PoSoCoMeS is the working group on post-socialist and comparative memory studies within the Memory Studies Association (MSA).

Historical memory is “hot” across the post-socialist world, including the former Soviet republics, East Central Europe and the Balkans, but also China, Vietnam, or Cuba, as well as among the members or heirs of international socialist movements. Accordingly, collective memory has attracted much interest among academic specialists in all of these regions.

However, post-socialist memory studies have yet to constitute itself as a fully-fledged field of inquiry. Scholars often remain confined to their own national contexts, failing to engage in meaningful dialogue with those studying other countries or regions. Many articles still read like contributions to memory wars rather than attempts at dispassionate analysis, and too many authors write about memory phenomena without regard for the international literature in the field, or indeed the contributions of predecessors who wrote about the same topics.

In this context, our working group aims to help establish high scholarly standards for post-socialist memory studies across disciplinary boundaries. We also wish to create a global framework for scholarly dialogue about post-socialist memory, with particular attention to comparative and transnational approaches including regions in the Global South and elsewhere that have been influenced by the socialist project.

Founded in early 2018, PoSoCoMeS quickly became the MSA’s largest and most active working group, sponsoring 14 panels as part of the 2019 MSA conference in Madrid, including its own pre-conference, and helping establish regular meetings of the different working and regional groups within the MSA.

Our two-week online conference in September-October 2020, organized jointly with the Institute of Oral History of Moldova, was the largest memory studies conference ever to be held in Eastern Europe. The next conference will take place in person in Tallinn on 20-23 September 2023. In addition to its own conferences and events at the annual MSA conventions, PoSoCoMeS organises a rich programme of online seminars and other events.

PoSoCoMeS also publishes a comprehensive newsletter with news about the state of our field and compiles bibliographies of scholarly work on post-socialist memory.

PoSoCoMeS group uses Zotero for its bibliography. However, even if you do not use Zotero, it is still availalbe here.

We try to update the bibliography every month with new references to literature on post-socialist memory. Additionally, we gather special collections: bibliographies on particular topics related to post-socialist memory (in Zotero look for tags starting with ‘SC’). If you want to contribute to our bibliography, please, email us at posocomes@gmail.com

Bibliography team:
Tiziana D’Amico (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
Daria Khlevnyuk (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Due to the newsletter editors’ active engagement in preparing the PoSoCoMeS conference and the disruptions caused by the pandemic, no issue was published in 2020.

We are always open to new members, ideas, and initiatives. We invite scholars from all disciplines and regional specializations to join our working group. To get involved, please write to us at posocomes@gmail.com indicating your research interests, join our interactive mailing list or participate in one of our bi-weekly online business meetings (see the event page for details). We especially welcome input from those working in regions outside the (former) socialist world but with an interest in comparative studies that include “our” region.

Screenshot of the PoSoCoMeS business meeting on June 24, 2022 (Friday, 9:00 AM)

is a slavic archivist at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. 

At PoSoCoMeS, Anastasia manages a website, coordinates business meetings, provides technical support to online events, and co-organizes online seminar series.

Anastasia is an author of several articles and book chapters on the heritage of minorities in pluralistic societies, dilemmas of Jewish heritage in the post-Holocaust age, and literature and politics in Eastern Europe. She authored a number of media outreach materials on Cold War (counter-)archives and memory.

Her current research engages with Soviet Jewish samizdat, dilemmas of memory in post-Soviet de-facto states, and with Alexander Pushkin as a public figure and political project.

Academia.edu / LinkedIn

is a research fellow at the Department of Media and Communication at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. 

At PoSoCoMeS, Daria manages a website and takes part in all endeavors of the working group.

Daria specializes in media discourse analysis as well as cultures of remembrance and politics of memory in international comparison with focus on Germany and Russia.

Her current research engages with the “Media legacy of the GDR” as well as the construction of the GDR in Film

Academia.edu / LinkedIn

is a lecturer and an assistant professor at the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Ute is a co-founder of the PoSoCoMeS working group and is part of the editorial team for the blog.

Ute specializes in GDR studies, life writing, relationship between autobiographical memory and life writing, and East German memory before and after German unification.

Her current research engages with political autobiography.

ResearchGate / LinkedIn

is a researcher at the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Department of contemporary history. In 2022-2023, she carried out her research project “Iconoclasm in Czechoslovak Public Space after 1989. The Heritage of Socialism in Historical Perspective” as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She is currently preparing a monograph focusing on Soviet war memorials in Czechoslovak public space after 1989. She previously completed her Ph.D. within the joint (cotutelle) Ph.D. programme of the Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University Bratislava) and INALCO Paris (University of Languages and Civilisations). She completed her master’s in museum studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris in 2012.

