rss_2.0Journal of Nationalism, Memory & Language Politics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Journal of Nationalism, Memory & Language Politics of Nationalism, Memory & Language Politics Feed of Memory in Czechoslovak Silesia 1945–1948<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper aims to describe and analyze the changes in public sites of memory in the multi-ethnic border region of Czechoslovak Silesia during the period of restoration of Czechoslovak sovereignty, between the fall of Nazism in May 1945 and the communist putsch in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. This research focuses on transformations and (dis)continuity of cults and symbols during that period, and on specifics and differences within the examined region with regard to ethnic and social structure of local population. Research is based primarily on the recorded agendas of state and district administrations, but preserved memorials and photographs or descriptions of vanished sites of memory also serve as important sources.</p> <p>After the expulsion of German population, the western part of the region was repopulated by settlers from various regions of East-Central Europe. Most of local German sites of memory vanished, with the partial exception of religious symbols and a few “apolitical” memorials. New monuments and memorials were dedicated mainly to personalities of Czech history in an effort to inculcate the “official” identity amongst the new-settlers.</p> <p>In the Ostrava coal basin, the new regime invoked the pre-war tradition of working-class identity and showed tolerance towards the sites of memory of the local Polish minority, except memorials related to the former Czech-Polish border conflicts. In the Hlučín region specifically, a strong pro-German narrative survived despite the “Czechization” efforts of state authorities.</p> <p>In general, the state-supported memory policy aimed to create the narrative of a “Slavic” and “socialist” Silesia, suppress the German past of the region, and weaken frictions between Czechs and Poles.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue policy in small towns of Zamojszczyzna region, Poland, in the post-socialist period<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Small cities have attracted less attention from researchers of transformation processes, although in some countries they are an important part of the social landscape, as they are in Poland. I present the results of research on the public space and symbolic politics in three small towns in Zamojszczyzna, a region in southeastern Poland. All are characterized by interrupted or disturbed historical continuity due to the extermination of their Jewish communities, which made up the majority of the population until World War II. After 1945, the Jewish past was silenced, while the symbolic space was dominated by the memory of the resistance movement. I show in my text that since the 1990s there have been significant transformations in the aforementioned towns. In some of them, firstly, interest in Jewish heritage and efforts to preserve it are becoming more apparent. Second, there is a noticeable shift from commemorating anti-fascism to promoting the so-called struggle against communism, a reflection of the current politics of remembrance at the central level. I argue that the use of cultural heritage in small towns serves largely to gain recognition. Local authorities often use not only elements of the past that fit into national narratives, but also local traditions or even fictional literary heroes, for this purpose.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Archives: How Western Newspapers Frame Our Remembrance of the Gezi Park Protest<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We analyze the coverage of the Gezi Park protests by two major Western newspapers—<italic>The New York Times</italic> and <italic>The Guardian</italic>—through the lens of media framing, rhetoric, and collective memory. We argue that these digital archives frame Turkey’s Gezi Park protests as a challenge to an authoritarian government by promoting the themes of unrest as a conflict of ideologies, oppression of citizens, and the park as a site of memory. In a concluding section, we focus on the significance of digital archives as repositories of collective memory and the role of media framing in shaping these reconstructions of events in the past.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Curtain in Aš: Socialist Heritage and Its Destiny after 1990<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper presents collaborative interdisciplinary research on the mixed natural and cultural heritage of the former Iron Curtain in the Czech town of Aš. Sociocultural anthropology, history, and geobotanical and environmental studies were the main disciplines that were equally involved. The former Iron Curtain is one of Europe’s longest linear landscape features and an exceptional symbol of European history. The researched area covers the Czech-Bavarian and Czech-Saxonian borders, mainly the Aš spur. The research investigates the impacts of the long-term existing isolated strip of land of the Iron Curtain both on natural and sociocultural levels. It further examines the post-socialist transformation of the given area and the elements and processes of redefining local memory and identity through handling the local Iron Curtain