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Author: Tomasz Kamusella

After Ukraine’s new language law, it is high time for Ukrainian Russian

A State Institute of Ukrainian Russian needs to be established as a matter of urgency.

August 7, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Eighty years later: Under the map of Europe

Maps are more than just visual aids for understanding the land around us. They give valuable insight into history as well.

July 12, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Banishing Yiddish

On tacit antisemitism in academia.

July 5, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Krupp in Greifswald

On the perils of forgetting about the Holocaust.

June 18, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Belarusian culture: Still a terra incognita

Review of Alhierd Bacharevič's Maje Dzievianostyja (My 1990s).

June 5, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Estonian Russian. If or when?

The Russian language is the only 'big language' in the world to remain so closely connected to its parent nation-state, Russia. Despite the fact that it is used so widely across the post-Soviet sphere, there are no official country-specific varieties of the Russian language. This kind of ethnolinguistic nationalism is yet another mode by which Moscow influences the “near-abroad” and even European Union member states.

May 8, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Art and sex in communist Albania

Stalinist dogma called for socialist realist art that was meant to reproduce an enhanced (that is, unreal) reflection of the reality of “the people’s work and progress”. The stories of the pieces on display at a 2015 art exhibit in Tirana’s National Art Gallery demonstrate that socialist realist art was also quite prudish – but sometimes sexual, “anti-communist” art made it past the censors.

April 10, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Bulgaria’s denial of its Ottoman past and Turkish identity

Despite more than five hundred years of Turkish rule, the majority of present-day Bulgarians demonise and reject “non-Bulgarian” – that is, Turkish, Muslim, or Roma – influences in their history and culture. While the Bulgarian government’s harshest policies of ethnic cleansing concluded with the fall of communism, this exclusivist narrative of Bulgarian national history nevertheless continues to discriminate against such communities.

March 24, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Words matter. Bulgaria and the 30th anniversary of the largest ethnic cleansing in cold war Europe

Bulgarian communist dictator Todor Zhivkov led campaigns of forced assimilation and ethnic cleansing against non-Bulgarian minorities, particularly Turks and Muslims. Three decades after the 1989 ethnic cleansing and the subsequent transition to democracy, Bulgaria still has yet to reconcile with its past.

February 25, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Yiddish-German: from Central Europe to the Holocaust and back?

Before the Second World War, German enjoyed the status of a global language on par with English, French and Spanish. It is a little-known fact that the German language’s vast geographic presence was possible only thanks to German-Yiddish speaking Ashkenazi Jews. While the Second World War destroyed German language and culture’s global status, it also meant the near-total 'extermination and stigmatisation of Yiddish language and culture.

January 16, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Postcolonialism in the Soviet Bloc

A review of Socjalistyczny postkolonializm. Rekonsolidacja pamięci (Socialist Postcolonialism: Memory Reconsolidation). By: Adam F Kola. Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń, Poland, 2018.

During the latter half of the 1980s I was a student of English language philology and literature at the University of Silesia in Katowice. Through assigned readings we were introduced to the western discourse of postcolonialism, but the lecturers took care to not operationalise these analytical instruments for any research on books and essays written and published in communist Poland or the Soviet bloc. Some conclusions that we could arrive at about our own communist regime might be ideologically dangerous for ourselves and our tutors. When communism collapsed in 1989 and the Soviet Union broke up two years later, the imageries and analytical approaches of postcolonialism suddenly began to make much sense to my colleagues and myself.

November 5, 2018 - Tomasz Kamusella

Bulgaria: an unlikely personality cult

The Zhivkov personality cult reaches its annual crescendo during the lavish celebrations of the late dictator's successive anniversaries of birth on the 7th of September in his hometown of Pravets, near Sofia. EU and Bulgarian flags will again provide the background for a leader synonymous with Bulgarian communism, including its darker chapters.

September 7, 2018 - Tomasz Kamusella

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