1st PoSoCoMeS – MSA Working Group conference (21 September – 1 October 2020)

Post-Socialist Memory in Global Perspective:
Postcolonialism, Post-transition, Post-trauma


Even though the conference has been moved online, every day features at least one panel, paper or plenary event related to Moldova and/or Romania. Relevant events have been highlighted with a Moldovan 🇲🇩 and/or Romanian 🇷🇴 flag. (Please note that some browsers are unable to display these flags and you will see the abbreviations MD or RO instead. In that case, try using a smartphone to view this page.)

10:00 – 11:00. Opening plenary session 🇲🇩

Alexei Tulbure, director of the Institute of Oral History of Moldova, Chișinău
Aline Sierp, Maastricht University / MSA co-president

Serguei Ehrlich, Institute of Oral History of Moldova, Chișinău / PoSoCoMeS
Daria Khlevnyuk, HSE Moscow / PoSoCoMeS
Ksenia Robbe, University of Groningen / PoSoCoMeS

11:30 – 13:00. Plenary lecture: Meltem Ahıska (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul). Reflecting on the imperial complex: thinking through memory knots beyond national histories.

Chair: Alice von Bieberstein (Humboldt University, Berlin)

13:30 pm – 14:30. Session 1. Memories of WWII

Anastasiia Pavlovskaia (European University, Saint Petersburg). The ‘Siege Bread’ memorial action and the all-Russian emotional community of memory of the siege of Leningrad
Jelena Đureinović (Humanitarian Law Centre, Belgrade / University of Vienna). Between anticommunism, ethnicisation and militarisation: the Second World War in memory politics of post-Milošević Serbia
Alexandra Arkhipova (Russian Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Moscow); Anna Kirziuk (Russian Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Moscow). To know and to commemorate: memory of the Holocaust and WWII in the former occupied territories of the USSR
Discussant: Wulf Kansteiner (Aarhus University)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 2. Memory and art

Zhijian Qian (New York City College of Technology, City University of New York). Fragmentary memory: visual reflection on the Cultural Revolution in works of artists born in the 1960s 🟢
Dorine Schellens (Leiden University). ‘I Live – I See’: The role of Moscow Conceptualism in memory debates about the Soviet past 🟢
Ksenia Zakharova (Lomonosov Moscow State University). Images of lost future: hauntology in contemporary art
Discussant: Marko Jenko (Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana) 

Please note that for technical reasons there is no session no. 3.

17:00 – 20:00. Plenary event: The Soviet Garden (2019). Screening and discussion. Director Dragoş Turea in conversation with Oksana Sarkisova (Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Central European University, Budapest) 🇲🇩

09:45 – 11:15. Plenary lecture: Kulshat Medeuova (L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Nur-Sultan). The post-Soviet memoryscape in Kazakhstan 🟢

Streamed in Russian with English subtitles, followed by a discussion in English. Chair: Nari Shelekpayev (European University, Saint Petersburg) 

11:30 – 12:30. Session 4. Understanding the Soviet past

Liucija Verveckiene (Vilnius University). Sorry, proud or silent? (Re)constructing grandparents‘ Soviet pasts 🟢
Kirill Molotov (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Methods for constructing the memory of the USSR: YouTube critique of Yury Dud’s documentary Kolyma 🟢
Ekaterina Melnikova (European University, Saint Petersburg). The memory of the Siege: emotions and material remains 🟢
Discussant: Galina Yankovskaya (Perm State University)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 5. Urban memory

Anastasia Romanova (Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Chișinău). Language ideologies and their impact on urban toponymy (Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, 1989–2018) 🇲🇩 🟢
Anna Vyazemtseva (NIITIAG, Moscow; University Roma Tre). Russia’s architectural heritage of the 1920–1950s in contemporary historiographic perspective 🟢
Ekaterina Zakrevskaya (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Do political controversies necessarily cause differences in patterns of memory? A comparison between the Immortal Regiment and the Immortal Barracks
Discussant: Gruia Bădescu (University of Konstanz)

