Project “Central and Eastern European Region: Research of the Construction of National Narratives and Politics of Memory (1989-2011)”

Logotipai_geriThe project was aimed to develop comparative research of national narratives and memorialisation processes in the Central and Eastern European region as well as to incorporate the analyses of the national reflections of the past into the historical discourse of the whole region. The major task of the research was to conduct comparative analyses of interrelated historical narratives of the countries of the region. A particular attention was paid to the conflicting interpretations of the past which reflect common historical experiences of the neighbouring countries. The chronological framework of the research encompasses the post-soviet period, which signifies the erosion of the earlier narratives, the reconstruction of the old narratives and forms of memorialisation, as well as the formation of new historical narratives and memory forms. A wide range of researchers and themes should ground the implementation of the second aim of the research – the development of transnational networks and contacts among the communities of historians of the Central and Eastern European region.

The intensification of cooperation in different spheres of research among the European countries, and the formation of academic network and transnational research programmes have offered a variety of scientific research perspectives for the Lithuanian scholars in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. However, these opportunities have been underestimated so far due to the provincialism of scientific interests and attention to specific national problems, typical of Lithuanian Humanities. The current project aims to change the situation by conducting research which transcends the national borders. The chosen research area, the Central and Eastern European region, is united by similar features of historical development and especially topical common traumatic experiences. Comparative analyses of common, conflicting and interrelated historical topics are important not only for the researchers of the region, but also for dialogue enhancement on the relevant historical problems among the communities of the countries.

As a result of the project, the Institute of Research on Central and Eastern European Region was established. The institute is seen as a center of regional research development and coordination and the continuation of project activities. To ensure academic dialogue between the research communities of the region and international scope of Lithuanian research, the institute will aim to form international academic network and sign cooperation agreements with other institutions of Central and Eastern European region which conduct interdisciplinary research. The created network of partnership will allow to establish common programmes of international scientific research as well as to ensure the continuation of long-term regional research.

Scientific Conference

On November 28th-29th, 2013, an international conference “The Construction of National Narratives and Politics of Memory in the Central and Eastern European Region after 1989” organized by the Department of History, the Faculty of Humanities according to the Operational Programme for the Development of Human Resources 2007-2013 “Support to Research Activities of Scientists and Other Researchers (Global Grant)” took place in Vytautas Magnus University. The aim of the conference was to present the comparative research of national narratives and memorialisation processes in Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular attention on the conflicting narratives and their analyses. The variety and focus of the presentations on the post-soviet period have revealed the decline of the earlier national narratives and the formation of new historical narratives and memory as well as their differences. Programme of the conference.

Long term activities

In 2013, a program of long term activities of the national narratives’ project was created which includes the establishment of the research cluster “Nations, States and Memories in Former GDL Lands: Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia” and the reorganization of the VMU Czesław Miłosz Centre.

In 2013, international cooperation agreements between Czesław Miłosz Centre and various centres of research and education of Central and Eastern European Region were signed:

  • Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University (Ukraine)
  • Belarusian State University (Minsk, Belarus)
  • The National Institute for Higher Education (Minsk, Belarus)
  • Institute of Political Studies “Political Sphere” (Minsk, Belarus)
  • Jan Nowak – Jezioranski College of Eastern Europe (Wrocław, Poland)
  • Humanities Centre for Eastern Central European History and Culture of the University of Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany)

Members of the project

  • prof. dr. Egidijus Aleksandravičius
  • doc. dr. Kastytis Antanaitis
  • doc. dr. Rūstis Kamuntavičius
  • dr. Tomasz Błaszczak
  • dr. Moreno Bonda
  • dr. Liudas Glemža
  • dr. Andrea Griffante
  • dr. Marius Sirutavičius
  • dr. Andrius Švarplys
  • dr. Leonas Tolvaišis

Activities of each researcher can be found here.