This book provides novel and critical insights into the complex relationship between politics of memory and oblivion in European countries in the 20th and early 21st centuries as well as the cultural, political and institutional backgrounds against which they function.
It explores the uses of the past in terms of a conscious choice to either reactivate or overlook memories as selective reference points for the promotion and legitimation of contemporary political goals. The chapters of this volume bring together theoretical discussions on the interrelationship between remembrance and purposeful oblivion as active processes that serve particular interests and ideologies in the present. By addressing the diverse meanings given to practices of memory, the contributions offer new perspectives on how institutions shape cultural memory, power relations and identity projects.
Politics of Memory and Oblivion in the European Context: Critical Perspectives will be of interest to scholars and graduate students from the fields of memory studies, heritage studies, cultural studies, history, and political science who engage with the legacies of violent and traumatic pasts, post-colonial contexts, societal transition and reconciliation.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal, European Politics and Society.
Introduction: Politics of memory and oblivion
Sigrid Kaasik- Krogerus, Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas and Nina Sääskilahti
1. Legacies of an imperial past in a small nation: patterns of postcolonialism in Belgium
2. Politics of fire: the commemorative torch rally 612 of the Finnish radical right
3. The political uses of the past in modern Russia: the images of the October revolution 1917 in the politics of memory of Russian parties
Andrei Linchenko and Daniil Anikin
4. Highlights of national history? Constitutional memory and the preambles of post- communist constitutions
Heino Nyyssönen and Jussi Metsälä
5. Reconstructing the past in a state- mandated historical memory institute: the case of Albania
6. The construction and deconstruction of national myths: a study of the transformation of Finnish history textbook narratives after World War II