Memoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) NUBS 2.08
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.10. Memory Rituals and Rituals of Remembrance – Forging the Origins of Nations, States, Religions, and People

The modernity of states and nations is characterized by various kinds of "invented traditions" that were supposed to integrate the community in question. The symbolic sphere, including collective memory, has been an effective tool for conducting politics. One example of such a tradition is the search for one's origins (of nations, states, religions). This social practice is omnipresent even though we are fully aware that memory of origins is an oxymoron. Neither do we fully know these beginnings (of nations, religions, states, or perhaps of humanity), nor have they been preserved in our – even cultural – memory. And yet, commemorating origins manifests itself in our social and political realities through various rituals, anniversaries, celebrations, and honoring. Each beginning, like a birth, required a cyclical reconfirmation from the community. This process was exclusive and inclusive since, on the one hand, it involved cultural and political elites (intellectuals, authorities, church representatives), and, on the other hand, it aimed at massifying celebrations, especially with the rise of modern mass societies. Taking this argument as a starting point, this panel aims to trace such narratives of origins, anniversary events, and, above all, the role of intellectuals in their creation. We call for papers that would track, but not limit themselves, to the framework we envisioned above. We focus on modern Central Europe and the Balkans and broadly defined social rituals, consciously restraining from defining them into narrow frames. We believe this openness will only serve better to the aim of this panel.

Ewelina Drzewiecka, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, PolandCyrillo-Methodian Research Centre, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences ...

NUBS 2.08 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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The modernity of states and nations is characterized by various kinds of "invented traditions" that were supposed to integrate the community in question. The symbolic sphere, including collective memory, has been an effective tool for conducting politics. One example of such a tradition is the search for one's origins (of nations, states, religions). This social practice is omnipresent even though we are fully aware that memory of origins is an oxymoron. Neither do we fully know these beginnings (of nations, religions, states, or perhaps of humanity), nor have they been preserved in our – even cultural – memory. And yet, commemorating origins manifests itself in our social and political realities through various rituals, anniversaries, celebrations, and honoring. Each beginning, like a birth, required a cyclical reconfirmation from the community. This process was exclusive and inclusive since, on the one hand, it involved cultural and political elites (intellectuals, authorities, church representatives), and, on the other hand, it aimed at massifying celebrations, especially with the rise of modern mass societies. Taking this argument as a starting point, this panel aims to trace such narratives of origins, anniversary events, and, above all, the role of intellectuals in their creation. We call for papers that would track, but not limit themselves, to the framework we envisioned above. We focus on modern Central Europe and the Balkans and broadly defined social rituals, consciously restraining from defining them into narrow frames. We believe this openness will only serve better to the aim of this panel.



Ewelina Drzewiecka, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria

Anniversary Scientific Conferences in Socialist Bulgaria: The Case of Cyrillo-Methodian Narrative and its Political (Dis)Remembrance

The paper raises the question of (re)inventing a memory of the origins of the Bulgarian nation under the conditions of the Communist regime. The subject of interest is the ceremonial discourse of scientific conferences organized as a part of the official anniversary calendar from 1944 to 1989. Regarded as peculiar rituals of memory, these events were strictly controlled ways of implementing the scholarly and ideological points of view on the history of the Bulgarian people and the unique role of the Communist party in it. The focus is on academic conferences that referred to the legacy of the so-called Slavic Enlighteners, that is, Cyril and Methodius (and its disciples), and specific conventions and communicative practices of (dis)remembering Bulgarian genesis of the Slavic script and literacy.


Rigels Halili, Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland

Celebrating and Recalling the Beginning of Time – Commemorations of the Liberation Day in Communist Albania

Simply put, the aim of this paper is to show, how was commemorated in communist Albania the Liberation Day, that is the 29th of November. Together with the Day of the Party (8th of November) and Independence Day (28th of November), they formed the so-called November Feasts, the most important celebration days in the political calendar of communist Albania. The whole month was so important and full of symbolism that even the most important literary month was called simply Nëntori (November). Through describing the rituals associated with these celebrations, which by all means were highly symbolic, my aim is to bring into focus their meaning. Why were they needed, and what was in fact celebrated? The working hypothesis is that all these celebrations were connected with recalling the beginnings. They were in fact celebrations of the myths of origins (the State, Party, Communist Regime). It is within this frame that I intend to analyze them.


Adam F. Kola, Center of Excellence IMSErt: Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

Remembering as a Political Ritual and Social Phenomenon. The Example of Interwar Czechoslovakia and Socialist Poland

The 20th century saw a series of so-called millennium events in Central and Eastern Europe. These focused on the beginnings of Christianity and statehood in particular countries, interwar Czechoslovakia and socialist Poland. They represented a key event creating a specific national, state, or church community in the modern era. They were based on a whole set of anniversary events, appropriately celebrated manifestations or commemorations with the main object, the focal point, of remembering the origins of the community. The paper aims to compare two series of such anniversary events - the Czechoslovak one of 1929 and the Polish one of 1966 - from the perspective of the social and political rituals used. The different political contexts (a democratic and multinational state and a communist authoritarian system, respectively) and the almost four decades separating the events (other means of mass communication and social influence) account for the differences between the events in question. The ritual reaching back to the origins (of the 


Naum Trajanovski, Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw, Poland

The comments in the visitor books of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle in Skopje and the reception of rightist history and memory narratives in North Macedonia (2011-2014)

The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Independence is certainly the most outspoken museam project in recent Macedonian history. Opened to the public in 2011, the Museum aimed at re-narrating the Macedonian nation- and state-building starting from the armed struggle from the late Ottoman period to the Yugoslav dissolution and the independence referendum in the Republic of Macedonia in 1991. The exhibition attracted many visitors ever since, surpassing, unarguably, their creators' expectations. However, the public reception of the Museum, from the very first moment of communicating the project idea in 2006, is far from uniform and favorable. This paper will focus on the comments in the Museum's visitor books from the early phase of the functioning of the Museum; an aspect which is missing both in the public and scholarly debates on the Museum and yet immensely telling for the museum project and the memory politics in general. The analysis draws upon a total number of 304 visitors' comments from 2011 to 2014. 

Associate Professor
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Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
PhD/Adiunkt
,
University of Warsaw
associate professor
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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
Postdoc
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University of Warsaw
 Adam Kola
associate professor
,
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
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