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  • Memory in Pieces: The Symbolism of the Ruin in Warsaw after 1944

Crowley, David, 2011, Journal Article, Memory in Pieces: The Symbolism of the Ruin in Warsaw after 1944 Journal of Modern European History, 9 (3). pp. 351-371. ISSN 16118944 (In Press)

Abstract or Description:

In this essay Crowley explores the political symbolism of the ruin in the Polish capital from 1944 to the present. The question of what a war ruin might represent was deeply problematic for the communist authorities, not least because fragments of buildings and streets could be used to remember prohibited and unsanctioned aspects of the Warsaw’s history. Viewed in this light, the reconstruction of the historic fabric of the city most notably in the case of the Royal Castle in the 1970s can be interpreted as an attempt to fix and ultimately to narrow the meanings attached to places in the popular imagination. Reconstruction could be a kind of forgetting.

A development of themes first addressed in his 2003 book Warsaw (Reaktion), Crowley’s essay establishes strong connections with heritage debates in Poland since the mid 2000s. Ruins feature highly in the veins of retrospection which run through political culture there.

To research this article, Crowley investigated different kinds of public discourses in post-war Poland and, in particular. His sources include the popular press as well as the traffic in nostalgia which is supported by the internet.

His research was first presented as a paper at a seminar organised by the Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau in October 2009. Following the conference, Crowley was invited to submit a paper for publication in this refereed trilingual journal which seeks to provide new frameworks for thinking about European culture after the Cold War.

This paper was made the subject of a public seminar in the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies at Södertörn University, Sweden in spring 2012.

Official URL: http://www.chbeck.de/trefferliste.aspx?toc=3434
Subjects: Other > European Languages > R700 Russian and East European studies > R730 Russian and East European Society and Culture > R732 Polish Society and Culture
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V360 History of Architecture
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 14:07
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2016 16:09
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/538

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