heritage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“Stupid Music for Stupid People”: Negotiating Class in a Small Town in Moravia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines cultural participation processes within the specific context of Tišnov, a small Czech town situated in the southeastern part of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, approximately 25 kilometers away from Brno. The study was conducted among individuals actively involved in various grassroots cultural endeavors during the early 1990s, including music clubs focused on alternative genres, art film screenings, bookstores, and small art galleries. Within this setting, a narrative of cultural exclusivity emerged, which was particularly pronounced in the milieu of a small town, often framed in the context of perceived or real injustices endured during the state socialist era, as well as expressed through generational and class distinctions. The argument put forth is that in Tišnov, typically considered a prototypical small town, a select group of like-minded individuals formed a relatively cohesive taste-based community, necessitating intense competition and argumentation to establish their position within the cultural landscape. This article seeks to challenge prevailing narratives of cultural exclusivity within the framework of a small town following the dissolution of state socialism and the transformation of its class dynamics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue divergent legacies of the Yugoslav architectural heritage: The afterlives of “mesna zaednica” in Taftalidže, Skopje<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Ongoing urban developments and contemporary social challenges increase the need for different typologies of new urban and architectural concepts, where the issue of built heritage, specifically in the case of Skopje, has become a vast problem. With the decomposition of the former Yugoslavia states in the 1990s, each of these new states inherited a significant amount of built heritage, including monuments, buildings, landscapes, and infrastructure, constructed according to the prevailing socialist urban-planning and architectural doctrines, and directed within and towards the immediate contexts of the Yugoslav community. Most of this inherited architecture vanished across the ex-Yugoslav space, while a large part of it is still left in a state of limbo.</p> <p>This article aims to show the socialist built heritage's adaptation, or transformation, into new urban scenarios, using the case of Skopje to reveal more about the relationship between the heritage and the local inhabitants. It will closely examine the socialist architecture and its relation with the local memory communities, or the locals’ memories. More precisely, we will focus on one unique construct that has slowly vanished in the modern-day living: the notion of <italic>mesna zaednica</italic>. In focusing on this notion in the urban district of Taftalidže, Skopje, we will discuss the means of transposing socialist communal features into the new, post-socialist architectural rhetoric and way of life, as well as engage with various discourses about urban heritage emerging in the urban context. Finally, we will argue in favor of several heritage and urban development theses, which can be applied to the particular case study. The article is part of an ongoing research project that presents its results in English for the first time.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Reconsidering “Post-Socialist Cities” in East Central and South East Europe European Union as a “Nation”: The “Nation” that Effaces Itself?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines the European Union (EU) in light of Benedict Anderson's definition of the nation as “an imagined community … imagined as inherently limited and sovereign.” Current scholarship mostly rejects the possibility of an EU nation, or treats it only as a possible eventuality, not a current reality. Interpreting Andersonian “sovereignty” through the lens of political legitimacy, the EU nevertheless satisfies all four of Anderson's criteria, since members of the EU Parliament invoke a “European people” to legitimize their actions. EU nationhood coexists with other national loyalties. However, multiple national loyalties exist elsewhere in Europe, since British nationhood coexists with Welsh nationhood, German nationhood with Sorbian nationhood, and so on. Eurobarometer evidence also suggests that multiple loyalties are widespread. Treating the EU as a nation offers many analytical advantages, since scholars do not need to struggle with terminological novelties, but can straightforwardly apply the secondary literature on nationalism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Krista A. 2020. . Ithaca: Cornell University Press.áchymov: Borders of Oblivion<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The remarkably dynamic history of the small Czech town of Jáchymov provides the possibility of tracing memory, forgetting and recalling through constant rewriting and negotiation – both of a place of the individual memories, as well as the hierarchy of the events which are worthy of being remembered, and those that would rather be forgotten. German, Soviet, and Czech presence here cross with the spa and military nature of this place and its martyrological memory, on one side of the transfer of the German population shortly after World War II, and on the other one the political prisoners of the 1950s, who were forced into slave labor in the local uranium mine. All of these layers still remain today – referring to the title of the book by Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska – remembered in Jáchymov's summer landscape, in which the air is breaking the image of reality, making it fluid, and somewhat elusive. And it is this variety of the layers of memory, recalling, and oblivion, which I would like to identify and describe in my article.