Colloquium: Postsocialist memory and the end(s) of nostalgia in Hungary

  • Date: May 24, 2022
  • Time: 05:00 PM
  • Speaker: Maya Nadkarni, Swarthmore College
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for the History of Emotions

The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, led by Prof. Dr. Ute Frevert, cordially presents its summer semester 2022 colloquium.

Maya Nadkarni, Swarthmore College

Postsocialist memory and the end(s) of nostalgia in Hungary

Across the former Soviet bloc, “nostalgia” has been used by participants and observers alike to describe a wide variety of relationships to the socialist past: from longing for material entitlements to pride in local production, and from explicitly political aspirations to the decontextualization of nostalgia as “retro” style. Nostalgia has also inspired a wide range of responses in both scholarship and media coverage, whether stigmatized as the sign of failed transition or hailed as a means for imagining alternatives to neoliberalism. This talk spans more than two decades to examine the shifting manifestations—and absences—of nostalgia in post-socialist Hungary, where ironically recent experiences of crisis and disappointment have not fueled nostalgic longing, but rather overturned the conditions of its possibility. By examining what kinds of temporal imaginings do and do not lend themselves to being described as nostalgic, it asks about the uses of this term more generally as both a category of analysis and a category of practice.

Maya Nadkarni is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. She has held fellowships at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Aleksanteri Institute in Helsinki, Finland, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest, Hungary. Her first book, Remains of Socialism: Memory and the Futures of the Past in Postsocialist Hungary, was published by Cornell University Press in 2020 (Finalist for the European Book Studies Book Award from the Council for European Studies; Honorable Mention for the Heldt Prize from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies). In addition, she has written numerous articles on memory, politics, and popular culture after the end of state socialism.


Meeting number: 2740 967 6546
Meeting password: A7ZbJmYvg83

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