“Fifty years On”: Remembering and Forgetting the post-war revolutions in Eastern Europe

Keynote Roundtable  

Saturday, 14 April, 17:30-19:00 – Auditorium

Chair: Libora Oates-Indruchová (University of Graz, Austria)
Speakers:           
Janos Rainer
 (Head of the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution)
Jacques Rupnik (CERI, Sciences Po)
Jan Kubik (SSEES, London)

Fifty years ago there were exciting events taking place in Czechoslovakia; Aleksander Dubček had become first secretary of the KSČ and political liberalisation was under way. But it was not to last long. On August 20th Soviet troops entered the country and put an end to the Prague Spring. This was neither the first nor last revolution to challenge the communist hegemony in the countries of East Central Europe.  In this keynote panel, we will be asking our speakers to remind us of these oppositional uprisings and the people involved in them, and to reflect upon how they are being re-interpreted at the present in the service of leaderships in the communist successor states.  Our speakers are Jacques Rupnik who was a student at the time of the Soviet invasion and having left Czechoslovakia her returned in 1990-2 as an adviser to president an adviser to Vaslav Havel,  Janos Reiner,  Director of the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Budapest and Jan Kubik, former Director of SSEES who will be speaking respectively about how the revolutions of the post WWII revolutions or uprisings are being commemorated (or not) in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

 Libora Oates-Indruchová

Libora Oates-Indruchová

Libora Oates-Indruchová is Professor of Sociology of Gender at the University of Graz (A). Her research interests include cultural representations of gender, gender and social change, censorship, and narrative research, with a focus on state-socialist and post state-socialist Czech Republic. Her recent articles include “A Dulled Mind in an Active Body: Growing Up as a Girl in Normalization Czechoslovakia” (in Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life, ed. by Iveta Silova, Nelli Piattoeva, and Zsuzsa Millei, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and Unraveling a Tradition, or Spinning a Myth?: Gender Critique in Czech Society and Culture“ (Slavic Review, Winter 2016). She co-edited The Politics of Gender Culture under State Socialism: an Expropriated Voice (with Hana Havelková; Routledge 2014, paperback 2015; expanded Czech edition 2015) that won the 2016 BASEES Women’s Forum Book Prize. She is currently completing a book manuscript on Czech and Hungarian post-1968 scholarly publishing and censorship.

 János M. Rainer

János M. Rainer

János M. Rainer (1957), Hungarian historian, professor of contemporary history at Eszterházy Károly University (Eger, Hungary), head of the 1956 Institute – Oral History Archive Department at the Hungarian National Széchényi Library (Budapest). Before 1989 he published in samizdat on the reprisals after 1956. His field of expertise is Hungarian history after WWII, focusing on the 1956 revolution and the Kádár-period. His two-volume biography on Imre Nagy was published in enshortened version in Polish, Russian, German and English.

 Jacques Rupnik

Jacques Rupnik

Jacques Rupnik is Director of Research at the Centre de Recherches Internationale (CERI) at Sciences Po, France, where he also serves as Professor of Political Science. He was educated at the University of Paris and at Harvard, is currently Director of Research at CERI and Professor at Sciences Po in Paris as well as visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and Charles University in Prague. Since he joined CERI, Sciences Po in 1982 he has been writing and lecturing about East and Central European history and politics and European integration. He was advisor to president Vaclav Havel in the 1990’s. Executive director of the International Commission for the Balkans, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1995-1996) and drafter of its report Unfinished Peace (1996), member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo (1999-2000) and co-drafter of The Kosovo Report (Oxford UP, 2000). Among the various positions held: advisor to the European Commission (2007 – 2010). Member of the board of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in The Hague since 2010. Member of the board of directors of the European Partnership for Democracy in Brussels (2008-2013). He has been a visiting Professor in several European universities and in the Department of Government, at Harvard University where he is regularly Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies.

J.Rupnik has published a number of books and scholarly articles including Histoire du Parti Communiste Tchécoslovaque (1981) The Other Europe (1989), Le Printemps tchécoslovaque 1968 (1999), 1989 as a Political World Event: Democracy, Europe and the new international system, London, Routledge, ( 2013, with an introduction by V.Havel), Géopolitique de la démocratization, l’Europe et ses voisinages, Presses de Sciences Po  (2014).

 Jan Kubik

Jan Kubik

Jan Kubik is Professor at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Department of Political Science, Rutgers University in New Brunswick. His earlier publications include: The Power of Symbols against the Symbols of Power. The Rise of Solidarity and the Fall of State Socialism in Poland and Rebellious Civil Society: Popular Protest and Democratic Consolidation in Poland, 1989-1993 (with Grzegorz Ekiert). His recent work deals with the relationship between political science and cultural anthropology (Anthropology and Political Science: a convergent approach, with Myron Aronoff); critical analysis of post-communist studies (Postcommunism from Within. Social Justice, Mobilization, and Hegemony, edited with Amy Linch); and the politics of memory (Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration, prepared and edited with Michael Bernhard). Among his research interests are: culture and politics; civil society, protest politics and social movements; communist and post-communist politics; the rise of populism; and interpretive and ethnographic methods in political science. He received M.A. (sociology and philosophy) from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and Ph.D. (anthropology, with distinction) from Columbia University.