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, U KRY! Space, Albanian Commemoration and the Gheg Variety as a Linguistic Symbol of State Independence in Postwar Kosovo<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper investigates the reconstruction of Albanian identity in Kosovo after the region's transformation to state independence in 2008. The cultural environment emerged as a site of ethnic appropriation and contestation in the longstanding interethnic struggles between the Albanians and the Serbs. The study examines the socio-symbolic and linguistic manifestations of national identity in Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, through the lens of Linguistic Landscape Studies. The first aspect of the study investigates M. Theresa Boulevard, the central promenade of the city and a site of memory and commemoration, to highlight how the period of South Slavic hegemony in Kosovo and the recent interethnic war resulted in a redefinition of Albanian identity. The second aspect of the study focuses on the written manifestation of the Gheg variety of Albanian as a symbol of Kosovo's independence. Through this dual focus on memory and language, the study aims to arrive at an understanding of how new national and political self-identifications are shaped in contexts that have undergone ethno-political conflicts and socio-political shifts. We argue that the symbolic configuration of Kosovo suggests a redefinition of Kosovo-based Albanian identity following the transformation to state independence. The study contributes to an understanding of the multi-layered redefinition of Albanian identity in Kosovo, calling attention to language and memory in the process of constructing national identities in postwar contexts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Policy in Kazakhstan in the Context of World Practice<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The problem of language policy formation arises from combined efforts to achieve the long- term goals of civil peace and avoid ethnic conflicts. Globalization poses a range of challenges to society, such as migration and multiculturalism. However, the language situation in postcolonial developing countries is more complex than in developed ones. This paper analyzes the history of language policy in Kazakhstan by comparing the experiences of other post-Soviet countries and developed countries in Europe and North America. The study relies on comparative historical and conceptual analysis of language policies and population censuses. The paper also explores different approaches to language policy formation from influential researchers to highlight the most significant factors behind a successful language policy. The primary goal of language policy in Kazakhstan is to overcome the dominance of the Russian language without violating the rights and freedoms of ethnic groups. The country’s strategy involves promoting bilingualism to introduce the Kazakh language into all spheres of public life step by step. The results of the study may help other developing countries to shape their national language policies. They may also find applications in political science, futurology, and political forecasting.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Beyond Interests. Emotional and Cognitive Motives in the Development of National Identities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In mainstream academic discourse, the emergence of national identities has mostly been explained from a powerful modernist approach, claiming that nations, as we know them today, are modern and constructed phenomena. This implies that the spotlight of research has been on interest-based homogenization motives and how they can create mass loyalty as an efficient socio-cultural basis for political elites and capitalist markets. Nevertheless, attention might be slightly diverted from the possible emotional and cognitive motives of national identities. According to the conceptualization in this paper, interest-based motives can be paired with these emotional and intellectual motives, together constituting a generally relevant tripartite concept of national self-identification, where emotionality can be revealed through the “irrational” separatist feature of modern nationalisms, while cognitive motives are embodied in the expectations towards nations to offer intellectually defendable meaningful explanations about a collective origin and “our” place within the world. Without questioning the significance of means-end rationality behind the national homogenization processes, all of this points to a rather interrelated entanglement of motives where the development of the attitude of “belonging to a nation” is fueled not solely by interest, but emotional (“separatist”) motives and cognitive-intellectual (“historizing”) motives alike. As a result, we can establish a conceptual framework, not stressing the primacy of any of these motives within nationalisms, but instead focusing on the possible ways in which interest-based need for homogenization can collude with the emotional need of cultural boundary-making (separatism) as well as with the intellectual need for coherent explanations of state of affairs (historicism).