An Artificial Unity? Approaches to Post-Socialist Nostalgia

Veronika Pehe



‘Post-socialist nostalgia’ has been used as an umbrella term to describe a number of disparate and at times contradictory phenomena. Given the often opposing notions of what is meant by the designation, this paper interrogates to what extent post-socialist nostalgia is still a valid term and examines whether it imposes an artificial unity on heterogeneous approaches and concepts that could more fruitfully be described by a variety of more specific terms. The contribution argues that established typologies of nostalgia are not necessarily a productive way of thinking about the phenomenon. Drawing on examples from the Czech Republic, this paper makes a case for viewing post-socialist nostalgia not as a set of categories, but as a collection of tools and mechanisms which can be observed in nostalgic texts, as well as, more significantly, in their reception.


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