Call for papers: Book project „Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism"

Call for papers: Book project „Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism"

Call for papers: book project „Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism"

Editors: Dr hab. Stanislav Holubec, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Agnieszka Mrozik, Polish Academy of Sciences

Publishing House: TBC

Deadline: 30 November 2016

Subject fields: history of the 20th-century Central and Eastern Europe/ memory studies/ communism studies

Disciplines: history; literary, culture, film studies; political sciences; anthropology; women and gender studies

Historical memory belongs to well established disciplines within the historical research. It represents an important part of the identity of every political movement or group. In case of communist movement in central Europe it came through important transformations during the century particularly in its relation to nationalism and to the own deeds/mistakes in the pasts. Considering its historical memory, the communist movement related itself originally to the project of future and to the international working class without a significant need to articulate the politics of history. This changed however as the internal conflicts in the movement spread out. The interpretation of history of Leninist party and revolution become a weapon against the opponent. The interwar years also brought a development of "national communism" ideology reinterpreting the national history in leftist-nationalist way in order to gain popular support. The "national communism" gained an importance as a mobilizing tool in the anti-Nazi resistance, during the post-war years in order to justify "national ways" to socialism and after 1956 in the attempts to come out from the influence of the Soviet Union. The victory in Second World War become the crucial event in the history of movement overshadowing the October revolution but since 1956 being questioned, as the crimes of Stalinism has been made public. Since the 1960s the communist regimes started to base their legitimation more and more on the past but the heritage of Stalinism and its central European crimes (Katyn, Budapest 1956, Prague Spring), contributed to the regime crisis and led in the 1980s to attempts to reformulate or even to reject the own communist identity. After 1989 the movement adopted a certain "culture of defeat", attempted to come to terms with the past and formulate its apologies. It new legitimization was based either on to its positive role in the democratization of the late 1980s, adopting the social democratic identity or becoming a fierce critique of renewed capitalism.

We invite you to submit articles dedicated to the memory of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. We look forward to the articles in the field of history; literary, culture, film studies; political sciences; anthropology; women and gender studies. Particularly welcomed are contributions on Romania, DDR, Bulgaria or former Yugoslavia. Concerning the time frame we are primarily interested in the analyses of interwar and post-war collective memory of communist movements. You are encouraged to consult with us the topics before sending an abstract (one or two pages).

Submissions of up to 40,000 characters (including notes), referenced in Chicago endnote style, American spelling and grammar, can be sent to Stanislav Holubec: or Agnieszka Mrozik:

Until now the volume includes the following articles:

Communist Collective Memory before 1989

Ugnė Marija Andrijauskaitė: Inventing the Communist Party of Lithuania as a Labour Movement. The Narratives in Soviet Historiography

Klimenko Oksana: Constructing Memoirs about the October Revolution in the 1920s

Agnieszka Mrozik: "We Must Reconstruct Our Own Past". Nineteen-Sixties Polish Communist Women's Autobiographies Constructing the (Gender) History of the Polish Left

Jakub Szumski: What Happened in 1980? Memory Forging and the Official Story of the Martial Law in the Polish United Workers' Party

Memorial Landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe

Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik: Dissonant Heritage. Soviet Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe

Stanislav Holubec: Socialist and Post-socialist Memorial Landscapes in Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia. Case Study of Jena and Hradec Králové

Post-Communist Collective Memory between Left and Putin

Csilla Kiss: "Of the Past Let Us Make a Clean Slate". The Lack of a Left-Wing Narrative and the Failure of the Hungarian Left

Ekaterina V. Klimenko: The Politics of Oblivion and the Practices of Remembrance. Repressions, Collective Memory and Nation-Building in Post-Soviet Russia.

Thorsten Holzhauser and Antony Kalashnikov: Communist Successors and Narratives of the Past. Party Factions in the German PDS and the Russian CPRF, 1990-2005


Stanislav Holubec
Imre Kertesz Kolleg, Am Planetarium 7, 07743 Jena