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Nesting Orientalisms at War: World War II and the 'Memory War' in Eastern Europe

By Maria Malksoo

Abstract

This chapter puts cultural constructions informed by Orientalism in the context of the contemporary “memory war” over the meaning and legacy of World War II in Eastern Europe. Drawing on the concept of nesting Orientalisms, the chapter demonstrates how Russia and its former satellites in Eastern Europe (e.g., the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine) try to depict each other as “less European” in the face of “the West” in order to gain the latter’s recognition of one’s own comparatively “more European” nature. Western readings of these East European memory wars of World War II add another interesting layer of Orientalism to the study, as due to the constitutive role of “the East” for “the West”, these conflicts over memory are culturally and socially productive for Western European identities as well

Topics: J, JA, JC, JZ
Publisher: Columbia University Press/Hurst
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1093/acprof:oso
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:57079
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