memory in Culture (Palgrave 2011), an introduction to memory studies which was originally published in German as Kollektives Gedächtnis und Erinnerungskulturen (2005, 3rd ed. 2017) and has also been translated into Chinese, Spanish, and Polish.

Rebecca L. Walkowitz (Rutgers University)
Additional Languages: The Translated Fiction of Lahiri and Luiselli
Contemporary migrant writers know that there is no civic hospitality without multilingualism. However, writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri and Valeria Luiselli are approaching this axiom in unprecedented ways. Instead of expanding original languages, they are creating intralingual and multilingual works that operate in secondary, translated, or additional tongues. They approach the the histories of undocumented children at the U.S. border or immigrant service workers by refusing to establish a single, collective language for their characters, their settings, or their writing. This lecture dilates out from these examples to argue that we need to shift from a paradigm of “foreign languages” to a paradigm of “additional languages.” We need a more robust engagement with the languages that operate both across and within literary histories.
Rebecca L. Walkowitz is Dean of Humanities and Distinguished Professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University.  She the author or editor of 10 books and has delivered more than 80 distinguished lectures in the fields of modernism, contemporary fiction, and world literature in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.  Her book Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature (2015) received Honorable Mention for the first annual Matei Calinescu Prize from the MLA and has recently been published in Japanese in a born-translated edition that includes a new essay and an interview with the translators.  Her current book project, “Future Reading,” focuses a new generation of migrant novelists, essayists, and nonfiction fabulists who are changing how we encounter world languages and how we use languages to create inclusive communities.  An essay taken from the first chapter, “On Not Knowing,” appeared in New Literary History in 2020.A second essay from that project, “Less Than One Language,” appeared in SubStance in 2021, in a special issue on “The Postlingual Turn,” which she co-edited with yasser elhariry.

Organiser:
Mnemonic Migration: Transnational Circulation and Reception of Wartime Memories in post-Yugoslav Migrant Literature (Independent Research Fund Denmark, 2019–2022, Jessica Ortner, Tea Sindbæk Andersen)
Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena (ERC, Grant Number 853385, 2020–2024, project leader Eneken Laanes)

Call for Papers (closed)
This conference aims to explore how memories travel through the aesthetic medium of literature and are translated into new local communities of remembering. The conference concentrates on the travel of memories (Erll 2011) within or into the cultural, geographical and symbolic boundaries of Europe, perhaps fostering new knowledge and attention to events that are otherwise marginalized in a Westernized perspective on the European past and identity.According to Ann Rigney and Astrid Erll (2009), fictional literature is a significant medium of cultural memory that has the ability of “sparking public debates on historical topics that had hitherto been marginalized or forgotten.” This conference looks at transcultural memory formations that are generated: 1) by the mobility of people across or into Europe and 2) by the production of “transcultural memorial forms” (Laanes 2021) that translate experiences to other geographic arenas.
According to Erll (2011), migrants can be seen as carriers of memory, understood as “individuals who share in collective images and narratives of the past.” By expressing their mnemonic displacement – that is, their disorientation in the mnemonic framework of their host country together with their contrasting memories – migrant literature contributes to setting the agenda for future collective remembrance. This conference shall explore how this activity, which we would like to think of as mnemonic migration, speaks to the (re)construction of shared memories in Europe and/or its countries and regions. Furthermore, we are interested in questioning which “transcultural memorial forms” may be used to “culturally translate experiences in order to make them known and intelligible to others,” thus making memories travel (Laanes 2021).
Crucially, the successful travel of memories depends on reception by members of a mnemonic community. Therefore, this conference is also concerned with the reception and recirculation of transcultural memories, asking if novels, due to the “transformative power of the arts and their capacity to mobilize individuals through imagination and affect” (Rigney 2014), may forge what Alison Landsberg (2004) has called prosthetic memory: that is, a deep-felt and empathetic connection to events one has not lived through. We are keen to explore how mediations of memory circulate, how they are received, and if and how they may develop into what we could think of as prosthetic memories in various European contexts, perhaps contributing to new memory canons within Europe.
We welcome papers that consider, but are not limited to, any of the following issues:
• Memory literature by authors who have migrated to or within Europe
• Reception and prosthetic memory
• World literature of memory in a European perspective
• Travelling memory
• Methodological considerations of studying transcultural memory in literature
• Methodological considerations of studying circulation, reception and prosthetic memory

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Margaret Comer at the symposium “Responsibility to Remember: Issues and Perspectives”

22 April 2022

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Dark Heritage in Tallinn: Analyzing Sites of Soviet and Nazi Repression Read more ...

15.00, Tallinn University, room A-121, Narva mnt 25, Tallinn
Dr Comer present the paper “Dark Heritage in Tallinn: Analyzing Sites of Soviet and Nazi Repression” at the symposium organised by Baltic-German University Liaison Office

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: prof Madina Tlostanova

5 April 2022

(De)coloniality of Memory: Intersections of Colonial and Totalitarian Trajectories and Creative Memory Work As a Way To “Re-existence” Read more ...


