Online seminar #12: Museums of Communism. New Memory Sites in Central and Eastern Europe

Stephen M. Norris in conversation with TBA

PoSoCoMeS Online Seminar Series, session #12

Monday, 6 June, 2022 5.30 pm CET

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 984 7081 5842

Access code: ykwL3f

At the monthly PoSoCoMeS seminar, TBA discusses recent preservation and production of memory of communism with Stephen N. Norris, editor of the book: "Museums of Communism. New Memory Sites in Central and Eastern Europe" (Indiana University Press, 2020). The book explores the complicated intersection of history, commemoration, and victimization made evident in these museums constructed after 1991. While contributors from a diverse range of fields explore various museums and include nearly 90 photographs, a common denominator emerges: rather than focusing on artifacts and historical documents, these museums often privilege memories and stories. In doing so, the museums shift attention from experiences of guilt or collaboration to narratives of shared victimization under communist rule. As editor Stephen M. Norris demonstrates, these museums are often problematic at best and revisionist at worst. From occupation museums in the Baltic States to memorial museums in Ukraine, former secret police prisons in Romania, and nostalgic museums of everyday life in Russia, the sites considered offer new ways of understanding the challenges of separating memory and myth. See further details at the publisher's website: