Reclaiming the Personal: Oral History in Post-Socialist Europe

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9781442637382: Reclaiming the Personal: Oral History in Post-Socialist Europe

The first twenty-five years of life in post-socialist Europe have seen vast political, economic, and cultural changes, as societies that lived under communist rule struggle with the traumas of the past and the challenges of the future. In this context, oral history has acquired a unique role in understanding the politics of memory and the practice of history.

Drawing on research conducted in Belarus, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, Reclaiming the Personal introduces theory and practice in this vital and distinctive area to a global audience. Focusing on issues such as repressed memories of the Second World War, the economic challenges of late socialism, and the experience of the early post-socialist transition, the essays underscore the political implications of oral history research in post-socialist Europe and highlight how oral history research in the region differs from that being conducted elsewhere.

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About the Author:

Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and the head of the Department of Religion and Culture at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.
Gelinada Grinchenko is a professor in the Department of Ukrainian Studies at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University and the head of the Ukrainian Oral History Association.


“Oral history is enjoying a remarkable efflorescence in post-Soviet, post-Communist Eastern Europe. The social and intellectual transformations occurring there provide an exceptional rich context for examining key issues in contemporary oral history.”

(Linda Shopes, past president, US Oral History Association)

Reclaiming the Personal is one of the first volumes to address many of the topics that are missing in the fields of oral history, women’s history, and Soviet and post-Soviet history. The field research of all these scholars is impressive and invaluable.”

(Ali Igmen, Department of History, California State University, Long Beach)

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