Madina Tlostanova, Linköping University, Sweden
(De)coloniality of Memory: Intersections of Colonial and Totalitarian Trajectories and Creative Memory Work As a Way To “Re-existence”

5 April 2022 16.00 (Tallinn time)
Tallinn University, Estonia (online)
Please join us on Zoom here

Сoloniality of memory is one of the effective and inherently violent instruments of modernity as a repressive onto-epistemic system that effectively controls people through imposing specifically constructed and legitimized collective memory models and historical narratives and excluding or disqualifying all other forms and ways to remember. Ultimately this process may lead to extreme forms of zombification and biopolitical control disciplining and supressing the most personal, affective, and corporeal forms of memory. Societies that went through multiple and entangled experiences of politically, existentially, aesthetically, and epistemically repressive regimes such as apartheid, dictatorship, totalitarianism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and other forms of modern/colonial unfreedom, tend to come up with complex and often conflicting responses to the wiped out or severely edited memory syndrome in their post-dependence phases where they are faced with a necessity to reimagine and remake their worlds anew through processes of “re-existence”. The post-Soviet/postcolonial struggles with (de)coloniality of memory are an interesting example of such positionality. In my talk I will focus on several fictional and artistic instances of (de)coloniality of memory coming from the post-Soviet space.


Madina Tlostanova is a decolonial thinker and fiction writer, professor of postcolonial feminisms at Linköping University (Sweden). Her research interests focus on decolonial thought, particularly in its aesthetic, existential and epistemic manifestations, feminisms of the Global South, postsocialist human condition, fiction and art, critical future inquiries and critical interventions into complexity, crisis, and change. Her most recent books include What Does it Mean to be Post-Soviet? Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire (Duke University Press, 2018), A new Political Imagination, Making the Case (co-authored with Tony Fry, Routledge, 2020), Decoloniality of Knowledge, Being and Sensing (Centre of Contemporary Culture Tselinny, Kazakhstan, 2020) and the co-edited volume Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues. Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice (co-edited with Redi Koobak and Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, Routledge, 2021). Currently she is working on an experimental mixed media book “Fictions of Unsettlement”


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Diana Popa organised panel at the 2022 Society For Cinema and Media Studies conference

31 March - 3 April 2022

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"Female Historical Cinema and the Workings of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe" Read more ...

Join Diana Popa organised panel “Female Historical Cinema and the Workings of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe” at the 2022 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, Il, March 31—April 3 (online). Find more information here.

Historical cinema is an important part of the Central and Eastern European filmic landscape (Dina Iordanova). It serves as an instrument for the (re)construction of national identities (Thomas Elsaesser) and a vehicle for the politics of memory (Aleida Assmann, Astrid Erll). Regardless of whether monumental or critical (Nietzsche), the CEE historical cinemas used to be created by men and they primarily took into account the male perception of the past, i.e. focused on Great Men and landmark events. Told from the perspective of subordinate nations, the CEE historical cinemas often became part of the subordinate chain, valorizing subjugated nations but at the same time avoiding social history and rejecting the perspective of women or ethnic minorities. Thus, the productions that break this pattern have not been thoroughly researched.

In our panel, we focus on historical cinema in Central and Eastern Europe that is made by women (both directing and non-directing roles), which focuses on female protagonists and hence constructs a female perspective across a variety of historical sub-genres (epics, melodramas, biopics, documentaries, Holocaust films). The papers in this panel seek to answer the following questions: How do historical films made by or with the significant contribution of women negotiate the boundaries between individual and collective memory? To what extent the “female” use of visual patterns and templates contributes to obscuring or uncovering forgotten histories (for example, the Romani genocide during the Second World War)? How does a focus on women’s personal memories provide new understandings of Soviet style repression? What does a focus on non-directing creative female contributions reveal in relation to established historical genres such as the epic, the biopic or the Holocaust film – given that the genre is among the least accessible to female crew?

In the films we have selected – Papusza, Mészáros’s Diary films, Aurora Borealis, Moromeții – The Edge of Time, Eternal Winter, “I Don’t Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians”– history that shapes and determines the lives of individuals and nations in this part of Europe is captured through the prism of an individual immersed in it, who tries to negotiate herself and her place in community. The history experienced and recalled by women is marked with/by the (un)consciousness of its situatedness, by the perception from a specific, individual perspective, through the prism of personal experiences. The trauma that is often the result of these experiences translates into the way history is presented. Individual memories are intertwined with visual patterns and templates elaborated on the level of culture – and enabled by the female situatedness of filmmakers and film protagonists alike.

CHAIR: Diana Popa (Tallinn University)

RESPONDENT: Anikó Imre (University of Southern California)

PARTICIPANTS:

Elżbieta Durys (University of Warsaw) “Reclaiming Minority Female Past in Polish Contemporary Historical Cinema: Papusza by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze”
Diana Popa (Tallinn University) “Ghosts of the Past: Memory and Political Repression in Márta Mészáros’s Diary for my Children (1982)”
Andrea Virginás (Sapientia University Cluj-Napoca) “Restorative memory work in a female mode? Eastern European historical films and female creative involvement”

This panel is sponsored by the ERC funded project “Translating Memories. The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena”.

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Anita Pluwak gives a talk at Lund University about conspiracy fiction and postsocialist culture of suspicion

24 March 2022

"Staging the stolen transition: conspiracy fiction and postsocialism's culture of suspicion" Read more ...

Anita Pluwak gives a talk “Staging the stolen transition: conspiracy fiction and postsocialism’s culture of suspicion” at Lund University on March 24th. The talk is part of research seminars and guest lectures in European, East and Central European and Russian Studies, Spring 2022 at Lund University’s Centre for Languages and Literature.

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: prof Mitja Velikonja

22 February 2022

Poetry after Srebrenica? – A Cultural Reflection on the Yugoslav 1980s Read more ...

