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The Memory of Socialism – between Allergy and Nostalgia, Remembering and Amnesia

The class focuses more concretely on the problem of memory about the communist period, with particular emphasis on the efforts of maintaining remembrance and on the unavoidable (also organized) trends of its forgetting. Closer attention will be paid to the oral history collections after 1989 and to the interviews with elderly generations about their memory and interpretation of the communist past.

Texts for discussion:

  • Bissell, W. C., Afterword: On Anthropology’s Nostalgia – Looking Back/Seeing Ahead. In: Angé, O. and D. Berliner, eds., Anthropology and Nostalgia. New York, Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2015, 213-224.
  • Nadkarni, M., “But it’s Ours”: Nostalgia and the Politics of Authenticity in Postsocialist Hungary. In: Maria Todorova, Zsuzsa Gille, eds., Post-Communist Nostalgia. Berghahn Books, 2010, 190-214.

Additional readings:

  • Bernhard, M. and J. Kubik, Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration. Oxford University Press, USA, 2014. (selected chapters)
  • Kattago, S., Memory and Representation in Contemporary Europe, Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.