The Burden of the Past (Hardcover)

History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine

By Malgorzata Glowacka-Grajper (Editor), Anna Wylegala (Editor)

Indiana University Press, 9780253046703, 392pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/1/2020)

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In a century marked by totalitarian regimes, genocide, mass migrations, and shifting borders, the concept of memory in Eastern Europe is often synonymous with notions of trauma. In Ukraine, memory mechanisms were disrupted by political systems seeking to repress and control the past in order to form new national identities supportive of their own agendas. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, memory in Ukraine was released, creating alternate visions of the past, new national heroes, and new victims. This release of memories led to new conflicts and "memory wars."

How does the past exist in contemporary Ukraine? The works collected in The Burden of the Past focus on commemorative practices, the politics of history, and the way memory influences Ukrainian politics, identity, and culture. The works explore contemporary memory culture in Ukraine and the ways in which it is being researched and understood. Drawing on work from historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and political scientists, the collection represents a truly interdisciplinary approach. Taken together, the groundbreaking scholarship collected in The Burden of the Past provides insight into how memories can be warped and abused, and how this abuse can have lasting effects on a country seeking to create a hopeful future.

About the Author

Anna (Hanna) Abakunova is Associate Tutor of History at the University of Sheffield. She is co-author of The Genocide and Persecution of Roma and Sinti, Bibliography and Historiographical Review. Mykola Borovyk is Associate Professor of History at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Anna Chebotariova (nee Susak) is Research Assistant and Project Coordinator at St. Gallen University. Malgorzata Glowacka-Grajper is Associate Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. She is author of The Transmission of Memory:  Memory Activists and Narratives of Former Eastern Borderlands in Contemporary Poland (in Polish, 2016). Olesya Khromeychuk is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of East Anglia. She is author of 'Undetermined' Ukrainians: Post-War Narratives of the Waffen SS 'Galicia' Division. Joanna Konieczna-Salamatin is Associate Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw. Karolina Koziura is Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research. Wiktoria Kudela-Świątek is Assistant Professor at the Institute of History and Archival Studies, The Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland. She is author of UNREMEMBERED... An Oral History. Example Narrations of Poles from Kazakhstan About the Repressions Over Nationality and Religion and (Un)places of Memory. On Commemorating Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-1933. Daria Mattingly is Ph.D. Candidate in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge. Tetiana Pastushenko is Research Associate at the Institute of History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Matthew D. Pauly is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. He is author of Breaking the Tongue: Language, Education, and Power in Soviet Ukraine, 1923-34. Tomasz Stryjek is Associate Professor at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, and Lecturer at the Collegium Civitas. He is author of What Kind of Past Does the Future Needs? Interpretation of the National History in the Historiography and Public Debate in Ukraine 1991-2004 and Ukraine Before the End of the History. Sketches on the State Memory Politics. Anna Wylegala is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. She is author of Displacement and Memory. Remembering and Forgetting in Ukrainian Galicia and Polish 'Recovered Lands.'