Mitja Velikonja, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Poetry after Srebrenica? – A Cultural Reflection on the Yugoslav 1980s

22 February 2022 16.00 (EET)
Tallinn University, Estonia (online)
Please join us on Zoom here

How are we to understand the Yugoslav 1980s today, how are we to write about them, paint them, record or put them into poetry, music or the stage, to sing about them; how are we to value them after the bloody tale of the 1990s? Can we still write poetry on the last Yugoslav decade after what happened in Srebrenica, Vukovar, Ahmići, Sarajevo, and the hundreds other killing fields, or is this too barbaric as well? My presentation analyses the various types of cultural and artistic reflection – i.e. the construction and the perception – upon the 1980s in socialist Yugoslavia as they have developed from its ashes since 1991. As a cultural scientist of post-Yugoslavia – and not as a historian of Yugoslavia –  I will not speak about the historical 1980s but about their contemporary cultural representations; about the artistic construction and deconstruction of that decade; about the way images of the recent past are formed in today’s art and culture. My ambition is not doing historiographical trips from the post-Yugoslav present to the Yugoslav 1980s, but posing culturological questions about how the Yugoslav 1980s are present on the today’s artistic and wider cultural map.
Mitja Velikonja is a Professor for Cultural Studies and head of Center for Cultural and Religious Studies at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Main areas of his research include contemporary Central-European and Balkan political ideologies, subcultures and graffiti culture, collective memory and post-socialist nostalgia. His last monographs are The Chosen Few – Aesthetics and Ideology in Football-Fan Graffiti and Street Art (Doppelhouse Press, 2021), Post-Socialist Political Graffiti in the Balkans and Central Europe (Routledge, 2020, awarded as one of the best achievements of University of Ljubljana in the year 2020, already translated into Serbian and in translation in Slovenian, Macedonian and Albanian), Rock’n’Retro – New Yugoslavism in Contemporary Slovenian Music (Sophia, 2013), Titostalgia – A Study of Nostalgia for Josip Broz (Peace Institute, Ljubljana, 2008), Eurosis – A Critique of the New Eurocentrism (Peace Institute, Ljubljana, 2005) and Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina (TAMU Press, 2003). He is co-author of the book Celestial Yugoslavia: Interaction of Political Mythologies and Popular Culture (2012), and co-editor and co-author of books Post-Yugoslavia – New Cultural and Political Perspectives (2014) and Yugoslavia From A Historical Perspective (2017). For his achievements he received four national and one international award (Erasmus EuroMedia Award by European Society for Education and Communication, 2008). He was a full-time visiting professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (2002 and 2003), at Columbia University in New York (2009 and 2014), at University of Rijeka (2015), at New York Institute in St. Petersburg (2015 and 2016), at Yale University (2020), Fulbright visiting researcher in Philadelphia (2004/2005), and visiting researcher at The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (2012) and at the Remarque Institute of the New York University (2018).

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Anita Pluwak gives a talk at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm

21 February 2022

"Staging the stolen transition: conspiracy and collusion in postsocialist crime fiction" Read more ...

Anita Pluwak gives a talk at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University about conspiracy fiction on February 21st. The talk is entitled “Staging the stolen transition: conspiracy and collusion in postsocialist crime fiction” and is part of CBEES Advanced Seminars

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Comer gives a paper at the annual Society for Historical Archaeology Conference

8 January 2022

"Weaponizing the Heritage of Violence: Competing Memories at Mass Graves in Russia and Ukraine" Read more ...

Margaret Comer presents her paper “Weaponizing the Heritage of Violence: Competing Memories at Mass Graves in Russia and Ukraine” at the annual Society for Historical Archaeology Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Presentation is part of a session entitled “Heritage and Public Archaeology”.

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Panel Mediating the Memory of the Communist Past in Contemporary East Central European Cinemas at ASEEES 2021

3 December 2021

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Join us for the panel organised by Diana Popa Read more ...

3 Dec 10.00-11:45 CST, Virtual Convention, VR 5

In the context of the global resurgence of authoritarian, right wing tendencies, this panel proposes to map changes in the memory discourses about the East Central European past by analysing the aesthetic and narrative strategies that historical films from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania employ in order to respond to the changing needs of the present. The panel seeks to explore the memory of the communist past that these films reconstruct in relation to (a) official discourses about the past; (b) their popularity and/or recognition at global, regional and national levels; c) oppositional discourses of victims and perpetrators. The aim is to offer a nuanced understanding of how these films work within local/ global memory discourses and how these, in turn, affect their reception at local and/ or global level.
Chair: Diana Popa, Tallinn University
Discussant: Katarína Misikova, Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava
Speakers:
Elzbieta Durys, University of Warsaw
‘Reclaiming Past’ and ‘Filling in the Blank Spots’: Prevailing Elements in Contemporary Polish Historical Cinema
Janka Dudková, Institute of Theatre and Film Research, CRA, SAS
From the Rhetorics of ‘Glasnost’ to Contemporary ‘Anticommunism’ in Slovak Film
Andrea Virginás, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
21st Century Historical Films and Small National Collective Memory: Examples from Hungary and Romania
Diana Popa, Tallinn University
Memory and the Communist Past in Romanian Historical Films: From Revolutionary Uncertainty to Hopeless Didacticism

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: Dr Mischa Gabowitsch

30 November 2021

Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities Read more ...

Mischa Gabowitsch, Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany
Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities

30 November 2021 16.00 (EET)
Tallinn University, Estonia (online)
Please register here

The rise of expressions of regret and atonement for past atrocities has been described as the triumph of an international norm, and recent years have seen increased scholarly interest in the different actors and processes—sub-, trans-, or supra-national—that contribute to the diffusion of that norm. Yet in most cases, the idea is articulated not simply as the application of a universal norm to a particular national or local context, but by analogy. Other countries are held up as examples, as models to emulate or as unreachable gold standards of atonement. Germany in particular is often referred to as a master atoner, a country with an exemplary track record of “coming to terms with its past” that holds valuable lessons for other nations.
Based on a major volume I edited, in this talk I will explore the effects and implications of atoning by analogy. I distinguish between four different ideal-typical uses of foreign models in debates about atonement: as a springboard, a yardstick, a foil, or a screen, and illustrate them with examples from around the world before focusing more specifically on the role that references to the “German model” have played in a Soviet and post-Soviet Russian context.


