Ksenia Robbe – Remembering Crises: Towards Critical Memory Studies of ‘Transition’ and Decolonization

Date: 16/05/2023

Time: 18:00 - 19:00

Location: H401

Ksenia Robbe is a Senior lecturer in European Culture and Literature at the University of Groningen. She works at the interfaces of postcolonial and postsocialist, memory and time, and gender and feminist studies. She is the author of Conversations of Motherhood: South African Women’s Writing Across Traditions (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2015) and (co-)editor of Remembering Transitions: Local Revisions and Global Crossings in Culture and Media (De Gruyter, 2023), (Un)timely Crises: Chronotopes and Critique (Palgrave, 2021), and Post-Soviet Nostalgia: Confronting the Empire’s Legacies (Routledge, 2019). This academic year, she is a resident fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Amsterdam, working on the project “Other Transitions: Remembering the 1980-90s Crises and Reimagining Sociality in South Africa and Russia”. She is also leading a collaborative project “Reconstituting Publics through Remembering Transitions” supported by the NETIAS CAT programme.



About her lecture:

In this talk, I turn to the events of the so-called ‘transitions’ that took places across Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Global South and inaugurated the end of the Cold War, and the memory of these periods. During the past decades, memories of these times of attempted decolonization have been instrumentalized within both progressivist and dystopian narratives. Against this background and with the focus on memory dynamics in post-Soviet Russia and post-apartheid South Africa, I will, first, explain the importance of engaging with ‘transitions’ from perspectives of memory and post/de/colonial studies. As a second step, drawing on examples from contemporary South African and Russian literature/film, I will propose the notion of ‘remembering crises’ as a critical memory template for making sense of transitions in the present.


Please note that this event is free, however its capacity is limited – only via RSVP. If you wish to participate, please send an email to Micol Manuntamentioning your name and the number of people who wish to join.

Robbe’s lecture will be also available in a hybrid format via ZOOM. If you wish to join online, please send an email to Micol Manunta.


Here’s a glimpse of the event!


This series of lectures took place in the frame of the activities organised for the SPEME partners visiting Amsterdam throughout the whole month of May. Click here to see the full programme.