Release Date: February 26, 2008
Media Contact: Stephen King, External Relations
Phone: 306-585-5439
Mobile: 306-536-4312
Fax: 306-585-4997
"Comrades, Socialism is Unforgettable!": Paradoxes of Memory in Eastern Europe
After the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, removing images of communist propaganda from public spaces became one of the most pressing preoccupations in Lithuania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Statues of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and many other proletarian ideologues were toppled by jubilant crowds. People seemed desperate to forget oppressive socialism. Then, in the late 1990s, to the surprise of many, the defaced Soviet-era statues were “remembered”, restored, and put on display at an open-air museum known as Grÿtas Park. Today, the museum’s collection and popularity continue to grow. This fascinates University of Regina Anthropology professor Dr. Gediminas Lankauskas.

In the latest installment of the Coffee House Controversies series, a lecture series hosted by the University of Regina’s Faculty of Arts, Lankauskas will discuss why some Lithuanians want to recall socialism and what the remembrance of the socialist past tells us about Lithuania’s “capitalist” present and the ongoing changes in the European East. The lecture will take place Thurs., Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Chapters bookstore behind the Southland Mall (2625 Gordon Road).

Lankauskas holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vilnius University, Lithuania, a Master’s degree from Trent University, and a PhD from the University of Toronto. He was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University in Montréal. In addition to collective memory, Lankauskas’s research is concerned with Christian Evangelical movements in post-socialist Eastern Europe.

Coffee House Controversies aims to bring the research interests of Faculty of Arts members to the community. Speakers give an informal 20-minute talk focusing on a controversial topic of interest to the general public. The talks are intended to encourage the open exchange of ideas. Twenty minutes of discussion follows each talk, during which members of the general public can ask questions or raise issues with the speaker or other audience members. The events are free and open to the public. Contact the Faculty of Arts at 585-4226 for more information.