BASEES Annual Conference 2022

Spatial and temporal constitution of myths: how memory, history and the past entangle in Romania and Serbia?

Fri8  Apr04:40pm(20 mins)
CWB Plenary


Marina Vulovic, Ionut Chiruta


This research compares the re-articulation of national myths by the Serbian and Romanian Orthodox Churches and right-wing parties that support them. It seeks to understand how national myths can be read through the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis, by contrasting myths with concepts like history, memory, and the past. The article focuses on Romania and Serbia, both of which have 'lost' nationally important territories (ethnoscapes), namely Moldova and Kosovo. We investigate the shift of these mythscapes in religious and political discourses. Thereby, the research brings more clarity into the fields of memory studies and memory politics.
This study utilizes discourse theoretical analysis to comparatively analyze press releases and YouTube videos of the Orthodox Churches and right-wing parties who articulate myth-ladden discourses. There are two preliminary findings. First, both Churches rely on downplaying the objectivity of history that separated Moldova and Kosovo from their respective nations. Oppositely, both churches accentuate the re-articulation of fantasies and the material symbolism that revives the ethnoscape tied to the national myth. Second, the Churches' discourses are developed by right-wing parties (e.g., Serbian Progressive Party and the Alliance for the Union of Romanians) in political and PR campaigns that combine religious iconography and mythological symbols that narrate and validate a myth of belonging, both in terms of history and territory.