PředmětyPředměty(verze: 850)
Předmět, akademický rok 2017/2018
   Přihlásit přes CAS
Cultural Memory and Identity in the Balkans - JMMZ224
Anglický název: Cultural Memory and Identity in the Balkans
Zajišťuje: Katedra ruských a východoevropských studií (23-KRVS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2015 do 2017
Semestr: zimní
Body: 6
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: 20 / 20 (20)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D.
Vyučující: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D.
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)
This course has a thematic focus and aims to disentangle the question of what happens to historical/cultural memory and cultural identity when national states from the Balkan region undergo transformations, transitions, displacements and fragmentations. It focuses on various case studies of collective and individual memory as a way to express, display and articulate individual and collective identities in the region, from old testimonies and oral history to world literature, film, theater (and other materializations of cultural memory that are not reduced only to "official narratives"). The purpose of this multidisciplinary endeavor is to lay the ground for a theoretical analysis of the relationship between memory and identity. During the course, the main theoretical arguments on cultural identity will be discussed and evaluated (e.g. essentialist theories of cultural identity versus constructivist approaches). We will examine the Balkans, as cultural entity and the territory where new states were created and "both majority and minority ethnic groups are mobilized in search of identity" (Appadurai, 2006). This course aims to stimulate critical thinking and to broaden student’s perspective in understanding the historical and political processes taking place in the region and how these processes are remembered and interpreted and to what ends.

Teaching Format: Mixture of Lecture and Seminar

Office Hours: Monday 12- 14 p.m. (please e-mail me by 11 a.m. on Sunday to let me know when you are coming. 98022179@fsv.cuni.cz).

Cíl předmětu
Poslední úprava: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

The purpose of this multidisciplinary endeavor is to lay the ground for a theoretical analysis of the relationship between memory and identity. During the course, the main theoretical arguments on cultural identity will be discussed and evaluated (eg essentialist theories of cultural identity versus constructivist approaches). We will explore Balkans, as a cultural entity and territory where new states were created and "both majority and minority ethnic groups are mobilized in search of identity" (Appadurai, 2006). This course aims to stimulate critical thinking and broaden student's perspective in understanding the historical, cultural and political processes taking place in the region and how these processes are remembered and interpreted and to what ends.

Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992
Maria Todorova (ed.), Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory, New York: New York University Press, 2004
Jeanette Rodriguez and Ted Fortier, Cultural Memory, Texas: University of Texas Press, 2009, pp. 7-14
Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

Main Course Requirements : Attendance and active class participation are required. Reading of all assigned texts is required. For each text, the presenter will be selected in advance. Presentation and critical discussion of the assigned text should normally last for 20 minutes. The presenter should summarize the main argument and key concepts, identify what is unclear and what should be further investigated and list questions for the following discussion. For those who do not feel comfortable to present in the class (although this is highly recommended) there is an option of written short paper (1500 words) in which you are expected to explore one of the assigned readings.A final paper (3000 words) closely linked to the issues discussed in the class is required.

The deadline for submitting the final paper to your instructor is January 15, 2020.


Your grade distribution for assignments is as follows:


presentation -20% (analytical presentation of one of the texts assigned for the class; originality of the interpretative approach, critical reading)


class participation -20% (active and constant participation in class)


final paper- 50%


other in -class assignments- 10% (response short papers, visual analysis of assigned data)



A - "excellent"

B - excellent - B - excellent - B

C - very good - C - very good - C

D - "Very good - D" - "Very good - D"

E - "Good - E" - "Good - E"

F - "failed - F" - "fail - F"

Detiled Description of the Grades;

A - Excellent performance. The student has shown originality and displayed an exceptional grasp of material and deep analytical understanding of the subject.

B- Good performance. The student has mastered the material, understands the subject well and has shown some originality of thought and / or effort.

C- Fair performance. The student has acquired an acceptable understanding of the material and essential subject matter of the course, but has not succeeded in translating this understanding into consistently creative or original work.

D- Poor. The student showed some understanding of the material and subject matter covered during the course. The student's work, however, has not shown enough effort or understanding to allow for passing grade in the School Required Courses. It does not qualify as a passing mark for General College Courses and Electives.

F - Fail. The student has not succeeded in mastering the subject matter covered in the course.

For more detail on evaluation system see Dean´s provision  https://www.fsv.cuni.cz/opatreni-dekanky-c-172018aj .



Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Maria Alina Asavei, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

Class Schedule:

1. Introductory Lecture: general presentation of the course's structure, questions, discussion of assignments.

Required Reading: None

2. Memory / Identity Bond. Memory / identity theoretical debates.

Both memory and identity are constructed on many levels (individual, societies, regions, nations and so on). This course aims to conceptually frame the link between memory and identity focusing on the politics of regional identity discourses. 

Mandatory Readings:

- Jan Assmann , "Collective Memory and Cultural Identity", pp.125-133, available at: http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/201/articles/95AssmannCollMemNGC.pdf .

- Dimitar Bechev , Constructing South-East Europe: The Politics of Regional Identity, RAMSES working paper 1/06, European Studies Center, University of Oxford, 2006, pp.3-23, available at: http: //www.sant. ox.ac.uk/esc/ramses/bechev.pdf

Recommended Readings:

Rogers Brubaker and Frederick Cooper, "Beyond 'Identity'", Theory and Society , 29: 1-47, 2000.

-Nadia Kaneva, "Memories of Everyday Life in Communist Bulgaria: Negotiating Identity in Immigrant Narratives", Colorado Research in Linguistics , Vol.19, 2006, available online at:




3 . History / Culture / Memory Interplay

History and Memory influence and shape one another. In this course we will discuss the distinction between social (common), political and historical memory and about the role of culture for identity building.

Mandatory Readings:

-Aleida Assmann, "Transformations between History and Memory", Social Research, Vol.75, No.1, Collective Memory and Collective Identity, (Spring 2008), pp. 49-72. Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/40972052


-Dina Iordanova, "Whose is this memory?: Hushed narratives and discerning remembrance in Balkan Cinema", 2007, Cineaste 32: 22-27.



4. Whose is this Song?

Nationalism, Memory and Identity through the Lens of Documentary Film

Screening: fragments from Adela Peeva’s documentary "Whose is this Memory"

Mandatory Reading:

Eleni Elefterias-Kostakidis, "The Film Whose is this Song? Nationalism and Identity through the Lens of Adela Peeva", Modern Greek Journal (Part A), 2014: https://www.academia.edu/9564507/The_Film_WHOSE_IS_THIS_SONG_Nationalism_and_Identity_through_the_lens_of_Adela_Peeva.


5. Individual Remembering and "Collective Memory"

Mandatory Readings:

-Anna Green, "Individual Remembering and "Collective Memory": theoretical Presuppositions and Contemporary Debates", in Oral History, Vol.32, No.2, Memory and Society, (Autumn, 2004), pp.35-44. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40179797

-Susan A. Crane, "Writing the Individual Back into Collective Memory", The American Historical Review, Vol.102, No.5, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2171068


6. Conflict and Cultural Memory: A Case Study from Former Yugoslavia

What is the role of memory in conflict situations? Remembering a traumatic event can be a tool for social justice but also a means to perpetuating violence and injustice. How can memory be employed in divisive ways?


Mandatory Readings:

- Lynda E. Boose, "Crossing the River Drina: Bosnian Rape Camps, Turkish Impalement and Serb Cultural Memory", Sign: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol.21, No.1, Gender and Cultural Memory, 2002, pp. 71-96.


- Ilana R. Bet-El, "Unimagined Communities: The Power of Memory and the Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia" in J.W. Müller (ed.) Memory & Power in Post-War

 Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 206- 222.


7.The Memory of Communism: Conflicts, Institutions, Actors

After twenty years, the contested memories of communism are being persistently reactivated by social and political actors. In this class we will examine by the means of the concrete case studies how the heritage of the communist past is‘re-contextualized’ and to what ends. We will also examine the opposition between memory and forgetting by bringing into focus a third category-"the unmemorable" 


Screening: Video- Memory of my Youth in Communist Romania

Mandatory Readings:

-Nikolai Vukov, "The "Unmemorable" and the "Unforgettable": "Museumizing" the Socialist Past in Post-1989 Bulgaria", in Oksana Sarkisova and Peter Apor (eds.), Visions after the Fall: Museums and Cinema in the Reshaping of Popular Perceptions of the Socialist Past. Budapest: CEU Press

 available online at: http://books.openedition.org/ceup/686?lang=en

-Gabriela Cristea and Simina Radu-Bucurenci, "Raising the Cross: Exorcising Romania’s Communist Past in Museums, Memorials and Monuments", in Oksana Sarkisova and Péter Apor (eds.), Past for the Eyes: Cinema and Museums in Representing Communism in Eastern Europe after 1989, Budapest: CEU Press

available online at: http://books.openedition.org/ceup/683?lang=it


Recommended Reading:


