Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes : Silent Post-War Memory in the Margins of History book cover
1st Edition

Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes
Silent Post-War Memory in the Margins of History

ISBN 9780367469818
Published December 31, 2020 by Routledge
250 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Mental and material reconstruction was an ongoing process after World War II, and it still is. This volume combines a detailed treatment of post-war cultural reconstruction in Finnish Lapland – a region on the geographical and historical margins of its nation-state – with comparative case studies of silent post-war memory from other European countries The contributors shed light on key aspects of cultural reconstruction generally: disruptions of national narratives, difficulties of post-war cultural demobilisation, sites of memory, visual narratives of post-war reconstruction, and manifestations of trans-generational experiences of cultural reconstruction.

Exploration of the less conspicuous aspects of mental reconstruction reveals various forms of post-war silence and silencing which have halted or hindered different groups of people in their mental return to peace. Rather than focusing on the “executive level” of material reconstruction, the volume turns its gaze towards those who experienced the return to peace in the mental, societal, and historical margins: members of ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities, women, and children.

The chapters draw on archival and other original sources, personal memories, autobiographical interpretations, and academic debate. The volume is relevant for scholars and advanced students in the fields of cultural history, art history, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents


Marja Tuominen, T. G. Ashplant and Tiina Harjumaa

Part 1: Reconstructing Hopes, Memories and Narratives

1. Post-War Cultural Reconstruction and the Nation: Some Comparative Considerations

T. G. Ashplant

2. Reconstructing Saami Culture in Post-War Finland

Veli-Pekka Lehtola

3. The Politics of Silences: Women’s War Experiences and the Discourses of Reconstruction in Poland (1945–1948)

Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz

4. "This Is My Past": War, Memory, and Forgiveness in Rosa Liksom’s Novel The Colonel’s Wife

Elina Arminen

5. Petsamo: A Region Lost, a People Ignored

Tiina Harjumaa

6. Less Holy?: Reconstructing Eastern Orthodoxy in Post-War Finnish Lapland

Marja Tuominen

7. Reconstructed Landscapes of Northern Youth: Reading the Autobiographies of Finnish Youth, 1945–1960

Essi Jouhki and Kaisa Vehkalahti

8. Reconstructing Haunted Places: Postmemory and Ancestral Homelands

Liz Suda

Part 2: Reconstructing Landscapes and Mindscapes

9. Prison Island: Place of Remembrance or Place of Parley?

Žiga Kreševič

10. The Artist’s Gaze Turns to the Landscape and Wilderness

Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja

11. "On the Border Between Past and Future": Two Male Artists of Lapland and Their Relationship to Nature

Mervi Löfgren Autti

12. Reviving the Legacy of Reconstruction-Period Type-Planned Houses

Anu Soikkeli

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Marja Tuominen is a professor of cultural history at the University of Lapland.

T. G. Ashplant is a visiting professor at the Centre for Life-Writing Research, King’s College London.

Tiina Harjumaa is a doctoral candidate and part-time teacher in cultural history at the University of Lapland.