The H2020/COURAGE Project and Its Problems: Conceptual Transfer, Interdisciplinary Methodology, Practical Solutions

The Social Sciences Division of the Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB) invites you this Friday (21.10.2016) to a public conversation aiming to discuss ”The H2020/COURAGE Project and Its Problems: Conceptual Transfer, Interdisciplinary Methodology, Practical Solutions” with Cristina Petrescu, affiliated member of ICUB.

Why should we (still) be interested in the communist past, when the present challenges are so serious? Why the European Union is still financing projects related to the recent past? Why are such projects relevant for a much larger audience than the tiny little academic community of those involved in the study of the past? COURAGE is an international research project on the communist past, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program because it was able to convince that it is relevant for the present society. This project aims at highlighting that, in the region known before 1989 as Eastern Europe and today as the New Europe of the recent (or potential) members of the European Union, culture meant more than socialist realism or propaganda art. Quite the contrary, in certain periods and in particular places, alternative cultural milieus flourished in spite of the strict control imposed by the communist regimes. It was from these milieus that the diversity of thought and implicitly the kernel of the future feeble democracies in the region gradually developed. COURAGE is interested in everything that was non-conformist and seeks for the material and digital remnants of those forms of thinking and action which were independent from the system of values promoted by the communist regimes. In other words, COURAGE is in quest for all the public or private collections in Europe, which conserved such remnants of the past, in order to create, for the benefit of the general public, the first online registry of what the project calls “cultural opposition”. COURAGE is interested in saving from oblivion this part of the common European heritage by multilevel actions, which range from the inclusion of the most relevant collections in the House of European History in Brussels to the involvement of the widest possible audience into the completion of the online registry. If you know about the existence of such a collection in Romania, join COURAGE in order to enrich the knowledge about our usable past, contribute to the making of our memory of this common past and, last but not least, redefine our collective identity for the twenty-first century! (This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 692919)

Cristina PETRESCU is an Associate Professor in Modern European History at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest. She authored From Robin Hood to Don Quixote: Resistance and Dissent in Communist Romania (Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedică, 2013), contributed to Raport Final al Comisiei Prezidenţiale pentru Analiza Dictaturii Comuniste în România (Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania) (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2007), and co-edited the volume Nation-Building and Contested Identities: Romanian and Hungarian Case Studies (Budapest: Regio Books, 2001). She published in international volumes and peer-reviewed journals in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Poland and Hungary numerous studies on communism and the memory of this recent past in East-Central Europe.

The event will take place in Room 102 (Panduri, no,90 Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, University of Bucharest), starting at 15.00.

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