15:00 – 16:00 Session 6. Nostalgia

Milica Popovic (Sciences Po Paris; University of Ljubljana). Yugoslavism – a memory of an era or a politics of the future? 🟢
Katharina Niemeyer (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Maria Silina (Université du Québec à Montréal). #Ostalgie. Remembering the former GDR 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall 🟢
Daria Khokhlova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Types of irony and nostalgia in Russian popular music: haven’t you heard, Lenin is risen? 🟢
Kaja Kraner (AMEU-ISH, Ljubljana). Nostalgia for the future: the post-socialist generation of visual artists in Slovenia 🟢
Discussant: Otto Boele (Leiden University)

16:30 – 18:00 Plenary discussion: Memory, Fiction, Non-Fiction. Katja Petrowskaja (Berlin) & Maria Stepanova (Moscow) in conversation with Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen) 🟢

10:00 – 11:00. Session 7. Modalities of memory politics

Alexey Miller (European University, Saint Petersburg). Antagonistic, agonistic and ‘mute’ modalities of memory politics around the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe
Dmitry V. Efremenko (Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow). The securitisation of memory in post-Soviet space and its consequences for interstate relations
Olga Malinova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Remembering the 1990s in Russia: mnemonic actors and public practices
Discussant: Daria Khlevnyuk (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

11:30 – 12:30. Session 8. Museums and memory: war, patriotism and trauma

Ene Kõresaar (University of Tartu); Kirsti Jõesalu (University of Tartu / Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies). From the ‘occupation paradigm’ to the universalisation of totalitarianism: on changing representations of World War II and communism in Baltic history museums
Rachel Tough (University of East Anglia, Norwich). Curating memory: Dealing with the past at the War Remnants Museum
Ekaterina V. Klimenko (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw). Patriotic martyrdom: Russia – My History and the political uses of (Stalinist) repressions in Putin’s Russia 🟢
Discussant: Sara Jones (University of Birmingham)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 9. Post-socialist heritage and tourism

Alena Pfoser (Loughborough University). Tourism as memory-making: a comparative ethnography of city tourism in the post-Soviet space
Alisa Maximova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Local community attitudes to memory activism focused on preserving the village past: two cases from Vologda region, Russia 🟢
Gruia Bădescu (University of Konstanz). Centennial materialities in Alba Iulia: Reconfiguring the heritage of empire in the celebrated place of the nation 🇷🇴 🟢
Discussant: Rémi Praud (Liberation Route Europe Foundation, Brussels)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 10. Post-socialist memory politics

Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies), Ilana Hartikainen (University of Helsinki). Tangled temporalities: Memory politics in right-wing media coverage of migration in Poland and the Czech Republic 🟢
Georgiy Kasianov (Institute of the History of Ukraine, Kyiv). Decommunisation in Ukraine: actors, actions, outcomes (2015–2019) 🟢
Andrzej Czyżewski (University of Łódż). The 50th anniversary of the ‘March events’: communicative memory, ‘commandos’ and the politics of memory
Discussant: Jan Kubik (Rutgers University, New Brunswick / UCL, London) 

16:30 – 18:00. Plenary lecture by Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas, Lawrence): Multidirectional memory as challenge and promise in post-Soviet contexts: theoretical reflections and the paradoxical promise of Odessa as a case study. 🟢

Chair: Oksana Dovgopolova (Odesa National University)

10:00 – 11:00. Session 11. The memory of the Holocaust in Romania and Moldova 🇲🇩 🇷🇴 

Ana Bărbulescu (Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania, Bucharest). The Transnistria ghetto – a social approach
Marius Cazan (Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania, Bucharest). The other side of bravery. The 6th Vȃnători (Hunters’) Regiment in the campaign of 1941
Irina Shikhova (Institute of Cultural Heritage, Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chișinău). Holocaust memory in Soviet and post-Soviet Moldova 🟢
Claudia-Florentina Dobre (Center for Memory and Identity Studies, Bucharest). Competing memories: Gulag and Holocaust in post-communist Romania
Discussant: Arkadi Zeltser (Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem)

11:30 – 12:30. Session 12. Museums and memory. New identities: regional, national, local

Marina Sokolovskaya (Boris Yeltsin Presidential Museum, Yekaterinburg). The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre about the war in Chechnya: the structure of the museum exhibitions and the stories presented
Sofia Tchouikina (Institut des sciences sociales du politique, University of Paris VIII). Exhibiting family memory and ‘interpersonal’ objects in an NGO museum space: Memorial’s Moscow exhibitions on the Gulag and repressions
Sofia Gavrilova (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig). The construction of exhibition patterns in Russian regional museums 🟢
Discussant: Sara Jones (University of Birmingham)

13:30 – 14:30. Plenary book talk: Nikolay Epplée (Moscow), author of The Uncomfortable Past (2020), in conversation with Maria Lipman (PONARS Eurasia, Moscow) 🟢

In English. Chair: Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum, Potsdam)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 13. Global memories of the Holocaust

Nevena Daković (Department of Theory and History, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade). Balkan cinema and the new Holocaust memory culture
Biljana Marković (University of Vienna). Milos Crnjanski’s hidden Jewish portraits and the rise of a global memory of the Holocaust
Oleksandr Pahiria (Territory of Terror Museum, Lviv). The Janowska forced labour camp in Lviv in historical studies and post-Soviet memory in Ukraine 🟢
Discussant: Daniel Levy (State University of New York at Stony Brook)

16:30 – 17:30. Session 14. Memories of the Holocaust and Nazi concentration camps

Robert Sommer (DePaul University, Chicago). Camps brothels. The difficult representation of forced sex labour in socialist East Germany 🟢
Alexandra Tcherkasski (University of Hamburg / Institute for Diaspora Research and Genocide Studies, Ruhr University Bochum). Remembering the Holocaust – Soviet state memory politics or no uniform memory politics at all?
Isabel Sawkins (University of Exeter). ‘Tragedy. Valour. Liberation’. The Russian national exhibition at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
Aleksandra Szczepan (Jagiellonian University, Krakow). Terra incognita: Eastern Europe in (post-)colonial Holocaust studies
Discussant: Vladimir Solonari (University of Central Florida, Orlando)

18:00 – 19:30. Plenary event: Requiem for Europe. Fragment from a text by Nora Dorogan, Nicoleta Esinencu, Kira Semionov, Doriana Talmazan and Artiom Zavadovsky. 🇲🇩 🟢

Read by Artiom Zavadovsky

10:00 – 11:30. Plenary lecture: Heidi Grunebaum (University of the Western Cape, Cape Town): Between postcolonial memory politics and imaginaries of partition: the question of Israel/Palestine 🟢

11:30 – 12:30. Session 15. Traumatic memories

Anastasia Nikitina (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Inherited fear: online reception of Yury Dud’s documentary Kolyma 🟢
Gayane Shagoyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan). ‘Victims’ and ‘executioners’ of the Stalin-era repressions in the public discourse of post-Soviet Armenia 🟢
Mila Bajic (Central European University, Budapest). Generation Bombing: Remembering groups of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia 🟢
Ioana-Zoia Ursu (Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca), Dragoș-Dumitru Ursu (National Museum of the Union, Alba Iulia). Narratives of traumatic memory in post-socialist Romania: the ‘saints of the communist prisons’ 🇷🇴 🟢
Discussant: Nicolas Moll (Memory Lab, Sarajevo)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 16. Memory, visuality and popular culture

Anne Pfautsch (Kingston University, London). Othering the East: picturing the Eastern region in post-socialist Germany
Aleksandr Fokin (Tyumen State University). Imaginary USSR: Russian series about the late USSR 🟢
Boris Noordenbos (University of Amsterdam). Imagining the invisible: Soviet ‘durability’ in recent Chernobyl cinema
Discussant: Veronika Pehe (Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 17. Scales of memory in mediations of socialism

Barbara Markowska (Collegium Civitas, Warsaw). The post-communist memory regime in a local community: a case study of Wąchock 🟢
Jan Miklas-Frankowski (University of Gdańsk). Fear and loathing in the neighbourhood: post-socialist memory and postcolonial resentments in the poetics of Gonzo (Dojczland by Andrzej Stasiuk and Mordor Will Come and Eat Us by Ziemowit Szczerek) 🟢
Tiziana D’Amico (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice). Memory in the object, the object in memory: object as representation of the socialist past in Czechoslovakia
Antoni Zakrzewski (University of Warsaw / ENRS). ‘I don’t think we will build this monument’. The forgotten statue of Stalin in Warsaw 🟢
Discussant: Simon Lewis (University of Bremen)

16:30 – 17:30. Session 18. Mediated memories and affective resonances of the socialist past

Irina Dushakova (A.S. Griboedov Institute of International Law and Economy, Moscow). Media framing of memories about Joseph Stalin in Russia 🟢
Irina Troconis (Cornell University). Under the Comandante’s gaze: memory and spectrality in Venezuela’s (post)socialist afterglow
Emma Crowley (University of Bristol). The ‘livication’ of utopian discourse: diverging memories of socialism and solidarity in the polyphonic novel
Discussant: Ioana Luca (National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei)

10:15 – 11:15. Session 19. Legacies of mass violence

Margaret Comer (Tallinn University). Heritagescapes of repression: legacies of mass violence in contemporary Russia 🟢
Ana Kršinić-Lozica (University of Zagreb). Obscured legacy: Jasenovac as a phantom of the socialist past
Selbi Durdiyeva (Transitional Justice Institute, Northern Ireland). The Russian Orthodox Church, exclusionary memory and relations with the state: the case of the Butovo memorial
Discussant: Lea David (University College Dublin)

11:30 – 12:30. Session 20. The politics, ethics and aesthetics of post-transitional time: memory beyond post-history

Kylie Thomas (Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam). Refusing transitional time in South Africa after apartheid 🟢
Florin Poenaru (University of Bucharest). Lost memories and memories of loss. Tensions of autobiography and history in secret police files 🇷🇴 🟢
Melina Sadikovic (University of Bristol). The construction of memory, language and new spaces for sociality in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen). Re-writing transition against post-history: the cases of Russia and South Africa
Discussant: Boris Buden (Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus Universität Weimar)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 21. Wars of memory in Russia, Ukraine and in ‘the space in-between’

Mikhail Nemtsev (independent researcher, Moscow). Why does mature Putinism need a militant politics of history? 🟢
Robert Latypov (Memorial Society, Perm branch). Regional specificities in preserving the memory of Soviet state terror: the example of the Perm region 🟢
Oksana Dovgopolova (I.I. Mechnikov National University, Odesa). The Babyn Yar memory site in contemporary Ukraine: the level of values 🟢
Aleksey Kamenskikh (Higher School of Economics at Perm). Russian and Ukrainian fields of memory: is reconciliation possible? 🟢
Discussant: Aleksei Bratochkin (ECLAB, Minsk)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 22. Post-socialist perspectives on theories of memory

Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper (University of Warsaw). Milieux de mémoire in late modernity: vernacular strategies of dealing with collective traumatic experience 🟢
Elmira Nogoibaeva (Center Polis Asia, Bishkek). Memory in Central Asia
Andreea Mironescu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Romania). Toward a conceptualisation of post-postcommunism in Romania 🇷🇴
Patricia Manos (Harvard University). Russian blues, rainbow solidarity 🟢
Discussant: Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum, Potsdam)

16:30 – 18:00. Chto Delat (Saint Petersburg). Presentation of the Post-Soviet Studies project by the School of Engaged Art. 🟢

Chair: Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen)

10:00 – 11:00. Session 23. Post-socialist visual memory practices in Romania: a transnational, comparative perspective 🇷🇴

Caterina Preda (University of Bucharest). The tramway of communism and the bus of the revolution: artistic commemorative, nostalgic or critical practices in post-socialist urban Romanian space 🇷🇴
Maria Alina Asavei (Charles University, Prague). Engraving in the skin: vernacular memorials for Ceauşescu, Tito and Stalin 🇷🇴
Dan Drăghia (University of Bucharest). A difficult reconciliation with the communist past: communist monuments and monuments to communism in Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria 🇲🇩 🇷🇴
Alexandra Oprea (University of Bucharest). Denouncing corruption through visual means: civil society initiatives in post-socialist Romania 🇷🇴
Discussant: Dana Dolghin (University of Amsterdam)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 25. Visual representation and photography as a source

