Theory Seminar: Political Memory and State Power – Holocaust Remembrance after Communism
Jelena Subotic will talk about her project that investigates the strength and limits of state power in regulating contested political memory.
“This project explores the strength and limits of state power in regulating contested political memory. Specifically, I examine the political predicament of post-communist states which today are dealing with conflicting sources of ontological insecurity. They are anxious to be perceived as fully European by "core" European states, a status that remains fleeting. Being fully European, however, means sharing in the cosmopolitan European narratives of the 20th century, perhaps the strongest being the narrative of the Holocaust.
Exercising their state power by influencing European Union’s own memory politics and legislation, post-communist states have attempted to resolve these insecurities by undergoing a radical revision of their respective Holocaust remembrance where the memory, symbols, and imagery of the Holocaust become appropriated to represent crimes of communism.”
Jelena Subotic is a Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA. She is the author of two books: Hijacked Justice: Dealing with the Past in the Balkans (Cornell University Press, 2009) and Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism (Cornell University Press, forthcoming) and more than twenty scholarly articles. Her research is on memory politics, identity, and human rights, with a focus on Eastern Europe.
Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, Benjamin de Carvalho, will moderate the Theory Seminar.