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Public Rituals and Memorial Spaces of the Communist Period: Continuities, Disruptions, Heritage Construction

The class is specifically focused on memorial spaces and the accompanying public rituals during the communist period, and aims to discuss the transformations that they went through after 1989, the public debates that surrounded them, and the various projects for their maintenance, museumization and treatment as historical and cultural heritage in the post-communist period. On the basis of abundant photographic materials, the class approaches core issues related to the debates of obliterating or presenting the traces of communism in nowadays’ heritage initiatives.

Texts for discussion:

  • Vukov, N. “Refigured Memories, Unchained Representations: Post-Socialist Monumental Discourse in Bulgaria.” – In: Troebst, S., U. Brunnbauer, eds., Zwischen Amnesie und Nostalgie: Die Erinnerung an den Kommunismus in Südosteuropa. Köln, Weimar & Wien: Böhlau, 2008, 71–86.
  • Vukov, N. “Remembrance of Communism on the Former Day of Socialist Victory: The 9th of September in Ritual Ceremonies of Post-1989 Bulgaria.” In: Todorova, M., A. Dimou, St. Troebst, eds., Remembering Communism. Private and Public Recollections of Lived Experience in Southeast Europe. Budapest-New York: CEU Press, 2015, 549-565.

Additional readings:

  • Boym, S., Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994.
  • James, B., Imagining Post-communism. Visual Narratives of Hungary’s 1956 Revolution. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005.
  • Vukov, N. “‘Post-Socialist’ Identities and Their Representations: Monuments and Museums in Bulgaria and Romania after 1989.” Revue des études sud-est europeénnes (Journal of South-East European Studies), Tome XLVII (№ 1-4, Janvier-Décembre), 2009, Bucharest, Editura Academiei Române, 273-292.