Anna Topolska (independent scholar, Poznań). Photographing a city at war’s end and how a local community deals with trauma: WWII-era Poznań through the lens of Zbigniew Zielonacki’s camera 🟢
Diliara Brileva (A. Krymsky Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv). Burning Kazan: visualizing the trauma of the conquest of Kazan in the children’s magazine Salawat Küpere (Rainbow) 🟢
Boris Stepanov (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Russian glossy historical journals: visual design and targeted audience 🟢
Oksana Sarkisova (Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Central European University, Budapest). The limits of the visible: silences, oblivion and Soviet-time vernacular photography
Discussant: Kylie Thomas (Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam)

15: 00 – 16:00. Session 26. Roundtable. Exhibiting difficult pasts in museums and memory sites

Ljiljana Radonić (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
Gruia Bădescu (University of Konstanz)
Discussant: Simina Bădică (House of European History, Brussels)

16:30 – 17:30. Session 27. The 1990s in post-socialist memory

Artemii Plekhanov (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences), Usevalad Herasimau (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences). Imagining the post-Soviet: routine, fantasy and nostalgia in comics 🟢
Doris Mironescu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Romania). Literary memories of the 90s: disempowerment, neurosis and self-mockery in Romania’s early transition period 🇷🇴 🟢
Elena Malaia (European University, Saint Petersburg). Memories of the future: a time capsule and nostalgia in a post-socialist Crimean village
Nona Shahnazarian (Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan). Hard memory and taboo topics: post-communist Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan 🟢
Discussant: Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen)

18.00 – 19:30. Session 24. Roundtable: Babyn Yar memory today — puzzles and troubles 🟢

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw)
Dieter Pohl (University of Klagenfurt)
Yana Barinova (independent researcher, Kyiv)
Chair: Iuliia Skubytska (War Childhood Museum, Kyiv)

10:00 – 11:30. Plenary lecture: Stefan Berger (Institute for Social Movements, Bochum). The memory of communism in Eastern Europe – antagonistic, cosmopolitan or agonistic? 🟢

Chair: Serguei Ehrlich, Oral History Institute of Moldova, Chișinău

11:45 – 12:45. Session 28. Museums and Memory Politics in Eastern Europe: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives

Konstantin Pakhalyuk (MGIMO, Moscow). The local and the transnational in the museums of regional capitals in central Russia
Alexandr Voronovici (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). Displaying the Second World War in Kyiv and Chișinău: former Soviet museums in Ukraine and Moldova in the 21st century 🇲🇩
Anastasia Felcher (Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest). Research methodology on writer museum networks across post-Soviet countries: Pushkin Museums after 1991 🇲🇩
Discussant: Joanna Wawrzyniak (University of Warsaw)

13:30 – 14:30. Session 29. History and symbols in changing societies: memory politics, mobilisation and conflicts

Nika Timashkova (Zurich University of the Arts). Negotiating nationality and identity through clothing 🟢
Viacheslav Stepanov (Ivan Turgenev Orel State University). The role of the elite in identity construction in the context of the unresolved Transnistrian conflict
Alla Ostavnaia (Taras Shevchenko Pridnestrovian State University, Tiraspol). Memory politics in constructing a civic identity: the cases of the Republic of Moldova and Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) 🇲🇩 🟢
Discussant: Olena Fostachuk (Odesa National University)

15:00 – 16:00. Session 30. Oral history

Barbara Christophe (Georg Eckert Institute, Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig). Remembering socialism in post-hegemonic Lithuania. Agonistic memory as a relational concept 🟢
Ute Hirsekorn (University of Nottingham). A new paradigm: the past in the present — East German mentalities and values in post-1989 Germany 🔒
Natalia Dushakova (Russian Presidential Academy of Public Administration, Moscow). ‘A Moldovan would read the Bible, we all would listen’: Old Believers’ living memories of exile 🇲🇩 🟢
Olga Gontarska (Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw). Struggle to survive: the Ukrainian film industry in the transition period (memories of film industry representatives)
Sabine Volk (Jagiellonian University, Krakow). Monday marches, once again? Memories of ‘1989’ in the PEGIDA movement
Discussant: Gelinada Grinchenko (V.N. Karazin National University of Kharkiv)

17:00 – 19:00. Closing session. PoSoCoMeS business meeting