It is a scholarly commonplace that the Balkans provide a great research environment for analyzing various set of mnemonic occurrences – considering not only the “double experience of having lived both under communism and National socialism” (Sindbæk & Törnquist-Plewa 2016, 1-2), but also having in mind the divergent set of national particularities, modules, developments and extensions. In brief, the present-day memory studies debate on the region can be divided across diachronic lines, as, for instance, the memory of the First World War (for an overview, see Luthar 2016), the Second World War (Petrović 2014), the communist period (Mark 2010; Brunnbauer 2012; Tileagă 2012; Todorova et al. 2014) and the post-communist transformations and democratic consolidations (Jović 2004; Troebst 2011). The Yugoslav wars of the 1990s are also a significant focal point in the recent debate. Several other topoi of the most recent memory studies debates in the region include the usages of political ideologies (for an overview, Bešlin and Atanacković 2012), political identities (Todorova 2004; Ramet 2013), historiography and history-production (Luthar 2017), transitional justice (Hačikjan et al. 2005), nostalgia (Todorova 2009; Todorova & Gille 2010) and transnationalism (Samardžić 2013; Kirn 2017; Ramet & Hassenstab 2017).
Most recently, one can map several initiatives to go beyond the “traditional” theoretical and methodological positions and widen the research scope of the memory studies in the Balkan region. The book-project “Europeanisation and memory politics in the former Yugoslavia” for instance, edited by Ana Milošević and Tamara Pavasović Trošt, explores the various manners in which the European integration process has influenced the collective memory in the former-Yugoslav countries. Several authors presented their chapters at the latest 2019 MSA conference in Madrid, while the publication is expected in 2020. On a different note, in November 2017, an international workshop took place in Zagreb, organized by the CEDIM research group at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, which was focused on the various means of social reconstruction of memory-places or memoryscapes. Several papers presented at the workshop are to be published in the upcoming period. These are just illustrations of the broader and ongoing scholarly effort in the regional memory studies – which we believe can be further institutionalized, structured and systematized by the Regional group on SEE.
- Bringing together scholars, experts, and memory activists whose work aims at exploring the various mnemonic occurrences in the region;
- The organization of annual conferences on collective memories and identities of the SEE;
- The organization of summer school and methodology seminars (tbd);
- The organization of workshops, panels and sessions at the MSA Annual Conference, and other major conferences;
- The maintenance of a mailing list, a news service and a website.