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Spanish Language and Multilingualism in Spain: The Radical Right Placement<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since its irruption in Spanish public institutions in 2018, a new right-wing political party, Vox, has challenged the electoral spectrum of other parties under a nationalist form. This work justifies the classification of Vox within the so-called radical right based on the components of the party’s nativist and authoritarian positions. These premises are deployed in discourses on the Spanish language as the only linguistic axis capable of structuring the nation. Although similar arguments can be found in other right-wing, center-right, or center-left political parties in Spain, Vox explicitly shows its placement. Language policy in Spain fluctuates around two positions related to the legal nature of the official languages. On the one hand, Spanish is the official language of the State and is widely known by the population; on the other hand, linguistic officiality is shared with other languages in several regions. This legal and social situation implies that measures for the protection and promotion of regional languages are perceived as an attack on the vitality of Spanish. We propose an analysis of Vox’s discourse through three channels: first, the organic party documents, as the statutes or the electoral program; second, institutional and journalistic interventions of members with social significance; and third, the publications on Twitter of six relevant components of the party. This material reveals an attack on the linguistic policies of bilingual territories under the premise of Spanish as the common language that balances all citizens. Far from assuming a mere conjunction of particular political phenomena, Vox’s discourse articulates social loyalties, with a direct impact on the coexistence of people from different territories and speakers of different languages. Our purpose is, therefore, to unravel the ideological orientation and tone with which Vox transmits its discourse regarding the social relationship of minoritized languages in Spain with the most widespread language, Spanish.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dialects of Panslavic, Serbocroatian, and Croatian: Linguistic Taxonomies in Zagreb, 1836–1997<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If linguistic nationalism presupposes a homogenous national language, then “dialect” taxonomies become interesting objects of study. This article examines three instances of linguistic nationalism published in Zagreb. The three texts, published in 1836, 1919, and 1995, come from (1) Ljudevit Gaj and Jan Kollár, (2) Dragutin Prohaska, and (3) Miro Kačić. The different texts propound three quite different taxonomies of “dialects” within the imagined national language. Changing strategies of dialect classification imply different understandings of the national language, reflecting in turn changing political circumstances. The Panslavism of 1836 gave way in 1919 to interwar Yugoslavism, or alternatively Serbo-Croatism, which in 1995 then gave way to Croatian particularist nationalism. The article ends with speculations about future linguistic taxonomies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Morality in Postwar Europe: The German and Austrian Abandonment of Yiddish<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In postwar Europe the remembrance of the Holocaust (קאַטאַסטראָפע <italic>Katastrofe</italic> in Yiddish) endows the continent’s societies and politics with a clear-cut moral dimension. All agree that remembering about and researching the Holocaust is necessary for preventing a repeat of the murderous past in the future. Yet, no reflection is really devoted to the most revealing fact that the wartime genocide’s main victims – Jews – exist no longer in Europe as a community with their specific Yiddish language and culture. Due to the twin-like closeness between Yiddish and German, prior to the war, Yiddish speakers ensured a world-wide popularity for the German language. After 1945, Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors and Jewish poets exorcised and reinvented the then-murderers’ language of German, so that poetry could be written in it again. In reciprocation, Germany and Europe – shockingly and quite incomprehensibly – abandoned their duty to preserve and cultivate Yiddish language and culture as a necessary “inoculation” against another genocide. Forgetting about this duty imperils Europe and its inhabitants; the danger now is sadly exemplified by Russia’s ongoing genocidal-scale war on Ukraine. Not a single Yiddish library exists in today’s Europe, which is an indictment in itself.