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The Politics of History in East Central Europe after 1989: From Liberal Consensus to Memory Wars
November 15, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The politics of history has been one of the constitutive elements of the new democracies in East Central Europe after 1989. ‘Coming to terms with the communist past’ was especially important as a means of securing the legitimacy of new democratic regimes. The communist past increasingly became a field of political struggle with distinct variants of politics of memory being used as expedient political tools. The most visible of these was anti-communist memory politics symbolized by the newly created, powerful Institutes for National Remembrance, which strove to repair and recreate the ‘memory of the nation’ and provide impetus to anti-communist patriotic education. The lecture will outline this development based on Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak examples in relation to the current rise of nationalism and populism in the region.
Michal Kopeček is the director of the Department of Late- and Post-Socialism at the Institute of Contemporary History in Prague and co-director of Imre Kertész Kolleg, Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. His research interests include comparative modern intellectual history of East Central Europe, nationalism studies, and the history of state socialism and communism. He is the author of The Quest for the Revolution’s Lost Meaning: Origins of the Marxist Revisionism in Central Europe 1953-1960 and co-author of A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe – Volume I.
This talk is made possible by a University Studies Grant from the International Visegrad Fund.
Free and open to the public. Free parking is available after 5 PM at the Global Education Center garage and the surrounding UNC parking lots.