UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Memory, history and the end of the Empire

18 November 2019, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Dr Una Bergmane

Join us for a seminar as part of the SSEES Russian Studies Seminar Series, with Dr Una Bergmane (Teaching Fellow at The LSE) for 'Memory, history and the end of the Empire: the debate on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the context of the Soviet disintegration (1986-1991)'

This event is free.

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Masaryk Room
16 Taviton Street

The study focuses on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact debate in the USSR as a case study for examining the role that collective memory and instrumentalized narratives about the past played in the Soviet disintegration.  In the context of glasnost and perestroika actors from different backgrounds gained access to the public space to contest the official versions of Soviet history. While their motivations varied, the result was often the same: by challenging the hegemony of official history, these groups voluntary or involuntary questioned the legitimacy of the Union. From this perspective, the MRP debate was especially vital as it examined the official version of the Soviet role in WWII. In this context, the memory of the War became a “contested territory” in which various groups promoted conflicting views on the past to gain control over the political center, or to legitimize separatist orientation.

About the Speaker

Dr Una Bergmane

Teaching Fellow at The LSE

Dr Una Bergmane is a Teaching Fellow at the LSE. Her research focuses on the end of the cold war and the late socialism period in the Soviet Union. She is currently finalizing a book manuscript The politics of uncertainty: the US, the Baltic Question and the Collapse of the Soviet Union.  Before joining LSE, Una was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and a Baltic Sea Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, US. She obtained her Ph.D. with the highest distinction from Sciences Po Paris in 2016, and spent one year of her doctoral studies as a Fox Fellow at Yale University.  Dr Bergmane has also been a visiting fellow at Aleksanteri Institute in Helsinki and at Turku University, Finland.