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Sarah Wagner and Jelena Subotić, ‘The Use and Abuse of Historical Memory in Southeast Europe: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue’
April 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Societies across Southeast Europe are locked in symbolic wars over the past. Politicians, intellectuals and opinion makers tap into the past to construct hierarchies, delineate identities and chart a vision of the future. The Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, the divisive legacy of communism and the traumas of World War II, including occupation, collaboration, resistance and even the Holocaust continue to be a disputed terrain. At the same time, critical scholarship is engaged in a project to empower dissonant voices and memories “from below” which challenge dominant grand narratives focused on nation, victimhood and historical grievances. Anthropologist Sarah Wagner of George Washington University and political scientist Jelena Subotić of Georgia State University will explore how remembering and commemorating the past affect the social fabric and politics in present-day Balkans. The conversation will be moderated by Dimitar Bechev of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.