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Humanities 2016, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/h5010007

Decolonization of Trauma and Memory Politics: Insights from Eastern Europe

School of Liberal Arts, Georgia Gwinnett College, 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, USA
Academic Editor: Sonya Andermahr
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 10 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decolonizing Trauma Studies: Trauma and Postcolonialism)
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Abstract

The movement to decolonize trauma theory conceptualizes traumas as rooted in particular contexts. Scholars working within this framework caution against the monumentalism of traumas as singular events and press for the acknowledgment of traumas experienced by minorities and liminal groups. In addition, this body of literature suggests a question of fundamental significance to memory politics: How to make sure that postcolonial attempts to memorialize the traumatic histories of colonialism do not become sources of state subjugation and oppression? Using examples from Eastern Europe, this article analyzes the complexity of memory landscapes in this region and the difficulty of acknowledging traumas of “non-Western” groups on their own terms. Drawing on works by three authors from the region (Ene Kõresaar, Svetlana Aleksievich and Jasmina Husanović), this essay identifies alternative ways of thinking about the nexus of trauma and difference by addressing how complexity and vulnerability can help to transcend competing victimhoods in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: traumatic memory; Eastern Europe; the Baltic states; memory politics; postcolonialism traumatic memory; Eastern Europe; the Baltic states; memory politics; postcolonialism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Budryte, D. Decolonization of Trauma and Memory Politics: Insights from Eastern Europe. Humanities 2016, 5, 7.

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