Remembering Communism: Genres of Representation

Overview

Three main fields have shaped current scholarship on Eastern Europe's communist past: institutional, especially debates concerning the characteristics of the regime; questions on resistance and opposition; and social, cultural, and everyday history. There is a particular urgency in approaching the social and cultural aspects of everyday life under the formula of "remembering communism." Remembering exemplifies a dynamic process that continually reassesses the communist experience. By favoring the term ...

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Overview

Three main fields have shaped current scholarship on Eastern Europe's communist past: institutional, especially debates concerning the characteristics of the regime; questions on resistance and opposition; and social, cultural, and everyday history. There is a particular urgency in approaching the social and cultural aspects of everyday life under the formula of "remembering communism." Remembering exemplifies a dynamic process that continually reassesses the communist experience. By favoring the term "remembering" over "memory," this book chooses a lived experience that is inflected by the exigencies of the present moment.

Dedicated to mediums of remembering (or genres of representation), this collection makes explicit the complex nature of the process. The first section traces different explanatory modes and models following the collapse of "real socialism." The second section on oral history relies on extensive fieldwork at different sites and among diverse groups, including factory workers, village inhabitants, and political émigrés. Subsequent sections provide a concrete glimpse into reassessments of the period, turning to archives, memoirs, and textbooks. The final section handles visual material: fashion magazines, cinema, and monuments. Drawing on examples from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine, Remembering Communism responds to, or rather apprehends the peculiarities of transforming an "objective" reality into a subjective one.

Social Science Research Council

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979077265
  • Publisher: Social Science Research Council
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Todorova is Gutgsell Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author, most recently, of Bones of Contention: The Living Archive of Vasil Levski and the Making of Bulgaria's National Hero and Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory.

Social Science Research Council

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9

The Process of Remembering Communism Maria Todorova Todorova, Maria

Institutional Discourses

Chapter 1 Rethinking Communism: Social Approaches to Comprehending "That Society" in Postcommunist Bulgaria Petya Kabakchieva Kabakchieva, Petya 37

Chapter 2 Bulgarian Transition and the Memory of the Socialist Past Evgenia Kalinova Kalinova, Evgenia 57

Chapter 3 The West as Intellectual Utopia Miglena Nikolchina Nikolchina, Miglena 95

Oral History and Anthropology

Chapter 4 "When We Were Europe": Socialist Workers in Serbia and their Nostalgic Narratives---The Case of the Cable Factory Workers in Jagodina Tanja Petrovic Petrovic, Tanja 127

Chapter 5 From "Janissaries" to "Hooligans": Greek and Macedonian Refugee Children in Communist Hungary Riki Van Boeschoten Van Boeschoten, Riki 155

Chapter 6 Socialism and Modernization Reflected in Life Stories of Ukrainian Bulgarians Tanya Boneva Boneva, Tanya 187

Chapter 7 Past for the Present: The Social Memory of Textile Workers in Slovenia Nina Vodopivec Vodopivec, Nina 213

Archives and Memoirs

Chapter 8 Remembering Communism in Modern Russia: Archives, Memoirs, and Lived Experience Frederick C. Corney Corney, Frederick C. 237

Chapter 9 Recollections as Alternative History Iliyana Marcheva Marcheva, Iliyana 253

Chapter 10 In Pursuit of Preserved Memory: The Popular Memory Project in Sofia Galia Misheva Misheva, Galia 275

How Textbooks Remember

Chapter II Changing Certainties?: Socialism in German History Textbooks Augusta Dimou Dimou, Augusta 293

Chapter 12 Textbook Memori(ali)zing: Literature Textbooks in Bulgaria Albena Hranova Hranova, Albena 317

Chapter 13 Communism and Communist History in Slovence and Croatian History Textbooks Peter Vodopivec Vodopivec, Peter 335

Visual Memories

Chapter 14 Narratives and Images of Socialist Consumption: A Study of the Visual Construction of Consumer Culture in Bulgaria in the 1960s Milla Mineva Mineva, Milla 349

Chapter 15 The Communist Period in Postcommunist Bulgarian Cinema Vania Stoianova Stoianova, Vania 373

Chapter 16 Blowing Up the Past: The Mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov as Lieu de Memoire Maria Todorova Todorova, Maria 391

Contributors 445

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