Mischa Gabowitsch is a historian and sociologist based at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a BA and MA from Oxford and a PhD from the School of Advanced Social Studies (EHESS) in Paris, and is an alumnus fellow of the Princeton University Society of Fellows and past editor-in-chief of the Russian journals NZ and Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research. His book publications in English are Protest in Putin’s Russia and Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities. He has also edited several books in Russian and German on war memory and commemoration in Russia and beyond. At present he is working on a history of Soviet war memorials as well as a book on Victory Day celebrations since 1945, and also has various projects related to pragmatic sociology and specifically the sociology of regimes of engagement

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Translating Memories Online Speaker Series Autumn 2021

19 October - 30 November 2021

Featuring Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius, Maria Kobielska and Mischa Gabowitsch, Read more ...

19 October 2021 16.00 (EEST)
Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Palimpsestic Memoryscape: Heterotopias, “Multiculturalism”, and Racism in the Polish Cityscape

9 November 2021 16.00 (EET)
Maria Kobielska, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland
Poland Exhibited: Polish Museum Boom and the Problem of International Recognition

30 November 2021 16.00 (EET)
Mischa Gabowitsch, Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany
Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities

Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius
Palimpsestic Memoryscape: Heterotopias, “Multiculturalism”, and Racism in the Polish Cityscape

In this talk, I will present an article that has recently been accepted for publication in the History & Memory journal. The article examines the palimpsestic memoryscape of Białystok, the largest city in northeast Poland, to illuminate the ongoing struggle in contemporary Poland between two memory regimes: the declarative “multiculturalism” and the submerged racism. It employs the concept of “heterotopia” as a theoretical device and walking as a method to study the Jewish Heritage Trail (JHT) as an attempt to recover the memory of bygone multiethnicity and, in doing so, to mint a new “multicultural” brand for the city. By analyzing the post-Jewish spaces located on the JHT—all of which have been appropriated, erased, and/or marginalized—the article shows that this new “multicultural” memory regime is shot through with racism, because it reproduces the inequalities and segregation that structured inter-ethnic relationships in the past.
Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius is Postdoctoral Researcher (Core Fellow) in media and communication at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki. Having previously done research on ethical trade communication, she is currently working on a project concerning mediated racism and nationalism in Poland. Her articles have been published in journals across disciplines such as Nations and Nationalism, Globalizations, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, and Media and Communication.

Maria Kobielska
Poland Exhibited: Polish Museum Boom and the Problem of International Recognition

In the talk, I explore the potential of the Polish past being exhibited in the global context, drawing on my research on the Polish museum boom in the 21st century. In recent years, historical museums have gained particular attention in Poland; multiple newly founded or rearranged institutions, offering spectacular exhibitions, powerfully influence visions of the past. “New museums” occupy prominent position within contemporary Polish memory culture and thus can serve as touchstones of its dynamics. As visual, performative and emotional memory media, museum exhibitions promise to transcend the boundaries of a single national perspective and language in order to make regional past intelligible in the global context. Museum creators frequently express their aspirations to do so. For instance, Paweł Machcewicz, the first director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, elaborates on the figure of a “tourist from Portugal” as an imaginary visitor of the exhibition, used in the course of his team’s work to communicate regional and Polish memory of the war in an internationally comprehensible way (Machcewicz 2017). Leading museums of the 21st century often aim at both domestic and international audiences and consequently struggle to simultaneously perform divergent, if not conflicting, tasks. This has so often been a bone of contention: how should museums prioritise? On the one hand, there is a risk of self-colonisation, when local memory is reduced to an internationally recognisable form. On the other, when celebrating local memory is valued over contextualising and communicating, it is probable that ressentiment rather than empowerment will follow. In the course of the talk I will analyse diverse museum strategies designed to neutralise both risks, taking into account prevalent historical policies and codes of memory culture. I will focus on Polish museums that are most popular among the international audience, like the Warsaw Rising Museum and the Museum of the Second World War, but also explore lesser-known cases that can inspire “curatorial dreaming” (Butler&Lehrer 2016) about new forms of citizenship and community.
Maria Kobielska, PhD, is a memory scholar, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, member of the Research Center for Memory Cultures (JU), of the Memory Studies Association, and of the Polish Association of Cultural Studies. She has written on contemporary Polish literature and culture in the context of memory and politics. Her most recent book discusses Polish memory culture in the 21st century (Polska kultura pamięci: dominanty. Zbrodnia katyńska, powstanie warszawskie i stan wojenny, 2016) and she is currently working on a research project that focuses specifically on new Polish historical museums.

