Private and Public Recollections of Lived Experience in Southeast Europe
Remembering Communism examines the formation and transformation of the memory of communism in the post-communist period. The majority of the articles focus on memory practices in the post-Stalinist era in Bulgaria and Romania, with occasional references to the cases of Poland and the GDR. Based on an interdisciplinary approach, including history, anthropology, cultural studies and sociology, the volume examines the mechanisms and processes that influence, determine and mint the private and public memory of communism in the post-1989 era. The common denominator to all essays is the emphasis on the process of remembering in the present, and the modalities by means of which the present perspective shapes processes of remembering, including practices of commemoration and representation of the past.
The volume deals with eight major thematic blocks revisiting specific practices in communism such as popular culture and everyday life, childhood, labor, the secret police, and the perception of "the system".
About the Authors
Maria N. Todorova is a Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Augusta Dimou is Gerda Henkel Research Fellow and Visiting Fellow at the Department of Cultural Studies, Chair of Comparative European History and Culture at the University of Leipzig. She is a historian specializing in contemporary comparative European History with a regional focus on Southeast and East-Central Europe. She is currently completing her habilitation on the development of intellectual property rights and cultural politics in twentieth-century Eastern Europe.
Stefan Troebst is Historian and Slavist. He is Professor of East European Cultural History, Leipzig University.
"Dieser umfangreiche Sammelband erforscht die Erinnerung and den Kommunismus, indem er zwei Zugänge bzw. Zwei Gruppen von Theorien – einerseits über Erinnerung, andererseits über Kommunismus – verbindet. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Bulgarien und Rumänien, weil sie bisher im Vergleich zu anderen ehemals sozialistichen Staaten Europas wenig erforscht sind. Gemeinsam ist den Forschungsarbeiten, dass sie in die Perspektive aus der Gegenwart betonen. Die Aktualität und Prozesshaftigkeit der Erinnerung an den Kommunismus stehen somit im Zentrum."—Religion & Gesellschaft in Ost und West
"As someone based in the United States, where the word 'communism' is automatically and uncritically associated with the worst crimes of Stalinism, edited volumes like this one do much to make it safer for younger researchers to explore controversial topics and challenge the ideological status quo. The deep irony of studying the communist past is that democracy promised freedom of conscience and freedom of inquiry. Many institutions of higher learning laud the principle of academic freedom and resist political attempts to meddle in or direct scholarly pursuits. But in the case of the twentieth-century communist past, inquiry is hardly free, and, as Todorova points out in her introduction, the majority of scholarship produced has been funded by foundations and institutions charged with investigating the crimes of communism. For pushing back against this almost exclusive focus on the negative, Remembering Communism: Private and Public Recollections of Lived Experience in Southeast Europe is a most welcome and necessary addition to the literature."—H-Socialisms, H-Net Reviews
Other Titles by Maria N. Todorova
Other Titles by Augusta Dimou
Other Titles by Stefan Troebst
Other Titles in HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
Other Titles in Cultural studies