April 3, 2023
"Paradoxes of Nostalgia: Memory Wars in Post-Soviet Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States," with Professor Penny von Eschen, University of Virginia
Focusing on U.S.-Russian memory wars over Soviet Era and Imperial histories, this talk will juxtapose U.S. triumphalist victor's history with Russian shifts from critical to mythic nostalgia, the latter exemplified in shifting representations of the Soviet past and U.S.-Russian relations at the Political Museum in St. Petersburg. The elevation of victim's history and mythic nostalgia has been critical to the rise of the right in Eastern Europe, the United Sates, and globally. The lecture will further explore how cultural conservatives and authoritarians in Russia and the United States worked together at the very moment of the "new cold war" and growing hostilities over the expansion of NATO. Penny Von Eschen is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American Studies and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Her latest book is Paradoxes of Nostalgia, Cold War Triumphalism and Global Disorder Since 1989 (Duke University Press, 2022). Other books include Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Harvard University Press, 2004), and Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957 (Cornell University Press, 1997). An informal reception with light refreshments will precede the talk, from 6-7pm in the Althouse lobby. Free and open to the public.