Mischa Gabowitsch
Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities
The rise of expressions of regret and atonement for past atrocities has been described as the triumph of an international norm, and recent years have seen increased scholarly interest in the different actors and processes—sub-, trans-, or supra-national—that contribute to the diffusion of that norm. Yet in most cases, the idea is articulated not simply as the application of a universal norm to a particular national or local context, but by analogy. Other countries are held up as examples, as models to emulate or as unreachable gold standards of atonement. Germany in particular is often referred to as a master atoner, a country with an exemplary track record of “coming to terms with its past” that holds valuable lessons for other nations.
Based on a major volume I edited, in this talk I will explore the effects and implications of atoning by analogy. I distinguish between four different ideal-typical uses of foreign models in debates about atonement: as a springboard, a yardstick, a foil, or a screen, and illustrate them with examples from around the world before focusing more specifically on the role that references to the “German model” have played in a Soviet and post-Soviet Russian context.
Mischa Gabowitsch is a historian and sociologist based at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a BA and MA from Oxford and a PhD from the School of Advanced Social Studies (EHESS) in Paris, and is an alumnus fellow of the Princeton University Society of Fellows and past editor-in-chief of the Russian journals NZ and Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research. His book publications in English are Protest in Putin’s Russia and Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities. He has also edited several books in Russian and German on war memory and commemoration in Russia and beyond. At present he is working on a history of Soviet war memorials as well as a book on Victory Day celebrations since 1945, and also has various projects related to pragmatic sociology and specifically the sociology of regimes of engagement.

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: Dr Maria Kobielska

9 November 2021

Poland Exhibited: Polish Museum Boom and the Problem of International Recognition Read more ...

Maria Kobielska, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland
Poland Exhibited: Polish Museum Boom and the Problem of International Recognition

9 November 2021 16.00 (EET)
Tallinn University, Estonia (online)
Please register here

In the talk, I explore the potential of the Polish past being exhibited in the global context, drawing on my research on the Polish museum boom in the 21st century. In recent years, historical museums have gained particular attention in Poland; multiple newly founded or rearranged institutions, offering spectacular exhibitions, powerfully influence visions of the past. “New museums” occupy prominent position within contemporary Polish memory culture and thus can serve as touchstones of its dynamics. As visual, performative and emotional memory media, museum exhibitions promise to transcend the boundaries of a single national perspective and language in order to make regional past intelligible in the global context. Museum creators frequently express their aspirations to do so. For instance, Paweł Machcewicz, the first director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, elaborates on the figure of a “tourist from Portugal” as an imaginary visitor of the exhibition, used in the course of his team’s work to communicate regional and Polish memory of the war in an internationally comprehensible way (Machcewicz 2017). Leading museums of the 21st century often aim at both domestic and international audiences and consequently struggle to simultaneously perform divergent, if not conflicting, tasks. This has so often been a bone of contention: how should museums prioritise? On the one hand, there is a risk of self-colonisation, when local memory is reduced to an internationally recognisable form. On the other, when celebrating local memory is valued over contextualising and communicating, it is probable that ressentiment rather than empowerment will follow. In the course of the talk I will analyse diverse museum strategies designed to neutralise both risks, taking into account prevalent historical policies and codes of memory culture. I will focus on Polish museums that are most popular among the international audience, like the Warsaw Rising Museum and the Museum of the Second World War, but also explore lesser-known cases that can inspire “curatorial dreaming” (Butler&Lehrer 2016) about new forms of citizenship and community.

Maria Kobielska, PhD, is a memory scholar, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, member of the Research Center for Memory Cultures (JU), of the Memory Studies Association, and of the Polish Association of Cultural Studies. She has written on contemporary Polish literature and culture in the context of memory and politics. Her most recent book discusses Polish memory culture in the 21st century (Polska kultura pamięci: dominanty. Zbrodnia katyńska, powstanie warszawskie i stan wojenny, 2016) and she is currently working on a research project that focuses specifically on new Polish historical museums.

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: Dr Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius

19 October 2021

Palimpsestic Memoryscape: Heterotopias, “Multiculturalism”, and Racism in the Polish Cityscape Read more ...

Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Palimpsestic Memoryscape: Heterotopias, “Multiculturalism”, and Racism in the Polish Cityscape

19 October 2021 16.00 (EEST)
Tallinn University (online)
Please register here


In this talk, I will present an article that has recently been accepted for publication in the History & Memory journal. The article examines the palimpsestic memoryscape of Białystok, the largest city in northeast Poland, to illuminate the ongoing struggle in contemporary Poland between two memory regimes: the declarative “multiculturalism” and the submerged racism. It employs the concept of “heterotopia” as a theoretical device and walking as a method to study the Jewish Heritage Trail (JHT) as an attempt to recover the memory of bygone multiethnicity and, in doing so, to mint a new “multicultural” brand for the city. By analyzing the post-Jewish spaces located on the JHT—all of which have been appropriated, erased, and/or marginalized—the article shows that this new “multicultural” memory regime is shot through with racism, because it reproduces the inequalities and segregation that structured inter-ethnic relationships in the past.


Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius is Postdoctoral Researcher (Core Fellow) in media and communication at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki. Having previously done research on ethical trade communication, she is currently working on a project concerning mediated racism and nationalism in Poland. Her articles have been published in journals across disciplines such as Nations and Nationalism, Globalizations, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, and Media and Communication.

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Margaret Comer presents her work at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre

14 October 2021

Join Margaret for her talk "Translating Memories: Researching the Heritage of Victimhood, Perpetration, and Implication in Post-Soviet States". Read more ...

