1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
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30 Mar 2019
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4 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Between Old Traditions and New Approaches: Locating Oral History and Memory Studies in East Central Europe

Published Online: 30 Jun 2021
Page range: 205 - 218
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The article explores how oral history and memory studies have been used in East Central Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. It focuses particularly on the question of whether Eastern European scholars only reproduce what was invented in the West, or whether they advance their original concepts and ideas. Both disciplines have been involved in reassessing the history of communism and the communist version of history itself and both contributed to revealing memoires obscured by the communist regime, even if the role of oral history may be considered as pivotal in this process. Although oral history had been practiced in the region at least since the 1970s, it was introduced as a new discipline according to the Western criteria after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Memory studies and their most successful concept, the “lieux de mémoire”, were implemented into to the region later and the promoters of the concept were predominantly Western scholars. Drawing on the uses of the term “historical consciousness” in Czech and Polish research, the article argues that various strategies associated with the “return to Europe” can be found in the region when promoting native traditions and equalizing them with the Western ones.

Keywords

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