WHAT IS PoSoCoMeS?
The working group on Post-Socialist and Comparative Memory Studies — PoSoCoMeS —will hold its first regional conference on Sep 24-26, 2020, in Chisinau, Moldova. One of the purposes of this conference
is to allow scholars and practitioners from the post-socialist countries of Europe and Eurasia to meet even
if they cannot afford to travel to the annual convention (where PoSoCoMeS is also organizing its own stream
of panels again). Travel to Moldova is visa free for citizens of over 100 countries; the cost of attending
the conference will be kept as low as possible, and we are working to raise money for additional scholarships.
Of course, applications from those living outside the former socialist world but working in comparative memory studies will also be highly welcome!
A formal call for abstracts will be circulated in a few weeks. In the meantime, please write to if you would like to help organize parts of the conference.
Historical memory is “hot” across the post-socialist world, including the former Soviet republics, East
Central Europe and the Balkans, but also China, Vietnam, or Cuba, as well as among the members
or heirs of international socialist movements. Accordingly, collective memory has attracted much interest among academic specialists in all of these regions.
However, post-socialist memory studies has yet to constitute itself as a fully-fledged field of inquiry. Scholars often remain confined to their own national contexts, failing to engage in meaningful dialogue with those studying other countries or regions. Many articles still read like contributions to memory wars rather than attempts at dispassionate analysis, and too many authors write about memory phenomena without regard
for the international literature in the field, or indeed the contributions of predecessors who wrote about
the same topics.
In this context, our working group aims to help establish high scholarly standards for post-socialist memory studies across disciplinary boundaries. We also wish to create a global framework for scholarly dialogue about post-socialist memory, with particular attention to comparative and transnational approaches including regions in the Global South and elsewhere that have been influenced by the socialist project. Beyond organizing our own stream of panels at the MSA conferences, we have started compiling bibliographies of scholarly work
on post-socialist memory and collecting information about conferences and research projects.