CfP: Special issue on “The Legacies of State Socialist Memory Politics”

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Discussion published by Antony Kalashnikov on Monday, November 25, 2019

Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes seeks submissions for a special issue on the theme of “The Legacies of State Socialist Memory Politics.” This project will investigate those mnemonic discourses, strategies, and media which, transcending the collapse of state socialism, continue to play a role in contemporary memory politics. The special issue aims to rebalance the discussion in a field that tends to focus on the contemporary determinants of memory: the political and sociocultural vagaries of post-socialism.


After all, mnemonic discourses are path-dependent, and thereby partially disconnected from the political objectives of the present moment. Which narratives of the past survived state socialism and retain a certain degree of resonance? How do they constrain memory actors? Conversely, can they be embraced as a political resource (for instance, by illiberal forces)?


Legacies of state socialism may also be traced institutionally. How do inherited institutional configurations (for instance, of the museum or archival services) reproduce state socialist strategies of memorialization? Do they continue to gravitate towards centralist decision-making and administrative solutions? In what ways do counter-memory movements (for instance, the Memorial NGO in Russia) derive their organization and strategy from their subversive activities under state socialism?


Not least, state socialism bequeathed palpable material legacies; its monuments dominate the post-socialist cityscape. Are these fundamentally passive objects, or can they exert an independent force on contemporary collective memory dynamics? Why do these monuments retain such political salience (as objects both destruction or revalorization)? Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes encourages submissions on these and related questions, from all disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.


Founded in 1956, Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes is the official quarterly of the Canadian Association of Slavists. Published by Taylor and Francis, it is the leading journal of the field in Canada and has a wide international readership.


Please send expressions of interest to the Guest Editor, Dr. Antony Kalashnikov, Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta kalashni@ualberta.ca by December 15, 2019. Authors will be invited to submit their manuscripts (in English or French) by May 15, 2020, formatted to the journal’s submission and style guidelines https://sites.ualberta.ca/~csp/Submissions.html. All submissions will be subject to the normal peer-review process. All potential contributors must become members of the Canadian Association of Slavists.