This book examines the online memory wars in post-Soviet states – where political conflicts take the shape of heated debates about the recent past, and especially World War II and Soviet socialism.
To this day, former socialist states face the challenge of constructing national identities, producing national memories, and relating to the Soviet legacy. Their pasts are principally intertwined: changing readings of history in one country generate fierce reactions in others. In this transnational memory war, digital media form a pivotal discursive space – one that provides speakers with radically new commemorative tools.
Uniting contributions by leading scholars in the field, Memory, Conflict and New Media is the first book-length publication to analyse how new media serve as a site of political and national identity building in post-socialist states. The book also examines how the construction of online identity is irreversibly affected by thinking about the past in this geopolitical domain. By highlighting post-socialist memory’s digital mediations and digital memory’s transcultural scope, the volume succeeds in a twofold aim: to deepen and refine both (post-socialist) memory theory and digital-memory studies.
This book will be of much interest to students of media studies, post-Soviet studies, Eastern European Politics, memory studies and International Relations in general.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Old Conflict, New Media: Post-Socialist Digital Memories, Ellen Rutten and Vera Zvereva Part I: Concepts of Memory 1. Europe’s Other World: Romany Memory within the New Dynamics of the Globital Memory Field, Anna Reading 2. Mourning and Melancholia in Putin’s Russia: An Essay in Mnemonics, Alexander Etkind 3. Memory Events and Memory Wars: Victory Day in L’viv, 2011 through the Prism of Quantitative Analysis, Galina Nikiporets-Takigawa 4. War of Memories in the Ukrainian Media: Diversity of Identities, Political Confrontation, and Production Technologies, Volodymyr Kulyk 5. #Holodomor – Twitter and Public Discourse in Ukraine, Martin Paulsen Part II: Words of Memory 6. ‘A Stroll Through the Keywords of my Memory’: Digitally Mediated Commemoration of the Soviet Linguistic Heritage, Ingunn Lunde 7. Memory and Self-Legitimization in the Russian Blogosphere: Argumentative Practices in Historical and Political Discussions in Russian-Language Blogs of the 2000s, Ilya Kukulin 8. Building Wiki-History: Between Consensus and Edit Warring, Helene Dounaevsky 9. News Framing under Conditions of Unsettled Conflict: An Analysis of Georgian Online and Print News around the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, Doreen Spoerer-Wagner 10. Rust on the Monument: Challenging the Myth of Victory in Belarus, Aliaksei Lastouski Part III: Images of Memory 11. Between RuNet and UkrNet: Mapping the Crimean Web War, Maria Pasholok 12. Repeating History? The Computer Game as Historiographic Device, Gernot Howanitz 13. The Digital (Artistic) Memory of Nicolae Ceausescu, Caterina Preda 14. Witnessing War, Globalizing Victory: Representations of World War II on the Website Russia Today, Jussi Lassila 15. From ‘The Second Katyn’ to ‘A Day Without Smolensk’: Facebook Responses to the Smolensk Tragedy and its Aftermath, Dieter de Bruyn Conclusion, Julie Fedor Timeline: New Media and Memory Politics
Ellen Rutten is Professor of Slavic Literatures and Cultures at the University of Amsterdam, and is author of Unattainable Bride Russia (2010).
Julie Fedor is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is author of Russia and the Cult of State Security (Routledge, 2011) and a contributing author to Remembering Katyn (Polity Press, 2012).
Vera Zvereva is a Research Fellow at the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, Edinburgh University, UK, and is author of Network Talks: Cultural Communication on the Russian Internet (University of Bergen, 2012) and Real Life on TV Screen (RSUH, 2012).