Email: petra.hudek25@gmail.com

Academia.edu / ResearchGate / ORCID

is a research fellow at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities; an associate professor at the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development and Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism at the Moscow campus of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

Daria is a co-founder of the PoSoCoMeS working group, she communicates on the working group’s affairs to the MSA, and coordinates the working group’s social media and e-mail.

Her current research engages with difficult pasts and contested collective memories, specifically in present-day Russia with a focus on the commemoration of Stalinist purges in Russian museums.

Academia.edu / Google Scholar

is an art historian working at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb.

Lana is a co-founder of the PoSoCoMeS working group, she coordinates conference organization and is part of the editorial team for the blog.

She has published on the memorialization of the Yugoslav people’s liberation struggle in authentic historical localities. Lana has co-curated several exhibitions, including Monuments in Transition. Destruction of People’s Liberation Struggle Monuments in Croatia (2012) and On Revolution Roads: Memorial Tourism in Yugoslavia (2015), and co-organised two international conferences, Socialist Monuments and Modernism (2015) and War, Revolution and Memory: Post-War Monuments in Post-Communist Europe(2017).

Academia.edu / CROSBI

is a senior fellow at the Federal Centre of Theoretical and Applied Sociology at the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg.

Maria is a co-founder of the PoSoCoMeS working group; she coordinates the working group’s social media and e-mail, coordinates conference organization and co-organizes online seminar series.

Her current research engages with social/historical memory in Russia and the other former Soviet states, with an emphasis on generational effects, public attitudes within the field, and the impact of memory politics on public views.

Google scholar / FCTAS RAS

is a senior lecturer in Russian and European literatures and cultures at the University of Groningen. Ksenia is a co-founder of the PoSoCoMeS working group; she communicates on the working group’s affairs to the MSA, administrates the listserv, coordinates conference organization and is part of the editorial team for the blog.

Ksenia is the author of Conversations of Motherhood: South African Women’s Writing Across Traditions (2015) and co-editor of Post-Soviet Nostalgia: Confronting the Empire’s Legacies (2019). 

Her current research engages with memories of the transitional periods in post-Soviet and post-apartheid literature, film, and visual art.

Acedemia.edu / Google scholar

is a cultural historian of Modern Eastern Europe, a museum specialist, and a Polish-English translator of texts in the humanities.

At PoSoCoMeS, Anna coordinates the working group’s social media and e-mail and co-organizes online seminar series.

Anna specializes in visual studies, and her research interests focus on war photography, memorials & museums, trauma, and visual rhetoric. She has published on the visual dimensions of the Balkan conflict, war in Vietnam, second world war, and anti-communist uprising in Poznań in 1956. She has also written theoretical essays on the question of visual truth and ethics, and methods of visual analysis, as well as co-edited a book on methodology of history. In addition, she took part in academic and curatorial projects concerning memory of postindustrial Detroit, and memory/visuality/identity in the context of postcolonial Congo.

Currently she is working on a book entitled Memory and Visuality. Representations of the Second World War in Poznań in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Academia.edu / LinkedIn

is a research fellow at the Osteuropa-Institut and Peter Szondi-Institute for General and Comparative Literature at the Free University of Berlin. Heike coordinates the “Prisoner of War Project” at the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.).

At PoSoCoMeS, Heike takes part in all endeavors of the working group.

Heike specializes in Russian and Soviet epistolary, autobiography research, East European youth cultures and World War II in contemporary Eastern European literatures.

Publications / Volksbund

is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.  

At PoSoCoMeS, Andrei is part of the editorial team for the blog.

Andrei’s research is situated at intersections of memory studies, public history, museum studies, and media studies. Currently he is engaged in an ethnographic study of the Humboldt Forum’s audiences, conducted as part of CARMAH’s major project titled Making Differences: Transforming Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century

Andrei is a co-editor of Politika affekta: muzey kak prostranstvo publichnoy istorii [Politics of Affect: The Museum as a Public History Space] (2019) and of Vse v proshlom: teoriya i praktika publichnoy istorii [All Things Past: Theory and Practice of Public History] (2021). His work has been published in Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Media, Culture & Society, Laboratorium, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, and other journals.

Personal website / Academia.edu / CARMAH