The Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies


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Call for Papers

Aims of the Conference. Conference general topic description
Every society has its own identity, collective memory and history. But what is the link between them, how do societies remember past and history, and how does the way societies remember the past affect collective consciousnesses and cultural identities?
Historical memory is often seen as a form of collective memory, functioning as an instrument to build communities and to give meaning to the past. Subjective – as it cannot remember the past ‘as it was’ – historical memory is instead a (chosen) reflection of the past and it can be an instrument used to manipulate or falsify history in order to fit a current political agenda. Decision-makers use past events and history to legitimize or explain their daily decisions and choices, whether foreign- or domestic-policy related. How histories and memories of past events are remembered, used, interpreted, misinterpreted, or manipulated in state politics and state discourses is one of the themes of this conference.
Traditionally, collective memory is linked to the processes of state-building and nation-building, historical and cultural memories being central pieces of national identity. This conference discusses as well the complex links between historical memory, politics of memory and cultural identity. The conference also addresses the so-called communicative memory, which focuses on how the past is discussed, debated and given meaning on a day-to-day basis. This form of remembrance is generally oral and formulated by those who lived through or during the past events in question. Communicative memories are often short-lived. They last one generation and are based on accounts of the people that were alive at the time when the events took place. Cultural memories, instead, offer a public (and sometimes controversial) narrative of the past events.
The European history abounds in controversial or alternative narratives on past historical events, whether linked to World War I, to World War II or to the Cold War. Aiming to contribute to the historical memory of the recent past in Romania, the Baltic States and Scandinavia, and encouraging a comparative approach, this conference addresses questions such as:

  • To what extent have the countries and societies in Romania, Scandinavia and Baltic Sea Region “come to terms” with the past?
  • How are world wars remembered? How is the Cold War remembered?
  • Is war responsibility admitted at both the official and individual levels?
  • How is war responsibility tackled in Romania, Scandinavia and Baltic Sea Region?
  • How is the Holocaust remembered?
  • How is the foreign occupation remembered? How did the foreign occupation affect attitudes and policies in the postwar period?
  • How has the conception of history been shaped in Romania, Scandinavia and Baltic Sea Region following the fall of totalitarianism in 1989/1991?
  • How have the relations between Romanian and Scandinavian cultures evolved? Can we identify common features?
  • How are language ideologies represented in the Scandinavian and Romanian minority press?
  • How are the Nordic countries depicted as a cultural landscape in the literary works?
  • How does Norwegian literature reflect the collective experience of a reborn nation?
  • How strong is the feeling of cultural identification within Nordic, Baltic and Romanian ethnic groups?
  • How do Nordic and Baltic writers identify themselves with their homeland / their native region within their works?
  • How do past and current states of Nordic and Baltic economies influence the development of the areas?
  • Which natural phenomena do Romania, the Nordic and Baltic Sea states identify with?
  • In which way can Scandinavian tourism be a sustainable development model for Romania and the Black Sea region?
  • How have women contributed to shaping the society in Scandinavia, Baltic Sea Region and Romania?
  • How do Scandinavia, Baltic Sea Region and Romania regard topical issues of today’s world such as energy, energy transport and environment?
  • The conference will include a roundtable on Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison.


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