Date and venue: 6-8 November 2014, Warsaw
Deadline for abstracts: 15 May 2014
The twenty-fifth anniversary of 1989 in Eastern Europe invites us to analyze the gradual transformation of memories of the collapse of state socialism at individual and collective levels. It offers us an opportunity to historicize the ‘memory boom’ that began in 1989/1991 and continues to define the cultures of the region. The Genealogies of Memory program invites scholars engaged in memory studies, oral history, or biographical research to discuss their conceptual agendas, focusing on how the change has been commemorated, remembered, or forgotten in Eastern Europe and beyond.
The conference hopes to address the following questions in particular:
– Who are the primary agents of the memory of 1989–1991? For whom are the national and transnational events of that period important, how and why?
– What different horizons of expectation and realms of experience pertained in 1989–1991? How have these expectations and experiences been articulated, transmitted, and reconstructed?
– How have different groups, communities, milieus, or professional groups understood and discussed the origins, events and consequences of 1989–1991?
– How have dominant narratives of 1989–1991 evolved in the political, cultural, and academic-educational realms nationally and transnationally?
– To what extent and in what specific ways have such public narratives been translated into, reflected in, or contested by communicative and individual memories and vice-versa?
With the “Genealogies of Memory” project we facilitate academic exchange between Central and East European scholars of individual and collective memory, and intend to promote this region’s study of memory among the broader international academic community.
What is specific to the conferences and seminars held so far is, on the one hand, an attempt to define the specificity of Central and Eastern Europe as regards history and memory by looking at the changing practices of remembrance in the region during the twentieth and the twenty first centuries; and on the other hand, a proposal to see history and memory in a broader European and global context, and to search for possible application of memory research from this region within the broader international study of social and cultural memory. We are particularly interested in theoretical and methodological questions as viewed against specific historical and geographical contexts.