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Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:57:42 EDT by webmaster, 5506 views
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Invited paper by Kovács, Éva (all papers)
The Politics of Memory in the Long Twentieth Century: The Hungarian Case in a European Comparative Perspective
Over the last hundred and fifty years, Hungarian memory politics has oscillated between the poles of martyrdom and victimhood, between cultivation of revolutionary traditions and the rituals of national mourning. As part of the nation-building process, national historiography and the politics of history everywhere often provide well-developed narrations to justify current commemoration practices. Is Hungary unique in this respect? Did it lose its European orientation, as the great Hungarian poet Endre Ady asked in 1913? Through an analysis of current debates about the major events of twentieth-century Hungarian history and its representations in social memory, my talk will describe this pendulum effect of Hungarian memory politics. It will also explore the transformation of the “culture of defeat” into the culture of victimhood from the First World War to the post-Communist period in a European comparative perspective.
Brief Professional Bio:
Éva Kovács is Prof. of Sociology, Academic Programme Director of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute of Holocaust Studies and Head of Department of Methodology and History of Sociology at the Institute of Sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She studied sociology and economics at the Universities of Economics in Pécs and Budapest (Ph.D. 1994, Habilitation 2009). Her research fields include the history of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, research on memory and remembrance, and Jewish identity in Hungary and Slovakia. She authored five monographs, edited eight volumes and published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is the founder of the audio-visual archive "Voices of the Twentieth Century."