Between History and Anthropology. The Method and Practices of Researching Eastern European Local Memory
Olga LinkiewiczInstitute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences
September 18, 2014
Center for Urban History, Lviv
The relation between history and anthropology has been a subject of a long-lasting academic debate. Likewise, for decades historians have been concerned with memory (both as a source and topic) and the impact of memory studies on historiography. In her talk, Olga looked at the triad of history, anthropology, and memory, and consider the present-day concerns of such "in-between" interdisciplinary studies. Taking the case of the Galician town of Śniatyn (in present-day Ukraine), she explores the memories of everyday life which the town’s inhabitants – various chroniclers and story-tellers – created over the years since the interwar period. They evoked the social life of this town in memoirs, "historical sketches," and genealogy. The relatively recent popularity of social media brought the memory about Śniatyn to the Internet environment where her actors exchange photographs and information, producing and reproducing historical accounts about their town. What are the consequences of the new genre of memory for the research method? Does it invite scholars to cross-disciplinary boundaries or rather remind us about the distinctions between and the disparate traditions of history and anthropology?