New challenges for post-communist remembrance cultures: Interdisciplinary perspectives in transitional justice


This network addresses academic and practitioner debates in the field of transitional justice related to how the controversial history of communism is remembered Central and Eastern Europe. It brings together scholars, practitioners, and members of the public, to discuss how, the often-separate intellectual pursuits of humanities scholars and professionals in the area of transitional justice, can be brought in closer contact and communication. It also explores a key challenge in transitional justice: how to bridge, and how to address, the pressing generational gap in perceptions of communism, especially the perceptions and understandings of a new generation of young people, that are bringing about a host of new challenges, as well as opportunities, for taking the legacy of communism into public consciousness.



Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Transitional Justice

Virtual conference 6-7 July 2021

We are excited to announce we’ve recently secured a COVID-19 project extension from the Arts & Humanities Research Council to organise a virtual conference to showcase the work of network colleagues across the world and the variety of perspectives in transitional justice.

The conference will be held 6-7 July 2021 via a secure Zoom link shared only with participants and attendees (more details to follow). The conference is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC) at Loughborough University.

Registration is entirely free. Details to follow. Those who wish to contribute can pay a voluntary £5 attendance fee. 

Keynote: We are pleased to say that Prof. Ruti Teitel has agreed to deliver the conference keynote on the 7thJuly. Professor Ruti Teitel is Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law, New York Law School, US). She is the author of Transitional Justice (OUP, 2000) and Globalizing Transitional Justice (OUP, 2014). You do not need to have presented at the conference in order to be able to join Prof. Teitel’s talk. More details to follow.

Provisional conference schedule (UK times):

Panels: Tuesday 6th July – 1pm-6pm & Wednesday 7th July, 9am-4pm

Keynote: Wednesday 7th July 5-6pm

We invite contributions and reflections on the effectiveness, and afterlife, of transitional justice practices, national and trans-national concerns with transitional justice, political and public effectiveness of transitional justice practices, programs, and methods. We welcome contributions on any country/region. The key goal of this virtual conference is to showcase existing and novel avenues in interdisciplinary scholarship in the field of transitional justice. 

Participants will have a total of 30 minutes (20 min presentation + 10 mins for questions). 

Proposals for traditional panel papers are welcome. Presentations will be organized in thematic sessions. We also welcome panel and roundtable submissions with 4-5 speakers and discussant although we may not be able to accommodate all submissions given the small-scale nature of the virtual event. 

Submissions

Please submit abstract (up to 200 words), title, author(s) name and institutional affiliation by 28th May 2021 to our Conference Manager, Rachel Armitage (R.S.Armitage@lboro.ac.uk). Given the small scale of this virtual event we will accept submissions on a first come first served basis until all panels on the 6th & 7th July have been filled. We are taking into consideration opening additional panel slots on the 6th July AM but only after a careful assessment of demand. 

All the very best from the conference chairs (Cristian Tileagă & Lavinia Stan) and AHRC Network Manager (Rachel Armitage)

Contact information

For any further information and conference queries please contact our Conference Manager, Rachel Armitage (R.S.Armitage@lboro.ac.uk). 

Hope you are well and keeping safe in these strange times.


We will be running workshops for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers on the 24th June 2021 and 5th July 2021.

Please encourage your doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to sign up early for these workshops. A Zoom link will be shared with workshop participants nearer the time.

Please sign up by emailing our Conference Manager, Rachel Armitage (R.S.Armitage@lboro.ac.uk). Please indicate the programme of doctoral or postdoctoral studies that you are currently enrolled on.

24 June 2021 (10-12pm)

Fostering dialogue in heritage communication

Workshop Convenors: Dr Alena Pfoser (Loughborough University) & Dr Guzel Yusupova (Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)

Abstract: How do we talk about contested histories in a way that encourages understanding and dialogue with the ‘other’? In the workshop we will analyse excerpts from tour guide narratives and interviews with tour guides who work in settings shaped by memory conflict. We will talk about risks in heritage communication and identify productive and less productive strategies for communicating difficult topics. 

Dr Alena Pfoser is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at Loughborough University. She is currently Principal Investigator on the ESRC funded project “Tourism as Memory-Making: Heritage and Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Cities” (2019-2021), exploring the production of cultural memories in Russian tourism in the former Soviet space. The project is based participant observations of guided tours and interviews with tourists and tour guides in three selected cities, Tallinn, Kyiv and Almaty and seeks to improve heritage communication in collaboration with tourism stakeholders. Alena’s previous research has focused on memory, place-making and the construction of territorial borders. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Memory Studies, International Journal of Cultural Studies, European Urban and Regional Studies and Journal for Ethnic and Migration studies.

Dr Guzel Yusupova is an Assistant Professor & Senior Researcher at North-West Institute of Management, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the European University at Saint-Petersburg, was COFUND Junior Research Fellow at Durham University and worked as a RA in ESRC funded project “Tourism as Memory-Making” at Loughborough University. Her broader research interests include nationalism, sociology of ethnicity, qualitative and digital methodology, Russian state and society. Her papers have been published in journals such as Social Science Quarterly, Nations and Nationalism, Problems of Post-Communism, Nationalities Papers, and National Identities, as well as in various edited volumes.

5th July 2021 (10-12pm)

Exploring the Cold War Visually

Workshop Convenor: Dr Agata Fijalkowski (Leeds Law School)

Abstract: Do photographs speak legally? This workshop will consider this question in connection with the dispensation of justice in the immediate post-WW2 period. We will look at images, archival materials, specific vignettes and readings – with the aim to engage, challenge and unpack key legal historical narratives about justice from that particular time frame.

Originally from Chicago, Dr Agata Fijalkowski is Reader at Leeds Law School. Agata has published extensively in the area of transitional justice, including the co-edited volume Transitional Criminal Justice in Post-Dictatorial and Post-Conflict Societies (Intersentia 2015). She is concerned with the (mal)administration of justice in former Communist states, in particular in the immediate post-WW2 period. Her research is distinctly interdisciplinary. She has vast experience in archival work and has researched in Albania, Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK. Agata is in the process of completing Law, Visual Culture and the Show Trial, for GlassHouse Books (Routledge). The monograph considers photographs of trials from the period 1944-1957 in Albania, East Germany and Poland. It contends that these photographs ‘speak legally’. The work’s distinct novelty lies in unravelling the cultural, historical, and political implications of visualising law from the images themselves.

Contact information

For any further information please contact our Conference Manager, Rachel Armitage (R.S.Armitage@lboro.ac.uk).