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Students’ research. Post-Memory and Transgenerational Trauma: Historical Consciousness Analysis of the Second and Third Generation Descendants of Deportees

Project idea

The main goal of this project is to enhance the student’s competencies by implementing a research project on how the memory and traumatic experiences of Lithuanian inhabitants deported from 1940 to 1953 are transmitted to their descendants, how the past repressions form and affect the deportee descendants’ identity, as well as how this identity is transforming in the second generation (raised during the Soviet era) and the third generation (raised in independent Lithuania). The research will analyse the historical consciousness of Lithuanian deportee descendants by employing the concept of post-memory which is still novel in the field of social memory studies. It reveals how the memory of traumatic historical experiences transmits them to the descendants of survivors, as well as how this process works in familial and cultural spheres.

During the research, semi-structured qualitative interviews of the second and third generation deportee descendants will be carried out and analysed from the perspective of post-memory studies. The results of this research will be relevant internationally in terms of broadening the implementation of post-memory concept to suit the case of Lithuania. This research is also important on the national level, because memory of deportations in Lithuania has not been analysed much through the paradigm of post-memory yet. Thus, the results of this project will reveal how post-memory of Lithuanian deportee descendants is formed and how it changes. Finally, it will allow comparing how regime changes affect the historical consciousness and political identity of deportees. The results of this project will be broadly disseminated: the interviews will be transferred to the (Post)Soviet Memory Studies Centre archive, a draft paper will be prepared and presented in a conference. The results of this research will broaden the post-memory studies paradigm itself, as well as provide new knowledge about the memory of deportations in Lithuania.