Lecturer on Government and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Harvard University; Faculty Associate & Editor, Open Forum Series, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
May 5, 2021
12:30pm - 2:00pm
This seminar will feature a discussion with the authors of a recently published online special issue of East European Politics and Societies, entitled “Circulation, Conditions, Claims: Examining the Politics of Historical Memory in Eastern Europe.” (To download a copy of the full issue see below).
Across Eastern Europe how the past is remembered has become a crucial factor for understanding present-day political developments within and between states. In this introduction, we first present the articles that form part of this special section through a discussion of the various methods used by the authors to demonstrate the potential ways into studying collective memory. We then define the regional characteristics of Eastern Europe’s mnemonic politics and the reasons for their oftentimes conflictual character. Thereafter we consider three thematic arenas that situate the individual contributions to this special section within the wider scholarly debate. First, we examine the institutional and structural conditions that shape the circulation of memory and lead to conflictive constellations of remembering; second, we discuss how different regime types and cultural rules influence the framing of historical episodes, paying attention to supranational integration and the role of technological change; third, we consider the different types of actors that shape the present recall of the past, including political elites, social movements, and society at large. We conclude by identifying several promising avenues for further research.