-Nikolai Vukov, "Cities, Memorial Sites, Memory: the Case of Plovdiv" in Our Europe. Ethnography-Ethnology-Anthropology of Culture, Vol. 2, 2013, pp.129-144

available online at: http://www.ptpn.poznan.pl/Wydawnictwo/czasopisma/our/OE-2013-129-144-Vukov.pdf

-Daniela Koleva, "Memories of the War and the War of Memories in Post-Communist Bulgaria", Oral History, Vol.34, No.2, War Memory (Autumn, 2006), pp.44-55.

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40179896




8. New "sites of memory": Digital and networked memory of dictatorship in post-socialist Romania

Online and new media are emerging as new sites for the practices of memorialization. Are there any differences between online and offline memorializations of an event or person? To what extent online media creates more space for competing discourses and alternative memories?


Screening: Ion Grigorescu’s Dialogue with Comrade Ceausescu 1978, (home movie, 8mm)

Mandatory Readings:

Caterina Preda, "The digital (artistic) Memory of Nicolae Ceausescu", Ellen Rutten, Julie Fedor and Vera Zvereva (eds), in Memory, Conflict and New Media, Routledge, 2013, pp. 197-215.


Anna Reading, "Memobilia: The Mobile Phone and the Emergence of Wearable Memories", in Joanne Garde-Hansen, Andrew Hoskins, Anna Reading (ed.) Save As... Digital Memories, London: Palgrave McMillan, 2009, pp. 81-95. 


9. Remembering the Romani Holocaust


How is the past remembered among Romany populations? How are these remembrances materialized (if they are)?


Mandatory Readings:


-Michael Stewart, "Remembering without commemoration: the Mnemonics and Politics of Holocaust. Memories among European Roma", The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol.10, No.3, (Sept., 2004), pp. 561-582. Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/3803795


Recommended Reading:


- Eve Rosenhaft, "A Photographer and His "Victims" 1934-1964: Reconstructing a Shared Experience of the Romani Holocaust", Nicholas Saul and Susan Tebbutt (eds.), Roles of the Romanies: Images and Counter-Images of ‘Gypsies’/Romanies in European Culture, Liverpool University Press, 2004, 178-207.


 Recommended Reading:


-IanHancock, On the Interpretation of a Word: Porrajmos as Holocaust, RADOC: http://www.radoc.net/radoc.php?doc=art_e_holocaust_interpretation&lang=en&articles=true


10. Politics of Memory: A Case Study from Bulgaria


What are the links between memory, justice and law?


Required Readings:


-Ana Luleva, "Collective Memory and Justice Policy: Post-Socialist Discourses on Memory Politics and Memory Culture in Bulgaria", Ethnologia Balkanica, Issue 15, 2011, pp.125-142 (CEEOL)


Recommended Reading:


-Andreas Huyssen, "International Human Rights and the Politics of Memory: Limits and Challenges", Transcultural Negotiations on Holocaust Memory, Vol.53, No.4, (Fall 2011), pp.607-624, Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/23133899


11.  Culture of Memory in the Balkans: Between Regional/National Identity and New Europe

The culture of memory in the Balkans is entrenched in identity reconstruction, cultural conflicts and resistance to "official" narratives. In this course we aim to disentangle the construction and re-construction of cultural identity and its link to memory policies.




Mandatory Reading:

-Milena Dragićević Šešić, "Cultural Policies, Cultural Identities and Monument Building - New Memory Policies of Balkan Countries" in Cultural Transition in Southeastern Europe: Cultural Identity Politics in (Post) . ), Zagreb: Culturelink, 2011, pp. 31-45.


Recommended Reading:


- Maria Mälksoo, 'The Memory Politics of Becoming European: The East European Subalterns and the Collective Memory of Europe', European Journal of International Relations , 15, no. 4, 2009, s. 653-680

Available online at: http://www.memoryatwar.org/pdf/malksoo_ejir_dec_2009-1.pdf



12. Concluding Remarks and Discussion on Final Papers


Univerzita Karlova | Informační systém UK