CfP: Memory of the Communist Past

The Preparatory Committee of the planned conference Memory of the Communist Past (October 14-16 2020, Bratislava, Slovakia) informs:  Dear colleagues, thank you for sending us your abstract and bios for our conference call.  The Preparatory Committee facing the current pandemic situation decided to move the deadline for sending abstracts and bios till the end of May 2020.  The plan still is: to publish the chosen conference papers in a monothematic volume of Slovak Ethnology 2/2021 and a monothematic volume of the Journal of Nationalism, Memory, and Language Politics 1/2021, in English. The final date for papers remains 15th October 2020. We are monitoring the pandemic spread of COVID-19 and we will inform you about the new steps according to the future of our planned conference in October 2020.


International Conference Memory of the Communist Past (14 – 16 October 2020, Bratislava, Slovak Republic)

International conference organizers: the research team of the project APVV 16 0345 Current Images of Socialism, Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Slovak Academy of Sciences

The Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe fell 30 years ago. A variety of designs, attitudes and methodological approaches have developed which have resulted in projects that are focused on the way the “Communist past” is represented and communicated in these societies today. The main aim of our conference MEMORY OF THE COMMUNIST PAST is to bring together experts from the area of social sciences and the humanities. We offer a forum for presentation and the exchange of the experiences and knowledge they gained in their research. We invite analytic, theoretical papers, as well as research reports, essays and discussions on the qualitative research of the Communist past in Central and Eastern Europe.

The contributions should focus on such topics as:

  • How do images of socialism (if we use the emic term for the Communist dictatorship period) get communicated by the eye-witnesses as part of their biographies?
  • Current representations of the Communist past and transformation of the individual memory of the Communist past
  • How did the life under Communist regimes influence the values and attitudes of the witnesses?
  • How are representations/recollections on Socialism transmitted to the younger generation (children, grandchildren)?
  • How do the (grand)children generation deal with the experiences of their (grand)parents?
  • In what ways family/social memory and cultural memory connected and related? A. Assmann, Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity (New York: Fordham University Press, 2016).
  • How are images of the Communist period shared in contemporary cultural memory and political discourse in Central and East European countries (in school curricula, literature, and
    theatre as well as documentary films, movies, museum exhibitions, memory policy)?
  • What are the challenging methodological and ethical questions pertaining to the research focused on the Socialist past of the country?

We would like to invite colleagues to share their expertise as well as present the possible questions or challenges of their work. Submission deadline: 31st May 2020. Each paper proposal should include a title and abstract (up to 300 words) and short c.v. (max. 300 words). All proposals should be submitted by email (

Applicants will be informed by end of April 2020 regarding inclusion in the conference program. Chosen conference papers will be published in a monothematic volume of Slovak Ethnology 1/2021, in English and in the Journal of Nationalism, Memory and Language Politics 1/2021, in English. The final date for papers: 15th October 2020

The preparatory committee:
dr. Monika Vrzgulova (IoESA SAS);
dr. Ľubica Voľanska (IoESA SAS);
dr. Petra Schindler-Wisten (OH Center, Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences)