Milica Popović: Post-soviet area/postcommunist era through the prism of social sciences

Thanks Milica for the summary of your event:

IMG_20140510_112501The doctoral seminar „Post-soviet area/postcommunist era through the prism of social sciences“, organized at ENS-EHESS in 2016/2017, aims at bringing together current research in Europe and Asia on different topics of postcommunist transformations more than twenty years after the fall of the Soviet regime which has brought numerous social consequences, still raising strong scientific debates. Looking at the economic practices and regulations, second cycle of the seminar focuses on the dissolution of state socialism through the prism of trajectories – trying to understand the turn of the 1990s and following socio-economic mutations and the third cycle will look into the role and place of intellectuals in the construction of the political and economic order.

As the introductory lecture of the second cycle on the 14th of April 2017, IMNN member Milica Popović, doctoral student at Sciences Po Paris and University of Ljubljana, held a presentation about her doctoral research on the topic „Yugonostalgia – meta-national memory narratives of the generation of the last pioneers“ with Pierre Deffontaines, University of Bourgogne as a discussant. Introducing the political aspect of nostalgia, with particular focus on the last generation of pioneers (born between 1974 and 1982), Milica is leaving the banalizing official post-communist discourses (Buden, 2012) on nostalgic transition losers and those academic discourses that deny nostalgic sentiments of the ability to generate a political movement or a programme (Horvat and Štiks, 2015). Within revisionist political and cultural discourses, nostalgia emerges, through Svetlana Boym’s concept of counter-memory (Boym, 2001), in public spaces without state control and without the control of dominant discourses of political elites, and as such is being translated into reflective nostalgia (Boym, 2001, p.49).

Through this reflection, the last generation of pioneers creates memory narratives that interweave the political and the nostalgic. These narratives perform as “noeuds de mémoire” – exceeding attempts of territorialisation and identitarian reduction (Rothberg, 2010) and through their multidirectionality (Rothberg, 2009), they emerge as meta-national Yugonostalgic memory, creating a new paradigm in the political field.

Future seances of the seminar will tackle issues of biographical continuities and ruptures in the prism of the change of an epoch; employment in Central Europe; and politization of the „recent“ Romanian history – case of the Institute for investigation of the communist crimes.


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