Join Margaret Comer for her talk “Translating Memories: Researching the Heritage of Victimhood, Perpetration, and
Implication in Post-Soviet States”
on Thursday 14 October, 1-2pm. To receive a link to this event please register at: https://tinyurl.com/54kppemw

After completing my PhD at Cambridge, I moved to Tallinn University as a member of ‘Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in Global Perspective’. This is an interdisciplinary project within the realm of cultural theory, and I work alongside scholars from across Europe who study literature and film as well as memory cultures. Due to the pandemic, I have been unable to travel to Russia or Ukraine for fieldwork as planned. However, I have visited sites of Nazi or Soviet violence in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and begun to critically analyse the competing, weaponized depictions of victimhood and perpetration that I observed across this wide variety of sites, including memorial museums, concentration camps, killing sites, and prisons. In terms of theory, I have explored the presence of the ‘implicated subject’, as theorized by Michael Rothberg, at sites of Soviet mass repression in Russia. This talk will present an overview of my work-in-progress on sites displaying victimhood and perpetration across Russia and the Baltic states. The presentation will also include short reflections on transitioning from the PhD to a postdoc.

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Laanes in MSA 2021 Warsaw Sub-plenary How Memory Mediates the Past in History and in Literature

9 July 2021

Laanes to discuss responsibility, redemption and the late Soviet subject in Julian Barnes’s novel The Noise of Time Read more ...

Sub-plenary Session 1: How Memory Mediates the Past in History and in Literature
14-16 (GMT+2)
Chair: Tea Sindbaek Andersen, University of Copenhagen
Discussants:
Astrid Erll, Goethe University Frankfurt
Hans Ruin, Department of Culture and Learning, Södertörn University
Speakers:
Julie Hansen, Uppsala University
Fiction as a Grey Zone between History and Memory
Patrick Hutton, University of Vermont
The Celebrity of Walter Benjamin
Siobhan Kattago, University of Tartu
Odysseus and the Bard: Bridging the Gap between Experience and Narrative
Eneken Laanes, Tallinn University
Julian Barnes’s Dmitri Shostakovich: Responsibility and Redemption

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Panel Victims, Perpetrators, Implicated Subjects in Central and Eastern Europe at MSA 2021 Warsaw

8 July 2021

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Join us for the panel organised by our project Read more ...

H18: Victims, Perpetrators and Implicated Subjects in Central and Eastern Europe
8 July 11-13 (GMT+2)

Many scholars in memory studies have drawn attention to the inadequacy of the victim-perpetrator dichotomy for understanding political violence in various historical situation and even more so in remembering the violence by subsequent generations. Eastern Europe is a case in point here. Soviet repressions in Russia often turned perpetrators of the first wave of repressions into the victims of the next (Etkind 2013). During WWII in East Central Europe, Ukraine and the Baltic states the victims of one occupying regime sometimes became the perpetrators of the next. During the socialist regime in Eastern Europe most of people did not occupy neither of these two positions, but still suffered and/or were complicit with autoritarian regimes. How to describe the convergence of these subject positions in relations to violence?
And what are the forms of implication (Rothberg 2019) of contemporary generations of Eastern Europeans in this past? More often than not we see the national states in the region externalise violence and identify with victims of past violence without bringing up the question of responsibility for collaboration and complicity. How to describe the implicated subjects in Eastern Europe and what are the ways in which they are implicated in the past of the region?
The panel seeks answers to these questions by exploring commemorative practices and aesthetic media of memory that enable to forge subject positions that are resisted and made difficult to imagine or to adopt by the politics of memory in different contexts in Eastern Europe.
Chair:
Eneken Laanes, Tallinn University
Discussant:
Ljiljana Radonić, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History
Speakers:
Margaret Comer, Tallinn University
Portraying Perpetration, Victimhood, and Implication at Sites of Soviet Repression in Moscow
Daria Mattingly, University of Cambridge
Implicated Subjects of the Holodomor
Diana Popa, Tallinn University
Spectacular Provocations: Implicated Spectators in Contemporary Hungarian and Romanian Historical Films

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Margaret Comer presents at the Fifth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies

8 June 2021

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Memorials, Museums, and Memorial Museums: Remembering Mass Repression in Contemporary Moscow

Workshop Victims, Perpetrators, Implicated Subjects in Central and Eastern Europe

3-4 June 2021

Project workshop with a public keynote lecture by Ljiljana Radonić Read more ...

Thursday, 3 June (open to public)

16.00 – Online keynote address

“Perpetrators and Collaborators in Post-Socialist Memorial Museums in the Era of Victimhood” (Ljiljana Radonić, Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna)

Please register here

17.30 – Virtual cocktail hour

 

Friday, 4 June (open only to the presenting participants)

10.00 – Introduction (Eneken Laanes, Tallinn University)

10.30 – Session 1: Available Subject Positions in Museums and Memorials

“Diversification and Alternative Subject Positions: On Museological Representation of Communism in Estonia” (Ene Kõresaar and Kirsti Jõesalu, University of Tartu)

“Portraying Perpetration, Victimhood, and Implication at Sites of Soviet Repression in Moscow” (Margaret Comer, Tallinn University)

11:30 – Coffee Break

11:45 – Session 2: Rethinking the Implicated Subject

“Man-Made Famine Without Perpetrators? To the Question of the Rank-and-File Perpetrators in the Holodomor Studies” (Daria Mattingly, University of Cambridge)

“Perpetrator and/or Victim – Family History and the Totalitarian Condition in Stepanova and Lebedev” (Anja Tippner, University of Hamburg)

12.45 – Lunch

14.00 – Session 3: The Implicated Subject in Film

“Spectacular Provocation: Implicated Spectators in I Do Not Care if We go Down in History as Barbarians”(Diana Popa, Tallinn University)

“The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Perpetrator Memory in two Lithuanian Films: Purple Mist (2019) and Izaokas (2019)” (Violeta Davoliute, Vilnius University)

