Envisioning Eastern Europe: Postcommunist Cultural Studies

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Michael D. Kennedy
University of Michigan Press, 1994 - Social Science - 249 pages

How does one envision the sequel to communist rule in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union? In this volume of postcommunist cultural studies, artists, activists, and experts capture the complexity of ideological transformations and identities in formation in this region. The contributors reach beyond the discourses of civil society and nationalism, which usually structure our imagination of alternatives, to consider how the utopia, memory, and monuments of socialism might be transformed after the death of their communist master; how the Yugoslav War is shaped by the creation, and destruction, of fantasy; the range of alternative nationalisms in Eastern Europe; and how the civil society project is threatened, and how it might be reconstructed.

By challenging the simple identities of citizen, consumer, and capitalist embedded in the discussion of political options with more complex images, this volume opens up the analysis of "transition" and encourages a new theoretical imagination that draws on interdisciplinary engagements among literary studies, history, political theory, psychoanalysis, and sociology.

Contributors are Andrew Arato, Nicolae Harsanyi, Michael D. Kennedy, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid, Ina Merkel, Edmund Mokrzycki, Mykola Ryabchuk, Renata Salecl, Vladimir Tismaneanu, and Konrad Weiss.


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An Introduction to East European Ideology and Identity
On the Power and Frailty of Utopias
Monumental Propaganda
The Ideology of the Mother Nation in
Varieties of Nationalism
The Labilities
Notes on Contributors

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About the author (1994)

Michael D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Research Scientist, Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Michigan.

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