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"Regions of Memory II: Memory Regions as Discourse and Imagination"

CAS 05/10/2015

International Conference, Warsaw, 17-19 March 2016
This conference aims to revisit the regional structuration of memory, an issue that was discussed in an earlier meeting within the series in 2012, with a view to gaining further insights into the construction of memory regions – i.e. discursive arenas of memory that are above the level of the nation-state but not fully universal. It considers the ways in which public debate, digital discourse, written narratives and visual representations form constellations of memory that transcend the nation-state whilst also imposing spatial limits. Finally, as in the first instalment of ‘Regions of Memory’, it seeks out points of comparison and contact between Eastern Europe with other regions of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and/or the Americas.
Current events point to the widening of political and cultural divisions on a global scale, and simultaneously to a greater integration of memory cultures within international civil society. Thus, the war in Ukraine has seemingly opened up a civilizational chasm between Russia and the ‘West’ and invalidated any lingering conceptions about the ‘brotherly’ unity of the two largest post-Soviet states. In other words, if a ‘post-Soviet’ or ‘East Slavic’ region of memory existed in any shape or form, its borders are shifting and it is being replaced by a different cultural and geopolitical configuration that overlaps with the distinction between liberal democracy and ‘Europeanness’ on the one hand, and authoritarian alternatives on the other. This also, potentially, means a major shift in Eastern European memory frames, from the commemorative and epistemological similarities of a region defined by the limit events of the mid-twentieth century (i.e. Timothy Snyder’s concept of the Bloodlands) to a more heterogeneous and variegated terrain in which post-imperial and post-socialist transformations play an important mediating role in the construction of common points of historical reference. It becomes pertinent to question the extent to which, for example, transnational narratives of Holocaust memory interact with discursive recriminations against totalitarian terror in the former Soviet periphery. Is the ‘double genocide’ thesis, which has gained traction in some countries of Eastern Europe, post-colonial? If so, in what ways does it draw upon narratives of post-coloniality that originated in other parts of the globe?
Full details: <a target=_blank href=http://genealogies.enrs.eu/cfp-regions-of-memory-ii-memory-regions-as-discourse-and-imagination/>http://genealogies.enrs.eu</a>

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