Memoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) NUBS 4.23
Jul 04, 2023 15:45 - 17:15(Europe/London)
20230704T1545 20230704T1715 Europe/London 2.20. Imagined memoryscapes NUBS 4.23 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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How to nationalize the people? Polish 19th century nationalists and instilling historical memory in the peasants' minds
Individual paperThe Coloniality and Decolonising of Memory 03:45 PM - 05:15 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 14:45:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 16:15:00 UTC
Within the ideology of the Polish national-democratic movement, which developed at the end of the 19th century, the people (lud, the masses, peasants) were presented as an extremely important element, as a reservoir of strength and vitality for the Polish nation. According to the plans of National Democrats, the people were to become identical with this nation, provided that they would come under the rule of the national democratic leaders. Therefore, it became crucial to convince the people that they were Polish, to nationalize them and mobilize them for the national cause. In order to do this, the national democrats started publishing a magazine addressed to the peasant masses - the journal "Polak". One of its most important aims was to implant the feeling of all-Polish unity in the peasants, and to anchor their knowledge of "their" fatherland in time and space. The history of Poland turned out to be the most important topic of the published articles. In my speech, I want to focus on the process of instilling national historical memory in the peasants' minds. How did the national democrats want the peasants to identify themselves with the "lordly", "noble" history of Poland? What means did they use to present the historical memory imposed on peasants as their own memory? How did they deal with the looped logic when national consciousness based on historical memory was treated both as a source of identity and (at the same time) as something to which the peasants needed to be persuaded by skilful arguments? What kind of identity did they offer to the readers of their journal: the identity of the subject or the object of historical memory? How did they relate to the historical memory already present among the peasants and relating to events that undermine faith in national solidarism and in the abolition of class antagonisms, such as the Galician Slaughter (rabacja)? Was the nationalization of the people (by imposing historical memory on them) at the same time their colonization? And finally: why was historical memory considered the best tool for nationalizing peasants?
Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez
Dr, Instytut Slawistyki PAN / Institute Of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy Of Sciences
Maximilian, Sissi, Oberdan: Ambivalent Personifications of Habsburg Collective Memory in Trieste
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
The contemporary cityscape of Trieste, Italy, offers peculiar lessons in collective memory. Within several hundred meters of one other, public monuments commemorate the erstwhile royals of the Habsburg Empire and one of its definitive villains. This presentation focuses on three specific sites in Trieste: a monument to Habsburg Archduke and Mexican Emperor Maximilian, which dominates the Piazza Venezia; a statue of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the wife of Emperor Franz Josef, familiarly known as Sissi, which stands in a square in front of the principal metropolitan train station (Giardino di Piazza di Libertà); and a shrine to Guglielmo Oberdan, an Italian irredentist and would-be assassin of Franz Josef, adjacent to the Museum of the Risorgimento. To begin, I offer a "phenomenological" interpretation of these three sites of post-Habsburg memory with attention to the political and temporal aesthetics that each monument materializes, as well as their situation within the city at large. Secondly, I complicate and supplement this phenomenological approach by considering the dominant discursive framings Maximilian, Sissi, and Oberdan, both in Trieste and in post-Habsburg domains broadly. Finally, by drawing out the ambivalence of the images of the Habsburg past that these sites of memory embody and (re)configure, I pursue a broader argument concerning the role of distinct types of historical figures-rulers, consorts, and rebels-as personifications of post-imperial collective memories.
Presenters Jeremy F. Walton
Research Group Leader, University Of Rijeka
Dreaming of Unity? European Narratives on Regional Identity
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
In a globalised and interconnected Europe, dreams of unification, deep integration or even exhaustive coordination are proving difficult to achieve. Not only do national narratives and memories play a large role in European political and cultural exchange, but so do sub-national ones. Scholarship on European (imagined) identity and public attitudes is increasingly concerned with how individuals perceive this fragmentation of the societal structures in which they are embedded, and whether they support the overarching narratives in their environments. Mediators have been found to be the socialisation of new generations, party affiliation or regional wealth, amongst others.

My research contributes to this field of policy feedback by analysing attitudes towards regionalisation and federalisation from a historically contextual, transgenerational perspective. It thus speaks directly to the increasingly individual-focused, longitudinal studies regarding collective narratives and their effect on (state) policy. The study follows the question 'How do European citizens of different regionalised/regionalist states conceptualise regionalisation efforts?'. It compares two European countries: Spain and Belgium. Both countries share the existence of multiple distinct national identities within the territory, as well as historically conflictual relations between regions.

The comparison focuses on two regions in each country (Madrid-Catalonia; Wallonia-Flanders) to control for linguistic and cultural identification as well as historical differentiation. The methods are interviews of European citizens of different generations, to better understand the narratives to which they have been exposed and how they may affect their feelings about, and conceptualisation of, the regions (and states) in which they live. The interviews allow to delve into matters of regional and national memories, both at the collective (cultural) and at the community (communicative) levels, as well as family dynamics, and transgenerational and linguistic divides, amongst other factors. The presentation will include preliminary findings based on a pilot in Wallonia.
Lorena Ortiz Cabrero
PhD Candidate, Université Catholique De Louvain
Research Group Leader
University of Rijeka
PhD Candidate
Université catholique de Louvain
Instytut Slawistyki PAN / Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
Dr Rehnuma Sazzad
Research Fellow and Associate Fellow
Institute of English Studies (IES) and Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS)
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