Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe. Theories and Methods

Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe
Theories and Methods

Warsaw, November 23-25, 2011


The purpose of this conference is to reflect on the methodology and the state of memory research in Central and Eastern Europe. We would like to sketch a map of European research schools on memory, with a particular reference to theoretical proposals which either originated in Central and Eastern Europe or are used to study the memory of this region. Scholars from various disciplines are welcome to join the debate on the history of memory.

The conference will address the following issues:

1. The specific nature of Central and Eastern Europe’s historical experience

What historical events and traditions may bind the societies of Central and Eastern Europe into communities of memory, even if they remain internally conflicted? What was the influence of various ethnic groups and the specifics of nation building process on shaping memories in the region? Then, are the theoretical concepts and research methods developed by scholars from outside the region adequate for conveying the specificity – if such exists – of Central and Eastern Europe?

2. Research categories

In the most general sense, what theories should we explore and what institutions and media of memory should we examine in order to render the phenomenon of addressing the past in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe? And why do we speak of memory and not of history when considering how the past exists in the present?

3. Research themes, techniques and data collections

We would like to ask scholars of various disciplines e.g. sociologists, historians, literature specialists and others studying Central and Eastern Europe to present their research methods and techniques. We are interested in studies on memory from Germany to Russia, from Estonia to Bulgaria. There will also be a place to discuss both the practice and the practitioners of commemoration: historical policy and its makers as well as museums and other institutions collecting visual documentation and oral history.

Professor Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz) will give the keynote address.

Languages of the conference: English preferred, Polish or German possible.

Abstracts: Please send an abstract of your paper of no more than 300 words and short biographical information by July, 1. 2011. You will be asked to submit your final conference paper by November, 1, so we could circulate it to the commentators.

Please send your abstracts and all inquiries to:

Publication of selected papers in a peer-reviewed journal is planned.

A limited number of travel and accommodation refunds for younger scholars and doctoral students is available. There is no conference fee.

The organizing committee: Maciej Bugajewski, PhD (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), Burkhard Olschowsky, PhD (European Network Remembrance and Solidarity), Małgorzata Pakier, PhD (Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities), prof. Jan Rydel (European Network Remembrance and Solidarity), Joanna Wawrzyniak, PhD (University of Warsaw).

Conference staff: Monika Żychlińska and Agnieszka Nosowska

European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
Insititute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
Institute of Sociology, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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Date: 2011-06-15