CfP: The Construction of National Narratives and Politics of Memory in the Central and Eastern European Region after 1989

caLLThe Construction of National Narratives and Politics of Memory in the Central and Eastern European Region after 1989

November 28-29, 2013
Conference organizer: Vytautas Magnus University

Deadline: 1 September 2013

The conference is organized according to:
“Support to Research Activities of Scientists and Other Researchers (Global Grant)”

Central and Eastern European Region: Research of the Construction of National Narratives and Politics of Memory (1989-2011) VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K-02-024

The historians of the majority of the European countries claim that the history of their nation is unique and exceptional. These claims serve as a basis for the formation of the historical image and politics of memory of the country at the national level. The visions of this “special way” are especially typical to the national historiographies and popular forms of memorialisation of the Central and Eastern European countries. They are based on the idea of exceptionality and belief that the history of a specific country is unique and incompatible with the historical narratives of the neighbouring countries. The authors of such ethno-centric narratives limit themselves only to the analysis of events within the boundaries of their country; cross-national approach to the same historical happenings is not applied. Such situation could be explained as a natural need of the post-communist countries to form their identities. Due to the newly restored/ acquired independencies, the need was especially urgent.
On the other hand, the situation is changing and new methodological approaches to novel cultural, memory, post-structural, post-colonial and other histories and spheres of research challenge the homogeneity of national narratives. Regional research of historical narratives and forms of memorialisation is especially topical in the transition from individual comparative analyses to large-scale comparative studies. Thus the prior aim of this conference is to enhance the  development of the comparative studies of national narratives and the processes of memorialisation in the Central and Eastern European Region by  analysing the national reflections of the past within the framework of the historical narratives of the whole region.
As an answer to the current topicalities, the chronological framework of the conference encompasses the post-soviet period, which signifies the erosion of the earlier narratives, the reconstruction of the old narratives and forms of memorialisation, and the formation of new historical narratives, memory forms and national identities.
We kindly invite researchers from the disciplines of Humanities and Social Sciences interested in the research of the Central and Eastern European Region to participate in the conference.

The conference covers these areas:

Theoretical problems of the relation between memory and history
The relationship between the academic historiography and popular historical narrative
National heroes: between a legend and political order
The problems of autochthonic approach and the development of pseudo-ethnogeneses in the national narratives
The problem of intertwined and confronting representations of the past in the national narratives of the neighbouring countries
Ideological and world-view vectors of national narratives
Division of historical heritage
The relationship of individual (cognitive) memory with the historical narratives
The reflections of post-communist transformations in contemporary national narratives
The influence of the membership in the European Union and the contemporary politics of Russia on the construction of the national narratives

Length of talks: 20 minutes

Conference language: English

All conference articles will be peer reviewed. Accepted articles will be published in a collective volume of scientific papers.

Researchers are kindly requested to fill in the participant’s form. Abstracts should be 300-500 words long, in English, and should be sent by 1 September 2013.

Participant’s form should be sent to the conference office:

Telephone number for enquiries:

The organizers of the conference will cover meal and accommodation expenses.

The organizing committee of the conference:

dr. Marius Sirutavičius (Vytautas Magnus University)

dr. Liudas Glemža (Vytautas Magnus University)
assoc. prof. dr. Rūstis Kamuntavičius (Vytautas Magnus University)
dr. Vitalija Kasperavičiūtė (Vytautas Magnus University)
dr. Andrius Švarplys (Vytautas Magnus University)
dr. Jurgita Vaičenonienė (Vytautas Magnus University)

The scientific committee of the conference:

prof. habil. dr. Egidijus Aleksandravičius (Vytautas Magnus University)

assoc. prof. dr. Kastytis Antanaitis (Vytautas Magnus University)
dr. Halina Beresnevičiute Nosálová (Masaryk University, Brno)
dr. Moreno Bonda (Vytautas Magnus University)
prof. habil. dr. Krzysztof Buchowski (University of Bialystok)
dr. Vytautas Petronis (Herder-Institute, Marburg)

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