Room 229, Psychologicum (Siltavuorenpenger 1 A, 00170 Helsinki)
Marco Siddi & Barbara Gaweda: The national agents of transnational memory and their limits: the case of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk
Marco Siddi (@MarcoSiddi) and Barbara Gaweda (@GawedaBarbara) will present their recently published, co-authored paper, ”The national agents of transnational memory and their limits: the case of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk”.
You can read the paper at publisher website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14782804.2019.1584096. Alternative access via ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331457877.
This article examines the drivers and limiting factors of the transnationalisation of Second World War memory by focusing on the recently opened Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. The creators of the museum presented it as an attempt to internationalise the memory of the conflict through the inclusion of East-Central European perspectives. The article contends that large parts of the exhibition foregrounded Polish narratives of the conflict. The exhibition reflected the intent of placing Polish (and through them East-Central European) perspectives at the centre of a broader transnational framework, and thus influence both the domestic and the international debate on the memory of the war. The article argues that the national agency from which the museum originated constituted the main limitation to the declared goal of providing a transnational narration of the war. This became particularly evident when the nationalist and conservative Law and Justice party rose to power in Warsaw and modified the structure of the museum. As part of a wider chauvinist memory politics, the new authorities weakened the transnational references in the exhibition and strengthened nationalist, Poland-centric narratives. The article concludes by arguing that national-level agency alone appears inadequate to sustain the transnationalisation of Second World War memory.
About the authors
Marco Siddi is Senior Research Fellow at the European Union research programme of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Previously, Marco was DAAD fellow at the Institute of European Politics in Berlin and Marie Curie fellow at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cologne. His publications include the monograph National Identities and Foreign Policy in the European Union (ECPR Press 2017) and several articles on the politics of memory and identity, EU-Russia relations and European energy policy in the journals Europe-Asia Studies, Politics, Geopolitics, The International Spectator and German Politics. He has a PhD in Politics from the University of Edinburgh.
Barbara Gaweda is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the research project “Gender, party politics and democracy in Europe: A study of European Parliament’s party groups” (EUGenDem), based at Tampere University and funded by the European Research Council. In 2018-2019, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) at Tampere University. Barbara obtained her PhD in Political Science from the University of Edinburgh in 2017. She is specialised in gender politics and anti-equality discourses in East-Central Europe.