1989 AFTER 1989:Memory in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe
A DISCUSSION WITH
JAMES MARK, Professor of History, University of Exeter, UK
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
5TH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
Woodrow Wilson Center
The eastern European revolutions of 1989 were a watershed in global history. Despite this, in the two decades since, their meaning has become a source of debate. While they have been promoted as a founding myth for a newly unified Europe, eastern Europeans have repeatedly represented them as a moment of betrayal, martyrdom, liberation, victory, disappointment, loss, colonisation, or nostalgia.
In this presentation, James Mark suggests that understanding the way in which the region views 1989 is crucial to understanding its post-Communist politics. Mark will explore the relationship between the memory of the moment of Communism’s collapse and national identities, the emergence of political movements, and regional identity. He will compare countries where the memory of the collapse of Communism has become a source of political division (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), to those in which a positive national identity around ‘1989’ is beginning to be built (Germany, Czech Republic).
James Mark is the author of The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central-eastern Europe, and a professor of history at the University of Exeter, UK. His research addresses the social and cultural history of state socialism in central-eastern Europe, the politics of memory in the area during both socialism and post-socialism, and aims to connect the region to broader global histories and processes through transnational and comparative methods. Mark's publications focus on the way in which history gets recast at moments of profound political change, addressing the ways in which political elites, cultural institutions, institutes of memory, and ordinary people have contributed to the re-imagining of the past after the fall of Communism in eastern Europe after 1989.
He has recently co-authored a monograph titled Europe's 1968, incorporating the socialist east and Mediterranean dictatorships into a comparative and transnational account of the activisms of the1960s and 1970s. Mark is currently working on a book (with Dr. Péter Apor) on the impact of the politics of decolonisation, peaceful co-existence, anti-imperialism, and market socialism on official and nonconformist cultures of late socialist Hungary, and is also editing a collection itled The Limits of Transnationalism in Europe 1950s-1980s (with Dr. Maud Bracke).
John Lampe, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park, will moderate the discussion.
Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to Kristina.Terzieva@wilsoncenter.org
Media bringing heavy electronic equipment – such as video cameras – MUST indicate this in their response, so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Failure to indicate your intention to bring video cameras 24 hours before the event may result in being denied access to the Wilson Center building, please err toward responding if you would like to attend.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)