A Keynote lecture: East European Mnemonic Wars: The Politics of Historical Memory Versus Historical Politics

A Keynote lecture: East European Mnemonic Wars: The Politics of Historical Memory Versus Historical Politics

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Professor Jan Kubik’s lecture will open the international conference “Dealing with a Difficult Past, Looking into the Future. Poland’s Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective”.

Venue:
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony’s College

Speaker:
Professor Jan Kubik (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

Chair:
Professor Jan Zielonka (St Antony’s)

Professor Jan Kubik’s lecture will open the international conference “Dealing with a Difficult Past, Looking into the Future. Poland’s Transitional Justice in a Comparative Perspective” organised by the Programme on Modern Poland on Tuesday 31 May – Wednesday 1 June 2016 at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. More information about the conference: www.sant.ox.ac.uk/events/dealing-difficult-past-poland%E2%80%99s-transitional-justice-comparative-perspective

“The formation, maintenance, and transformations of collective memory need to be studied because these processes are intricately intertwined with three issues of paramount political importance: legitimacy of power, collective identity, and transitional justice. The study of the politics of collective memory has become a major academic industry in the recent years, yet theoretical progress has been slow. In a recent book Michael Bernhard and I, working with several collaborators, offered a sketch of a theory of the politics of memory. In this presentation I will outline four areas that need to be developed to move this theory forward. These areas include: (1) the cultural dimension of post-communist transformations as a relatively underdeveloped area of research, (2) the impact of mnemonic politics on the quality of democracy, (3) the political significance of various levels and forms of collective remembering/commemoration, and (4) the difference between the politics of memory and historical politics. The last issue has particularly serious practical and ethical implications that will be briefly outlined.” (Prof. Jan Kubik).