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210135 SE M9: Eastern European Studies (2021S)

New Perspectives in Memory Studies with a focus on Eastern Europe

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

Die Lehre wird im SoSe 2021 zu Beginn voraussichtlich digital stattfinden. Je nach Lage wird auf hybride oder Vor-Ort-Lehre umgestellt. Die Lehrenden werden die konkrete Organisationsform und Lehrmethodik auf ufind und Moodle bekannt geben, wobei auch mit kurzfristigen Änderungen gerechnet werden muss.

Eine Anmeldung über u:space innerhalb der Anmeldephase ist erforderlich! Eine nachträgliche Anmeldung ist NICHT möglich.
Studierende, die der ersten Einheit unentschuldigt fern bleiben, verlieren ihren Platz in der Lehrveranstaltung.

Achten Sie auf die Einhaltung der Standards guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis und die korrekte Anwendung der Techniken wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens und Schreibens.
Plagiierte und erschlichene Teilleistungen führen zur Nichtbewertung der Lehrveranstaltung (Eintragung eines 'X' im Sammelzeugnis).
Die Lehrveranstaltungsleitung kann Studierende zu einem notenrelevanten Gespräch über erbrachte Teilleistungen einladen.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 08.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 15.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 22.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 12.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 19.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 26.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 03.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 10.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 17.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 31.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 07.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 14.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 21.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Monday 28.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar will be held in digital form (in BBB-room via Moodle).

This course aims at introducing students to Memory Studies and focuses on recent trends in this multidisciplinary field; at the same time, it is specifically designed for political scientists interested in Eastern Europe. In this region, political elites have used historical memory in order to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the post-communist regimes and to demarcate them from their authoritarian predecessors. The traumatic events of the 20th Century, such as World War II and the post-war division of Europe, the experience of communism and fascism, the Holocaust, Stalinist repressions, ethnic cleansings and mass deportations have been in the center of public debates and political conflicts in these countries since 1989. More recently, populist and nationalist politicians have started to pursue an active politics of history in order to re-shape national majorities around Eurosceptic narratives.

We will start with key notions and themes, such as collective and national memory, memory regimes, mnemonic actors and the role of memory politics in democratic and authoritarian regimes. The contents of the course includes post-Soviet nation building and politics of history writing, collective memories as a source of political conflict, political instrumentalisation of memories, institutionalisation of national memory and the political role of museums, monuments and memorials. We will discuss such issues as coping with the past (Vergangenheitsbewältigung), (post)transitional justice, legislation of historical memory, mnemonical security and weaponization of memory, mnemonic activism, apology, reconciliation and memory wars in international relations.

Various examples from the region will be analyzed in class; attention will be paid not only to the official political rhetoric, but also to civil society, churches, historians’ commissions and other institutions and actors. We will use a comparative approach and put individual cases in the context of the transnational debate on European memory. During the course various approaches, research strategies and methods will be discussed using examples from the newest academic literature. Methods: introductory input from the lecturer, class presentations, work in groups, discussions in class, written assignments.

Assessment and permitted materials

Grades will be assigned according to the following breakdown:

- participation in class discussions, class presentations - 20 % of the grade;

- three short written assignments to be submitted during the semester – 30 % of the grade;

- seminar paper (4000 words max.), to be submitted before September 1, 2021 - 50 % of the grade.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The seminar will be held in digital form.

To pass the course all the assignments should be successfully completed. Not more than two classes can be missed.

Students are required to have completed the readings before class and to actively participate in class discussions. Readings for each class will be provided via Moodle.

Students should have a good command of English so that they are able to read academic texts as well as present and discuss their research.

Important: Please note that plagiarism (using another person's ideas or work and pretending that it is your own) is an act of fraud and will be sanctioned. For more details about plagiarism and its legal consequences see the Richtlinien zur Sicherung der guten wissenschaftlichen Praxis (https://studienpraeses.univie.ac.at/infos-zum-studienrecht/sicherung-der-guten-wissenschaftlichen-praxis/plagiat/).

Examination topics

Readings and seminar discussions.

Reading list

Selected readings (full list will be announced on Moodle):

Bernhard, Michael H. and Jan Kubik (eds.), 2014, Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration, Oxford UP.

Norris, Stephen M., 2020, Museums of Communism: New Memory Sites in Central and Eastern Europe, Indiana UP.

Koposov, Nikolay, 2018, Memory Laws, Memory Wars. The politics of the Past in Europe and Russia, Oxford UP.

Daase, Christopher et al., 2015, Apology and Reconciliation in International Relations. The importance of being sorry, Routledge.

Mälksoo, Maria, 2015, “’Memory Must be Defended’: Beyond the Politics of Mnemonical Security”, in: Security Dialogue 46.3, pp. 221-237.

Fedor, Julie et al., 2017, War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Palgrave Macmillan.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26