15:00 – Coffee Break

15:15 – Session 4: General Discussion and Workshopping 

16:00 – End of the Workshop

Many scholars in memory studies have drawn attention to the inadequacy of the victim-perpetrator dichotomy for understanding political violence in various historical situation and even more so in remembering the violence by subsequent generations. Eastern Europe is a case in point here. Soviet repressions in Russia often turned perpetrators of the first wave of repressions into the victims of the next (Etkind 2013). During WWII in East Central Europe, Ukraine and the Baltic states the victims of one occupying regime sometimes became the perpetrators of the next. During the socialist regime in Eastern Europe most of people did not occupy neither of these two positions, but still suffered and/or were complicit with autoritarian regimes. How to describe the convergence of these subject positions in relations to violence?
And what are the forms of implication (Rothberg 2019) of contemporary generations of Eastern Europeans in this past? More often than not we see the national states in the region externalise violence and identify with victims of past violence without bringing up the question of responsibility for collaboration and complicity. How to describe the implicated subjects in Eastern Europe and what are the ways in which they are implicated in the past of the region?
The workshop seeks answers to these questions by exploring commemorative practices and aesthetic media of memory that enable to forge subject positions that are resisted and made difficult to imagine or to adopt by the politics of memory in different contexts in Eastern Europe.

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Performing the Documentary in Eastern Europe

21 May 2021

Workshop at Lund University co-organised by the project Read more ...

9.00 Welcome (Johanna Lindbladh, Lund University and Anja Tippner, University of Hamburg
9.15 Keynote
Reflections on the Institutions and Sociology of Contemporary Russian Documentary Film (Jeremy Hicks, University of London, Queen Mary)
10.00 Break
10.10 Parallel breakout sessions: Discussions of 4-5 chapter proposals in 3 groups
12.15 Lunch
12.45 Keynote
The Documentary in Concentrationary Art (Elizabeth Saxton, University of London, Queen Mary)
13.30 Concluding Remarks

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Johanna Ross presents at the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences webinar “Kirjanike ilmavaatest. Seminar ilmast kirjanduses”

21 May 2021

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Braving the Weather in Soviet Literature. Lilli Promet and Others.

Diana Popa presents at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory (The Institute of Modern Languages Research) Seminar Series Mediated Memories of Responsibility

19 May 2021

Website

Spectacular provocations: Spectatorship and Responsibility in Radu Jude’s Historical Films Read more ...

In her paper “Spectacular provocations: Spectatorship and Responsibility in Radu Jude’s Historical Films”, Diana explores Radu Jude’s Aferim! (2015) and “Îmi este indiferent dacă intrăm în istorie ca barbari” / “I Do Not Care if We go Down in History as Barbarians” (2018), two recent films that articulate histories of violence, such as the issue of Roma slavery and the genocide of Eastern European Jewry during the Second World War, from within a specific socio-historical and cultural context. Both films are representative for the filmmaker’s continued interest in confronting Romanian audience with shameful aspects of their past. Diana will analyse how the two films use generic formats (the Western) and techniques (direct address and re-enactment) not only to entertain but also to invite spectatorial reflection on the effects on the present of a past left unaddressed by years of communist and post-communist mythmaking. She argues that analysing cinematic and narrative spectacle in relation to the spectatorial positions developed by the two films may help uncover new understandings (both notions of solidarity and also responsibility) in relation to forgotten histories and painful memories of authoritarian pasts.

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Translating Memories Speaker Series: Andrea Virginás

13 April 2021

21st Century Historical Films and Small Nations' Collective Memory: Examples from Hungary and Romania Read more ...

21st Century Historical Films and Small Nations’ Collective Memory: Examples from Hungary and Romania
Andrea Virginás (Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)


Tuesday, 13 April 2021 17.00 (EEST)
Tallinn University
Please join us here


In the talk I will present the first results of an individual research that aims to describe, analyze and theorize the role of 21st century historical films in an Eastern European/Hungarian, Polish and Romanian context, films that have often been met with resounding success within their domestic markets. The interpretative framework derives from cultural trauma theory and memory studies combined with the analysis of fictional feature films, and Thomas Elsaesser’s argument according to which European cinema may be conceived of “as a dispositif that constitutes, through an appeal to memory and identification, a special form of address, at once highly individual and capable of fostering a sense of belonging” (Elsaesser 2005, 21). A short introduction will sketch the phenomenon within the context of the only major national cinema in the former Eastern Bloc, the Polish one, with reference to the 2007 Katyn or the 2015 Ida, suggesting that the robustness of the industry and the size of the domestic market have been important factors in succeeding to activate “3rd generation” memory work (Assmann 2012) referring chiefly to the Second World War. Then, based on the model of Aleida Assmann who connects three generations to communicative memory – the victims who lived through collective traumas, the next generation of those who forgot, and the third generation who “meant to give a voice to historical memory” (Assmann 2012, 13) – I will continue with the analysis of two small national cinemas and their pertinent examples from the 21st century, trying to understand those features that lead to the popularity of such titles as Son of Saul (L. Nemes, 2015), Aferim! (R. Jude, 2015), Bet On Revenge (G. Herendi, 2017), Morometii 2 (S. Gulea, 2018), and Eternal Winter (A Szasz, 2018). I will examine the distribution routes and awards of the films, as possibly intertwined with the high domestic audience numbers, and will pay attention to the films’ Facebook pages and the fan-based conversations developed on social media – also influenced by film critical pieces. In the stylistic and narrative analysis of the films I rely on well known concepts that connect fictional historical films and communicative memory-work: Janet Walker’s “trauma cinema,” Alison Landsberg’s prosthetic memory, Susannah Radstone’s “cinema/memory,” Marianne Hirsch’s postmemory (2008), or Astrid Erll and Stephanie Wodianka’s “Erinnerungsfilm/memory film”. However, as suggested by the high audience numbers, the cryptic, innovative and creative ways of conveying collective traumatization through audiovisual storytelling have been complemented with further elements beloved by Hungarian and Romanian domestic audiences. In my conclusion I will suggest that the addition of humor, the mixing of genres and a prescience of the television aesthetics popularized by 2020s streaming platforms have been also influential in the domestic success of the mentioned films. I will end by reflecting on the issue of whether these and more recent titles – I Don’t Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians (R. Jude, 2018), Tall Tales (A. Szasz, 2019), Those Who Remained (B. Toth, 2019), Queen Marie of Romania (Alexis Cahill, 2019) or Malmkrog (C. Puiu, 2020) – may be considered as creating small national collectives of remembrance around the third generation “meant to give a voice to historical memory” (Assmann 2012, 13).
Andrea Virginás – MA in Gender Studies, PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies – is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at Sapientia The Hungarian University of Transylvania, Cluj, Romania. Her research interests include film genres, European cinema, cultural theory, intermediality, narratology. She is the author of Post/Modern Crime: From Agatha Christie to Palahniuk, from Film Noir to Memento (VDM Verlag, 2011), the editor of The Use of Cultural Studies Approaches in the Study of Eastern European Cinema: Spaces, Bodies, Memories (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016), and has published in Studies in Eastern European Cinema, European Journal of English Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Journal of European Studies, Communicazioni Sociali and in the volumes Popular Cinemas in East Central Europe: Film Cultures and Histories (I. B. Tauris, 2017), New Romanian Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), European Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: Discourses, Directions, and Genres (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and Beyond Media Borders: Intermedial Relations among Multimodal Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

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Diana Popa gives a paper at the 2021 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference

19 March 2021

Hopeless Didacticism: Spectatorial Mode of Address in I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians

Eneken Laanes is the panelist at the online webinar Polarized Pasts at Stockholm University

13 January 2021

Website

This webinar aims to lay the foundation for a new research program exploring the complex intersections of heritage and polarization. Eneken is part of the international advisory board of the planned program. Read more ...

This webinar aims to lay the foundation for a new research program exploring the complex intersections of heritage and polarization. Eneken is part of the international advisory board of the planned program.

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Margaret Comer gives a virtual paper in the Society for Historical Archaeology’s 2021 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology.

8 January 2021

Website

The session, ‘Pandemic Fieldwork: Doing Fieldwork during a Pandemic’, ‘discusses both novel and reworked methodological approaches for conducting, or attempting to conduct, archeological fieldwork during a global pandemic’. Margaret‘s paper, ‘Shifting Remembrance: On-Site and Digital Memorialization of Soviet Mass Repression in the Wake of COVID-19’, focuses on how the pandemic has changed encounters with and […] Read more ...

The session, ‘Pandemic Fieldwork: Doing Fieldwork during a Pandemic’, ‘discusses both novel and reworked methodological approaches for conducting, or attempting to conduct, archeological fieldwork during a global pandemic’. Margaret‘s paper, ‘Shifting Remembrance: On-Site and Digital Memorialization of Soviet Mass Repression in the Wake of COVID-19’, focuses on how the pandemic has changed encounters with and at a network of Moscow ‘dark heritage’ sites of Soviet repression, focusing on the places of violence themselves as well as the perception and dissemination of memories these sites are meant to preserve. Digital platforms and networks have already been used to disseminate historical, memorial, and political information that risk official censure in other media; thus, this paper also examines how the pandemic has changed stakeholder, activist, and government attitudes towards digital memorialization of Soviet repression and what these changes mean for the heritagization of mass repression.

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Nordic Memory Studies Conference, Lund University with keynote by Eneken Laanes

29-30 October 2020

Conference Performing the Documentary in Post-Communist Art and Culture co-organised by Translating Memories, Lund University

16-18 October 2020

Postponed to 21-23 May 2021 Read more ...

Postponed to 21-23 May 2021

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Margaret Comer gives a paper in the first Annual Post-Socialist and Comparative Memory Studies (PoSoCoMeS, Memory Studies Association Working Group) Conference

21 September - 1 October 2020

Website

Margaret’s presentation, entitled ‘Heritagescapes of Repression: legacies of mass violence in contemporary Russia’, examines the conceptual heritagescapes of four sites related to Soviet repression in Moscow, Russia. She is looking at how victims and perpetrators are portrayed (or not portrayed) at these sites and introducing her theoretical models of ‘grievability’ (inspired by Judith Butler’s theory […] Read more ...

Margaret’s presentation, entitled ‘Heritagescapes of Repression: legacies of mass violence in contemporary Russia’, examines the conceptual heritagescapes of four sites related to Soviet repression in Moscow, Russia. She is looking at how victims and perpetrators are portrayed (or not portrayed) at these sites and introducing her theoretical models of ‘grievability’ (inspired by Judith Butler’s theory of the same name) and ‘blameability’. Differing degrees of grievability and blameability at a given site can be plotted against each other on a chart to discern different sites’ manifestations of grief and blame, potentially allowing us to discern patterns in different types’ of sites presentations and their underlying motivations.

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Eneken Laanes presents at The Other Europe: Changes and Challenges since 1989, Yale University

11-12 September 2020

Website

Seminar with Prof Violeta Davoliūtė Multidirectional Memory: Lithuanian Jews and the Soviet Deportations of June 1941

20 February 2020

Website

Eneken Laanes gives a paper at Jaan Kross’s anniversary conference The Ropewalker: Jaan Kross 100

19 February 2020

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