Coming of Age When the Cold War Ended

Wednesday, 18 April 2012, 2:00pm - 3:30pm, IWM library

Poland’s ‘Generation of 89’ and the Demise of Communism

Seminar “Faces of Eastern Europe”

The demise of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 was without doubt a watershed event in European history. The subject has been studied now for more than two decades and has resulted in a series of established analyses and paradigms. However, a scholarly debate concerning 1989 emerged during recent years which demonstrated the need for a shift in research focus and questions asked. This research project builds upon this debate and aims to highlight the generational experience of youth in late Cold War era while simultaneously transcending the Eastern European context through a series of comparative area case studies beyond this geographical region. Nonetheless, the Eastern European context remains the essential starting point of the research. Therefore, this seminar will entail a brief presentation of the overall research project, its approach, aims and main hypotheses, while additionally going into more detail through a presentation of a prime case study from Eastern Europe – that of the ‘generation of 89’ in Poland.

Tom Junes is Visiting Lecturer in History at the KU Leuven, Visiting Researcher at the Warsaw University, and currently Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.