Diversity in the East-Central European Borderlands

Memories, Cityscapes, People

Table of contents
Diversity in the East-Central European Borderlands
Memories, Cityscapes, People

Paperback €49.90

About the book


Built on up-to-date field material, this edited volume suggests an anthropological approach to the palimpsest-like milieus of Wrocław, Lviv, Chernivtsi, and Chişinău. In these East-Central European borderline cities, the legacies of Nazism, Marxism-Leninism, and violent ethno-nationalism have been revisited in recent decades in search of profound moral reckoning and in response to the challenges posed by the (post-)transitional period. Present shapes and contents of these urban settings derive from combinations of fragmented material environments, cultural continuities and political ruptures, present-day heritage industries and collective memories about the contentious past, expressive architectural forms and less conspicuous meaning-making activities of human actors. In other words, they evolve from perpetual tensions between choices of the past and the burden of the past. A novel feature of this book is its multi-level approach to the analysis of engagements with the lost diversity in historical urban milieus full of post-war voids and ruptures. In particular, the collected studies test the possibility of combining the theoretical propositions of Memory Studies with broader conceptualizations of borderlands, cosmopolitan sociality, urban mythologies, and hybridity. The volume’s contributors are Eleonora Narvselius, Bo Larsson, Natalia Otrishchenko, Anastasia Felcher, Juliet D. Golden, Hana Cervinkova, Paweł Czajkowski, Alexandr Voronovici, Barbara Pabjan, Nadiia Bureiko, Teodor Lucian Moga, and Gaelle Fisher.
The author

About the author

The editors:

Dr. Eleonora Narvselius studied ethnology and ethnic studies in Lviv and Linköping. Since 2021, she is Associate Professor of Ethnology at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences at Lund University. Her previous books include Ukrainian Intelligentsia in Post-Soviet Lviv: Narratives, Identity and Power (Lexington 2012) and the co-edited volume Traitors, Collaborators and Deserters in Contemporary European Politics of Memory: Formulas of Betrayal (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). Her papers have been published by, among other outlets, Slavic Review, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Nationalities Papers, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Canadian Slavonic Papers, Carl Beck Papers and Nordisk Østforum. Narvselius is a member of the editorial team of the journal Ukraina Moderna.

Dr. Julie Fedor is Senior Lecturer in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. She obtained her PhD in History at King’s College Cambridge. Fedor is, among others, the author of Russia and the Cult of State Security (Routledge 2011), co-author of Remembering Katyn (Polity 2012), co-editor of Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), and contributing co-editor of Memory, Conflict and New Media: Web Wars in Post-Socialist States (Routledge 2013) as well as War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). Since 2015, she is the General Editor of the Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society (www.jspps.eu).


“This book stands out among the studies of urban environments in post-socialist East-Central Europe. Featuring four historically interconnected borderland conurbations – Wrocław, Lviv, Chernivtsi, and Chişinău, it constitutes a welcome contribution to the steadily growing, yet still rather sparse research on cities that were deprived of their historical, ethnically diverse population following the cataclysms of twentieth century history and today have to deal with the legacy of Nazism, Communist dictatorship, and interethnic violence. The essays included in the volume investigate the cities’ contemporary involvement in this vanished historical diversity. They also raise a series of important questions: What are the driving forces behind the observable commitment to emphasize a multicultural heritage? Is it merely a product of opportunism in the competition for investment and prestige? A way to tame the traumatic past? Or is it born out of the hope that the engagement with otherness will lead to the emergence of inclusive identities, civic values, and tolerance?

The individual chapters in the volume are written by specialists in a range of disciplines: architecture, ethnology, heritage management, history, and sociology. Thus, the book offers a richness of methodological approaches. Moreover, it is elegantly theoretically framed by a lucid introduction that invites comparisons and combines the conceptualization of borderland, cosmopolitan sociality, and hybridity with proposals drawn from the field of memory studies.”—Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Professor in Eastern and Central European Studies at Lund University

"This book is at the very cutting edge of scholarship on east-central Europe’s borderland cities and their memory cultures. Taking an invariably open but critical approach, the chapters in the volume not only reveal much about the attitudes of the inhabitants of the cities in question towards the complex, multicultural past, but also provide important insights into the vagaries of urban memory and mythologization more broadly. The book represents the best in contemporary memory studies in that it is theoretically rich, but also empirically well-grounded and methodologically rigorous. The way the various chapters operate across disciplines—as good scholarship in the fields of both memory and urban studies should—is also a particular strength. This volume represents compulsory reading for anyone interested in borderland cultures, urban memory and narratives of cultural diversity."

Dr Uilleam Blacker, Associate Professor in Comparative Russian and East European Culture, University College London
Additional Information

Additional Information

Delivery time 2-3 Tage / 2-3 days
Author Bo Larsson, Natalia Otrishchenko, Juliet D. Golden, Hana Cervinikova, Anastasia Felcher, Pawel Czajkowski, Alexandr Voronovici, Barbara Pabjan, Nadiia Bureiko, Teodor Lucian Moga, Gaelle Fisher
Editor Eleonora Narvselius, Julie Fedor, Andreas Umland
Number of pages 426
Language English
Publication date Nov 16, 2021
Weight (kg) 0.5550
ISBN-13 9783838215235