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Basque Language (Euskera) As an Ideological Instrument in the Historical Construction of Basque Ethnic Identity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper analyzes how studies of a language and the language itself can be used as symbolic instruments to construct or support a differential ideological identity. The analyses of these studies have allowed us to undertake a sort of “archaeology” of the process of Basque ethnogenesis. All the authors instrumentalized philological studies as a way of expressing and claiming their ethnic identity, building their arguments on the basis of previous works (the “archaeological” layer being immediately underneath) at the same time that they reformulated them in order to better suit their specific conception of Basque identity as well as their particular sociopolitical interests. As if we were looking at a stratigraphic cut of an uninterrupted human settlement, the research unravels the existence of a narrative thread that, stratum upon stratum (that is, author upon author) connects the Basque chroniclers of the 16th to 18th centuries with the romantic <italic>fuerista</italic> writers of the 19th century, as well as Sabino de Arana-Goiri, the founder of the contemporary Basque Nationalist Party.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Performativity: Recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Czech Republic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Research on the political aspect of the recognition of the Armenian genocide has mostly focused on the realpolitik and its impact in terms of legislation and relations between political actors. A new dimension in research regarding the Armenian genocide occurred by presenting legal performativity within memory laws in France and Germany. Here, I build on the understanding that performative analysis may help us uncover the deeper circumstances of the recognition of the Armenian genocide, going beyond the classical dichotomy—recognition/nonrecognition. The case of the Czech Republic revealed the problem in the division of executive power regarding foreign policy between the government and the president. Furthermore, the analysis revealed the parliamentary instruments legitimizing the recognition of the Armenian genocide.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Ukrainian Refugee “Crisis” and the (Re)production of Whiteness in Austrian and Czech Public Politics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This text brings into analytical focus the workings of whiteness within the politics regarding Ukrainian refugees in two neighboring countries, Austria and Czechia. This comparison aims to contextualize various racial hierarchies in which Ukrainian refugees are embedded, and to connect public discourses translated by mass media and critically accepted by scholars and experts with the personal experience of refugees and those recruited to help them in reception centers. We follow the layering and conversion of racial hierarchies through examining three interrelated realms of public policy: (1) the conflation of illiberal and liberal populisms concerning the Russian invasion and the subsequent refugee movements in the discursive practices of leading politicians and those responsible for refugee politics; (2) the intersectionality of gender, class, and race as a locus of control over Ukrainian women, who comprise the majority of those fleeing the country; and (3) elaborating an extreme case of forging whiteness, within the overt and covert racist practices concerning Ukrainian Romani refugees. To conclude, we discuss possible directions for future research that apply critical whiteness studies for understanding how racial hierarchies design public politics concerning refugees, and what can be done to minimize the injustices determined by whiteness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dangerous Discourse of “Us” vs. “Them:” Spain's VOX Discursive Practices<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since the entry of the far-right party VOX into the Spanish government administrations in 2018, Spain's political scene has gone through a deep transformation. The disparity in opinions among the different parties concerning migration seems to tear the country's democratic foundation apart. This paper is a study of the language and discursive strategies used by VOX's leader, Santiago Abascal, articulating the party's populist propaganda for a united country to “make Spain great again.” The analysis was grounded on the theoretical underpinnings of <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jnmlp-2022-0005_ref_052">Wodak's (2001)</xref> discursive strategies and <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jnmlp-2022-0005_ref_017">Van Dijk's (1993)</xref> “<italic>Us” vs. “Them”</italic> framework. The data were based on Abascal's closing political campaign speech during the Madridlenian elections, which was televised in May 2021. The 30-minute video recording was transcribed, annotated, coded, and analyzed. The findings suggest a pattern of discursive practices aimed at diminishing other political parties and their representatives, vilify immigrants, and impugn government measures that were against VOX's authoritarian conservatism and nationalism. There was a predominant use of predication strategies to positively present VOX while denigrating its political rivals. Referential/nomination strategies were also used to divide the society between in-groups and out-groups. Strongly embedded in these strategies were perlocutionary acts used to incite hate toward the out-groups and evoke fear and anxiety toward the in-group, strategically employed as tools to gain votes in the elections.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue