image description



University of Pavol Jozef Safarik Kosice (Slovakia) and University of Valladolid (Spain)

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

Palimpsests of Memory: Commodification of Socialist Heritage and Urban Rebranding in Contemporary Europe


This research project presents a critical inquiry into the role of uncomfortable heritage in urban “rebranding”, with a focus on the specificities of politics of memory, forgetting and revisionism in post-communist Europe. It addresses legacies of unwanted, ambivalent or unacknowledged past and different strategies employed by both states and private actors in “rebranding” their national history and heritage, ensuring its preservation, but re-contextualizing the narrative of the past through contemporary tourism practices. The dissertation addresses a variety of commercial mechanisms for institutionalizing “difficult” memory of authoritarian regimes in Europe, where the use of marketable brush served as a vehicle to both retrieve and depart from the contested historical narratives. It analyses examples from post-socialist Europe, i.e. Prora, Checkpoint Charlie, radio building in Slovakia, House of People in Romania, Jadran in Croatia, Tito’s Mausoleum in Serbia, House of Terror and Memento Park in Hungary. Using “difficult” heritage as a lens through which the disruption of the relationship between place and memory can be seized, it aims to provide a comprehensive account of the (divergent) public memory/public space dynamics in late-XX-century European cities.

Jovana (Vukcevic) Janinovic is currently conducting her Ph.D. as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the urban HIST programme, studying in Slovakia, France and Spain. Previously, she held the positions of teaching assistant at the University of Montenegro, researcher at the Leipzig Graduate School Global and Area Studies and the start-up scholar at the Bielefeld University. She obtained her Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree from Charles University of Prague and EHESS Paris in the field of European studies, defending with honours her thesis “Commodification of the Collective Memory: Yugonostalgia as a Marketing Strategy”. She also holds a B.A. in Economics from University of Montenegro and an M.A. in Management from University of Nice. Her main research interests relate to the heritage and memory management, post-socialist urban and cultural transformations, dark tourism, as well as the public uses of history and institutionalizations of memory.

back to list FELLOWS 2015